Wishes & More fulfills the wishes of youth up to age 19 who have a terminal or life-threatening illness to help bring joy into lives that have become burdened with fear and trauma. Wishes can range from items, such as nursery equipment or new cars, to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a trip to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup, a family ski vacation, and the chance to meet a personal hero, be it Garfield cartoonist Jim Davis or Jackie Chan. Wishes & More also provides $1,000 memorial-fund grants to the parents of children who did not live to experience their wish and $1,000 Scholarship of Hope grants to fund young people's transition to higher education following a terminal diagnosis and recovery.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Grumpy's Bar & Grill sates patrons with a menu of hearty burgers and sandwiches and quenches quaffers with 34 beers on tap. Friends, couples, or bitter, bitter rivals put bitter, bitter rivalries aside over two Fatty Melts—culinary colossi weighed down with a half-pound, black Angus burger peppered with sautéed onions and wedged between two grilled-cheese sandwiches. Both melts come with fries and a Surly Furious ale, a hoppy explosion with hints of citrus, pine, and caramel toffee.
After a round of renovations, owners Mike, Al, and Jamie filled the shelves at Metro Wine and Spirits with libations for all tastes. Wines from such makers as Blufeld and Ecco Domani bring with them the flavors of Europe, while the popped cap of a Surly craft beer hisses "I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night_." Liquors by such favorite brands as UV stand ready for inclusion in cocktails. Visitors dropping by the shop may even find themselves swept up in a tasting or a contest to identify wines by cork texture alone.
Everyone has different ways to gear up for their meal on Thanksgiving Day: some eat a huge breakfast to rev up their stomachs, others abstain from food all day to preserve their appetite. But at Lake Calhoun Park on Thanksgiving morning, some people won't be thinking about food at all; instead, they'll be running. Racers of all ages will congregate around the Beast 2 Feast start line on Lake Calhoun Parkway, where they'll depart on a timed run/walk around a scenic 3.1-mile course that encircles the lake.
The race isn't just for the sake of holiday celebration, though. It was inspired for more charitable reasons: the majority of the proceeds go to the Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, with additional funding given to the Minnesota Heat youth basketball association. Those interested in registering can do so as individuals or get a team together, and friends and family are encouraged to come out as spectators and cheer the racers on.
At Fitness 1st, certified personal trainers inspire clients to make exercise a priority during fun, confidence-building workouts. Though the studio spans 6,500 square feet, personalized attention from the staff makes it feel as cozy as a fireplace clad in long underwear. Here, exercisers chase down their goals during one-on-one training sessions and tackle them with a group during boot-camp-style workouts and core-sculpting Pilates-yoga routines. To promote mind-body wellness and ease muscle soreness, clients can sample up to four types of massage therapy in a secluded kneading area. Swedish massages target stress with long, flowing strokes, and sports massages can enhance performance during athletic events and the breakdancing portion of Shakespearean plays.
Jam Hops Gymnastics, Dance and Cheer was formed when The Gymnastics Factory of Ham Lake joined forces with Jam Hops of Mound View in 1997. At first, they focused only on recreational and competitive gymnastics. As the talent, energy, and location expanded, however, so too did the program—they began to include dance. The inertia then became harder to contain, leading to Jam Hops' cheer program, the "leap-n-learn" academic preschool program, and even birthday parties and day camps that have further integrated Jam Hops into the community. In 2013 alone, Jam Hops scored the "Reader's Choice Award" from the Anoka County Shopper and the "Family Choice Award" from Macaroni Kid
Despite expansions in locations and classes, Jam Hops maintains its original mission: to turn children into champions of life. Nurturing young talent, the enthusiastic staff—many of whom are CPR and First Aid Certified—boost the confidence of students in recreational and competitive gymnastics programs. They work with boys and girls ranging from preschool age to 12th grade, and have even shepherded teams to the Junior Olympics nationals. Instructors in the dance programs, meanwhile, teach adults, teens, and tykes as young as two the ins-and-outs of jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet styles. It's not all about gymnastics or dance, though—the staffers in charge of academic preschool classes instill physical fitness and learning excellence in kids ages 3–5.