Boys Hope Girls Hope of San Francisco Bay Area provides HOPE—a home, parenting, opportunities, and education—within a residential setting to improve the lives of children regardless of their financial circumstances. Youth enter the program between the ages of 10 and 14 and live in the home through their high-school graduations. While there, they engage in educational activities, counseling, and summer-enrichment programs and have access to health care and personal stipends. After young people graduate from the program, Boys Hope Girls Hope continues to support them through adulthood, providing them with financial assistance and emotional support for college, temporary housing during summer breaks, and aid in gaining employment.
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Trained by legendary acting teacher Sanford Meisner, Christy English Wioncek opened the Bay Area Acting Studio to teach a new generation of actors how to—in the words of her mentor—"live truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Her stable of equally Meisner-steeped instructors leads classes including introductory adult courses, intensive courses for working thespians, and children's classes for young'uns looking to break into the industry early or convince babysitters they've been diagnosed with a life-threatening ice-cream deficiency.
For years, football fans lobbied for a football field that looked more like a hockey rink. For $10, today's side deal gets you a sideline-seat ticket to a San Jose Wolves home game (a $25 value), or for $20, get a club-level ticket (a $40 value). All seven 2010 home games take place on Saturdays between March 20 and June 12 and begin at 7:15 p.m. at the Cow Palace in Daly City. Watch as the thrilling routes, veers, and tackles that define football take on new meaning in the confinement of a 50-yard field.
No matter the time of day, patrons always dine at twilight inside Arabian Nights Restaurant. Painted palm trees arc cross a dark-blue sky in minaret-shaped frames, and exposed rafters high above the dining room evoke the feeling of an outdoor meal along the Mediterranean. The kitchen matches the dining room's traditional touches with a flame-fired oven that bakes fresh pita bread to order and crackling wooden embers that give kabobs their rich, smoky flavors. Guests also share small plates of hot and cold mezza, such as falafel and tabbouleh, as the light from ornate chandeliers casts freeform shadow puppets against linen-covered tables.
Boasting more than 2,000 brands of wine, Vineyard Gate provides an Eden for oenophiles as well as an ideal place for tannin tenderfoots to cover acres of unexplored fertility. Venerable vino aficionados help pick out wine that pairs perfectly with each client's palate and lifetime supply of space meals. Vineyard's selection spans both the far ends of the Earth and the budget: for less than $30, sample the crisp, fruity 2007 Sacha Lichine VDP blanc ($9) or the 2006 Waterbrook cabernet sauvignon, with hints of ripe cherry and currant ($21). This Groupon can also go toward a splurge on more swanky spirits such as the 2004 Château de la Tour Clos Vougeot Grand Cru Burgundy, an elegant elixir with a mouth-coating finish ($106). Vineyard also offers a variety of sparkling wines, roses, champagnes, and half-bottles for the more temperate tippler.
Founded in 2000, the Burlingame Aquatic Club initially catered exclusively to competitive athletes, many of whom rose to win several swimming events and earn spots on Olympic Development teams. In 2011, the City of Burlingame recognized the nonprofit's successful track record by granting it management of all the aquatic programs run from the facility (except for high-school athletics), allowing the club to now host open swims, lessons, and community events. Visitors of all ages and experience levels can glide down the 50-meter lanes of the outdoor, Olympic-size pool, or acclimate to the water in a wading area. They can also splash away calories in aqua-aerobics classes, or learn how to yell "shark!" in semaphore during CPR and lifeguard training.