Zumbathon this Saturday to help JCEO, Christmas Bureau

PLATTSBURGH - Exercise mixed with fundraising is the recipe for an event one group of people hopes will do some good once again in the community.

Zumba instructors are joining together this Saturday, Dec. 4, at Gilligan's Getaway to once again help nonprofit organizations this holiday season. The second annual Zumbathon will benefit the local food shelf operated by the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity of Clinton and Franklin Counties and The Christmas Bureau, which distributes toys, clothing and other gifts to low-income families in need throughout Clinton County at Christmastime.

Melody LeMieux, a certified instructor of the aerobic fitness program and organizer of this year's event, said she's looking forward to building on what was started last year.

"I thought it was a great turnout," LeMieux said of last year's event. "And, with Zumba becoming more popular in the last year, I think we have a lot of people who will come out for this."

Having many more instructors certified to teach Zumba has also led to building a network that will help put on an event LeMieux hopes will be even bigger than last year.

"The instructor have really pulled together to work together to raise funds for a lot of different charities," she said. "It's great to say that we can all work together for the better of the community. We're a good team."

Zumba is a high-impact and low-impact exercise that incorporates Latin and international music with movement, with the Zumbathon giving participants a workout and helping organizations help others at the same time, said LeMieux.

"We're just trying to get out and have some fun for a good cause," said LeMieux. "Every little bit will help. Times are tight, so whatever people can contribute will be greatly appreciated."

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 for the JCEO food shelf. Last year, more than $800 was raised for The Christmas Bureau, and more than 300 nonperishable food donations were collected for the food shelf.

The two-hour event will begin this Saturday at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact LeMieux at 376-7380 or melody.lemieux@charter.net.

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