Ozone Park Zumbathon promotes kindness
by Andrew Pavia
Jun 27, 2013 | 3126 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Orly Wahba president of Life Vest Inside.
Orly Wahba president of Life Vest Inside.
In a crowded basement at Ozone Park Jewish Center, Queens residents thought positive thoughts as they took part in a “zumbathon” fundraiser last week.

Hosted by Ozone Park Zumba, over 10 instructors took the stage at various times leading roughly 400 participants to raise money for Life Vest Inside.

“It’s all about staying fit, about giving back eating well, exercising and just staying positive,” said Tony Berkel, who helped organize the event. “And you can tell everyone is having a great time.”

Life Vest Inside's goal is spread kindness and believes that doing good deeds can create chain reactions causing positivity, and the organization takes part in charity work and community service.

In an attempt to prevent bullying, Life Vest uses educational programs and videos posted on social media to spread the importance of being kind to one another.

“It’s all about helping people recognize the amazing and wonderful potential they have to effect real and positive change through simple yet powerful acts of kindness,” said founder Orly Wahba in September 2010.

Wahba created the organization after a 7-year-old girl in her community died of leukemia. While distraught and searching for answers, Wahba noticed the sign that said “Life Vest Inside” on a plane. Wahba used the life vest as a metaphor for overcoming hardships in life by being kind to others.

“Kindness is a universal language that everyone believes in and when people come together to dance for kindness like this, that is a really, really powerful thing,” she added.

The basement at the zumbathon was so crowded at times that people had to look on from the lobby. Despite being outside of the main hall, Woodhaven resident Angela Euarte said she was having a great time.

“It’s wonderful to be here and participate for this beautiful foundation,” she said.

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