After discovering a stray cat with kittens that no shelter would house, Samantha Shelton founded Furkids, a no-kill animal shelter, more than a decade ago. To combat this and other examples of companion-animal overpopulation, her organization conducted adoptions through a network of foster homes. As a result, Furkids rescued 216 animals in its first year, and today has rescued more than 6,000 animals, caring for more than 600 on a daily basis. To do this, Samantha and her team maintain a cage-free cat shelter, dog shelter, a separate shelter for cats with feline-immunodeficiency virus, and nine adoption centers. In addition to housing cats and facilitating adoptions, Furkids works with local residents to sterilize homeless cats in order to prevent the spread of feral colonies.
Since forming in the 1920s, the Harlem Globetrotters have continued to entertain millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a trademark blend of athletic precision and razzle-dazzle showmanship. For the team's 2014 tour, a rotating roster of Globetrotter favorites—including three female players—takes to the hardwood each game. Spectators might spot veteran guard TNT sharing a behind-the-back pass with dunker Quake, whose high jump once cleared 7 feet, cruelly dashing his dreams of working in a ceiling-fan store. The Globetrotters might also present a study in contrasts with 5-foot-2 Too Tall and 7-foot-4 Stretch, the team’s tallest member.
During each Globetrotters game, youngsters laugh along and witness the jovial jocks performing classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti. To infuse their visits with an extra shot of unpredictability, the Globetrotters also let fans in each city vote on special rules for every game; past rules have included the use of a four-point shot and the installation of a penalty box. Over the years, similar antics have followed the Globetrotters around the world, including to 122 countries and territories and all six continents on which basketballs grow naturally. The Globetrotters’ extensive travels haven’t gone unnoticed: they’re one of the few teams to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as ambassadors of the sport.
Featured on Access Atlanta, JapanFest's two-day festival gives crowds of more than 17,000 people a chance to taste varied Japanese cuisine, watch live performances from Japanese musicians and artists, and practice traditional arts in hands-on exhibits. The tunes of Grammy-winning recording artist Yukiko Matsuyama, whose compositions feature the traditional stringed koto, drift through the air as festival-goers watch the hands of professional calligrapher Kotaro Hachinohe bring a large paint-sodden brush down on paper in bold strokes. Pairs of guests can practice the art of petal positioning at the Japanese flower-arranging exhibit, then carefully prune miniature trees at the bonsai demonstration, pruning branches as gingerly as generals clipping budding turrets from the potted tanks in their offices. A range of other participants fills the center's showroom, including anime collectors, kimono crafters, and sake sellers. After perusing the swarm of exhibitors, visitors can reboot with traditional Japanese fare from vendors such as Kotobuki Cafe and Sushi Niko Niko.
The Archery Learning Center arms bow masters of all skill and experience levels with the training they need to pierce the air. Along with hosting tournaments and outfitting its shop with the latest hunting and recreational bows, the indoor range lines its walls with fresh targets. Since its early days, when medieval archers shot arrows from the castle parapets to direct lost caravans to the village, archery has fostered focus, concentration, and the spirit of competition in people of all ages, from young kids to adults.
Carrying the praises of OpenTable diners as the winner of Best Overall restaurant, Best Ambiance, and Best Food, Park Café's executive chef Michael Ganley is no stranger to success. He has honed his skills in the kitchen for more than 17 years, most recently as Executive Chef of The Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, Michigan. Arriving in Duluth in 2004, Ganley brought with him his years of experience perfecting European culinary techniques, crafting a menu of elegant twists on Southern favorites such as fried green tomatoes layered with slabs of warm, creamy brie.
Nestled inside the Knox House—originally erected in 1899 for the first Mayor of Duluth, John Knox—Park Café's refurbished interior remains true to the home's 19th-century character. Largely original hardwood floors and paneled walls lend a quaint charm to the romantic simplicity of the dining rooms, where tables draped in crisp linen glow beneath flickering candles and diners’ recently whitened teeth.
Multicolored globes illuminate the wood skating floor of Skate Along USA, along with the skaters strolling rhythmically to high-energy dance tunes. Throughout the week the Skate Along USA DJs look over the floor from the elevated sound booth, where they select songs for skating sessions and sound effects for the rocket-skating mishaps of cartoon coyotes. On certain nights the DJs will host themed playlists including Top 40 tracks from the realms of hip-hop and R & B, kid-friendly afternoon playlists, and late-night tunes for adults age 18 and older. An onsite pro shop vends skating accessories, including glowing items for black-light skating, and the facility's internet café and arcade gives skaters a break from the arena's centripetal force.