Second annual LotusFest gives back to community through awareness, fundraising



The Lotus Alternative Pain Center hosted its second annual LotusFest with a couple goals in mind: to give back to the community and to inform the community about wellness services in and around Muncie.

The event, hosted June 4, was originally created by yoga students learning to become instructors. 

In 2015, these students were given an assignment to design an event based on “Yoga Karma” that would emphasize giving without expecting anything in return. 

Their creation, LotusFest, would raise money for a local charity and spread awareness on wellness services.

This year, the money raised from the festival went to A Better Way, which provides shelter and services to people who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, bullying and more.

Katie Blankenship, a Ball State alumna and a victims' advocate for A Better Way in Muncie, said fundraisers like LotusFest help support the organization.

“As a nonprofit, our fundraising is really important," Blankenship said. "We are partially funded by grants. A lot of funds come from fundraising and donors.”

These fundraisers enable A Better Way to provide their services to the community. In the last three months, A Better Way has multiple local fundraisers, including the Peace Walk and the Shimmy Mob.

River Lin, an instructor of English as a second language at Ball State, volunteered to help with the festival this year. She said her own values fall in line with the event's. 

“The collaboration and cooperation is very important to me, it’s a value that I hold dear," Lin said. "So for all these different components of wellness to get together, ... it’s all the professionals in this field working together for the betterment of the community.”

Lin said the festival is a good resource for the community to get information on how to improve their health and lives.

“We want people in the community to become more healthy and have an overall balance of wellness in their lives," she said. "So they come and find out, 'Here’s where I can get this information and here’s resources [that could be useful] in the future.'”

Steve Gregory, owner of Lotus Alternative Pain Center, said he thinks wellness is a topic important for the whole community. His goal is to create a place where each component of wellness — physical, social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational and intellectual — can be represented.

“I think it is important to spread the word in Muncie about wellness and its different components, which we are [continuing to add to the event] each year," Gregory said. "We are trying to get where we have businesses from each one so [the community] can just come to one place. [LotusFest] is for everyone to be equal.”


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