I think our last entry was made right after we learned about our assignment to Belize. I managed to think about Peace Corps obligations for about a minute and a half before I had to focus on a project I started WAY back in the summer. By the time we got the news about the Peace Corps assignment, things were in full swing for the Zumbathon, and there was no slowin' down that train.
Earlier in the year, late July, several of the Zumba instructors in the area decided we wanted to hold a Zumbathon. We met several times, decided on our "cause" and an approximate time for the event. We wanted to raise money for the Kids Programs of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?). We thought November would be a good time - before the holidays monopolized everybody's time.
Several people were instrumental in putting our fundraiser together, including yours truly. Some stuff was easy, like asking people for money. Other facets of the work were more difficult, such as finding the right venue, getting instructors to commit, and getting the Zumba legal department to approve our event.
I put together most of the marketing stuff - brochures to use when talking with sponsors, posters and reminder handouts for instructors to give their class attendees, print and on-air publicity, and a website where people could donate online. Here's an example of one of the posters:
We had four teams of three instructors each. We all had to nail down what music to use and rehearse, figure out what our Zumbathon would look like, and round up some reliable volunteers. We got all that done and more. In fact, we even had a Stage Manager. Is that professional or what?
The event was held at the Morrisvillle Outlet Mall near RDU Airport on Sunday afternoon, November 21. We spent several hours on Saturday afternoon setting up. Here's a picture of the stage on Saturday afternoon. That big round thing above the stage is the Zumba logo, and STEVE MADE IT!! He is SO good, just looked at a picture and figured out how to make it.
Everything came off without a hitch - really! When the music for the first team started, the crowd was so excited and energized it gave me goosebumps! For two full hours, people were dancing/exercising, jumping and clapping, cheering. It's all on video (YAY!) and we're making DVDs to give to all who were involved.
Here's a picture of us after it was all over. Maybe looking a little bedraggled, but happy!
When all the money was counted, including our online donations, we had raised about $3300. We were definitely pleased, considering it all started as an excuse to teach Zumba to a big crowd of people. We took it from that little seed of an idea to reality. Cool, huh?
So now, back to the real world - Spanish lessons, holidays and shopping, preparation for departure . . . .