Josh knew the first treasure hunt he set up was a success when he saw the happy look in his three younger brothers' eyes as they uncovered the final treasure chest. Based on Josh's clues, the younger Schwabs had just gleefully trekked across Warrenton, Virginia, and into the Shenandoah Mountains in search of their goal. But the event was more than just a fun way to spend the day: it also gave them inspiration at a time when the future felt grim, as their mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Although that has since become a fond memory of a good day, it's also warmly remembered by the family as the catalyst that led Josh to establish Ravenchase Adventures, where he now sets up just such engaging hunts for the public.
Now Ravenchase is an event company that offers pre-set and custom treasure hunts and adventure races. As the company has grown, Josh's team has even set up events for a variety of well-known clients, from DreamWorks Studios to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But regardless of who participates, he and his dedicated staff ensure each two- to three-hour adventure is filled with brainteasers, mysterious clues, and baffling ciphers. Each solved clue leads the groups across town with treasure maps. Fun prizes await at their final destination. In an effort to give back to the community, the company also set up the nonprofit Ravenchase Foundation, which supports organizations that inspire and teach tolerance for history, logic, and the arts.
The team behind Positive Vibe Café cooks toward a better tomorrow in more ways than one. Not only does the organization train individuals with disabilities for jobs in the food-service industry, but it also helps to clean up customers' lifestyles with healthy, flavorful fare. The crew—which includes professional chefs, volunteers, and trainees—steams and grills local, organic produce and meats, which go on to star in gourmet baguette sandwiches, nutritious salads, and refined dinner entrees of buffalo meatloaf and balsamic-kissed grilled salmon, served after 5 p.m or full-service catering.
Formerly the Get Lost MD Foundation, the nonprofit Positive Vibe Foundation preserves Get Lost's mission to help those with developmental and physical disabilities achieve the satisfaction of gainful employment. Helmed by Garth and Max Larcen, who shared a vision to operate a full-service restaurant that would provide both education and employment opportunities for its graduates, the foundation has patient and knowledgeable instructors who have trained more than 700 students in the skills of basic food service, cleaning, food safety, and commercial dishwashing. The instructors further each graduate's employability through lessons on communication in the workplace, interviewing, and proper job-searching techniques.
Simply Ballroom’s resident instructors utilize their experience navigating dance floors to bolster students’ body movements in drop-in group classes and private lessons for all ages and skill levels. Students can initiate a new dance career or refine familiar steps alongside like-footed individuals through focused tutelage in Viennese waltz, West Coast swing, foxtrot, and a mélange of Latin styles. During group lessons, students grasp their favorite partner or nimblest coat rack to glean the basic step counts and intricate maneuvers of the chosen discipline as instructors provide helpful correction and encouragement. On Sundays, practice parties lend ballroom pupils the chance to showcase newly learned steps in a public setting while enjoying the camaraderie of other students, outside dancers, and overzealous Broadway casts escaping public-disturbance charges.
The soiree-furbishing professionals at Party Perfect lead clients through their comprehensive selection of rentable event items during a complimentary consultation that enables party visions to become a reality. The pros can deliver, set up, and break down tents, operate heating equipment onsite, or lend an expert hand to the more technical aspects of event planning with services that help every celebration run more smoothly. Accents such as bouncy houses, red carpets, and dance floors encourage mirthful locomotion at get-togethers, while flatware, linens, and party lighting add the finishing touches to birthday parties or comedic roasts of parole officers.
Bed sets, sofas, and barstools populate the showroom at Decor Furniture & Mattress Showplace, set up in arrangements of household rooms. In addition to carrying luxury furniture for living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, and personal aircraft carriers, Decor Furniture & Mattress Showplace specializes in building custom pieces to accommodate room measurements and the creative visions of clients. With more than 300 fabric, color, and leather options, customers can match existing room decor or draw attention away from evidence left from hosting a weekly food-fight club.
These Four Walls specializes in unique, quirky home goods fashioned by craftspeople around the world and the greater Richmond community. Husband-and-wife owners Hank and Angie travel to locales as disparate as Peru and Narnia to find eclectic, often organic or recycled furnishings, accent pieces, and objets d'art. Wash your hands with Row House Soap ($5) made by local artisans and dry them on a decorative towel ($10.50), all the while being silently serenaded by a musician statuette ($14) fashioned from nuts and bolts. Whimsical metal cows ($25) enjoy the aromatherapeutic benefits of scented Trapp candles ($30). Even crafty tots can get in on the action, ogling a fanciful array of toys including the miniature monster-footed stilts ($10.50), manufactured with no harm to monsters, ogres, and/or bogeymen.