|Bridgett Braunscheidel chops up strawberries for smoothies after the April 25th Zumbathon at Saint Martin in the Fields church in Grand Island|
We even had an extra special dancer this time. It was Buddy! He's a little dog! OK. He really didn't dance too much. He was mostly a distraction, as he seemed to appear out of nowhere in the class. It was fun to see a little dog in the class. After the dog suddenly ran into the room, a human followed and scooped up the dog. The dog's human daddy told us that we couldn't stop our workout just to pay attention to the dog.
It was more fun to see a little dog appear at a Zumba class than to see a little mouse sitting in a utensil drawer.
Yep, I opened the utensil drawer yesterday to get a spoon and a mouse was sitting on the forks. It looked at me, and I looked at it. It didn't make any noise but I was startled and I squeaked at the mouse. Apparently, my squeak was not music to the mouse's ears. It quickly departed the premises.
Maybe I'll make a picture book featuring a mouse in a utensil drawer.
But I digress (my best skill).
Speaking of Zumba, last Saturday, I went to Saint Martin in the Fields church for a special Zumba class. The class was a fundraiser for the Family Justice Center in Buffalo. The Family Justice Centers provides services for victims of domestic violence. Our instructor for this Zumba adventure was Bridgett Braunscheidel. She is a certified Zumba instructor, as well as being a special education teacher at West Seneca East High School. The special Zumba class was loads of fun. We kept moving and spinning and jumping for about an hour and ten minutes. After all of that fun activity, we could buy homemade smoothies for two dollars. The charge for the Zumba class was fifteen dollars.
All in all, $250 was raised for the Family Justice Center. Patrick Braunscheidel, who is an intern deacon at Saint Martin in the Fields church, organized the Zumbathon as part of his internship. Father Earle King asked Patrick to build a relationship between the church and the Family Justice Center. Patrick talked to me about domestic violence. He mostly spoke about female victims, although he said that he is aware that a minority of domestic violence victims are men.
"Oftentimes, when we think of Jesus, we think that he is confined to the boundaries of the church when in reality he wants us to go where there is suffering, where there is discontent and he wants us to stand with those who need to be comforted. I personally believe that pleases him when we bring comfort to the afflicted. Under no circumstances should any woman or child feel that they can’t go home. Home should be a safe haven."
Mary Travers Murphy, the executive director of the Family Justice Center, talked about the insidious nature of domestic violence. "Most victims don't recognize themselves as victims. They are brainwashed into believing that they deserve the abuse. We want to get the message out and educate people on the warning signs of domestic abuse. That's why I am doing this every day of my life. We need to help victims to understand that they do not deserve the abuse."
Patrick said that he wants to organize Zumbathons to take place twice a year: in November and in April. All proceeds will go to the Family Justice Center to continue its work.