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Stretch 4 Vets III Raises $25k / Embrace Remodels 11th Home

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                Media Contact
Embrace Public Relations
Over 500 yogis including college students, active military and veterans came together on the U.S.S. Midway to raise funds for disabled veteran home remodel program 
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (December 7, 2016) – On Sunday, November 20, nonprofit organization Embrace, hosted its 2nd Annual Stretch 4 Vets event on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway through a partnership with CorePower Yoga.  Over 500 yogis from all over San Diego county, including active military, veterans and college students practiced yoga on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Midway to raise funds and awareness for the Embrace program called Healing Our Heroes’ Homes which remodels the homes of disabled veterans at no cost to the veterans.  
“This event is simply a joy to be a part of," said Embrace and Stretch 4 Vets founder Sean Sheppard.  “Working side by side with the CorePower Yoga leadership team and community to host Stretch 4 Vets is one of the highlights of our calendar year.  To do it to continue to serve disabled veterans makes it truly special.” 
(Click the image above to view the Stretch 4 Vets video)
2016 Stretch 4 Vets is co-hosted by CorePower Yoga, with the practice led by local CorePower Yoga instructors Amy Opielowski, Beth O’Reilly, Katie B and Sonny Bagsic, a U.S. Navy veteran.  The U.S.S. Midway donated the flight deck venue as well as staffing and equipment.  Key fiscal sponsors were Silver Sponsor Griffin Funding and Pete Knows Real Estate.  
(Birds eye view of Stretch 4 Vets III)
500+ participants, including 15 different fundraising teams, helped raise $25,000, a 70% increase from last year’s event. In addition to yoga, the practice was accompanied by local musician DTO, who provided live music for the event. The event also included the presenting of Colors by the San Diego Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th Horse Cavalry and a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by singer Hollen Lockwood. 
“It was truly inspiring to see over 500 students gathered together on the U.S.S. Midway for a CorePower Yoga class to support Embrace's mission. The yoga class focused on gratitude, honoring veterans and all those currently serving, and it created a magnetic wave of appreciation that rocked all of our hearts.”  added Amy Opielowski, Senior Manager of Quality at CorePower Yoga.
(Stretch 4 Vets participants enjoying boat pose)
The top individual fundraiser received a 1 year CorePower Yoga membership and the #2 individual fundraiser received a 40-inch flat screen television.  The top fundraising team was awarded the Stretch 4 Vets cup and a complimentary stay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.  Local restaurant Snooze donated 500 breakfast burritos, Starbucks donated coffee, Perfect Bar  provided energy bars for all participants and Essentia Water donated bottled water.  U.S. Navy Region Southwest provided parking for the event. 
Funds raised will go to support Embrace’s Healing Our Heroes’ Homes, a home remodeling program that remodels the homes of disabled veteran homeowners throughout San Diego County. To donate to Embrace please visit our website.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            Media Contact
Embrace Public Relations
100% Disabled Navy Veteran Becomes 11th H3 Beneficiary
Kappa Sigma Fraternity and Home Depot Foundation lead sponsorship team & 100 volunteers for the home remodel of Escondido disabled Navy Veteran
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (December 7, 2016) – On Tuesday, November, 1, 2016  Embrace began its eleventh home remodel for local disabled Navy veteran, Lieutenant (Navy), Niani Wiggins as part of the Healing Our Heroes’ Homes (H3) program. 10 days and over $70,000 in labor and materials later, Embrace’s Healing Our Heroes’ Homes program was able to complete its 11th home remodel on Veterans Day.    The remodel served to provide Lieutenant Wiggins and her husband with a new backyard due to a collapsed retaining wall.
The latest mission was made possible by a presenting sponsorship from the Kappa Sigma Fraternity Military Heroes Campaign and additional grants/sponsorships from The Home Depot Foundation, SDG&E, Jack In The Box Foundation, Veterans Support Foundation and the San Diego County Community Enhancement Program grant.  “This collective effort was unique in that we were able to complete various skilled trade work with new contractors and contractors from past remodels without the assistance from a general contractor.  Our partnership with the Home Depot Foundation was key as well,” said Embrace Founder, Sean Sheppard. “Everyone who donated their time and financial resources made serving our second female veteran beneficiary a memorable mission.”
(Click the image above to view Ninani Wiggin's Healing Our Heroes' Homes remodel video)
Work completed included: demolition and removal of the collapsed retaining wall, concrete slab demo and replacement, landscaping, excavation, installation of new retaining wall, installation of artificial turf lawn, installation of new vinyl fencing around the property.
Disabled Navy Veteran Niani Wiggins was selected among several other disabled veterans in need to have her home remodeled by meeting the criteria  of having an 80% or higher VA disability rating, being a home owner and being honorably discharged.  Niani Wiggins enlisted in the United States Navy in March, 1991. Her extensive military career includes deployments to support Expeditionary Strike Group Five Middle East/Pacific Deployment, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Unified Assistance, and Operation Northern Edge.  Health issues from serving in the military include losing sight in her left eye, multiple surgeries and a stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis. 
(Healing Our Heroes' Homes volunteers with veteran, Niani Wiggins, at the completion of the remodel)
Well over 400 aggregate hours of donated labor by multiple volunteer contractors and sponsors came together to complete this mission. Additional sponsorship dollars came from the Rob Benzon Foundation.  In Kind sponsorship was provided by long time sponsor, the Home Depot Foundation

All Embrace programs aim to create a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic service learning experiences for college students, connect young adults to veteran community members in need, raise awareness of low income, disabled veterans and increase the value and efficient use of their homes. 
About Embrace

Founded in 2000, Embrace uses community service to bring diverse groups of people together to bring about social wellness in our society. The organization focuses on the utilization of college students and recent graduates to develop their leadership qualities and remedy community problems such as health disparities and homelessness on a volunteer basis. Founder Sean Sheppard's ultimate goal is to bring about legislation that makes community service mandatory for all college students that attend state funded institutions of higher education.
For more information on Embrace, visit

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