About Shimmyathon

The Shimmy-a-thon concept was created in 2005 by Wendy Darsey to raise money and promote awareness for The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She sought a way to contribute her time and talents to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis, a condition her younger sister endures.  This unique and fun event brings a memorable experience and message through the appreciation and performance of bellydance, and helps The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fund vital research towards a cure.

In just three years we raised over $80,000.00 for the cause!

Three ways Dancers can participate and help raise money for CFF

Before the event, bellydancers raise money through pledges from friends, family, and sponsorship. At the Shimmy Contest, the dancers get together and shimmy continuously for as long as possible. GREAT prizes are awarded to our participants based on fundraising and shimmy times, and this year’s longest shimmy will earn the title of “Miss Shimmy”.

The Workshops
Fabulous dancers have generously donated their time to come and share their talents with the local dance community. Dancers are invited to take classes with these instructors and all proceeds from their workshop attendance go directly to the cause.

The Shimmy-a-thon Bellydance Show
Qualifying Dancers have the opportunity to showcase their skills. This exciting show has a variety of styles by both soloists and troupes and the use of props including veils, swords, zils and more!  It’s very entertaining for everyone, and the proceeds from ticket sales go directly to CFF.

Previous Years’ Fundraising

Thank you!
We have been so lucky to have the support of some amazing volunteers and the bellydance community, making Shimmy-a-thon such a huge success! Thank you on behalf of the Shimmy-a-thon staff and The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for your support and continued dedication to helping find a cure.

2005 Results:
After totaling all the numbers and donations, the GRAND TOTAL is $16,519.75 and 54 dancers participated.  One dancer participated in our Guinness World Record attempt and shimmied for a little over 2 hours. Congratulations, Rebecca!

2006 Results:
After totaling all the numbers and donations, the Atlanta GRAND TOTAL is $18,024.20 and 68 dancers participated.
Houston raised $5,066.00 and 18 dancers participated. That’s a wonderful accomplishment for their first event! They also walked away with the longest shimmy award this year with six girls shimmying away for a whopping 2 hours and 1 minute.
This brings the Shimmy-a-thon 2006 combined total to $23,240.20!

2007 Results:
After totaling all the numbers and donations, the GRAND TOTAL is $16,948.07 and 73 dancers participated. Our First Place winner was Miriam Gamal, and Second Place winner was Jaisan Robb. Congratulations ladies!

2008 Results:
After totaling all the numbers and donations, the GRAND TOTAL is $19959.00 and 48 dancers participated. This year's Miss Shimmy was Miriam Gamal, Second Place went to Stephanie Coleman, and Third Place to Stacy Abston. Well done, everyone!

2009 Results:
Top fundraiser was Amberetta
Top troupe fund raising effort - Hip Chics
Our three top shimmiers:
– 1st Place - and not the first time in the shimmy rankings - with 66 minutes was Genevieve!
– 2nd Place went to another shimmy veteran Marie with 65 minutes!
– 3rd Place went to Inara with 62 minutes!
Total dollars raised: $12,417.00

GRAND Total:
This brings the Shimmy-a-thon combined year total to $80,509.00. What a great step towards finding the cure for Cystic Fibrosis!

The Inspiration for Shimmy-a-thon

Samantha Carroll was thirteen the day her whole world changed … She had been an army brat bouncing from military post to military post her entire life. Nobody thought much of the fact that she had had pneumonia three times; or the fact she was pretty small. Her mother was small, plus Sam’s growth hormones had been tested and were a-okay. Everybody thought she was perfectly fine. That is, until she got sick with pneumonia for the fourth time and, despite outpatient treatment, wasn’t getting any better. So Sam was sent to a pediatric pulmonologist who took one look at her and knew there was a problem. And he was pretty sure that it was Cystic Fibrosis even though neither family had a history of the disease.

Sam ended up going straight from that doctor appointment to a ten-day stay in the hospital. Her father was brought back from his deployment in Saudi Arabia. It was a life-altering experience for the entire family. Not to mention, devastating for a teenage girl. Imagine, if you can, how you would feel if you were happy and carefree one day and the next sentenced to spending around 4 hours every day doing medical treatments, taking a list of pills that filled up an Excel spreadsheet, and spending at least 20 days every year in the hospital…AND knowing you had to do this forever.

But Sam never complained once. Well, except about going to the hospital. She had never like needles, and now each visit to the hospital meant a myriad of needles. With her veins so tiny, it was never easy for the nurses to insert her IV. Even with her arms bruised and scarred, she rarely complained. Her parents faithfully followed her treatment plan even when it meant getting up at 4:15 AM in order to get all of her breathing treatments done before catching the school bus.

Five years later, Sam is still pretty healthy and is still a pretty typical teenager. She has plenty of challenges to face in the future but she and her family knows that her future is much brighter these days due to the tireless work of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Their research efforts are responsible for the increased longevity of today’s CF patients. And because of the CF Foundation, patients like Sam have hope for a long and healthy future.