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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.16.17

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

When Annette Royce, Julie Pietrosante and their committee decided to hold the CCS annual fall fundraiser at the Detroit Athletic Club, they were unaware that they were taking it back to the place where the very first one was held 25 years ago. This year, the 250 guests ($175 & $200 tickets) first convened in the gymnasium for cocktails, auctions and the program. The latter was notable for Val Ellis and her daughter Lauren Fanslau’s acceptance of the Mary Virginia Merrick Award on behalf of their family Galencher Nagy Foundation. Their benevolence enabled the development and maintenance of the art therapy and enrichment classes at Christ Child House. Lauren, who attends the classes every week, spoke compellingly of their value to both the at-risk boys who call the house their home and herself. A video of life at the house preceded the live auction. Thanks to the Kentucky Derby trip for 6 ($15,000) and a day at the Masters for 8 ($20,000) , both via private jet, the live auction raised $55,200. Guests then proceeded to the second floor ballroom for a superb strolling dinner and dancing to high energy music by the Rick Lieder band. The 25th Night of Angels netted $127,000 for the society’s child welfare programs. Kim McNulty and Kelly Winkler Patterson are chairing the next CCS event – the annual Christmas Home Tour with brunch and boutique shopping at Birmingham Country Club Friday, Dec.1.

The Parade Company Grand Jester’s Reception

The Reserve was swathed in colorful beads and balloons for the splendid Distinguished Clowns Grand Jester Reception the LePage family hosted for The Parade Company. Rennie and Esther Kaufman made beautiful music as a video of past Thanksgiving parades streamed on a large screen. Many in the crowd of 200 were looking at the photo books of past parades with the DCs in their clown makeup. Most of the clowns, like Bonnie Jobe, are hardly recognizable in their make-up (see photo gallery). During the brief program, Parade Company CEO Tony Michaels paid tribute to the generosity of 2017 Grand Jester Van Conway, who was roundly applauded in absentia. DC sponsor UHL’s Tony Frabotta and Tom Callan and past Grand Jesters Austin Kanter and Maggie Allesee spoke briefly about the joy of clowning around. DC’s donate $1,000 each for the privilege.

Variety Lights, Camera, Auction!

Leslie Miller and Robert Golding chaired the annual Variety Bikes for Kids fundraiser which attracted about 250 ($60, $100 tickets) to the newly renovated Emagine Novi Theater. They savored the fare offered by 22 restaurants and bid for silent auction items before convening for the advance screening of “Marshall,” the much anticipated account of an early Thurgood Marshall case. The evening raised $28,000 for bikes for disadvantaged youngsters. The following week at the Variety annual meeting at The Townsend, Lois Shaevsky was installed as the new board president.

American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball

More than 700 people ($200, $500 tickets) gathered at Cobo Center for the Detroit Cattle Baron’s Ball. The event, presented by Ford Motor Company and led by Ford’s Joy Falotico, featured live music by Detroit-based Annabelle Road and the Nashville country trio, Levon, western fun like mechanical bull riding and line dancing, silent and live auctions and grub by Detroit area restaurants. Program highlights included Kate Mahanic accepting the Society’s prestigious Cowger Leadership Award for her successful launch and leadership of the Associate Board of Ambassadors, a young professional group that supports the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and the celebration of 15 cancer survivors, caregivers and researchers. Food judges Dan Alpert, Robb Harper, Mark Kurlyandchik and Jodi Noding decided the culinary awards. Best Sweet-Achatz Handmade Pie Company; Best Savory-Centerplate; Best in Presentation-TRIA - An American Brassiere. The Whiskey Six won the People’s Choice award. The toe-tappin’ evening generated more than $800,000, bringing the total raised in the event’s 15-year history to nearly $16-million.

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

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

Belle Isle Conservancy Polish the Jewel Legacy Luncheon

Multiple Myeloma Foundation Wine & Dine in the D

MOCAD Gala + Art Auction

Judson Center Rock Star Gala

CARE House of Oakland County’s CARE Night

HAVEN Tailgate

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

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.

Cookies N’ Dreams benefiting Friends of Camp Mak-a-Dream, a cost free camp for children and young adults touched by cancer, is 5 – 7:30 pm, Thursday, Oct. 26 in the Somerset North Courtyard. It features cookies provided by area bakers for guests to sample and vote their favorite. Plans also include food, beverages, entertainment and activities for all ages throughout the evening. For tickets ($60-adult; kids pay their age) call 248-723-5575 or visit

Judy & Tim Hildebrand are the honorary chairs of the exclusive Designer Showhouse in the Theodore Alexander Showroom in the Michigan Design Center. It features vignettes by leading design talents including Brian Killian Rising Star winners. Jon Jordan is hosting the opening reception 6:30- 9 pm, Friday, Oct. 27 for Benefactors ($100-ticket; arrive at 6 pm) and Friends ($50). For tickets go to Public viewing continues the next day, 10am – 4pm, Saturday, Oct. 28. Tickets ($100 are at the door.

