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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.23.17

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Vine & Dine

Erhard BMW’s Leslie Rhodes welcomed 300 people ($85 ticket) to the huge, new Bloomfield Township showroom for the Chamber’s annual sip, savor and explore event. There was more than ample space for the nine generous food and five spirit purveyors (see photo gallery) and the Axis Music Academy stage. Plus the Gleaners Community Food Bank chance auction of six baskets display that raised enough money to provide 15,000 meals as well as the M240 convertible that was filled with mini plush cows. Guests could buy one for $10 which pays for six gallons of milk for the needy. Because purchases were matched by the United Dairy Industry of Michigan, sales totaled 576 gallons of milk. A $1,500 BMW bicycle was also up for grabs by guessing how many cows were in the car (see photo gallery). Lucky Sami Maassarani guessed the exact number – 1,550. The evening benefited both chamber programming and the Gleaner’s mission to feed the hungry and nourish communities.

Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Arts Awards

“It’s nice to be honored at an event where your friends do not have to buy tickets,” noted the ever candid Sue Nine as she accepted the BB Cultural Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award. It was eloquently presented by her nominator, philanthropy pal and 1999 awardee Maggie Allesee. Friends from the legions of non-profits that have benefited from Sue’s talented leadership were in the audience of more than 100 people gathered at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center for the celebration. Fans also came to applaud Arts Award winner Glen Michaels. It was presented by council president / photographer Laurie Tennent, herself a past awardee. Although Glen was originally a musician and does fine portraiture, the nonagenarian is best known for his unique, ceramic/glass/found objects assemblages installed in public buildings and homes throughout the country. In his acceptance remarks, he explained why he and his late wife Jackie did not return to his native Washington after getting his MA at Cranbrook. “We loved Michigan,” he said. Then he spotted Karen VanderKloot DiChiera in the crowd and recalled his days as her piano teacher. “And (later) the DiChieras eloped from our house,” he said with a grin, continuing, “ Michigan there (are experts) in every field...willing to work with a crazy artist.” Speakers also included council sponsors The Community House’s Bill Seklar and the event host Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s Annie VanGelderen plus Oakland County Commissioner Shelley Goodman Taub.

Women’s Division Project HOPE

Seventy five guests ($75, $100, $150 tickets) answered the Women’s Division Project HOPE’s invitation to Bloomfield Open Hunt where the horse power of luxury cars from sponsor Fred Lavery Company was on display at the entrance. (Other sponsors were Cap Ferrat International, Metamora Hunt Club and Topline Dressage.) Dubbed Call to the Hunt, the program began with traditional fox hunt sounds by Joanna Yarbrough played on her French horn. Several equestrian demonstrations followed with guests viewing the action via the glass wall of the indoor Ring Room. A buffet dinner with musical accompaniment by violinist John Bian and cellist Leo Singer concluded the benefit. Funds raised are earmarked for assistance to hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

ART VAN Award of Hope

Since 2009, the Art Van Charity Challenge has donated $8-million and raised more than $24-million for 359 charities. Five hundred representatives of those non-profits flocked to the retailer’s Warren store for the 2017 Art Van Award of Hope celebration emceed by Diane Charles. They were joined by super model Cindy Crawford, official ambassador of the charitable giving initiative. Dramatic videos of the five honorees’ missions preceded the presentations to: Grace Centers of Hope’s Pastor Kent Clark, Rhonda Walker Foundation’s Rhonda Walker, Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan’s Christy Buck, Chicago’s The Well of Mercy’s Mary Zeien and Flint water crisis activist Lee Anne Walters. Cindy Crawford actually knew the latter who had spoken at her children’s California school. The celebration was followed by the Perfect 10 Fall Catalog Party celebrating AV’s 10-year collaboration with Cindy Crawford Home. It featured music by DJ Jared Sykes and Casa Cider, made with Casamigos Tequila (Cindy’s husband Rande Gerber co-founded Casamigos Tequila company with George Clooney) and cider from Yates Cider Mill. Harvest fare included food stations with butternut squash risotto, white chicken chili and bountiful cheeses, charcuterie and crudites. An Autumn Delights dessert station featured sliced apples to dip in caramel, chocolate and lots of toppings and doughnuts from Yates Cider Mill.

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

The Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors

Grace Centers of Hope’s Night of Hope

Wright Gala: Kaleidoscope of Human Color

Belle Isle Conservancy Polish the Jewel Legacy Luncheon

Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Wine & Dine in the D

MOCAD Gala + Art Auction

CARE House of Oakland County’s CARE Night

Judson Center Rock Star Gala

Detroit Children’s Fund Dinner

HAVEN Tailgate

OUR TOWN Art Show & Sale

Rose Hill Center 25th Anniversary

John W. Hunter Questers Horse Race

Sweet Dreams A Night to REMember

College for Creative Studies Detroit International Wine Auction

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

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.

