Flash-A-Thon hosts Zumba fundraiser for Akron Children’s Hospital

Nicole Zahn

Kent State’s Flash-A-Thon team partnered with the Student Recreation and Wellness Center Wednesday to host its annual Flash-A-Thon Zumba dance fundraiser for Akron Children’s Hospital.

Participants were asked to donate $5 upon entry, which will go toward and benefit the oncology department at the Hospital.

The Zumbathon began at 6 p.m., and consisted of two hours of free Zumba, including a hip hop dance class taught by certified instructors from the Rec Center.

In previous years, the Zumbathon raised around $300, contributing to the total amount of $31,000 raised for Akron Children’s Hospital.

“This year we are aiming to raise $400 from the Zumbathon fundraiser,” said Matt Leupold, president of Flash-A-Thon, who coordinated the event. “We want to reach our goal of $45,000 for the dance marathon fundraiser in the spring.”

The money that goes toward the oncology department is to support the purchase of life saving equipment, research and treatments for all patients in that department.

Money raised also contributes to paying for a child’s treatment, paying for a parent of a patient’s nearby hotel or anything the oncology department needs.

The Zumbathon is one of the many smaller fundraising events that are in combination with the main Children’s Miracle Network dance marathon event, Flash-A-Thon, held in April.

“We usually try to pick a day of the week for these small events that gets the most popularity here at the rec,” said Group X and Instructional Classes Coordinator Elizabeth Michel. “We chose Thursday evening because that’s when we get the most participation and knew the attendance would benefit the fundraiser.”

There are dance marathons, such as Flash-A-Thon, throughout the country each year who are fundraising for their own Children’s Miracle Hospitals.

“I do this for the kids,” said Flash-A-Thon secretary Sarah Etling. “I love seeing their smiles at the event. It makes all the hard work worth it.”

Flash-A-Thon collaborates with other student organizations on campus, such as Kent CHAARG, to host exercise fundraisers. Flash-A-Thon also participates in ‘Dine to Donate’ events downtown.

“I heard about this event through Kent CHAARG,” said sophomore nutrition major Jenna Dickson. “This is my first time doing Zumba and I’m glad I can blow off some steam for a good cause.”

“The rec center does an amazing job of helping us out each year,” Leupold said.

The SRWC hosts participation with Flashperks offering 300 perks for those who attended the Zumbathon.

“I think it’s important that we raise money for a cause,” said Theodore Russell, a Zumba Instructor and junior public health major. “But I think the best thing about events like this is the energy we bring about a cause. Not just raising awareness, but actually working out with their spirit and enthusiasm is very important.”

Contact Nicole Zahn at [email protected]