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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 4.2.18

Sing Out 4 Kids

What started 13 years ago as a karaoke night to benefit a coalition including FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation, has been exclusively FAR’s event for five years. They have tweaked the format and found a great home – the Townsend Hotel. Two hundred supporters ($125, $150 tickets) gathered there for a casual, toe-tapping Friday night that included super food stations, drinks and a small silent auction ($6,000) before folks settled in for the program emceed by Fox-2’s Roop Raj. It featured a concert of wonderful music by Steve Acho, Greg Stryker, FAR clients Angelina and Laura, Mark Richardson, and opera singers John and Gillian Riesen; a mini live auction conducted by Gregory Bator that raised $7,500; and giving dedicated to scholarships that began with $5,000 from Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation. Counting the $25,250 for scholarships, the event chaired by Karla Sherry and Anna Giammarco raised more than $50,000 to enrich the lives of FAR’s special needs participants.


Since 1995, ORT has been raising funds for its education mission at a women’s bingo party. It’s now dubbed WINGO at the Club to salute its new home (for the second year Knollwood Country Club) where the strolling dinner and service were splendid. In addition to sipping, supping and socializing before the bingo started, the 360 ladies (tickets $54 - $116) had to decide which of the 30 raffle prizes worth at least $50 they preferred to win. The bingo program was emceed by event chairs Joy Levran, Carly Sanfield and Jennifer Teper and ORT regional director Nicole Miller. Ten bingo rounds with prizes valued at $100 or more generated lots of happy squeals. An added highlight was the talk by a 15-year-old boarding student from the school in Israel that Detroit ORT has renovated. She and her principal were given a mural painted by guests at ORT’s 2017 Camp Hermelin fundraiser. The popular ladies-only event raised more than $60,000.

Beyond Basics Annual Event

Here’s betting that the 200 literacy supporters ($150 - $500 tickets) at the Detroit Athletic Club were bowled over by new Detroit Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nickolai Vitti. “Literacy is a civil right,” he declared when accepting the “Literacy Chair” for him and his wife at Beyond Basics’ annual fundraising dinner. His own dyslexia and that of their two sons inspires his understanding of the problem and his determination that “...DPS is going to be obsessed with literacy.” BB Partner of the Year UHY Advisors Michigan CEO Tom Callan spoke for many when he said that he loves Dr. Vitti’s passion. Other highlights of the program emceed by PNC’s Gina Coleman were a Keith Famie film about BB and remarks by BB alum Elijah Craft (“If you are going to be president you have to know how to read”), board chair Jack Aronson and board member Jack Krasula, who led pledging that totaled $71,000. Pam Good also made it a point to acknowledge the family of the late Dr. Joanne Wagerson with whom she co-founded BB 16 years ago. The event raised $200,000 to turn struggling students into readers.

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

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

Alternatives for Girls Role Model Dinner

Girl Scouts Cookie Gala


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

Becky Hanel and Peggy Meador are chairing the Michigan Humane Society Bow Wow Brunch 10:30 am – 2 pm, Sunday, April 15 at the MGM Grand. Plans include valet parking, a champagne reception, custom cocktails, live jazz, silent auction, the three-course brunch, live auction and a prize for best animal-inspired outfit. Guests may also pledge dollars to get GreenSpace Café’s Dr. Joel Kahn, Michigan Humane Society President / CEO Matt Pepper, Premier Pet Supply’s Mike Palmer and Summit Property Management’s Nicolette Romans-LeBlanc out of the Doghouse. For tickets ($250-adult, $100-child) call 248-283-5662 or go to .

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

Kellie Kennedy is chairing the popular Project 1 Whose Your Bartender event, 5 pm – 11pm, Tuesday, April 24 at Dick O’Dow’s. The bartenders and their non-profits are: Erin Keating DeWald and Renee Acho for South Oakland Shelter; Mark Breimeister and Lauren Crocker for Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR); Terri Macksoud for Project 1, Sandra Hamady and Bryan Smolinski for Gigi’s Playhouse, Mike Walls and Rob Chimelak for U CAN-CER VIVE; Niraj Sarda and Sasha Archer for Imerman Angels; Sandy Nida and Stacey Dewey for Suite Dreams; Doris Gilles, Nicole Walker and Christina Schneider for Project Beautiful.

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.

Stephanie Freedman, Deborah Rosenthal and Julie Rothstein are chairing ORT and the City 6:30 pm, Wednesday, May 2 at Eastern Market. Plans include a silent auction of one-of-a-kind art designed by emerging and nationally recognized Detroit artists juried by and sponsored by local art collectors, a strolling dinner via food trucks, passed hors d’oeuvres, dessert, an open bar with signature cocktails, a very desiravle gift bag featuring an item from B.May and a raffle. The Grand Prize is a Season of Designer Shoes at Neiman Marcus, Somerset Collection; the Second Prize is a Pelton Bike Bundle; Third Prize is a private Detroit Street Art Bus Tour for 24 guests; and the Fourth Prize is a $500 gift card to Ticketmaster. Raffle winners do not need to be present to win. Raffle Tickets (1 for $25 | 3 for $50 | 10 for $100 | 25 for $200. For tickets ($100; $55-young adult; $250 for 2 inc. 5 raffle tickets; $500-benefactor, inc. 2 plus 18 raffle tickets) or by calling the ORT office at 248-723-8860.

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.

Clayton and McKervey’s Denise Asker is chairing the Walsh College Springfest 6 – 9 pm, Friday, May 4 at the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market. Plans include valet parking, craft beer & wine tasting, local food trucks, old-fashioned carnival games and great networking. Proceeds will benefit the Walsh College Scholarship Fund. For tickets ($100) go to .In addition to individual tickets sponsorships are also available. Contact Holly Blust at 248-823-1245 or

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.

Robert Gaylor and Russell Moore are chairing the Oakland Literacy Council fifth Motor City Wine and Food Festival. It kicks off 2-6 pm, Sunday, May 6 with a Prohibition Frolic at The Players Club in Detroit. Plans include valet parking, savory appetizers, a dessert medley, drinks (including a special Speak Easy concoction), toe tapping music, a tour of the Player’s Club and light-hearted entertainment presented by the Players ensemble. Tickets are $150 per person. The festival continues 1-5 pm, Sunday, May 20 with--Bocce, Bocce, Bocce! at Palazzo di Bocce, 4291 Lapeer Road, Lake Orion. Plans include friendly games of lawn bowling, cheering the teams that include some local celebrities, Italian buffet, open bar, the musical magic of Joe Recchia and a vintage car display. Tickets are $75 per person. Go to for tickets to both events.

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

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