Representing Fred Astaire Dance Studio Plymouth, Michael Winward will be dancing with same-sex partner Brad Dillman, 50, of Rockland, Mass. Dillman is proud father of Staff Sargent Joshua William Dillman, currently deployed in Afghanistan. Winward is the Plymouth studio’s Manager and Training Director.
The Gala will take place on November 10th and is highlighted by the “Dancing With Our Heroes” competition, alongside a silent auction, a sit-down banquet dinner, and general dancing. The dance competition partners military heroes and professional dancers, and celebrity judges and audience voting will determine the winners. There are currently 62 Fred Astaire Dance Studio instructors teaching heroes, and participating in the event.
“It will cost the heroes nothing to participate but their time for the dancing lessons and the competition,” explains Karen Green, the Assistant New England Director for Fred Astaire. “Their costumes will be donated and they will each receive a ticket to the Gala for themselves, their dance instructor and a guest.”
The New England Region of Fred Astaire Dance Studios hopes to raise $200,000 for the Fisher House, and the funds will come in part from ticket sales but also from company sponsorships, individual donations, audience voting, and silent auction proceeds.
Kimberly Haidinger, New England Director of Fred Astaire Dance Studios, and her regional staff are spearheading the organization of the Gala. “It is our chance to use something we love, namely dancing, to do something big and show our gratitude for all that the military families have sacrificed for us,” said Haidinger.
The price for each Gala ticket is $150. For information about tickets, sponsorships or donations, visit www.dancingwithourheroes.com or call 860-788-7150.