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.
O’Riley’s Food & Spirits’ cooks top tables with homemade burgers and wings as their guests listen to live music from local artists or absorb sports action from the large projection screen stretched across an entire wall. On select nights, the sound system quiets and spotlights focus on the stage to highlight the fast-paced observations of local comedians. A suite of six of felt-lined tables provide an outlet for skill-based contests, whether it need be a round of pool or competitive juggling of said tables.
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.
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.
Zumba melds the upbeat rhythms of Latin music with aerobic exercise and interval training for a fun, effective workout. Fancy Footwork Fitness offers several styles of Zumba classes, such as Zumba for kids aged 4–12 and Z-Box Fitness, a combination of cardio boxing and dancing inside of cardboard boxes. Hot Hula Fitness, a workout inspired by the traditional Polynesian dances of the South Pacific, isolates larger muscle groups as drums beat in the background.