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04/17/2017 - Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. 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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Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation Celebration

Wabeek Country Club was a good choice for the third annual Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation fundraiser which attracted 220 ($150, $250) school district supporters. Alum-to-be-honored, Las Vegas-based magician Rick Lax, BHS 2000, chatted easily with the early-arriving VIP guests, including teachers Pat Clees, David Reed and Bob Ambrose whom he would later praise in his acceptance speech. We were amused that his favorite accomplishment was not his two college degrees, his membership in Mensa, his Ted Talk or his books, but rather the You Tube videos of his magic tricks that have more than 2 billion views. Casino games (with Lax doing a stint as a dealer), a silent auction and strolling dinner preceded the program emceed by auctioneer Gary Mark. Program highlights included three testimonials (by student Emelia Johnston, teacher Rachel Matz and Way Elementary principal Adam Scher) about the educational value of their foundation grants, a salute to Rob Glass (in the form of a named foundation to honor outstanding teachers) for his Michigan Superintendent of the Year honor, and the live auction. It raised $20,000 bringing the event total proceeds to $75,000. Since 2014, the foundation, of which Cathie Badalamenti is the executive director, has made enrichment grants totaling $350,000.

St. Hugo of the Hills All In for Hugo Auction

Suzanne Tosto, Nicole Pawczuk, Kristen Bujoli and Gina Root chaired St. Hugo of the Hills School auction that drew 260 enthusiastic school supporters ($100 & $120 tickets) to the Centerpoint Marriott. Many people favorably noted the convenience of the venue (so close to the Bloomfield Hills parish) and the yummy cuisine at the buffet stations. The silent auction display was a big focus. It included 30 delightful creations (see photo gallery), the making of which had involved nearly 500 eager students. However, a guitar signed by the Rolling Stones, an autographed Patriots helmet and an Alaskan cruise accounted for more than $10,000 of the silent auction proceeds. Other temptations included 38 Socials that offered a wide variety of parties, the wine wall ($2,500) to which school families had donated 100 bottles of good wine, the raffle ($8,000) which offered Kid Rock concert tickets among other things, and a Paddle Raise (pledging) which garnered nearly $15,000 for school equipment. All the bidding was electronic as was the traditional program book. The committee even eschewed the traditional live auction. In its place excitement was generated at gaming tables where players vied for a trip to Las Vegas and a Shinola watch. Accounting is incomplete, but the parents' generosity and hard work is incalculable.

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