Manchester residents are invited to dance for a good cause this weekend.
Kevin's Kids, a charity founded 28 years ago by school district administrator Kevin Burger, will hold a Zumba session, 2 p.m. Sunday, at Manchester Township Volunteer Fire Company headquarters, as one of its many fundraising drives used to supply families in need with presents this holiday season.
Robyn Pilcher, a third grade teacher at Ridgeway Elementary School, is in her seventh year volunteering with Kevin's Kids and has been doing Zumba for almost two years.
"Zumba is an easy and fun way to raise money for such a great cause," she said.
Creative Cardio, a fitness group that services Ocean and other counties, donated instruction time for the Sunday fundraiser for ages 15 and up. A donation of at least $15 is asked for the 90-minute class.
If the thought of taking on a dance lesson seems daunting, Pilcher, who uses the Latin-inspired fitness program to stay in shape, said that she was once apprehensive to try.
"I was the shy girl in the back row," she said. "But I realized no one was there to judge. Zumba is all about having fun."
Pilcher said that Zumba is accessible to anyone.
"You do not have to be a good dancer, which is what many people think," she said. "Zumba is very easy to follow and so much fun that you actually forget that you are exercising."
Last November, the Zumba fundraiser brought in about $1,000, an amount that Pilcher said she would like to match on Sunday. Another Zumba event was held in February, as organizers said that they wanted to get an early start on collections for this holiday season.
Kevin's Kids holds other fundraisers throughout the year — both within the school district and in the community — to support the program that aims to help about 400 families this holiday season.
Within the distric, programs like Pajama Day, Pretzel Day, Coin Wars, Hawkapalooza and a Giving Tree.
On Dec. 1 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., 25 percent of sales at the Lakehurst McDonlads will be donated to Kevin's Kids if a voucher, available at Ridgeway Elementary School, is presented, Pilcher said.
In a letter to Manchester families, Burger writes that Kevin's Kids aims to not only provide toys to children in need, but also necessities like food and clothes.
"Yes this is a Christmas drive, but hopefully the necessities provided will help parents in these difficult times throughout the year," he states.
"The children and families that we help struggle every other day of the year and we want them to have at least one special day full of surprise and delight. It offers these children the chance to believe that good things can happen to them," Burger writes.
Those who cannot attend the Zumba fundraiser but still would like to donate can call 732-350-5900 or make a check payable to:
c/o Manchester Twp. Middle School
2759 Ridgeway Rd.
Manchester, NJ 08759
Donations of clothing and toys can be brought to the office of any Manchester public school.