David Stedman, LEBW’s dance representative for the
National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, Spotlight on Life Gala


A Spotlight on Donation

spotlight_squareThe National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin (NKFW) created Spotlight on Life in 2011. Today, it has grown to be an annual tradition between Fred Astaire Dance Studios and the NKFW of dance, collaboration, and fun-spirited competition. Spotlight on Life celebrates the lives that have been saved or enhanced through transplantation, donors who have given the gift of life, and underscores the 2,249 Wisconsin families who are still waiting for their loved ones to receive a critical life-saving transplant. This year’s event will take place on Saturday, January 26, 2019, 7PM CST at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center, and will be live streamed here for those that can’t attend.

Combining dancing, rivalry, and fun, Spotlight on Life is a unique gala celebration of the gift of life. Representatives from organ procurement organizations, tissue banks, transplant hospitals, and other related organizations take professional dance lessons from FADS professionals and compete toe-to-toe on the dance floor. Guests enjoy a gourmet dinner, dance competition, and after party. Every guest has the opportunity to vote for their favorite dancer by making a donation. Every $1 donated equals 1-vote. Most votes will win the “People’s Choice” award.

Event Stream @7PM

Get to know David

What inspired you to dance at the Spotlight on Life Gala?
I have many connections to the National Kidney Foundation of Wisconsin, as a participant in the annual Capital City 5K in Madison, speaker at driver’s education classes for organ, eye and tissue donation awareness, Dottie Donor Dot mascot, Restoring Hope Transplant House chair, Wisconsin Lions Club member, Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin Transporter, and an advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Do you have any special connection to kidney health?
My wife Cheryl was a kidney transplant recipient in 2016 and I have promoted organ, eye and tissue donation since she started dialysis in 2011.

What’s your hometown?
Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.

What is the first tie you remember stepping on to the dance floor?
When I was a ring bearer at my aunt Wendy and uncle Roy Lehr’s wedding when I was very young.

What’s your favorite song?
Billy Joel’s Piano Man.

Any hobbies, instruments or special talent?
Golf, attending theatre events. I was a band director for 22 years and learned many instruments but specialize in piano, tuba, and trombone. I have also sung the national anthem at many different sporting events and once performed with the original NBC television cast of the opera Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Sentry World Theatre in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Family and/or pets?
I am married to my lovely wife, Cheryl, for 34 years and we have 2-Rat Terrier/Schnauzer’s, Mia and Lucy.

Where did you attend college?
University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and VanderCook College of Music, in Chicago, Illinois.

Who is your Fred Astaire dance partner?
Toria Marsh

Anything else we should know?
The gala is Saturday, January 26, 2019 at the Milwaukee Hilton City Center, and will be live streamed for those that can’t attend. It has a fantastic auction as well. I would encourage people to like our FB page and NKF’s FB page since that is where much of the info and fundraising instructions will be found.



Milwaukee Hilton City Center
509 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203