More than 350 people took part in the recent Zumbathon she planned for a sixth year at Fleetwood Park Secondary, where Chong teaches French and Spanish classes.
Outside school hours, the South Surrey resident is a fitness instructor at local gyms.
This year, because she’s pregnant and due soon, Chong’s annual fundraiser was moved from the first Friday of June to the evening of Feb. 8.
The one-hour aerobic workout, set to music, welcomes students and others from the school, Chong’s friends, family and clients from gyms she teaches at, and those who live in the Fleetwood area. “It is a public event, and the more the merrier,” Chong said of the event, which she calls “breathtaking and emotional.”
This time around, $8,485 was raised at the event, for a six-year total donation of $23,177.50.
“I am so taken aback and amazed at how awesome this event has become,” Chong raved. “When we started in 2014 there were 60 to 100 (participants) and now we are at just over 350 in attendance. We raised almost $2,000 the first year.… I’m so proud, it gets bigger and bigger every year.”
Adults pay a minimum $15 to join in the fun, or $10 for students.
Chong said all donations go to the cancer foundation because the disease has impacted her family in many ways.
This year, she led the mass Zumbathon class with the help of six other instructors – Dani Corrales, Diane Batryn, Gabriela Porcina, Laarnie Arfieza, Linda Carroll and Olga Skrinnikoff.
“I usually do it on my own, but because I’m pregnant I got some help this year,” she said.