HOLLAND, Mich. — After years of teaching gymgoers the right moves, Zumba instructor Jamie Paquette is now inspiring members to give back to the community.
Paquette and co-workers at Fitin 24 Gym decided to do something to help the community during the pandemic.
"We were kind of talking about how to promote the gym and also give back to our community," explained Paquette. "We want to be able to have a very large impact on our community."
They came up with the idea of holding monthly fitness fundraisers at the gym.
Paquette has found a new rhythm organizing and coordinating the events.
"I like doing it and I like helping people," she told FOX 17 News. "We've done fundraisers for Resilience, Hospice of Holland, Children's Advocacy Center, Hope Pkgs... we did a Party in Pink for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation."
The fundraisers will shift to quarterly events, with the next one scheduled for July 16 to benefit the non-profit Kairo's Krew.
Money raised will go to swim lessons, life jackets and promoting water safety.
"You're giving to yourself by giving your body movement and then you're giving the community donations or items," said Paquette. "We have an amazing gym community and everyone participated."
Charities are already lined up for the next few events, including another Party in Pink to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in October.
"She radiates joy, it's contagious," said Laura Canan, a fellow Zumba instructor. "She inspires all of us, not only to be part of people's fitness journeys, but then making a difference in the community with our fitness community."
As the FOX 17 and Lake Michigan Credit Union Pay it Forward Person of the Month, Paquette is receiving a $550 prize.