Custom Scuba’s two boats aren’t typical leisure vessels—they’re inflatable boats, originally designed for Navy SEALS. And like Navy SEALS, the company’s captains use the boats to reach hidden channels and hard-to-access waterways. However, unlike Navy SEALS, their top priority is fun. With more than 10 years of experience each, the two captains helm snorkeling adventures, fishing trips, and sunset cruises that showcase the area’s natural beauty at sites often not visited by other companies. True to its company name, the team also offers scuba classes, teaching basic underwater skills and doling out dive certifications with a teaching motto of never rushing a student and always putting safety first and cannonball competitions last.
Nothing can inspire change like the unfettered creativity of the young mind. Using this philosophy, David Kietzman and Whitney Kasserman developed an eight-week seminar in 2005, during which students could build solutions for their own communities. They explored local needs, wrote grant proposals, and fostered a grassroots movement to create a community pocket garden. With a $10,000 city grant, the youth planted 12 trees and 300 plants and installed benches and a mosaic trash can, creating a green space that was open to everyone.
After the garden’s success, Youth Speak Collective began promoting more “for youth, by youth” year-round programs to help students gain confidence, contribute to their communities, and develop skills they could use to find jobs once they leave school. Subsequently, the organization’s reach has grown. The program sponsors a career internship program, family support, and 24/7 Dad class, which teaches fathering skills and financial literacy to young dads. Additionally, youth can play a fast-paced version of soccer in Club Futbolito or document and address problems in the community with the youth council. For the artistically minded, the visual- and design-arts programs teach youth basic street-design concepts and how to create short films for local businesses.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
Within Valley Wing Pit Sports Bar & Grill, referee-jersey-clad waiters circulate the sprawling 5,000-square-foot sports bar, serving heaping plates of wings slathered in eight sauces. The bar boasts 19 screens flickering with sports games or the anguished postgame depression of refs. There's even a giant projection screen fitted into a yellow goalpost. Nine draft beers and numerous bottled beers complement the serving of grilled eats, such as hoagie-wrapped brats and 16-inch four-cheese pizzas. Despite its focus on wings, the bar does present an all-you-can-eat salad bar, which shouldn't be taken literally, since they need the lettuce tongs for tomorrow's patrons.
A quick perusal of Buon Gusto's classic Italian menu induces immediate mouth watering without so much as a Pavlovian peal. Start off with flavorful appetizers such as crab cakes with lobster sauce ($6.95), bruschetta ($5.50), and a belly-warming bowl of pastina in brodo (chicken broth with pasta; $7.50). With your appetite aptly antipastoed, try out pasta dishes such as the fusilla all fantasia, a flying dragon ride through toasted pine nuts, cream, brandy, shallots, and gorgonzola ($12.50), and the penne all' amalfi with roasted peppers and pink sauce ($11.50). Sink seafaring pearlies into the linguine with clam or mussels ($17.50) or opt for the alla paillard, tender veal kissed with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon ($17.95). Buon Gusto also offers pizzas, calzones, and family-style dinners, just right for patrons who prefer to control the migratory patterns of their dinner plates.
To put Aquanautics Dive’s status as a PADI 5-star dive center and instructor training facility in perspective, it helps to remember that there are more than 6,000 PADI facilities across the world. Each one would love to have the organization’s prized 5-star rating for just its dive center or instructor training facility; Aquanautics Dive boasts both. Add in the center’s designation as a DAN and National Geographic dive center, and you begin to understand the scope of experience and training possessed by PADI Course Director Jeff Mills and his staff. On the facility’s extensive class schedule, aspiring open-water divers, rescue divers, and divemasters alike can find a class that suits their needs. In addition to teaching students how to dive safely, Aquanautics Dive’s staff helps further their progress by renting out equipment and organizing charter boat trips to dive sites such as old shipwrecks.