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SMC hosts zumbathon for cancer

Chelsey Fattal | Monday, October 14, 2013

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, the Saint Mary’s Stand Up to Cancer club held a zumbathon to raise funds for cancer research on Saturday in the Angela Athletic Facility gym.

Club president Christi Hutch said about 125 people attended the three-hour dance marathon. In addition to the zumba dancing, the event featured prize raffling and vendors selling various products to support individuals fighting cancer in the South Bend area.

Twenty zumba instructors from the area volunteered to direct the exercises for participants. To break up the three consecutive hours of dancing, Troop ND and the Irish Dance team performed at the event’s halfway point, Hutch said.  

 “This event is fantastic because it incorporates the involvement of the South Bend community, as well as the involvement of the student communities at Saint Mary’s and Notre Dame,” Hutch said. “We have come together today to fight for a good cause.”

Leah Ramaekers, club historian, said she admires her organization’s work.

“This is the club’s second annual zumbathon, where 100 percent of our proceeds will go to the ‘National Organization to Stand Up to Cancer,'” she said.  
Club vice president Julia Ritter said the fundraiser’s popularity makes it a successful fundraiser.

“The zumbathon worked so well last year that we’ve become obsessed with zumba and therefore, we’ve decided to keep doing it as our fundraiser,” Ritter said.  
Saint Mary’s alumna Kimi Troy, who graduated with a degree in English Writing, helped coordinate the event.

Troy said she presented the idea of holding a zumba charity event to the student activities board as a way to connect with the community and fundraise for the national “Stand Up to Cancer” organization.

 “I have been involved with the program ever since,” Troy said.  

Allison Lukomski, another club member, said her own dancing ability had nothing to do with her enjoyment of the event.

 “Even though I am a bad dancer, it really doesn’t matter if I am a good dancer or not; I am dancing to make a difference,” she said. “Cancer runs in my family and because of it, the fight is more personal to me … I want to combat it in any way possible.” participant  Olivia Jackson said. She said she would definitely recommend this event to friends in the future.

  “Zumba is a great workout, and why not give back to the community at the same time?” she said.

Hutch said approximately $1,100 was raised at the end of the Zumbathon.

Contact Chelsey Fattal at cfatta01@saintmarys.edu