Business

Zumba Fundraiser for Domestic Violence Shelter

August 15, 2016, 9:46 AM HST
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According to the Hawai‘i State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence programs in the state serve over 500 victims of abuse.

Almost half of these programs report being underfunded, so zumba instructors on the Big Island are coming together to dance and raise money to support the local domestic violence shelter in West Hawaii.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, zumba teachers from Kona, Waimea, Honokaʻa and Hilo will join forces at the Sheraton Kona for “Light The Night,” a zumba fundraiser.

“It’s called ‘Light the Night’ for two reasons,” said event organizer Alex Mitchell. “We want to help remove the shame that domestic violence victims carry and let survivors know they’re not alone. The event will also be a ‘glow’ party, so there will be purple ‘up lights’ in the venue, so we’re asking people to wear neon and bright colors, which will make those colors glow. We’re also wearing and asking people to wear purple because domestic violence awareness is represented by the color purple.”

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HSCADV defines domestic violence on their website as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assaul,, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats and emotional abuse.

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“Me and three of my friends, who are also zumba instructors, have always wanted to do something to benefit the community,” said Mitchell. “We have been taking about this for while. One of the instructors is also a police officer and sheʻs very dedicated to helping domestic violence survivors. Most women I know—if they havenʻt been a victim of domestic violence—they know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence.”

The frequency and severity of domestic violence varies dramatically, and statistics from the coalition indicate that Asian and Pacific Islander communities experience domestic violence at significantly higher rates than the general population. In fact up to 60% of Asian and Pacific Islander women report experiencing domestic violence, compared to 20% of women from white, African-American and Latina communities.

“We really wanted to help our local shelter,” said Mitchell. “Theyʻre always needing funds and some basic necessities, so we decided to do our first fundraiser for them. Zumba as an organization is about community. Thereʻs going to be zumba instructors from around the island who are coming to donate their time. Itʻs really to come out and support a local organization that really needs it while having fun.”

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The event takes place at the Keauhou Convention Center at the Sheraton Kona Resort in Keauhou. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the dancing goes until 8 p.m.

“All the net proceeds will go to the shelter,” said Mitchell. “Everyone in the community is coming together and itʻs just really beautiful.”

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Purchase tickets online.

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