HOLLAND, Mich — After years of teaching gym-goers the right moves, Zumba instructor Jamie Paquette now inspires members to give back to the community.
Paquette and his colleagues at Fitin 24 Gym decided to do something to help the community during the pandemic.
“We were kind of talking about how to promote the gym and also give back to our community,” Paquette explained. “We want to be able to have a really big impact on our community.”
They came up with the idea of having monthly fitness fundraisers at the gym.
Paquette found a new rhythm organizing and coordinating events.
“I love doing it and I love helping people,” she told FOX 17 News. “We did fundraisers for Resilience, Hospice of Holland, Children’s Advocacy Center, Hope Pkgs…we had a pink party for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.”
Fundraisers will shift to quarterly events, with the next scheduled for July 16 to benefit the nonprofit Kairo’s Krew.
The money raised will go towards swimming lessons, life jackets and the promotion of water safety.
“You give to yourself by giving movement to your body, and then you make donations or items to the community,” Paquette said. “We have an amazing gym community and everyone participated.”
Charities are already lined up for upcoming events, including another Pink Party to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in October.
“She’s beaming with joy, it’s contagious,” said Laura Canan, another Zumba instructor. “She inspires us all, not only to be part of people’s fitness journeys, but also to make a difference in the community with our fitness community.”
As FOX 17 and the Lake Michigan Credit Union Pay it Forward Person of the Month, Paquette receives a $550 award.
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Meet Donna Miller, our May 2022 Pay it Forward Personality of the Month.