The Move with Meaning fitness challenge took place Saturday afternoon at Vancouver Island Conference Centre, benefiting Haven Society. Here, Gillian Goerzen, organizer, warms up attendees Melissa Burke, left, Karen Bannister, Helen Gibbons and Leah Johnston. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Fitness challenge in Nanaimo gets people moving for Haven Society

‘Bolly-X,’ yoga and more sees participants work up a sweat for a good cause

People were on the move at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre yesterday to raise money for Haven Society.

The third annual Move with Meaning Fitness Challenge took place Saturday afternoon with more than 100 participants exercising, according to Gillian Goerzen, organizer and fitness professional. She said the community has given much to her and she feels she should return the favour.

“I saw the idea for a fitness event like this and I thought, ‘Oh, that’d be really cool to do something like that locally,’ and I’ve been really inspired by the work of Haven and I thought that would be a wonderful cause, a bunch of women exercising together to support other women and families and children and youth. So that’s kind of the impetus behind it.”

Goerzen said participants exercised for four hours and participated in seven mini classes with six different instructors, with everything from Bolly-X (Bollywood-inspired exercise) and yoga.

Participants had a fundraising goal of at least $100. The objective was to have fun, sweat, smile, laugh and raise money for Haven Society, said Goerzen.

Chantal Lambert, Haven Society resource development and communications manager, said the money will help in assisting more people.

“In the last year, we have provided services to nearly 5,000 women, children, youth and families, which is nearly 1,000 more than we had served the year before,” said Lambert. “Part of that increase is because of an increase in need for our services. The need continues to grow, but part of that is because of events like this because when we increase the amount of fundraising we do, we increase the number of operating dollars we have, we can expand our service and provide more services to people who really need it.”

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