A birthday celebration with others in mind has succeeded in helping out three local charities.

Stephanie Espeut chose to mark her 30th birthday with a yoga fundraiser benefitting the National Trust for The Cayman Islands, CARE – Cayman Animal Rescue Enthusiasts and Feed Our Future.

The “$30 for 30” event, a 60-minute Hatha yoga class led by Ms. Espeut at the ARC at Camana Bay on May 28 resulted in the participants and other supporters of the effort raising $1,095.

Each organization received $365.

Ms. Espeut, mother of Alianna McClure, 6, said she chose the charities for their child-focused activities, and thought it would be apt to apply her growing passion for yoga toward a cause that would benefit Cayman’s youngest residents.

Currently working as a receptionist and studying for her Bachelor’s degree, Ms. Espeut is an avid volunteer and is committed to doing her part for the community.

“I have been practicing yoga for approximately two-and-a-half years, and I am currently training with Bliss Living Yoga at the Marquee Plaza on West Bay Road,” said Ms. Espeut. “They have provided me with a life-changing experience that I will take with me for the rest of my life, and now it is my turn to return the blessings to my community.”

All three charities praised Ms. Espeut’s efforts.

Lesley Agostinelli of CARE and Stacey VanDevelde of Feed Our Future with Stephanie Espeut and her daugher Alianna McClure.
Lesley Agostinelli of CARE and Stacey VanDevelde of Feed Our Future with Stephanie Espeut and her daugher Alianna McClure.

“We greatly appreciate the confidence you have shown in our work, and our role in the community, and for the generosity extended in donating funds towards our school meal programs,” said Feed Our Future’s Stacey VanDevelde.

“It is because of donors like you that we are able to continue the work of teaching Cayman’s youth about the importance of protecting one’s history and heritage, and remind them of the beauty of being rooted in Cayman,” added the National Trust’s Danielle Watler.

“Huge thanks to Stephanie for thinking of CARE and we wish her every success for the year ahead,” said CARE’s Lesley Agostinelli.

Ms. Espeut planned on teaching at Cayman Cabana on the George Town waterfront on Sunday, June 26 in recognition of World Yoga Day, which occurred on June 21, in partnership with Unify, the global yoga activism organization.

“I connected with Unify, and they have so graciously placed Cayman on their peace map as one of their collective yoga events, which are all trying to unify the global community through peace and compassion,” explained Ms. Espeut, who noted there have been at least 715 events held worldwide to mark the initiative in 2016.

Ms. Espeut says she hopes to teach yoga at Cayman Cabana every Sunday thereafter.

“I hope to further deepen my connection with my community by way of yoga more in the future,” she said.

“Yoga has taught me the importance of being true to who you are individually, and in turn the community in which I reside. This is my home and I would like to be a part of the global shift in leaving this world a more peaceful, kind, mindful, compassionate and environmentally focused and happy place for our children. Thank you Cayman for helping me make ‘$30 for 30’ a success. I will never forget this birthday.”