SpitzerCares.org hopes to fund a million meals in 2012 through food pantries, shelters, kids’ cafés, and backpack programs. For every dollar it earns via community car washes, donations, and fundraising events, SpizerCares.org can provide four meals to northern Ohioans in need. Patrons can keep up with the organization’s progress online as a ticker shaped like an apple tallies the number of meals SpitzerCares.org has shelled out so far this year.
Urban Tactical Defense Center’s diverse team of trainers includes lifelong martial artists, former military personnel, and current police officers. Within the 8,000-square-foot facility—with two sparring rooms and a gym—these trainers pass on the self-defense and fitness techniques they acquired during their demanding careers to students of all ages, covering everything from defense tactics to proper firearms training. They rely on myriad approaches to boost health and self-confidence levels, imparting combat techniques during martial-arts and unarmed-combat classes; fending off calories in Combat Fitness Bootcamp courses; and bulking up entire bodies in circuit-training sessions. They even sprinkle meditation techniques from Chinese qi gong in some of their programs.
Alternatively, the staff leads youngsters through its own original MANTIS curriculum (Manage Any Nasty Trouble in School), acquainting them with tactics for dealing with bullies, teaching them self-defense moves, and hopefully giving them the strength to lift 12 action figures at once.
Pinnacle Sports offers a wide variety of sports camps, including sport-specific romps through the fields and courts of softball, lacrosse, football, volleyball, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Each camp emphasizes learning, having fun, and building team skills for children, arming kids with the social skills they need to compete in the game and the classroom. Members of the administrative and coaching staff have backgrounds in their sports and in child development, ensuring a good learning environment for children, as well as a place to have fun playing any of the sports offered.
The instructors at Tumble Athletics—all of whom were former college cheerleaders at Division 1 schools—emphasize precision and teamwork over somersaulting for the spotlight. During classes for 3- to 18-year-olds, they demonstrate acrobatic skills that build both strength and a sense of sportsmanship. Students rehearse maneuvers from front tumbles to back handsprings, looking to their coaches and recorded videos for feedback on their form. An 8 to 1 ratio of tumblers to teachers ensures that they each receive personalized, positive attention.
Evolve owner John Cook and each of his trainers make it a personal mission to practice what the gym preaches: honing the fundamentals of physical prowess. Each coach is either a current or former elite athlete in addition to an exercise professional, a fact that enhances their ability to inspire clients. In John's case, a competitive history in wrestling, powerlifting, and mixed martial arts combines with positive mantras to motivate his students.
Since its 1996 founding, Evolve has embraced functional workouts rather than monotonous jogs aboard the treadmill or races with a slinky down the same flight of stairs. Strength and conditioning classes include drills for agility, core work, stability, and endurance, and MMA and wrestling programs showcase tried-and-true grappling techniques. Though sports-performance sessions might focus on specific athletic skills, most other classes remain accessible to anyone hoping to amp up their training. Routines mix up their maneuvers daily to keep muscles on their toes, and a charged atmosphere of support eliminates the need for kettlebells that say "I wuv you!" when squeezed.