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Yogi Akal's

th

Yogi Akal is turning his 70th birthday celebration into a
Walk for Health, Hope & Haven Toronto

 
 
Help reach the goal of 1700km
Help raise $7000 (7000 meals)
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STEP 1: PARTICIPATE

How far is your goal and

how are you going to get there?

Your goal is added to the Team's total.

STEP 2: SPONSOR THE WALK

Make a contribution per kilometre

10¢/km = $70  50¢/km = $350  $1/km = $700

or set your own amount.

REGISTRATION
CLOSED

ABOUT HAVEN TORONTO

Haven Toronto reduces barriers to health care, housing and food security for elder men impacted by poverty, homelessness and isolation.

The only drop-in centre in Canada dedicated to serving elder homeless men, Haven Toronto is a safe space where clients can form and cultivate friendships, and become part of a community.

Haven Toronto serves thousands of elder homeless men annually and has clients from over 60 countries.

70th

Celebrating
Yogi Akal's
70th Birthday

1700

Going a
combined
1700km

70

Over the
course of
70 days

$7000

In the hope of
providing 7000
healthy meals
100% of the funds raised go directly to Haven Toronto
 
7 WAYS TO GO THE DISTANCE
(Between now and July 25th, start any time)
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Walk

Hike

Climb

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Swim

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Bike

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Run

Jog

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Row

Paddle

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Roll

Skate

Blade

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You

Tell

Us

TEAM PROGRESS
(Updated Weekly – Last Update: July 24, 2022)
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DISTANCE REACHED

Combined distance

reached to date

by participants

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FUNDS RAISED

Combined total

of dollars

raised to date

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MEALS PROVIDED

Total number of

healthy meals

provided to date

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Includes participants from Canada, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and Trinidad & Tobago & USA

GOING THE DISTANCE
BLOG: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DOG CAN MAKE
May 17, 2022

My dog, Beta, began his work as a Therapy Dog by passing tests administered by St John Ambulance. He was certified at all levels, including therapy for children. Over the years, he was placed in many environments around Toronto, including rest homes, hospitals, schools, hospices, women’s shelters, men’s shelters, community centres, seniors’ groups, psychiatric homes, etc. He marched in parades, helped the police in community awareness campaigns, and even appeared on television. He appeared with me on main stage events, for the annual Blessing of the Animals. There is even a wonderful mural drawing of Beta on the side of a building at River & Dundas Streets in Toronto.

“Haven" was Beta's favourite place to visit.  It is a day shelter for homeless men over 50 in Toronto.

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Beta

Beta visited there often when he was working and then every year on his birthday once he retired. What impressed me the most about his behaviour at Haven was his sheer determination to connect with every single person. He did not try to be cute or grab attention; he made a point to touch his nose to every client and staff member in the facility. Sometimes that would evoke an enthusiastic response and sometimes just a nod, but without exception, he would touch each soul.

 

Beta passed on in 2020, but I have kept up a connection with Haven. I don’t touch noses but I do make a point of donating and helping to raise awareness. Please join me in doing the same.

BLOG: EVERY STEP COUNTS
May 18, 2022

Over the years, I have supported many organizations and events that serve those who are experiencing homelessness – from the Native Mens Residence (MaMeRes), Street Help, Timuvet (for homeless youth) and of course Haven in Toronto, to various free kitchens around the world.

 

Haven has a long history of supporting men in need over 50, men who are often overlooked and undervalued. As I turn 70, I recognize this concern and appreciate this service even more. Homelessness can happen to anyone, anywhere. And when you are older, it can be so much harder to be seen, to exist.

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One of the many reasons I am supporting Haven with this event is that the organization and facility assures that 100% of the clients that come for a meal get a meal, a healthy meal. An average number served would be about 7,000 per month. If demand increases, then capacity meets demand; no one is sent away hungry. 

 

Let’s assure that at least one month of meals can be guaranteed through our efforts. It is healthy and fun to “go the distance”. The next time you take your dog for a walk, or head out for a jog, bike, swim, rollerblade or row your boat, take a moment to log in and enter your kilometers. Every step counts!

BLOG: KEEP IT UP
May 19, 2022

Wow - we have already way surpassed our initial collective distance goal of 700km! 

 

Remember, every time you take a stroll, walk your dog, go for a run or jog, play a round of golf, or swim, skate, roll, paddle, row, etc. you can help the whole Walkathon go the distance. Anyone can join anytime and track their progress along the way.

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Whatever you choose to do, remember - every step counts, and 100% of every dollar collected goes to providing thousands of healthy meals for elder homeless men at Haven.

 

It’s a simple, fun and healthy way to make a big difference.

 

Keep it up!

BLOG: A PERSONAL NOTE (70 YEARS IN THE MAKING)
JUNE 1, 2022

– 40 –

When I turned 40, I hosted a fundraiser to help feed kids in my neighbourhood. It was an elaborate evening event held in a large house, with music in every room, including a marvelous harpist in the backyard. We raised enough funds that night to support the local  Breakfast Club.

 

– 50 –

When I turned 50, I took a bunch of my students and staff to a live musical, “Mamma Mia”. I wasn't familiar with Abba until that night but became a fan afterwards.

 

That same night I launched a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the eradication of violence against women. The people involved in that initiative accomplished a lot in Canada and around the world. They are still active today.

 

– 60 –

When I turned 60, I had another party. This time, the theme was “the sixties”. The music was from that great decade of popular protest music and hippy themes. People came in costume, dressed as they would have or imagined they would have in that era.

 

The food that night was great and the stories people told of the times they remembered during the sixties were fascinating and hopeful.

