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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 3.5.18

Birmingham Education Foundation Unabashed BASH

All but one of the 18 annual BASH fundraisers have been held at the Townsend but only one, this year’s, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the foundation. And speakers – foundation president Patrick Liebler, BPS superintendent Dan Nerad, Groves High School performing arts head John Rutherford, Seaholm seniors Ebony Johnson and Grant Davis – all paid tribute to the wide ranging enrichment activities funded by foundation grants. Two selections from Groves' “Pirates of Penzance” also earned rousing ovations from the 230 guests ($150 ticket), many of whom played Heads & Tails ($5,205) to determine the winner of prizes worth $1,600. (Bruce Buelter and Nerad were the two finalists. Buelter won.) Energetic auctioneer Beth Rose wangled $15,700 for six live auction items and $11,350 in outright pledges. Thanks also to the wine pull ($1,050), bidding in the silent auction ($27,570) coordinated by Catherine Turnbull and generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the festive evening grossed more than $140,000 for exceptional public school experiences.

Academy of the Sacred Heart Gala

Despite a big snowstorm, the Academy of the Sacred Heart's 2018 Heart of Gold Gala attracted nearly 200 school loyalists to the Detroit Athletic Club. Tom and Karen Hartle chaired the annual fundraiser. It had a “Midnight in Paris” theme and honored Head of School Sr. Bridget Bearss. She will leave in June for Washington, D.C to lead the Stuart Center after 18 years at the Bloomfield Hills school. Current board chair Ryan Marsh and former chair Dan Carroll gave Sister the Heart of Gold award and students, via a video, wished her well. Auctioneer Steve Jasgur oversaw a spirited live auction that featured a Deer Valley vacation package ($8,000), a stay on Martha's Vineyard ($5,600) and a Tigers suite package ($5,600). The paddle raise inspired nearly 40 pledges to the ASH mission and the silent auction, which included a child’s birthday dinner at the Bloomfield Township fire station ($700), continued through noon the following day. In all, the 2018 gala grossed $275,000 to help bridge the difference between tuition and the true cost of educating each student.

Impact 100 Oakland County Member Recruitment

The non-profit that maximizes the impact of the 1,000 charity dollars (dues) each of its members (all women) donates annually is staging informal events to explain the concept to potential members. One such gathering recently commandeered happy hour prime space at Birmingham’s Social Kitchen and Bar. (Another will occur 4:30 - 7 pm, tomorrow, March 6 at Rochester Mills Brewery in Rochester Hills. No need to make a reservation. Just show up and meet the board.) Potential members learned that grant applicants are extensively vetted and finalists make their pitch to members who vote for the winner. One member, one vote. (Past recipients are: Variety Feeds Kids (2016) - weekend meals for an entire Pontiac elementary school; CARE House Oakland County (2017) - abuse prevention program for Oakland County families; Beyond Basics (2017) - literacy program for Pontiac elementary students.) For its third year of making $100,000 grants to Oakland County-based non-profits, Impact100 hopes to double last years’ membership (201) which doubled its first year. The 2018 membership deadline is March 31. Members can be as involved or uninvolved as each wishes.

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

Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund Benefit

Eton Academy Lights, Camera, Auction

DSO Classical Roots Celebration

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


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 8), call FAR at 248-646-3347.

Brooke Kircher and Ruthie Seltzer are chairing Variety, The Children’s Charity 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-benefactyor, 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.

April Allard is chairing the Junior League of Birmingham Little Black Dress Brunch, 10:30 am, Saturday, March 24 at The Community House. Plans Include a plated entrée, two drink tickets, silent auction, fashion show and a program spotlighting Lighthouse of Oakland County’s rescue of vulnerable women. For tickets ($50) go to

The Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation fundraiser, The Magic of BHS, is Saturday, March 24 at Wabeek Country Club. Plans include valet parking, cocktails (6 pm-VIP, 6:30-general), strolling dinner, casino games, auction, wine pull, grub pull and live entertainment by talented BHS students plus a special performance by The Jills alumnae. For tickets ($250-VIP, includes 2 drink tickets; $125-cash bar) go to

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

The Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan 2018 Cookie Gala is 6 – 9 pm, Wednesday, March 28 at the MGM Grand. Plans include signature cocktails, the creations of 8 chefs using Girl Scout cookies, and live and silent auction fun. For tickets ($100) call Jeni Carino at 313-870-2545 or go to

Theresa Meegan is chairing the Friends of the Rochester Hills Public Library 5th annual Wine, Wit & Wisdom 6:30 – 10 pm, Saturday, April 14 at the Library (500 Olde Towne Rd. in downtown Rochester). Plans include a strolling dinner with beverages (wine, beer, soft drinks), and desserts, a silent auction and 45-minute presentations (each guest can get to two) by informative speakers. Topics include: The Mackinac Bridge – Then and Now; Going Grammando: A Linguist’s Look at Language Peeves; Michigan Lighthouses, an Aerial Photographic Perspective; Detroit in World War II; Motorsports: The Thrill of the Track. Get tickets ($55, $65 after April 2) at the library or online for a fee at

The Ted Lindsay Foundation’s popular annual Wine Tasting is 6 pm, Thursday, April 19 at Troy’s San Marino Club. Plans include celebrity wine pourers, a strolling dinner, wines, a silent auction and complimentary valet parking. The honorary winemaker is Farmington Hills native Sonja Magdevski of Casa Dimetz wines ( For tickets ($125) go to at or call Lyn laPaugh at 248-310-2853. Proceeds support research and educational programs focusing on the cause and management of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Shannon Lazovski is chairing the Grace Centers of Hope 20th annual Women Helping Women Luncheon & Fashion Show Saturday, April 21 at the Royal Park Hotel. Plans also include a silent auction. For sponsorships and tickets ($100) call Susan Cetnar at 248-334-2187, ext. 1131.

The Piston’s Vinnie Johnson is the honorary chair of the Rainbow Connection’s Dream Makers Ball, Saturday, April 21 at the MGM Grand. Plans include cocktails, dinner, live auction, and dancing to the music of The Rhoedes Band. The magical evening will include a special appearance of featured guests, WYCD 99.5 morning show: Chuck, Rachael and Grunwald. For sponsorships and tickets ($200) , go to Proceeds grant wishes for seriously ill children.

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

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