While some were lamenting the extra pounds put on during the pandemic, spiritual self-awareness coach Sarah Galambos and chiropractor Ben Cohen of Excel Chiropractic put their heads together to provide a free series of uplifting activities in Sandy Springs.
H.E.A.L. (Heal, Evolve and Lead) was conceived at the start of the pandemic as a way to create community connection and collaboration. Sarah and Ben first met in the Leadership Sandy Springs class of 2019. There they learned the importance of community leadership and they embody that philosophy through HEAL.
The activity series now defines itself as a networking collaborative for small- to medium-sized businesses to increase their visibility and connection with the citizens of Sandy Springs.
At the onset of the pandemic, Galambos recalled, “My colleague Ben Cohen and I were seeing our clients and network of small- to medium-sized business owners begin to panic and isolate. We wanted to create a space for them to feel a sense of connection and support as their worlds seemed to be falling apart.
“During the shutdown, Ben and I worked diligently to build the foundation for HEAL and gather solid sponsors/partners; so when restrictions were finally lifted, we had mindful events in place to offer the community.”
Their first series, Free Outdoor Fitness, was touted as a huge success, according to Galambos.
Each Wednesday evening in June, HEAL gathered at Heritage Park amphitheater to showcase and connect local small- and medium-sized health-conscious businesses to those interested in self-care, awareness and well-being.
The first class started with 20 people, the second drew 30 (on a rainy night) and the third class had 45 people doing yoga in sync as the sun set over Sandy Springs, Galambos said.
“It was beautiful seeing the sun set. People are loving it and it’s been awesome to watch people linger after class to chat with the businesses and each other as they make new friends. Our only complaint so far: Why doesn’t everyone know about this?
“We have two more events in the series; strength training and Dance Fit Cardio. With some PR and growing interest, it’s our hope to expand to more locations, dates and classes.”
HEAL is actively planning the next community connection event, Pumpkin Patch with a Purpose for Oct. 2 in collaboration with Solidarity Sandy Springs and North Springs United Methodist Church. The church’s Youth Ministry’s Pumpkin Patch will host a “good, old fashioned” fall festival.
HEAL will also promote a food drive to stock the pantry at Solidarity Sandy Springs and a portion of vendor/sponsor fees will go to the Youth Ministry in gratitude for sharing their space, equipment and time.
As viable sponsors are key, the medical practice of Sarah’s husband Michael, Digestive Healthcare of Georgia, is the founding sponsor. He holds a special love for Sandy Springs as the city his mother built. Eva Galambos was the first and founding mayor of Sandy Springs, who also happened to be Jewish. Eva, of German descent and known as a trailblazer, was also an activist and economist who died in 2015. She held a doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, where she taught, along with Clark College, and was considered an expert on rent control in Atlanta.
“Eva was passionate about her daily exercise, a true believer in fit body, fit mind,” Sarah Galambos said.
Another founding sponsor is Resurgens Orthopaedics. “Stephanie Pilger, their regional marketing director, had been looking for such an event in Sandy Springs, but couldn’t find one. She’s walked every step of the way with us, creating the PowerPoint that eventually convinced the city to allow us to hold the event.”
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Sarah Galambos
- Ben Cohen
- Excel Chiropractic
- Leadership Sandy Springs
- Free Outdoor Fitness
- Heritage Park
- Dance Fit Cardio
- Solidarity Sandy Springs
- Digestive Healthcare of Georgia
- Eva Galambos
- Resurgens Orthopaedics
- Stephanie Pilger
- Michael Galambos
- H.E.A.L. (Heal Evolve and Lead)