Stars shine at the 2013 Movers & Shakers Gala

A record crowd of 740 guests enjoyed a spectacular night of celebrity dancing in an evening of fun and fundraising at the sixth annual Movers & Shakers Gala, a benefit for Lakeland College and the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra, held May 18 at Lakeland.

This star-studded night featured an all-star lineup of seven well-known local celebrities who had danced in previous galas. The evening also featured special guests Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Chelsie Hightower from ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

Lakeland's Todd Wehr Center was once again transformed into a beautiful ballroom, including a dance floor framed by wall-to-wall carpeting, a massive lighting setup and huge video screens that put a who's who of Sheboygan County in the spotlight.

The celebrities were each paired with a professional dancer, and after months of training they competed to win the support of four judges and the guests, who were busy buying votes both in the ballroom that evening and online for months leading up to the event.

Each dancer selected a local charity or nonprofit organization that benefitted from their efforts. Half the proceeds from the votes sold for each dancer are distributed to these special organizations.

Wally Waldhart won the Gala Championship as well as the Judges' Choice trophies for his memorable version of the jive. Votes for Waldhart, vice president of sales and communications at ACUITY, also benefitted the Theatre for Young Audiences. He was sponsored by ACUITY.

The evening was filled with a wide array of performances that brought the audience to its feet several times. Other local celebrities in the Movers & Shakers lineup included:

  • Lisa Brotz, who came 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 also benefitted Lakeshore Community Health Center. Brotz was sponsored by Plastics Engineering Company.
  • Suzie Herold, medical director of executive wellness for Prevea, won the Judges' Choice Award in 2011 for her knockout performance of the samba. Votes for Herold also benefitted Safe Harbor. Herold was 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 also benefitted Lakeland College Japan campus. Hirota was sponsored by Lakeland College Japan 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 also benefitted Meals on Wheels. Schmitt was sponsored by Loretta Schmitt, Jos. Schmitt & Sons Construction Co., Inc. and friends.
  • Deborah Wente, the chair of the Movers & Shakers organizing committee and an active community businessperson and volunteer, returned after her graceful performance of the fox trot in 2010. Votes for Wente also benefitted PSC, Partners Seeking a Cure. Wente was 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 performance of the jitterbug. Votes for Zieve also benefitted the Elkhart Lake Library. Zieve was sponsored by the Zieve Family Foundation.

One of the evening's dancers, Paula Gentine, was unable to be part of the evening because of the recent passing of her father. Paula and her family sent their regrets. The Gala family appreciates the Gentine family's support of the Gala as well as Paula's contributions as a Gala committee member.

The audience got a preview of the 2014 Movers & Shakers Gala. The group will include Jason Bemis, Danielle Kohler, Ashok Rai, Nicki Suprick, Jay Torke and Tracy Wusterbarth with more names to come.

The seventh annual Movers & Shakers Gala is set for May 17, 2014.

Chmerkovskiy and Hightower posed for photos with Gala guests at the pre-event reception before joining the audience for the dancing. Niki Rhyan and Roman Brotz each won auctions for the thrill of dancing with Chmerkovskiy and Hightower, and the two stars closed out the evening with their own spotlight dance.

Matt Quasius, chief operating officer of Quasius Construction and a dancer in 2011, served as emcee for the evening.

Major sponsors of the 2013 Gala were the Frank G. and Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation and Sargento Foods Inc. Additional event sponsors included Festival Foods, Masters Gallery Foods, Inc., Sheboygan Chevrolet-Cadillac and Zimmermann Printing.

An online photo gallery from the 2013 event is available here. Keep tabs on news about the Gala and see photos and videos from this year's event on our Facebook page,

Thank you to our 2013 event sponsors!

Frank G. and
Frieda K. Brotz Family Foundation

Presenting Sponsor
Reception Sponsor
Gala Service Sponsor
Valet Sponsor
Technology Sponsor