Family-friendly fundraiser is Devoted 2 Children in Haiti
Last year local yoga instructor Randi Jo Taurel took her 10-year-old daughter Chloe to Jacmel, Haiti.
The weeklong outing was one of Devoted 2 Children’s Seva Volunteer trips, Taurel told The Park Record.
"Devoted 2 Children is a local nonprofit that supports a home in Jacmel, Haiti, that houses eight orphans between the ages of 4 and 14," Taurel said. "These service trips take people over there to help with the home and help with Ecole Sainte Anne, the local school."
During the visit, volunteers helped build a new wall and started an after-school tutoring program at the school.
"We brought materials from the Trailside Elementary School’s dual language immersion program and made all sorts of fun things like French-speaking games and even brought some recorders so the kids could play some music," Taurel said.
This year, Devoted 2 Children (D2C) will offer three service trips; the first will be from April 2 to April 9, the second will run from July 16 to July 23 and the last will be from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12.
On Sunday, March 20, Taurel will host a fundraiser for the first trip. The event will be held at the Shop Yoga Studio, 1167 Woodside Ave., from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Advance tickets are $25 per parent and child and $10 for each additional child. Tickets are available by visiting devoted2childrenhaiti2016.eventbrite.com.
At-the-door admission will be $30 per parent and child and $15 for each additional child.
Those who can’t attend the fundraiser, but would still like to donate can do so by visiting secure.donationpay.org/devoted2children.
"If you buy a ticket in advance, you get a free yoga mat bag made by Fleurville that we will give you at the event," Taurel said. "These bags are made from recycled plastic bottles, which is pretty cool."
The money will help pay for airline tickets and expand Ecole Sainte Anne’s tutoring program and allow volunteers to do some other projects, Taurel said.
"The tutoring program has flourished and there are now 80 kids who are involved in it, so we need to build it up more and support the school more because it needs a lot of work," she said.
The fundraiser will feature an afternoon of family-friendly activities including a kid’s yoga session, a photo booth and a healthy cooking demonstration, according to Taurel.
"We’re also adding a family Zumba class," she said. "Jill Johnson has a program called Purity of Play that is kind of based on art therapy."
There will be storytelling and human mandala making.
"We’ll have the kids lay on the floor and make shapes," Taurel said.
One of the creative highlights will be a piece of art facilitated by Kimball Art Center’s Education Department Manager Jocelyn Scudder.
"She will work with the kids to create this global mural," Taurel explained. "The kids will help design it and then she’ll take it with us when we go to Haiti this year.
"It’s one of the coolest things, because when we’re in Haiti, Jocelyn will do another mural with the students there and that will mirror the one we’re going to do at the fundraiser," Taurel said. "That will be a really cool connection."
The fundraiser will also include a couple of trunk shows, a silent auction and an opportunity drawing.
"We just started collecting items for the drawing and auction, but I know we have photography from Mark Maziarz, who is a fantastic photographer," Taurel said. "And High West Distillery is donating a tasting and appetizer evening for 10."
Other prizes include passes to the Park City Ice Arena, gift cards and items from Ramp Sports, Montage Spa, Lululemon, the Jupiter Bowl, Bobby Lawrence Karate, the Paint Mixer, Color Me Mine, Golf Tec, Chiropractic Works, Massage Envy, Scott Goggles, Doginhaus, Starbucks and Alpine Apothecary.
On top of that, the Kimball Art Center also donated some of their classes, according to Taurel.
"We have had so many businesses pitch in to help us and we are so thankful to them," she said.
The goal is to raise between $6,500 and $7,000.
"We have some of my school students collecting money as well and we will give the money directly to the school, so we don’t lose it through some middleman," Taurel said. "We’re looking forward to this year’s trip."
Last year, the group that went to Haiti included three teenage girls, their mothers, Taurel and her daughter.
"Chloe really didn’t want to go because she was terrified," Taurel said with a smile. "She did not want to go because of her food allergies and things like that. Both of us had never done anything like that before."
Her fears disappeared when the group arrived in Jacmel.
"It was an incredible experience," Taurel said. "One of the first thing we did when we got there was participate in a dance class and learned Haitian dances. And then we brought out the recorders and the kids there knew a little how to play these instruments and so did Chloe, so they played together. It was cool to see them create a global connection.
"I saw such a difference in her confidence level," Taurel said. "She felt she could help and be useful and it was just wonderful. So, it was a gift for us to experience this." Of course, Taurel taught some yoga.
"That’s one of the reasons why I got involved," she said with a laugh. "I had the opportunity to teach the kids some basic yoga and taught them the same Sun Salute that my students do here in Park City."
The Sun Salute, or Surya Namaskar, is a series of sequences set to music that energizes the body. The routine is done in English and Spanish.
"The kids in Haiti don’t speak English or Spanish, but they knew how to do this by the end of the week," Taurel said.
The Shop Yoga Studio, 1167 Woodside Ave., will present a Devoted 2 Children fundraiser on Sunday, March 20, from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $25 per parent and child and $10 for each additional child. Tickets are available by visiting devoted2childrenhaiti2016.eventbrite.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $30 per parent and child and $15 for each additional child. For more information, visit http://www.devoted2children.org or http://www.yogawithrandijo.com/devoted-2-children.html.
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