A cardio party is taking fitness center floors by storm.
WERQ pronounced “work,” is a dance fitness class based on pop, rock and hip hop music.
While it helps participants get and stay active – fitness instructor Liz Adams decided WERQ could be used for another positive purpose.
“I saw a friend’s social media post, encouraging donations for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Adams. “So, I contacted her and said, ‘I would love to host a charity WERQ to help you fundraise!”
Shortly after, the dance fitness planning began– and things quickly fell into rhythm. “I was thrilled when Liz contacted me offering to help,” said fundraiser Tina Mote. “My goal is to raise $1,000 in time for the St. Jude Telethon on Saturday, July 30. My portion is just one piece of a larger team goal – and I couldn’t think of a better way to raise awareness and funds for this cause.”
The charity WERQ, held at Four Seasons II Health Club in Bloomington, Illinois took place July 9th. For a $10 donation, community members gained access to the WERQ party, complete with inspirational music, balloons, raffle items and a whole lot of dancing.
“There was a ton of energy in the room, I loved every minute of it,” said Mote. “Watching so many come together to raise money in an effort to defeat childhood cancer was incredible.”
“As a mother, I’m glad I could do something to help,” added Adams. “Those who came, danced and donated – every bit goes back to helping children win this fight.”
Among the many people who united for the special event, there was one in particular, whose personal story resonated more than the music in the room.
31-year-old Lizzy Selzer, is a cancer survivor. Diagnosed with a malignant large cell brain tumor at the age of 10, St. Jude soon became part of her life.
“The hospital worked with my doctors back here to develop a plan – before being sent to Boston for experimental radiation treatments,” Selzer explained. “After three months of treatments I returned home, but kept following up with St. Jude during each step of my journey. I remember how welcomed I felt every time I walked into that building. The nurses knew my name, kids everywhere laughing through treatments and playing, doctors explaining my progress to me – and not just my parents.”
Selzer says St. Jude left a lasting impact on her life. Today, she works for a non-profit organization, raising money for the Memphis based hospital and other health care organizations.
She’s also focused on her personal well-being too.
“Over the last five months, I have started my own health and fitness journey,” Selzer explained. “I’m an active WERQ fitness participant, and the people I’ve met through these classes have become good friends.”
That’s why, this charity WERQ hosted by Adams, meant so much to Selzer – because she knows firsthand the good that comes when people unite through fancy footwork and a lot of heart.
“Seeing this great group come together to dance and raise money for this amazing organization made me so proud to be a part of both of these worlds. Seeing WERQ and St. Jude combine was truly wonderful and I am so grateful to everyone who came out to support the hospital.”