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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 5.21.18

Project 1 Whose Your Bartender

If you like noise and crowds don’t miss Project1’s annual fundraiser. This year Kellie Kennedy chaired the event that attracted more than 400 revelers to Dick O’Dow’s on a Tuesday night. They were basically supporters of Project1 and the other eight non-profits whose bartenders were vying for patrons’ business. When they weren’t bantering and imbibing they were devouring bites (pizza, chicken flautas, mango wings and mac’n’cheese) generously provided by the establishment. At closing time, the top 3 teams were: Sandy Nida and Stacey Dewey who raised $7,533 for the Suite Dreams Project; Mike Walls and Rob Chimelak who raised $6,495 for U Can-Cer Vive; and Niraj Sarda and Sasha Archer who raised $5,895 for Imerman Angels. The remaining 6 teams (see photo gallery) raised $21,865 total. Doug McMaster won the 50/50 raffle that raised $1,450.

Meadow Brook Theatre Guild Luncheon on the Aisle

Since its founding in 1977, the Meadowbrook Theatre Guild has staged a popular fundraiser to finance the TLC it provides the season’s performers. And they have the event down pat. As guests arrive, (this year there were 540 with $35 tickets), they buy Basket Raffle tickets, peruse the impressive display of prizes (24) in the whimsically-decorated hallway and make their choices. Most check out the Bake Shoppe, which this year also sold attractive aprons like the guild members wear, the card raffle for a diamond & sapphire bracelet and the wine bar. When the Downtown Café bag lunches are distributed, guests adjourn with their repast to their reserved theatre seats. After door prizes and raffle winners are determined, the entertainment – selected scenes from the current musical “The All Night Strut” – begins. (Think energetic singing and dancing to the music of the ‘30s and ‘40s like “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Minnie the Moocher” and “Ain’t Misbehavin”.) Thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the 41st annual event raised more than $17,000.

Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature Event

More than 350 lawyers, judges and their pals gathered at Oakland Hills Country Club to make nice with each other at the foundation’s annual cocktail supper fundraiser. Capricious Mother Nature was in a friendly mood, too, providing sunny warmth for chatting on the veranda that overlooks the legendary South Course. Since 2002, the OCBF, whose board is headed by Patrick McCarthy, has contributed more than $2-million to legal assistance and education programs. An early arrival at the party, judge Michael Warren, founded, with his then 10-year-old daughter, one of the foundation’s education beneficiaries – Patriot Week. Other grant recipients include CARE House’s Court-Appointed Special Advocates, the Family Law Assistance Project, Legal Aid for Children and Families and the Michigan Center for Civic Education. Thanks to generous ($206,000) sponsors (see photo gallery) the 19th annual Signature Event raised $267,775. Founded in 1999, the bar foundation has become a national leader and trendsetter for law-based foundations.

Michigan Women’s Forward Lights, Courage Action!

What’s in a name? At the recent fundraiser that attracted 800 ($175, $250 tickets) to Cobo Center, those savvy women at the Michigan Women’s Foundation (MiWF) announced a name change that more accurately reflects the current mission of the organization Mary Jo Pulte founded 33 years ago but does NOT require a new domain name – Michigan Women Forward. And before the evening was over, young participants in various MiWF programs took the stage with props illustrating the organization’s four pillars: Women's Entrepreneurial Initiative, Young Women Leaders, Women's Agenda for Michigan and Michigan Women's Historical Center & Hall of Fame. The latter is a new affiliation. Gina Coleman, Lori Lancaster and Betsy Meter chaired the dinner event which included a cocktail reception and silent auction ($25,000). MiWF leaders Carol Cassin, Peg Tallet, Pam Enslen and Denise Christy assured the assembled that the organization’s original mission – to promote financial and social equality for Michigan women – is even more strategically focused with the new brand. Thanks also to generous sponsors the event raised $675,000.

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

Gleaners Women’s Power Events

Christ Child Society Boutique and Luncheon

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

Angels Place WINGS Evening of Spring Fashion

Women Rock Science

Suite Dreams Project Hats Off Luncheon

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Spring Into Health, Wellness & Style

Eisenhower Dance Detroit Gala

Starfish Family Services Great Hearts Gala

The Furniture Bank Wine Tasting


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) .

On Monday, June 4, The Drive for Life Invitational will support oncology patient programs and services at the Walter & Marilyn Wolpin Comprehensive Breast Care Center at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and the Wilson Cancer Resource Center at Beaumont, Troy. This two-venue event offers golf at Oakland Hills Country Club chaired by Chris Emde, Steven Howard and Ryan March and a competitive bridge and canasta tournament for card players at Bloomfield Hills Country Club chaired by Bobbi Polk and Julie Beals. Cocktails and a strolling dinner for all at Oakland Hills Country Club conclude the day. Sponsorship packages and Individual tickets for golf, cards and dinner are available. To find out more, purchase tickets, or become a sponsor, call (248) 551-5317 or visit

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.

The Garden Party Foundation 10th annual The Garden Party is 1-4 p.m., Sunday, June 10 at Meadow Brook Hall and Gardens. Plans include small plates from 30 restaurants and 100 different wines served at stations in the huge, white festival tent plus classic cars displayed on the adjacent lawn. The Garden Party Foundation (TGPF) was founded by Sydney & Elizabeth Ross. The Garden Party event was initiated and is maintained by the J. Lewis Cooper Family and Elizabeth and Sydney L. Ross Foundation to provide trade school and culinary school scholarships to underprivileged young adults to help one student at a time reach their dreams. Proceeds from the 2018 party will benefit Oakland Community College Culinary Studies Institute and other Vocational Programs. For sponsorships and tickets ($150) call 248-953-8123 or go to

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 Jackson Five will be the honored legend at Music Hall’s Detroit Music Weekend, June 14-17. The signature social event on the schedule is the Gala under the big top, Friday, June 15. Plans include valet parking, VIP rooftop reception at 5:30 p.m., doors to the adjacent tent open at 6 p.m. for dinner, dancing, Saks Fifth Avenue Fashion Show and the Jackson Five Tribute Concert. For tickets ($1,000 – includes VIP pass for the following day) contact Latasha Burnett at 313-887-8510 or Go to for the complete schedule of events, including the free concerts on Saturday.

Karen and Matt Cullen will be honored at the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Shimmer on the River 6:30 p.m., Thursday evening, June 21 at the Rivard Plaza. Plans include a VIP reception at 5:30 p.m., valet parking, exclusive preview of GM River Days attractions, open bar, strolling dinner, unlimited carnival rides and games. Suggested attire is ‘60s cocktail chic. For tickets ($250-VIP; $150-regfular; all include up to 2 children) contact or call 313.566.8215. The 12th annual GM River Days Festival presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort continues Sat and Sunday, June 22-24. For the many, family-friendly attractions 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

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Dan Loepp is chairing the executive committee of the Parade Company’s Ford Fireworks Rooftop Party Monday, 5:30 – 11 pm, Monday, June 25 atop the Center Garage adjacent to the Renissance Center. Plans include Andiamo cuisine, Your Generation in concert, games and activities for all ages and the best seats in town for viewing the 60th annual Ford Fireworks. For tickets ( ($275-adult, $125-child 6 & under) call 313-923-7400 ext 244. The rain date is Tuesday, June 26.

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

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