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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 6.25.18

Beaumont Foundation Heart & Style

You know your event plan is a good one when you do not need invitations to sell it out. Such was the case for the fundraising luncheon Beaumont Health “First Lady” Julie Fox chaired. It attracted 260 to Oakland Hills Country Club where bright pink-covered tables echoed (or promoted) the spirited atmosphere. During the brief luncheon program Beaumont cardiologist / honorary chair Dr. Pam Markowitz declared that heart disease is the number one killer of women. A runway fashion show coordinated by trend stylist Mariana Keros and co-commentated with Monica Gayle followed the savory, heart-savvy lunch. In addition to seasonal trends like florals, statement earrings and oversized tops, the show featured some models who have survived heart disease. A large silent auction generated $38,000 in bids; three live auction items made $9,1000. Thanks also to 28 sponsors (see photo gallery) the midday gathering raised $150,000 to benefit education, training and services to underinsured women at the Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center at Beaumont, Royal Oak.

CCF Spring Into Health, Wellness & Style

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s annual spring fundraising luncheon, which fashion business legend Harriett Fuller founded 11 years ago, attracted 275 supporters ($185, $285 ticket) to the Townsend Hotel. Instead of the customary fashion show, this year the event leaders (Nancy Hodai, Toni Sova, Monica George, Mary Ann Liut, and Contessa Denha) put author/eBay entrepreneur Michael Tonello in the spotlight. His witty stories about acquiring the coveted Hermes Birkin bag for wealthy customers all over the globe were thoroughly entertaining. Dr. Robert PiDilla was also in the limelight, in absentia, as the recipient of the Harriett Fuller Uniting to Care & Cure Award. His wife represented him with great style. Thanks to a raffle for a Birkin bag and sponsors, the event raised nearly $150,000 for CCF’s patient support and research programs.

Eisenhower Dance Detroit Gala

Many of the 150 dance aficionados ($140, $90 ticket) who gathered at the Garden Theater on Woodward were seeing the restored, historic gem for the first time. They socialized, sipped, snacked and bid $10,000 in a silent auction set up in the bar area on the mezzanine that overlooks the stage and seating area. It was a fine venue for the event, which included a seated dinner catered by Cutting Edge Cuisine and performances of excerpts from Eisenhower’s repertoire. It also spotlighted convincing testimonies to the company’s impact by alum Sofia Mazich, dancer Andrew Cribbett, teacher Katy Ploch and the longest serving board member Debra Bernstein-Siegel (“ is an art from that speaks to the soul”). These inspired $20,000 in dedicated giving. Auctioneer Gary Mach also garnered $20,000 for seven live auction items. Not surprisingly, many stayed to dance after dinner. The fun, stimulating evening was chaired by Beth Cafaro and raised $65,000 to support the education services and outstanding performances of the 27-year-old, internationally acclaimed, contemporary dance company.

Great Hearts Gala

Over 500 people ($225; $500 ticket) gathered at Ford Field to celebrate the children served by Starfish Family Services. Activities included a VIP Huddle in the locker room, cocktail reception, dinner, live auction and afterglow dance party. but the highlight was the presentation of the seventh annual Great Hearts Award to Beaumont Health for making a profound difference in the lives of Starfish families. The Honorary co-chairs were Diana and Steve Howard and Karen and Patrick Smithbauer. Thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the evening that was chaired by Sheryl and Donald Conn, Hadley Mack French, Lisa and Eric Widner and Carla Burney Jones, raised a record-setting $626,000 for Starfish Family Services’ programs that strengthen families to create brighter futures for children.

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

The Furniture Bank Wine Tasting

Detroit Meals on Wheels at Matick Car Wash

Gleaners Women’s Power Events

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

American House Foundation Fundraiser

Celebration of Samaritan Center

Sunset at the Zoo

ChildSafe Legends of Tomorrow Gala

The Garden Party Foundation Garden Party

Rose Hill Golf Fundraiser

Franklin Garden Walk

JVS Strictly Business

French American Chamber of Commerce Gala

Shimmer on the River

Salute America

DSO 2018 Heroes Gala

The Cranbrook House Party


Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Dan Loepp is chairing the executive committee of the Parade Company’s Ford Fireworks Rooftop Party Monday, June 25, 5:30 – 11 pm, 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.

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 Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit Fifth Annual Interchange Art + Dinner Series fundraiser offers eight dinners in spectacular locations from Detroit to Long Island featuring landmark architecture, lakefront vistas and outstanding art collections. The next one is hosted by Chris Byrne, 4 pm, Sunday, July 15 in East Hampton, NY. The others include: Kate Ostrove and David Klein at 7 pm, Thursday, July 19 in Detroit; Rebecca and Alan Ross at 6 pm, Thursday, July 26, in their Bloomfield Hills home; Roz and Scott Jacobson at 7 pm, Friday, August 24 in the Bloomfield Hills home; Ann Stevenson and Curt Catallo at 7 pm, Saturday Sept. 8 at their lakefront Grosse Pointe home. For tickets call 313.832.6622 or go to

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.

The Founders Junior Council FASH Bash is Thursday, August 16 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The co-chairs are David and Christine Colman, Andrea and Chris Provenzano, Mohammad Qazi, Nedda Shayota and Nathaniel Wallace.

Jason Brooks, Kevin Elbinger and Renee Wolgin are chairing Rub-A-Dub 5:30 pm, Tuesday, Aug. 21 at Franklin Hills Country Club. The annual event benefiting ORT’s education programs will honor Randy Wertheimer. Call 248-723-8880 for tickets.

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

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