A fundraising drive tapping into Winnipeggers’ generous spirits manifested in a new fundraising event in the North End over the weekend.
Osborne Village resident Aynslie Hinds is among the most recent city residents to jump on board Joseph Ranseth’s drive to help the United Way make up for a fundraising shortfall.
Ranseth put out a call on his website, www.givingkicksass.com, last year imploring Winnipeggers to do all they can to support United Way. Since then, residents from all over the city have staged fundraising events to help out.
"It’s been really good. The response from the stuff we’ve done has been really positive," Ranseth said.
Hinds decided to whip the community into shape with her event, hosting a Zumbathon at the North Centennial Recreation and Leisure Facility at 90 Sinclair St. on Jan. 26.
"I knew her before (this event), but we didn’t really talk about this," Ranseth said.
"She had just said ‘I think this is really cool, I want to do something.’ I thought it was just a passing comment, but a few weeks later she said ‘we’re going to do a Zumbathon. Here’s all the details.’"
Hinds said in an email to Canstar following the Zumbathon that six Zumba instructors in all volunteered for the event, which saw 50 people attend. In total, the fundraiser brought in $905, all of which will go to the United Way.
"Every cent goes to the United Way because the event did not cost anything to put on (thanks to the six awesome Zumba instructors for donating their time, the facility and sound system was free to rent, the lights were borrowed from one of the instructors, etc.). We’re very excited!" Hinds wrote in the email.
Ranseth was excited by the prospect of taking part in the dance-centric exercise marathon.
"I’ve never done Zumba in my life, I’m excited," Ranseth laughed.
Hinds said she’s been volunteering with the United Way for a number of years in different capacities, and wanted to do something to help. She said a Zumbathon was a natural fit.
"I absolutely love Zumba. It’s so much fun and it’s great exercise, and a great way to raise money," she said.
Hinds said she’s happy to help raise money for the United Way as through her volunteering, she sees the positive impact the organization has on our city.
"There’s a statistic that says something like one in three Winnipeggers recieve support through United Way funded agencies, and I get to see the impacts the agencies and the United Way has on making Winnipeg a better place to live," said Hinds, who, through her work as a United Way agency liason volunteer, gets to meet with United Way funded agencies and hear about the work they do.
Leading the two-hour event was Zumba instructor Melissa Boychuk, who was joined by Zumba instructors from all over Winnipeg.
"It’s just a fun activity to organize, and I’m absolutely happy to be helping out the United Way," Boychuk said.