On the 4th of March a three-hour non-stop dance marathon took place at Our Lady’s Abingdon (OLA) Senior School to raise money for two charities – mental health charity MIND, and ITF.
This wasn’t just any dance session: it was a Sh’Bamathon! Sh’Bam is a dance workout class, featuring party music and latin-inspired dance moves. Sh’Bam sessions are designed to help develop fitness, strength and flexibility all while having fantastic fun.
The event’s organiser, Stephanie Page is a PE teacher at OLA and a fitness instructor outside of school. Steph has been teaching Sh’Bam for three years. As she explained: “This is not the first event the team have done. We have raised money for Cancer Research, Dementia UK and the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary. We love any opportunity to get together, dance and raise money for charity!”
When planning for the Saturday’s Sh’Bamathon Steph asked the school Headmaster if she could use the school auditorium, with the condition that he could choose where half of the funds raised would be donated. He directed her to the parish council of the local church, Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon, who have recently begun supporting International Tree Foundation to deliver a future project in Bamenda, Cameroon. Given a choice between the charities supported by the parish, Steph chose to direct the Sh’Bamathon proceeds to this project. “I do care about nature so this appealed to me,” Steph said.
From ticket sales and donations on the day, Steph and the team have so far managed to raise over £1,800! Half of this will be donated to MIND and half to ITF.
The money raised by the Sh’Bamathon team and the church parish will be used to deliver a partnership project with COMAID (Community Assistance In Development), our partner organisation in Bamenda. You can read about COMAID’s current project in the Dom Forest here: http://internationaltreefoundation.org/forest-food-buffer-dom-forest/