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The inaugural Movers & Shakers Gala, a benefit this past May co-sponsored by Lakeland College and the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, has won an award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Lakeland won the silver award in Best Practices in Fundraising and Development in the CASE District V competition, which includes colleges and universities in the Great Lakes region. Lakeland was in the category of schools with an enrollment of 2,999 or fewer full-time equivalents.
The Movers & Shakers Gala featured eight well-known area celebrities in a setting complete with red-carpet glitz, glamour and gourmet cuisine. Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center was transformed into a beautiful ballroom, including wall-to-wall carpeting, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens that let a who's who of Sheboygan County showcase their best moves.
The celebrities were each paired with a professional dancer, and after months of training, they competed to win the support of three professional judges and nearly 500 guests. Guests were allowed to "buy votes" to support their favorite dancer, which made the event interactive for the audience.
There was a central planning committee of 13 people chaired by Deb Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees. The committee included two members of the SSO Board of Directors, the president of the Lakeland College Alumni Association, three other Lakeland graduates and two members of Lakeland's faculty.
A total of 42 full-time Lakeland staff members played significant roles in the event - everything from fundraising to PR to facilities to IT and business office needs. The SSO's two full-time staff were also heavily involved. EventWise, a local event-planning business, was used as a consultant to the planning committee. There were over 100 volunteers that served dinner, worked as bartenders, assisted the dancers and filled numerous other roles.
CASE is the professional organization for advancement professionals at all levels who work in alumni relations, communications and development. CASE's membership includes more than 3,300 colleges, universities and independent elementary and secondary schools in 54 countries around the world.