Penticton's Donna Mbmamy-Conci (right) with air cadet glider pilot instructor Liam O'Flynn at CFB Comox following her first solo flight last summer. Donna and her mother have organized a Zumba exercise dance evening for Saturday at the Shatford Centre to raise money for air cadets.

Penticton's Donna Mbmamy-Conci (right) with air cadet glider pilot instructor Liam O'Flynn at CFB Comox following her first solo flight last summer. Donna and her mother have organized a Zumba exercise dance evening for Saturday at the Shatford Centre to raise money for air cadets.

Zumba dancers step out for Penticton cadets

Penticton Zumba instructor hosting fundraiser event at Shatford Centre for the local Royal Canadian Air Cadet program.

Zumba may not give you wings, but it can definitely make you lighter on your feet.

On Saturday, there is a special opportunity for everyone from beginners to experienced exercise dancers to step out with some of the top instructors from the Okanagan at the Shatford Centre.

Penticton Zumba instructor Joelle Mbamy, who owns the downtown Sunrise Pharmacy, is organizing the event to raise money for the local Royal Canadian Air Cadet program.

Her daughter, Donna Mbamy-Canci, 16, has been a member of the cadets for nearly five years and last summer became a certified glider pilot.

“She really does enjoy the program and we thought we should have a party to support them, it really is a wonderful thing,” said Joelle.

Donna was actually one of about 40 cadets selected from several hundred applicants throughout the province to earn a scholarship for the seven-week course at CFB Comox last summer.

“It was an amazing experience and such a privilege to be chosen,” said Donna, who is also a certified Zumba instructor. “Cadets are so much fun, so many wonderful opportunities. We do so many programs other than just aviation, drills, music, marksmanship, first aid and sports.”

She had her first glider flight in Oliver, where the local training takes place each year, and quickly fell in love with being at the controls.

“It’s just thrilling to be up in the air, the pilot in command and just looking out and enjoying the scenery it’s just so breathtaking, the view, and in a glider it’s so peaceful and tranquil,” she said.

Donna is currently studying for her private (engine) pilots licence in hopes of eventually becoming a familiarization pilot and ultimately a glider instructor.

“My goal is to give back to the cadet program,” said Donna. “As well I just really want to give back to my community through Zumba and ultimately I would like to become a pharmacist as well because I have such a passion for helping others and seeing people grow. I really love to impact the community in those ways.

“I think that’s where I would really love to leave my mark.”

Read more: Mbamy recognized for community service

Saturday’s event begins at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are $10 for children, $20 for adults or two adult tickets for $30.

“No experience is needed and we will be having kids as young as four and people as old as 85, so everyone is welcome,” said Donna.

For more information call 778-476-7473.


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