A group of Minot women are looking for area residents to help them Zumba their way to a state record while raising money for a good cause.
Local graduates of a women's leadership program are hosting a "Great.Big.Zumba" on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds Saturday morning. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the event starts at 10 a.m. on the midway. Parking will be available on the midway. Cost is $25, and all proceeds go to a local nonprofit assisting families in need.
Kayla Sivertson, one of the coordinators, said the group has no expectation of how many people might participate, but they would be ecstatic to draw 200 men and women. Afterwards, they plan to challenge another North Dakota community to host a Zumba event to beat their total.
Zumba instructors Kat Lotenzo and Serina Benito are shown July 19 with the State Fair Parade entry promoting the Great.Big.Zumba that will take place on the fairgrounds Saturday.
The 11 women involved in the event are recent graduates of the Women's Leadership Program of the Center for Technology & Business. The Women's Leadership Program is an intense six-month program dedicated to expanding the professional, personal, community and health leadership skills for women of all ages.
"You are challenged upon your graduation to reach out to a nonprofit organization in your community and host an event," Sivertson said. "We decided we were all going to band together as a group and raise money for The Welcome Table here in town. We were going to set the North Dakota record for the largest Zumba party."
Sivertson said the Guinness record for a Zumba event is about 7,700 participants. Given the extensive logistics for documentation required for Guinness status, the group decided to go for a North Dakota record instead, she said.
Coordinators are optimistic that the forecast for the outdoor event will remain warm and sunny. The event will open with remarks from Mark Frueh, director of The Welcome Table, and Deb Eslinger, executive director of the Center for Technology & Business.
The Welcome Table is raising money to construct or buy a building that can serve as a one-stop shop for families who need assistance, said board chairman Mark Frueh. The organization operates a food pantry downtown, across the street from the Parker Center, and has support from a number of social organizations that are interested in the one-stop shop concept.
"That's always been our big vision," Frueh said. A consolidated location could provide a food pantry, evening meals to complement existing soup kitchens and training to help people who need a little help to re-establish their independence.
"You want to be able to give people an opportunity to get back on their feet and be productive in society and have some hope," Frueh said. "The problem always has been getting that place started. Once you get the place going, then you can build the momentum."
Great.Big.Zumba is set to raise as much support as possible.
Serina Benito will lead the 45-minute dance-fitness session. Zumba mixes low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style workout set to a Latin rhythm. Great.Big.Zumba will be offered at a level basic enough for first-timers to easily jump in. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes in bright colors and athletic or tennis shoes.
Free T-shirts will be given to participants as long as the supply lasts. Pre-registration is not required, but people can pre-register at (www.thewelcometableminot.org).
People also can learn more on the Great Big Zumba ND page on Facebook or follow the event on Twitter under the same title.