After a two-year virtual break, teacher Elaine Chong’s annual Zumbathon For Cancer event returns to Fleetwood Park Secondary’s gym on June 3, starting at 7 p.m.
The fitness-themed fundraiser has collected close to $36,000 for BC Cancer Foundation over the past nine years.
Hundreds of people are expected to participate Friday, according to Chong, a zumba instructor and teacher at Fleetwood Park.
“Being brought up in a Chilean household means that I’ve had Latin rhythms surrounding me my whole life,” Chong explains on her Facebook page. “I love the infectious beats and desire to move that comes over you when you hear the music.”
This year’s Zumbathon will be Chong’s first live fundraiser since she returned from maternity leave. “The 6th annual Zumbathon was done while I was six months pregnant, and now she is three,” the mother noted.
Her fun fundraiser has become “a glorious community, family affair, and a virtual few years really hasn’t been the same,” Chong acknowledges.
“Although we have raised similar totals the last few years, I am most looking forward to seeing familiar faces and the energy of this uplifting event. This year we plan to blow $40,000 in total donations out of the water, and I couldn’t be more excited.”
Minimum donation is $15, or $10 for students. People can also donate if they can’t attend, via bccancerfoundation.com, where event details are posted. Registration is done on bit.ly/zumbathonforcancer, and also check out facebook.com/elaineczumba.
“Before the pandemic struck we would get 250-300 people in attendance,” Chong reported. “With the last two years being virtual it has been 70-80 people in attendance online but we have still managed to raise a lot of money – last year over $7,000. This year I am also offering a livestream for those not comfortable attending. I hope at least 100 people will come, and potentially 200 or more.”
This year, she said, funds will be raised to cover the cost of items needed by cancer patients during treatments, including prescriptions, medical costs, supplements, travel and accomodation for radiation therapy.
“This reunion will be an emotional one for the books where we get to smile, sweat, and move as one all in the name of one day working towards a cure to cancer,” Chong added.