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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 3.19.18

Birmingham Rotary Endowment Masters Madness

Birmingham Rotary members and their friends (120 @ $125) convened at the Birmingham Athletic Club for one of their rare fundraising events. The excuse for the Friday night bash was the drawing for a VIP trip to the 2018 Masters golf tournament, but there was also good chow, spirits, a wine pull, auction action, very live music by Collision Six and fine fellowship. With great fanfare, raffle chair Bryan Frank pulled the winning ticket belonging to Peter Campbell, who was not in attendance. However, the next two names pulled – Vic Pooler and Dave Zimmer – were there to pick up their not too shabby second and third place cash prizes. The spirited event raised more than $40,000. Proceeds are earmarked for Birmingham Rotary Endowment fund humanitarian grants. The deadline for grant applications is May 15.

Variety SHINE Fashion Show

The fifth annual fashion show spotlighting Variety and FAR member clients modeling apparel they chose at Somerset Collection shops attracted 200 ($35, $100, $200 tickets), not counting the throngs hanging over the atrium railing at Somerset Collection South. And, as commentator Ta-Dah Production’s Vicki Howard noted, “It’s been fun watching the models grow up and reveal their personalities.” Event chairs Ruthie Seltzer and Brooke Kircher thanked guests, community mentors and sponsors (Alex Emilio Salon, Clarkston Family Dental, The Somerset Collection, Supefina) and described the Variety and FAR-Therapeutic Arts & Recreation camping programs that will benefit from their support. Ella Grewette opened the program singing “True Colors”. It ended with a grand march of all the models and their mentors. In between was enthusiastic applause and lots of smiles.

DSO Classical Roots Celebration

As it has every year, the 40th anniversary Classical Roots concert opened with the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Many of the 2,000 concertgoers at Orchestra Hall sang right along with the 140-person Anniversary Celebration Choir comprised of the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, the Detroit Choral Society and choirs from Wayne State University and the Detroit School of the Arts. The program also marked 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by including Undine Smith Moore’s powerful oratorical “Scenes from the Life of a Martyr”. Another program highlight was the award presentation to two, African-American classical music trailblazers – tenor/educator George Shirley and visionary/academic Earl Lewis. Pre and post concert revelry included cocktails, a sold out dinner ($250, $500, $750) and desserts and dancing to the R&B band Notorious. Thanks also to presenters Stanley and Judy Frankel and sponsors JPMorgan Chase and the DTE Energy Foundation, the 40th anniversary celebration raised an all time high $330,00 for the DSO’s African-American music and musician development programs.

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

Eton Academy Auction

Sing Out 4 Kids

ORT Wingo

Erin Go Bra(gh)

Beyond Basics Annual Event

Sharin’ O’ the Green

Brother Rice Irish Nite XLI

West Point Founders Day Dinner

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


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

Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation Executive Director Cathie Badalmenti is chairing the foundation’s fundraiser, The Magic of BHS, 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

Larissa Thompson, Jennifer Mohl and Andrea Myrick are chairing the Charlotte’s Wings 11th Annual Gala Benefit 6 pm, Saturday, March 24 at the Royal Park Hotel. Plans include a March Madness Lounge, live music from SpaceCat, top shelf cash bar, dinner, dancing and Charlotte's Wings' signature fabulous live and silent auctions, hosted by Charles Wickins, The Engish Auctioneer. Tickets are $100 per person and proceeds will benefit Charlotte’s Wings’ mission to provide new books to children in health crises. For more information email

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

Kathy Ossian and Suzanne Bante are chairing the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan 2018 Cookie Gala 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 action. 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

MGM Grand’s Juliette Okotie-Eboh and Children’s Hospital of Michigan’s Luanne Thomas Ewald, are chairing Gleaners 25th annual Women’s Power Breakfast, 7 am, Thursday, April 19 at Little Caesars Arena. A month later, Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss’ Judith Greenstone Miller and Hennessey Engineers’ Joan Hennessey are chairing the 5th annual Women’s Power Happy Hour 5:30-7:30 pm, Tuesday, May 22 at the MGM Grand. For tickets to both go to The founding chair is Dulcie Rosenfeld. Skillman Foundation’s Tonya Allen is the honorary presenter. Honorary chairs are Jessie Beld Elliott, Amanda Fisher, Jennifer Granger and Vivian Pickard.

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.

ALIVE 2018, a benefit for the Donate Life Coalition of Michigan, is 6:30 – 11 pm, Friday, April 20 at the Art Moran Buick Showroom on Telegraph in Southfield.

Shannon Lazovski is chairing the Grace Centers of Hope 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.

Sandy Pierce, Andra Rush and Gina Coleman are chairing the Michigan Women’s Foundation 2018 Lights, Courage Action! 5:30 pm, Monday, April 23 at Cobo Center. For sponsorships and tickets ($175, $250) go to

Marge Kaiser and Sue May are chairing the Meadow Brook Theatre Guild 37th annual Luncheon on the Aisle 10:30 am, Thursday, April 26 at the Theatre located at 207 Wilson Hall on the Oakland University campus. Plans include the LOA Bake Shoppe, a basket raffle of great prizes, jewelry raffle, door prizes, a box lunch for dining in the theatre seats and a working rehearsal of the play, “The All Night Strut!”, a two-act musical celebration of the 30’s and 40’s.This annual event is usually sold out. For more information and tickets contact the Meadow Brook Theatre Box Office at 248-377-3300. Tickets are $30 seniors (62 and older), $35 for individuals, $100/Benefactor- acknowledgement of donation). Groups of 8 or more, can contact Group Sales at 248-370-3316.

Patti Chinonis, Paula Garrity and Connie Quarrier are chairing the Christ Child Society pour les enfants Boutique and Luncheon Thursday, April 26 at Pine Lake Country Club. Plans include shopping and a chance raffle, beginning at 10 am and luncheon at noon. The luncheon will include a fashion show by Bell & White with CCS members modeling outfits from local retailers selected by Bell & White. The society also honor Nancy Barnett as the 2018 Woman of the Year. For tickets ($75) go to

The Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature event is 6:30 – 9 pm, Thursday, April 26 at Oakland Hills Country Club. Plans include food, drink and fellowship. For sponsorships and tickets ($175) call Katie Tillinger at 248-334-3400. Proceeds support legal services and education.

Ford Motor Company is presenting the Detroit Zoological Society Wildlife Conservation Gala, 6 – 9:30 pm, Friday, April 27 at the zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Center. Plans include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a sit-down dinner, a brief presentation on the DZS’s worldwide work to save species from extinction, and announcement of the 2018 Nautilus Awardee. The evening will also feature a raffle with the chance to win “zoonique” prizes. Tickets start at $300 and can be purchased at .

Ashley Crain and Gretchen Davidson are co-chairing Cranbrook Academy of Art STUDIO 2018, 6:30 pm, Saturday, April 28 at the academy. Plans include strolling through the students and artists-in-residence studios, a reception, short program, banquet dinner and an (AFTER)STUDIO dance party. Proceeds from STUDIO support scholarships benefiting Cranbrook Academy of Art students and the Cranbrook Art Museum. For tickets ($300, $500) go to .

Kelly Dean is coordinating The Older Persons’ Commission Night in Monte Carlo 5:30 pm, Saturday, April 28 at the Royal Park Hotel. Plans include a salute to the Meals on Wheels volunteers, WXYZ’s Dave LewAllen as emcee, complimentary valet, music, food, cash bar, raffle prizes, casino games, silent auction and entertainment. For sponsorships and tickets ($150) call 248-659-1029 or go to .Proceeds will support the Meals on Wheels program.

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

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