VGroove Fitness held a “Shake It For Sandy Hook” cardio dance fundraiser Saturday, March 9, in the gymnasium at Edmond Town Hall.
VGroove instructors Joann Hanson and Theresa Sporko organized the event after Ms Hanson spoke to a woman in one of her classes. After that it was clear, according to both Ms Hanson and Ms Sporko.
“We [had] to do a fundraiser,” said Ms Hanson. Ms Sporko finished her sentence for her, “Focusing on the first responders.”
Shake It For Sandy Hook ended up raising more than $2,000, according to VGroove Fitness, to help support Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue and Newtown Hook & Ladder Co. #1. The event also raised $500 for Sandy Hook Promise, a local nonprofit working to help the community, including those most affected, to heal and to give it a voice in reducing gun violence nationally.
Just after 1 pm on Saturday the gymnasium at Edmond Town Hall was full, with people milling about, visiting all of the booths set up.
In one corner Michael Vitti, Rose Pagett, Amanda Vitti, and Kevin McQuillan were selling “We Are Newtown” T-shirts. The sale of the T-shirts helps raise money for the We Are Newtown Memorial Scholarship. For more information about the T-shirts visit www.wearenewtown.org.
A raffle was also offered, and the sale of tickets for the raffle raised the $500 for Sandy Hook Promise.
Another booth at the opposite side of the gymnasium offered complimentary therapeutic massages by Physicians Health and Injury Center.
Before eventgoers began to cardio dance, or Shake It For Sandy Hook, Amanda Vitti shared a prepared speech.
Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue, Newtown Hook & Ladder Co. #1, and Sandy Hook Promise, Amanda said, are made up by volunteers who, “give up their free time, not only to serve our community but other communities surrounding us.
“We would like to thank each and every one of them for what they do for us, and for each other,” said Amanda. “They truly are heroes.”
Amanda also thanked her mother, Jen Vitti, who she said put her heart and soul into the Shake It For Sandy Hook event.
“She’s just so happy that all of you came here today,” Amanda said.
Spirits of Wisdom with DJ Paralysis offered music for the event, and Kasi-Ragan Kastelein and her mother Lori Kastelein performed a tribute song, written by Kasi-Ragan, for the victims of 12/14.
Ms Hanson and Ms Sporko both said a future fundraiser for New Jersey victims of Superstorm Sandy is in the works.
For more information about VGroove Fitness visit www.vgroovefitness.com or the VGroove Fitness Facebook page.
More photos from the event are available with this story at www.newtownbee.com.