February 2, 2023

Mountain Progressive Review

A Community-Led News Organization

Akasha’s ‘Butterfly Pony’ Community Art Project Will Raise Funds for the Transgender Health and Wellness Center

Thaddeus Meairs of the Akasha Health & Wellness Center in Crestline purchased an assortment of 28 hobby horses recently with a very special hope and intention in mind. According to Meairs, Akasha selects one charity a year to benefit, and this year, Meairs has selected the Transgender Health and Wellness Center (TH&WC). All 28 horses will be given out to artists to transform in whatever way they wish. The ponies will be sold during a live auction in the second week of October.

Transgender Community Coalition (TCC), founded by Meairs’ friend Thomi Clinton, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and they operate two health and wellness centers. Their website states that they are the “largest transgender organization in the Inland Empire” with locations in both Riverside and Palm Springs. Meairs stated, “This year we chose the Transgender Health and Wellness Center simply because of the wonderful work that they do.” The TH&WC website features an impressive list of services: “Services that we provide, produce revenue for direct support to the less fortunate in the transgender, gender non-conforming and intersex community. We provide emergency clothing for LGBTQ+ abused foster children seeking new placement, emergency clothing for those kicked out for who they are, transitional clothing, name and gender change assistance, emergency hygiene supplies, pet, and human food, free mental health, and much more.”

The Akasha Health and Wellness Center also prides itself on the myriad of services they offer. Akasha provides a wide array of body treatments, life coaching, leadership training, nonviolent communication training, Viking warrior training, yoga, broadsword and shield training, and even pirate school, tattoos, and wedding officiating. Their goods come from local and fair trade sources, and they endeavor to be as organic as possible. “We’re really working on being as environmentally and socially conscious as we can,” Meairs said.

Because Meairs purchased all the ponies himself, 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go directly to the Transgender Health and Wellness Center. Taking a cue from the TH&WC website, which encourages people to join The Butterfly Society as a way of supporting local transgender communities, Akasha is calling their fundraiser ‘The Butterfly Pony Project’. Some ponies are still available, and interested artists need only call or stop into the Akasha Health & Wellness location to reserve or pick one up.

To follow the progress of The Butterfly Pony Project and to tune into the auction during the second week of October, follow Akasha on Facebook and Instagram. The auction will be conducted over Facebook Live and telephone. Akasha aims to raise at least $2000 for the Transgender Health and Wellness Center. The check of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be presented at Bizzyland on November 20, which is the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Thaddeus Meairs is happy to help support local marginalized communities by creating a safe and inspiring space where people can connect. “We’re sort of a hub—people come in and meet each other, and then they start projects. That’s what Akasha is—it’s a place where people can come meet each other and learn from each other. We’re always evolving and changing.”

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