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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 5.7.18

Michigan Humane Society Brunch

The 29th annual Purrfect Bow Wow Brunch attracted almost 600 supporters to the MGM Grand ballroom. Before dining, diversions included conversation – board member Charlene Handleman was pleased to hear from MHS’s Pam Dybowski that the wounded horned owl Pam had recently rescued from the Handleman driveway was recovering; bidding in the silent auction of more than 100 items; getting acquainted with 32 adoptable puppies and kitties (18 were adopted); making donations ($20,000) to get four animal advocates out of the doghouse. These were MHS CEO Matt Pepper, Mike Palmer, Nicolette Romans-LeBlanc and Dr. Joel Kahn. During the program the inaugural Humane Hero award was presented by past board chair Paul Huxley to Tom Mackey for his decades of support and guests donated $85,000 to the Special Ask conducted by auctioneer Jason Lamoreaux. During the live auction of 10 items the high bids (2 of $15,000) went for breakfast with the giraffes at the zoo and a pet photo for the MHS calendar cover. Thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the annual event fetched more than $450,000 for the Michigan Humane Society.

Ted Lindsay Foundation Wine Tasting

More than 275 ($125 ticket) gathered at the San Marino Club for the Ted Lindsay Foundation annual charity wine event. Guests perused a silent auction, dined on the stroll (great chow), bantered and imbibed. As per usual, celebrities poured the wine which was generously provided by Jean Jacaques Fertal, Ted Wilson II and Sonja Magdevski. Pourers were Frank Beckmann, Mickey Redmond, Jay Towers, Chelsea Kivell, Eddie Mio, Darren McCarty, Trevor Thompson, Dayna Clark, Joe Kocur, Paul W Smith. But the big story was announced after a brief live auction ($3,500) when Oakland University’s Jon Margerum-Leys announced that foundation founder Ted Lindsay has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. Director of OU Cares Kristin Rohrbeck then praised the Lindsay Foundation’s support of her program’s outreach services to 2,300 families impacted by autism. The TLF makes two $3,000 Courage Awards at its annual Golf Outing which is Sept. 10 at the Detroit Golf club.

Impact 100 Oakland County

More than 100 members of the non-profit based on the power of collective philanthropy convened at Dorothy Barak’s Specialty Showrooms to learn how many dollars they have to give away in 2018. Before the number was revealed, they chatted, sipped, supped (thanks to some generous sponsors) and heard updates from the 2017 grant recipients – Beyond Basics’ Pam Good and CARE House’s Tricia Schuster. Then, with appropriate drama, president Mary Pat Rosen revealed that 270 women have each donated $1,000 to fund charitable endeavors in Oakland County. This means that three grants of $90,000 each will be awarded in the fall. The deadline for organizations to submit a Letter of Intent is Friday, May 18.

Daffodils4Detroit Luncheon

More than 350 garden lovers ($36 & $45 tickets) gathered at the Detroit Yacht Club for the annual Daffodil Day luncheon chaired by Robin Heller. The event, which was started 10 years ago by the Bloomfield Hills branch of the Women’s National Farm & Garden Association, is now presented by the Michigan Division WNFGA. This year, more than 20 clubs were represented, along with other Detroit boosters. They came to hear keynote speaker Lynden Miller, America’s foremost public garden designer who spearheaded The Daffodil Project in New York City after 9/11. Miller’s presentation at the first Detroit luncheon inspired the Daffodils4Detroit project. To date, it has planted more than 500,000 daffodil bulbs on Belle Isle, another 50,000 on E. Grand Blvd. approaching Belle Isle, and 200,000 more among the streets and neighborhood parks in Detroit. Miller, who was hosted by the Bloomfield Hills club and introduced by Cecily O’Connor, praised Detroit’s Campus Martius park. State of Michigan DNR Chief of Parks and Recreation Ron Olson also gave an update on Belle Isle infrastructure and program improvements. The luncheon raised more than $15,000 for Daffodils4Detroit, which estimates a rate of five bulbs-per-dollar-raised.

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

Gleaners Women’s Power Breakfast

Grace Centers of Hope Women Helping Women Luncheon & Fashion Show

Roeper Scholarship Auction & Dinners

Michigan Women’s Foundation Lights, Courage Action!

