Print Team Native Sistas hosts Zumbathon for the cure
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00

Let’s get ready to Zumbaaaaaaa.

Two women from the Yavapai-Apache Nation have formed a team to walk this November in Phoenix for the Susan G. Komen 3-day For a Cure, a three-day, 60-mile walk to raise money and awareness to help stamp out breast cancer.

With the support of their young daughters K.D. Marquez, 9, left, and Humsih Marquez, 6, Team Native Sistas duo Cora-lei Marquez, left, and Ophelia Tewawina plan to participate in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure Cancer walk in November. A Zumbathon fundraiser for the walk will be held Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Cliff Castle Casino beginning at 6 p.m.Calling themselves Team Native Sistas, Ophelia Tewawina and Cora-lei Marquez are hoping to use Zumba, a popular dance/exercise style that originated in Columbia. While the Macarena was the craze here when Zumba first came into existence, Zumba has finally made its way north to America.

“It’s the big thing right now,” Tewawina said.

The team is organizing the Party in Pink Zumbathon on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Dragonfly Lounge inside the Nation’s Cliff Castle Casino.

“We needed a way to raise money and thought Zumba was the thing,” Marquez said.

The event will also feature a talk from Annette Mendez, a member of the Yavapai-Apache Nation who will share her own personal story of the ordeal of surviving breast cancer, a disease that women in the United States have a 1 in 8 chance of developing at some point in their lives.

There will be a disc jockey to pump out the jams, while noted dancers and Zumba instructors Eric and Corrie Aglia will join a team of instructors to lead the group.

There will also be a ton of raffle prizes, Marquez said.

“You name it, we’ve got it,” Marquez said.

Admission to the event is $20 and it comes with a raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets are $1 each, or $5 for six.

Marquez said the Nation’s wellness and diabetes programs stepped up this year and paid the way for some people who participate in those programs to participate in the Zumbathon.

The women of Team Native Sistas were original members of the other Komen fundraiser group on the Nation, Team Native Spirit. They’ve gone on to create the new group to further their efforts.

“We really encourage people to learn about breast cancer and other forms of cancer,” Marquez said. “If someone has a family member who has fought cancer, whether they are on the earth or have moved on, this is the opportunity to honor them, to come out and get that education that’s so important in the effort to find a cure.”

The 3-day For the Cure walk was first organized in the late 1990s and is currently held in 15 cities. The walk will take place in Phoenix this year Friday through Sunday, Nov. 11 through 13.

The Wednesday, Oct. 26, event starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 9 p.m. For more information, call 300-1146 or 567-2571.