Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fundraising starts off as an idea, but you can make it a reality

This entry was written by Allison Wolf, member of Team Twisters. Team Twisters raised approximately $6,500 for LBBC's programs and services when they hosted a Barefoot Ball on February 13th:

The scene at the Mercedes Benz showroom in Fort Washington was not what one would typically expect to find. Upon entering a car dealership, there were no cars. Instead, yoga mats served as the mode of transportation for the day’s journey. You wouldn't find employees in suits. Instead, instructors in could be pointed out in their tutus and costume jewelry. Customers were long gone. Instead, you'd find none other than barefoot men, women and children mingling and all coming together to raise funds and awareness for Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and their annual fundraising event, Yoga On the Steps (YOTS).

This Inaugural Barefoot Ball was the kickoff event for Team Twisters in their effort to raise $20,000, their fundraising goal for LBBC's annual Spring yoga event, Yoga on the Steps, taking place on May 15th this year. The event was a wonderful success, raising $6500! $2500 was donated by Mike Sloane, owner of Mercedes Benz Fort Washington and the remainder was donated by the 109 attendees!

It was truly an amazing sight to behold. There were dozens of caring individuals moving together in unison in a sea of multi-colored mats. Twisters’ staff of instructors was on hand for the event. Four instructors lead the hour-long class while the rest worked the room to offer adjustment and support when needed. The class culminated in a spectacular operatic performance by Natalie Levin, also an instructor at Twisters, dressed to the nines in a ball gown and full stage makeup (barefoot, of course). She performed a beautiful piece during shavasna, followed by an incredibly moving aria and then spiced things up at the end with a piece from Carmen.

The Barefoot Ball was pioneered and put together by Upper Dublin resident and yoga enthusiast Jill Miller. Jill attended a similar event, on a smaller scale, in Ardmore last year. Attending the event stirred in Jill a desire to do her part and get involved. She began by reaching out to the yoga instructors at Twisters who were more than happy to get involved. Jill was also able to seek out several sponsors: Mike Sloan of Mercedes Benz provided the venue, Dreshertown Shop and Bag provided light snacks and refreshments, Kay’s Chocolates donated sweet treats as well as Ingrid Carfagno who donated hand knit scarves to offer in exchange for cash donations, and last but not least a henna tattoo artist! Jill did have some help, the best kind, from her daughter and friends. Emily Miller, 15, organized a teen ambassador team comprised of her friends from Springside and Upper Dublin schools; they were instrumental in the day’s events, helping with registration, managing concessions and cash donations, ushering participants and setting up mats.

As mentioned earlier, this was a kickoff event; Team Twisters is still working hard to reach their goal of raising $20,000 by May 15th. May 15th marks the date of one of the world’s largest outdoor yoga classes, YOTS, where hundreds of people will gather together on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum to raise funds for LBBC’s education and support programs. Team Twisters has several fun and exciting team building events lined up as they work their way toward YOTS. Here’s a little sneak peek into the upcoming events:

• A bus painting party! The plan is to paint the entire bus pink! What better way to make an entrance than to arrive at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in a pink bus?!

• Team Twisters Evening in Ambler, a benefit event at an Ambler restaurant featuring raffles and prizes.

• An outdoor yoga class.

• A wine tasting.

Team Twisters encourages you to get involved, too! There are several different ways you can help. Join a team! Encourage your teammate to plan fundraising events like the barefoot ball! You can even participate in YOTS by simply donating online to a team or as an individual.

If you are already part of a team working towards YOTS please know that the Barefoot Ball started out as an idea, which lead to a conversation, which turned into a tremendous day as well as a great fundraising success! The sky is limit; if you can think it, you can do it! See you at YOTS!

For more information and to learn about creative ways that your team can FUNdraise for Yoga on the Steps, please contact Jeanne Egan, LBBC's Special Events Manager at jeanne@lbbc.org.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A unique touch to Yoga on the Steps each year

This entry was written by Beatrice Marx, assistant yoga instructor for Yoga on the Steps:

On May 15, 2011, I will participate in Yoga on the Steps for the fourth year in a row. This May will be my fourth year as a yoga teacher, assisting Jennifer Schelter as she leads Yoga on the Steps. Every year I have been both humbled and truly amazed by the power that this outdoor yoga class gives me. Each year has had its own unique qualities as many people from all over join together as one for a common cause.

For just a few hours, everyone focuses on health and well-being for all. The event brings forth awareness because it doesn’t only cater to those affected by breast cancer, but it also creates a place for their loved ones to show support, honor and meaning. Husbands, daughters, sons and friends are all there looking on and joining the 1,200 or so other people on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum for this yoga class. I rejoice as my family and my friends bear witness to all of us taking this class together and inhaling the beautiful breath of life.

As a woman, a wife, and a mother living with breast cancer, this once-a-year event marks a measurement in my quest for peace and helps me to balance my so called “new normal” as I live day to day. I gather much needed peace as my body absorbs the sweet power of this yoga class. No one leaves untouched by this act of pure love. We all join together to stand hand-in-hand in support of one another. A sense of strength is evident as we move forward in our day to day lives.

Please join us in support in each other as we journey through life and grow as people living in peace. Om Shanti.

How will you support Yoga on the Steps? Think about creative ways to FUNdraise and register you and your team for this meaningful yoga class that supports and honors the nearly 200,000 women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.