Don’t Miss It: 8th Annual Beer Yoga to Benefit the Bennett Cancer Center

above: Yoga and hops enthusiasts of all levels join for the fun class for a cause.

After receiving her cancer diagnosis in July 2013, longtime Stamford resident Joanne Berg and her family consulted with several top hospitals. The proposed treatment plan offered by Stamford Hospital seemed unparalleled.

“In addition to the amazing facility, the doctors at the Bennett Cancer Center saw my mom as the incredible mother, wife, friend and grandma she was. The services they provided made her battle so much more bearable,” says her daughter Alyson Schroeder.

She and her family became regulars there.

“The Bennett Cancer Center was home to my mom, and to our family, on and off for four years. It’s where she spent the last months of her life. As she battled a rare and aggressive cancer, we made so many memories within the walls of the hospital. I will forever be grateful for that,” she says.

Alyson Schroeder and Katy Ingulli are ready to toast you at the 8th annual Beer Yoga event June 7. – Photograph: Georgina Dallas

Schroeder found herself searching for a way to honor her mom while also recognizing Stamford Hospital and its impact on her family. She came up with an event that combines two favorite activities: Sipping suds and perfecting poses. The first Beer Yoga for Hope in Motion to benefit the Bennett Center was held in June 2017. Berg passed away the next month. Schroeder believes the Bennett Center “gave her five additional months to be with us, an Easter, a Passover and another birthday for each of my parents to celebrate together.”

Now in its eighth year, the 2024 Beer Yoga event will be held at 6:30 p.m. on June 7 at the Stamford JCC. The suggested donation to join is $75, which includes beer or wine in a reusable cup and, of course, a yoga class led by the always-popular Katy Ingulli. There is a raffle with prizes that include a gift card and t-shirt from Ginger’s Seoul and nearly $500 worth of products from Beauty Counter. The evening is made possible entirely thanks to in-kind donations, including Ingulli’s time.

All the money raised goes to Hope in Motion, the year-round fundraising initiative to benefit Stamford Health’s Bennett Cancer Center. Funds are used to sustain services at no cost to patients like transportation to treatments, lunches for patients in chemotherapy, grants for non-medical expenses, exercise classes, Reiki sessions and more.

Joanne Berg and granddaughter Jordyn Schroeder make memories together at the Bennett Cancer Center. – Photograph: Alyson Schroeder

The super fun yoga session incorporates sips of your favorite beverage (whatever that may be) and poses maximized for Beer Yoga cup usage. If beer or even yoga isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy the night and support the cause. There will be music, vendor booths to shop and some surprises.

“This is our opportunity to have fun while giving back and helping others who are going through a cancer journey,” says Schroeder. “I love when people tell me how special the event was. The best feeling must be when someone comes up to introduce themselves, tells me they have battled cancer and thanks me for what we are doing. It makes it all worth it.,”

When asked what her mom would think if she could see the impact that Beer Yoga has had on the community and the Bennett Center, Schroeder says, “I think she would be so proud and blown away by what we have done and all of the support that the event has generated. After our first year I was so excited to race to the hospital to tell her how much we raised in her honor. Each year I feel she is a part of the event in some special way. One year the clouds parted and the sun emerged during savasana as the song “Joanne” played on the speaker; there is always some small sign. Knowing that we are helping another family pushes me to keep doing more each year.”

For more information or to sign up to attend this year’s event, email beeryogaforhope@gmail.com

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