 

– 70 –

As I turned 70, I intended to have another grand event, this time with a "seventies" disco theme, a mirrored ball, dancing and costumes, all to celebrate my seventieth with a look back at the nineteen-seventies. It would have been great fun, but with the pandemic still upon us, and health a priority, I shifted gears to a virtual party, and another fundraiser.

– 7,000 –

I contacted one of my favourite local charities, Haven Toronto, and asked them to help me organize (at the last minute) a virtual Walkathon, a way to raise enough for seven thousand meals for their food program, a birthday gift from me and my friends and associates to support elder homeless men. Together we created a celebration of Health, Hope and Haven, not for one day, but for seventy days!

– Yogi Akal's Walkathon for Health, Hope & Haven –

 

If you have already joined, thanks! If you haven’t yet, I hope you will. It’s free to register online, enjoyable to do and easy to participate: pick a distance fitness goal, like walking or biking, and then let us know how you are doing. If you walk your dog, or play golf, or bike, hike, row, roll, swim anywhere, let us know each time how far you’ve gone, as often as you can, and together we accumulate kilometers to reach a collective goal. Why? Because it’s my way of having a party during difficult times, a way to be healthy and promote exercise, especially outdoors (which is what matters the most now), and a way to support folks who can be easily forgotten.

 

– Every Dollar Counts –

Since it’s a fundraiser, you can also donate to the cause – which is Haven Toronto. Every penny you give at any time during the seventy days goes to providing healthy meals to people who need it. That’s my birthday gift to you, and the gift I am asking from you.

 

– Every Step Counts –

We are less than two weeks into the seventy days of this Walkathon and have already begun moving towards our various individual and collective goals. Take a moment now to contribute some steps and a little money (or a lot) – and help us go the distance!

BLOG: GOING THE (NEW) DISTANCE
June 9, 2022

We started this Walkathon with a collective goal of 700 kilometers, but at day 20 we have already far surpassed that with commitments from around the world. So we have re-set the distance goal to 1,700k. Let’s see how far we can all go to surpass that benchmark in the next 20 days. 

 

As you continue to “go the distance” during the Walkathon, here are some ways you can draw on the numerological value of the number 70.

 

In popular culture, 7 can mean many things, such as good luck, charisma and studiousness. But in the realm of Yoga, it refers to the electro-magnetic field which acts like shield surrounding and protecting the body.

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When you exercise vigorously, you help your energetic life force to become stronger. Breathing exercises also help to build your natural aura – as does proper hydration, both internally and externally. 

 

When you add “zero” to "seven" and make the number 70, you are (yogically) increasing your mental control. In fact, the more self-discipline you have, especially with words, the more inspiring you become. When you are negative, you create lack – lack of energy, money and self-trust. So boost your own success with a positive presence. 

 

As you “go the [new] distance” during the Walkathon, draw on the “seven” and the “zero”. Remember to breath, hydrate and stay positive, in health, hope & for Haven.

BLOG: AN AFFIRMATION FOR PROGRESS
June 16, 2022

As you may know I have created several hundred insights / affirmations. Here are two, chosen completely at random to honour your participation in the Walkathon: 

INSIGHT
It is possible to bypass the intensity of the past,
with one breath,
one word,
one decision.
You are a shining example of this transformative Self.
In this event, you are never small.
Your light is a healing force.
Remember:
 
AFFIRMATION #1  (Morning)
"I am a professional and powerful
source of energy and organization.
I am calm, tranquil, loved, and honourable.
YES."
 
AFFIRMATION #2  (Evening)
"I am fulfilled and fulfilling.
My heart is like a waterfall of light,
giving,
kind,
real,
and always flowing.
YES."

BLOG: CATCHING UP WITH AN OLD FRIEND
June 27, 2022

As the walk reaches the half-way mark, an old friend reached out for a chat and an update. Listen to the interview with Peter Anthony Holder, a broadcast veteran of over 40 years: LISTEN

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BLOG: THANK YOU FOR GOING THE DISTANCE
July 25, 2022

A Note Of Thanks From Yogi Akal –

 

Thank you for participating with me in this Walk for Health, Hope and Haven. Together we went the distance! We reached our goal of providing over 7,000 healthy meals to people who are experiencing homelessness.

 

It’s been a wonderful 70th birthday experience, joining with you to promote fitness and bring attention to the work of Haven Toronto.

 

If you have yet to submit your final distance update, please do so in the coming days for the final reveal of our efforts.

 

Meanwhile, it is my hope that you will continue to support organizations such as Haven Toronto as you walk, bike, roll, row, dance and skate through the seasons.

 

Yogi

BLOG: THANK YOU FROM HAVEN TORONTO
July 26, 2022

A Note From Haven Toronto –

 

A few weeks ago Haven Toronto shared a mid-year report for 2022 which looked at the drop-in centre’s impact in the face of adversity. In that report we shared news that 50 percent of Canadians in 2022 are living pay cheque to pay cheque and the number of elder homeless people in Toronto has increased 25 percent.

 

Haven Toronto has seen a 163 percent increase in new clients this June over June of 2021 and the cost of the Meals Program has grown 388 percent.

 

Through it all, there has been one constant – people have stepped up to help us successfully meet the growing need – committed people like Yogi Akal who chose to celebrate his 70th birthday by helping others, and the people who joined him on his Walk for Health, Hope and Haven Toronto.

 

I would like to congratulate everyone on a successful effort, and thank you for your contribution. We see the impact of your support. Thank you.

 

Lauro Monteiro

Executive Director