An equine veterinarian founded Sound Equine Options (SEO) in 2009 after witnessing the plight of horses whose owners had succumbed to financial crises. Without the funding to provide them with adequate care, owners were forced to watch horses languish, and many could not find adequate resources for the animals. Sound Equine Options filled this void by strengthening the safety net for horses in need through a variety of programs. The Emergency Veterinary Care Fund helps reduce immediate suffering with the help of a local veterinarian, and the Rescue Blankets program distributes waterproof blankets to keep horses warm during the winter. SEO also supports equine rescues that make sure neglected horses have shelter.
Following a curriculum designed by Dr. Lin Day, a British child-development expert, the classes at Baby Sensory help to forge the bond between parents and their infants by engaging all the baby’s developing senses. Sessions begin with a song accompanied with sign language before diving into one of 40 unique lesson plans, which incorporate everything from exercise and stretches to music, puppet shows, and tactile games with scarves and feathers. Parents and children then split off into an exploratory play area—suited for both noncrawlers and babies strapped into tiny roller skates—to engage in play together and meet other families in a comfortable and safe environment. Lessons conclude with more structured sensory activities based on the latest research and developmental theories.
Chasing down your favorite food truck typically requires a little planning. Getting more than 20 of them together requires a herculean effort or a giant sinkhole. Happily for motorists and foodies alike, Portland Summer Food Cart Festival has done the legwork. Mobile vendors trundle their gustatory delights to the fest, doling out tasty treats from crepes and cupcakes to authentic Cajun food. Live music wafts through the air, and inspires games of musical chairs in the beer garden where guests can pair their food with a refreshing brew. And the festival doesn’t only benefit foodies—the profits go to ALSO, or Adult Learning Systems of Oregon, a non-profit that supports people with developmental challenges.
Since 1977, Cascade Athletic Clubs have distinguished themselves from typical gyms with their vast array of amenities, which range from big-screen TVs to a seasonal waterpark. In their fitness studios, instructors boost students’ flexibility during Pilates workouts, lead seniors through age-appropriate workout techniques during Silver Sneakers classes, or teach students how to dance to fast-paced music during Zumba. The dedicated team of personal trainers, meanwhile, help athletes stay motivated on a one-on-one basis, and tailor their regimens to individual goals that range from weight loss to preparing for an upcoming marathon. For independent workouts, athletes can play pick up games on the gyms’ basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts or swim laps in the indoor salt-water pools. They can also bulk up with Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Stair Masters designed to build strong enough leg muscles to conquer even the most daunting out-of-order escalator.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.