The 1st Annual ZOOmbathon!
Local Zumba instructor Mel Thomas came to the zoo for an animal encounter and while she was here, she was introduced to our General Manager, Kim. They were talking about Zumba and the Party in Pink event that raised so much money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Kim said, "Wow! That's awesome...you should put on a ZOOmbathon!" And the idea was born.
What is "Zumba" you might ask? Zumba Fitness fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into an exhilarating dance-fitness sensation! Zumba® exercise classes blend upbeat world rhythms with easy-to-follow choreography, for a total-body workout that feels like a celebration! So why not put together an outdoor Zumba event, make it a fundraiser for the zoo and people can "party with the animals"?
Over the next several months Mel, and her fellow instructor Sherie Coyne, secured the venue, gathered lots of amazing prizes from local businesses for the raffle, had a tiki photo booth built, hired musicians and a DJ and started selling tickets! The day of the event finally came...and so did the rain! Pushed back two weeks, they put it all together again and it was perfect!
There was a great turnout with families, and even a pet or two, for great music, hot moves, and lots of smiles! Everyone showed up in their best animal prints, Zumba style of course. We had our handlers there with some of our favorite birds, reptiles, and baby alligators! Kids and grownups alike donned the wild works of our face-painters, Debbie Flavel Hardwick and Barbara Curtis. With the one and only Ray Weinshekner as our MC and DJ Mental Extract putting out the unique Zumba tunes and the very talented Lucas Hunter Rush, on the drums, everyone was gettin' their Zumba on!
Sherie and Mel led small Zumba circles with the younger children then kicked it up a notch and got serious with their regular Zumba followers! Taking a break only for a sweet delicious cupcake from Specialty Bakery, these ladies danced into the night raising money for our zoo!
We had fantastic prizes for the raffle drawings from several local businesses and lots of happy winners throughout the night!
The Photo Booth/Tiki Hut was made and donated for this event by David and Vicki Potter of "R Cubed Endeavors" in Orange Beach. The mission statement of this locally owned business is to "Reclaim, Restore and Repurpose" while using their imaginations to create or recreate items that they love. Some people call them "dumpster divers" they call themselves "upcyclers".
All items used to make this beautiful piece came from items others saw no use for, and is now the photo booth tiki in our new Reptile Garden Exhibit.
Sponsors & Donations
Thank you again to all of the local businesses that donated items to the raffle and participated in this event. Without you this event would not have been successfull!
Coffeeheads - Dinner or Lunch for two
Lifebytes - T Shirts and Promotional Video
Gamestop - Posters
Curves - 2 week membership
Papas Pizza - Gift Cert for Pizzas
Lovely Nails - Manicure Pedicure
Barbara Curtis - Face Paint
Goldstein’s Jewelers - Pandora Bracelet
Run N Tri - Tennis Shoes
Bangz Hair Salon - Cut and Color by Peter
Cactus Flower - 2 certificates for dinner for 2
Specialty Bakery - 8 Doz Animal Print Cupcakes
Sherie Coyne - 3 Custom Designed necklaces and designer bracelet
Debbie Flavel Hardwick - Face Painter
Gulf Shores United Methodist Church - Congas
Mr Limo of Foley provided the Limo
Photographer and Videographer June Allison Munoz