Coming together

Unity Music Festival fundraiser inches closer to hitting the stage
Jeff Pederson of The Review staff


THE NINTH ANNUAL Unity Music Festival to benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund will feature a special dance performance from Susan Alby of A Chance 2 Dance Studio (above) in Sheboygan. The fundraising event will take place at the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. THE NINTH ANNUAL Unity Music Festival to benefit the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund will feature a special dance performance from Susan Alby of A Chance 2 Dance Studio (above) in Sheboygan. The fundraising event will take place at the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan on Saturday, April 6, at 7 p.m. With less than one month remaining until the 2013 Unity Music Festival hits the stage at the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan, the final details have fallen into place quite nicely for event founder and organizer Mary Ann Waldbauer of Sheboygan Falls.

The ninth annual fundraising event for the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund will take place Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m., at the Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan.

Waldbauer, who started the Unity Music Festival in 2005 as a way to support local cancer patients in need, is hoping this year’s show will set a new standard of success.

“With the donations of time, great talent, generous contributions and the sponsorships of local businesses, we have been able to raise over $200,000 over the last eight years,” Waldbauer said. “The money goes to support anyone suffering financial hardship due to cancer. It helps with heat, light, water, house mortgages, wigs, rent, uninsured medical bills, groceries or gas cards. We want to help make the quality of life better for these people while they are going through a devastating time in their lives.


The festival will also feature a variety of live auction items, including a handcarved chain saw (right) and a handcarved bench (below), both donated by the Kettle Karvers organization — Review file photo (above), Submitted photos (below and right) The festival will also feature a variety of live auction items, including a handcarved chain saw (right) and a handcarved bench (below), both donated by the Kettle Karvers organization — Review file photo (above), Submitted photos (below and right) “I am really looking forward to this year’s show,” she said. “We’ve received so much fantastic support. I really want to reach my goal of having a complete sellout at the Weill Center.”

To add an extra bit of excitement, former Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers standout lineman Mark Tauscher has been tabbed to serve as the master of ceremonies.

“I am very excited to have Mark Tauscher with us this year,” Waldbauer said. “I have to thank Mersberger Financial and Kohler Hospitality for sponsoring Mark’s appearance. This year I took a big risk in trying to make big things happen.”

In addition to the previously announced entertainment lineup, Susan Alby of Chance2Dance Studio in Sheboygan recently signed on to perform a ballroom dance routine, along with several other professional dancers.

“We had another dance group drop out of the show, so we are very pleased that Chance2Dance has stepped up to perform for us,” Waldbauer said.

This year’s talent lineup also includes: The Concordia Singers with trumpet soloist Phil Zastrow, acoustic guitar player and vocalist Joe Kuether, drummer Brian Anderson and pianist Dr. Arthur Johnson of Lakeland College.

An extra special grand finale is planned with pianos taking center stage courtesy of the Brotz Foundaby tion.

“This year we are doing something that has never been done before,” Waldbauer said. “We will have nine pianos with three people per piano, which will make for a grand finale that no one will want to miss.”

Activities will begin with silent and live-auction viewing and two gala appetizer and wine buffet parties.

One party will take place upstairs at the Weill Center from 5-6 p.m. and another will be held adjacent to the Weill Center from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Both gala appetizer and wine buffet parties will include a chance to meet Mark Tauscher, who will be in attendance at each event.

“I want to thank the community for helping out with more food for both parties,” Waldbauer said. “Miesfields, Schwarz’s, Cheese to Please, Gibbsville Cheese, Festival Foods, Piggly Wiggly, Pick ‘n Save, Gosse’s Northwestern House and Larry’s Distributing have all helped out a great deal.”

Live auction items include a three-hour Hi-Tech Sport Fishing Charter trip for four people with Mark Tauscher, as well as a three-night Door County weekend package at High Point Inn in Ephraim, serenity bench, hand-crafted unity cane and Milwaukee Brewers tickets.

“We are cutting way back on live auction items this year to have more music, which I think people will appreciate,” she said. “The live auction items that we do have this year are really spectacular.”

The silent auction will feature a game-day bat especially made for Chase Headley of the San Diego Padres, donated by Burkart Heisdorf Insurance.

This year’s main show sponsor is A Positive Attitude (www.Apositiveattitude.com, www.facebook.com/apositiveattitude).

General admission tickets are currently on sale for $20 per person. Tickets to the show and gala appetizer and wine buffet are currently on sale for $70.

Special sponsorship packages are also available, which include complimentary tickets, admission to the pre-show gala appetizer and wine buffet, from 5-6 p.m. and exclusive silent and live-auction viewing.

Gold sponsors ($1,000) will receive four complimentary tickets to the show and the gala appetizer and wine buffet.

Silver sponsors ($500) will receive two complimentary tickets to the show and the gala appetizer and wine buffet. Bronze ($100), and friend sponsorships ($50) are also available.

The deadline for sponsor inclusion in the event program is Friday, March 15.

Advance tickets are currently on sale at Falls Heal- ing Arts in Sheboygan Falls (467- 8690), Blattner’s Piggly Wiggly in Sheboygan Falls (467-0477), Mary Ann or Rick Waldbauer of Sheboygan Falls (467-3303), Midwest Dental in Plymouth (893- 8458), The Weill Center for the Performing Arts in Sheboygan (826 North 8th St., 208-3243), Matthews Oncology (458-7433), Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic (457-6800), Becky DeAmico of Howards Grove (565-4534), Maritime Insurance in Sheboygan (457-7781) and I.C. Church (457- 3967).

“People often wait until the show gets closer to buy tickets, but I encourage people to buy them early,” Waldbauer said. “There is a lot of interest in this year’s show and I don’t want anyone to be left out.”

The Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund is a publicly supported 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Contributions by the public are fully tax-deductible.

Ticket and sponsorship pack- ages can be purchased by sending a check, payable to the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund, to: Mary Ann Waldbauer; 998 Huron Trail; Sheboygan Falls, WI 53085.

“This show is about more than helping cancer patients, it is really bringing the community together,” Waldbauer said. “You can choose to sit back and dwell on all of the bad things happening around you, or you can choose to go the other direction and focus on all the great things going on in the community. This show is just that. It is a great event for a great cause.

“Just by buying a ticket you are helping someone,” she said. “I am encouraging families, friends, red hatters, card groups and neighbors to come together and enjoy a fun night out.”

The Unity Music Festival now has its own website, which can be viewed at unitymusicfestival.org

More information on the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund can be found at www.scccf.org

For additional information, call Mary Ann Waldbauer at 467-3303.


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