Santa Rosa Beach's Angela Ragsdale says that giving of yourself begins with needs closest to you, and then should extend further.
Ragsdale and her husband, Mike, have founded the 30A Charity Golf Classic, which will donate 100 percent of its proceeds going to charity — one local and one global.
The founding of the golf classic rises from Angela's commitment to raising $20,000 for the Global Seva Challenge, which is focused this year on the issue of environmental justice in the Amazon. Monies raised will go towards helping preserve the Amazon rainforest and protecting the rights of its people.
Off the Mat, Into the World is a worldwide grassroots activation of the yoga community connected through the Global Seva Challenge and the Global Mala Projectto to save energy, and cut down on carbon dioxide emissions and waste.
Ragsdale has taught yoga since 2009, presently at The Studio at Seaside. Ragsdale said what spurred her to sign up and commit to raising $20,000 was the empathy that arose in hearing the stories of the Ecuadorians who need help.
"I can't imagine being a mother and knowing that your homeland is being wiped out and tribes being asked to leave their homes. They don't want to be relocated. I correlate it to our American Indians. I feel badly for those people and their heritage. Some towns are committing community mass suicides. Being a mom of four, I could not imagine ...," she said.
Even though she committed to raise the money first, it then sank in that she didn't know how she would do that.
"We knew it would have to be on a bigger scale," she said. "People aren't just going to give you their money."
A friend who golfs suggested having a golf tournament. While Ragsdale doesn't know anything about golf, she said her role is to get the people together. The golf classic will benefit both Off the Mat and Shelter House in Fort Walton Beach.
"This is the first time I have done anything like this," she said. "It's a fun way to bring the community together and go beyond yoga.”
The inaugural 30A Charity Golf Classic will be held Oct. 19 at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. Player check in will be at 7:30 a.m. Complimentary snacks will be served along the course, 30A Beer carts will make the rounds selling cold beer, and lunch will be available.
Food is being donated by Bistro Bijoux, Stinky's, Grayton Beer Company, The Pearl, The Vue on 30A, La Playa, The Red Bar, and Louis Louis.
Cost is $150 per player, or $500 for a team of four.
The winning team will receive donated prizes from local businesses.
"I feel that benefiting these two charities is the fundamentals of kindness and compassion," said Ragsdale.
For more information on Off the Mat, Into the World's platform, see www.offthematintotheworld.org. For more information about Shelter House Domestic Violence Shelter and its programs visit www.shelterhousenwfl.org.
"We need people to sign up, players, prizes, and food," said Ragsdale. "It will be fun, not typical."
The Seva Challenge Fundraising total to date is $77,430. Funds for the 2013 Global Seva Challenge benefit environmental justice efforts in the Amazon.
To register for the inaugural 30A Gold Classic, call 267-1240. To donate a prize email firstname.lastname@example.org.