photo submitted City Furniture staff don hockey jerseys to collect pledges and join colleague and lead instructor Sareena Sharma Nickoli (right) on stage at Zumbathon Oct. 25 at the Vernon Rec Centre. The popular event raised more than $7

photo submitted City Furniture staff don hockey jerseys to collect pledges and join colleague and lead instructor Sareena Sharma Nickoli (right) on stage at Zumbathon Oct. 25 at the Vernon Rec Centre. The popular event raised more than $7

Zumbathon raises $7,000 for Habitat for Humanity

Vernon Zumbathon raises $7,000 for Habitat for Humanity’s “Lend a hand to buy the land” campaign.

The joint was jumping.

So much so that the stage at the Vernon Rec Centre had to be re-secured part way through the dynamic Zumbathon, spearheaded and sponsored by Sareena Sharma Nickoli and City Furniture, Oct. 25.

More than 100 dancers were in constant motion for more than two hours of joyful shaking with 20 instructors to raise more than $7,000 for Habitat for Humanity’s “Lend a hand to buy the land” campaign.

“Instructors were incredible and so generous with their time and talents,” said Beth Marks, chair of the ad hoc group of women raising funds for Habitat and calling themselves the Habitat Champs.

“Caleb Matthews, model and instructor from Kelowna, had all the women breathless in more ways than one, leading a red hot version of Boom Boom Mama.

“Another highlight was watching the whole City Furniture crew up on stage in hockey jerseys. They were great sports and agreed to dance only if more than $1,000 in pledges came in for Sareena.”

Thanks to Karin O’Brian, another Habitat champ, that number was met.

O’Brian stepped up with a huge donation from her glass bead art sales.

“This evening of sheer joy is indicative of the win/win scenario our group is getting used to,” said Marks. “We see so much goodwill toward the whole concept of creating decent, affordable and respectable housing for our hard-working citizens.

Marks said once her group has enough money with the help of the community, they can turn over the cash for a multifamily lot and the reins to the Habitat for Humanity committee that has been working since 2007 to address the need of homes for the hard working.

“Everyone participating in Friday night’s Zumbathon was deeply energized not only with the superb level of instruction and participation, but with the knowledge they helped to build something lasting and important,” said Marks. “We can’t thank everyone enough for coming out and being a part of this legendary night.”

Special thanks went out to property owners of Predator Ridge who took home the coveted original art piece donated for the highest pledges.

Silver Star Mountain staff also brought in a hefty pledge.