Many Made Yoga Festival A Success

To the Editor:

Newtown's first yoga festival was the success it was due to a group of dedicated and compassionate folks who truly understand the value of connecting as a community.

On behalf of Sandy Hook Promise, I wish to deeply thank everyone who came out to support this lovely event. 

I especially wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the following:

 Pat Llodra for her support and kind words; Yoga Dimensions Studio for closing on a Saturday so local teachers could attend; Unlimited Signs, Designs and Graphics; Stan and Gina of Kaia Yoga in Westport for introducing us to Beryl Bender Birch and for their generous auction donation; Cary DeYoung – Video; Aurora Photography; Everything Newtown for the thoughtful gift baskets; Healing Newtown Arts and Rob Kaiser for the stage; Phil Keane Photography for jumping in last minute; Yogasphere in Newtown, PA for coming all the way to Newtown and for their generosity; Pete Damico and Kaki Taylor for the perfect venue:  NYA Sports & Fitness; Cap Pryor - Sound System.

NYA Sports & Fitness staff for keeping the facility pristine and especially Cody Foss, Alisa Farley and Rob Frangione for their kindness and professionalism; Sharon Shapiro of High Maintenance Gift Baskets for beautifying the silent auction and for the lovely decorations; Meghan Pernice for greeting attendees with a smile.

The Yoga Buffet teachers; Monica DeBenedet –Intro to Vinyasa; Anne Pellison – Family Yoga; Joanne Keane – Journey Dancing; Marlene Tendler – Iyengar Yoga; and Karen Pierce, author of Yoga Bear, Kids Yoga; the many local vendors who came out to share their creative passions.

The musicians who filled the air with their inspiring sounds: Sundad; Silver Steel Pan Band; Gong - The Conduit Center; Guitar and Dobro - Redstone Ridge; Crystal Bowls – Rick & Cynthia Quintinal; Tibetan Singing Bowls –  Susan Costa.

Betsy Gaier, for heading up the group of dedicated volunteers.  Thanks to Betsy and all the volunteers, who gave up their Saturday to work everything from registration to daycare.  Thanks to you all the day was a big success!

Our volunteer core team, each of whom brought not only a wealth of enthusiasm but also a necessary and unique talent: Jennifer Smith Bassett - Co-Chair; Leda O'Callahan - Budgeting and Registration; Michael Anderson - Marketing, PR and Websitel; Renee Napalone - Volunteer and Silent Auction coordination; Karen Pierce - Strategy, development and kid’s yoga; Jennifer Zulli of Newtown's own Sound Center Arts – Music; Julie Shull - Vendor Coordination.

And special thanks to Seane Corn and Beryl Bender Birch for coming to our community – for their compassion, their selflessness, their spirit, their empathy and for leading a community class that showed everyone what is possible when people come together.

Suzy DeYoung

Outreach Director

Sandy Hook Promise

PO Box 3489, Newtown                   August 27, 2013

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