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10/22/2012 - 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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Children's Leukemia Foundation's CRUSH Birmingham

The CLF of Michigan's celebration of two anniversaries – the foundation's 60th and the CRUSH benefit event's fifth – attracted a record high attendance of 440 supporters to the Townsend. The 13 culinary and wine pairing stations were the soiree's big draw. Guests sampled such savories as The Capital Grille's Michael Connery's Kona crusted beef tenderloin with shallot butter sauce, Tallulah and Bellapiatti's Daniel Campbell's sheep's milk ricotta tortelli, and Bacco Ristorante's Luciano del Signore's vegetable torre. When guests settled in for the apple confit dessert created by CRUSH honorary pastry chef Michael Laiskonis, auctioneer Dan Stall got them to bid more than $62,500 for 15 auction items plus $15,000 more in dedicated giving.

The program that followed the auction honored the family of the late John and Geri Smith who continue their parents' dedicated support; Abby Brown Pook and Barry Brown, who continue the service began by their late parents / CLF founders Harry and Sylvia Brown; Ellen Lesser Siegel who has served CLF for three decades as a volunteer; and the University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center's Dr. Moshe Talpaz, a pioneer researcher in chronic myeloid leukemia treatments. More than 200 guests stayed for the Remy Cointreau USA After Hours party in the Regency Ballroom where they danced off the calories until 1:30 a.m. Well, some did scarf down the Hunter House sliders that were served before midnight. The anniversary event, dubbed Effervescence Times Two, raised more than $200,000 for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan's families and patients.

DPTV's Premiere Night

Social Lights covered the first Premiere Night in 2002. Lois Shaevsky chaired the casual, fun affair. It attracted a capacity crowd of 200 to the Gem Theatre where PBS satirist Mark Russell lampooned everyone, as we reported, "…from Cardinal Law, to Enron and Martha Stewart." What a difference 11 years make. Because the annual fundraiser had outgrown its DAC venue to which the 2003 chairs Maggie and Bob Allesee moved it, 2012 chairs Pam and Todd Wyett  took the 11th annual Premiere Night to the Westin Book Cadillac to accommodate the 450 ticketholders. In recent years, the entertainment had included video trailers of new PBS shows and a very short live auction, in which a popular item is the wine dinner for eight hosted by Stephen and Bobbi Polk and served by the Polks and DPTV staff. Since 2006, attendance has increased because the station pays homage to outstanding Detroit Public TV contributors. This year, they were Jerry Jung, Mariam C. Nolan, Nancy Schlichting, and Hoda Succar, all of whom have impressive accomplishments. In their acceptance speeches, each noted optimism about Detroit's future. The event raised about $265,000, including the auction total of $32,500.

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