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Yoga that gives back


The oldest granddaughter of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas has taken her passion for yoga and turned it into a fundraising tool to carry on her family's legacy.

Four years ago, Dionne Kirschner and two of her close friends in the yoga community in Los Angeles came up with the idea for a new fundraiser for St. Jude.

The oldest granddaughter of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas, Kirschner was already involved with fundraising for the hospital, but she was intrigued by the possibility of turning the practice of yoga into dollars for the hospital.

Kirschner and her two friends started Yoga Gives to St. Jude Kids in just a single yoga studio in Los Angeles, and it grew into a nationwide activity in 23 cities that has raised nearly $340,000 for St. Jude. Individuals passionate about yoga and St. Jude raise funds on their own or as part of a team, and then participate — up to six hours — in a day of yoga at a local studio.

“The yoga community really wants to give back and do something bigger than themselves,” Kirschner said. “It’s an event where the yoga community comes together one day a year, combining forces with other yoga studios across the country to raise money for St. Jude.”

It’s my wish to give back and take part in the place that meant everything to my grandfather.

Dionne Kirschner, Danny Thomas' oldest granddaughter


Kirschner (above, middle), who enjoys practicing yoga to start her day, said she hopes others will resolve to use their passion for yoga to support St. Jude so that events are held in every state.

“It’s my wish to give back and take part in the place that meant everything to my grandfather,” Kirschner said. “He meant everything to me. It feels right to continue to give back in any way that I can. This is one of the fundraisers that I thought of to do that. It’s to honor him, and to honor the children whose lives he has helped save.”

You can host or participate in a fitness event and raise money for the kids of St. JudeLearn more.

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