HEALTH & WELLNESS: Zumba fundraiser for ALS in Belding Jan. 21

By Ryan Schlehuber "Scoop" • Last Updated 2:39 pm on Thursday, January 19, 2012

Belding Zumba instructor Valerie Dawdy.

By Stacie Rose
Daily News correspondent

BELDING — Work up a sweat and raise money for a worthy cause from 9 to 11 a.m. at Belding Middle School, Saturday, Jan. 21.
Valerie Dawdy of Belding has organized a Zumba fitness fundraiser to help banish amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a disease that attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
“The Zumba fundraiser will be an hour and half of Zumba fitness. My friend, Kate Rehmus, who is an instructor in the Grand Rapids area and Cedar Springs, will be joining me,” Dawdy said.
All of the proceeds will go to the Michigan chapter of the ALS Association, according to Dawdy.
Along with the Zumba workout will be Belding’s Jacob Fletcher, a freshman at Spring Arbor College, who will entertain with his drumming skills.
“It makes it such a a fun atmosphere,” Dawdy said. “We’re going to party for a good cause. People can just show up and we have a suggested donation of $10 for the event. People don’t have to work out the entire time.”
The bleachers will be pulled out for seating and snacks will be available.
Dawdy has hosted Zumba fitness fundraisers in the past but this year she wanted to raise funds for the ALS Association to honor the memory of Belding resident Lynn Cooper, who succumbed to the disease.
“I have known that family (the Coopers) for a long time and really wanted to do something to give in memory of her,” Dawdy said. “I lost my sister to a brain aneurysm and understand the pain of loss. Lynn left behind a husband and children; it touches my heart very deeply. That’s why I chose ALS.”
Dawdy has done fundraisers in the past, including one for multiple myeloma last year.
“We did this for the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center (last year),” she said, “and I wanted to use this format to be able to give back. It is a great way for people to get a workout and they are able to give at the same time. That is how I am.”
Anyone interested in being involved with the Zumba Fitness fundraiser can contact Belding Community Education at (616) 794-4500 or email Valerie Dawdy at

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