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.
At DeCarlo's Bar and Grill, chefs take an innovative approach to burger making. Rather than piling toppings on the outside of the burger, they stuff flavorful ingredients—such as pepper jack cheese, bacon, or jalapenos—directly between two quarter-pound patties. These signature burgers ooze juicy fillings and gossip with every bite, and they star on a menu of pub fare also populated by hearty sandwiches, fried appetizers, customized pizzas, and a variety of draft beers and cocktails.
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."
Pintsize and full-size skaters swap weekday worries for carefree coasting while gliding through weekends inside Great Skate. During each visit, energized tunes swirl amid the huffs and puffs of orbiting patrons, who offset breezy rotations around the rink with trips to the concession stand, arcade, or color-packed prize counter. In addition to open skating sessions, Great Skate plays host to a variety of other wheel-based functions, including roller hockey leagues and community fundraisers. Adults, meanwhile, can celebrate such special occasions as birthdays or unexpected growth spurts with a late-night party and DJ.