02/27/2012 - 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.
Birmingham Education Foundation's Unabashed Bash
"We are so fortunate to have the foundation…and the best parents in Michigan," declared Birmingham Public Schools chief David Larson. He was talking to the sold out crowd at the 11th annual BEF Unabashed Bash at the Townsend. They had already bid nearly $25,000 in the silent auction and enjoyed the music of the Seaholm Chamber String Ensemble during the cocktail hour. They would further enjoy Seaholm's Jazz Band while they devoured a superb dinner and give a standing ovation to Groves Theatre students for songs from their spring "Bye Bye Birdie" musical. And even though Jim Moll has retired as the principal at Berkshire Middle School, he was on hand for yeoman service as the volunteer auctioneer in the post dinner live auction that raised nearly $25,000. This brought the event gross to more than $133,000 for enrichment programs in the schools. The importance of these programs had been highlighted before dinner when guests saw a video staring singer/songwriter/producer Mike Posner, a graduate of Groves HS, in which he noted how much he owed to Birmingham Public Schools.
The Children's Charities Coalition's Sing Out 4 Kids
The third annual Sing Out 4 Kids attracted more than 200 to The Community House to cheer on the good sports who took to the stage for spirited karaoke performances. These included Kathy Brook Ballard, ReMonda Palmer, Joe Knollenberg, Monica Gail and her husband Dean Greve, Nicki Hathaway, Hal Feder, April Tini, Taylor Segue, Meredith Deighton and Zavette Gibson. Sheriff Michael Bouchard and Henry Baskin shared the emcee duties and Ballard and Karla Sherry co-chaired the rousing event. Selections ranged from Knollenberg's rendition of "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey" to Palmer's version of Whitney Houston's "I Believe in You." The latter was especially poignant because Houston's death occurred earlier in the day. The benefit for the four members of the CCC was presented by the Kroger Co., with additional support from Huntington Bank and Kathy Broock Ballad. The four coalition agencies are The Community House, Variety, CARE House and Orchards Children's Services.
Temple Beth El's exhibition of Passover Tables created by more than 25 notable talents has become a stellar event under the leadership of the three women who led it the first two years – Elyse Foltyn, Lil Erdeljan and Fair Radom. They are the honorary chairs of the third annual event which is being chaired by Carol Segal Ziecik and Jill Syme. They all welcomed dozens of Passover Tables patrons to the Patron Prelude Party hosted by Neiman Marcus in the Home store. Guests sipped, nibbled, socialized, and perused some Seder dinner table settings and bought some new objects because NM was giving 10-per cent of the sales to Temple Beth El. The two-part main event will debut Thursday, March 1 at the High Tea (noon-3 p.m.; $35-ticket) and be followed by the Cocktail Party (6 – 8:30 p.m.; $75-ticket). Tickets may be purchased at the door.
Salute to Frannie Greenebaum
When Gale Colwell was the executive director of The Community House and Frannie Greenebaum worked for the Oakland County Parks Foundation, Colwell persuaded Greenebaum to become the development director at TCH. Colwell had seen Greenebaum's leadership of the Junior League of Birmingham at a time when the JLB was perhaps the area's biggest volunteer force and knew firsthand how well Greenebaum could relate to people. That was 21 years ago and during those years Greenebaum made lots of dollars and lots of friends for TCH. Some 100 of them came to a retirement celebration Colwell co-hosted with artist Julie Dawson at Dawson's Birmingham home. The invitations called it a "Fabulous Frannie Party" and, because Greenebaum was retiring her TCH name badge, guests were instructed to create a name badge for themselves with a portrait of the honoree. The badges became party souvenirs for "Fabulous Frannie" and should evoke lots of memories in her retirement. It will provide much more time for trips with her husband Julian to NYC to visit with their daughter and grandchildren.
Check in the coming weeks for reports & photos from these events:
• Solanus Casey Center's Wine Tasting Benefit
• Wayne County Medical Society Foundation's Chinese Celebration
• Wish Upon a Teen's Dealing with the Stars
• Classical Brunch at The Community House
• Jerusalem Peace Dinner
Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304, email email@example.com or call (248) 646-6390.