MUSKEGON, Mich. – Although the Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce has cancelled its live production of the 2021 Dancing with the Local Stars, the organization is still holding a series of fundraisers in the beloved community event’s name to support area food pantries.

“Dancing with the Local Stars is an incredible event that draws so much community support, and while we’re disappointed to cancel the upcoming production, we know it’s the right thing to do to keep our community safe,” said DWTLS Co-Chairwoman Mary Kendall.

“However, hunger still exists in our area, so we’ve identified multiple alternative opportunities to raise awareness and funds to stock the shelves of local food pantries.”

This year’s event theme is We CAN make a difference and here are the ways to participate:

• CANisters in the Community: Canisters can be found at numerous area businesses, including AlignLife on Norton, New 2 You Consignment Store on Broadway and UPS on Henry St. They are asking those able to make a donation through mid-February. Additional locations will be added to the WDCC Facebook page and website. If interested in having a canister added to a business, please contact Marily Forton at fortonm@gmail.com.

• You’ve Been CANned!: Similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge, ten 55-gallon drums bearing a soup can label will be placed in the parking lots of local businesses or yards of area residents who will have to make a donation to get them removed. The cost is $100 to get them moved, an additional $25 to select where it goes next and another $25 for “insurance” so that it won’t come back. This fundraiser will run through March 10.

• You CAN Dance!: DWTLS meets TikTok! Individuals must pay $10 apiece to submit up to a 60-second dance challenge to www.DanceMuskegon.com from Feb. 1-28. The participants are encouraged to share on their social channels to generate more votes. Voting will run through March 10; each vote costs $1. The video with the most votes wins and will be revealed on March 19. First place will win $500; second place will win $250 and third place will win $100. Formatting and uploading details to come.

Sponsorships: Opportunities range. For more information, please reach out to Shawn Norden at Shawnn@michmortgage.com.

Proceeds from the DTWLS fundraising series will once again support local food pantries and food programs in lower Oceana, upper Ottawa and Muskegon counties. The previous DWTLS events have generated more than $1 million over the years.

“Despite COVID-19, this event remains the community event that everyone can count on to make an impact in a fun and engaging way,” Kendall said. “Our mission through Dancing with the Local Stars is to give back to our community and we will continue to do just that even though we can’t all be together right now.”

For more information, please visit womensdivision.org.

All proceeds will be distributed to local food pantries or food programs that apply. Please visit our website and print a Request for Funds application: womensdivision.org.

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