EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 18, 2013

Dance-a-thon helps homeless families

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SALEM — Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network held its first Dance-A-Thon at William T. Barron School in celebration of Nurse’s Week.

The event was organized by Nurse of the Year Karen Bohnwagner and Nurse’s Assistant of the Year Lisa Robert. Traditionally, Nurse’s Week is celebrated with events to give nursing staff thanks, but in the true spirit of Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network, the nursing staff took the opportunity to give back to the community.

Employees, friends and family danced around the clock to raise money for Family Promise of Greater Rockingham County, a nonprofit organization that aides homeless families with shelter, food, and support finding permanent housing.

The event opened with words from Ganley Award recipient the Rev. David Yasenka; NRH pastoral care coordinator Henry Fardella; and Family Promise program director Vicki Vareschi. Bob Gibbs of Salem Kripalu Yoga warmed up participants in the early hours, and dancers really turned up the heat in the afternoon with a Zumba lesson led by Instructor Tallie Abernathy.

Registered nurse Kathy Gillis and Pauline English kept people moving with a beginner’s belly dancing lesson. Registered nurse Dourriya Jafferji helped keep spirits up with massage therapy.

Nighttime Urgency (featuring NRH’s own Dr. Thomas Cody on bass guitar) closed out the event from 8 to10 p.m. with a rocking set to keep people dancing. Photographer and NRH respiratory therapist Stacy Maynard documented the event from start to finish.

The freshman endeavor proved successful, running for 12 hours and raising $4,563, with donations coming in from local individuals and 29 local businesses. Raffle items including gift certificates, baskets, and tickets were provided for the event by local businesses. In the morning, Boy Scout Troop 409 came to help with the setup.