Zumbathon: Shake it to a Latin beat in battle against cancer

Jun 25 2013 - 11:57pm

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FARMINGTON -- Stomping out cancer to a Latin beat will be the battle cry Saturday as the Davis County Legacy Events Center hosts its first Shake Leukemia Zumbathon charity event.

The event, featuring Zumba instructor Donna van Uitert, begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at the center in Farmington, 151 S. 1100 West.

Admission is a suggested minimum donation of $10 for the four-hour event, which includes an auction, a raffle and three hours of dancing. Proceeds from the event will go toward the medical expenses of Layton resident Brady Homer.

Homer, 25, in March, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"It bites. Cancer bites, period," van Uitert said, hoping to have 400 people participate in the event.

"(Zumba is) a Latin dance-based fitness program that has swept the world," van Uitert said.

But no dance experience is necessary for those wishing to participate Saturday, she said.

"We are asking that children in attendance be at least 10 years of age or mature enough to participate."

Zumba is a fitness program choreographed to music that is successful because it's fun to participate in, van Uitert said.

"It is just going to be a great big party."

"This is our first one, I believe," events center Director Dave Hansen said of the Zumbathon.

Van Uitert, the event coordinator, has paid the county $370 for the use of the exhibit hall and a stage, Hansen said.

Hansen said he does not plan to participate in the event.

"I get tired just watching," he said.

To make things more comfortable for participants, events center staff will be putting down rubber mats in the event some of the dance routines involve floor exercises, Hansen said.

Event instructors are Emerald Green from Sports Academy & Racquet Club and Guiseppa Gubler from Zumba at Cache Valley Fun Park, as well as local instructors Taylor Thredgold, of Farmington, Cammie Maw, of Plain City and Karen Gonzalez, of Orem.

Representatives with "Be the Match National Marrow Donor Program" and registry will also be in attendance.

Contributions to the auction and raffle have been made possible by more than 15 businesses and individuals.

Van Uitert said their group is working through the Team Mason Foundation, a nonprofit organized by Chris Falk, of Layton, for his own son, who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 15 months. All donations may qualify for a tax deduction.

Van Uitert, formerly of Davis County, lives in Beaver Dam, near Tremonton.

The event website is http://shakeleukemia.eventbrite.com.

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