“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Family, friends, love, health, safety, financial security. These are a few of the many things we feel grateful for in life. As an effort to give back, The Cuisinistas Club has created the Sweat for Smiles Program, a series of fitness parties designed to help fellow Cuisinistas give back to others. I am thrilled to announce that we FINALLY did it! We recently hosted our first Sweat for Smiles Yoga Party, a free yoga class in NYC conducted by the amazing Kristin McGee, with donations optional to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Our success so far? Well, we have raised enough money to throw 7 “No Mo Chemo” Parties for the kids at St Jude’s. A “No Mo Chemo” Party is a celebration for a child who has just finished chemotherapy. Now that’s creating a lot of smiles!
We have almost reached our $1000 goal. Anyone interested in helping us get there can donate to our personal fundraising page for St Jude.
Want to throw one too? It’s easier than you might think. All it takes to get started is 3 simple steps – Pick a Charity, Ask Friends for Help, and Send Your Invite.
1) Set Up a Personal Fundraising Page for your charity of choice: Below is an example of a personal fundraising page. This is the Cuisinistas Club’s page for this party. Very easy to set up and a practical way for your party guests to give directly to the charity. Also, here are links to set up fundraising pages for these 4 favorite children’s charities.
2) Ask Friends for Help
- Find a Fitness Expert: I was so thrilled when my friend Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga instructor, was as excited about this first Sweat for Smiles event as I was. It’s important to sign on a fantastic fitness expert early on, as the “sweating” is key to Sweat for Smiles! Kristin being a friend really added to the fun of the event as well.
- Line up a Photographer: You are going to need to be (and want to be) participating in the workout and socializing at your event. Be sure to get someone to capture these pictures from this memorable event. It worked out so well that Whisky and Petals Photography wanted to be a part of this event. They did the photography pro bono for the cause and took fantastic photos!
3) Design and Send Invite: Now just set the Date & Time and Location and you’re ready to design your invite. With an event like this, I try to send out the invitation at least 3 weeks ahead of time. People get busy schedules, especially in the fall.
- Date & Time: As for picking a date and time, it was really hard to come up with a date that worked well for the 4 hosts. So when we came upon one, we stuck with it! We really tried to make sure it was in the month of September because it’s children’s cancer awareness month.
- Location: Since this is a free / fundraising type of event, I recommend keeping the location inexpensive or free if possible. We chose the pier near us which was not only convenient, it was free, and it allowed us to take advantage of the beautiful weather. The view was a perfect background for yoga!
- Link to Personal Fundraising Page: If possible, be sure to post your link of directions to your online page on your invite. I recommend keeping the event “Donation Optional”. It makes guests feel comfortable with their donation and doesn’t exclude anyone.
Alright, now we are in the game! Next, you really can’t sweat without some good party fuel. Hint hint – California’s Greenleaf ChopShop has shared their amazing Skinny Margarita recipe with us. Tasty and guilt-free- yes please! Check back in next week for the recipe!