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02/13/2012 - Welcome to the home of Social Lights. Read new online reports with photos each week and their reprise in the monthly print edition mailed to 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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St. Regis School Auction 2012 Livin' on a Prayer

Rock band Bon Jovi's 1980's hit "Livin' on a Prayer" was a great theme for the annual auction party staged at Birmingham Country Club by supporters of St. Regis Catholic Grade School. And not because the lyrics are about hard times nor because the school is faith-based. Rather because it gave lots of the 400 guests an excuse to wear 1980's attire. Some assembled iconic looks like Madonna and Van Halen, but many of them had only to delve into their own closets for old prom clothes, or, like Nancy Devine Murphy, her mother's closet for the silver cocktail dress Marge Devine wore in 1985 to the Brother Rice HS 25th anniversary celebration. Even pastor Msgr. Chuck Kosanke wore a light colored sport coat over his clerical garb. "We thought this was hip in the '80s," he explained. But people were there primarily to bid on the 500-plus donated acquisitions. In addition to goods, services and student-produced treasures, more than 40 parties hosted by school boosters were on the auction block. They included creative themed socials for adults, women only, men only, and children. Event co-chairs Megan Marderosian and Meg Stenger and their committed crew were richly rewarded for their hard work. The annual event topped all previous auctions, netting more than $140,000.

"Driving America" Opening at The Henry Ford

Speaking of retro parties Patricia Mooradian's team at The Henry Ford surely had fun planning the launch party for the museum's new, $8 million "Driving America" permanent exhibit. Think girls on roller skates a la drive-in waitresses and vintage bicycle air horns, the latter perfect substitutes for applause during the brief opening ceremony. "This is really cool," enthused Bill Ford, who co-chaired the event with his wife and Gov. & Mrs. Rick Snyder. "My great grandfather would have loved this," he continued. He was referring to the unique collection of 130 vehicles, artifacts and culturally-related interactivities exhibited in the vast 80,000 square feet that he hopes will inspire youngsters who see it to come up with the next automotive innovations. U.S. Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood also spoke briefly about the creative juices the exhibit will generate and concluded the program with "Start your engines and honk your horns." Whereupon guests, 750 total throughout the night, cruised the memory-evoking exhibit. In addition to viewing the cars and eating on the stroll, some also checked out Larry's Diner and popped into the theatre for the 10-minute experience. "An exciting night, years in the making," is how museum president Mooradian summed up the occasion.

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