Derek Hough, Chelsie Hightower to Appear at Lakeland College, Sheboygan Symphony Fundraiser

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Derek Hough and Chelsie Hightower, two of the biggest talents on the popular ABC television series “Dancing With the Stars,” will participate in the sixth annual Movers & Shakers Gala at Lakeland College.

Derek Hough

The region’s premier social event just added two big doses of style, elegance and star power.

Derek Hough and Chelsie Hightower, two of the biggest talents on the popular ABC television series “Dancing With the Stars,” will participate in the sixth annual Movers & Shakers Gala at Lakeland College.

Hightower and Hough will be part of an unforgettable evening that will see eight Sheboygan County “celebrities” show off their best dance moves to raise money for local charities and nonprofit organizations as part of the Movers & Shakers Gala, a benefit for Lakeland College and The Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, as Lakeland’s Todd Wehr Center will once again be transformed into a beautiful ballroom, including an inviting dance floor, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens to provide Hough, Hightower and a who’s who of Sheboygan County a lush stage to showcase their best moves.

In its first five years, Movers & Shakers has raised nearly $1.4 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 and Sargento Foods Inc. Additional event sponsors include Festival Foods, Masters Gallery Foods, Inc., Sheboygan Chevrolet-Cadillac and Zimmermann Printing.

Movers & Shakers is pleased to welcome back eight previous dancers for an all-star night of entertainment. Again this year, each dancer has selected a charity which will benefit from their votes sales.

The 2013 lineup includes:

  •     Lisa Brotz, who comes in hot off her meticulous 2012 tap medley. She is employed by Plastics Engineering Co., and also owns and operates Northstar Farm. Votes for Brotz will also benefit Lakeshore Community Health Center. Brotz is sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
  •     Paula Gentine, a member of the St. John the Baptist Church and a community volunteer, won the 2010 Movers & Shakers title with her hot and spicy version of the salsa. Votes for Gentine will also benefit Sharon S. Richardson Hospice. Gentine is sponsored by Sargento Foods Inc.
  •     Suzie Herold, medical director of executive wellness for Prevea, who won the Judges’ Choice Award in 2011 for her knockout performance of the samba. Votes for Herold will also benefit Safe Harbor. Herold is sponsored by Prevea Health.
  •     Zukie Hirota, who is involved in management at Lakeland College’s Japan campus, riveted the audience in 2010 with her unique performance of the Latin showcase dance “Fragrance of Japan.” Votes for Hirota will also benefit Lakeland College Japan campus. Hirota is sponsored by Lakeland College Japan campus and NIC International College in Japan.
  •     Nellie Schmitt, a popular local entertainer who danced the rumba in the first Gala in 2008. Votes for Schmitt will also benefit Meals on Wheels. Schmitt is sponsored by Loretta Schmitt, Jos. Schmitt & Sons Construction Co., Inc. and friends.
  •     Wally Waldhart, vice president of sales and communications at ACUITY, an active community volunteer and the first winner of the Judges’ Choice Award in 2010 for his memorable performance of the American tango. Votes for Waldhart will also benefit Theatre for Young Audiences. Waldhart is sponsored by ACUITY.
  •     Deborah Wente, the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee and an active community businessperson and volunteer, returns after her graceful performance of the fox trot in 2010. Votes for Wente will also benefit PSC, Partners Seeking a Cure. Wente is sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation, Inc.
  •     Ed Zieve, an octogenarian and CEO of Kees Inc., of Elkhart Lake, got a standing ovation for his 2011 performance of the jitterbug. Votes for Zieve will also benefit the Elkhart Lake Library. Zieve is sponsored by the Zieve Family Foundation.

Complete biographies of each dancer are available on the Movers & Shakers website,

The format and layout for the evening has been enhanced to accommodate more than 1,000 guests in the ballroom to view the 8 p.m. performance. Theatre-style seating, along with limited table-seating around the dance floor, are available.

A pre-event reception will begin at 6 p.m. with complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Following the dance performances, additional food will be available for purchase and the cash bar will remain open during the live music and open dancing.

Tickets go on sale Monday, March 4, and can be purchased exclusively online at If you have questions, please contact event planner Kym Leibham at (920) 207-0222 or leibhamk(at)lakeland(dot)edu. There is limited table seating for eight for $3,000, and individual, theater-style seating at $200, $100 and $50.

In addition, 12 fortunate guests have the opportunity to sit with Hightower and Hough at their personal tables for the evening. Six seats are available at each of the star’s tables for $750 per ticket. The tickets will be sold first come, first served. The tables are in a prime location at the front of the ballroom and include hors d’oeuvres, tableside cocktail service during the Gala and preferred parking.

The Gala will also include a live auction that will give two people the opportunity to dance with Hightower and Hough at the Gala. Details about this once-in-a-lifetime auction item are on the Movers & Shakers website.

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.

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.

“We are always looking for ways to keep this fabulous event fresh and exciting, and based on the early feedback, people are thrilled to be able to see Derek Hough and Chelsie Hightower perform in person,” said Deborah Wente, a member of the Lakeland Board of Trustees and the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee.

“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.”

Following the competition, the dance floor will be open to all guests and the Swing-O-Matics 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 “Like” us for regular updates.

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David Gallianetti
Lakeland College
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