Mary Lou Gabbert from Tallahassee offered instruction to 57 participants from around the country, who had gathered in Ithaca, New York, for a national workshop, July 8 through 10th. Having a long history with the Taoist Tai Chi Society, being a member of the TTCS USA Board, and the SE Regional Instruction Coordination Committee, and having studied directly with Master Moy for decades, Mary Lou offered tai chi instruction as well as many stories about the TTCS, Master Moy, and his teachings. Throughout the weekend work was done on foundation exercises and incorporating aspects of the foundations into various moves of the set, focusing on turning, dropping and rising around the spine. Lots of tai chi sets and practice were done together, but periodically we broke into smaller groups which offered more individual attention for participants and instruction practice for continuing instructors.
Just prior to the workshop, the Ithaca branch had received approval to move ahead with renovations to their studio space and to purchase a cork floor, so various fund-raising efforts were going on throughout the workshop. Mary Lou also spoke about fundraising and how all funds, whether moving from one pocket to another, all helped the society and our Tai Chi family. Everyone was very generous throughout the weekend. More than $12, 550 was taken in over the weekend, a combination of registration, vintage t-shirt sales, garage sale items, and a 50/50 raffle. Mary Lou, who had the winning raffle ticket, donated her winnings back to the fund raising efforts, as well as her Red Envelope contents.Pledges of $115 towards the new floor were also taken.
Last but not least the food was delicious. Great snacks throughout the workshop were provided by Ithaca members and 3 meals were brought in so all could dine together. Saturday lunch was Indian Food from Sangams Restaurant, Saturday night, Chinese food from Ling Ling’s, and Sunday lunch was Greek food from the Souvlaki House. The weekend of doing tai chi together, sharing Master Moy stories, supporting the Ithaca Branch’s fund raising efforts and dining together enabled new friends to be made and existing friends to reconnect. In short our Taoist Tai Chi Family continued to stretch, bond and grow.