Morning Sun
  • PATRICK'S PEOPLE: Pair planning Move and Shake for MS

  • Pittsburg hosts fundraisers for numerous worthy causes, many on an annual basis, but one cause has been missing on the local scene.

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  • Pittsburg hosts fundraisers for numerous worthy causes, many on an annual basis, but one cause has been missing on the local scene.
    “It’s been quite a while since there’s been an event for multiple sclerosis, probably 10, 11 or 12 years,” said Gina Peak, who has been very active in MS fundraisers elsewhere.
    That’s going to change on March 30, when Z-Fit Pittsburg and the Heartland Borderwalk Foundation partner for “Move and Shake for MS,” a zumbathon and fun walk for MS.
    The event will be held, rain or  shine, from 10 a.m. to noon at  Hutchinson Field, Pittsburg Community Middle School. Registration will start at 9 a.m.
    “Participants can take part in the zumbathon on the field or walk to the beats of Latin music around the track,” Peak said. “We’re praying the spring weather will cooperate, but if it doesn’t, we’ll move everything inside so we can still have the event and people won’t feel miserable.”
    “People who come don’t have to do just the zumbathon or the walk,” added Alicia Burk, who operates Z-Fit Pittsburg with Sylvia Bevilacqua. “This is a fitness-friendly event.”
    Burk said that the business was looking for something to support in the area that would benefit the area.
    “The company that provides the  type of classes that we do has done a lot with breast cancer and ALS,” she said. “We wanted to utilize that resource, but expand the help in another area.”
    Peak said that Bevilacqua approached her in September or October about doing an event for MS.
    “This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she said. “We started planning this around Thanksgiving. This will be open to people of all ages and fitness levels. You don’t have to be in shape, walk fast or know how to dance to have fun at this event.”
    Proceeds will go directly to the Heartland Borderwalk Foundation.
    “We have been in existence for five years, and the organization is completely volunteer,” Peak said. “Nobody is drawing a salary from this. We provide grants to people with MS and also give some to research.”
    She said that Heartland Borderwalk Foundation funded purchase of a scooter for an MS patient in Columbus, and built a ramp at a home near Girard.
    “We’re soon going to start remodeling a bathroom to make it accessible for a woman with MS,” Peak said.
    She explained that MS is a progressive neurological disease that is most often diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 50. Women are more frequently affected than men.
    “It is the leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults,” Peak said.  “It affects every person differently. There are some drugs that lessen its severity and delay the progress of the disease, but there’s no cure yet.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Information on MS will be available at the event. Four area zumba instructors will work with participants. Burk and Peak said that community response has been excellent so far.
    “We have 34 corporate sponsors,” Peak said.
    Burk said that advance registrations have also been strong, but that registrations will also be taking the morning of the event.
    “This has turned into something I would have expected 10 years down the road,” Burk said.
    “And there is going to be a 10 years down the road, because we plan on making this an annual event,” Peak said.
    Anyone interested in participating or volunteering at the event may contact Peak at 620-762-3733 or ms4ms.eventbrite.com. Those interested in hosting a zumbathon for charity may contact Burk at info@zfitpittsburg.com.