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SUNY Canton students hold Zumba fundraiser for Relay for Life

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CANTON — SUNY Canton students danced for a cause from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday during a Zumba fundraiser in the gym at Dana Hall.

Kaylee M. Hartley, president of the Pi Nu Epsilon sorority at SUNY Canton, organized the hour workout to benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life that is scheduled for April 4 and 5 at SUNY Potsdam.

“We didn’t have a really good turnout,” Miss Hartley said just before the dancing got started. “Most of our sisters from the sorority are here and some family members.”

With only 12 people joining in the dance, Miss Hartley was still far from her $1,400 goal.

Miss Hartley, a junior studying health care management, said her sorority discovered Relay for Life and wanted to raise money for it since almost every one of the 14 active sisters in the sorority has battled or has family members who have battled cancer.

“My mom’s a breast cancer survivor, our sister is a skin cancer survivor and one of our sister’s mother is currently battling pancreas and lung cancer,” she said. “We chose to fundraise for something that would benefit everybody instead of just one group, and we have a lot of sisters who are willing to donate and help out in any way possible.”

Miss Hartley said she chose a Zumba event because she wanted something fun for everybody.

The class was $5. About 15 local businesses also donated items and gift cards that were raffled.

“Everybody has their own ways of fundraising, but we chose something that would include all of us and would be a bunch of fun,” Miss Hartley said. “We all go to Zumba classes and we like the instructors that we chose.”

Emma J. Brackett, Canton, and Kathleen A. Mitchell, Pierrepont, have been instructing Zumba classes at SUNY Canton at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for two to four years.

They volunteered their time Sunday to help out with the fundraiser.

“It’s a great fundraiser for the American Cancer Society,” Ms. Mitchell said. “I’ve participated in a Relay event where they stay up all night and keep walking.”

Ms. Brackett said they’ve volunteered for Zumba fundraisers in the past all over the county.

“Anyone can do Zumba,” she said. “Your age or fitness ability doesn’t matter because it’s something for everyone.”

Miss Hartley said the group may hold more events to help reach its goal by April.

“I hope to do it again and see if we can get a better turnout by maybe doing it on a weekday or something,” she said. “And we have some other fundraisers planned as well.”

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