Project 1 Whose Your Bartender

Meadow Brook Theatre Guild Luncheon on the Aisle

Christ Child Society Boutique and Luncheon

Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature Event

Detroit Zoological Society Conservation Gala

Cranbrook Academy of Art STUDIO

Older Persons’ Commission Night in Monte Carlo

The Alzheimer’s Association Spring Soiree

ORT and the City

SKY Foundation Women’s Event

HAVEN’s Blossom Gala

Spirit of Manresa Banquet

Walsh College Springfest

The Community House Birmingham Downs

Variety, the Children’s Charity Hearts & Stars


Julie Beals, Judy Jonna, Martha Kistler, Sally Mezey and Diane Widlak are planning Angels Place WINGS Evening of Spring Fashion Wednesday, 6 pm, May 9 at Neiman Marcus. Plans include valet parking, small bites, wine, signature cocktails, a gift basket raffle, gift bags and fashion show by Real Styels. For tickets ($60, $100- includes WINGS’ membership) go to

Adele Acheson and Linzie Venegas are chairing the inaugural Women Rock Science 6:30 – 9 pm, Wednesday, May 9 at Cranbrook Institute of Science. Plans include valet parking, hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a gift bag, hands-on STEM and STEAM activities, a show in the Institute’s planetarium, the traveling exhibit Ancient Rome: Age of the Caesars presented by Flagstar Bank, and a display of stunning jewelry from Greenstone’s Fine Jewelers featuring Forevermark diamonds. A portion of the sales will support science education to underserved communities. The evening will honor women in STEM and STEAM education and expand the scope of the institute’s outreach programming in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). For tickets ($100, $250, $1,000, additional $50-to bring one’s mother) go to

JARCapalooza 2018 SpringElation – an all-inclusive family friendly evening - is 5:30 - 8:30 pm, Thursday, May 10 at Emagine Royal Oak. Plans include a complete dinner catered by Quality Kosher Catering, bowling for ALL abilities, face painting, magic shows, musical performances, kids cartoons, and a photo booth, as well as the movies “Avengers: Infinity War” (with open caption) and “Sherlock Gnomes!”. Proceeds support JARC’s broad range of services for men, women and children with developmental disabilities. For sponsorships and tickets ($25) visit or call 248-538-6611.

Eva Feldman and Jim Hiller are hosting a special presentation of Staring Down Fate Thursday May 10 at the Maple Theater. Plans include a 6 pm reception (appetizers, complimentary sodas, cash bar) and Q & A following the 7 pm film viewing with both the film producer as well as ALS researchers Dr. Eva Feldman and Dr. Stephen Goutman. The documentary film about searching for purpose in life and in mortality in the face of uncertainty is a story about 7.4 billion people and their relationship with nature told through one person's life - Chris Lucash, a red wolf biologist diagnosed with ALS. Proceeds benefit the ALS Center of Excellence at Michigan Medicine. For tickets ($50) go to or contact

Amy Spitznagel is the honorary chair of the Suite Dreams Project Hats Off Luncheon 11 am, Friday, May 11 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include a social hour, brief program and lunch followed by the third annual Hat Crawl (wine tastings at 3 local restaurants). For tickets ($150-friend; $200-patron; $1,250-taable for 10; $50-Hat Crawl) call 248-601-0799.

Robert Gaylor and Ellen & William Couch are chairing the Friends of the Kresge Library Fundraising Dinner 6 pm, Friday, May 11 at the library. Plans include The best of Oakland University’s Performance Arts. For tickets ($125) go to

Rev. Msgr. Anthony Tocco and Aviva & Dean Friedman will be honored at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival 25th Anniversary Founders Gala 6 pm, Saturday, May 12 at Detroit’s Colony Club. Plans include a cocktail reception, musical performance by James Tocco and Paul Watkins, dinner and dessert. Parking is in the Fox Theatre Garage.

Nancy Hodari & Toni Sova are chairing the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Spring Ingo Health, Wellness & Style Event 11 am, Thursday, May 17 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include guest speaker author Michael Tonello, a silent auction, ultimate raffle, a compelling testimonial from Mission Moment Speaker Brandon Pomish and presentation of the 2018 Harriett Fuller Uniting to Care & Cure honoree Dr. Robert DiPilla. For tables and tickets ($185-patron; $285-benefactor) go to events at

Paddy Lynch is hosting the Young Angels Night Out 5:30 – 9 pm, Thursday, May 17 at his historic Arden Park Historic District of Detroit manse. Plans include cocktails, bites from Detroit restaurants, casual entertainment and touring the renovated former Stanley Kresge estate. The Young Angels Association comprises the young adult supporters of Angels’ Place’s homes and life enhancing services for persons with developmental disabilities. For tickets ($40, 2 for $60) go to .

Ruth Porter, Isabelle Smith, Eileen Evans, Sally Parsons and Nancy Breithart are chairing the University of Michigan Birmingham Alumnae Club’s scholarship benefit dinner Rhapsody in Blue & Gold 6 pm, Thursday, May 17 at Orchard Lake Country Club. Plans include cash bar, dinner, and presentation by professor Mark Claque about the Gershwin Library at the School of Music, Theater and Dance. For a reservation ($75) call Breithart by May 7 at 248--641-7209.

