Philanthropy and the tango don’t often wind up in the same sentence, but with Swingshift and the Stars, dancing and onations come together to support local charities. Each year,
local celebrities compete in Dancing With the Stars-style events,
with tickets sales and donations benefiting local non-profts.
This year, WNEM is represented by Jeff Guilbert and Tami
Conrad, with donations benefiting the Great Lakes Bay Autism
Center. The pair has dedicated nearly six months of time to the
fundraiser. Both Conrad and Guilbert are looking forward to the
event, despite Guilbert’s reluctance to be in the spotlight. “I don’t
know the last time I’ve danced,” said Guilbert. “It’s for a good
cause, so I’ll put aside my personal reticence and go for the gusto!”
Fortunately for Guilbert, Conrad is a Swingshift veteran. “I
was a judge last year for Swingshift,” she said. “It was a blast. The
contestants were awesome and each raised a ton of money for their
WNEM HITS THE
For Autism in 2015 Swingshift
and the Stars Competition
Great Lakes Bay Autism Center
Founded in 2006, the Great Lakes Bay Autism Center
works to provide autism resources and support
to families in the mid-Michigan area. Services are
provided at little or no cost to participants, with over
100 families and kids served annually.
• Camp Cardinal Kidz offers elementary students
with autism a chance to experience camp
activities specially designed for children on the
autism spectrum. This free three-week day camp
offers these exceptional children a chance to
explore, laugh and play in an environment created
just for them.
• Families impacted by autism in the Great Lakes
Bay area are invited to attend monthly Family
Support Group meetings throughout the year.
Meetings offer families a chance to share
experiences, as well as gain tips and tricks from
community professionals and other parents.
Free child-care is provided during the meeting.
Autism is a disorder of the brain, often
characterized by difficulty with social interaction
and communication, intellectual disability, and
repetitive behavior. Autism can also occur in
people of normal or superior intelligence. In the
United States, 1 in 68 children is diagnosed on the
“Acceptance is the big thing,” said Pamela Novik
Bell, Board Treasurer of the Great Lakes Bay Autism
Center and mother of a 16-year-old teen diagnosed
on the autism spectrum. “Accept our kids for who
they are. Don’t try to change them, but instead
help them fit in.”
TO LEARN MORE,