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Week of 11.27.17

Detroit International Wine Auction

The amazing transformation of the Downtown Boxing Gym into a glamorous lounge and nightclub (a la Las Vegas in the heyday of prizefighting) was the vision of “ creative wife and better half (Danialle),” said Peter Karmanos, Jr. The event co-chair was speaking to 480 College for Creative Studies supporters ($2,500, $1,500 tickets). They were at the former bookbinding factory in which, 10 years ago, Khali Sweeney opened a non-profit, after-school, academic and athletic refuge for boys and girls from Detroit’s toughest neighborhoods. (Check out it’s remarkable success at Before guests adjourned for dinner and the live auction they had bid $68,500 in the silent auction of CCS alums’ art (see photo gallery for some lots) and wine during the Vintner’s Private Reception. It also featured a splendid variety of 10 pours from Bodegas Torres, the featured vintner. Maestro Fritz Hatton masterfully conducted an extraordinary live auction. The top bid was $100,000 for a dinner for six with GM CEO Mary and Tony Barra at Fleming’s in Livonia. This brought the live auction total to $750,000. Combined with pledges ($88,500) and generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the 36th annual Art of Wine DIWA raised $2.4-million for CCS scholarships and community art programs plus $1-million from Danialle and Pete to support CCS’s Fashion Accessories Design program. Next year’s featured vintner will be former Bloomfielders Craig and Kathryn Hall, now Napa Valley winemakers.

John W. Hunter Questers Horse Race

Questers, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation and preservation of historical objects for the benefit of today and tomorrow, has 65 chapters in Michigan. One of several local chapters has committed to restore a vandalized mausoleum in Pontiac’s historic Oak Hill Cemetery. To that end, 80 people ($45-ticket) – that would be most of the 25 John W. Hunter chapter members, some friends and Pontiac boosters – gathered in the party room at Tim Travis’ Goldner Walsh Garden & Home in Pontiac for a fundraiser chaired by Rita Kerr and Gennie Hunter. It featured fellowship, a buffet dinner catered by La Marsa and gaming via a horse race in which the riders advanced by a throw of the dice. (Winners got baskets of donated goodies.) The evening’s proceeds and a grant from Quester International are expected to jumpstart the restoration of the Resurgam mausoleum.

Sweet Dreamzzz A Night to R.E.M.ember

Sweet Dreamzzz is a non-profit organization that provides at-risk school children sleep education and bedtime essentials because they “...can get A’s and B’s by getting more ZZZ’s.” It attracted 200 supporters ($125-tickets) to a nighttime fundraiser on the Detroit Historical Museum’s Streets of Old Detroit. They toured the museum, cocktailed, supped on the stroll (Forte Belanger-catered fare a la Mexico, Greek and soul food), bid in silent and live auctions, played Heads & Tails and made pledges to the cause, raising $65,000. They also applauded volunteer honoree Mary Pat O'Malley, a Divine Child High School teacher. Under her leadership more than 1,000 Divine Child students have volunteered for Sweet Dreamzzz and made fleece blankets for kindergarten students. Executive Director Nancy Maxwell noted a special side benefit of the SD program. “...Families are bonding (by)...making reading part of their evening routine.”

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

Camp Mak-a-Dream Cookies N’ Dreams

Theodore Alexander Showhouse for Variety

Karmanos Cancer Institute Partners Night

Alzheimer’s Association’s Chocolate Jubilee

Homes for Autism Ring of Hope Dinner

Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza

Ladies of Charity Luncheon

House of Providence Wishes Gala

The Community House SIP

SKY Foundation Annual Luncheon

The JARC Fall Fundraiser – British Rock Invasion

Oakland Literacy Council Ex Libris Dinner

Beyond Basics Fall Fundraiser

Rochester Community Schools Foundation Sip, Savor and Shop

Baldwin Public Library’s Books & Bites

Brave Knight Benefit

Birmingham Panhellenic Alumnae Association Luncheon

DIA Gala

Mistletoe Marketplace

FAR Friends and Fa-La-La

Preservation Bloomfield Tea & Tiara Luncheon

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Gala Evening at the Movies

South Oakland Shelter Dancing with Detroit Stars

BARD Foundation Gobble Wobble

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

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 9 pm. 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.

