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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 6.11.18

Variety, the Children’s Charity Hearts & Stars

Variety’s annual gala seemed a bit like a love-in this spring. It honored two people who have been extremely generous with their time and treasure for 25 years – Felicia and Ed Shaw. They began the evening in the Clancy Room at the Townsend Hotel with 125 other major Variety donors, including long time Variety team member Jean Bugeaud (who looked radiant), sponsors and the 36 members of the Wish Upon a Star Club ($500). After the Kentucky Derby broadcast, they joined the 150 other guests in the ballroom lobby where a chance raffle of decidedly desirable options garnered $10,000. The dinner program emceed by WJR’s Paul W. Smith had highlights. Smith announced that his PAL golf tournament would add Variety to the list of beneficiaries. Michele Murphy explained how Felicia Shaw directed her to Variety’s Myoelectric Center for a prosthesis for her baby who was born without one arm. (Thanks to Variety, 11-year-old Anabel Murphy now plays tennis and piano and Michelle has transitioned from Variety volunteer to executive director following the retirement of Jennie Cascio.) Kelly Shuert and Jeffrey King, (like Felicia, both are past Variety presidents), made a moving tribute to the honorees. (Jeffrey even got a tad teary as he likened Felicia to a fairy godmother who makes people beautiful, including the special needs models in the annual SHINE fashion show.) Speaking for both herself and Ed, Felicia said that Variety’s children are their family. Hearts and Stars raised more than $250,000 for Variety’s life-changing services to children.

The Community House Birmingham Downs

The running of the Kentucky Derby was the excuse for TCH’s President’s Advisory Council to host nearly 200 people ($50, $75 tickets) at the historic meeting place. Hats were de rigueur for the ladies and at least one of the gentlemen as they chatted, sipped mint juleps and sampled bourbon-splashed bites from the buffet. Anonymous judges determined that the promised Best Dressed titles went to Linda Berger and Ryan Polk. Following the televised race, JD Entertainment’s Scott did the DJ honors for dancing. PAC members foster next generation philanthropy.

Walsh College Springfest

Some 250 Walsh College boosters ($100 ticket) sojourned to the Royal Oak Farmers Market to TGIF and benefit the Scholarship Fund. Craft beer, wine and food truck sustenance from StreetSide Seafood, TruckShuka, Woody’s Famous Hot Dogs, Nosh Pit and Eskimo Jacks accompanied the banter and game playing (corn hole, foosball and a giant Jenga game). Some bought $3,000 worth of raffle tickets and toasted Marsha Kelliher upon the first anniversary of her presidency of the college. The laid back evening raised over $60,000 for WC scholarships.

Angels Place WINGS Evening of Spring Fashion

More than 160 women ($60-ticket), including 108 new & returning members, attended the Angels' Place W.I.N.G.S. (Women Involved in Nurturing and Giving Service) annual gathering at Neiman Marcus. In addition to serious socializing, diversions included light hors d’oeuvres, signature cocktails, shopping, mini beauty consultations by Chanel and Bobbi Brown, the Chance Raffle for the Season of Shoes donated by Neiman Marcus and, the main attraction, a runway show by Real Style Agency’s Kathy Remski and Rose Gilpin. It featured the spring trends of Alice & Olivia, Alexis, Derek Lam, Veronica Beard, Tadashi Shoji, Valentino, Christina Louboutin and others. With generous support of event sponsors, the evening raised over $21,000 for AP’s programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.

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

Gleaners Women’s Power Events

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

Detroit Meals on Wheels at Matick Car Wash

Frame Your Face Art of Giving

Belle Isle Conservancy Grand Prixmiere

South Oakland Shelter Rent Party

Preservation Birmingham Dedication

Beaumont’s Drive for Life Invitational

Women’s Division Project HOPE SOS Luncheon

Celebration of Samaritan Center

Sunset at the Zoo

ChildSafe Legends of Tomorrow Gala

The Garden Party Foundation Garden Party


The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Fifth Annual Interchange Art + Dinner Series fundraiser offers eight dinners in spectacular locations from Detroit to New York state featuring landmark architecture, lakefront vistas and outstanding art collections. The next one is hosted by Terese Reyes, owner of Birmingham’s Reyes Projects Gallery, Thursday, June 14 at 7pm. Tickets are available on a first come first served basis. For more information call 313.832.6622 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.

Joann Gordon, Sandie Knollenberg and Diane Roelant are chairing the St. Hugo of the Hills Altar Guild Summer Garden Party, 6 pm, Saturday, July 14 at the Bloomfield Hills home of Jack Krasula. Plans include valet parking, a strolling supper and self-guided tours of the beautiful gardens. Proceeds will benefit Altar Guild charities. For tickets ($200) call Joann Gordon (248)939-6702, Sandie Knollenberg (248)770-3006 or Diane Roelant (248)225-0122.

The Drifters live at Concert & Cuisine is 6 pm, Saturday, July 14 at Meadow Brook Theatre. Plans for the fourth annual MBT fundraiser include a pre-glow party with strolling cuisine, drinks and silent auction with an Under the Boardwalk theme to set the tone for The Drifters' famous repertoire of hits. Beach party attire is encouraged. The Drifters concert will follow, They have been making music for 60 years and are regarded as one of early Rock and Roll’s super groups. For tickets ($85, $125) call 248-377-3300.

The Women's Fund of Rochester Summer Soiree is 6- 8:30 pm, Thursday, July 19 at Meadow Brook Hall. Plans include self parking, wine, hors d'oeuvres violin music and self-guided tours of the historic manse. For tickets ($65, $100-patron includes guided hall tour) go to www, Sue Upton, Kathy Bogdziewwicz, Lynn Florek, Barb Cenko, Kelly Dean, Judy De Steiger, Christina Hogan, Erika Kruse, Kathy McCarter, Lynn Oates and Lori Roscoe comprise the fund’s board.

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

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