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Zumbathon to offer assistance to victims of recent hurricanes

By Staff | Oct 18, 2017

Lehigh Acres Zumba instructors are hosting a free Zumbathon to raise donations and bring hurricane relief to the needy families of Lehigh Acres and Puerto Rico.

Sofia Gonzalez, along with other instructors, will hold the event on Oct. 21 from noon to 2 p.m. at Tortuga Preserve Elementary School, at 1711 Gunnery Road N. She explained that the aim is to aid in the recovery efforts for individuals and families severely impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

It is a cause that hits close to home for many of those involved.

“I live here in Lehigh Aces and my family is from Puerto Rico,” Gonzalez said. “After the hurricane hit, I wanted to find a way I could help.”

She explained that for some local families, they have loved ones in Puerto Rico who cannot get the medical attention that they need.

“My grandmother is in Puerto Rico now and she is very sick with cancer. My dad is going there soon to bring her here to receive the proper medical treatment,” Gonzalez said.

After seeing the destructive impact the hurricanes had on each area, the group of instructors felt compelled to help their neighbors. The community is encouraged to come and participate.

“This is a great workout for an even greater cause, with 100 percent of the proceeds going towards Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief fund and families in our community,” she said.

The instructors will include Gonzalez, La’Tanya Hamilton, Ivonne Lpez and Veronica Myers.

“It’s for people of all ages, from people in their 60s to those in their teens,” Gonzalez said. “We will also have modified versions for those with injuries.”

While a free event, participants are asked to bring items to donate or a monetary donation.

Suggested donations include:

– Hygiene products: Toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene, diapers, baby wipes and deodorant

– School supplies: Backpacks, binders, pencils, lined paper, hand sanitizer, tissues and printer paper

– Non-perishable food: Canned food and dry goods

– Clothing: New socks and underwear (child and adult sizes), clean elastic-waist pants and shirts

According to Gonzalez, a lot of diseases are being spread in Puerto Rico due to the lack of clean water and access to hygiene products following the storms.

“They really need things such as hand sanitizer, bug spray, water, feminine products, diapers, baby wipes, and even pet supplies,” she said.

Several groups and organizations have pitched in to make the event possible.

“There are a lot of great groups involved,” Gonzalez said. “Without their help, we couldn’t get donations to those who need it.”

They are The Hive Community Development Corporation, Effective Growth Management Consultants, I Am Creates You, Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, Passionista Academy, Next Level Church and Tortuga Preserve Elementary School.

Those unable to attend can still donate by contacting Gonzalez.

For details or to donate, call 239-738-9781 or email sgonza7990@gmail.com.