Brownsburg yoga students inspire classmates to raise money for Red Cross

BROWNSBURG, Ind. – Students of a yoga class were pleased to see how generous they were following a 10-day fundraiser. Close to 80 yoga students, mostly between the ages of 50 and 90, learned they collected more than $4,000 to go to the Indiana chapter of the American Red Cross.

The instructor, Judi Daniels, needed a theme for her class through Tivity Health's Silver Sneakers program. Past themes included raising awareness for breast cancer and an eclipse theme - students either wore all black or yellow to match the colors of the moon passing between the Earth and the Sun.

During October, the theme was the American Red Cross and, for the first time, the class decided to donate to a cause.

On Friday, the class learned it raised $4,040, after getting nearly $200 from employees with the Brownsburg Parks Department, which offers the yoga class and hosts it at Eaton Hall.

"We decided to step up a little bit, because of all the flooding and fires that take place," said Bill Rice, a student in the class.

The decision was made after hearing how the Red Cross impacted a couple students' lives.

Susan Roberts has volunteered with the organization for 13 years.

"What keeps me busy is the disaster action team," she said. "We respond locally to fires, or incidents where people have been displaced from their homes.”

Roberts spoke to the class about her volunteer role and her work in North Carolina, where the Red Cross sent her in September to help victims of Hurricane Florence.

"We wanted to honor her and help Red Cross," Daniels said. "She’s so passionate about it."

The class threw money in to the effort over a two-week period in October.

"It’s really a huge amount," said Vicky Byarley. "It’s kind of heartwarming. It’s not that big of group that raised that much."

Byarley was another student who helped inspire the cause. She said it was the Red Cross who showed up to help her sister after her Michigan home burned down.

The Red Cross was there before the fire was out," she said.

Daniels said she hopes the work will inspire other workout groups to take up similar causes, by finding causes that are close to their hearts.

Members of the class said they want to talk about another effort to support when it's time to come up with another theme.

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