For the 22nd year, Andi Morgan plans for Thanksgiving morning have little to do with getting a turkey ready to cook and more to do with giving people an excuse to eat that extra slice of pecan pie.
Morgan invites everyone to her annual Thanksgiving Jazzercise class from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 at the Silverton Community Center. Participants are asked to bring $3 or three food items that will be donated to Silverton Area Community Aid, the local food bank.
“We want to see the gym fill up fast as we get a lot of people willing to help and ready to work out,” Morgan said, adding she hosts the event to raise awareness of community members struggling with food insecurity.
The owner of Silverton Jazzercise enjoys making the workout and fundraiser a Thanksgiving tradition.
“We have loads of people show up for this event,” Morgan said. “Over the years, we have a lot of people who pledge money. It can be for the number of exercisers who show up, or the number of dollars collected with a match, and it is all for a great cause because these are very tough times for the less fortunate.”
Since 1976, Jean Edward and Morgan have been friends. Edward has been taking classes since 1984 and helping with classes for 22 years.
“It is a gas doing this on Thanksgiving morning,” Edward said. “It is a fun group and we actually get a little giddy because we never know what Andi has in store. The music is fantastic, and we are so grateful to help because we have a roof over our heads and food on the table. I love coming here to Jazzercise regularly, and it is even more special on Thanksgiving Day.”
Morgan said it is always nice to see the younger people show up, and loves watching them come to the realization that Jazzercise is a lot of work and a lot of fun.
“We love getting the high school athletes in here, too,” Morgan said.
“The jocks are funny because they quickly realize this is not a fluffy little workout like they expected and they might feel it in their muscles the next day. But people can work out at their own pace – low intensity low impact, or sitting in a chair.”
Jazzercise has classes Tuesday and Thursday nights and Saturday mornings. The regulars love the sense of team and camaraderie.
“When my father passed away, the support network from the group was amazing and heartfelt,” said Carol Fritsche, a regular three times a week and every Thanksgiving for five years. “There are no duds here – everyone is welcome and everyone is welcoming.”
Morgan encourages people who have never tried a Jazzercise class to give it a try. She challenges people to put the turkey in the oven and then workout before packing on the calories.
Everyone is welcome, and every pace is just fine,” she said.
“People do what is just right for them, and there is no wrong workout routine. But you must get here early.
The back row is prime real estate and fills up fast.”