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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 12.4.17

Camp Mak-a-Dream Cookies N’ Dreams

The annual cookie contest that raises money to send, cost free, children and young adults affected by cancer to a camp in Montana brought a crowd of nearly 500 supporters of all ages to the Grand Court at Somerset Collection North. (Tickets were $60 for adults and kids paid their age.) How guests, regardless of age, could sample all the creations from 20 generous bakeries (see photo gallery for list) eludes this reporter, but those who did and voted named the following: Healthiest Cookie- Debra's Foods, Most Unusual & Creative Cookie- Gold N' Oven; Celebrity Judged Cookie- Cookies By Design; Most Indulgent Cookie - Donut Bar + Coffee; Best Tasting- Cool Jack's; and the 2017 Camp Mak-A-Dream Cookie from Crispelli's. Guests also filled boxes with cookies to take home, snacked on other savory fare, danced to Star Trax music, played with Legos and paused to hear “testimonies” from campers like Kali and Zach Orlandoni of Bloomfield Hills. Thanks to generous sponsors (see photo gallery) the fun-filled event raised more than $140,000 for the camp founded by the late Sylvia and Harry Granader.

Theodore Alexander Showhouse for Variety

You’ve heard of showhouses that feature the work of different designers in rooms throughout a single home. Well, Michigan Design Center’s newest showroom – Theodore Alexander – is a showhouse of vignettes within a showroom. Featured designers include Jimmy Angell, Donna Connelly, Dayna Flory, Charles Dunlap, Joe Keenan, Michelle Mio, Jill Schumacher, Rita O’Brien, Richard Ross, Amanda Sinistaj, Jane Spencer, Anne Strickland, Lauren Tolles and owner operator Michael Coyne, whose own showroom is across the hall from the 4,200 sq. ft. Theodore Alexander space. WDIV fashion editor Jon Jordan hosted the Grand Opening event with honorary chairs Tim and Judy Hildebrand. Some 300 design enthusiasts and supporters of Variety, the Children’s Charity ($100 & $50 tickets) gathered there to sip, sup and examine the finely-crafted TA furniture, lighting, upholstery and accessories displayed in unique settings. The event netted $22,000 for Variety’s programs for special needs kids.

Alzheimer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee

According to AA President/CEO Jennifer Lepard, the 33rd annual fundraiser was bittersweet for the organization...”(because it’s) our last Chocolate Jubilee with Gayle Burstein at the helm.” The petite, soft-spoken dynamo, who is passionate about the AA mission, is retiring after 25 years as fundraiser par excellente and the crowd of 550 ($200 & up tickets) in the MGM Grand ballroom gave her a standing ovation. They also applauded “Aliceheimer’s” author Dana Walrath following her description of Alzheimer’s whimsical nature. She said the guidance she received through the AA 24/7 Helpline when her mother Alice and dementia moved into her home was invaluable. Images of Parisian icons decorated the Evening in Paris-themed party where guests also bought 200 Sweet Chance bags for $50 each. (They contained donated goodies like LaLonde, Astrein's and Greis jewelry, gift cards to Detroit's hottest restaurants, and tickets to “An American in Paris” at the Fisher Theatre.) After dinner and speeches, they danced and filled take home bags with yummy creations from talented confectioners. Thanks to generous sponsors, the event raised nearly $1.2 million.

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

Karmanos Cancer Institute Partners Night

Homes for Autism Ring of Hope Dinner

Ladies of Charity Luncheon

House of Providence Wishes Gala

The Community House SIP

SKY Foundation Annual Luncheon

Holocaust Memorial Center Anniversary dinner

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

Women’s division Project HOPE Luncheon & Boutique

Angels Place 25th Anniversary

Rochester Garden Club Greens Market

Christ Child Society Christmas Home Tour

Alternatives for Girls High Tea

Kidney Ball

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 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.

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 (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.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s annual New Year’s Eve Bash concert 10 pm, Sunday, Dec. 31 will feature the music of Michael Jackson but partying occurs before and after. Party packages include: $125 (Pretty Young Things) and $275 (Thriller) with dining on the stroll; $500 (Man in the Mirror) with seated pre-concert dinner. PYTs park in the DSO garage; others include valet parking. Post concert sipping, supping and dancing revelry goes on until 2am. Go to for more details and to buy tickets or call Sarah Hamel at 313-576-5449.

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

Lisa & Bill Ford and Kathy & Jim Hackett are hosting 2018 AutoGlow, An Evening in Casablanca, at Ford Field before and after the above-mentioned NAIAS Charity Preview. Plans for The Children’s Center fundraiser include valet parking, shuttle service to and from Cobo, tastes from the culinary talents of Ford Field's Levy Restaurants throughout the evening, including a pre-event reception, full strolling dinner service, desserts and full bar service, live music and dancing to the Nightline band and a late night menu. AutoGlow tickets are $275 each when purchased by Dec. 15, and $325 after that date. For AutoGlow tickets and sponsorship information go to or call The Children’s Center at 313- 262-1085. In order to purchase an AutoGlow ticket, individuals must be a NAIAS Charity Preview ticket holder. To order NAIAS Charity Preview tickets, call (888) 838-7500. The Children’s Center is one of eight charities benefiting from North American International Auto Show Charity Preview proceeds

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

Save Friday evening, Jan. 26, 2017 for Variety, the Children’s Charity’s popular comfort food cook off at The Townsend Hotel. This year it will include Chili, Mac & Apps (appetizers). Details to follow.

Ethan Davidson is the keynote speaker at The Community House Bates Street Society dinner Saturday, Feb.3 at The Community House. The celebration of service and philanthropy will honor 2018 Pillars of Society inductees Dr. David DiChiera, Dr. Robert Folberg, Geoffrey Hockman, Julie Rodecker, Judge Gerald E. Rosen, Paul W. Smith and Katie Valenti. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, three course seated dinner and live entertainment. For tickets ($300-patron, includes 6 pm reception with honorees past and present; $200-6:30pm admission), go to Philanthropy at or call 248-644-5832.

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

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