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Yoga Studio Raises Money for Cause

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Carolyn Gallaher had to leave the 105 degree Bikram Yoga studio 10 minutes before class ended, but made sure to deposit a crisp $10 bill in the donation jar set up for Saturday's community class raising money for Habitat for Humanity.

"I did it for Habitat for Humanity," said Gallaher, a Larchmont resident who has been a doner for several years. "I have done yoga in the past, so it seemed like a good combination. It is intense."

Bikram Yoga's Larchmont studio drew 20 people for Saturday's class, raising $700. Ten of 20 were members, but the other 10 were new, including Gallaher.

On her way out of the hour-and-a-half class, she bumped into the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester James Killoran. Killoran was waiting for the 4 p.m. class and, although he had reservations, the sports-enthusiast faced the heat to help his own cause.

"These are highly important to our success," he said. "Every event becomes another spoke in the wheel of our mission to get people in affordable homes."

The first home Habitat for Humanity of Westchester ever built was on Laurel Avenue in Larchmont in 1998.

"If you can exercise and give a donation at the same time, that's excellent," said Killoran, whose office is on 524 Main Street in New Rochelle.

Carolyn Funke, studio manager of Bikram Yoga, and Lora Finelle instructed Saturday's class, which ran from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"We decided we wanted to do a community class," Funke said. "It's something a lot of studios do to give back to the community. We wanted to choose a charity that would give back to our local community."

Killoran recently began rehabbing a home in Larchmont and has formed a committee with representatives from the Mamaroneck High School and T.D. Bank's Larchmont branch to oversee future projects.

Have you participated in any volunteer projects with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter.

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