Zumbathon raises over $19,000 for Ovarian Cancer


By Joel Charron

When Bonnie Dey, Amy Williams and Michelle Fischer came together to for a Zumbathon to fight Ovarian Cancer, they never thought it would turn out like it did.

On Sunday afternoon in the General Amherst High School gymnasium, over 500 people arrived to help deliver a blow against Ovarian Cancer.

“We are totally humbled, grateful and thankful,” said an out of breath Williams. “The Amherstburg community has come together for this every important cause.”

Zumba is a high-energy workout with combination of Latin dance and aerobatics that can be done by any age group.


Over 500 people packed the gymnasium at general Amherst High School for a Zumbathon against Ovarian Cancer. Over $19,000 was raised.

The idea of the Zumbathon came when Bonnie Dey approached Amy Williams about putting together a fundraiser.

Williams’ sister Michelle Fischer is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer.

Williams said the group’s goal was to raise $5,000.

They did that and then some, the Zumbathon raised over $19,000 with more donations coming in and they are expecting the total to reach over $20,000 when all is said and done.

“Before we even started the event we raised over $3,500,” said Williams. “We never thought it would be like this.”

Williams added that Amherstburg’s business community “stepped up” in a large way by donating over 130 door prizes.

Meloche’s No Frills donated all the water to the participants and Moblie Beats donated their DJ services. Jason and Kim Laframboise and Absolute Tool and Mold paid for the gymnasium fee.

“That alone allowed us to donate 100 per cent of the proceeds to our cause,” said Williams.

Fischer admits she never thought the Zumbathon would attract the amount of people it did.

“I honestly thought we would get half this crowd, I’m really surprised,” said Fischer.

Fischer said she is completely humbled by the entire experience and feels “extremely grateful” to live in a community like Amherstburg.

“It’s very heartwarming knowing that people are here fighting this cause,” she said. “You don’t hear a lot about Ovarian Cancer. This is making them become aware.”

Fischer was able to participate in some of the Zumba exercises.

“I can’t do too much but I did do some of the dances and I’ll probably go back out a couple more times and sweat a little bit,” she laughed.

Williams mentioned after seeing the support they received this year, they plan on making the Zumbathon an annual event.

Every year, 2,600 Canadian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer, because women are usually diagnosed at a late stage just 70 per cent of women will not survive more than five years. Currently, 17,000 women are living with ovarian cancer in Canada.

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