‘Zumbathon’ to benefit Armstrong Elementary School teacher
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – In February 2016, J. Harding Armstrong Elementary physical education teacher Alison Rheaume sustained a concussion when she was hit on the head by a heavy steel door which accidentally swung back at her after she opened it. Just a few months later, she sustained a second concussion resulting in a traumatic brain injury and the loss of much of her physical and cognitive abilities. With medical bills mounting, a ‘Zumbathon’ fundraiser has been organized to help defray Rheaume’s hospital, health care and living expenses.
Rheaume, 29, began working at Armstrong Elementary School in 2009. In addition to her job at Armstrong, she coached various Westborough High School track and field and field hockey teams, was a youth ministry leader at Connect Community Church in Ashland, and taught Zumba at Boost Fitness in Hudson. According to her mother, Sue, Rheaume affected many lives with her positive, vibrant personality.
“Ali’s primary interests and the core of her personality revolves around helping others,” shared Sue. “She invested everything in her local community. Her devotion to teaching physical education to elementary school students, and genuine interest in the health and wellbeing of the kids she helped every day is unparalleled.”
Following her two concussions and sustained brain injury as well as the seizures that followed, Rheaume has been in intense rehabilitative therapy to regain her physical and cognitive functional abilities. She endured a near month-long stay in both Beth Israel Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitative Hospital but is back home in Westborough now with a team of visiting specialists and nurses helping her to face new challenges in familiar surroundings.
For Rheaume, simple activities such as watching television, typing a message, speaking, walking, listening to music, chewing and having a conversation with friends have become a daily battle.
“Now,” said Sue, “Ali is unable to do what she loves most – invest in other people.”
The Zumbathon for Rheaume will take place at the Westborough High School Gymnasium, 90 W. Main St., Saturday, March 11. Tickets are $15 online (in advance) and $20 at the door. Registration will take place from 1:30 to 2 p.m. The event, which will take place from 2 to 4 p.m., will include kid’s activities, a raffle and a 90-minute Zumbathon. Dancers must be 13 years of age or older.
To register online go to www.zumba.com/en-US/event/view/danceforali.
Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=83582