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05/15/2017 - 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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Project 1 Who's Your Bartender

The energy was palpable as more than 500, mostly young philanthropists, flocked to Birmingham's Bird & Bread the last Tuesday in April for Project 1's iconic fundraiser chaired by Amy Ordona, Laura Beckeman, Missy Rancilio, Terri Macksoud and Kelley Kennedy. When guests paid ($15-in advance, $20-at the door), they declared one of 12 non-profits whose advocates were tending bar (see photo gallery). They bought drink tickets, but B&B provided superb complimentary appetizers and pizza for sustenance. Many guests wore T-shirts that proclaimed their loyalty. The Angel's Place bartenders even wore, what else, halos. The ebullient evening raised more than $75,000 $45,000 of which will be shared by the non-profits. Project 1 is an all volunteer organization which donates all net proceeds directly to those in need.

The Village Club Foundation Awards Luncheon

TVCF's reveal of its grant recipients is heartwarming, if not sensational. As foundation president Carol Litka explained at the luncheon, it followed the thorough investigation of all applicant organizations by 11 teams of three club members. Then the grants committee studied their findings and determined that 47 non-profits would get some of the $169,000 total, "...the largest ever in one year," she noted. (See photo gallery for their names.) The guest list (171) included 70 grant representatives. Before lunch all socialized and applauded Tyler Bouque's rich baritone selection from "Tosca". (Tyler enjoys an internship with the Rackham Choir, a TVCF grant recipient.) After lunch, there were more than a few moist eyes as three of the grant recipients told their stories. The presentations were a rewarding conclusion to the foundation's Hearts Aglow-Giving One to Another fundraising effort.

WON Foundation Wonder Woman Awards

Since the Women's Officials Network established a foundation in 2008, it has presented awards to individuals whose community service is exceptional. This year, the awards banquet attracted 135 ($75 & up) to the San Marino Club. Some of the guests were named Wonder Women during the award's first 24 years. Then it was sponsored by the now defunct Women's Survival Center for whom board members Sue Nine and Maggie Allesee created the award. The 2017 awardees represented elected service Franklin Village Clerk Eileen Pulker; the law Judge Colleen O'Brien; corporate benevolence DTE Foundation's Faye Nelson and Bank of America Michigan's Tiffany Douglas; and ministry to those in need Cass Community Services' Rev. Faith Fowler. From the first presentation John Pulker's introduction of his wife as the "woman of my dreams," to the last speech Rev. Faith Fowler's humorous reminder that "...everything has a shelf life, and so do we," the speeches were splendid and earned standing ovations. Past foundation president Deb Macon also spoke briefly about the initiatives the WON Foundation supports for young women, which had the special attention of the 23 young leader guests.

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