Zumbathon to support Enrichment Center

Zumbathon to support Enrichment Center
September 04
00:00 2014
(pictured above:  Participants take part in a past Zumbathon.)

For the past four years, funds raised from The Enrichment Center’s annual Zesty Zumbathon have been used to pay for transporting clients with disabilities to and from exercise classes at the William G. White Jr. Family YMCA.

This year, The Enrichment Center Executive Director Valerie Vizena wants to use proceeds to cover other expenses as well, like transporting clients to other activities that will help them thrive even more within the community.

“At the Enrichment Center, we’re certainly all about enriching our students’ lives, and helping them become a part of our community thread,” Vizena said. “While the classes they take at the Y enhance their health and well-being, they’re involved in other educational activities that engage them socially, and help them function in life in general.”

Courtney Wilson

Courtney Wilson

The Fifth Annual Zesty Zumbathon will take place Friday, Sept. 12 from 7-9:30 p.m. on the soccer field at Salem College, which has been a sponsor for the past three years. Zumba instructor Cortney Wilson, the event organizer since its inception and founder of FiF Element (Fitness is Fun!), will be hosting. She will be helped by nine licensed Zumba instructors. Advanced tickets will be available online beginning Friday, Aug. 8 at or by calling 336-837-6827.

For more than 30 years, The Enrichment Center has enhanced the lives of individuals who are intellectually and developmentally challenged. Clients range in age from 18 years old to senior citiens. Last year, an expansion made possible through additional grant funding received, increased enrollment by 29 percent.

Located at 1006 S. Marshall St., Center programs range from functional life skill classes (such as cooking, balancing a checkbook and performing household chores) to visual and performing arts (such as photography, pottery, music and dance classes).

“This year, our goal is to raise $5,000, which ultimately could help transport our clients to other places and activities, fully immersing them in the community,” said Lauren Davis, the Center’s development director.

To help the Center raise more money, it has added a pledge-collecting component, allowing Zumbathon participants and nonparticipants an opportunity to collect money and help the agency meet or exceed its goal.

Jamila Greer, one of this year’s Zumba instructors, has much-praise for the Center and the work it does.
“The Enrichment Center is such a great resource. I wish they could clone themselves,” she said. “They provide people with developmental disabilities a place for them to go, learn and thrive every day.”
Frankie Brown is the mother of Center student Darren Brown, 33.

“Being at The Enrichment Center has helped Darren become more confident, and he’s grown a lot,” said Brown. “While he loves the Zumba classes, he also enjoys a variety of art classes, which he was able to sell one of his paintings for $200 during one of their gallery openings. So not only are they able to tap into their talents … it teaches them how to function in society, and give back versus always accepting things.”

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