One of the most aggressive forms of cancer, leiomyosarcoma is blessedly rare. But that rarity is a double-edged sword. Where more common forms of cancer receive international attention, this smooth-muscle cancer is really only known to a handful of specialists at a few teaching hospitals. Because the disease does not respond well to chemotherapy and radiation, catching it early is necessary to allow for the option of surgery, but most doctors are unfamiliar with LMS. Increasing awareness and funding research into more effective treatments are critical goals. After their mother—once devoted to her church and family—succumbed to the treacherous disease just three months after being diagnosed, Chandalyn Williams and Crystal Tate vowed to fight back however they could. Through The Cynthia Solomon Holmes Foundation, they raise both money and awareness in support of their cause through fundraising marathons, brunches, and cancer support groups.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center encompasses a 1,200-acre natural area spanning the eponymous lake, wetlands, ponds, and upland habitat for hundreds of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Astute watchers can spy dozens of birds, ranging from majestic American white pelicans to water birds such as the northern pintail and green heron. Explorers may also overhear painted buntings and orchard orioles rehearsing the follow-up to last summer’s controversial hip-hop chart-topper from the porch of the restored 1910 home that houses the center. Inside, amateurs and pro birders can record the momentous sightings of yellow-bellied sapsuckers for all to see on the bird check lists.
The African American Museum debuted in 1974 as part of the Special Collections at the historically black Bishop College. An independent operation since 1979, the museum steadfastly preserves the artistic, cultural, and historical legacy of the African American community, particularly that of East Texas. The 38,000-square-foot ivory-stone building holds one of the United States' largest collections of African American folk art, complete with pieces from luminaries like Mose Tolliver and Sister Gertrude Morgan. Elsewhere in the museum?s quartet of permanent galleries, African masks, gold weights, and textiles share space with American fine art from the 1800s to the present, video kiosks, and vintage photographs depicting the eras of slavery, emancipation, and reconstruction.
In addition to ongoing exhibitions, the African American Museum hosts temporary exhibits focusing on everything from lesbian families in the Deep South to winners of its National Black Art Competition. The museum?s events, meanwhile, include monthly concerts, annual jazz festivals, a kids' summer camp, and an invitational for black rodeo cowboys.
A night spent dancing to a DJ at the club burns calories and works up a sweat, so why not put the dance floor on a 5K course? That's exactly what Nocturnal Lands has done?participants run, walk, or dance their way through a race course illuminated by interactive light shows and pumping with electronic dance music from live DJs. After partying through multiple DJ stages, revelers finish at a raucous main stage after-party. Headliner DJ?s soundtrack the event on the main stage while participants celebrate crossing the finish line as a member of the Night Nation.
Despite the its military-inspired mantra of "No man or woman left behind," Mercer County Bootcamp's motivating instructors build camaraderie and accountability without screaming directions or forcing students to wear camouflage dunce caps. They help guests of all ages and abilities reach their fitness goals with an indoor boot-camp program that blends cardio, resistance training, obstacle courses, and ab workouts to slim down waistlines. The team also harnesses such equipment as kettlebells and battle ropes while leading ever-changing fitness routines on the gym's spring-loaded floor, which protects joints from damage. These instructors team up with nutrition experts to provide support during periodic progress assessments and nutrition counseling, helping guests achieve better results by following a comprehensive road map to improved health.
The maze is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday September 10–November 26. Kids age 4 and younger are free. Guests who redeem the Groupon in September get a free hayride (a $1 value), and guests who redeem it in November get a free hayride to Pumpkin Hallow (a $5 value), teeming with carved, illuminated pumpkins.