More than 250 area residents came out to in Meriden Thursday night to take part in the Meriden Family Resource Center's first "Zumbathon" for juvenile diabetes.
Kids, seniors and other adults sweated in three separate sessions of the dance-fitness program to bouncing international tunes, for $5 per adult or family. (Click above to see our full video story.) All proceeds will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Hamden, according to Cathy Battista, Director of the Family Resource Center and a newly elected Meriden city councilor.
The fundraiser was Battista's idea. Years ago, a child in one of the Family Resource Center's playgroups was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and wanted to start a fundraiser for the disease. The center organized concerts as fundraisers, but those efforts fell off over a few years, Battista said.
This year, Battista, who has been Zumba-ing for about a year and a half decided it would be a good way to draw a crowd for the cause, with the added benefit of getting folks fit. She enlisted her daughter, Joy Varrato, a Zumba instructor at Cardio Party in Southington, who with colleague Sandy Dizenzo led the programs.
"Fitness is so important, this is such a great exercise for all ages, all shapes and sizes, I thought I'm going to do this this time, and invite the whole city, Battista said. "That's what I did, and I'm so excited about the turnout."