Spread across three stories and 110,000 square feet, the Cleveland State University Recreation Center enables students, faculty, and members of the community to tailor custom workouts and play a variety of sports. Weight rooms and cardio equipment help members form balanced workout regimens. Alternatively, athletes can hit the basketball, volleyball, or racquetball courts or take a dip in one of the Busbey Natatorium's two lap pools. Above the facilities, a 7,000-square-foot rooftop patio allows guests to cool off amid light foliage and a view of the campus.
Although the symbol of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a small pink ribbon, it represents a powerhouse of breast-cancer research and education. The rallying cry of "I am the cure" represents the foundation's multifaceted approach to fighting the disease, which focuses on community outreach, public perception of the disease, and funding for scientific research. Susan G. Komen for the Cure's work has helped increase early detection, survival rates, and federal funding of groundbreaking breast-cancer research.
Beyond its signature pink ribbon?bedecked merchandise, the Race for the Cure is the centerpiece of the foundation's fundraising and outreach efforts. Originally an 800-person charity race in Dallas, Race for the Cure has blossomed into a series of more than 150 races worldwide, which collectively host more than 1.7 million participants annually. Marathoners, runners, and walkers alike collect sponsorship donations from friends and family as they tackle races of varying lengths, wearing personalized signs on their backs to honor the breast-cancer victims and survivors in their lives. To date, Race for the Cure has raised more than $1.9 billion to support Komen initiatives. The Northeast Ohio affiliate serves 22 counties, and 75% of its net funds earned stay within the area, while the remaining 25% go to global research.
Fans of Mario Kart know Rainbow Road as a glow-in-the-dark racecourse in outer space. So do fans of ABC's The Bachelor, only theirs is located on earth and strewn with more celebrities than turtle shells. To them, it's the series of inflatable arches that flashed hypnotically around Juan Pablo and Kat as they hurtled through the Electric Run. Seth Rogen, Carmen Electra, and a pink-wigged Vanessa Hudgens have also been spotted among the global event's hordes of runners and walkers.
Rainbow Road is just one of many "lands" that make up Electric Run's luminescent 5K. Any given Electric Run course contains five to seven of these brightly lit zones, each decorated according to its theme with neon trees, hanging umbrellas, phosphorescent cacti, and cascading fountains. Each land also matches the surroundings with its own soundtrack: upbeat and energizing for the wilder areas, calming and melodic for the surreal ones. Once the sun sets, participants travel through them all at their preferred pace. Everyone arrives at the same final destination, however?a DJ-propelled afterparty that keeps the night illuminated until the thunderous ka-chunk of the sun's timecard.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.
The eco-stewards at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes work to conserve a natural bundle of lakes, streams, marshes, fields, ravines, and forests on the lush site's 20 acres, in addition to teaching environmental-education classes and hosting community-building events. The household membership contributes to the cause and nets families a grab bag of nature-center goodies, including discounts on programs and workshops, facility rentals, and early registration for all outdoor adventure camps. Lapsed naturalists can hopscotch along two trails, where flora such as sycamores, hickory, and sassafras surround the habitats of raccoons, red-tailed hawks, red foxes, Redd Foxx, and salamanders. Or feel free to spy on the flight patterns of local birds; the Audubon Society dubbed Shaker Lakes as an Important Bird Area for its population of autonomous aviators.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.