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'Zumbathon' will benefit

PLATTSBURGH - Alissa Perniciaro likes to Zumba and wants others to join her to help local nonprofit organizations.

Perniciaro, a certified instructor of the aerobic fitness program which has become increasingly popular in the area, is organizing a "Zumbathon" to raise money for the Clinton County Christmas Bureau and the Joint Council for Economic Opportunities of Clinton and Franklin Counties Food Shelf. The Morrisonville woman and fellow Zumba instructor Lisa Menia were looking for a way to spread the word about Zumba and help local charitable organizations at the same time.

"We thought it'd be a great way to raise money and have a good time," said Perniciaro.

The pair have planned the Zumbathon for Thursday, Dec. 10, at Gilligan's Getaway, 7160 State Route 9, where they regularly hold Zumba classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. The $6 admission that will be charged at the door will go to the Christmas Bureau. Participants are encouraged to bring donations of canned goods which will then be given to the JCEO Food Shelf.

"We want people to come and participate but it will also be open to those who are Zumba-curious and want to sit on the sidelines to see what it's all about," said Perniciaro.

The two-hour event will begin at 6 p.m., and include a 15-minute break half-way through to give participants and spectators a chance to mingle and enjoy refreshments.

"This will give everyone a nice glimpse at the wonderful music that we use and the beauty of Zumba, which is everyone can do it," said Perniciaro.

Zumba is a high-impact and low-impact exercise that incorporates Latin and international music with movement, Perniciaro explained, giving participants a workout "without it feeling like a workout."

"It's really exercise in disguise," she said. "Some people do this and don't realize how good it is for them. It's a lot of fun."

"We do salsa, kumbia, cha-cha, reggaeton, belly dance, merengue. The list goes on and on," she added. "There's many forms of music and dance movement."

Of course, the craze has already hit the area and many already know about Zumba, said Perniciaro.

"[Zumba] has definitely hit Plattsburgh. There's a large fan base here," she said. "People are very thrilled to say they're going to a Zumbathon and we're definitely looking forward to doing it. It's going to be a fun evening."

For more information, contact Perniciaro at 618-0503 or Menia at 563-9638.

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