Each of the estimated 2,000 women, men and children who will convene on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sunday morning, May 19 for Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s (LBBC) 18th Annual Reach & Raise yoga event has a personal reason for being there.
For all the participants who roll out their yoga mats and don their team gear to take part in Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s signature fundraiser, there’s meaning in helping LBBC reach its goal of $400,000 to connect half a million people a year to trusted information and a community of support. Through teams organized by individuals, co-workers, yoga studios and others to honor or remember family and friends, the event has raised more than $3 million since 2002.
The fundraiser features a few South Philly team leaders like Joanne Bursich, Stephanie Churchill, Christopher Pinto and Bernadette Pitts. Some have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are leading groups of their friends and supporters while others came together around a loved one’s illness.
Reach & Raise takes place rain or shine from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. The highlight of the event is a one-hour mindful yoga class at 9:30 a.m. for all ages and skill levels designed and led by Reach & Raise Co-Founder Jennifer Schelter, MFA, a Yoga Alliance certified instructor named “Best of Philly” Founder of the Radiant Retreat, with Kirtan accompaniment by Yvette Pecoraro and other area musicians. Following the class, participants enjoy refreshments while shopping and gathering resources at the Namaste Village featuring event sponsors, local area businesses, yoga studios and nonprofit organizations.
Participants who raise or donate $100 or more for LBBC will receive a “WITH YOU, FOR YOU” t-shirt designed especially for the event by Amberella, a celebrated Philadelphia and Los Angeles-based mixed media and street artist. Named 2016 Rad Girls Artist of the Year, Amber Lynn Thompson earned a BFA in Photography from the University of the Arts, and often draws inspiration from life experiences for Amberella. This design honors family members who have been affected by breast cancer.
Clinical studies continue to demonstrate that yoga for those in treatment for breast cancer improves sleep patterns, decreases fatigue and pain, strengthens the immune system, improves digestion, strengthens bones, helps manage fear and anxiety, enhances body image, and improves overall well-being. LBBC’s Guide to Yoga and Breast Cancer, available free at LBBC.org, describes the different types of yoga and the questions to ask when searching for a class.
Reach & Raise registration is $30 for adults and $10 for children ages 5-18 through May 17. On-site registration is available the day of the event at $50 per adult. For more information, visit www.reachandraise.org.