Ascension Michigan’s Janice Cosby is chairing the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball, Friday, Oct. 27 at the Westin Book Cadillac. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, silent auction, casino games and Kimmie Horn singing in the 4th floor Italian garden and dinner, live auction, survivor stories and pledging in the 2nd floor Woodward ballroom. The Pulse Party follows 9:30 pm – 1 am in the Venetian Ballroom. For tickets ($625-ball, $75-Pulse party) go to

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, a 6pm private cocktail and hors d’oeuvre reception for patrons, 6:30 pm general admission showcasing small plate stations created by some of the area's best restaurants including The Stand, Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, Tallulah, Prime 29, Eddie Merlot’s, Roast, Bistro 82 and The Community House. Madeline Triffon, Master Sommelier and SIP’s official food and beverage consultant, will masterfully pair small plate selections with wines, cocktails and beer to create a collaboration that will heighten the dining experience. A wine and food-centric silent auction will give guests an opportunity to bid on wine and food related auction experiences, wine lots, baskets and more. The evening concludes with an afterglow party, the ZIM’S Vodka After Hours Wine-Down, from 10:00 p.m. to midnight. The party will feature late night bites, dancing and ZIM’S Vodka signature cocktails. 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.

The Detroit Historical Society Ball is not until Dec. 9, but Benefactors are invited to an exclusive event 6 pm, Thursday, Nov. 9 on Windmill Pointe Drive in Grosse Pointe. The evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and good company is sponsored by the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation. The main event Saturday, Dec. 9 at The Factory at Corktown (1907 Michigan Ave) will honor Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and University of Michigan President Dr. Mark Schlissel. For tickets ($850) contact Vanessa Miller at, call 313.833.4143 or go to do/special-events.

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.

Suzanne Tedesco and Jennifer Donovan are chairing the Rochester Community Schools Foundation’s sixth annual Sip, Savor and Shop 6:30-9:30 pm Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Forestre Banquet Center, 1919 Star Batt Drive, Rochester Hills. Plans include beverages, appetizers, shopping at more than 30 vendor stations, a silent auction, a raffle and gift bags for the first 200 guests. For tickets ($25-in advance, $35-after Nov. 1) call 248-726-3190. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Janelle Boyce and Jennifer Wheeler are chairing Baldwin Public Library’s Books & Bites fundraiser 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

The annual DIA Gala is Saturday, Nov. 11 at the museum. For tickets call Marcia Johnson at 313 578-1063.

Keri 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 ($100-Patron, $150-benefactor) contact Claudine Bacher at 248-230-9596, email

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 248-809-3773.

Meadow Brook Hall’s 46th annual Holiday Walk is Nov. 24 through Dec. 23. It offers self-guided tours of the grand manor’s elegant rooms decorated for the holidays plus tours of Knole Cottage and Danny’s Cabin daily from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Dec. 18 through Dec. 23 touring ends at 9pm. Guests should plan on spending approximately 1.5 hours to tour the Hall, Knole Cottage and Danny’s Cabin. Last admittance is one hour prior to closing. Go to for the ticket prices and the full schedule of opportunities including the Starlight Stroll, 7 – 10 pm, Thursday, Dec. 7. Plans include valet parking, a four-course strolling dinner with chef attended stations placed throughout The Hall, full bar service including signature cocktails, live music, dancing in the ballroom and self-guided tours until 8 pm. For tickets ($100, $90-members) call 248-364-6252.

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.

The Detroit Tigers’ Duane McLean & GM’s Ed Pepper are the honorary chairs and Jon Krebs & Jeff Chandler are the co-chairs of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball, 6pm, Saturday, Dec. 2 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Plans include a Casablanca theme, cocktails, dinner, auction , a kids auction toy room, a fine wine tasting auction in the Sound Board during the reception and the night-ending MARS candy bar. For sponsorships and tickets ($250) go to or call 800-482-1455.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of SE Michigan’s Great Futures Gala is Wednesday, Dec.6 at the Detroit Athletic Club. For sponsorships and tickets ($250) call Amanda Terpstra at 248-522-4423 or email

The 2017 Detroit Historical Society Ball is 6pm, Saturday, Dec. 9 at The Factory at Corktown (1907 Michigan Ave). Plans for the black tie event in the successfully reclaimed three-story historic building include valet parking, cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, seated dinner, live entertainment, live and silent auction, and the Afterglow (9pm-12am) for dancing, snacks and cocktails. Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and University of Michigan President Dr. Mark Schlissel will be honored during the program. For sponsorships and tickets ($850-Benefactor, includes a Benefactor Party on Nov. 9; $500-Patron, $75 for 1 Afterglow ticket, $100 for 2) go to or contact Vanessa Miller at 313.833.4143 or at

Cindy Nicholaou and Kelly Dean are chairing the Rochester Women’s Fund’s Toast to the Holidays is 6 – 8 pm, Tuesday, Dec.12 at The Greystone Manor in Oakland Township (4911 Pinnacle Blvd., 48306). Plans include valet parking, wine and hors d’oeuvres. For tickets ($65; $70 after Dec. 5) go to Funds support the totally volunteer non-profit’s mission - women helping women.

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

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