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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.2.17

Yatooma Foundation Rockstars Gala

People seemed to really like the rock star theme of the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids party that brought 282 ($250 ticket) to the Royal Park Hotel. Some, including foundation founder Norman Yatooma, gussied up like iconic stars. Others just dressed like flower children going to Woodstock. Rochester artist Doug West provided super décor – canvas prints of two of his rock star paintings for the silent auction and eight more exhibited for atmosphere. (See photo gallery.) But the highlights of the party were speeches. Jane Logan spoke of the agony of watching her mother die with cancer, leaving six motherless children. (It inspired pledging of $32,000-plus) Frederick Holman, 17, a Yatooma kid since his mother died nine years ago, said Yatooma has become his family. He added that his foundation-financed trips to the Tony Robbins Global Youth Leadership Summit in San Diego taught him ‘ be better, not bitter.” Clare and Dan Murphy were honored for sending 17 Yatooma kids to those summits to learn how to build great lives despite their losses. Speaking for the couple, Dan shared a Robbins’ quote: “Change your story and you change your life.” The lively post program dance scene began with Simone Vitale playing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and 15-year-old Olivia Yatooma singing. Proceeds from the Rockstars Gala (auctions, raffle, pledging and sponsors) will support the foundation programs that turn the tragedy of a parent’s death into a triumphant future.

Beaumont Wine for the Spirit

The opportunity to attend one of the first private events at the new Little Caesar’s Arena appealed to 750 Beaumont supporters ($200 & up tickets). It was the venue selected for Beaumont Oakwood’s 22nd annual Wine for the Spirit event, which this year was presented by Delta to benefit Beaumont Children’s. It was chaired, for the 11th consecutive year, by Dan Moran and featured an impressive host committee including Cathy and Nate Forbes, whose Forbes Company hosted the popular event Biergarten and hockey legend Ted Lindsay. The latter was in much demand by fans, young and not-so-young, desiring pictures with the 92-year-old marvel in front of the Ted Lindsay exhibit in the arena concourse. His charitable foundation gave $1-million to Beaumont Children’s Center for the Ted Lindsay (Autism) Foundation HOPE Center. It provides Hands-On Parent Education (HOPE) to families of children with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disorders. Benefactors (300) arrived early for a reception at which Beaumont bigwigs (John Fox, Margaret Cooney, Dr.Neelam Kumar) put sponsors (see photo gallery) and committee people in the spotlight with words of gratitude and a toast to “..the health and happiness of families in our care.” Then guided tours of the impressive facility, wine and food pairings, a silent auction ($45,000) and conversation, possible when the Rick Lieder Band took intermissions, competed for attention. The Sunday afternoon event netted more than $150,000 for Beaumont’s children’s programs.

Preservation Bloomfield Corn Roast

Mother Nature provided a perfect day for Preservation Bloomfield’s annual Corn Roast and about 150 people ($25-adult ticket) of all ages attended the event at Bowers Farm, which is looking like a farm should look at harvest time. As Tartanius Flynn made music, children played games and got their faces painted while their parents socialized, checked out the antiques for sale in the Barton Farmhouse and bid for silent auction donations, mostly dining dates with elected officials. Hot dogs accompanied the succulent sweet corn. Thanks to generous sponsors, the event raised about $6,000 for preservation of the Barton Farmhouse and Craig Log Cabin.

Hickory Stick Invitational

Marty Gillespie and Chuck Plein chaired the 20th annual Evans Scholars fundraiser that attracted 82 golfers to Edgewood Country Club. Bagpipers piped tee off times for the golfers, each wearing plus fours (knickers) and Scottish tams and toting their antique wooden shafted clubs. Prizes were awarded at the dinner following play to Low Gross - Chris Angott; Low Net - Sonny Chappie;.Winning Team - Brian Bowman, Kathy Chappie, Sonny Chappie, Mary Kernohan and Mark Pringle. The program also featured testimony by MSU Evans Scholar Martha Ramsey about her experience, especially the importance of community living. She is one of 965 caddies currently attending one of 19 American universities on a full ride scholarship. Thanks also to an auction at the dinner, the invitational raised $50,000 for the Western Golf Association’s Evans Scholar Foundation. This brings the local event, one of the largest hickory sticks events in the world, according to Gillespie, to the $450,000 funds-raised level. .

Check in the coming weeks for reports & photos from these events:

Children’s Leukemia Foundation Afternoon of Hope

The Children’s Center Tour de Fork

Reggie Jackson’s DETermined to Assist Foundation Pistons & Plates

American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball

The Parade Company Grand Jester’s Reception

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304, email or call (248) 646-6390.

