In 2010, 2-year-old Ella McPheeters was diagnosed with autism. Her parents, Hope and Sam, soon became frustrated with the long waiting lists for behavioral-therapy programs and other services and decided to do something about it. They rallied the local community and won a Pepsi Refresh Project grant to found Ella's Hope for Autism. Ella’s Hope aims to raise awareness of autism and increase the availability of therapeutic resources for young children with autism-spectrum disorders. Working with the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Ella's Hope also sponsors scholarships for families and maintains an autism lending library.
There are dartboards and pool tables aplenty inside J.P's, a down-to-earth sports bar with a model pub menu. Chase your game with a sourdough BLT or a thin-crust pizza with five kinds of meat. Or, pig out on pork wings and a big plate of nachos supreme. Chicken sandwiches get their own category here; you'll find six varieties, including grilled chicken, grilled blackened chicken, and you know what, I could really go for some grilled chicken. If the weather's fair, head outside to the beer garden for the alfresco version of J.P's.
Named St. Louis’s Best Driving Range by the Riverfront Times in 2007, Family Golf & Learning Center earns praise as an encouraging environment in which golfers of all levels can hone their games. The lighted range boosts golfers with a second story of hitting stations stacked on top of the first that offers a bird’s-eye view, if that bird is sitting on the head of a giraffe. The range also features both real zoysia-grass tees as well as artificial-turf tees, and it stays open year-round thanks to heaters that prevent golf clubs’ handles from developing frostbite.
Once thoroughly limbered up, golfers can tee off on the par 3 course, where a maximum hole length of 160 yards allows for practice with short strokes and putting. Should self-improvement reach a plateau, the center’s instructors stand ready to help players make further strides through onsite lessons.
Course at a Glance:
The Glo Run’s 5K fun run event always takes place at night, but it doesn’t seem like it. The course is lined with black lights and lasers, and runners sport glow-in-the-dark gear from t-shirts to sunglasses. On-course DJs add to the festivities, blasting tunes as the untimed participants run, walk, or dance to the finish line. Even more DJs await them there at the glow-in-the-dark after party, which lights up the night better than a raccoon that's swallowed a flashlight.
When Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers opened its doors for the first time, it counted only 16 students on its roster. That was in 1979, and more than 30 years in business later, the gym has grown considerably. It now counts 10 locations and more than 150 employees to its name. Despite the changes to its size, the training centers maintain the original gym's mission to help children find health, happiness, and confidence through gymnastics. Olympiad's areas of study, open to boys and girls, include not only gymnastics, but tumbling, cheerleading, and trampolining.
Unlike summer etiquette lessons or math camp, four days of baseball keep kids active and healthy while teaching them social skills and confidence. Whether or not kids go on to become players, they’ll learn the importance of sportsmanship as the friendly instructors make each day fun. Balls-n-Strikes pairs one certified instructor to every six kids. This ensures that the game will not have to go into the 16th inning before your child gets a chance to bat, and also removes the need to make up additional outfield positions such as "assistant to the regional shortstop" and "human foul pole."