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01/31/2011 - 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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DADA Charity Preview

Detroit Auto Dealer Association show chairs emeritus', company CEOs, the new governor, Detroit's mayor and 2011 event chairs Barron Meade and Bill Perkins convened at a reception bankrolled by Delta to queue up for the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony. When he took his place on the stage, Ford's Alan Mulally was especially enthusiastic, slapping his colleagues' hands like a victorious athlete. Emcee WJR's Paul W. Smith then told the gathered industry leaders and supporters of the beneficiary charities, "Everyone here has been to hell and back. …if the Lions can win four in a row anything is possible." This set the tone for the upbeat program and the entire evening that attracted more than 10,000 and raised more than $2.5 million for nine children's charities. Unlike in the industry's heyday when there were often extreme fashions statements, all the women we spotted were tastefully gowned. Along with the event's traditional champagne, guests could also sample Detroit-brewed beer. In addition to examining the vehicles, lots of people test rode/drove the electric and hybrid vehicles on the MEDC test track, gathered for the rock concert by Detroit's Rockets and tried their skill at Ford's virtual Road Rally. At the latter, 12-year-old Riley North bested his big brother's time and they both beat veteran driver Sheryl Kammer. The Charity Preview is not only the largest one-night charity event in the nation it is also the most important event of the year for Detroit, as Dave Bing noted. Incidentally, the mayor smiled broadly when Governor Snyder told him that he was a "Believer". This was reference to the Believe in Detroit volunteerism campaign. Check it out at www.believeindetroit.com.

Children's Center's AutoGlow!

Eight hundred of the Charity Preview guests returned via shuttle bus to the Westin Book Cadillac for the 19th annual AutoGlow benefiting The Children's Center of Wayne County. Board chair Doug Maibach welcomed the sold out crowd, most of whom actually had a glow on because at check-in each received a blinking ring (women) or lapel pin (men). The bling component prompted us to ask film industry entrepreneur Linden Nelson if he feared that the new governor would want to eliminate Michigan's film industry tax incentive. "No way! Snyder's smart. He knows the film industry means jobs," opined Nelson, who was with his film company partners and their wives.

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