The Homer Middle School gym was rocking Saturday. Rhythm of fast-paced Latin and World music and an enthusiastic crowd of about 60 shook the floorboards for the “Party in Pink” Zumbathon breast cancer prevention fundraiser.
The movements, led by 10 Zumba instructors from Anchorage, the Soldotna-Kenai area and Homer, created a rolling sea of pink, the color associated with breast cancer awareness. Light to dark shades of the color were evident on pants, skirts, scarves, leggings, socks, shoes, hats, jewelry, makeup and body paint. Standing out even more was the biggest accessory of the two-hour event: smiles. Everywhere. Lots of smiles.
A portion of the suggested $10 donation went to Susan G. Komen, an organization that addresses breast cancer on numerous fronts and a portion was dedicated to Zumba’s commitment to “put our money where our mouth is, research,” said Maria Santa Lucia, a local Zumba instructor that organized Saturday’s event.
The event also helped support two individuals currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
“We’ve always had a table that we call a ‘breast cancer survivor table,’ and if you come into the room and we knew you are a survivor, you can pick something from that table,” said Santa Lucia of items donated by local businesses and individuals. “This year we chose two people who are in the midst of the battle right now. So when I asked for donations, they were given because we wanted to give them loving support, something from the community that said we love them and support them.”
The two goody bags included such items as gift certificates to enjoy dining with a friend at a local restaurant and warm, comfortable and easy-to-put-on clothing.
Saturday’s participants included toddlers hanging onto their mothers, youngsters keeping step with their parents and retirees setting a brisk pace. While it was mostly women, the male population also was represented.
“We usually have even more guys,” said Santa Lucia.”
As one piece of music ended and another began, instructors took turns, quickly moving to the front of the room to lead routines and keep the action going.
“There was a wonderful feeling in that room,” said Santa Lucia. “I was really happy with how the room felt. It was people enjoying being together.”
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Zumba starts up
The public is invited to a Community Zumba grand opening at the HERC gym at 11 a.m. on Saturday. At least three Homer instructors will participate in this group fitness party. Fee is $5 per person.