Commentary from the Dallas Mavericks’ Chris Arnold and the Dallas Cowboys’ three-time champion Kevin Smith enlivens a schedule of NFL highlights shows presented by the Sportz Dreamz Foundation. Attendees walk the red carpet and pose with the event's hosts before nestling into first-come, first-served seating and crossing their fingers to win door prizes of autographed sports memorabilia, such as signed copies of locker-room hangman sessions. Arnold and Smith are joined by special guests from time to time, which in the past have included former Cowboys Darren Woodson, Jay Novacek, Rocket Ismail, Larry Brown, Chad Hennings, hall-of-famer Mel Renfro, and many others. After sharing their behind-the-scenes insights during roughly one-hour shows, Arnold and Smith mingle with the crowd, scribbling autographs for enraptured fans and posing for snapshots. Patrons leave with complimentary official membership cards, brimming with $50 worth of vouchers toward future Sportz Partnerz events, dinners at Sportz Partnerz-affiliated restaurants, or courtside seats during the entire NBA offseason. Proceeds from ticket sales go to bolster Dallas- and Fort Worth–area youth athletics programs supported by the Sportz Dreamz Foundation.
When Angi Ullrich was looking for a children's theater class for her daughter, she was ruffled at how inconvenient the class times and locations were. It got her thinking, "What if the classes took place where the kids already were?" So she founded Broadway Bound School of Performing Arts in 2007 as a way to bring drama classes to schools, daycares, and wherever else kids wanted to learn. With classes covering everything from puppetry to musical theater, the experienced teachers help students from 3 years old through high school tap into their imaginations.
Gleeful squealing rings out across Jump Mania's nearly 10,000 square feet of green, purple, and blue inflatables during jump hours. The laughter is coming from children as they bound through the obstacle courses, bounce houses, and air-filled slides comprising the indoor playground's 10 mammoth inflatables. With private party rooms, the springy arena also entertains bouncers for birthday parties, which are enhanced by goodies such as pizza, ice cream, and grab bags. Additionally, the facility welcomes caretakers with free admission, letting them enjoy a grown-up approach to the youthful excitement without having to sample play-doh sushi.
We are a preschool of academic excellence, not just a daycare. We utilize a standards driven, year-round curriculum that is designed and updated quarterly by professional child care educators exclusively for Kids R Kids. Academic objectives are cross-referenced to reflect National and North Carolina standards.
Jeri Kopecky baked her first cake with her mother in the kitchen of her family's home in Ennis, a city south of Dallas. Batter wasn't the only thing transformed by the heat of that oven, and after years of helping her mother decorate cakes for friends and neighbors, Jeri took it upon herself to make her passion her career. In 1998, she bought a cake shop, expanded its size to 4000 square feet, and leapt into business for herself. One short year later, her own daughter Kelli joined her in the baking business, and the pair now whip up multilayer bridal cakes and creative birthday cakes for their ever-growing neighborhood. Cake Carousel's ample kitchens also provide a venue for eager students to come and learn the decorating techniques that have twice been passed from mother to daughter. Basic classes teach everything from leveling batter to simple frosting-piping techniques, and students in advanced sessions sculpt complex sculptures out of fondant or learn the elements of design behind a cookie bouquet. Several instructors aid Jeri and Kelli in keeping their year-round calendar of classes running. Occasional guest and celebrity sugar artists—such as Lauren Kitchens, various Food Network chefs, or a peanut-flavored fondant sculpture of George Washington Carver—supplement the lineup with classes in their particular specialties. The candy and cookie store also offers supplies for cake, candy-making, and cookies such as gelatin, isomalt, fondant, and gum-paste.
Thomas Volmer credits his wife, Rachel, for inspiring them to start helming boot camps. She wasn’t always a fitness guru, though. "She was a commercial banker and she was 70 pounds overweight," Volmer recalls. Once she started to reclaim her life, "she just fell in love with fitness," he says. She eventually dropped 80 pounds with proper exercise and nutrition, spurring her to earn her AFAA personal training certification and pursue a career as a full-time trainer.
Personal experience lends Rachel and the other trainers—including Sharon Monk, who lost more than 200 pounds by exercising and eating healthily—empathy and a motivating demeanor when working with campers. At each location, they get groups doing pushups, swinging kettlebells, and flipping tires in a positive environment that's focused on teamwork, rather than competition. "You start as a group, you finish as a group," says Thomas. "But the activities that you do in between might be different based on your abilities."
In addition to leading sessions, Rachel creates easy-to-use online meal plans (including a vegetarian plan), which campers can customize to help them stay on track. Options range from the simple, such as cereal with fruits, nuts, and flaxseeds, to the creative, including honey-sweetened oatmeal peanut-butter cookies. She also includes the calorie count for each recipe. Users can pick from simple meals made for one person or larger entrees designed with an entire family or pet elephant in mind.