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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 1.15.18

South Oakland Shelter Dancing with Detroit Stars

The annual SOS benefit attracted 280 ($200, $250 ticket) to the Townsend Hotel for an evening of splendid small plate cuisine, cocktails, silent auction bidding ($15,683), Mission Appeal pledging ($23,425) and ballroom dancing. Although the evening’s basic plan has not changed since the event launched nine years ago, the latest rendition set new standards for its marvelous menu – think passed appetizers and stations featuring five risottos including shrimp & lobster, an awesome churrascaria, five salad choices each served in a Cosmos glass, desserts and late night sliders with fries or handmade chips. It also included for the first time online dollar pledging in the name of one’s fav contestant from among the good sports who practiced for months at the Arthur Murray Dance studio. These included Chef Bobby Nahra, Marla Govan, Barbara Bloink, Brenda M Orlando and Dan Colombo, Catherine Badalamente and Eric Fadie. Together they raised $63,436 with Fadie topping all at $26,670. When the dance competition concluded, Badalamente and Jason Walters dancing to “Dancing in the Rain” won the judges’ trophy. But local homeless families are the true winners because, thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the evening raised an event record of $172,594. Plans were also announced for Coolidge Place, a $14-million development of 64 affordable and supportive apartments with a community center, playground and green space located in Oak Park.

Walsh College Leadership Awards

More than 300 Walsh College boosters attended the Leadership Awards Dinner at the MGM Grand. WDIV’s Steve Garagiola emceed the program in which ITC Holdings’ Linda Apsey and Deloitte’s Mark Davidoff, retired McDonald VP Gerald Schafer and, posthumously, Thomas McNulty, were honored. Thanks to generous sponsors, the event raised $145,000 for scholarships at the 95-year-old college which offers 16 business and related technology bachelor and master degrees.

Women’s Division Project HOPE Luncheon & Boutique

Sue Nine and Maggie Allesee chaired the annual event that brought 110 Project HOPE supporters ($75, $100, $150 tickets) to Oakland Hills Country Club. Before lunch they socialized, shopped the wares of 19 vendors coordinated by Linda Juracek-Lipa, Bettina Gregg and Sherry Saginaw and bid $1,835 in a silent auction. The highlight of the luncheon program which president Susan Willis-Reickert emceed was Project HOPE’s Wendy Kedzierski’s expression of gratitude from the Virginia headquarters of the international health agency. “Thanks to organizations like (this) 2017 alone lifesaving health programs reached 1.2-million people...The impact from just one HOPE-trained health worker can transform an entire community” she noted. Lidija Dorkin-Grahovac is chairing the next WD event – Tea at the Townsend on March 21. It will feature a fashion show in addition to the hotel’s legendary tea service.

Ronald McDonald House Tea

The Ronald McDonald House of Detroit’s 10th Annual Winter Tea chaired by board member Charlene Mitchell-Rodgers attracted 85 supporters ($65- adults, $25-child ticket) to the Renaissance Marriott. The event featured a silent auction ($2,200), fashion show by Elite Couture and entertainment by jazz singer Kimmie Horne and her quartet. WDIV’s Tati Amare and WXYX’s Stephen Clark emceed the event. The event netted more than $7,000 for the House’s hospitality to families of sick children.

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

Angels Place 25th Anniversary Dinner

Christ Child Society Christmas Home Tour

Kidney Ball

The Boys & Girls Clubs Great Futures Gala

Meadow Brook Hall Starlight Stroll

Detroit Historical Society Ball

Detroit Symphony Orchestra New Year’s Eve Bash

NAIAS The Gallery

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


Lisa & Bill Ford and Kathy & Jim Hackett are hosting 2018 AutoGlow, An Evening in Casablanca, at Ford Field before and after the NAIAS Charity Preview Friday, Jan. 19. 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 call The Children’s Center at 313- 262-1085 or go to 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. For sponsorships and tickets ($100 – before 1/26; $150; $300-reserved seating with table service) go to

The Birmingham Education Foundation’s annual Unabashed Bash is Saturday, February 10 at The Townsend Hotel. It will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation. Plans include online, silent and live auctions, dinner and student entertainment. To donate auction items and become sponsors contact Alison Hendry at 248-203-3030.

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

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