The giraffe smells a food pellet. He pokes his head just over the railing and starts sniffing for the guest holding his treat. Not far off, some brightly plumed parrots land on another visitor’s arm, spying the tasty apple slices in her hand. Though you can’t get this close to every animal at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium—such as the lions and the wild Larry Fitzgeralds—the keepers do facilitate animal-human exchanges as often as possible with the zoo’s more than 600 species. They also give visitors novel views of some exhibits by welcoming them aboard the Skyride, the Australian boat ride, and the African train safari. The adjacent aquarium adds to the zoo’s impressive animal collection, housing more than 75 exhibits and enough water to start a new earth colony.
Further attractions include a children’s petting zoo, daily shows, and a baby-animal nursery. Wildlife World also encompasses two restaurants where guests can feed themselves and their own helpless progeny.
West Valley Child Crisis Center (WVCCC) rose from the need for shelter housing. A group of women's service organizations and the John F. Long Foundation formed opened residential homes in 1986 and 1988 for children who were victims of domestic violence or neglect. Today WVCCC helps to find foster care and adoptive homes for children who were removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. In addition, the organization's birth-parent program teaches pregnant women about their options and ability to place their children with loving families, and the community-outreach program raises awareness about child-welfare issues.
The veteran marketing and real-estate professionals who teach at Arizona Academy of Real Estate frequently update course content to keep students in step with Arizona's real-estate and lending-licensing requirements. In-class or online programs prepare students to market and sell properties or become real-estate brokers who use their skills to assist either buyers or sellers.
Potential mortgage brokers and loan originators learn the ethics, mortgage laws, and secret handshakes necessary to gain bankers' trust, and practicing real-estate and lending agents can update their reservoir of knowledge with continuing-education classes. Once students earn their seller's wings, the academy's list of career partners gives new agents an opportunity to meet with local real-estate leaders and compare smiles.
When participants at The Retro Run 5K take their marks, they're more likely to be taken for Cyndi Lauper than a marathon runner. That's because the 3-mile run eschews the put-ons of most modern races: there are no times collected, and those with the best '60s, '70s, or '80s costumes are the ones destined to win the big prize—in the post-race costume competition, anyway. Neon spandex, fanny packs, and fingerless gloves are a hot choice among racers, but even if you're just there in a T-shirt and shorts, the staff will hook you up with a free pair of sunglasses to help you look the part. After the race, runners, walkers, and even pets celebrate with an '80s-themed festival complete with top party music, a costume contest, and pyramid teams reenacting the fall of the Berlin Wall.