Several hundred participants are expected for Saturday’s fourth annual Zumbathon — Paint It Up Purple In the Fight Against Domestic Violence.
Put on by the Havelock Police Department in support of the Coastal Women’s Shelter, it is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center. It features more than 20 instructors, along with multiple door prizes, raffles, and silent and live auctions. Many local and regional vendors will also be on hand along with food. The lead instructor will be ZJ Trista Nicosia - The Zumba Jammer.
Tickets will be available the day of the event in its new home at the tourist center. After drawing more than 200 people last year, a larger venue was needed, according to Candice Parker, Fund Development Coordinator for the Coastal Women’s Shelter.
She said all of the instructors for this event are coming from various states for the cause. They are all providing instruction free and refer to one another as “zisters” — Zumba sisters.
Proceeds benefit Coastal Women’s Shelter. Parker said fundraisers such as the Zumbathon are imperative, supplementing funding where grants fall short. A year ago, it raised more than $10,000. Each $25 will provide five meals for a victim and dependents.
At this event, vendors include LuLaRoe, Mary Kay, Tupperware, Paparazzi, Pampered Chef, Scentsy, Tripoint Fitness, Carolina Cupcakes, Thirty-One Bags, Body Kneads Massage, Marie Ortiz Ladies, Premier Designs Jewelry by Maryann Kozar, New Bern Chamber of Commerce Membership Representative Professional, and Coffee & Cool Stuff.
Each vendor has also donated an item to the silent auction and raffle. There will also be more than 35 door prizes, and Chick-fil-A of New Bern has donated more than 250 food gift cards.
Each attendee can stop by each vendor table and get a stamp to be eligible for a $100 family pack from Jersey Mikes.
Coastal Women’s Shelter is the sole provider of no-cost comprehensive domestic violence services in Craven, Jones, and Pamlico counties. Services include a 24-hour crisis line, court advocacy, legal representation through N.C. legal Aid, monthly support groups for women and children, support groups for friends and families of victims, financial literacy programs with savings matches, transportation, tuition assistance, clothing, food, employment resources, housing assistance, car repairs, aid in furnishing homes for victims, children’s needs, child therapy services, and inter-agency information and referrals.
“Challenges faced by our target population include lack of transportation, need for child care, lack of education, lack of family support for continuing their education and/or employment, lack of knowledge about effective parenting practices, domestic violence and homelessness,” Parker said. “In just the month of July 2018, we serviced over 67 new clients in Craven County. Our safe house has been operating at max capacity since the end of February. We house up to 19 woman and children.”
She noted that domestic violence does not discriminate and clients come from a wide range of backgrounds and adversities.
“Some of our clients leave spouses with over $170,000 in annual income for safety,” she said. “They leave with nothing and come to CWS seeking help. Others may not have a high school education or may be of high school ages themselves and graduating while living in our safe house - their family environment is infected with domestic violence between family members.”
Parker said the event has strengthened the relationship between the Havelock Police Department and the Coastal Women's Shelter
“Former retired Havelock Chief of police David Magnusson and his wife Rosa believe in the cause so greatly, that they will be returning to Havelock, from Miami,” she said. “Current Chief of Police Marvin Williams and his staff at the Havelock Police Department have enthusiastically continued the legacy of Zumbathon. They are the driving force for community awareness in Havelock pertaining to the domestic violence epidemic.”
She said the event dates to April of 2015 when then Chief Magnusson led the Havelock Police Department in honoring the victims of crime during the 2015 National Crime Victim's Week. A march through Havelock honored crime victims. The Marines joined the police in the march and festivities that took place at Havelock City Park.
It was only five days later that Havelock resident Summer Swindell was reported missing and ultimately discovered killed in an abandoned house in New Bern in an apparent case of domestic violence.
“In October 2015, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Havelock Police Department held a major event at the Tourist and Event Center to honor the victims of domestic violence and memorialize the passing of Ms. Summer Swindell,” Parker said. “It was the culmination of a great relationship that was forged earlier between the Havelock Police Department and the Coastal Women's Shelter and continues to this day.”
Parker said people are forming teams in the community for the event, and there is no team number requirement. Every team member will win a prize.
Teams to date include The Havelock Police Department, BB&T of Havelock, Pizza Hut, Pickle Ball, Annunciation, Graham A. Barden Elementary School, Tripoint Fitness, AT&T of New Bern, and Chevy of New Bern — in honor of Caitlyn Faulkenberry who is a former domestic violence victim who lost her life in the local area.
Along with Trista Nicosia, Zumba Jammer, other instructors donating their services Saturday include Alicia Castrogiovanni, Charity Muir, Chris Garden, Cynthia Banks, Gina Aquino-Elfers, Hassan Tobe, Janine Valente Antolini, Karen Mammone-Spiezio, Kayla Ingram, Marie Ann Ortiz, Melanie Haggett, Naomi Dail-Wieher, Natalia Bushur, Teenell White, Vickie Boice Hall, Victor Cortes, Will F. Holmes and Yuteska Navarro.
Brand Institute is the presenting sponsor, with Allstate, Clear Health, and David and Rosa Magnusson as chief sponsors. Other sponsors include George & Karla Liner, Knights of Columbus, LGFCU, First Flight, Amerochem Corporation and Purple Purse Foundation.
For more information on the event or the Coastal Women's Shelter, call 638-4509.