By Mac Christie, Times-Advocate Staff
EXETER – What started as a women's weight loss group in Exeter is moving on to loftier goals.
Thirty members of the Bulging Beauties, a group of 50 women from the Exeter area, are taking part in Bust a Move For Breast Health 2013 in London in April.
Group member Nicole Rogers said Bust a Move, which supports the Breast Care Centre through the St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation, is a way for the group to give back.
"We've been looking for charity runs and some way for us to give back," she explained. "We've gained so much from this group as individuals, we wanted a way to give back."
"Someone stumbled upon the Bust a Move group," she continued. "We thought, 'There's 50 of us on the Bulging Beauties team, if we can get even part of us to do it, half of us would be great."
The group started as a fitness challenge between the Beauties, who then had 20 members, and another group of 20, the Fatty Patty's.
Combined, the two groups lost just shy of 500 pounds, and gained members to the point where there are now 100 women split between the two teams.
While Rogers noted the Beauties won the opening competition of the two teams, she said over time the group became a sisterhood.
"I've met some amazing women that I may not have met otherwise," she explained. "It's (women) from all fitness levels, all age groups. We all come from different places and we're all at different places in our lives, but the one thing that unites us all is the want to get better and healthier and well."
She noted the Bust a Move cause also unites the group, known as the Exeter Beauties for the event.
"One in nine women are touched by breast cancer," she explained. "That's what drove us to get as far as we did."
Bust a Move for Breast Health will be held April 6 and the event's website describes the day as a "day-long fitness extravaganza where (participants) will be movin' and groovin', sweatin' and stretchin' alongside fellow breast health supporters."
As well, Richard Simmons will be at the event, leading the final group session at the London Convention Centre.
Currently the Exeter Beauties have 30 members, surpassing their goal of 25. Each member has to raise $1,000 to secure a spot on the floor, for a total of $30,000.
To date they've raised more than $12,000
Michelle Campbell, the president and CEO of St. Joseph's Healthcare Foundation said the foundation is proud of the Exeter Beauties.
"So far the Exeter Beauties are the largest team we have registered for Bust a Move," she said. "They have set the highest goal of any other team, they have the largest number of members and they are really outshining a lot of teams right now."
Campbell noted the day is about fitness, fellowship and fun.
"It's about people coming together and doing a healthy activity in synchronicity," she explained. "It's really powerful and people can really get into it."
The Exeter Beauties will be out in the community fundraising though cupcake sales and other ventures until April.
For more information on Bust A Move for Breast Health visit www.bustamove.ca