The Yoga Fundraiser for our Veterans held on December 17, 2014 at the Escondido Elks Lodge was a success! The proceeds from the fundraiser were split between two organizations: The Wounded Warrior Project and Connected Warriors. The Wounded Warrior Project offers military action wounded veterans following September 11, 2001 a variety of services and programs. Connected Warriors is a collected group of yoga teachers, military veterans and business professionals joined together to offer “free, trauma-conscious yoga” to veterans, active military and their families.

Regina Manfredonia, a certified Hatha Yoga Teacher registered through Yoga Alliance, has been teaching yoga in Escondido and other areas of North County for eight years. As the 2014 holiday months were just around the corner, Regina was brainstorming on a way to give back to the men and women that have and are still serving our country. In less than two months, the idea of attaching the gift of yoga to a fundraiser for our veterans started as a simple thought, then in a blink of an eye the thought began unfolding as organizing for the fundraiser began. With the support of many individuals and the community of Escondido the steps of organizing to completion went smoothly, reaching a donation amount of over $2,000.00.

The fundraiser consisted of a 30 to 40 minute gentle yoga class. The guests were encouraged to bring their yoga mats; although yoga participation was not required. Many guests arrived with yoga mat in hand in which they unrolled out onto the Elks Lodge Dance Floor decorated with a colorful variety of yoga mats; and as the lights dimmed when the community yoga began, a gentle calm vibration blanketed the room. A silent auction followed the yoga class, as well as a raffle, a live music performance by the local band Scaring the Wives, light snacks and refreshments.

The Yoga Fundraiser for our Veterans was a success not just because of the total proceeds but because of the love and support the community of Escondido has for our military. Thank you all for your support.