Look over the following list of fundraising events and pick a non-profit you’d like to support. If you get to the party and don’t know anyone, find me. I’ve been covering the charity scene for nearly 40 years and can probably introduce you to some really nice people. Heck, if you can’t afford a ticket, call and see if they need volunteers. Sally G

Leslie Miller and Bob Golding are chairing Variety Lights, Camera Auction Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Emagine Theater Novi. Plans include a strolling supper from top restaurants and silent auction beginning at 6 pm and a movie sneak preview at 7:45 pm. For tickets 9$60, $100-patron) go to or call 248-258-5511.

The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber annual Vine & Dine benefiting Gleaners Community Food Bank is 6 – 9 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Erhard BMW of Bloomfield. Plans include comestibles, spirits, a chance auction and serious socializing with Bloomingham area boosters. For tickets ($85; 12 or more-$75) go to

Women’s Division Project HOPE president Lady Susan Willis-Reickert is chairing A Call to the Hunt 6 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Bloomfield Open Hunt. Plans include an equestrian celebration live show accompanied by wines, hunter’s punch and hors d’oeuvres followed by buffet dinner, sweet table, cash bar and live music. For tickets ($75, $100-patron, $150-benefactor) contact Susanne Forbes Dicker at 214-244-9792 or

Carol and Michael Ziecik are chairing The Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors 6:30 pm, Thursday, Oct. 5 at the Silver Garden Events Center in Southfield. Plans include cocktails, dinner and dance exhibitions by breast cancer “thrivers’. Proceeds support financial needs of breast cancer patients whose income is negatively impacted by their treatment. For tickets (($150) go to

The Cultural Council of Birmingham/Bloomfield will present the Arts Award to sculptor Glen Michaels and the Lifetime Achievement Award to Sue Nine at a reception 6 – 8 pm, Friday, Oct. 6 at the Birmingham Bloomfield art Center. The public is invited.

Emilie Mardigian Fitch and Nanette Droulliard are chairing Grace Centers of Hope’s Night of Hope 7 pm, Friday, Oct. 6 at The Reserve. Plans include strolling dinner stations, live music and dancing, silent and live auctions and stories of the children our Hands of Hope Childcare center has impacted. For tickets ($85, $125-VIP) contact Susan Cetnar at 248-334-2187 ext 1131 go to Proceeds benefit the Hand of Hope Childcare center.

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History’s 2017 Wright Gala: Kaleidoscope of Human Color will spotlight Detroit's resilience and rich history at this event filled with the shapes and colors of love and harmony Saturday, Oct. 7 at the museum. Plans include cocktails, seated dinner, live auction and dancing, and the 10 pm REMIX After Party . For tickets ($450 - $5,000, $100-AfterParty) go to

Mona Simoncini is chairing the 13th annual Belle Isle Conservancy Polish the Jewel Legacy Luncheon 11 am, Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Detroit Yacht Club. Plans also include valet parking, a silent auction and heavy duty socializing. For tickets ($150 and up) go to

Sid and Sharon Moss are hosting the 7th annual Wine & Dine in the D Thursday, Oct. 12 at the Westin Book Cadillac. Plans include valet parking, a 5:30 discussion with Multiple Myeloma researchers, 6:30 pm strolling dinner, wine stations, a silent auction, live entertainment, a wine pull and Patron Afterglow Reception. For tickets ($175; $275-patron) go to or call 248-234-1630.

Dr. Charles Boyd is the honorary chair of Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s 11th Annual Gala + Art Auction Everything is Going to be Alright 6 pm, Friday, Oct. 13 at the midtown Detroit museum. Plans include handcrafted cocktails, a seated dinner paired with lively entertainment, a rare one-of-a-kind art auction and After Glow. The auction will be curated by MOCAD’s Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at Large Jens Hoffmann and MOCAD’s Executive Director, Elysia Borowy-Reeder. Proceeds support MOCAD’s work as a creative nucleus in the city, working to bring new ideas to a varied public by embracing all methods of learning, teaching, and all around creative thinking, and to connect artists from around the world to our city of makers and innovators. For tickets ($1,000) call 313-832-6623 or go to

Steve Hill, Heather and David Mingle and Joseph Fisher are chairing the Judson Center Rock Star Gala Saturday, Oct. 14 at the MGM Grand. Plans for this 34th annual benefit include live bands, custom cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner and a rockin’ good time. For sponsorships and tickets ($300, $400-VIP) call Nick Papadas at 248-544-6361 or go to

Kappy & Dave Trott will be honored at CARE House of Oakland County’s CARE Night Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans for the 40th anniversary of the agency that heals abused children include fine food; entertainment by the Foster Brooks Band and a live auction. For tickets ($250 and up) go to or call blithe Spitsbergen at 248-332-7173.

