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10/25/2010 - Welcome to the new home of Social Lights. Read new online reports with photos each week and their reprisals in the monthly print edition which you will get free by mail in the 48009, 48301,48302 & 48304 zip codes. If you live elsewhere, you can order a subscription in the upper right index at the top of this page (subscriptions). 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.

Michigan Opera Theatre's 2010 Opera Ball

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Mission accomplished. Ethan and Gretchen Davidson and Karen and Rick Williams' ball committee set out to "honor the past and launch the future" of the 40-year old MOT. Judging from the scene at the Detroit Opera House, they succeeded big time. The gala began with 300 patrons ($500 tickets) and 200 Next Generation-ites ($150 tickets) socializing in the Grand Lobby. For dinner, the NGs partied on the second level, dined on the stroll, box-hopped between the 11 sponsored boxes and looked down on the patrons at tables set on the floor constructed over the theatre seats. In that elegant crowd were 18 chairs from the previous 22 balls. Their dinner service was delayed while auctioneer Dan Stall got them to part with $86,000 in two 52-card raffles and a live auction of 26 donated lots. The highest bids ($7,000) went for the chance to be a Top Gun fighter pilot for a day (sold twice), a deluxe Indy 500 trip and an ultimate trip to the Celani Family Vineyards in Napa Valley. Following a brief but boffo concert by two MOT singers, all guests reconvened to dance until midnight on the stage to music by the Sun Messengers. The soiree was not only great fun, it also netted $350,000, thanks to sponsors' beneficence (see photo gallery for list).

Hospice of Michigan's 25th annual Crystal Rose Ball

HOM's 25th Crystal Rose Ball attracted nearly 350 to the Masonic Temple's Crystal Ballroom.  One highlight was seeing a short video of the cake created by Food Network celebrity chef Duff Goldman for HOM's 30th Birthday Celebration held in September in Grand Rapids. (See photo gallery.) Another highlight was honoring four who have shown their concern for end of life care.

Awards were presented to Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants' Peggy Dzierzawski by sponsor Compuware's Steve Karniotis; to Maggie Allesee for her donation of the Maggie Allesee Center for Quality of Life by sponsor American House's Rob Gillette; to Art Van Furniture by sponsor Fifth Third Bank's Kim Zazula; and to Carolyn Cassin, who helped develop legislation that became the Medicare Hospice Benefit, by her successor HOM CEO Dottie Deremo. The dance floor was a popular spot for concluding the evening which raised nearly $140,000 to help HOM serve all regardless of ability to pay.

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