Zumba will raise funds for Carson High

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Shavonne Potts
Two months ago, Jill Rary and Sabrina Walter did not know Savanah Hinson. This weekend they are hosting a fundraiser in Hinson’s honor.
Hinson, a student at Carson High, has used a wheelchair since 2007. The fundraiser, a Zumbathon, will help pay for some home renovation items.
When Hinson was a baby, doctors found tumors wrapped around her spinal cord. She underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and today at 16 is cancer-free. She eventually had surgery to correct curvature of the spine, which led to her paralysis.
“It’s wonderful the way people in the community who really don’t know her have stepped out,” Emily Hinson, Savanah’s mother, said.
Emily took part in a Zumba class the women taught but did not connect the dots until the idea for the fundraiser came up.
Zumba is a Latin-based fitness class. Participants can attend the event to exercise and raise money at the same time.
Rary and Walter are heart nurses who teach the class at Rowan Regional Medical Center and at the YMCA. The two were looking for some sort of gathering for their class, and somehow that developed into organizing a fundraiser.
The event is Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at South Rowan YMCA. The cost is $10. All the proceeds will go to Hinson.
One of the Zumba class participants, 10-year-old Samantha Hinson, mentioned she had a cousin who could benefit from a fundraiser, Rary said.
“She said, ‘She needs help,’ and the more we talked, it felt like this is what we were supposed to be doing,” Rary said.
Savanah’s mother, Emily, said they built an exercise room for the teenager and have a few pieces of equipment. The problem is, Savanah has to wheel herself around the house in order to get into the building.
“She’s able to get throughout the whole house, but the thing that would help is a deck with a ramp that would go directly into her building,” Emily said.
Savanah also needs a few replacement parts for her wheelchair including wheels and a cushion.
There will also be T-shirts, hamburgers, hot dogs and ice cream for sale with proceeds going to Hinson.
Rary said longtime NASCAR driver Richard Petty has donated a helmet and a Richard Petty Driving Experience, where one lucky winner will have an opportunity to drive or ride on the race track.
There will also be door prizes and entertainment.
Rary said organizers hope to have someone from Lake Norman Balloon Company to give hot air balloon rides, weather permitting, for a cost.
Chelsea Hinson, Savanah’s sister, and friend Mimi Honeycutt started a Facebook page, Sign for Savanah, sort of an electronic petition in hopes of getting the Hinson family on ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”z The page has more than 5,000 fans, and people leave comments about the teen.
An account is set up for Savanah through F&M Bank in China Grove called the Savanah Hinson Fund.
For more information about Zumba for Savanah, contact Jill Rary at 704-699-1026 or Sabrina Walter at 704-699-7578.