Zumba turns pink to boost cancer research

By Lawrence Gullery

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Zumba instructors prepare for the Party in Pink at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings, to raise money for breast cancer research. Photo / Paul Taylor
Zumba instructors prepare for the Party in Pink at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings, to raise money for breast cancer research. Photo / Paul Taylor

It has been just over a year since Lisa Halbert farewelled a close friend and relative who died after battling a terminal illness.

The Camberley community leader organised a Zumba party in April 2012 as a fundraiser for the family of Puke Halbert, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and passed away five months later.

"Zumba was more than an exercise activity for Puke, it kept her interest and spirits up. It was something she really enjoyed even though she was very ill," Mrs Halbert said.

"So this year we are organising Hawke's Bay's Party in Pink Zumba event. It is a nationwide event as a fundraiser for research into breast cancer prevention. I think we have all lost someone, a relative or friend, to some form or type of cancer and for me this will be more of a tribute to Puke."

There will be Party in Pink events internationally on October 12 and the one organised locally will be held at the Hawke's Bay Opera House in Hastings.

"We are hoping to have 200 people attend at the Opera House assembly room venue but we had more than that, about 300, when we held the Zumba party for Puke there last year."

Mrs Halbert is the manager of a community organisation, Te Ora Hou Hawke's Bay, based in Camberley where Puke lived.

The Zumba party organised for Puke was led by international Zumba instructor Carolina Arias, who is based in Auckland. "We don't have Carolina for the Party in Pink but we are going to have 15 of Hawke's Bay's finest Zumba instructors, who belong to the Zumba Instructors Network.

"You are going to see lots of different styles of Zumba, there will be high-impact routines to low impact. You don't have to be super fit, the main thing is that you come along and participate.

"But if you are looking for a good workout, you'll definitely get that too."

Mrs Halbert said she was working on having Carolina Arias back in the Bay to lead another event called "Zumba in the nightclub" which was planned for the Cabana in Napier on November 19.

"It was such a big deal to have Carolina here last year for Puke," she said. "Carolina was really moved to see what a difference Zumba had made in the lives of people that came along and what it meant for Puke. This year Carolina is only holding events in four areas in New Zealand and she's selected Hawke's Bay as one of them."

For more information on the Party in Pink, contact Lisa Halbert, (06) 871 0524.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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