Cancer Support Community, Los Angeles celebrates the Benjamin Center Awards Leaders

At their annual Gilda Award Gala, the innovative Cancer Support Community (CSC) Benjamin Center honored Kimberly Fowler and Sherri Rosen from YAS Fitness Center as well as psychosocial cancer researcher Dr. Mitch Golant and comedian, writer, and cancer survivor Tig Notaro.

The nonprofit CSC Benjamin Center’s Executive Director Julia Forth notes that the Center believes that “No one should face cancer alone. CSC is here to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.” Cancer Support Communities are found throughout the country and provide social and emotional support for people with cancer. The Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center was founded in Santa Monica in 1982 by Dr. Harold and Harriet Benjamin; they provide free emotional and psychological support including yoga classes as other programs: cancersupportcommunitybenjamincenter.org.

Kimberly Fowler and Sherri Rosen were honored for their positive influence promoting an ethos of health and fitness as well as for their ability to rally the community. The YAS (Yoga and Spinning) community, under the leadership of Fowler and Rosen, has raised nearly $2 million for a number of organizations focused on cancer research. YAS’ sixth annual Yas-A-Thon, benefitting ThinkCure! will be held Sunday, June 28 from 1-4 pm. Spinners will ride at all area YAS locations for three hours to raise funds for research at City of Hope and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. People who don’t want to spin but would like to support can join the party in Venice on Saturday night, June 27. go2yas.com

Felicia Tomasko has spent more of her life practicing Yoga and Ayurveda than not. She first became introduced to the teachings through the writings of the Transcendentalists, through meditation, and using asana to cross-train for her practice of cross-country running. Between beginning her commitment to Yoga and Ayurveda and today, she earned degrees in environmental biology and anthropology and nursing, and certifications in the practice and teaching of yoga, yoga therapy, and Ayurveda while working in fields including cognitive neuroscience and plant biochemistry. Her commitment to writing is at least as long as her commitment to yoga. Working on everything related to the written word from newspapers to magazines to websites to books, Felicia has been writing and editing professionally since college. In order to feel like a teenager again, Felicia has pulled out her running shoes for regular interval sessions throughout Southern California. Since the very first issue of LA YOGA, Felicia has been part of the team and the growth and development of the Bliss Network.