Maggie Allesee and Sue Nine are chairing the Women’s Division Project HOPE Holiday Boutique and Luncheon 10 am-3 pm, Wednesday, Nov. 29 at Oakland Hills Country Club. Plans include valet parking, shopping, raffle, silent auction, entertainment. cash bar and luncheon at 12 noon. For tickets ($65-members, $75-non-menbers,$100-patron, $150-benefactor) contact Maggie Allesee at 248-540-8467 or

Pat Hambleton, Nancy Flasck, Jane Giblin, Colleen Dykstra and Sally Edwards are chairing the Rochester Garden Club 71st annual Greens Market at the Rochester Schools Administration Center ( 501 W. University). There is a $5 admission fee for the Opening Gala 6 – 8 pm, Thursday, Nov. 30. Plans include snacks, beverages and shopping for beautiful handmade gifts, gourmet foods and fresh and permanent arrangements. Shopping continues 9am to 6pm Friday, Dec. 1 and 9 am - 1pm Saturday, Dec.2 with a $2 admission fee. A mailbox swag-making demonstration is scheduled for 1 – 2 pm, Friday, Dec.1. Proceeds benefit garden club conservancy, educational and community projects.

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

Kim McNulty and Kelly Winkler Patterson are chairing Christ Child Society’s popular, annual Christmas Home Tour Friday, Dec. 1. Plans include touring five Birmingham homes decorated for the holidays from 9:30 am – 2 pm and brunch and shopping at Birmingham Country Club from 9 am - 2:30 pm. For tickets ($60) got to www.

Shirley Maddalena is hosting her 29th annual High Tea benefiting Alternatives for Girls 3-5 pm, Friday, Dec. 1 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include a silent auction of donated treasures. For tickets ($55, $100-patron) go to or call Joi at 313-361-4000, ext. 273.

Charlene Mitchell-Rodgers is chairing the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit Winter Holiday Tea, noon -2 pm, Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Detroit Marriott in the Renaissance Center. Plans include a jazz performance by Kimmie Horne and trio and a fashion show. For tickets ($65-adult, $25–children) call 313-966-0198 or go to

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, 6 pm, Saturday, Dec. 2 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel. Plans include a Casablanca theme, cocktails, dinner, auction, a kids toy room auction, 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 6 pm, Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the Detroit Athletic Club. It will honor Suburban Collection’s David Fischer with the Great Futures In Celebration award. For sponsorships and tickets ($250) go to

The 2017 Detroit Historical Society Ball is 6 pm, 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 (9 pm-12 am) 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.

New. After 12 years of staging The Gallery at the MGM Grand, it is now the official kick-off of the North American International Auto Show and will be 6:30 – 11 pm, Jan. 13, 2018 in the Atrium at Cobo Center. It is a night of exclusive guests, fine food, and the world’s most exclusive automobiles. Guests will experience a nearly $10 million collection of the most acclaimed automobiles the world has to offer, including brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Rolls Royce, to name just a few. For tickets ($250) go to For all NAIAS information, including the Charity Preview Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, go to

Elise and Steve Guidos are hosting the Preview Party for the annual CARE House Circle of Friends event Thursday evening, Jan. 18, 2017 at their Bloomfield Hills home. The guest of honor will be abuse survivor Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy. He is the featured speaker at the main event, the Circle of Friends Luncheon, Thursday, Jan. 25 at The Townsend. Jeana Asmaro and Elise are the chairs. For tickets, ($125 and up) call CARE House at 248-332-7173 or go to

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

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