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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 2.19.18

Dancing with the St. Regis Stars Gala

St. Regis school gala co-chairs Patti Brozek and Bridget Sagmani and staff coordinator Christi Hanzel took the Dancing with the Stars concept to a new high for the annual school fundraiser. It brought a crowd of 350-plus school boosters ($100 & $150 tickets) to the Detroit Golf Club. Thanks to Lada and Evan Mountain and their Fred Astaire Dance Studio (where Brozek takes lessons), six St. Regis parents were able to show off the countless hours they spent practicing with studio pros. Each of the stars – Mike Kulka, Nick Gorga, Meghan Rivard, Roseann Donaldson, Kristin Impastato and Gabe Zawaideh – pitched themselves with candor and good humor via video before taking to the dance floor. And this reporter has never seen amateur dancers have such a good time and look so professional. The audience also whooped it up for their favorites. Emcees Taryn Asher and Jason Carr not only conducted revealing post dance interviews with the dancers, they were also dynamic auctioneers for the mini live auction ($70,000) that followed the dance contest. Votes were $10. Gabe Zawaideh won the prized crystal ball trophy and the dancing raised more than $75,000. Food stations for dining on the stroll fit right in with the exuberant spirit of the party. Some people wound down on the dance floor; others retreated to the upstairs cigar lounge courtesy of Churchills and TS Brozek,Inc. The Gala netted a best-ever $175,000 for the elementary school where academics and faith are top priorities.

Motor City Open

For the 19th year, 12 of the world’s top-ranked pros came to the Birmingham Athletic Club for the Motor City Open squash tournament, one of 150 stops on the PSA World Tour. Spectators came from all over and included many of the 350 active BAC members, about half of whom play squash on the club’s six courts. A qualifying round match between England’s Nathan Lake and 18-year-old Ned Mylod, the first BAC member to play in the MCO, was especially notable. Mylod, ranked 9 on the Under-19 national junior circuit, lost in three games but learned a lot. So did the kids who participated in the junior clinic with the pros. This included members of RacquetUp Detroit which combines squash with education, community service and travel for at-risk Detroit kids. The non-profit was the beneficiary of the BAC charity auction ($20,000) at the sponsors and members’ parties during the six days of the tournament presented by the Suburban Collection. Top ranked Marwan ElShorbagy of Egypt was the 2018 MCO winner, earning nearly $12,000 of the $70,000 prize purse and a Longines watch presented by Greenstone’s Fine Jewelers. During the trophy presentation he told the crowd he would be back next year. Before then the BAC will complete some of the remodeling planned for the 59-year old family club which offers social and sports programs ( tennis, paddlel, squash, swimming and fitness club.

Oakland County Bar Foundation Fellows Reception

The Oakland County Bar Association’s foundation, which supports programs designed to increase access, affordability, and an understanding of the law and legal system, introduced new Fellows at a cocktail reception. (A Fellow pledges $1,000, $100 annually, for 10 years. A Charter Fellow pledges $5,000, $500 annually, for 10 years. A Life Charter Fellow is someone who has completed that pledge.) OCBF board president Patrick McCarthy interrupted the conversation din only briefly to welcome the 39 new Fellows and announce the date of the foundation’s, usually sold-out, Signature Event as Thursday, April; 26.

The new OCBF Fellows are: Sharon Marie Barnes, Kristina A. Bilowus, Daniel H. Bliss, Erica Grand Brown, Kaitlin Abplanalp Brown, Bill Burdett, Jennifer S. Callaghan, Alex Gerard Cavanaugh, Andrew W. Clark, Randal R. Cole, R.J. Cronkhite, , David James Deeg, Christina DiMichelle, Mary Dirkes, Matthew M Friedrich, Ruth A. Goldner, Alan M. Greene, Ahmed M. Hassouna, Zackery Taylor Hugg, James Joseph Hunter, Shirley A. Kaigler, Adam B. Kutinsky, James W. Low, Erin Christine Mash, Julie A. McDonald. Sarah Louise Nirenberg, Scott Allen Petz, Rasul M. Raheem, Jennifer Roosenberg, Katelyn Ann Schaffer, Michael T. Scullen, Brent George Seitz, Kristie Ann Sparks, Michael K. Steinberger, Matthew J. Turchyn, Matthew S. Weaver, Nicole E. Wilinski, Brandon John Wilson and Matthew S. Wood.

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

The Community House Bates Street Society Dinner

Marian High School Mardi Gras

Good Samaritans Tea

Academy of the Sacred Heart Benefit

The Unabashed Bash

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


Cindy Lazarus and Lynne Minish are chairing the Fallen and Wounded Soldier Fund 13th annual Dinner, Dance & Auction Saturday, Feb. 24 at the MGM Grand. The VIP reception starts at 5 pm; program emceed by Lil Lazarus begins promptly at 6. Congressman Mike Rogers is the featured speaker. For sponsorships and tickets ($150) contact Lynne Minish at or go to Proceeds support the all-volunteer organization which uses 97% of the proceeds for direct assistance to Michigan veterans and their families.

