Seton in the News: July 17, 2016 Zumbathon fundraiser helps at-risk youth purchase school supplies

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VIRGINIA BEACH

Over 40 people danced and sweated their hearts out Sunday to raise money for children who need school supplies.

The Virginia Beach Jaycees, a leadership training organization for adults ages 18 to 40, sponsored the first Zumbathon at the Inlet Fitness gym as a fundraiser for the Seton Youth Shelters Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program, based in Virginia Beach.

By the end, more than $900 had been raised.

“There are people who want to give back,” said Carrie Weiler, director of the MCP program. “I think it will show there are families out there that need help to get these needs met.”

Seton’s program looks to match a volunteer mentor with a child between the ages of 4 and 18 who has an incarcerated parent. Christina Hughes, who has mentored one girl for the last five years, said that after going to several Zumba events, she decided having the Jaycees sponsor one would be an effective way to raise money .

“They’re already going through a tough time having one of their parents incarcerated,” said Hughes, an assistant treasurer of the Jaycees.

After the Zumbathon, Weiler said volunteers with Seton will get the school supply lists for the school divisions in Hampton Roads and either deliver supplies to the families or have them pick them up.

She also said it was heartwarming to see people come out and support the program.

Kathy Parham, a Virginia Beach Zumba instructor, said she attended the event because she loves Zumba and is “about a good cause.”

“Giving back is where it’s at,” Parham said.

The children who came also saw the benefits of raising money for school supplies, like 11-year-old Kaleigh Dean who came with her grandmother Debbie McCoy of Virginia Beach.

“It’s a good idea because it helps people,” Kaleigh said.

McCoy added, “I think it’s phenomenal, I love it.”