Movers & Shakers Gala returns for one final dance
You can dance if you want to – but only for one more year.
If you have always wanted to see the spectacular dance moves that are part of the region's premier social event, make sure you attend the seventh annual Movers & Shakers Gala, set for Saturday, May 17, at Lakeland College.
This is the final year that Sheboygan County "celebrities" will show off their best dance moves to raise money for local charities and nonprofit organizations, Lakeland College and The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.
The Movers & Shakers Gala will have a new format in 2015, and a sneak preview will be unveiled at this year's event.
"Ever since we introduced the Movers & Shakers Gala in 2008, people have been excited to see the evening we have planned for them each May," said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee. "We are ready for a big finish for this format, and we cannot wait to preview to our supporters what we have planned for the future.
"The community support and volunteer interest for Movers & Shakers continues to be strong. These people join our 'celebrities,' local companies and our guests who give financially to make this evening successful."
Guests this year can expect to once again see Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center transformed into a beautiful ballroom with an inviting dance floor, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens to provide a who's who of Sheboygan County a lush stage to showcase their best moves.
In its previous six years, Movers & Shakers has raised more than $2.5 million, including a four-year total of $263,500, for more than 30 nonprofit organizations.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala are the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation, Festival Foods and Studio Gear Technology. Additional event sponsors include Blue Moon Studios, Huber Creatives, Salon Sase, Zimmermann Printing and Canopies Events with Distinction.
Movers & Shakers is pleased to welcome nine new dancers, and each dancer has selected a charity which will benefit from their votes sales.
The 2014 lineup:
- Jason Bemis, of Bemis Manufacturing, will dance the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Bemis will also benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sheboygan County. Bemis is sponsored by Bemis Manufacturing Co.
- Rodney Ellison, a Lakeland graduate who works as a physical trainer at the Sports Core, will dance the Mambo. Votes for Ellison will also benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Ellison is sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
- Eric Kriete, a Lakeland graduate who owns The Silver Fern Pub in Sheboygan, will dance a Swing medley. Votes for Kriete will also benefit The Salvation Army-Sheboygan. Kriete is sponsored by The Silver Fern.
- Ashok Rai, the president and chief executive officer of Prevea Health in Green Bay, will dance the Bollywood-style Tango. Votes for Rai will also benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund. Rai is sponsored by Prevea Health.
- Tammy Schaefer, whose husband, Larry, founded the popular Legend Larry's, will dance the Viennese Waltz. Votes for Schaefer will also benefit Bookworm Gardens and Rainbow Kids. Schaefer is sponsored by Legend Larry's.
- Johanna Schmidt, a student at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan, will dance the West Coast Swing. Votes for Schmidt will also benefit Rotaract. Schmidt is sponsored by Sheboygan County Rotary Clubs and Sartori Cheese.
- Nichola Stayer-Suprick, an active volunteer in the community, will dance the Cha-Cha Two-step. Votes for Stayer-Suprick will also benefit Safe Harbor. Stayer-Suprick is sponsored by Johnsonville Sausage.
- Julie Steinert, a nonprofit professional currently serving as office administrator of her husband's dental practice, will dance the Cha-Cha Hip Hop. Votes for Steinert will also benefit Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County. Steinert is sponsored by Peter J. Steinert DDS SC and Bank First National.
- Tracy Wusterbarth, a human resources specialist at ACUITY, will dance the Jive. Votes for Wusterbarth will also benefit Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice. Wusterbarth is sponsored by ACUITY.
Complete biographies of each dancer are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
The celebrities will be paired with a professional dancer, and are in the midst of months of training before they compete to win the support of four judges and what's sure to be another sell-out crowd.
A limited number of tickets are available and can be purchased online at the Movers & Shakers website or by contacting Kym Leibham, Lakeland's alumni & community engagement officer, at or 920-565-1014.
