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Roberts area community parties in pink

Michelle Calcagno (left) and Caryl Wyley pose at the first-ever Roberts area Party in Pink Zumbathon event. Calcagno and Wyley led and organized the event, which took place Oct. 6, in order to raise money to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation.1 / 3
Calcagno pained the names of her friends who have died of breast cancer at the top of this shirt and names of survivors below, as a way to honor these people while she danced at the Zumba event.2 / 3
According to Calcagno, 65 people participated in the Roberts area Party in Pink Zumbathon event on Oct. 6. Pictured (from left) are: Veronica Tennant, Kira Engen and Tanya Manhart.3 / 3

Pink-clad people from around the Roberts area and coming from as far as Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., shook their hips in the St. Croix Central Elementary School gymnasium to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation on Oct. 6.

The event was the first-ever Party in Pink Zumbathon to be hosted in Roberts. It was put on by local Zumba instructors Michelle Calcagno and Caryl Wyley.

"It's a movement," Calcagno said. "Party in Pink is the theme of the Zumbathon charity event that they asked us Zumba instructors to host in our area."

Calcagno has been a Zumba instructor for three years and said this was the first year she has been able to host an event. Calcagno invited Zumba instructors from Prescott, to Rice Lake, to River Falls, to Minneapolis.

All of the profits from the $10 admission fee to the Party in Pink Zumbathon event will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Calcagno said Zumba instructors worldwide are putting on Party in Pink Zumbathon events to raise money for the breast cancer foundations in their areas. The goal at the events is to raise money for breast cancer research, but for Calcagno, the Zumbathon is more personal.

"I'm doing this for my friend Melinda, who passed away from breast cancer in 2007," Calcagno said. Melinda was her childhood friend,and she organized the Roberts Party in Pink Zumbathon in her friend's honor.

"I physically can't handle walking the three-day in her honor," Calcagno said. "This is my way of honoring her memory."

Calcagno said the Zumbathon raised $705 in tickets sales and donations. She said all of that money is going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

"It's pretty cool," Calcagno said. "I'm pleased beyond all expectations."

Calcagno said she plans to make the event annual, holding the Zumbathon the first weekend of October every year.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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