Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
San Antonio?s bustling urban environs and picturesque natural surroundings both serve as the setting for Adventure Club San Antonio?s organized, jovial group outings for singles and married couples alike. Resident staffers heed suggestions from more than 300 members and 200 fortune cookies to devise a calendar of events that brims with an average of 60 activities every month, most of which are free of charge. After perusing the bevy of activities, participants congregate amid the verdant San Antonio?area wilderness for outdoor recreation such as hiking and canoeing, or within the lively city limits for dinners, sports matches, members-only shindigs, and frequent volunteer sessions for local charities.
Aside from the chance to mingle with new friends and explore the region, members receive discounts at dozens of local businesses, and can swiftly find a companion for unofficial events and shadow-puppet castings via a handy activity partners? forum. Additionally, Adventure Club can connect members to a network of similar groups in Austin and Houston.
Havana Social Club caters to smoke-savvy shoppers with a wide selection of fine cigars within an intimate, elegant lounge. Globe-traveling smokers can inhale their way through Latin America with rare stogies from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, browsing high-end brands such as Ashton, Padron, Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, and Arturo Fuente ($10–$30) in search of the perfect tobacco tube. An in-house Cuban master cigar roller whips up fresh custom blends, and the knowledgeable staff aids puff-happy patrons in procuring their ideal smokable. Havana Social Club's Cuban lounge atmosphere encourages exhalation celebrations, and is peppered with leather-upholstered armchairs, dark wooden accents, private humidor lockers, and No Smoking signs.
Shakespeare. Keats. Tennyson. The University of Texas at Austin had already acquired manuscripts and first editions by these notable authors by the time Harry Huntt Ransom founded the Humanities Research Center in 1957. Rather than continue to mine the Renaissance and Romantic eras for artifacts, Ransom ushered the archives into the 20th century by obtaining the collections of literary legends such as James Joyce and Dylan Thomas. Under the curatorial eye of current director Stephen Enniss, the facility??known these days as the Harry Ransom Center??includes the archives of Robert De Niro and David Mamet, Magnum Photos, David Foster Wallace, Ed Ruscha, and the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers.
All told, the center contains 42 million leaves of manuscript, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art, which, according to Frommer's, are available for any visitor's perusal. Inside the building's galleries, exhibitions showcase material alongside permanently displayed items such as one of five complete copies of the Gutenburg Bible. The Harry Ransom Center also hosts a range of public and academic programs, events, and symposia annually.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios has been a leading name in ballroom dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and the Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, the Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Clients who arrive to lessons partnerless will be paired up with certified instructors, and the instructors will assess their current skill level and make recommendations on the most appropriate program. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
A member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball's sunny South Division, the El Paso Diablos dazzle crowds that can exceed 10,000 at the friendly confines of Cohen Stadium. Though not affiliated with any Major League teams, the American Association has helped launch the careers of numerous major and minor leaguers, giving fans the fun of guessing who might be the league’s next MLB prospect, which team he might play for, and which flavor of Gatorade he sweats.