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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 6.4.18

HAVEN’s Blossom Gala

Here’s betting the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market never looked classier than the evening 440 HAVEN supporters ($200, $500, $75 tickets) gathered there for the agency’s spring fundraiser. (Think twinkling lights overhead and formally dressed tables accented with blossoms lovingly arranged by Mary Wood, Carole Winnard Brumm and Sylvia Morin.) While more than 100 convened briefly for the VIP reception where Michéle Ramo played jazz most perused the extensive silent auction of 124 items displayed around the room’s perimeter or bought all the 104 raffle cards while Detroit Circus artists performed. Paula Tutman emceed the dinner program which had highlights: presentation of the Heart of HAVEN award to Jeff and Jennifer Farber following a video that illustrated HAVEN’s impactful new, Farber Family Pet Center which they donated; abuse survivor Kelly Mays’ powerful saga of her long journey to independence inspired by her daughter’s threat (“ leave or I will”); energetic pledging led by auctioneer Jim Alban that raised a record $69,825; and the live auction of eight great items that raised $25,150. Thanks also to sponsors (see photo gallery) the Blossom Gala raised a new record total of $384,083 for HAVEN’s programs to end domestic violence and support survivor empowerment.

The Alzheimer’s Association Spring Soiree

We always consider it a sign of an organization’s vitality when there are lots of new faces amid the loyalists at a charity event. Such was the case at the AA Spring Soiree which drew more than 215 ($75 and up tickets) to Neiman Marcus to sip, savor and shop before Mother’s Day. Event attractions included mini spa treatments, Shinola pop-up shop and Cola Bar and a Coravin wine opener demonstration & tasting. In addition, guests also bought more than 170 raffle tickets ($50 each) for the chance to win four seasons of NM shoes. During the very brief program, 12 caregivers who were invited to enjoy a well-deserved evening out were saluted. 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 comprised the co-chair crew. Since a person is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds, the chairs hoped to raise at least $65,000. Thanks to sponsors (see photo gallery) the goal was exceeded. The next AA fundraiser is the popular Chocolate Jubilee which Dan Loepp is chairing Saturday, Oct. 27 at the MGM Grand.

ORT and the City

Four hundred ORT supporters ($55 & up tickets) convened in Eastern Market Shed 5 for the annual spring fundraiser (the fourth at Eastern Market). They socialized, sipped and sampled yummy food truck cuisine from Pita Post, Sidecar and CACA, plus savory Plum Market passed bites. They also bid more than $21,000 in a silent auction that featured 23 one-of-a-kind works of art designed by emerging and nationally-recognized local artists. Each artist, selected and sponsored by local art collectors, was challenged to create an original design on a 30” diameter circle. Leah Cohen, Justin Hamburger and Ilene Kahan were voted People’s Choice Award winners. The casual evening raised more than $110,000 to support ORT’s global education programs. Jason Brooks, Kevin Elbinger and Renee Wolgin are chairing the next ORT benefit, Rub-a-Dub, 5:30 pm, Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Franklin Hills Country Club. It will honor Randy Wertheimer.

Spirit of Manresa Banquet

Over 300 supporters ($150 tickets) of the Jesuit retreat center gathered at Shenandoah Country Club where pre-dinner diversions included cocktails, tours of the Chaldean Cultural Center which covers history from 3,300 BC to present, and bidding in a silent auction. (Two paintings by artist Reni Stephan garnered more than $6,200.). The dinner program, emceed by WJR’s Marie Osborne, featured sincere remarks by retreatant Judy Maten, a Manresa mission statement by Executive Director, Fr. Fran Daly, SJ and the keynote address by prolific author Chris Lowney. He brought his education in a Jesuit seminary and subsequent business experience on three continents to the topic of Pope Francis’ approach to leadership. He also pulled Mariann Sarafa’s ticket as the raffle winner (nearly $9,000). All guests received a cross designed by Live Edge Detroit using wood harvested on Manresa property. The evening chaired by Deacon Michael and Joyce McKale, Allen Wall and Mary Cafferty, Johny and Leila Kello, Victor and Michelle Saroki and Bishop Robert Fisher raised money to fund spiritual retreats for the needy.

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

Gleaners Women’s Power Events

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

Beaumont Foundation Heart & Style

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

Eisenhower Dance Detroit Gala

Starfish Family Services Great Hearts Gala

The Furniture Bank Wine Tasting

Frame Your Face Art of Giving

Belle Isle conservancy Grand Prixmiere

South Oakland Shelter Rent Party


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

Bettina Gregg, Cheryl Hall Lindsay and Linda Juracek-Lipa are chairing the Women’s Division Project HOPE SOS Luncheon, 11 am, Wednesday, June 6 at Forest Lake Country Club. Plans include a special presentation by author Erick Reickert and the election and installation of officers. For reservations ($65, $75, $100) call Bettina Gregg at 248-701-6641.

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.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Fifth Annual Interchange Art + Dinner Series fundraiser offers the following eight dinners in spectacular locations from Detroit to New York state featuring landmark architecture, lakefront vistas and outstanding art collections. Tickets are available on a first come first served basis. For more information call 313.832.6622 or go to .

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

The Franklin Branch of the Women’s National Farm and Garden Association’s 33rd annual Garden Walk is 10am-4pm and 6pm-9pm, Wednesday, June 13. Plans include 6 new residential gardens, an Artisan Market of garden related items on the Franklin green near the gazebo and an optional pre-ordered box lunch. Maps and directions will be available the day of the tour at the gazebo on the Franklin green near the Franklin Community Church. The tickets are $12 presale and $15 day of tour. Get tickets online through Event Bright @2018; via mail, sending a SASE with check payable to WNF&GA Franklin Branch at P.O. Box 250194, Franklin MI 48025. Include your phone number; in person at The Village Boutique, 32716 Franklin Road (248) 851-0055. A pre-ordered box lunch will be available for purchase on site plus locally at nearby restaurants – the Franklin Grill, Farmhouse and Leo’s on Telegraph. Proceeds from our sales support horticultural and environmental causes in metro Detroit as well as the state and national level. For further information, call Cynthia Amman at 248 851-3410 or Barbara Borden at 248 971-0689, or

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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