YMCA holds Zumbathon to raise funds for children

YMCA holds Zumbathon to raise funds for children
June 29
03:00 2017

The Zumba craze has not only swept the country but has become a worldwide phenomenon.  Using this to their advantage, the Winston Lake YMCA held a glow in the dark Zumbathon to raise funds to sponsor kids for summer camps at the YMCA.

Zumba is a dance fitness workout program created in the 1990s.  It includes elements of hip-hop and and Latin influences that relate to people of all ages.  It works out the core muscles along with toning other muscle groups simultaneously.

The reason for needing a fundraiser is because the Winston Lake location is not fully funded by the city coupled with losing a grant from the United Way. This is leaving the YMCA short on funds to accommodate all of the children wanting to participate in the summer camps.

Winston Lake YMCA Events Specialist Brittani Lane said the other “Y” locations around the city charge a tuition for their summer camps.  Because of the financial constraints of many of the families that frequent its location, Winston Lake location does not charge a tuition for the children.

“So far we have 65 students that are attending camp for free and with this Zumbathon and other projects our goal is have 100 kids enrolled for the summer,” Lane said.  “I absolutely enjoy having the opportunity to get more kids through the door for the summer camp.  Our camp is different than many other locations because we pride ourselves in giving our kids experiences that we know they otherwise would never be able to receive.

“Every week we take our kids on a field trip outside the city limits of Winston-Salem,” she continued.  “We take them to Carowinds, museums and visiting various Historically Black Colleges and Universities so they can see what lies beyond Winston-Salem and the opportunities that are available to them.”

Zumba is offered at the Winston Lake “Y” location six times a week and they chose to make the event glow in the dark to add something different to the experience.  Zumba instructor Tawanda Fullwood says Zumba teaches people hip-hop and Latin dance moves while also giving them a great fitness workout.

“Lots of people do not like to go to the gym for different reasons, so what Zumba does is gives them a fun way to get fit through dancing,” she said.  “We all love to dance, so Zumba allows us to come in and have fun and get fit at the same time.”

Fullwood says she really enjoys Zumba because she really loves to dance.  She said it is a great way to get in her cardio workouts, which has allowed her to lose a lot of weight. 

Associate Engagement Wellness Director Crystal Webley said the Winston Lake YMCA is always trying to get new members through the door while also helping those in need.  She said the Zumbathon was a great way to achieve all of their goals at once.

“I thought it would be great to reach out to the community to get people in here to see what we have to offer,” said Webley.  “Zumba is really big now, and everyone likes to dance, so when the idea came up I was all for it.  It is an honor for me to be able to help someone out and possibly change somebody’s life.”

All of the participants seemed to really enjoy their time at the event.  Laura Crist says she had a fantastic time and the event was extremely organized.  She said the fact the event was for kids to enjoy the summer at camp was an added bonus. 

Another participant, Cotton Conrad, added, “Tonight was just wonderful.  It was great to see all the people that came out and everyone had a great time.  It was for a very good cause and it was great to be among all of these people, and I really enjoyed myself.  I think I have danced enough for three days.”

Lane wanted to thank everyone for their contributions to the event and coming out to enjoy a workout.  All tallied, the event raised nearly $600 to go toward the summer camp efforts. The Winston Lake YMCA will hold more fundraisers to reach its goal.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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