When Cindy Kerr's 12-year-old son, Ryan, was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, she began making pillowcases for him to brighten his hospital room and his spirits. He was so cheered by the gift that she started creating pillowcases for other children staying in the oncology unit at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Since its early days, Cindy Kerr's pillowcase project has grown into ConKerr Cancer, with a network of thousands of volunteers who make the pillowcases spread across North America and South Africa. ConKerr Cancer has created and delivered more than 600,000 pillowcases to children across the United States, Canada, South Africa and Great Britain in the past five years.
Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to live music.
Helmed by state-certified teachers, KnowledgePoints learning centers mold the minds of those students who have fallen behind–or those students who need an extra challenge–in a comfortable and supportive environment. The organization's teachers take a personal approach to basic skills tutoring, relying on tried-and-true techniques to help students boost grades in math, reading, and writing, and to develop better study habits. Additionally, KnowledgePoints utilizes diagnostic skills assessments in order to identify every student's strengths and weaknesses.
Marsh Creek Lake, lined with verdant shores and rolling hills, bobs with fishing boats, kayaks, sailboats, and windsurfing boards. About 535 acres of azure waters bejewel the surrounding 1,705 acres of hiking trails and picnic areas. Throughout the day, Marsh Creek Watersports leads one-hour pontoon-boat excursions that take guests through a history lesson of the park and surrounding region, leaving time for peaceful moments spent gazing at the natural wildlife. During the summer months, Marsh Creek also hosts kids' sailing camps to acquaint young ones with the techniques and safe practices of aquatic navigation, such as defending against Peter Pan attacks.
At The Adventure Aquarium, patrons can not only look at sharks in a tank, but be surrounded by them. At the Ocean Realm Exhibit, great hammerhead sharks, swim through a 750,000-gallon tank, their 7-foot bodies passing all around onlookers in the 40-foot shark tunnel.
Of course, Adventure Aquarium also houses a wide variety of marine animals. Their two Nile hippos each weigh in at approximately 3,000 pounds, and their mouths can open up to four feet—enough to swallow most wedding cakes in a single bite. At the aquarium's West African River Experience, visitors marvel at these hippos as they plunge into the water and swim right up to the glass. The Jules Verne Gallery, meanwhile, houses a giant pacific octopus. This cephalopod mollusk stretches out eight tentacles, each covered in some 280 suction cups.
The Elmwood Park Zoo surrounds its guests in a microcosm of North and South American habitats. American bison roam a grasslands area, bobcats prowl over the wetlands exhibit, and bald eagles soar within the confines of Olivia's Eagle Canyon. These are just three of the roughly 300 animals that call the zoo home. In addition to frolicking across exhibit spaces, many of these creatures also interact with zoo visitors at the ZooBowl outdoor amphitheater.
TJ's gourmet a la carte menu features fresh-made fare, with everything prudently prepared to order. Wake up to a savory serving of crab hollandaise over poached eggs, a homemade biscuit, and steamed asparagus ($9.50) or keep your strength up for a long day of clown wrestling with a protein-packed breakfast sandwich ($7.25), which you can top with apple-wood-smoked bacon or maple sausage, scrambled eggs, and cheddar and jack cheeses—all encased in either a pub roll or a garlic-herb wrap. Patrons with sweetie-pie palates will be more pleased with a decadent plate of cinnamon-bun french toast topped with maple butter and pecan syrup ($8.25) or the banana-walnut pancakes ($8.25).