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01/24/2011 - Welcome to the home of Social Lights. Read new online reports with photos each week and their reprisals in the monthly print edition mailed to over 26,000 homes in Birmingham-Bloomfield at the start of each month. If you are not receiving the print edition by mail, 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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Henry Ford Hospital's Grand Ball

"That Grand Old Lady on the Lodge is beaming tonight," declared Henry Ford Hospital CEO Dr. John Popovich. He was talking to the sold out (900) crowd at the MGM Grand. HFH System VP Gary Rounding had earlier and happily noted that the original goal for the hospital's first-ever gala fundraiser was to have 600 guests, that 1,200 had actually paid, and the 800 seats were occupied by 900 guests. They were there to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the historic institution, which was founded by Henry Ford, and to honor philanthropic volunteers and employees. Many Ford family members were on hand to applaud the honorees: Brigitte & Mort Harris, Kresge Foundation's Rip Rapson, CSC's Russ Owens, Dr. Bill Conway, Paul Szilagyi and Lynette Norris.

The evening was also a love-in of sorts for Detroit. Mayor Dave Bing thanked HFH leaders like CEO Nancy Schlichting, VP Bob Riney and board member Dick Brodie ("...a friendly competitor but he's smarter than (I)") for helping to "bring Detroit back." Medical Group CEO Mark Kelley noted that the hospital is "…an economic engine for revitalizing the city and the region…I stand on the shoulders of giants…the future will be remarkable…Because of Henry Ford Hospital and people like you, we're going to fool a lot of people." Following the upbeat program some people headed to the casino, but many stayed until midnight to dance to Mel Ball's music. Including proceeds from the unique Bubble & Baubles raffle for which the raffle tickets were Waterford Champagne flutes, the Grand Ball grossed more than $375,000.

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan 6th Annual Kidney Ball - "Motown Magic

The same night as the above-reported event, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan's annual ball attracted 720 supporters to the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. The Motown-inspired evening included a cocktail hour, dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment by the Jerry Ross Band and an after party. With more than 180 items, the silent auction was especially popular, raising more than $35,000. WDIV's Steve Garagiola emceed the program that honored Vivian Pickard for her longtime support of NKFM and included actress Erin Cummings (Detroit 187), plugging her live auction donation of a day on the program set which helped bring the live auction total to $64,000. Combined with pledges for the kids programs ($27,000), sponsorships and ticket sales the sixth annual event raised more than $475,000 to help prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it.

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