Lifestyle

Zumba dancers step up to raise funds for Marysville Police K-9s

From left, one of the Marysville Police Department K-9s engages Zumba dance instructor Paige Funston in a playful game of tug-of-war, while Marysville Police K-9 Officer Stacey Dreyer looks on, Feb. 24 in Mukilteo. - Courtesy photo
From left, one of the Marysville Police Department K-9s engages Zumba dance instructor Paige Funston in a playful game of tug-of-war, while Marysville Police K-9 Officer Stacey Dreyer looks on, Feb. 24 in Mukilteo.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

MARYSVILLE — Paige Funston wants to get area residents on their feet in support of their four-legged friends in local law enforcement.

Funston is a Zumba instructor who started teaching at the Marysville YMCA, but has since branched out to offer courses throughout the region, and on March 19, she's hoping to attract more than 100 participants in a Zumba fundraiser for the Marysville Police Department K-9 Unit.

"We want to thank our police officers, but we can't even buy them a cup of coffee," said Michelle Torstenson, one of Funston's assistants in promoting the event. "The police K-9 program is almost completely public-funded, and yet, they can't even ask for funds. Even in putting on this fundraiser, we have to make sure everyone understands that we approached these officers, offering to help them out. They never approached us."

Funston and Torstenson's goal is to raise at least $1,600, enough for a K-9 bite training suit. Individual bite training sleeves alone cost $200 each.

"Bite training helps these dogs protect themselves and others," Funston said. "They don't bite people because they're mean or angry. They only bite to defend themselves or their partners. Otherwise, they're very friendly animals."

Funston believes that the $1,600 fundraising goal is realistic, since she's previously helped raise $1,300 for the Northwest Organization for Animal Help, as well as $1,500 for last year's "Race for the Cure" to fight breast cancer.

"Zumba is an international, Latin-based dance workout," Funston said. "Just about anybody can do it, although we don't allow those under 13 for safety reasons. The music and the energy in the room motivates people. I've had people who never did a workout, or even walked into a gym, feel empowered by it and gain lifelong friends along the way. Even those who are pregnant or have disabilities can often do it. Hearing-impaired people can feel the beat in the floor to dance along."

The suggested per-person donation to take part in the Zumba fundraiser is $10, and will take place at Club Broadway in Everett, March 19 from 7-9 p.m.

For more information, you can call Funston at 425-387-9061, or visit her Web site.

"If you have a cause of your own that you'd like a fundraiser for, contact us," Funston said.

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