WINDSOR, ONT. -- Nearly 175 people were back-bending, meditating and deep breathing at parks across Windsor-Essex on Sunday.

All in support of the third annual Yoga 4 Hope event in support of Transition to Betterness.

“I recently lost my dad last year and during that time, it’s tough. You need some help,” said Yoga 4 Hope participant Paul Maricic.

The yoga, and increasingly rare chance to share an in-person event helped Maricic remember his father who died in 2019 of hydrocephalus.

“He’s a great guy. I miss him,” he said.

Organizers say they hope to raise $5,000 to support T2B’s ongoing programs meant to provide comfort to patients and their families impacted by a life-altering illness.

“Unfortunately, with COVID, a lot of the events we normally do, we were not able to do,” said T2B marketing manager Zishan Ali. “So we had to get creative, think outside of the box and find different ways to bring in money for the programs.”

Ali says in uncertain times people need comfort and hope.

“It sparked that fire to get out and be amongst people in a safe and very appropriate way but reconnect, especially feeling so isolated and being so alone,” she said.

Denna Papineau was one of 12 instructors teaching at Sunday’s sold out event, she says Yoga 4 Hope has helped to bring people and positive energy together.

“Because of the hard times with social distancing at least we are still able to go to every single different park and still do it for such a great cause,” she said.

Maricic said T2B programs offer an “umbrella of help,” at difficult times.

“We’re all part of the same team, society to help each other out,” he said. “Sometimes we need help during the course of our lives when things get tough.”