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Zonta Zumbathon raises money for women

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OGDENSBURG — The music blasts out of the speakers as a room full of exercisers start moving to the beat, looking to the instructor to learn the next steps, knowing they won’t be stopping any time soon. The Zumba Marathon has begun.

The Ogdensburg Area Zonta Club, dedicated to helping women locally and worldwide, held its fourth Zumbathon fundraiser from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Dobisky Center on Sunday. For $10, exercisers could dance along for all or part of the 3-hour exercise session.

The funds raised will support the Zonta Club’s scholarships for area girls. So far, each of the previous Zumbathons has raised $500 to $600, enough to fund one scholarship.

The club’s first Zumbathon was held on January 2012, and the club decided to make it a regular event.

“We’re trying to do one a quarter,” said Zonta Club fundraising chairwoman Colleen M. Anderson.

Sunday was the Zonta Club’s fourth marathon so far.

The larger crowd and longer duration brings more excitement to the marathons than a traditional Zumba class, said Julie A. Hopper, Zonta Club member and owner of Julie’s Dance Studio.

“It’s a really good time,” Mrs. Hopper said. “It’s a lot of energy in one room and a lot of sweat.”

About 60 people participate in the event every time. Some will only exercise for an hour or so before calling it a day, but others are in it for the long haul.

“Some will do the entire time; it’s crazy,” Ms. Anderson said.

January is an especially good month to hold an exercise event, according to Ms. Anderson, because New Year’s resolutions are still fresh in most people’s minds.

Ten Zumba instructors volunteered their time for the event. Most teach Zumba classes locally, although one came from Prescott, Ontario, for the marathon.

“There’s a lot of different people and a lot of different styles,” said Zumba instructor Kathy A. Mitchell, of Pierrepont. “It’s a great way to get people to get out and get moving in the middle of winter.

They took turns leading the crowd. Sometimes multiple instructors taught at the same time, dividing the room into groups for a dance battle.

“It’s really exciting, and everyone gets jumping around,” Mrs. Hopper said.

In addition to the entry fees, the Zonta Club raised funds by raffling off ski tickets and Zumba merchandise, as well as selling T-shirts and other merchandise.

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