MARCO ISLAND — Iberia Bank had literally tons of stuff going on in their parking lot Saturday morning. The ninth in their series of "shred parties" once again brought out a steady stream of Islanders looking to dispose of unwanted but sensitive documents. Jay Uzzalinno, account manager for Shred-It, which donates the use of the massive truck-mounted shredder, said their truck holds four tons of "shred," and he counts on it heading home loaded to the max.
"Every time we come here, they fill out the truck," he said.
But the parade of vehicles, and the volunteers unloading them and collecting the two dollars per box or bag of paper, seemed merely a sideshow, with all the other activity going on all around. This edition of the shredding event was designated the "Family, Physical and Financial Fitness Shred Party," with all proceeds benefitting the "Y Reads" program at the Greater Marco Family YMCA.
"Yeah, it's almost like the shredding is secondary," said Iberia Bank VP/Branch Manager Keith Dameron, who was getting his exercise bounding from point to point, trying to be everywhere at once, and even breaking into an impromptu dance. "But that's the mission, to make it into a party. Otherwise, all you have is that noisy machine," he said, gesturing toward the shredder.
Physical fitness had the highest visibility, with instructors offering workshops and demonstrations of a wide variety of healthful exercise, all designed to get you moving and motivated to add more life to your years.
Zumba instructor Doris D'Agostino-Cherr showed off her flexibility, bending into improbable positions, with even five-year-old Eric Ortiz unable to match her moves. To the sounds of "Moves Like Jagger," she brought on a group of women, and even Island Paradise DJ Steve Reynolds, who was emceeing and pumping out the tunes, to share the workout.
Jane Kiester led a tai chi group, and then gave a solo demonstration of tai chi swordsmanship, focused intently on a dangerous looking sword that she collapsed into its hilt at the close of her performance.
Groups pedaled the stationary bikes in a "spin" demonstration, led by Jennifer Bristow. The Y showed off their "Little Tykes" fitness equipment inside the bank, where visitors could also go to get a financial fitness checkup from Iberia's specialists.
The City of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Dept. had Mindy Matusiak and Lola Dial on hand, talking up their "family fitness" programs, in keeping with the theme. Partners including Costco and Subway gave away snacks, with Costco's David Longfield-Smith boasting of his original design for a fruit stand, which, it must be said, did not collapse.
Since the first shred party in March, 2009, over 20 tons of paper has been shredded and recycled, and thousands of dollars donated for many worthy – and local – causes, said Dameron.
"We gave to the traveling Vietnam wall, to the Veterans' Park memorial, to Vitas Hospice, and the Big Flag" among others, he said. "There are a lot of good causes out there, but we're focusing on Marco Island."