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“I’m not a dancer, but I’m learning now!”
When Al Manshum isn’t busy in his role as Senior Vice President of Support Services at Advocate Health Care, he’s training to compete in the charity event Dancing with the Brokers.
“A colleague competed last year and was one of the winners; she hounded me into participating as well,” Al joked.
Al started training in February, taking eight to 10 lessons each week. “It’s hard work, and I’m out of my comfort zone, but it’s been really fun too.”
The competition is the Chicago real estate, design and construction industry’s version of the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars” – with a charitable twist. The top three winners, along with the dancer who raises the most money, each get a cut of the total raised by all the dancers. That means the winners could end up donating more money than they raised by themselves for the charity of their choice.
Hoping to win big for children
Al is determined to finish in one of the top spots so he can give to a program that’s very personal to him – the Advocate Childhood Trauma Treatment Program.
“The impact that childhood abuse has on families is tremendous,” Al explained. “Experts estimate that one in four girls and one in six boys are abused. It carries with them throughout their entire lives and can lead to other issues like substance abuse, depression and anxiety.”
The Childhood Trauma Treatment Program provides a range of specialized services for children, teenagers and families that have experienced sexual abuse and maltreatment.
“I think it’s important to not only raise money for these essential programs, but also to get the word out,” he said. “Unless you’re touched by it specifically, people tend to close their eyes to it.”
A little help from family
Al’s teenage daughters are doing their part to help their dad succeed when it’s his turn in the spotlight. “They are absolutely giddy that I’m doing this. We’ve been watching a lot of “Dancing with the Stars” and taking notes,” he admitted.
His 17-year-old even picked out the songs Al will dance to. “I’m going to do the cha-cha to Pitbull’s ‘Fireball’ and the Argentinian tango to ‘River’ by Bishop Briggs.”
Dancing with the Brokers takes place May 23 at Alhambra Palace Restaurant.
“The competition is pretty stiff, but I’m going to try to win,” said Al. “Whatever happens, it’ll be fun!”
How you can help
While you may not be able to help Al with his dance moves, you can help him become the top fundraiser by purchasing tickets to cheer him on or by making a donation. For a donation only, scroll all the way to the bottom of the popup window to enter your gift amount. Then be sure to email Tyler at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know that your gift should count towards Al Manshum.
Hear directly from Al and his professional dance partner in this great video.
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