A friend of mine owns a dance studio geared towards getting adults to go from watching dancers on "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" to actually taking the plunge and taking lessons. Yes, if I can learn to do Step Dancing at my age and abilities… there is a course for you and you can learn to dance too.

Paula Callihoo is the owner and director of Calgary's one and only "Dance Through Life" dance studio. She is into her second year of keeping everything running and teaching lots of classes to boot.

You read a lot of negative press in Calgary about the environmental damage from industry and the problems that are going on in the city due to the rapid growth.

What we don't hear enough about is the good things people are doing.

This being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Paula and two other Zumba instructors are hosting a Zumba Party in Pink on the evening of Friday the 15th of October to raise money for breast cancer research. Zumba is a Latin dance inspired workout class.

Now lets be clear, it takes a fair amount of energy and time to put together these things; time that is on top of running a fairly new studio and trying to make her business successful. So I asked her why she is doing it:

"I just really feel that the disease unfortunately touches almost everyone in one way or another.  I think almost every person out there knows someone who has sadly passed away from it or survived it."

The facility in the northwest of Calgary can accommodate over a hundred people so I am hoping she can fill it.

Giving and My Challenge to You

She stated in her posters and e-mails that "a portion of the proceeds would be going to the charity". I asked her what that means, as it is a bit vague, and it turns out that it is pretty much as I expected… everything except for the cost of renting the hall; which the Irish Cultural Society is providing at a special low rate because this is for charity. I think she is even providing stuff for draws on her own dime.

So I have decided that this month, Sunwapta Solutions will donate enough to cover the cost of the hall rental, plus some, to the same charity. This way, Paula can tell people that effectively, 100% of the proceeds are going to charity if she wants.

Why? I feel the same way. Many people I know are impacted by cancer and cures are are closer to reality than ever before.

So my challenge to other businesses here in Calgary:

  • Make a personal or corporate donation this month to fight cancer,
  • Add a comment to my blog or send us an e-mail stating that you have done so,
  • We (Sunwapta Solutions) will double this month's donation if one or more other companies do these two things.

Let's make a big difference together.

And for individuals reading this… post a comment and/or go out and join the Zumba Party in Pink. I am sure you will have fun AND it is for a very good cause. And if you aren't available, just do something to make the world a better place.

ZUMBA PARTY IN PINK – Come out and support Breast Cancer Research.  Friday October 15th – 7:00pm.  $20.00 (cash only) to get in at the door!  Irish Cultural Center in Bowness – 6452 – 35 Avenue NW.  Contact Paula for further details.