Yoga 4 Life
Amy Kenny, Shelly Tygielski, Victoria Gonzalez, Lori Alhadeff, Ken Wiesenfeld, Max Schachter, Andrea Ghersi Padauy, Jennifer Guttenberg, and Fred Guttenberg. Photo by Melissa Kenny.

By: Saraana Jamraj

Yoga for Life held its fourth annual and largest event yet, and the organizers are celebrating the success.

While they are proud of the numbers, they are most pleased that the event helped at least one young person build the courage to reach out about mental health.

“It was a success on so many levels.  We got together as a community, we shared hugs and smiles, we shared healthy healing strategies, shared information [about community organizations], and we offered love and support to [the families],” said Ken Wiesenfeld, who organized the event along with Carrie Wiesenfeld.

The turnout was three times larger than last year, with over 250 in attendance. Over 150 participated in the yoga and meditation offered, and almost 20 organizations were featured.

“We offered love and support to six different families that suffered a tragic loss, who were able to attend the event,” said Ken.

Several prominent figures in the community came out to support—including Coral Springs City Commissioner Joshua Simmons, Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook, and Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky.

Singer Michael Franti even surprised everyone with a video, sending his apologies for not being able to attend, as well as his love and support for Marjory Stoneman Douglas and everyone in the community.

So far, they’ve raised $20,000 and still have time to raise money between now and the Andy’s Pasta Dinner on Sunday, February 16.

However, Ken said that he was made aware of the most impactful outcome from the event this week, one that he had not anticipated—a young person in the community reached out to one of the organizations on-site at the event, to seek help for a mental health challenges they were experiencing.

“If that were the only achievement, which was not one I had foreseen, then it would have been infinitely worth the effort,” said Ken.