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Fleetwood Park Secondary teacher hosts 11th annual Zumbathon for Cancer June 7

zumbathon-event-2024.jpgThe Zumbathon for Cancer is back at Fleetwood Park Secondary tomorrow (Friday, June 7) for its 11th annual iteration. To date, the event -- founded by teacher and Zumba instructor Elain Chong -- has raised more than $63,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation. (Photo via Facebook)

A long-running fitness fundraiser organized by a Fleetwood Park Secondary teacher returns to the Surrey school tomorrow night (Friday, June 7) to support cancer research while encouraging a fit and fun physical activity.

The 11th Zumbathon for Cancer invites students, staff, parents and anyone from the public to join in to raise money for the BC Cancer Foundation. Held annually on the first Friday of June and led by teacher and Zumba instructor Elaine Chong, the event has raised more than $63,000 for cancer research over the past 10 years, with attendees opening their hearts to a cause that is near and dear to hers.

“My family is unfortunately heavily affected by cancer,” said Chong. “I had a brother who passed away at a year and a half from cancer, before my sister and I were born. And a little before 2014, my older sister was diagnosed with thyroid and lymph node cancer.

“Back then, I wanted to do something I felt could make a difference, and I kind of just created it as a to-do, as my way of supporting them by gathering donations for the BC Cancer Foundation.”

While the inaugural Zumbathon started as a last-minute event with 70 people and $1,000 in donations, the school event grew to more than 200 attendees and $16,000 in 2023, with many students, parents and even graduates coming back year after year.

“Over the years, I would say this is at least a 50/50 event between student and adult representation,” said Chong. “I love when the students and adults bring their friends, that’s how it’s become the event that it is. We have adults who’ve come 10 years in a row and we have a huge number of alumni.

“Since the beginning, I’ve had four boys do the warmup with me – they graduated some years ago but they’ll be there again this year to get everyone going.”

The event is open to the public, and those who can’t attend may still donate online. The event details include:

  • When: Friday, June 7
    1. Doors: 6 p.m.
    2. Opening Speech: 6:50 p.m.
    3. Zumbathon: 7 to 8 p.m.
    4. Raffle to follow
  • Where: Fleetwood Park Secondary (7940 156th St.) in the gym
  • Admission: by donation
    1. General Admission: minimum $15 donation
    2. Student Admission: minimum $10 donation

To register or donate, visit More details are available at the Facebook event page.

Attendees are encouraged to wear their brightest attire as they pump up the energy tomorrow evening. Prizes will also available through raffles, with registration including an automatic entry into the main raffle. Raffle tickets will also be sold for more deluxe prizes.

“I always say it’s a vibe, and it’s a vibe that you really only can understand if you come,” said Chong. “It’s hard to explain the feeling of having everyone come together and it is the definition of a community event.”

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