Beth Cafaro is chairing Eisenhower Dance Detroit 27th Annual Gala 6 pm, Friday, May 18 at Detroit’s Garden Theater. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, a short dance performance by the company, dinner, dancing and a silent auction. For tickets ($140-paatron; $90-junior patron; $1,400-table) call 248-877-2860 or go to .

Beaumont Health will be honored at Starfish Family Services Great Hearts Gala 6 pm, Friday, May 18 at Ford Field. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, dinner, a live auction and afterglow dance party. For tickets ($225; $500-patron) go to .

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 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.

Artist Tom Maniaci (Frame Your Face) is hosting his ninth annual Art of Giving 7 – 11 pm, Thursday, May 24 in The Elm Room inside Vinotecca (formerly The Bird & Bread). This year it will benefit S.O.U.L. ( Plans include a silent auction, a raffle, live auctions of a Frame Your Face paint-by-number canvas and Matt Richmond's Paper Dress Code dresses based on the artwork of Detroit-area artists Tony Roko, Kim Fujiwara, Carl Lundgren and Tom Maniaci signed by the artists, food by Vinotecca, signature cocktails and special appearance by The Detroit Piston Dancers. Tickets are $75 online, $100 at the door. Go to, or

Margaret & GM’s Michael Simcoe are chairing the 2018 PwC Grand Prixmiere presented by Chevrolet 6:30 pm, Friday, June 1 at Belle Isle State Park. Plans include cocktails, dinner, big auction prizes and entertainment trackside overlooking the magnificent Scott Fountain. For sponsorships or a limited number of individual tickets ($600) call Alex Doherty at 313-655-1700 or go to . Proceeds benefit Belle Isle Conservancy programs.

The South Oakland Shelter 3rd annual Rent Party is 7 pm, Saturday, June 2 at Paddy Lynch’s historic Detroit home in the Arden Park-East Boston Edison Historic District. Plans include self parking with shuttle, three stages of jazz curated by the top local music venues of the genre, a strolling dinner and open bar. For sponsorships and tickets ($125, $250-VIP includes 5-7 pm tour of neighboring homes) .

Marianne Bolton, Carolyn Andree, Sue Nine and Lisa Wilson are chairing the 17th Anniversary Celebration of Samaritan Center Thursday, June 7. Plans include 5:30 pm dinner at Cuisine restaurant followed by 8 pm performance of “Motown the Musical” at the Fisher Theatre. For tickets ($200) call Karen at 517-423-7556.

Shannon & Terry Harvill are chairing Sunset at the Zoo 7 – 11 pm, Friday, June 8. The 21-and-older event presented by Strategic Staffing is held rain or shine. Plans include a strolling supper with tastes of signature dishes from 45 of the area’s finest restaurants as well as desserts and zoo-themed specialty drinks, live entertainment by Detroit Flyhouse and the Kuungana Drum and Dance Troupe, live music by The Jerry Ross Band and Tom Butwin, dancing under the stars, live and silent auctions, and access to many of the Zoo’s award-winning animal habitats. Attire is “summer chic”. For tickets ($175-supporter in advance, $200-at the door; $325-patron in advance, $350-at the door, include a 5:30 – 7 pm VIP reception sponsored by ITC Holdings Corp. in the African Grasslands) go to . Proceeds support the Detroit Zoological Society’s wide array of education programs.

Christine and David Colman and Susu Sosnick are chairing the ChildSafe Legends of Tomorrow Gala Friday, June 8 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include the VIP reception at 6 pm in the Clancy room, gala reception at 7 in the Main Ballroom Lobby, cocktails, dinner, brief program, live auction and musical entertainment. For sponsorships and tickets ($300, $500-VIP and up) contact Ashley Hudson at 248-554-6413.

Beth Gothelf and Bob Canvasser are chairing the JVS Strictly Business luncheon Thursday, June 14 at the MGM Grand. GM’s Mark Reuss will be the keynote speaker. Plans also include valet parking, networking, cash bar and lunch plus award presentations to Broder & Sachse Real Estate, Inc and Fuse45’s Samantha Friedman. For sponsorships and tickets ($150 and up) go to .

The 15th anniversary of Salute America is 7 pm, Friday, June 22 at The Lafayette Grande in Pontiac. Plans for the Lighthouse of Oakland County benefit include a 1940's Americana theme (with musical entertainment provided by the Rhythm Society Orchestra - a "big band" specializing in true vintage swing music of the '30s and '40s, valet parking, a seated dinner, complimentary open bar, silent and live auction, a presentation highlighting how your support makes a difference, as well as a special tribute to honoree Andy Meisner. Sponsors arrive at 6 pm. For sponsorships and tickets ($150, $250) got to

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

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