You don't have to attend the event to help support the charities. Anyone can purchase votes, at $20 each, for their favorite dancer prior to the event at the Movers & Shakers website. These charities receive 50 percent of the proceeds raised from the votes for each dancer on their behalf, so vote early and often.
Matt Quasius, who danced in 2011, is returning for his second year as host for the evening. Judges Sandi Vasatka and Jessica Mueller will be joined by guest judges Sheri Murphy, the 2012 Movers & Shakers Gala champion, and Tom Liebl, president and chief operating officer of Sheboygan Paper, Co., who purchased the fourth judge spot at the 2013 event.
A pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed at 6:45 by seating in the ballroom for dinner, which features a mouthwatering menu prepared by Lakeland's Dining Services staff.
Several of the professional dancers will perform as part of a new feature this year. The couples include Angela and Frank Gillitzer, Sue Alby and Rod Schulz and Suzana Gossett and Joey Santos.
Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and Downtown Harrison will provide music for the remainder of the evening.
You can also be part of the pre-event buzz by joining dancers, committee members, guests and volunteers on Facebook at http://moversandshakersgala.org/facebook. "Like" the event page for regular updates.
If you want to get behind the scenes and help make this evening possible, a number of volunteer opportunities are open to the community. More information is available at http://moversandshakersgala.org/volunteer.
Lakeland hosting science and engineering festival
Lakeland College will host Michigan Technological University's Mind Trekkers' second Sheboygan Area Science and Engineering Festival on Friday and Saturday, May 9-10.
More than 50 Mind Trekkers will be teaming up with more than 40 Lakeland College student volunteers to conduct more than 80 exciting, hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Friday's event is for middle school students in the area. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled, with more than 1,600 middle schoolers expected. Saturday's festival will be open to the public from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Lakeland College. The event is free, and activities are appropriate for K-12 students and adults of all ages.
"Lakeland is excited to welcome Mind Trekkers and their enthusiasts to our campus for two days of fun activities that we hope will interest young people in exploring STEM career paths," said Lakeland President Dan Eck. "Lakeland College's science program offers our students cutting-edge research opportunities and partnerships with local firms that have students working on real-world projects. We are looking forward to seeing our talented students share their knowledge and skills as part of this unique experience for school children."
Sponsoring companies will also host displays staffed by STEM professionals form their own organizations, allowing students and parents to explore a day in the life of a chemical engineer, an information technology specialist and many more "hot" careers in the expanding global economy.
Sponsors of the festival include Kohler Co., Rockline Industries, Mercury Marine, the Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, Plexus Corp., The Vollrath Co., Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Sigma-Aldrich Corp. and Alliant Energy Foundation, with others still coming on board.
"We are thrilled to be partnering with Lakeland College and so many corporations and nonprofits to bring this science and engineering festival to the people of the Sheboygan area," said Steve Patchin, director of the Center for Pre-college Outreach at Michigan Tech. "The excitement that events like this generate do so much to inspire young people to think about careers in the STEM fields and to motivate their families and teachers to support them in those interests."
Friday's event is for middle school students in the area. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled, with more than 1,600 middle schoolers expected. Saturday's festival will be open to the public from 9 a.m. To 4 p.m. at Lakeland College.
The event is free, and activities are appropriate for K-12 students and adults of all ages.
For more information, contact David Gallianetti at Lakeland College at , or Steve Patchin at Michigan Tech at . Learn more about Mind Trekkers at mindtrekkers.mtu.edu/.
Brown named Student Employee of the Year
When sophomore Brandon Brown found out he was named Lakeland's "Student Employee of the Year," he was certainly appreciative — though a bit perplexed.
"Where I'm from, when you're hired to work, you work — no excuses," said the New Orleans native. "So when I'm given an award for doing the job I was hired to do, I didn't understand the reason for the award. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, but I'm just doing my job."
Brown does his job — dining service head supervisor — with dedication, passion, integrity and creativity. He stands out so regularly that Joe Johnson, Lakeland's executive chef and assistant director of dining services, felt compelled to nominate him for the award.
