The Gleaner

Zumbathon raises funds for Relay for Life team

It has been 17 years since Diane Lazure lost a close friend to cancer. Her father has also since passed away from the disease. For the past 10 years, her memories have served as motivation to participate in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Now in her second decade supporting cancer research through this event, Lazure is aiming to raise $5,000. She fundraises and walks with teammates Jennifer Hooker, a fellow teacher at Heritage Elementary School in Huntingdon, and mother-daughter duo Marge and Jacki Garceau. Together they go by the name Les Roses des Sables, inspired by the resilience of desert rose crystals which can take hundreds of years to grow. Lazure says they like the metaphor, and the association of the colour rose (pink) with the cause.

This June will mark the fifth relay for the team, which has seen different members over the years. Collectively, they raised over $21,800 to date. “I think we have all been touched in some way by cancer,” says Hooker, who will be participating in her fourth walk, and third with the team.

The group launched its 2024 campaign on February 9, raising over $1,000 during a “Zumbathon” in Ormstown, where participants took part in an extended Zumba class led by instructor Lexie Tucker. Over 35 people took part in the fun event. “It generated some larger donations, as well as visibility for the cause,” notes Lazure, who admits she is touched by the generosity of participants and sponsors.


At least 35 energetic individuals participated in a Zumbathon to benefit the Roses des Sables Relay for Life team on February 9 in Ormstown PHOTO Courtesy of Diane Lazure


Tucker volunteered her time and energy during the event and her marketing skills beforehand to promote the activity, while Supermarché Bergeron (IGA) donated supplies to provide each participant with a smoothie to cool down after exercising. The municipality of Ormstown also allowed the group to use the recreation centre free of charge. Nadine Bissonnette, the logistical director for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Relay for Life, was also present to support the local team.

Les Roses des Sables are already planning a golf tournament for the spring and will continue fundraising until they line up for the start of the walk on June 8. More information about the Relay for Life can be found online at, as well as specific information on Les Roses des Sables and their fundraising progress. It is also possible to encourage the local team by donating directly through the site.

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