Great Dane Friends of Ruff Love rescues great danes and other mixed-breed dogs, especially those with specials needs or health problems. Volunteers pick up the dogs from local shelters and evaluate them for temperament and health. After caring for any treatable conditions, such as heartworms or injuries that require surgery, the volunteers place the dogs in compatible foster homes. The foster families supply the dogs with food and toys, transport them to and from the vet, and bring them to events to meet potential adopters.
Wounded Warrior Project lays down a gauntlet of goodwill with the first annual Run for Warriors Charlotte event, a 4.5-, 7.5-, or 15-mile jaunt in support of U.S. soldiers. Before they set off at the 9 a.m. start time, runners can visit the Honor Station, where participants pay respect to a military member by having his or her name written on their walk shirt or aerodynamic catsuit. A course map charts the stroll’s progress as it journeys past a small lake, two Clif Bar snack stations, and three water stations before tumbling across the finish line to a provided boxed lunch. Everyone who crosses the finish gets a Believe in Heroes dog tag, and all participants who complete the 7.5- or 15-mile loops enter into a raffle for a 37-inch flat-screen television, perfect for propping open windows when the smoke alarm goes off. Along with live entertainment and games for kids, the event features raffles that award race gear, gift certificates to local restaurants, and tickets to sporting events. Participants may register and pick up packets two days before the event by checking the schedule of events for an idea of when and where to do so, and the first 50 people to purchase today’s deal will receive a free water bottle.
At Indian Land MedSpa, board-certified physicians Dr. Amit Shah, Dr. Nimish Patel, and Dr. Shephali Patel, along with a licensed aesthetician, brighten customers' complexions with a variety of minimally invasive procedures. They inject troublesome areas with FDA-approved Botox and Juvéderm, which combat signs of old age more effectively than hiding behind an oversize lollipop. They also perform customized facials, microdermabrasions, and chemical peels to help reduce common issues such as fine lines, acne, and uneven skin tone. The medspa is managed by Palmetto Medical Group.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia, Inc. runs nine children’s care centers across the region that serve infants and children with disabilities. The care centers offer special services including speech, occupational, and physical therapy to those with disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, in addition to classes for children with and without disabilities. Its curriculum is designed to appeal to each age group, with developmental programming for toddlers and exploratory play with toys for children up to age 8. Because the classes are inclusive, differently abled children learn together in groups, breaking down social barriers and encouraging them to help each other learn.
In August 2006, a small group met at a coffee shop in Durham, North Carolina, to discuss a goal: to pass anti-tethering legislation in North Carolina's Triangle area. To help the legislation pass, as well as aid community members in adjusting more easily to not chaining their dogs, the Coalition to Unchain Dogs—led by Amanda Arrington, now the executive director—organized volunteers to regularly build fences at no cost to the dog owners.
Today that small group has grown to more than 100 volunteers, with four chapters in North Carolina and one in Atlanta, Georgia. The coalition couples its fence-building services with vaccinations and spaying or neutering services for each local dog. In the past five years, Unchain Dogs has spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and built fences for more than 1,200 area dogs.