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.

State Senator Jim Marleau will be honored at Homes for Autism 21st annual Ring of Hope Dinner, 6 pm, Saturday Oct. 28 at the Village Club. Plans include a silent auction, cocktails, dinner. Award program and live entertainment. For tickets ($150 & up) call Anne Gerard at 586-477-0493.

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.

Sandy Mackle is chairing the Ladies of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul’s Fall Harvest Luncheon 11 am, Friday, Nov. 3 at the Somerset Inn. Plans include a basket auction, 50/50 raffle, Mary Kay Cosmetics services and informal modeling of fashion trends. For tickets ($55, $100 benefactor). call Sue Lamparter at 248-515-6744 for information.

The Community House is hosting SIP Saturday, Nov. 4. Plans include valet parking, strolling small plates with wine and cocktail pairings, live music and an after-hours Wine Down. The event celebrates the marriage of fantastic cuisine and outstanding wines and engages the Michigan restaurant and wine community where exceptional area Chefs and Sommeliers team up to provide food and wine perfection. Proceeds will support TCH’s new scholarship fund for the Introductory Course or Certified Examination administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. For tickets ($300-Patron, 6pm arrival for champagne reception; $225-6:30pm arrival; $125-30&under) and more information, call 248-644-5832 or click on “philanthropy” at

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

Save the date for the annual DIA Gala Saturday, Nov. 11 at the museum. Details to follow.

Ken Vizena is chairing the Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan Mistletoe Marketplace 9am – 3 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the San Marino Club in Troy. Plans include boutique shopping, a silent auction, raffles, fashion stroll of resale Connection consignments and luncheon program emceed by Fox-2’s Monica Gayle, honorary event chair. For tickets ($85) call 248-821-4668 or 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.

Carol Shaya, Mia Materka and Sue Nine are chairing Preservation Bloomfield’s Tea and Tiara Luncheon 11am – 3 pm, Thursday, Nov. 16 at Pine Lake Country Club. Plans include music by Bloomfield Hills High School students and British-themed centerpieces / tablescapes by PB members. All tablescapes will be available for purchase by the highest bidders. For tickets call Carol Shaya (248-892-4538 or email to

Iris Yellen and Dr. Ernesto Drelichman will be honored at Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of Michigan’s 40th annual Evening at the Movies, Thursday, Nov. 16 at Royal Oak Emagine Theatres. Plans include a silent auction and strolling dinner with wine pairings at 6:30pm, program featuring speaker Shelden Yellon at 7:30 pm, movie preview at 8 pm. For sponsorships and tickets ($150 & up) go to For more information or questions please contact Kiel Porter, Development Director, at 248-737-0900 ext. 4.

Ford Motor Company is presenting The Parade Company Hob Nobble Gobble Friday, Nov. 17 at Ford Field. This exceptional event offers fun for all ages, including a midway, carnival games and non-stop prizes, entertainment and cuisine. For tickets ($350, under7-$200) call CarolAnn Barbb at 313-432-7831.

Jennie & Bill Cook and Marci & Tim Rice are chairing South Oakland Shelter Dancing with the Detroit Stars 7pm, Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Townsend Hotel. This ninth annual fundraiser features dancing, music, strolling dinner, open bar, a silent auction and celebrity judges picking a winning dancer. Fox 2’s Ryan Ermanni will be the emcee. Dancers include Barbara Bloink, Catherine Badalamente, Eric Fadie, Marla Govan, Jimmy King, Chef Bobby Nahra, Brenda Orlando and Dan Colombo. The judges are John Akouri, Jeremy Childers, Judge Vonda Evans and Jackie Kallen. The auction will go live Nov. 6 online at For event tickets ($200-standing; $1,000- table for 4) go to or call 28-809-3773.

Save the date for the Women’s Division Project HOPE Holiday Boutique and Luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Oakland Hills Country Club. Details to follow.

Maryclare & Bob Pulte are chairing Angels’ Place Silver Anniversary Dinner Thursday, Nov. 30 at The Henry. Plans include the 6pm patron party, 6:30pm general reception and silent auction, 7:30pm dinner and program with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred as the speaker. For sponsors and tickets ($225, $350-patron) call 248-350-2203.

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

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