Kristin BlanchardKristin Blanchard

Over the years, Kristin has played a variety of roles in the Gala's success, from sitting on the organizing committee, to volunteering on dance night to serving as co-master of ceremonies.

But despite such heavy, diverse involvement, Kristin was not prepared for the request that committee chair Deb Wente and her mother, loyal Lakeland supporter Carol Grover, ambushed her with at last year's event.

"They said, 'We want you to dance,'" Kristin recalls with a grin. "I told them, 'You're crazy!'"

But she didn't tell them "no," so here she is.

"It's exciting, a little nerve-wracking," she says. "But I'm ready to kick everybody's butt! I've got my game face on! This is not just dancing; my reputation is at stake."

She's joking, but when it comes to nonprofits, Sheboygan County, the Movers & Shakers Gala and Lakeland, her commitment and love are no laughing matter. Kristin believes in community, and the CEO of Lakeshore Community Health Center always has.

Growing up in Sheboygan, Kristin was on the dance team at North High School, and later, "I loved to go clubbing in college." While earning her bachelor's from Carthage in Kenosha and her master's from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she got her groove on to REM, alternative rock and even techno. Then, thanks to a roommate's influence, Kristin fell in love with country music, describing herself as a "country line dancing fool."

Back then, Kristin had no intentions of returning and settling here. But that's just what happened, about 20 years ago, and she couldn't be happier.

"To serve the community I grew up in is special," she says. "It has changed so much since I was a kid. The culture, the food, the diversity. Truly, there is no community like this one in terms of the way we take care of each other."

Kristin is sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation and has chosen Lakeshore Community Health Care as her recipient charity. If Kristin is the Gala champion, her charity will receive $10,000.

Kristin will perform a swing/jive routine with her dance partner, Frank Gillitzer.