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11/29/2010 - 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.

South Oakland Shelter's Dancing with the Stars

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The crowd gathered at The Reserve for South Oakland Shelter's second Dancing with the Stars fundraiser was in a good mood even before the dancing started. But once the celebrity dancers - Jackie Paige, Johnny Maalouf, Amy Cremen, Monica Del Signore and John Gottsacker - and their partners started making their moves, the decibels really ramped up. And when Bacco Ristorante co-owner Del Signore, who was absolutely stunning in a sparkling dress, was center stage, celebrity judge Lauren Podell asked, "How does she own an Italian restaurant and look that good?" Fitness consultant Gottsacker's huge popularity was also evident as his groupies squealed their approval and celebrity judge L. Brooks Patterson opined, "This boy can move!" Following the judges' assignment of points, the voting was close across the board, but a tie existed at the top between Del Signore and Gottsacker. Emcee Guy Gordon called for crowd applause to break the tie. That was also a draw. So event chairs Bill and Jennie Cook invited the audience to vote with their dollars, all of which will help SOS and its congregation partners reduce the impact of homelessness in the community. After the judging, guests crowded the dance floor until midnight. Counting the silent auction the spirited event, which was produced with flair by Gail & Rice, raised well over $45,000, not counting some matching funds from the Community Foundation.

American Cancer Society's Cattle Baron's Ball

The same night as SOS's Dancing With the Stars, the eighth annual Cattle Baron's Ball attracted 600 cancer fighters to Oakland University's Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion, a perfect, barn-like venue for the country-casual soiree presented by Chevrolet. In addition to the auctions, dancing, mechanical bull and games, the chow stations were a big attraction. It's estimated that the 23 contributors donated more than $50,000 in food, beverages and services. John Forte's kitchen even created a CBB branding iron to brand the handmade chips and slider buns served at his Forte Belanger chuck wagon. The special events caterer, who has been on the executive committee for all eight balls and was the honored volunteer in 2005, recently had a personal cancer encounter and is quick to tout the value of early detection. This year, Lear's Mel Stephens was the honored volunteer (Cowger Leadership Award). Before the crowd enjoyed line dancing, they bid $40,000 in the silent auction and $62,000 in the brief live auction. The latter was topped with the bid for a dinner party at GM Heritage Center with ball honorary chair / GM North America president Mark Reuss and GM vice president Bob Socia and their wives Kim and Beth. Inspired by Reuss' brief remarks and Annabelle Road vocalist Amanda Bailey's western-style rendition of "Happy Birthday" to cancer survivors in attendance, guests pledged $35,000 to help ACS create a world with more birthdays. In all, the event and two pre-events (golf and clay shooting) raised $625,000 for ACS patient programs and services.

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