Ashley Crain, Gretchen Davidson and Kelle Ilitch are chairing the Detroit Children’s Fund inaugural fundraising dinner 6:30 pm, Saturday, Oct. 14, at The Factory at Corktown. Plans include a strolling cocktail reception, seated dinner, entertainment, raffle and auction. All donations made to the event will be matched up to $1 million by DCF board member Adam Levinson and his wife Brittany. Sponsorships start at $5,000 and space is limited. For more information or to reserve a sponsorship contact Lisa at 313-960-4321 or

Mayer Hawthorne will star at Humble Design Gigs for Digs Saturday, Oct. 14 at the Fillmore. Plans include cocktails and dinner ($125 and up) before the concert or concert only balcony tickets $20. Go to

WXYZ’s Kacie Hollins will emcee the HAVEN Tailgate beginning at noon, Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Birmingham Athletic Club. Plans include Lions legends and cheerleaders, BBQ buffet, craft beer, open bar, special liquor tastings, cigars, football squares and silent and live auctions. For tickets ($125-before 10/1; $150 after 10/1; $60-under 36 years) go to

Robert and Caroline Rooney Dempster are chairing 32nd annual OUR TOWN Art Show & Sale at The Community House. Carla Grava and Pam Rossiter are the Benefactor Chairs and Carol and John Aubrey are the Honorary Chairs. It opens with the Opening Night Party Thursday, Oct. 19. Plans include valet parking, strolling supper and desserts, bar service, live entertainment and the first opportunity to preview and purchase art which was juried by Barbara Heller and Weatherly Stroh. Friend tickets, with admission at 6:00pm, are $75. Benefactor tickets, with admission at 5:30pm start at $250. The show and sale continue 10am – 6pm on Friday and Saturday, October 20th and 21st; 10:00am – 12:00pm on Sunday October, 22nd. The public is welcome to visit the exhibition at no charge. For Opening Night tickets go to

Actress/author/mental health advocate Mariel Hemingway will be the featured speaker at the Rose Hill Center 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include cocktails at 6 pm, welcome and dinner at 7 pm. For tickets ($250) and sponsorships call 248-531-2413. Proceeds benefit the award-winning mental health treatment center in Holly.

Gennie Hunter and Rita Kerr are chairing the John W. Hunter Questers Rider's Up, A Horse Racing Event 6:30 – 10 pm, Friday, Oct. 20 at Goldner Walsh Greenhouse in Pontiac. Plans include a buffet dinner catered by La Marsa restaurant, two drink tickets and Horse Races. Proceeds benefit the restoration of a grand Mausoleum located in Pontiac’s historic Oak Hill Cemetery. For tickets ($45) go to For more information call Gennie at 248-737-3621 or Rita at 248-252-0555.

A Night to R.E.M.ember benefiting Sweet Dreamzzz is Friday, Oct. 20th on the cobblestone streets of old Detroit in the Detroit Historical Museum. Plans include cocktails, a strolling dinner provided by Forte Belanger featuring savory choices from Mexican Town, Greektown, and Soul Food and live and silent auctions. Funds raised will support sleep education programs to bring greater health, well-being, and academic success to economically disadvantaged children and their families. For tickets ($125) call 248-478-3242 or go to

Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr. are chairing the College for Creative Studies’ 2017 Detroit International Wine Auction Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Downtown Boxing Gym, 6445 E. Vernor Hwy. The featured vintner of this 36th annual wine auction, one of the largest charitable wine auctions in the country, is Bodega Torres, Marta Delfam brand ambassador and educator. Plans include a private patron reception, a silent auction of wine packages and CCS Alumni art, gala dinner, live auction and after party. For tickets ($1,500, $2,500-patron) and sponsorships call 313-664-7983. Proceeds from the event support undergraduate CCS student scholarships and free art programs for Detroit youth.

Tom Alongi and Christopher Mann are the executive co-chairs of the Karmanos Cancer Institute Partners whose 24th Annual Partners Night is 6:30 pm, Saturday, Oct. 28 at the M1 Concourse. Plans include valet parking, a strolling cocktail reception and dinner; thrill rides along the race track, entertainment, dancing, a silent auction and a Shinola watch raffle.. For sponsorships and tickets ($175) contact Mary Ellen Kearney at 313- 576-8106 or visit or visit

Mary Owen is chairing the Alzheimer’s Association’s Chocolate Jubilee – An Evening in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 28. Plans include a 6:30 pre-glow (for $2,500 donors), dinner, program, chocolate sampling and dancing. The program will salute Gayle Burstein for her years of dedicated fund raising for the cause. For tickets ($200 and up) call 248-996-1050.

Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza is Thursday, Nov. 2 at The Townsend. Plans include cocktails, formal dinner, program emceed by WJR’s Frank Beckmann and musical entertainment May Erlewine and The Motivations. For tickets ($185, $265-benefactor, includes VIP reception) go to For questions or sponsorships contact Cheryl Henderson at 248-338-1843 ext. 226.

Mary Beth Castorri is chairing the SKY Foundation Ninth Annual Lunch noon - 3 pm, Sunday, Nov. 5 at the MGM Grand. For tickets ($125) go to

Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304 or email

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