A Zumbathon on Saturday at Perkins County High School raised $1,075. The event was one of many scheduled across the nation during October for breast cancer awareness month.
By Jan Rahn
Pink attire was the color of choice on Saturday when 38 participants and five instructors gathered for a “Party in Pink” Zumbathon® in recognition of October being breast cancer awareness month.
The Zumba® dance instructors led women through four hours of choreographed routines at Perkins County High School. Merriment was the tone of the day, sweat and laughter the byproducts, with everyone having an amusing time doing what has become a popular way to exercise.
Donating their time toward the global movement were instructors, Amanda Wood of Grant, Rachelle Fryzek of Madrid, Cathy Mohlman of Kearney, Brittany McDaniel of North Platte and Theresa Barry of Ogallala who led the group through the Latin-inspired dance fitness program.
The event included lunch donated by Hatch’s Super Foods and Regier Equipment. Image Total Fitness donated breakfast and water. Funds to offset costs were donated by Deaver Computer, Ride Rite Garage, Adams Bank and Trust, and Lacy Insurance.
Providing the sound system at no charge was Lou Kraus, and Perkins County Schools allowed use of the gym. Poppe’s Posies provided discounted carnations for cancer survivors and family members of cancer survivors.
Funds raised at Saturday’s Zumbathon® in Grant totaled $1,075. Proceeds go to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s® quest to prevent, fight and cure breast cancer. The funds raised locally are miniscule compared to the amount already collected nationwide. Several more “parties in pink” are scheduled across the U.S. through the month of October.
A Zumbathon® is a great way to get women together to help fight a deadly disease that targets them.
The gathering on Saturday drew participants from Lincoln, Brady, North Platte, Ogallala, Kearney, Madrid, Elsie, Grant and Greeley, Colo.
According to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® website, an estimated 230,480 women would develop new cases of invasive breast cancer this year alone. Tragically, roughly 39,520 of those women are expected to die from the disease.
According to breast cancer survivor Ann Regier of Madrid, retired registered nurse who heads the Health Ministries Committee within the Grant United Methodist Church, there are between 35-40 breast cancer survivors in our area.
Regier served as director of nursing for 17 years at Golden Hours Convalescent Home. She coordinated the home health agency and served as its first director.
As someone who serves the community in various ways through volunteer work, Regier said both her retirement and her survival have enabled her to carry out other things and support her community in many ways.
“I feel very strongly that that’s why God allowed me to be here—every day is important to me,” said Regier. “I’m profoundly grateful to be here as a 27-year survivor.”
Many things are different nowadays, she explained, including the surgeries and the treatments. Being a survivor is not without its cost, said Regier, who has friends who are survivors but who live with life-altering effects—one is on oxygen as a result of radiation treatment; another lives with chronic pain from radiation burns.
“What an amazing day!” said Wood, who instructs Zumba® at Image Total Fitness several times a week. “Seeing communities uniting and supporting such a great cause is indescribable.”
She and Fryzek take turns leading classes at the fitness center and welcome anyone who would like to give the fun workout a try.
Celebrity fitness trainer, “Beto” Perez, stumbled upon the concept of Latin-inspired dance-fitness in his native Cali, Colombia in the mid-‘90s.
One day, he walked into his aerobics class and realized he had forgotten his aerobics music. Thinking quickly, he grabbed whatever tapes he had in his car.
Beto’s tapes were comprised of songs he loved, traditional Latin salsa and merengue music, but it was a challenge to improvise a whole class on the spot using non-traditional aerobics music. Beto rose to the challenge and from this last-minute improvisation a revolutionary new concept in fitness was born—the Zumba Fitness-Party™!
The class soon became the most popular class at his fitness facility.
In 1999, after his success in Colombia, Beto brought the class to the U.S. and in 2001 he was approached by entrepreneurs Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion to create a global company based on his fitness philosophy.
The three young entrepreneurs trademarked the word Zumba® and set a goal to expand the brand all over the world.
In 2002 Perlman and Aghion secured a deal with a large infomercial company to launch the concept nationwide resulting in the sale of hundreds of thousands of videos in the U.S. market.
The overwhelming response created a demand for more Zumba® instructors, so Zumba Fitness® created an instructor training program to satisfy the growing demand. The program was an instant success. By September 2006, there were thousands of Zumba® instructors worldwide.
In 2003 Zumba Fitness® teamed with the Kellogg Company to develop a fitness campaign for the Hispanic market. The Kellogg Company has since expanded the campaign to five additional countries. The Zumba® program has been featured on millions of boxes of Kellogg’s® Special K® cereal around the world.
The following year In 2004 Zumba Fitness® launched a successful infomercial campaign in Spanish for the U.S. Hispanic market and Latin America, increasing sales to millions of DVDs in over 30 countries.
In 2005 the explosive demand for Zumba® instructors across the nation and abroad spurred the creation of the Zumba Academy™, the educational division of Zumba Fitness®. With top-notch leadership from a diversified team of professional choreographers, fitness experts and certified education specialists, the Zumba® Academy has raised the bar and set a new standard in fitness programs, ensuring the highest level of integrity, quality and dedication to excellence, and exceeding industry standards.
In 2007 Zumba® launched internationally and currently spans six continents—North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.