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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.9.17

Children’s Leukemia Foundation Afternoon of Hope

Cheryl Flynn, Cindy Grove and Stacey Rogers chaired Afternoon of Hope Celebrating Friendship which attracted 143 ($70, $100 tickets) to the Village Club. Before lunch they chatted and selected chance raffle prizes. In the program emceed by WWJ’s Dr. Deanna Lites, CLF of Michigan president Heidi Grix explained the foundation’s name. To wit: five years after its founding 65 years ago by families of young leukemia patients, those founders decided to extend CLF’s personalized services to adults. So, without a name change, the foundation has been serving all Michigan residents with leukemia. lymphoma and other blood related disorders for 60 years. One of them, Mackenzie Sanford, told about her battle with a rare form of leukemia. She got a standing ovation when she concluded “ as a survivor is beautiful.” Karmanos researchers Dr. Abhinav Deol and Dr. Joe Ulbertie also spoke about revolutionary transplantation of bone marrow and stem cells that gets rid of cancerous cells. This gives patients hope even though it currently costs $400,000 per infusion. Board chair Jim Berline presented the Medical Innovator Award to the Karmanos transplant team. One guest at each table won a restaurant gift card and members of the CLF Young Professional Advisory Board hustled chances for the card raffles. Thanks also to sponsors (see photo gallery), the third annual event raised a record $45,000 for direct services to patients.

The Children’s Center Tour de Fork

The fourth annual Tour de Fork brought 340 supporters of The Children’s Center to Eastern Market to savor spirits and comestibles generously provided by local purveyors. Sixty with VIP tickets ($200) arrived early for the Chef Experience with Grey Ghost’s John Vermiglio and crew who created a succulent pork concoction. When benefactors (39 @ $150) and individuals (241 @ $95) arrived, more than two dozen stations opened offering everything from brisket sliders (Brome), jambalaya (Union Street) and Cajun pasta (Granite City) to salted maple pie (Sister Pie) and Bullit Bourbon Cider Smash. Guests voted The Forkie Award to Esto Garage’s Cajun trio. A chance raffle ($3,300), fowling, a bag toss game and an art station offered diversions. DJ Prevu’s music filled Shed 3. Thanks also to sponsors (see photo gallery), the harvest time affair raised $100,000 for the center’s programs that annually serve more than 7,000 vulnerable children and families.

Reggie Jackson’s DETermined to Assist Foundation Pistons & Plates

Detroit Piston Reggie Jackson said that due to the military, his family moved around a lot when he was little so he made friends with books. “Reading is so important,” he told the 131 people gathered for his second Pistons & Plates fundraiser presented by Lear Corporation at the Weston Book Cadillac. His belief in the importance of reading prompted him last year to launch a foundation to impact the lives of low-income children in Detroit. Its primary focus is installing literacy lounges stocked with books in Detroit public schools. The second lounge opened last spring in the Thurgood Marshall school. Before dinner guests socialized at a cocktail reception (hosted by Chassix and Strategic Staffing Solutions), bid $14,290 in a silent auction and savored fine wines and selections from a bountiful appetizer buffet. After dinner, emcee WJLB’s Kirby Gwen and auctioneer Brian Baumhor motivated them to bid $25,500 in the live auction and to pledge $20,500 in outright donations. Thanks also to other sponsors (see photo gallery) and Reggie’s promised personal check for $50,000, the second Piston & Plates raised $185,000 for the Reggie Jackson Foundation.

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

American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball

The Parade Company Grand Jester’s Reception

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

Variety Lights, Camera Auction

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Vine & Dine

Women’s Division Project HOPE A Call to the Hunt

The Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors

The Cultural Council Awards

Grace Centers of Hope’s Night of Hope

Wright Gala: Kaleidoscope of Human Color

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

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 the 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.

Kari Burrow is chairing Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza Thursday, Nov. 2 at The Townsend. Plans include cocktails, formal dinner, program emceed by WJR’s Frank Beckmann featuring homeowner Mercedes Shamburger and Community Builder Awardee Bruce Trevarrow and concluding with musical entertainment. 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

The JARC 37th annual Fall Fundraiser – British Rock Invasion is 7:30 pm, Monday, Nov. 6 at the Max & Marjorie Fisher Music Center. It will feature the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with Brent Havens conducting and vocals by Brody Dolyniuk. For sponsorships and tickets ($100, $159, $259) go to or call 248-538-6611.

Judy Lindstrom is chairing the Oakland Literacy Council annual Ex Libris dinner Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Village Club. Plans include cocktails, dinner, and, always inspiring, remarks by a tutor (George Zak) and a student (Jose Arenas), as well as a presentation by Michigan author Sarah Miller. Her nonfiction debut, “The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century,” was hailed by the New York Times as "a historical version of Law & Order." For tickets ($125, $175-benefactor) call the council office at 248-253-1617.

Paddy Lynch is hosting the Beyond Basics Fall Fundraiser 6 pm Thursday, Nov. 9 at his historic Detroit home where Partner of the Year, UHY, and volunteer of the year, Mary Dunn, will be honored. For tickets ($150, $300-benefactor) and information call Johanna Zwally at 248-408-1735.

Baldwin Public Library’s Books & Bites fundraiser is 6 – 9 pm, Friday, Nov. 10. In honor of the library’s 90th anniversary it will have a Speakeasy theme. Plans include hotsy-totsy auction items, live jazz music, a photo booth, gaming tables plus food and drink from Big Rock Chophouse, Griffin Claw Brewing Company, The Bird & the Bread, Bistro Joe’s, Great Harvest Bread Company, 7 Greens, Svenska Café, Toast, Whistle Stop Diner, and Whole Foods Market. Tickets are $75 for Shakers ages 64 and under, $65 for Boomers ages 65 to 89, and free for attendees 90 and over. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 248-554-4683. Auction donations are welcome and sponsorship opportunities are also available. All proceeds from the event will help fund an expansion and renovation of the Youth Room.

The Julian Boivin Courage for Cures Foundation’s annual Brave Knight Benefit for Pediatric Brain Tumor Research is 7:30 pm, Friday, Nov. 10 at Pine Lake Country Club. Plans include a champagne reception, strolling dinner, hosted bar, silent and live auctions and raffle prizes. For tickets ($175) go to

Heather Dell and Rita Norkiewicz are chairing the 17th annual FAR, Friends & Fa-La-La Be Inspired Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Detroit Country Day School’s Selig Performing Arts Center. The doors open at 5:30pm to shop for gifts handmade by clients of FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation and for the Silver Circle Pre-Glow Reception ($150 ticket). The Honorary Chairs are Dr. Mitchell and Carol Klein. The show featuring FAR’s Stars and their therapists begins at 7 pm. The Ted Lindsay Foundation for Autism, Steve Acho and Dale Hollandsworth will be honored during intermissions. An AfterGlow for all follows the show. For sponsorships and tickets ($75, $150) call Pamela Ayres at 248.646.3347.

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

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