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12/27/2010 - 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.

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The Parade Foundation's Hob Nobble Gobble

The best family party of any year got bigger and better this year when The Parade Company moved it to Ford Field and changed the date from Thanksgiving Eve to the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Although the new date may have precluded attendance by some who previously came from afar to be with family for Thanksgiving, it obviously inspired others to attend as the numbers were up from 1,600 last year to 1,800. "I love the new date," said Detroit Economic Club CEO Beth Chappell adding, "Wish it had happened years ago…And Ford Field is a great venue. It was really cool overlooking the whole thing when you first walk in."

A merry band of elves overlooking the Superstar ($1,000 per person) reception evoked lots of smiles. Kids stood in line to have their pictures taken with R&B/Pop singer Shontelle and hob nob with actress Jane Kramer, a Rochester native,  and Olympic medal winners Peter Vanderkaay, Meryl Davis and Charlie White. But the main attractions for kids of all ages were the much expanded selection of rides, especially Quicken Loan's Giant Slide. "Glad I didn't wear a skirt," said one woman watching the action as she awaited her turn. The always popular midway games, an abundant, centrally located dinner buffet, Mel Ball's music for dancing and the super duper giveaways which distinguish this event did not disappoint. Neither did the fundraising, which is why event chair Comerica's Elaine McMahon has not missed a Hob Nobble Gobble. Always a black tie event, it started in 1989 on a much smaller scale (450 guests) in the old parade warehouse.

Sweet Memories – The Alzheimer's Association's Chocolate Jublie

The statistical projections cited by speakers at the 26th annual fundraising luncheon (e.g.. cost of Alzheimer's in the U.S. by 2050 will be $20-trillion) attest to the fact that Alzheimer's disease is not funny. However, three speakers did evoke some chuckles from the 700 guests. When Mary Wilson, honorary co-chair with her husband, Buffalo Bills owner Ralph, accepted a gift of gratitude for the couple's ongoing support, she apologized that the Bills beat the Lions, and then quickly admitted that she really wasn't sorry. When attorney Norman Yatooma accepted the Community Partner Award for Charity Motors he took his four daughters to the podium where Olivia, age eight, was the spokesperson. With winsome innocence she delivered a well scripted and rehearsed acceptance speech referencing her father's appearance at previous events, each time with a new baby daughter, and suggested, "Wait 'til next year!" When the laughter subsided, she added "…Mommy wants Daddy to get fixed. Daddy says he's not broken. (Pause for laughter.) But, if your car is broken, give it to Charity Motors." Then keynote speaker Mayo Clinic's Dr. Ron Petersen concluded an informative talk with humorous charts of the male and female brains and suggested the importance of lifestyle factors like cognitive and physical activity. "So where are we?" he asked. "Drink red wine. Eat dark chocolate. Play golf," he declared. Guests then sampled sweets at the 28 exhibitors' booths. Sweet Nothings Fine Cakes & Desserts won the best presentation title. The Art Institute of Michigan was first runner-up. Thanks to generous donors, the event raised $700,000.

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