Music is universal, moving, and magical. It can make you cry during a sad movie scene, lift your spirits after a stressful day, or hype you up for an intense workout. Listening to music is an emotional experience, and creating it is even more rewarding. This is why Dagmar Kardell has been teaching piano at her clients' homes for over 40 years, 20 of them in Broward County. The German-born workaholic offers lessons, typically 45 or 60 minutes, for all styles including classical, contemporary/pop, jazz (except improvisational), and music theory. Whether you've never laid your fingers on the ivory keys or you're musically trained at the collegiate level, Dagmar has the experience and skill set to take you to the next tier. Her genuine love for the instrument fused with a passionate desire to see her students master it make her the perfect teacher. Her schedule is generously flexible with availability seven days a week.

"Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" is what the old song teaches, but there's no harm in letting your kid celebrate a birthday in the countryside — which is exactly what Davie Ranch allows. The ten-acre equestrian facility is the anti-Chuck E. Cheese. There is a petting zoo filled with baby animals, including sheep, goats, miniature horses, hedgehogs, and chicks, with which your kids can get up close and personal. Pony rides, as well as face painting, bounce houses, a treehouse, and a tree swing can all be made available for your little one's special day. Also intriguing to city slickers is the rustic 6,000-square-foot stable where your kid can blow out his or her birthday candles. If that wish comes true, you might be back at Davie Ranch again soon.

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
Janet Donnelly

OK, they also have these other mammalian quadrupeds for your consideration. But really: Cats rule, dogs drool. You know it. Even you caninophiles know it, deep in your hearts. So with that out of the way, get serious and consider the awesome range of services offered by this West Palm shelter/complex and its 20 or so satellite adoption venues. Action central is at the league's 13-acre suburban campus, where at any given time, hundreds of furry companions are lovingly sheltered and cared for. More than 6,000 felines were spayed and neutered, vaccinated, and microchipped last year — free to the public — and almost 5,000 interspecies bondings led to adoptions. The league's been at this business since 1925. It's gotten damned good at it. In fact, almost purr-fect.

South Florida is known for its sexy people... but sometimes the "sex" part comes with trouble. Broward is second in the nation (after Miami-Dade) for new cases of HIV infections. Which means that thousands of times a year, the newly diagnosed are freaking out. Thankfully, Poverello Food Bank and Thrift Store is here to help. For nearly three decades, this nonprofit in Wilton Manors has assisted low-income folks living with HIV/AIDS. Though Poverello is known for its food bank — it feeds 2,500 eligible residents per year — it also offers supportive programming: a full-service gym, quit-tobacco counseling, a Reiki group, massage, chiropractic care, and even acupuncture.

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