"Brandon's quality of work has always been top notch," wrote Johnson on the nomination form. "He takes great pride in keeping the standard at a high level … He has an eye for detail and it shows."
Johnson added: "He has proven himself to be a star performer."
Each year, the Student Employment Department names the Student Employee of the Year based on reliability, quality of work, initiative, professionalism and uniqueness of contribution to the position.
In addition to his strong work ethic and positive attitude, Brown has brought some southern flavor to Lakeland's dessert selection. Johnson wrote that Brown's "pecan pie is out of this world."
"I haven't been able to bring crawfish here yet, but I've been able to bring some pies and pastry ideas," Brown said with a smile.
As for his award, Brown said he appreciates the honor, but added that working in dining services is reward enough.
"The people I work with are not just friends to me; they are mentors and teammates," he said. "The way I look at it, I get to hang out with great people for a few hours, and they pay me for it."
The other student employees nominated for this award were:
- Caitlin Bailey — Campus card office
- Daniel Carriveau — Campus Center desk
- Elizabeth Raddatz — Muskie Mart
- Janel Weir — Housekeeping
- Jenny Kjin — Residence Life
- Kimberly Daane — Psychology
- Mackenzie Merriman — Women's softball
- Thomas Pibal — Accompanist piano fellowship
Lakeland celebrates Earth Day with a walk, picking up litter
More than a dozen Lakeland College students and two faculty members joined Associate Professor of Biology Paul Pickhardt Tuesday for an hour-long walk in Grether Woods behind campus to commemorate Earth Day.
The idea for Lakeland's inaugural Earth Day Walk belongs to a trio of students, led by Nicole Cox, who developed the concept when assigned to promote an event for a communications class. Students were armed with plastic bags to pick up litter while also learning about the Grether ecosystem.
"I wanted it to be an event that's related to something I'm passionate about," said Cox, a sophomore. "Once we started planning it, it wasn't about the assignment anymore."
As students strolled and picked up trash, Pickhardt gave walking ecology lessons. He talked about the budding trout lily, which will soon produce beautiful yellow flowers, while the sound of wood frogs provided the soundtrack. Pickhardt also warned of the impending poison ivy that will carpet much of the Grether floor.
Pickhardt pointed out and talked about numerous species of trees and plants. He discussed the Emerald Ash Borer's devastation of Wisconsin's Ash trees, praised the taste of maple syrup from the sugar maple tree and raved about the flavor of hickory nuts from the Shagbark tree. Pointing to tiny holes in the sugar maple tree, Pickhardt explained that a yellow-bellied sap sucker will peck those holes so syrup will surface and attract insects. When the bugs come to feed on the syrup, the birds pick them off.
He also showed the group what a pileated woodpecker can do to a dying tree, putting his entire hand inside a large hole the bird had created four feet off the ground.
This time of year, the Grether Woods hold about a half-dozen temporary pools of water that for a few months are home to frogs, salamanders and all sorts of other life. Chest deep at some points, these ponds will dry up by mid-summer, but their role in Lakeland's ecosystem is significant.
Pickhardt's pride in and love for the 50-plus-acre Grether Woods – located just a short walk from the natural sciences classrooms – is palpable. He takes many classes into those woods for real-world, hands-on research and course work.
"Lakeland is lucky to have this property," said Pickhardt. "I really enjoy it back here."
Harbach leads first Lakeland Community Book Read
Lakeland College hosted its inaugural Community Book Read on April 15 with Wisconsin native Chad Harbach, author of the best-selling novel "The Art of Fielding." Harbach met with students for a Q&A earlier in the day. The evening event featured Harbach reading excerpts from the novel and answering questions about the work and his life as an author and magazine editor. "The Art of Fielding," Harbach's debut novel, was named one of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of 2011.
Community Book Read 2015
Join us in March 2015 as the Lakeland College Community Book Read proudly presents Ishmael Beah, author of "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" and "Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel." Details of this event will be announced later this year.