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08/07/2017 - Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

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Lighthouse of Oakland County Salute America

This patriotic-themed charity event gets people in the spirit for Independence Day the week following. It attracted 150 supporters ($150 & up tickets) to Oakland Hills Country Club, where cocktail hour diversions included silent auction bidding ($5,780) and socializing on the veranda. Sherry Margolis emceed the post dinner program which had highlights. Lighthouse chief Rick David reminded people that for him, the "E" in CEO stands for "enthusiasm," and he recognized the generous major gift of longtime Lighthouse volunteers Jerry and Paul Ilg. Honoree Marie Osborn described the rewards her family of five have reaped by serving Thanksgiving dinners at Lighthouse for 24 years. Honoree Sheriff Mike Bouchard downplayed the litany of his accomplishments by crediting his great team. Former Lighthouse PATH client Jennifer Hughes praised the lifetime of financial literacy she learned at Lighthouse. Charles Wickins got folks to bid $11,000 for seven live auction items and to pledge $10,000 for financial literacy programs. The annual fundraiser added $80,000 to the coffers of the agency dedicated to moving people from crisis to independence.

Parade Company Ford Fireworks Rooftop Party

More than 2,000 people ($275, $125-children under7) flocked to the Center Garage Rooftop for the Parade Company benefit party. Both the benefit and the fireworks are presented by Ford and many other civic-minded sponsors (see photo gallery). The rooftop offers the best view of the fireworks show and the four hours between the party start and the show start was jam packed with activities for all ages. Arriving guests picked up tote bags to fill with groovy giveaways. There were craft stations, red-white-and-blue light-up bulb necklaces, light-up yo-yos, unicorn headbands and balloon sculptures. Diversions included a boxing ring, free throw contests, air hockey and virtual car and bike races. Culinary choices included Andiamo cuisine, pizza, ice cream and cotton candy. Live entertainment included shows by Your Generation In Concert and duets by such talents as Rochester Hills' Olivia Millerschin with Trey Simon. Flyovers by Yankee Air Museum vintage WWII planes commanded the attention of all. Just before the fireworks started, Thornetta Davis sang stirring renditions of "Oh Canada" and "The Star Spangled Banner." And from the first recorded song ("We Built This Town on Rock and Roll") to the last (Right Now"), the 59th annual fireworks were spectacular. The only disappointment was that the light rain broke up the first U.S. demonstration of the much ballyhooed pyrotechnics spelled out "Ford" and "Detroit".

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