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Zumba-thon Raises Money for Red Cross Disaster Relief

“We chose the Red Cross because they are relentless in helping people.” - Amanda Welti, Thousand Oaks Resident

VENTURA COUNTY, Thursday, November 29, 2012 — Thousand Oaks resident Amanda Welti’s passion for giving back and helping others is evident. A 30-year fitness instructor veteran, Amanda loves teaching Zumba, an upbeat Latin-based aerobic fitness dance class. In the days following Superstorm Sandy, one of her students, New York native, Jennifer Robles, approached Amanda about hosting a Zumba-thon to help those on the East Coast who lost so much during the storm.

“Jennifer has friends and family in New York,” said Welti. “We wanted to do something to help.”

Over 100 people attended the 2-hr Zumba-thon which raised more than $1,400 for the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast.

“We chose the Red Cross because they are relentless in helping people,” said Welti. “When you say Red Cross, people are there – nobody waivers.”

The Red Cross relief response to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy has been massive. In the last month, the Red Cross has provided tens of thousands of shelter stays, served millions of meals and snacks, handed out millions of relief supplies, and provided other assistance like thousands of health services and emotional support contacts. Locally, the Red Cross has sent more than 50 volunteers from the tri-counties to assist with relief efforts back East.

The Zumba-thon was held at Physical Adventures in Oxnard. Jose Gornelio, Zumba Fitness Director, generously donated the space. “I called him and he didn’t even hesitate,” said Welti. “Our community loves coming together for a good cause.”

A South African native and mother of three, Amanda has been teaching Zumba for over five years. She has hosted several Zumba-thons for various causes hoping to unite her passion for fitness and dancing with making a difference.

“In the past, people have made sacrifices to help me and this is my time to pay it forward,” she said. “Times are so hard right now and my passion and what gets me through my day, my month, my year, is to do something for someone else no matter what…And it’s fun.”

To find out more about the Red Cross Ventura County or to make a donation, visit or call 805-987-1514.