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YMCA Piloxing class joins worldwide cancer fundraiser

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DECATUR – The Decatur Family YMCA is known for its community outreach efforts, but that reach pushed even farther this week.

What appeared to be the regular Wednesday night Piloxing class was actually one of the hundreds of Piloxing of Hope fundraisers held worldwide to raise money for cancer research and treatment during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Nearly 20 participants in Decatur joined in by donating money to step, stomp, kick, punch and sweat to the beat for a good cause.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds will go them,” said Piloxing instructor Jenny Ahlswede. “To me, it's something important to do.”

Ahlswede and several other certified instructors led two Piloxing of Hope classes, a popular cardio workout that combines elements of dance, pilates and boxing. Participants were encouraged to make donations online, and the goal was to raise $100,000 worldwide for the Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation. Classes around the world were streamed online Wednesday showing nonstop Piloxing for a full 24 hours by thousands of people.

“If we can do something fun and support the children, why not?” Ahlswede said.

It's not often the Y as a nonprofit hosts outside fundraisers, but health and wellness director Angela Foulke said the Piloxing of Hope concept fits their mission and core values. And when Ahlswede asked about hosting a class, they agreed to donate the space and class time.

Piloxing is one of the newer classes at the Y but also one of the most popular, averaging 15 to 20 people in the evening.

“She's so good at making it for every fitness level,” Foulke said.

With that level of success, they're thinking about expanding. Wednesday was also the pilot class for Piloxing Barre, which incorporates a ballet bar into the workout.

“This is going to be the preview,” Foulke said.

Donations to the foundation can still be made online at


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