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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 12.18.17

Karmanos Cancer Institute Partners Night

More than 300 Karmanos Cancer Institute supporters gathered at this year’s Partners Night at Brad Oleshansky’s M1 Concourse in Pontiac to drive out cancer, so to speak. (And some of them also took a ride around the track in one of the race cars parked in front of the large party tent. “I loved it,” Eleanor Gabrys said of the 116 mph ride, “...but then I have a heavy foot.”) Guests sipped, supped on the stroll, bid in a silent auction and bought raffle tickets for a pair of Shinola watches from Tapper’s Fine Jewelry. It was the 24th year the young professionals have raised funds to drive the future of cancer research. A highlight from the brief program was the video of stage 4 melanoma survivor David Long’s battle that included participation in two, world-renowned Karmanos Phase I Clinical Trials funded with Partners support. Guests crowded the dance floor when DJ Captn20’s music started. The event generated nearly $500,000 to support the purchase of a Micro-PET/CT device. This brings the Partners fundraising total to more than $16-million since it was founded by Eunice Ring’s parents in memory of her sister Suzanne Korman who died of cancer at age 36. The 2017 Partners Executive Chair is Tom Alongi. Partners Committee Members are: Sunny Connolly, KC Crain, Brian Eisenberg, Scott Faulkner, Jason Geisz, Brenda Guinan Huddy, Niki Johnson, Cheryl Luckoff, Howard Luckoff, Sarah Mally, Brett Schneider and David Thewes.

The Community House SIP

The energy at The Community House for the SIP event was palpable. Benefactors (75 @ $300) arrived early for a champagne reception and were joined a half hour later by 100 more ($225, $125 - YP). With the Dawn Giblin Quintet doing the background music, guests chose small plate selections created by some of the area's best restaurants. (Included were Hyde Park Steakhouse, Tallulah, Prime 29, Joe Muer Seafood, Eddie Merlot’s,Roast, Bistro 82 and The Community House.) Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon, who had paired the savory cuisine with wines, cocktails and beer, spoke briefly about her work, which she clearly loves. Some paused their supping to bid $10,000 for the foodie-focused 31 silent auction packages and more than 100 guests concluded the evening at the Zim’s Vodka After Hours party.

Holocaust Memorial Center Anniversary

Nearly 1,200 people ($250 to $1,250 & way up tickets) attended the dinner at Congregation Shaarey Zedek celebrating the 33rd anniversary of the Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus. It honored Sue and Nelson Hersh, who spoke passionately about the importance of Holocaust education. Each year Nelson volunteers in Poland where he hosts field trips to Auschwitz. Sue volunteers at her temple and provides support to children with disabilities. Award-winning journalist Ann Curry was the keynoter. She talked about her meetings with genocide survivors and the lasting impressions of their stories. Another highlight of the evening was a new, three-minute film about HMC’s critical work. It starred Holocaust survivor Paula Marks Bolton who was a prisoner at Bergen-Belsen when British soldiers liberated the concentration camp. Funds raised at the dinner will support HMC’s many public tours, programs and exhibitions, as well as educational outreach to schools and community groups.

Ladies of Charity Luncheon

Barb Celentino and Sandy Mackle chaired the Ladies of Charity luncheon that brought 170 ($55, $100-tickets) to the Somerset Inn for camaraderie, raffles and shopping for Mary Kay Cosmetics and Trends in Fashions. The latter also presented an informal fashion show during lunch. Many brought contributions for the LoC Christmas Basket project chaired by Katie Nienstedt, Meg Conroy, Lauren Brown and Lisa Stanczak. It provides food and presents to 145 at-risk families identified by nine social service agencies. The LoC members collect the provisions and pack the boxes for delivery by social workers. President Kathi Tauscher also thanked the members of the totally volunteer organization for their sustained contributions to the Clothes Closet for needy people it maintains.

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

SKY Foundation Annual Luncheon

The JARC Fall Fundraiser – British Rock Invasion

Oakland Literacy Council Ex Libris Dinner

Baldwin Library Books & Bites

Brave Knight Benefit

Birmingham Panhellenic Alumnae Association Luncheon

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

Ronald McDonald House Tea

Kidney Ball

The Boys & Girls Clubs Great Futures Gala

Meadow Brook Hall Starlight Stroll

Detroit Historical Society Ball

Send ideas for this column to Sally Gerak, 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, 48304, email or call (248) 646-6390.


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, 2018 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

David King and Dante Rosa are chairing the Chili, Mac & Apps Cook-Off benefiting Variety. The Children’s Charity, 6:30 pm Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 at The Townsend Hotel. Plans include, chili, mac’n’ cheese and appetizers from noted area chefs vying for “best” titles, open bar and foot-stomping music for dancing. For tickets ($100 & $150) go online to or call 248-258-5511.

Patti Brozek and Bridget Sagmani are chairing the Dancing with our St. Regis Stars Gala Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the Detroit Golf Club. Plans include strolling dinner, drinks, DJ, live auction, wine, champagne and bourbon wall, 50/50 raffle, a cigar tent, souvenir photos and a dance contest. It will feature six St. Regis celebrities - Roseann Donaldson, Krustin Impasto, Meghan Rivard, Nick Gorga, Mike Kulka and Gaabe Zawaideh – performing with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. For tickets (VIP-$250; General-$150) and to vote for dancers go to Proceeds benefit St. Regis School.

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.

Sue Atwell, Joellen Shortley and Cathy Brooks are the leadership team for the Marian High School Mardi Gras, Saturday, Feb.3 at the high school. Plans include Creole cuisine, open bar, silent and live auctions, dancing to the Good Gravy band, scholarship raffle and camaraderie.

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

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