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.
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.
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.
At Wild Mountain Winery, everything is local, right down to the grapes and the process in which they're grown. Surrounded by the green hillsides of the St. Croix River Valley, Wild Mountain utilizes the methods of Elmer Swenson—a pioneering breeder who revolutionized grape growing in regions plagued by cold, short seasons, and undomesticated snowplows. Having been perfected over the years, those time-tested processes now result in hardy varietals that represent the local climate, soils, and vines. Travelers along the Upper St. Croix Wine Trail can explore Wild Mountain's territorial flavors in a number of ways, including during weekend tastings that come with a souvenir glass.
Crisp, fresh country breezes rustle through the trees surrounding Eko Backen as guests revel in its many outdoor seasonal activities. During warm-weather months, its spacious, gazebo-dotted grass fields host weddings and vintage-car shows, and families putt away on a 10-hole miniature-golf course with seasonally themed decorations. Visitors pile into inflatable tubes during the summer to race down water slides, and in the winter, they navigate sloping hills covered in artificial snow. The staffers capably host events such as corporate getaways, birthday parties, and jury-duty reunions, providing pizza and snacks from their onsite eatery.
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.
Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.