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02/20/2012 - 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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Marian High School's Benefit Evening

Marian's Mothers' and Dads' Clubs, with help from more than 100 MHS student volunteers, staged Wish Upon a Star Benefit Evening 2012 at the school on Feb. 4. Many of the 310 parents, alumnae parents, alumnae, and friends began the evening at Mass in the school chapel before heading to the silent auction tables where they spent some $60,000. Dinner entertainment was the talented Marian Rice Players and included numbers from their upcoming musical "Bye Bye Birdie" (March 22-25). MHS alumna dad Rip Hayes conducted the short live auction that followed dinner. It featured some spirited bidding for such coveted items as extra tickets and front row seats for MHS graduation 2012 (sold twice for $3,330 each) and a holiday at the Nabil Khoury's place in Naples, FL (sold twice at $3,200 each). But the highest bid ($7,000) came for a golfer's dream a trip for three in a private jet to play Arcadia Bluffs and Crystal Downs with overnight accommodations at the Little River Casino and Resort in Manistee. These bids brought the live auction total to $40,000, and the event total to a rousing $180,000.

Motor City Open Sponsors Party

The 13th annual Motor City Open at the Birmingham Athletic Club late last month was designated by the World Professional Squash Association as an International 50 tournament, making it one of the most important tour stops in North America. The enthusiasm of the BAC members, and generous sponsors like Suburban Collection and Greenstone's Fine Jewelry, have also made it known on the pro circuit as one of the best club-based tournaments in the world. BAC squash director and former world-ranked pro Julian Wellings of Birmingham did compete and young local players got tips from the pros during the Saturday junior squash clinic, but the finals was strictly international as Maylasian Ong Beng Hee beat Egyptian Hisham Mohd Ashour before an enthusiastic, sold-out crowd. There was also a big crowd (350) at the Thursday night Sponsors Party. It featured supping, socializing and auction action, which raised more than $20,000 for the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Racquet Up Detroit (www.racquetup.org) , an urban squash and education initiative. RUD members participated in the MCO youth clinic and director Derek Aguirre said they would never forget their recent trip to New York City for the Urban Squash Team Nationals tournament.

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