Pandemic Perseverance Helps Fourth Annual 30 Days of Summer Yoga Thrive

Pandemic Perseverance Helps Fourth Annual 30 Days of Summer Yoga Thrive
Posted on 09/17/2020
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This summer, the District's Department of Recreation and Community Services put their resilience, perseverance, and service mindset to the test determined to find a way to hold their Fourth  Annual Thirty Days of Summer Yoga program during a national pandemic.  
“Fundraising, physical fitness and mental health have all been equally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  It’s put a sense of urgency on park and recreation professionals who continue to find creative ways to provide programs.” said Director of Recreation and Community Services, Shelly Strasser. “We’re working hard to keep our communities safe while providing programs that support health and quality of life.” 
The annual summer yoga program is a free opportunity to participate in a 45 minute outdoor yoga session.  While it's free, donations are requested for local charities each day.  “No dollar amount is ever too small and participants seem grateful for the opportunity to gather outside to do yoga and make a difference to the community,” explains Strasser.
With a few modifications and safety measures added, the program provided over 435 participants with a safe, healthy way to do yoga. The program also raised over $1,400 for 30 local charities and organizations. 
“The highest attendance day was for Jr.’s Pups and Stuff, a local animal rescue and adoption center.  The second highest attendance day was a tie between Shared Journeys Charter High School and our West Allis-West Milwaukee School District PTA Council,” said Strasser. “The largest donations were the West Allis Senior Center ($267) and the West Allis Police Department K-9 Unit ($140).  Corporal Ryan McNally and his dog, Gizmo, even made a special guest appearance on that day!”
“We are very thankful to Linda Gritzmacher, Recreation and Community Services Manager, who organizes the event and Susie Melott, Yoga Instructor, who graciously donates all of her time and talents to the program,” added Strasser.