Exercise and Charity: Local gym holds its first “Zumbathon”

Participants danced and bobbed to the music at the Zumbathon, held at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center. On Dec. 26, Henry Mayo will be offering a class to practice mindfulness and integrate techniques into day-to-day activities. Ryan Painter/ The Signal

The echo of the music could be heard from blocks away as more than 300 participants danced to the high-energy beats and gave back to those in need on Saturday.

The music emanated from the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center on Town Center Drive, where the gym held a “Zumbathon” fundraiser from which all proceeds were donated to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

The Zumbathon, the headline event of fitness center’s first anniversary celebration, was attended by over 300 people and had raised over $1,400 as of 2 p.m. on Saturday, said Director of Member Services Sharlene Duzick.

“We’re donating all the proceeds from this event to the Salvation Army,” Duzick said. “We wanted everybody to come together, have a good time, and learn a little bit about how we can make an impact on our community.”

Zumba, according to instructor Kimberly Hull, can be described as “exercise in disguise.” Classes typically involve instructor-led dance routines set to loud, upbeat music.

“Zumba participants bring a lot of positivity and support. It’s a family environment all while getting a great workout.” Hull said.

She was one of four instructors who volunteered their time to teach the three-hour class.

“I think anytime you can take a community of like minded people and utilize that to help others is always an awesome thing,” said Hull. 

The efforts of the fitness center and of volunteers like Hull could not have been possible without the support of local sponsors.

Arlie Alfaro, a participant in the event and National Director at bottled-water company Alka Vida, was glad to contribute her company’s product to the event.

Alka Vida, which bottles and distributes all of their water locally in Valencia, provided hydration to participants free of charge.

“Everybody is dancing and sweating so you need to stay hydrated,” she said. “This is our first event with Henry Mayo and we are so happy to be partnered with them.”

Event organizers at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center considered the Zumbathon to be a success – both in terms of getting local residents active and giving to those in need.

“Henry Mayo spearheaded this as another partnership with the community,” said Duzick.

“It was really exciting to see everybody, and I love the energy and the people coming through our door.” 


A group of instructors leads participants through a myriad dance steps at the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center’s Zumbathon on Saturday. Ryan Painter/For The Signal.


Friends and family support those participating in the Zumbathon on Saturday. Ryan Painter/For The Signal

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