Danc­ing for a cause

Zumba class in Bay Roberts raises money for the An­gel Fund

The Compass - - EDUCATION - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Amanda Thomp­son hosted a “Party in Pink” dance-a-thon fundrais­ing event at Amal­ga­mated Academy in Bay Roberts on the evening of Nov. 9.

Dressed in fuch­sia, rose, ma­genta and cho­ral, more than 50 women danced with few breaks for the en­tire two-hour du­ra­tion of the event and worked up a sweat.

The cheeks on each woman from Amanda’s Zumba class were as pink as the cloth­ing they wore af­ter com­plet­ing the event, which was to raise money for the An­gel Fund.

The An­gel Fund is a Con­cep­tion Bay North char­ity that pro­vides fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to women fight­ing breast can­cer in the area.

Zumba, which is a mix of salsa, hip-hop, mambo and aer­o­bic danc­ing, is one of the big­gest crazes for women in fit­ness. There are cur­rently sev­eral dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions that of­fer Zumba classes through­out Con­cep­tion Bay North.

Suc­cess­ful event

Another Zumba in­struc­tor, Christa Clarke, told The Com­pass it was a very suc­cess­ful event.

“It was an amaz­ing, fun night that was filled with Zumba and great peo­ple who came to­gether as a com­mu­nity to party in pink and show sup­port to our many neigh­bours who have been di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer,” she ex­plained. “When we got up on stage to start the night, I looked out at the room full of pink and it made me proud to be a part of the Zumba fam­ily and to be a New­found­lan­der liv­ing in CBN where peo­ple come to­gether to help one another.”

On Nov. 14, the group got to­gether — again wear­ing pink — and pre­sented a cheque worth $4,364 to the An­gel Fund.

The group raised money through gath­er­ine do­na­tions, re­cy­cling and ticket sales on do­nated items from the com­mu­nity.

“At the end of the fundrais­ing I hosted a Party in Pink Zumba Fit­ness Class along with Christa Clarke and Sa­man­tha Smith (another in­struc­tor) to cel­e­brate and dance for all breast can­cer vic­tims,” Amanda said. “Ev­ery­one had to wear pink and we danced un­til we dropped.”

The gym at Amal­ga­mated was do­nated free-of-charge for the event, and food was also pro­vided from lo­cal busi­nesses.

Why the An­gel Fund?

Party in Pink events have been held all over the world from Canada to Aus­tralia.

In North Amer­ica, more than $660,000 has been raised for the Zumba global re­search grant for breast can­cer preven­tion. The goal is $1 mil­lion.

“I worked my way through col­lege as an aux­il­iary nurse in Eng­land,” Amanda ex­plained. “I saw first-hand the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of breast can­cer and the scars — both men­tal and phys­i­cal — which the sur­vivors lived with.”

Amanda de­cided the dona­tion would be best used to sup­port a char­ity that could use it now to help those af­fected.

“I am a firm be­liever in (the say­ing) char­ity be­gins at home and wanted to help breast can­cer suf­fer­ers in the im­me­di­ate area, which is why I chose to raise money for the An­gel Fund.”

Christa said the com­mu­nity sup­port that came be­hind them was over­whelm­ing, and she was happy to be in­volved in such an event.

“For me it was all about the com­mu­nity and help­ing peo­ple around us who have been di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer,” she said. “I thought we can’t cure the can­cer but we could help re­lieve some stress that the pa­tients and fam­i­lies feel. It’s all about be­ing there for each other, and the Zumba fam­ily went over and above.”

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