A Bollywood-inspired class is just one of the dance fitness and yoga offerings raising funds and awareness for a local animal sanctuary.
North Delta’s Sweet Serenity Yoga and Wellness is partnering with Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary in Ladner for a bi-weekly outdoor fundraising event beginning this week.
Set on Perfect Pastures’ field, “Fridays at the Farm” is a four-class series that benefits the animal sanctuary while safely continuing group classes during the current COVID-19 restrictions. The outdoor program permits the Sweet Serenity community to stay active and connected while practicing in an open space.
|Sweet Serenity Yoga and Wellness owner Jenine Lehfeldt. (Submitted photo)|
“We’re offering two class style options: the ‘Fitness Mash-up’ — with Zumba, BollyX and Refit — and a yoga series featuring Hatha and Slow Flow. The variety makes it extra engaging and fun, and gives each instructor their time to shine,” explained Sweet Serenity owner Jenine Lehfeldt.
“Maggie [Ferguson] from Perfect Pastures is the kindest, most hard-working person I’ve ever met. She puts the animals before even her own well-being. I’m passionate about animals, too, and feel fortunate I’m able to help.”
Lehfeldt’s North Delta studio has hosted many local fundraising initiatives, including cat and bunny yoga benefiting the Delta Community Animal Shelter.
Sweet Serenity recently helped Perfect Pastures raise over $1,200 for Amaro, a rescue dog who needed medical attention for pneumonia and an enlarged heart.
Fridays at the Farm was conceived as a means to continue to support the sanctuary, which is a haven for farm animals like goats, sheep and pot-bellied pigs, as well as a temporary home for pets needing immediate refuge before moving to organizations that deal with foster care and adoption.
“Things are getting more difficult for animal rescue care, especially since COVID-19 has increased poverty in communities already in need,” Maggie Ferguson from Perfect Pastures said.
Ferguson has been based out of her Ladner farm, located at 9939 Ladner Trunk Rd., for 10 of the last 40 years she’s been helping rescue animals. For the past nine, she has also facilitated a food program aiding animals in northern B.C. communities. This year alone, she has collected and shipped 7,900 pounds of food to rescues, food banks and community support workers who in turn distribute the goods where they’re desperately needed.
“I realized northern communities weren’t getting the food support they needed, so I started collecting animal food and packaging it in bulk,” Ferguson said. “I approached Lower Mainland transport companies who go to remote areas about getting what I collect to the rescues – and the rest is history.”
|Maggie Ferguson from Perfect Pastures Animal Sanctuary with Daisy the pig. (Submitted photo)|
This year, Ferguson’s trusted delivery truck finally reached the end of its life after 350,000 kilometres on the road. In order to continue its mission, Perfect Pastures has started a GoFundMe (gofundme.com/f/animal-rescue-food-fund) with a goal of $35,000 to purchase a replacement flat-deck truck.
Lehfeldt, meanwhile, has had to get creative since the pandemic hit, pivoting to online classes while her studio had to remain closed. On June 15, Sweet Serenity reopened the doors at 8330 112th St., but the new safety precautions needed to keep clients safe have dropped the studio’s capacity by 75 per cent.
“It’s been one of the hardest things any small business owner could have ever imagined facing, but through sheer determination and the support of our community, we have managed to stay afloat,” Lehfeldt said. “We aren’t out of the woods yet, as we don’t qualify for the majority of government assistance, however we’re determined to continue being the safe space our all-ages community needs for physical and mental health.
Fridays at the Farm kicks off this Friday, July 10 (Refit with Shilo and Zumba toning with Gabriella) and follows with classes July 24 (BollyX with Kat and Rev+Flow with Shilo), Aug. 7 (Refit with Shilo and Zumba Toning with Gabriella) and Aug. 21 (Zumba with Nadi and Rev+Flow with Shilo), weather-permitting. A Zoom link will be provided in case of rain.
Participants may attend one or all classes, and are asked to pre-register online (clients.mindbodyonline.com/asp/main_enroll.asp?fl=true&tabID=8), with a minimum donation of $44 for either four-class series.
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