Move your feet for flood reliefA group of friends from Northwestern Elementary School is challenging everyone to “Move Your Feet for Flood Relief.” A baker’s dozen of girls, all ages 7-9, is throwing a Zumbathon from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium. The dance fitness party offers an exercise session and a helping hand at the same time.
A group of friends from Northwestern Elementary School is challenging everyone to “Move Your Feet for Flood Relief.” A baker’s dozen of girls, all ages 7-9, is throwing a Zumbathon from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium. The dance fitness party offers an exercise session and a helping hand at the same time.
Pictures and stories about the damage sustained in Duluth and Superior from the June 19-20 flood made an impact on the girls, said Sheryl Kyle of Lake Nebagamon, and they wanted to do something about it.
“We brainstormed a few ideas and ultimately thought a Zumbathon would be a great way to help,” said Jennifer Ketola, whose 8-year-old daughter Lauren is part of the group. A number of the girls and their moms have attended Zumba sessions, she said. The Latin-inspired dance fitness program blends music with aerobics.
A call to Zumba instructor Connie Thomson at Sterling Silver Studios got the ball rolling. The rest, said Ketola, fell into place. Thomson and instructor Jillian Peterson are donating their time for the event. The village offered them free use of the auditorium. While there is no official charge to attend the Zumbathon, free will donations will be accepted, with a suggested amount of $10 per person. Every penny will be sent to the Twin Ports Region Long Term Flood Relief Fund.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” said Kyle, whose daughter Katie, 7, is one of the girls involved. “This is a very thoughtful, caring, empathic group of girls.”
The event is open to children ages 5 and older as well as adults.
“You can be a seasoned Zumba enthusiast or a novice to attend,” Ketola said. “If you have wanted to try Zumba, this would be a great time to try it and donate to a great cause.”
Kyle hasn’t attended one of the musical workouts yet, but she plans to take part in Sunday’s Zumbathon.
“I have heard so many good things about it, I’m excited to try it,” she said.
Those who decide to Zumba should wear comfortable clothes and shoes and bring lots of water.
Ketola said she was proud of the girls for reaching out to aid others in the community.
“We hope that more people will be inspired to help those in need,” she said. “Anyone can help their community, regardless of how young or old they are.”
The Twin Ports Region Long Term Flood Relief Fund was set up to fill unmet needs of flood victims after other means of support, such as insurance, have been exhausted. Currently, a total of $368,079 has been collected according to the United Way of Greater Duluth. Kathi Madsen, executive director of the United Way of Superior-Douglas County, said that number includes $15,365 that has been donated in Douglas County. Based on calls the agency has received, Madsen said, it appears most homeowners have replaced their flood damaged hot water heaters at this point. She expects that the largest number of requests for aid from the fund will be for furnace replacement and repair.
For more information on Zumba classes, check the website at www.Zumba.com. Donations for the flood relief fund are being accepted at M&I Bank in Superior and Duluth and all US Bank locations. Checks can also be mailed to United Way of Superior Douglas County, 1507 Tower Ave., Suite 215, Superior, WI, 54880. Checks can be made out to “United Way” but put “Flood Relief” on the memo line.