After watching a different format last May, supporters of the annual Lakeland College Movers & Shakers Gala are getting their wish – Lakeland is bringing back the dancers.
The ninth annual Movers & Shakers Gala, set for Saturday, May 14, at Lakeland College, will feature eight local celebrities sharing their best dance moves to raise money for Lakeland College.
"We had fun last May showing off various talents of local residents, but feedback from our longtime supporters told us overwhelmingly that people really love to see dancing," said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee. "We were thrilled when this year's dancers agreed to be part of what's shaping up as another memorable evening.
"We could not do this event without strong community support and volunteer interest. These people join our celebrities, local companies and our guests who give financially to make this evening successful."
Guests 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 eight years, Movers & Shakers has raised more than $1.7 million for Lakeland and more than 30 nonprofit organizations.
All 2016 Gala proceeds will support student scholarships. Each dancer has selected a local charity and the 2016 winner's charity will be the 2017 partner charity and will receive $10,000.
Major sponsors of this year's Gala are the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation; Sargento Foods, Inc.; Festival Foods; Studio Gear Technology; Zimmermann Printing; and Canopies Events with Distinction. Additional work was provided by Khrome, Blue Moon Studios and Salon Sasé.
The 2016 dancer lineup is made up of:
- Sara Brotz, who works in research and development at Plastics Engineering Company, will dance a cha-cha and hustle medley routine. Brotz is sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company and her charity is the Sheboygan County Humane Society.
- Dr. Carolyn Baxter, a board-certified psychiatrist for Prevea, will dance an East Coast Swing routine. Baxter is sponsored by Prevea and her charity is Nourish.
- Barbara Gannon, vice president of corporate communication at Sargento Foods, Inc. and chairperson of the Lakeland Board of Trustees, will dance a rumba/cha-cha medley. Gannon is sponsored by Sargento Foods and her charity is the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.
- Lola Roeh, general manager of The Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake and a Lakeland graduate, will dance a Latin routine. Roeh is sponsored Wisconsin Bank and Trust and her charity is Nourish.
- Anne Schroeder, founder of Aprivé, will dance a salsa routine. Schroeder is sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation and her charity is the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.
- Brooke Van Asten, a territory director at ACUITY, will dance a swing routine. Van Asten is sponsored by ACUITY and her charity is Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County.
- Justin Webb, owner of Sun Graphics and founder of the BevCarts app, will dance a cha-cha/hip-hop routine. Webb is sponsored by Sun Graphics and BevCarts and his charity is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sheboygan County.
- The Rev. Matthew Widder, pastor of Holy Name of Jesus and St. Clement parishes, will dance a Texas two-step routine. Widder is sponsored by Friends of Father Matthew Widder and his charity is St. Vincent de Paul Society of Sheboygan.
Complete biographies of each dancer are available on the Movers & Shakers website, http://moversandshakersgala.org.
Each celebrity will be paired with a professional dancer, and all are in the midst of months of training before they compete to win the support of three 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 (http://moversandshakersgala.org) or by contacting Kym Leibham, Lakeland's manager of corporate relations and special events, at or 920-565-1023 x2155.
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.
Emcees for the evening will be Mike Langan and Ike Dyksterhouse. These two natural-born performers, fast friends for 19 years, have served as emcees for Sheboygan Service Club shows, but always in different years, so the Gala marks their debut as a duo.
Judges this year will be Sandi Vasatka, Nellie Schmitt and Jenna Roeske. Vasatka has been a Gala judge for all eight years, and has taught ballroom dance in the Sheboygan area for more than 35 years. Schmitt was a dancer in the 2008 and 2013 Galas. Roeske directs the junior varsity and varsity dance programs at Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School where she is also an English teacher. She teaches advanced jazz, tap and competition classes at a Plymouth studio.
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.
Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and popular Chicagoland DJ 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.