Mark and Amy Meyers bought their first donkey, Izzy, more than a decade ago. Though they only sought a pet, their close relationship with Izzy inspired them to take up a cause. Soon after buying Izzy, they noticed that other donkeys in the neighborhood were suffering from abuse and neglect. They took immediate action: Amy began adopting the donkeys, and Mark spent his evenings talking to the donkeys and tending to their ailments. After they adopted their 25th donkey, they decided to start their own rescue organization, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.
Peaceful Valley, which currently cares for more than 1,500 donkeys, rescues domestic donkeys that have been abused or neglected and wild burros that have been displaced from their natural habitat. The donkeys are often found injured and wandering in the wilderness or are surrendered by their owners. After being rescued, they live in one of the farm sanctuaries in Texas, Oregon, or other satellite locations. Peaceful Valley has worked with capture programs, private landowners, and numerous government agencies—including the National Park Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife—to ensure that all donkeys have a safe place to live. Toward that aim, Peacefully Valley also holds clinics, trains donkey owners to better care for their animals, and educates the public about the nature and history of donkeys to improve their plight.
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Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
Capturing True Emotion is driven by a dynamic band of instructors who rove across the continent with cameras and teaching skills in hand. By fusing their narrative, tech-savvy minds together into one oversize head, the educators provide comprehensive guidance on both camera operation and creative visualization, giving participants complete control over all of their camera settings. During the hours spent in the company of other pupating shutterbugs, students convene at a tantalizing location to practice skills such as controlling depth of field by adjusting the aperture, composing a family portrait so there's not always a burning zeppelin in the background, using alternative angles to avoid red eye, and other techniques.
At Elite Sante Women's Fitness Club, women slim and tone their physiques in a nonintimidating environment outfitted with Nautilus fitness equipment, steam rooms, tanning beds, and more. A gym membership includes unlimited use of free weights as well as Nautilus strength-training and cardio equipment, such as treadmills, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and stationary roller skates (a $39.20 value/month). Members can also attend Wednesday evening core-conditioning classes or sweat away toxins in the steam room. The gym's metabolism test (a $40 value) determines resting metabolic rate and daily caloric needs to help with nutritional planning. One month of tanning (a $30 value) allows for body-bronzing under the warm glow of Soleil Systems' 28-bulb 20-minute beds. Those who opt to pair their membership with a T-shirt and exercise journal (a $30 value) can keep track of their daily activity, nutrition, and prom float ideas for approximately two months. The journal includes a target heart-rate chart and nutrition tips to help maintain personal fitness goals.
Since 1983, the nonprofit Northwest Family Services has helped youth, couples, and families make healthy life decisions. Youth programs provide safe harbor for children and teens after school, and match up kids in peer-to-peer leadership programs. Summer sessions encourage kids to make new memories by playing with words and pictures in PhotoVoice camp, during heart-pounding adventure camps, or out of Popsicle sticks. For adults, the organization’s job-help programs guide applicants through resumé writing and interviewing skills. Laying out a roadmap for happy new families, marriage-prep counseling gives couples and singles tips for navigating healthy relationships.