Nicolena Inniss-Stubs is chairing Eton Academy Lights, Camera, Auction Saturday, March 3 at the Birmingham school. Plans include silent and live auctions, raffle and catering by Forte Belanger. For tickets ($200) go to

Roz Blanck, Kristen Gross and Linda Schlesinger-Wagner are chairing JVS’ Trade Secrets, 6 pm, Tuesday, March 6 at the Troy Marriott. It will feature cocktails, dinner, the JVS signature raffle and the keynote speech by honorary chair Camille Walker Banks, executive director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Wayne State University. For sponsorships and tickets ($150 & up) call Judy Strongman at 248-233-4213 or go to

Vic Pooler is chairing the Birmingham Rotary Club’s Masters Madness fundraising party 6 pm, Friday, March 9th at the Birmingham Athletic Club. Plans include the drawing for tickets to the 2018 Masters golf tournament ( trip by private charter for 2, tickets for Saturday and Sunday, April 7 & 8,) and other raffle prizes, a silent auction, food and spirits, and music by popular local band, Collision Six. For sponsorships and tickets ( $95 and up) call Bryan Frank at 313- 414-1169, email Birminghamrotaryclub or go to

Karla Sherry and Anna Giammarco are chairing Sing Out 4 Kids benefiting FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation 6:30 pm, Friday, March 9 at The Townsend Hotel. Plans include valet, entertainment, dinner, silent and live auctions, celebrity performances and cash bar. For tickets ($125, $150-Patron, includes preferred seating; $1,000-Patron table of 80, call FAR at 248-646-3347.

Brooke Kircher and Ruthie Seltzer are chairing the SHINE Fashion Show 2 pm, Sunday, March 11 in South Rotunda at the Somerset Collection. It will star the beautiful FAR and Variety children and benefit the camp programs of FAR Therapeutic Arts & Recreation and the Variety 4-H Horseback Riding Program. For tickets ( $35; $100-patron; $200-benefactor, includes a one-week campership for a child) call 248-258-5511.

Joy Levran, Carly Sanfield and Jennifer Teper are chairing ORT WINGO at the Club 5:30 pm, Wednesday, March 15 at Knollwood Country Club. Plans for the Women’s Only evening include strolling dinner, cocktails, silent auction, BINGO, dessert and raffles. For tickets ($85 and up) call 248-723-8860 or go to Proceeds support education for impoverished communities.

Uhy’s Gordon Follmer and volunteer Mary Dunn will be honored at Beyond Basic’s Annual Event 6 pm, Friday, March 16 at the Detroit Athletic Club. Plans include cocktails, sweated d inner, and live auction. For tickets ($150, $500-benefactor) call Johanna Zwally at 248-408-1735.

Maureen Miller Brosnan is chairing the 184th annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day at Detroit’s Most Holy Trinity Church Saturday, March 17. The prelude begins at 11:30 am; Mass is at 12 noon. Luncheon at the IBEW Hall 1358 Abbott St. follows at 1:30 – 4 pm and plans include Celtic-inspired fare, beer, wine and entertainment including music and kids activities. For luncheon tickets ($40-adult; $15 -12 & under) go to A Young Adults Mass at 4 pm and Happy Hour with food and craft beers from 5 – 7 pm is also on the docket. For those tickets ($20-advnace) go to Proceeds from Sharin’ o’ the Green support Holy Trinity’s outreach ministries including a free medical clinic, legal clinic, food pantry, clothing room and Pre-K-8 school.

Brother Rice High School Irish Nite XLI is 6 pm, Saturday, March 17 at Birmingham Country Club. Plans include food, fun, fellowship, silent and live auctions. March Madness games will be playing live on all TVs at the club with great tournament auction items up for bid. The Honorary Chairs are Alyson & Mike Brown ’86, Karen & Roger Denha ’74, Julie & Richard Penington, and Krystin & William Saputo ’99. The Auction Coordinators are Megan Marderosian and Susan Reid. For tickets ($75-friend, $150-benefcator, includes premium open bar) go to

Lidija Grahovac is chairing the Women’s Division Project HOPE Hats Off to New Members Tea at the Townsend noon – 3 pm, Wednesday, March 21. In addition to the Townsend’s legendary savories and sweets plans include a $25 gift certificate for new members, informal modeling of Nina McLemore spring fashions and Luke Song hats, Art Loft shopping, a raffle and harp music. For tickets ($65-friend, $75-patron includes 15 raffle tickets, $100-benefactor includes 30 raffle tickets) contact Contessa Bannon at 248-860-7004 or by email at Proceeds support medical services worldwide.

Florine Mark and Anne Parsons are chairing the Women of Tomorrow Inspiring Detroit Dinner 6 pm, Thursday, March 22 at the Detroit Athletic Club. Plans include cocktails, dinner and a program emceed by Paula Tutman. It will honor philanthropist Katie Valenti, WDIV’s Marla Drutz, PNC’s Gina Coleman, iHeartMichigan Media’s Nick Gnau plus mentors Joanne Faycurry and Judith Trepeck. For sponsorships and tickets ($175) call Jill Harris at 248-430-4095 or go to Proceeds will support the mentoring and scholarship program that pairs 130 highly accomplished women with more than 1,200 at-risk girls in Metro Detroit public high schools for inspiration, motivation and guidance.

Faye Nelson and Pam Rodgers are chairing the Alternatives for Girls Role Model Dinner Wednesday, March 28 at Cobo Center. The honorees are GM’s Alicia Boler Davis, attorney Deborah LaBelle and Comerica’s Monica L. Martinez. Plans include valet parking, 5:30 reception and silent auction, 6:45 dinner, program and live auction. For tickets ($200) call Joi Mitchell at 313-361-4000, ext. 4000 or go to

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

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