BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Bethanie Jones would have loved the event at the D'Iberville High School gymnasium on Sunday. It was a Zumbathon in her honor to raise money for her medical expenses after she suffered extensive injuries in an accident on the Popp's Ferry Bridge on June 30.
For two hours, about 100 Zumba dancers worked up a sweat. In Zumba culture, these people aren't just dancing partners. They are like family, and it's family that will get Bethanie back on the floor.
"She loves Zumba," said her brother, Roderrick Jones. "She loves the Zumba family, and that's one of her goals when she gets through her therapy is to do Zumba again."
Bethanie underwent brain surgery and surgery to her leg and ankle. She is facing additional surgeries.
Roderrick said Bethanie doesn't remember the wreck on the Popp's Ferry Bridge, but she is working hard.
"She's progressing very well," Roderrick said. "She started her therapy. We're just trying to keep her spirits up. A lot of the love and support she's received from the community is really helping with her improvement."
This Zumbathon was coordinated by four instructors and sponsored by the D'Iberville High School dance team.
"It's really great," said instructor Remelyn Stanley. "We have tons of support. We have all kinds of stuff going on in here. It's a two-hour long event, and I know people get tired, but it's great that people come here to show their support for Bethanie."
Instructor and family friend Tiffany Alford also helped coordinate the event.
"Bethanie actually did Zumba in Biloxi, and that's where we all did Zumba together, but the group of people that you see here today, they are from Pass Christian, Pascagoula all across the Coast who have all come together to support Bethanie today," said Alford.
People paid $10 a person to join the fun. With money from vendors and a silent auction, organizers hoped to raise at least $1,000.
"Bethanie loves Zumba and we love Bethanie," said instructor Dana Martin. "It's like a big family with Zumba. Our classes were always lots of fun, laughing and dancing of course, and just lots of interaction with her, and we're ready for her to be back with us."
If you would like to help, go to gofundme.com/prayers4bethanie.