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(Images courtesy of Insight International USA)
(Images courtesy of Insight International USA)

Niagara Falls north-end community does 'Zumba in the Park'

Submitted

Mon, Jun 7th 2021 10:40 am

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, Niagara Falls Peacemakers encourage Niagara Falls residents to break isolation from COVID-19 through dance

On Saturday, close to 40 Niagara Falls residents from the north-end community joined “Zumba in the Park” to break the isolation resulting from COVID-19, and get physically active and have fun. 

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative, and the Niagara Falls Peacemakers kicked off the summer-long event to encourage residents to come out and promote fun exercise. Classes take place Saturdays this summer at Wrobel Towers, 800 Niagara Ave. Each workout features a different routine and runs from 10 a.m. until noon. Zumba instructors Nichole Becker and Cherish Mostiller lead the classes with music from DJ ALL STAR.

“It was truly heartwarming to see so many people come and join us today,” said Brian Archie, integrator of the collaborative. He said this program enables residents to “get outside, get moving, and have some fun with one another,” which is “so critical for the overall health of our community.

“I can’t wait until next Saturday when I see these smiles again.”

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield has offered free fitness classes in the community for several years, drawing thousands to “Fitness at Canalside” and “Summer City Fitness.”

“As a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is proud to offer free fitness classes across the entire region,” said Danielle Gare, manager of marketing and community relations. “Exercising outdoors is a positive, healthy outlet for individuals in our community to focus on their physical and mental health at a time when it’s more important than ever.” 

In addition to the health benefits, these Zumba classes also help Niagara Falls residents reconnect with each other as they move, dance and just let go together. 

Participant Brenda Archie said, “This is what I have been longing for all winter. I have missed people’s smiles and even receive a hug or two. It was very refreshing hearing the music play and let loose dancing.”

“This was such a great event. Seeing the community come out and have fun moving and encouraging one another was beautiful,” said Marthe Limage, secretary of Niagara Falls Peacemakers. “Everyone felt empowered to be themselves, which is such a foundation for health and wellness.”

In addition, Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center was on-site to provide education on prostate and breast health to participants.

To join “Zumba in the Park” at Wrobel Towers, the community can sign up at healthierniagarafalls.org/events/zumba-in-the-park or call or text Limage at 716-818-7295. 

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York is a trade name of Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit bcbswny.com.

The Create a Healthier Niagara Falls Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) that gives opportunities to residents of Niagara Falls to become change agents. It is deeply engaged in the community, provides tools and support to residents, and partners with local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and faith communities to positively impact the City of Niagara Falls’ health and well-being residents. Learn more at healthierniagarafalls.org.

The Niagara Falls Peacemakers embrace community improvement, community policing, and restorative justice. It said, “Violence has no place in any city, and we will do our best to keep peace and unity on our streets.”

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