The founder of Drink Local Drink Tap has achieved the wonderful goal of changing people's lives: not just here in Cleveland, but clear across the world in rural Uganda. Her organization provides educational resources and connects people to drinking water — which, worldwide, is scarcer than the average Clevelander might think. "I think it's important to understand the problems of today do not end at borders, especially with water," Huber told us last year. "It's all connected. The work is hard, rewarding and challenging, but I truly hope our work is no longer needed someday." On this year's Earth Day, Huber's organization hosted a beach cleanup event at Edgewater (something she organizes regularly), thus inspiring others around our fine city to participate and engage the world in a kind and compassionate way.
Fox 8 News in the Morning co-host Wayne Dawson is this year's Best Anchor, so let the confetti fly on South Marginal Road. This witty, snappy and versatile morning show anchor is a living Cleveland legend, one of the most well-known names and faces at the station that old-school Clevelanders still feel the most attached to. (He's also a dapper dresser.) A graduate of both Tri-C and Kent State, and a current resident of Highland Heights, the 61-year-old Dawson has been with Fox 8 since 1981. Don't blame him for the occasional off-color gaffe: In our opinion, it just makes him more likable.
Every now and then, and we know you're as susceptible to these urges as we are, we feel the need for a weekend getaway — without getting away. We crave the sensations of vacation, but we only have the time for a staycation. Thankfully, Cleveland is littered with fine hospitality options. And thankfully, Scene readers have their heads screwed on straight when they say that Glidden House is our city's finest bed and breakfast. The place is an architectural gem on the hemline of Wade Oval and University Circle — right in the heart of dear Case Western Reserve University and mere short strolls away from the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Botanical Gardens, the Natural History Museum and Severence Hall. The entertainment options are bountiful, but it's the Glidden House itself that will anchor your heart and comfort your head. A better romantic weekend has yet to be designed, scientists say.
1901 Ford Dr., 216-231-8900, gliddenhouse.com.
Everyone loves animals, right? If you don't love animals, then we've got a real problem here. The Cleveland Animal Protective League does a tremendous service to our city's four-foots and animal lovers. Between their adoption work and their humane investigations, the APL is on the front lines in the battle to make the lives of dogs and cats happier. And that's where you come in: Through charitable donations or outright adoption fees (yes, adopt today!), you have a very important role in the APL's journey as they look for forever homes for some cutie patooties. Next time you're in the Tremont area, stop in and meet some pups. Who knows? You might just meet your best friend.
1729 Willey Ave., 216-771-4616, clevelandapl.org.
While no college can be right for every person, Case Western Reserve University is a fine private collegiate institution right here in our own backyard. Offering a world class engineering program and nonprofit management program, among other highly credentialed and celebrated courses of study, and a prime piece of University Circle real estate, CWRU brings students here from all over the world to study. According to the U.S. News & World Report, which ranked the university No. 37 in the country this year, the tuition may be $46,006, but it's well worth the cost.
10900 Euclid Ave., 216-368-2000, case.edu.
With every other terrestrial radio station in town playing the same three Stone Temple Pilots hits ad nauseum — not that there's anything wrong with 1994's achingly winsome "Purple" — the only real bet for great music on the dial in Cleveland is college radio. We've got a couple of good ones in town, and Scene readers have a history of vacillating between the two, giving this category a rare semblance of actual competition each year. In 2017, though, WRUW is boss. The station broadcasts all manner of off-kilter, indie fringe artists — the sort of stuff that you don't know you love until you encounter it while driving down I-77 under twilit skies and switching over from the fourth iteration of "Vasoline" you've heard that day. Live from the studios at Case Western Reserve University, WRUW upholds the vital American tradition of college radio, and we couldn't be more thankful.
With seriously striking looks, be it in a stunning red wig or a flowing, glowing shock of silver, Aurora Thunder is instantly memorable. We can say more, but sometimes it's best to let people speak for themselves. Here's what Aurora Thunder posted on Facebook after becoming a finalist in this category and before voters piled in the first-place notches: "I love what I do. I love the art of makeup and the art of drag so much. I have complete confidence in what I do. I love inspiring others and giving back. I love how much drag has transformed my life and the lives of those around me. I have plenty of growing to do, and plan to push myself in 2017 even more than I have to perfect my skill. This recognition would mean the world to me in more ways than you could ever imagine." Imagine no more, Aurora. Congrats.
Travel the world in your own backyard at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — as the saying goes — and do it for a fraction of the cost of a full-fledged African safari or South American rainforest expedition. With new and exciting exhibits like the Rosebrough Tiger Passage, and attractions like the giraffe encounter and a 4-D theater, the joys of the zoo will keep families entertained all day long. And with its new commitment to global conservation, you can feel good about the price of admission (still free on Mondays for Cuyahoga County residents) and the extra money you can now donate at the gift shop. Unbeknownst to most park attendees, the zoo actively works in locations around the world to help care for and research endangered species. Given that the Earth's survival is dependent on the next generation, it's probably a good idea to teach children to love what we've all but guaranteed they will lose. Take them to the zoo!
3900 Wildlife Way, 216-661-6500, clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo.
There's nothing quite like a summer street festival, and the annual Taste of Tremont is Cleveland's cream of the crop. With food and beverages from the neighborhood's rich array of culinary establishments, it's a gluttonous celebration street-food style. Local bands play on stages along Professor Avenue and local vendors shop their wares — don't forget that Tremont first came of age as an artists' enclave before becoming a foodie destination. This year's festivities, which will take place on July 10 from noon to 8 p.m., will, as in years past, be a rocking party that people of all ages can enjoy. Get a pierogi and a pork bun and then pet all the neighborhood dogs as you soak up the sun.