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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 3.26.18

Eton Academy Auction

“(Before our two sons came to Eton) my life was dismal,” auction chair Nicolena Inniss-Stubbs told the 345 people gathered at the Birmingham school for its annual fundraiser. She went on to describe the “insane” struggle students who learn differently and their families face at traditional schools. “Now at night, we can play games at home,” she said happily, adding that the tuition is “no joke” and that she could not afford Eton if scholarships were not available. Students Daphne Dougherty, Jaidyn Elam, Cole Kuchman, Isabella Drysdale, Anthony Pattenaude, Zoe Zinchook and Tyler Cook also testified about their success at Eton. Senior Madison Crippen said she changed schools three times before Eton. Now she’s in the National Honor Society and headed to college at Saginaw Valley State to become an RN. Other highlights included NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz’s remarks that inspired dedicated giving pledges in excess of $75,000 for the scholarship fund; a silent auction that included great student art and raised some $50,000; auctioneer Wade Leist garnering $99,250 for 13 live auction packages; the red carpet welcome and walkway of student stars in keeping with the party theme (see photo gallery). Thanks also to record sponsorships ($285,000, see photo gallery), the Lights, Camera, Auction! Gala raised an estimated $450,000.

The St Hugo Auction

A Night with the Stars chaired by Kristen Bujoll attracted 400 St. Hugo of the Hills grade school loyalists ($100 & $145 tickets) to Orchard Lake Country Club. The sold-out evening saluted the Oscars and celebrated the real stars of the school – the children. A strolling supper and silent auction bidding preceded the live auction and a Paddle Raise to sell 500 gold stars with funds earmarked for security improvements. Emcee/auctioneer Channel 95.5 Mojo in the Morning’s Joey Namou generated good natured competition among the bidders. Post-auction diversions included dancing to the music of DJ Jonathan Napper and burgers and bubbly at the Afterglow Party. Thanks also to generous sponsors like Metal Working Lubricants, The Samona Family, Campus Burger, The Roye Family, The Stewart Family, ABF Environmental and the Abdou Family, Schwartz & Co, Parc Restaurant, 220 Merrill, Clear Rate Communications, The Najor Companies, The Timmy Vachon Foundation, Wild Bill's Tobacco, Churchills, DC Illuminations, Campus Burger and Signglo the annual event raised approximately $200,000.

Erin Go Bra(gh)

More than 100 of Kathy Broock Ballard’s girlfriends gathered at the Village Club for her fifth annual St. Patrick’s Day themed happy hour charity event. Their donations – new bras for the clients of Grace Centers of Hope and CARE House – and the abundance of emerald-colored party favors provided entertaining décor at the very proper Bloomfield Hills club. The venue is special to the hostess whose grandmother was one of the club founders. The merriment was interrupted only briefly for Kathy to thank all for their generous (giggle giggle) support.

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

Sing Out 4 Kids

ORT Wingo

Beyond Basics Annual Event

Sharin’ O’ the Green

Brother Rice Irish Nite XLI

West Point Founders Day Dinner

Habitat for Humanity-Oakland Women Build Luncheon

Women’s Division Project HOPE Tea

Women of Tomorrow Inspiring Detroit Dinner

Junior League of Birmingham Little Black Dress Brunch

Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation Magic of BHS

Charlotte’s Wings Gala Benefit


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. Plans include free parking, strolling hors d’oeuvres, restaurant stations, silent auction, photo booth, the Treasure Chest, wine/beer/specialty drinks, desserts, brief remarks by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson and a concert by Your Generation In Concert. For tickets ($60-adult, $35-student) call 248-770-5172 or go online to .

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.

The Alzheimer’s Association Sip, Savor & Shop Spring Soiree is 6 – 9 pm, Wednesday, May 2 at Neiman Marcus. The event co-chairs are Rachel and Christian Adenaas, Tara and Steven Grekin, Tammy and Joe Haney, Danielle and Andrew Petcoff, Lori and Lawrence Rapp, Amie and Daniel Stern and Whitney and Eliot Weiner. Plans include tequila tasting sponsored by Lalique, Shinola pop-up shop, Shinola Cola Bar, “Make it your Own” on-site Shinola personalization (belts, journals), "Made to Measure" services, Coravin wine opener demonstration & tasting, fashion animations, gift wrapping station, and a grand raffle for a "Season of Shoes" courtesy of Neiman Marcus ($3000 value). For tickets ($75, raffle-$50, need not be present to win) go to or call Maureen O'Reilly at 248-996-1050.

HAVEN’s Blossom Gala is Thursday, May 3 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. Plans include 5:pm VIP Reception, 6 pm cocktails, 7 pm dinner and program, live music, silent and live auctions and inspiring speakers. For sponsorships and tickets ( $175 before April 16; $200.after April 16; $200-supporter,$500-patron, $75-under 30; $1,000 for 2 VIPs) go to .

Deacon Michael & Joyce McKale, Allen Wall & Mary Cafferty, Johny & Leila Kello, Victor & Michelle Saroki and Bishop Robert Fisher are the honorary chairs for the Spirit of Manresa Banquet 6 pm Thursday, May 3 at Shenandoah Country Club. Plans include a talk by noted author Chris Lowney, a Super Silent auction, 50/50 raffle and access to the Chaldean Cultural Center. For tickets ($150 & up) go to or call 248-644-4933 Ext. 100.

Humble Design Beauty Within Luncheon is 11 am –2 pm, Saturday, May 5 at the DTE Atrium in Detroit. Plans include lunch, drinks, a silent auction and panel discussion with Jen Guarino from Shinola, Julie James from Drought and Amy Peterson from Rebel Nell moderated by Dr. Rita Fields. For tickets ($100) go to .

The Community House President’s Advisory Council is hosting the second annual Birmingham Downs 5 – 9 pm, Saturday, May 5 at The House. Plans include strolling food stations, beer, wine and cocktails, music and dancing, silent auction and the running of the 144th Kentucky Derby on the big screen. Hats and derby attire are strongly encouraged. Prizes will be awarded for “Best Dressed”. For tickets ($50-early bird thru April 24; $75 after) call 248-644-5832 or go to . Proceeds benefit the children’s programs and services provided by The Community House.

Michael Coyne and Laurie Fischgrund are chairing Variety, the Children’s Charity Hearts & Stars Saturday, May 5 at The Townsend. The program will honor Felicia and Ed Shaw for their 25 years of dedicated commitment to the children of Variety. Plans include cocktails & hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 pm; dinner and program at 7:45. The Presenting Sponsor is Lincoln of Troy. For tickets ($250-friend, $500-Wish Upon a Star includes Derby Watch reception at 5:30 pm) go to or call 248-258-5511.

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

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