Zumbathon for Active Heroes is an intense two-hour event that will have you dancing and working out to support veterans and military families and the mission to end veteran suicide. The latest Zumbathon event was help in Las Vegas on May 27th,2017. The event was held at EOS Fitness in Las Vegas, and was hosted by experienced Zumba Fitness instructors including Rob Powell, a former Active Duty U.S. Marine Corps Officer, in conjunction with Active Heroes.
Powell first got involved with Zumbathon for Active Heroes in November 2015. “The event touched me so much that my partner Rose Marie Berberena and I hosted another event for Active Heroes in Charleston, SC the following summer”, said Powell. Since then, events have been held in Greenville, SC, Los Angeles, CA, and Las Vegas, NV. The cause resonates deeply with Powell due to personal experiences he has had in his life with military friends. This is just one reason why he continues to put forth so much effort to keep planning these events and making them successful.
The main goal of the event in Las Vegas was to raise awareness about PTSD and raise funds for Active Heroes. During each Zumbathon event, local military and veterans in the community are encouraged to participate in the event in any way that they can. “We’ve met several Zumba instructors who are either veterans themselves, or are closely related to veterans”, said Powell. “In some cases, the Zumba instructors are PTSD survivors!” An important part of each event is when the instructor takes a break from the dancing and exercise to explain what PTSD is, how it affects our servicemembers, and the resources that they have to seek treatment.
Aside from raising awareness and funds, this event provides veterans with one of the core methods of treatment to help PTSD…activity. Zumba is a great way to relieve stress as it is a high intensity dancing exercise that allows you to get lost in the music. Additionally, these events provide veterans with support, and shows them that there are people all over the country that want to support them. At several Zumbathon events there have been over 100 attendees and donations that came from all over the country.
The goal of these events is to use Zumba Fitness to reach every military community around the country. Speaking of his future goals for Zumbathon, Powell states, “Eventually, I would love to have a period of time, perhaps every Veterans Day, where Zumbathon events are held all over the country in support of this cause.” To host an event, you have to be a licensed Zumba Fitness instructor and gain approval from Zumba Home Office and Active Heroes. The next event is set to be held on November 18th, 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama, with other events in the works.
If you are interested in attending an upcoming Zumbathon event, want to host an event, or want to learn more about Active Heroes, please visit activeheroes.org.