Rotary Kenai River Interact Club hosted their first Zumbathon last week to raise funds to fight Cystic Fibrosis. The Interact Club at Skyview High School is sponsored by the Soldotna Rotary Club and is a club for youth ages 12-18 who want to join together to tackle community service issues that they care about in their local community, nation or world. “Zumba instructor Harmony Curtis has a three year old little girl Alicia, better known as Ali who has Cystic Fibrosis. Her twin sister Melody, also a Zumba instructor, suggested our Interact club sponsor a community Zumbathon and use the proceeds to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis,” Moira Pyhala, Interact president told the Dispatch in an interview.
“It’s really encouraging to see the community support the effort to find a cure. The Interact youth are inspiring and they did a great job volunteering to put this event together,” said Harmony Curtis. Harmony and her twin sister Melody hold weekly “Harmony/Melody Zumba” classes at Soldotna Middle School.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder for which there is no cure that affects most critically the lungs, pancreas, liver and intestine. “It’s mainly a children’s disease. There are a lot of people who are recessive carriers of it and 30,000 people in the U.S. have the disease. There is no cure yet, but today because of new treatments kids with CF can live into their thirty’s now, but we’d like them to live longer and hopefully find the cure,” said Harmony. Cat Schoessler is the Interact vice president at Skyview where she is involved dance, sports, academics and just but everything a high school student can be involved, but was excited to be involved with the Zumbathon, “I was so excited at how the people in the community just started giving and the turn out here is awesome. Everyone is part of the community and when something affects one of our children, it effects all of us, so putting my time into this event is more than worthwhile and it’s just awesome to see the results,” said Schoessler. Zumbathon participants donated $10.00 to Zumba for three hours and raised $1,078.00 at last count. “All the Interact kids worked hard to make this a success. I learned a lot about service above self from my dad who is a Rotarian and I’ve had a lot of opportunities to give back and giving back is what cool kids and geeks do,” added Moira. Anyone wishing to contribute may log on to HarmonyMelodyzumba.com and learn more. According to Pyhala the Kenai River Interact’s next project is going to be collecting used soccer balls and sporting equipment for an international project to be sent to youth in third world countries.