When two loving pet owners heard about a series of police-dog deaths that could have been prevented if the dogs had been wearing protective vests, they knew they had to do something to protect these brave animals. So they founded Project Paws Alive, Inc., and now they and their dedicated volunteers spend their nights and weekends—on top of their own jobs—working to ensure that law-enforcement and military canines, as well as domestic pets affected by trauma, receive the same protection and life-saving measures as their human counterparts. The initiative receives requests from civil-service agencies around the country for equipment such as stab- and bulletproof vests for police dogs, canine field-trauma kits, cooling vests, and oxygen masks for domestic pets suffering from smoke inhalation. Often this equipment is too costly for agencies to purchase themselves, or it is prohibited by governmental restrictions but can help police departments, fire departments, and medical first responders save the lives of dogs that work hard to keep humans safe.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
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.
A holiday tradition and celebrated ballet, The Nutcracker entrances audiences with stunning choreography, elaborate sets, and a memorable score composed by classical-music legend Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. During his timeless tale of love and walnuts adorned with purple hearts, the Covington Regional Ballet brings to life the story of Clara as she follows her beloved wooden soldier from the Land of Snow into the Land of Sweets for a riveting yuletide adventure. Waltzing snowflakes, marching toy soldiers, and mischievous mice pirouette around a glowing Christmas tree, interacting with fellow dancers through exaggerated facial expressions, fluid dance moves, and two cans connected by a ribbon from a ballet slipper.
Kids 'R' Kids fosters a secure, loving environment in which children can cultivate educational and social prowess. Teachers are certified in infant and child CPR and first aid and participate in ongoing professional developmental training to amass lullabies able to put even power-crazed toddlers to sleep. Programs with customized curriculula are available for infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged youngins, and children ages 5–12 can participate in before-and-after school services offering homework help and themed stations. Special programs cover topics to put kids in good stead for the rest of their lives, such as computers, health and fitness, and insider trading, and summer camps (still open for registration!) delve into the specs of activities such as sports and nutritional cooking. Weeklong classes range from $75 to $249 depending on location and class level.
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.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Dahn Yoga founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
Together, the Snellville indoor field and the Conyers outdoor field make up the paintballer’s paradise known as Wildfire Paintball Games. Within Snellville’s warehouse-like space, gunrunners dive behind walls of corrugated pipes. Overhead netting prevents errant paintballs from splattering the ceiling, and large bunkers akin to oversized beanbags offer temporary cover to players who need to tie their shoes or quickly finish a book report. At Conyers, ramshackle huts and fort-like edifices give snipers a spot to target their opponents. A forested area provides camouflage, and the speedball arena’s regulation-style obstacles stand tall on the grass field as players duck and run.