Eight community members will hit the dance floor on October 27 for the 11th annual Shall We Dance event. The dance competition fundraiser benefits the Sexual Assault Crisis Center-Fox Cities which provides free crisis intervention, advocacy and counseling for people affected by sexual trauma and exploitation.
Each of the community members have been partnered with a professional dancer with whom they’ve been training since June. Together, the pairs choreograph a 2-minute dance that will be performed in front of a live audience at the event.
Marty Curtis, president and CEO of Provisions Wealth Planners, is partnered with Nicholas Plante, owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and the duo will perform the fox trot to Bette Midler’s version of “Fever.”
Curtis says in addition to helping her grow personally, participating in the event has made her realize the urgency of addressing sexual assault in the Fox Cities.
“It’s a huge issue now,” Curtis says. “The Interstate-41 corridor makes us prime targets for sex trafficking and we don’t expect it. We have to raise awareness, because it’s staggering here.”
Amy Flanders, executive director of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, says the center’s 24-hour crisis hotline receives more than 500 calls annually. About 300 of those callers receive supportive services through the center.
“It’s very difficult to talk about sexual assault, but this event is an opportunity for us to have that conversation,” she says. “It’s helping us raise awareness of sexual assault in the community as well as helping us fund the agency annually, and these are funds we truly need.”
Last year’s event raised $327,000 and Flanders anticipates raising at least that amount again in 2018. The money supports the organization’s operations which include the crisis hotline, medical and legal advocacy, support groups, counseling, prevention education and community outreach.
Shall We Dance takes place October 27 at 5:30 p.m. at Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in downtown Appleton. For more information and tickets, visit shallwedancefoxcities.com.