Trends, tips and resources.

Restaurant reviews from a mom's point of view
KidsEatOut.com is an informative new website that offers restaurant reviews on the Columbus dining scene from a "mom's point of view."

The site is the creation of stay-at-home mom Dawn Scheurle who loves her life at home, but enjoys having meals at family-friendly restaurants. "Loving dining out is one thing. Loving dining out with kids in tow, now that's another!"
KidsEatOut.com was created to help get the most out of dining out by answering questions such as, does the restaurant have changing tables? Highchairs? Kids' menus? Healthy options? At KidsEatOut.com, visitors can browse restaurants in the Columbus area, select one, and see just how kid-friendly it really is.

In a section of the site called KidsDealDays, is an extensive list of restaurants, sorted by days of the week, that offer discounts and free kids' meals in the Columbus area. A section that reviews places to go for a coveted date-night or girls' night out also is on the website, with information on patio seating and happy-hours. Sign up for their newsletter and get updates when new restaurants are added.

Skate for Hope
For the past three years, Pickerington resident and Tussing Elementary student Molly Frey has been involved with Skate for Hope, an annual figure skating show that has raised more than $275,000 for breast cancer research. On Saturday, June 19, at the Nationwide Arena, 100 local skaters will join current national champion and Olympic figure skaters to present another beautiful and inspirational show. In addition to performing in the annual event,

10-year-old Molly has raised awareness of the disease and funds for breast cancer research. Almost immediately after her friends told her about the event, Molly began to focus on how she could help. "I like participating in Skate for Hope because it allows me to support an effort that I believe in with my love for figure skating," Molly said.

According to Molly's mother, Renee, "Skate for Hope has been an incredible experience for our entire family. Molly dedicates her performance to her great-aunt Sandy, a 20-year breast cancer survivor. We didn't realize how much we would grow and learn from this experience. It has truly been a team effort."

Molly skates at least twice a week throughout much of the year. "Molly just lights up on the ice," Renee said. "But even so, Skate for Hope has really instilled in her an understanding of the severity of breast cancer." Skate for Hope aims to put the disease on ice, permanently. To purchase tickets and for complete information, visit www.skateforhope.org.

Program addresses childhood obesity
Stretch-n-Grow is the world's leading fitness and nutrition program for kids. Its goal is to help parents and educators lay a foundation for healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes toward well-being. They strive to teach as many children as possible the fundamentals and benefits of exercise and nutrition at a young age -- before most habits are formed.
Erika and Carlos Jimenez are parents and the owners of Stretch-n-Grow of Columbus. They are both certified youth fitness instructors, educated in exercise for young children. Both Erika and Carlos have a genuine love for children and are dedicated to improving the quality of life for future generations. They brought Stretch-n-Grow to Columbus in November, 2008, and are dedicated to getting as many children involved in this program as possible. For more information, visit www.Stretch-n-GrowColumbus.com.

Start summer with family and fitness
The Family & Fitness 5K walk will be held in Hilliard on Sunday, June 27. Step and Stride will be organizing this event with a focus on exercise and fun! The goodie bags will be over the top with samples, T-shirts, water bottles and coupons. After the walk will be music, Luke the Juggler showcasing juggling and balloon sculptures, plenty of food and Romeo's Pizza will be serving up pizza.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Walkers are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items that morning to fill the available boxes. Step and Stride is always encouraging young people and families to exercise. As always, the fee for those younger than 18 is only $5. The cost for adult walkers is $25. Visit www.stepandstride.com for more information.

K.I.S.S. Your Kids (Kohl's Is Sold on Safety)!
For the second year, Nationwide Children's Hospital presents K.I.S.S. Your Kids (Kohl's Is Sold on Safety!), an award-winning safety campaign, supported by Kohl's Department Stores. K.I.S.S. Your Kids provides free books with safety games and puzzles, plus tips to help prevent injuries and leading causes of death for kids.

Activity books are available free at Nationwide Children's Hospital Close to Home Centers, central Ohio Kohl's stores and the Nationwide Children's website. Kids can enter to win prizes through quarterly coloring contests (June, September and December remaining in 2010). Coloring pages are found in Columbus Parent Magazine, ThisWeek Community Newspapers, Kohl's stores and on the website during contest months.

Find more information at www.NationwideChildrens.org/KISS, contact the program coordinator at KISS@NationwideChildrens.org or (614) 355-0679.

I Know I Can Founders' Scholarship fulfills college dreams
I Know I Can promises nearly $300,000 in financial aid to nine outstanding Columbus City Schools (CCS) seniors in its inaugural I Know I Can Founders' Scholarship.

For over 20 years, I Know I Can has been providing students with financial aid in the form of $1,200 grants, averaging a total of $1.3 million per year. While these important grants will continue, this first ever I Know I Can Founders' Scholarship will award up to $10,000 to cover unmet financial needs for college to select CCS college-bound seniors. The scholarship is renewable for four years.

One hundred sixty students applied for the scholarship, and nine recipients, representing seven high schools, were chosen based on select criteria, including their demonstrated financial need for college.
Since 1988, I Know I Can has provided students from Columbus City Schools the advice, counsel and financial support they need to achieve their dreams of earning a college degree. For more information about I Know I Can, visit www.iknowican.org.