Students raise more than $500 for ALS

A large crowd raised more than $500 toward research for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis while sweating to Latin-inspired workout routines in Student Recreation Center on Saturday.

The Student Dietetic Association coordinated the campus’ first Zumbathon for students to attend and raise money toward research for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Emily Dupuis, Zumba instructor and vice president of the Student Dietetic Association, said the most gratifying part of the event was the large turn out.

“I didn’t realize that it was going to get as much attention as it did,” she said. “That was shocking to me.”

Dupuis has been a Zumba instructor for more than a year and came up with the idea for the event and said she was thrilled to see how many people wanted to support and be a part of what they were doing.

Rachael Jannusch, president of the Student Dietetic Association, said the group has wanted to sponsor a Zumbathon for a while so the amount of people that attended was reassuring.

“It was great to see everyone out here dancing,” Jannusch said.

Attendees included people who attend Zumba weekly to those who have never tried it before, like freshman, Lisette Sanchez.

She said that although it was her first Zumba session, she showed up because it was for a good cause and she was enjoying herself at the same time.

The event ran from 1-4p.m. and participants were allowed to leave at any time.

However, Dupuis said most chose to stay from beginning to end.

At 4 p.m., the court was still filled with community members, eager to raise money to benefit others.

“I usually do Emily’s class, so I love it and it was for a good cause,” said Bridget Flores, a freshman elementary education major.

Participants also had the opportunity to win workout gear during a silent auction that took place in between songs and during water breaks.

The focus however, remained on dancing, having fun and raising money.

“This was a first, so it was great to have the attendance and enthusiasm,” Jannusch said.

Katie Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or