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SMC club hosts Zumbathon to help fight cancer

| Friday, February 26, 2016

Saint Mary’s will join the fight against cancer with this year’s Pink Party Zumbathon hosted by the College’s Stand Up to Cancer Club this Saturday.

The fourth annual Zumbathon will take place in Angela Athletic Facility from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is open to the public. Tickets are available at the door — $5 for students and $15 for the general public. Proceeds will benefit the Kelly Cares Foundation.

According to the Kelly Cares Foundation website, Paqui Kelly, wife of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and started the Kelly Cares Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to help support other organizations that share the same values as the Kelly family — health, education and community.

This is the first year Saint Mary’s club will be working to benefit an organization in the South Bend community. In previous years, the Zumbathon proceeds have gone to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the national Stand Up to Cancer organization.

The Zumbathon was first started by Saint Mary’s alumnae and physical fitness instructor Kimmi Troy in 2014.

“I’ve seen the success of other Zumba parties, and I knew that the potential for it to be here could be very big,” she said. “Cancer touches everyone in some way. Everyone has been affected.”

Club president Catherine Smith said many of the event’s participants are members of the South Bend community.

“It’s interesting to see the students and community interacting,” Smith said. “It’s really cool to see everyone come together to make a difference.”

Junior Claire Condon, a member of the club, said there is a heightened sense of community between students and the public at the event.

“Everyone’s from a different background, but they all come together for this one cause,” Condon said.

Troy said the event can inspire others, both in the local community and on a national scale.

“It has the ability to make someone want to fight more — someone who’s fighting cancer or someone who’s never experienced it,” she said.

Troy said Zumba will be led by a variety of experienced instructors, each with their own style. There will also be vendors, refreshments and a limited number of free t-shirts at the event.

She said she hopes people realize the long-term effects this event can have on others.

“I hope that they walk out of here knowing that they made a contribution,” she said. “Not only will they walk out of here sweating and smiling, but their money is going toward saving lives.”

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