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Zumba with Darren raises over €4500 for St Munchin’s Meals on Wheels Service

Zumba instructors Grace Cameron and Darren Nash from Zumba with Darren present St Munchins Manager Linda Ledger with the cheque of €4513.23 for the St Munchins Community Centre. Picture: Leon Ledger

Zumba with Darren raises over €4500 for St Munchins Meals on Wheels Service

By I Love Limerick Correspondent Mary Doyle

Over the past month, Zumba with Darren has raised €4513.23 for the St Munchins Meals on Wheels service, through his online Zumba classes and dance parties. St Munchins Meals on Wheels service continues to operate at a higher demand than ever during this Covid-19 pandemic, and being in dire need of financial support, Zumba expert Darren Nash, chose to donate the fees for his Zumba class for three weeks in April to the St Munchins Meals on Wheels service, to support the continuation of their services.

Darren, who is advertising manager for the Limerick Post, had been teaching Zumba classes for ten years prior to Covid-19 prohibiting such activities, and decided to move his classes online when social isolation became compulsory. He hadn’t been charging for these online Zoom classes, as he just wanted to spread positivity and get people moving, and in return he received hundreds of participants from all over the world joining in and enjoying dancing around their homes.

Darren said, “When Covid-19 was discovered and things when into lockdown. I was doing my Zumba classes in JFK primary school so decided, with the help my fellow Zumba instructor Grace Cameron, to look into going online. Zoom was the best platform for me. I did the classes at first for free in March and then, knowing St Munchins Community Centre which is local to me and provides great support to my Nana, I thought that I could get donations for the classes and all the money could go to the Centre for three weeks in April. The support from my Zumba girls is amazing and the classes have reached all over Ireland and across Europe, even Australia. If wouldn’t have been possible without Grace and my Zumbaettes.”

Taking place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 8.15 pm, and every Saturday at 11 am, Darren began the fundraising by charging just €3 for a class, or €10 for the four. With a personal connection and appreciation for the centre and its workers, the decision to fundraise for St Munchins was a no brainer. Darren’s grandmother Margaret Kinsella was a regular attendee of the Wednesday club and bingo at the centre, and his aunt Elizabeth Radcliffe of Kinsella’s Bar is a regular sponsor, so it is known first hand what great work they do.

The fundraiser was a major success raising double what the original target was, and this week, Darren, along with fellow Zumba instructor Grace Cameron, presented the cheque of €4513.23 to St Munchins manager Linda Ledger, which she was more than appreciative of. In a Facebook post, St Munchins wrote, “Thanks again to Zumba with Darren for raising an incredible €4,500 for our Meals on Wheels service, we are forever grateful to you, your team & participants.”

St Munchins Meals on Wheels deliver over 450 meals a day to the doors of the most vulnerable people all over Limerick. They have been making a major effort to stay in operation during the COVID-19 crisis, and after the temporary closure of their facility, they continue to tend to the people who rely on the meals delivery service. But funding is at an all-time low, and the financial support is needed more than ever.

To donate to St Munchins Meals on Wheels service, click here.

Follow the Zumba with Darren Facebook page if you want to get involved in the Zumba dance classes!

For more stories on St Munchins, click here.

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.