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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 7.9.18

The PwC Grand Prixmiere The 534 guests ($600 & up ticket) traversing the red-carpeted walkway to the pre-race weekend, Grand Prixmiere party tent were the first people to see GM’s 30-piece Art of Propulsion exhibit. The artful display of car components that lined their path (see photo gallery) reflected the vision of event chairs Margaret and GM VP Global Design Michael Simcoe. When complimented on the exhibit during the cocktail hour, Michael smiled and said, “Yes, that’s the jewelry no one ever sees.” The cocktail reception tent showcased colorful paintings by Cadillac lead creative designer Nico Rousselet (see photo gallery). They reflected (or maybe inspired) the pulsating energy in the room. Dinner table centerpieces also showcased GM design talent – crystal replicas of the new, Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix trophies inspired by the James Scott Memorial Fountain visible from the tent. GM’s Mark Reuss and Simcoe described the live auction packages that inspired spirited bidding and additional donations of two very popular items (the opportunity to host a private event at the GM Design Dome in Warren and an exclusive chance to go behind the scenes of the Corvette design studio and test drive a Corvette ZR1 with GM executives). When the party concluded, thanks to the auction and generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the fifth annual Grand Prixmiere held on Belle Isle had raised approximately $1-million for the Belle Isle Conservancy. It is earmarked for projects to enhance, preserve and restore Belle Isle, including needed improvements and maintenance of the James Scott Memorial Fountain. South Oakland Shelter Rent Party We love when the plans for a charity event are intrinsic to the non-profit’s mission. Like the SOS event inspired by the roaring ‘20s-era jazz parties staged in Harlem neighborhoods to collect money to pay the landlord and avoid eviction. The third annual Rent Party hosted by Paddy Lynch in his restored historic Detroit home attracted 246 South Oakland Shelter supporters ($125, $250-VIP ticket) to party, savor donated food and drink and listen to good jazz (see photo gallery). Sixty VIPs also toured Lynch’s Kresge mansion and two neighboring homes, including the Fisher mansion next door. The hosts had graciously arranged a variety of comfortable seating options around the terrace stage and in tents. All in all, a grand way to spend a summer evening. It raised more than $46,000 for the vital housing and rental assistance programs the 33-year-old agency provides. Preservation Bloomfield Dedication Ten years ago, when the area’s economy was deep in the dumps, Pat Hardy needed to raise $100,000 to move the oldest house in the city of Bloomfield Hills from Long Lake Road to the Bowers School Farm campus for restoration and use as a public meeting place. The farm house was donated by the land’s developer Eddie Mancini. At a Sunday afternoon gathering at the now renovated Barton Farm House, a plaque commemorating the 164 couples, organizations and individuals who donated from $500 to $25,000 and others who donated services was unveiled. (See photo gallery). Representatives of Preservation Bloomfield – which comprises the city, the township, the school district and the historical society, but uses no public funds – and its fundraising Friends group, toasted the success of the decade-long project, which is ongoing. Hardy attributed the success to three “G’s” and one “B” – Gratitude, Goodness, Generosity and Belief. Celebration of Samaritan Center The Good Samaritans are committed to supporting Holy Cross Service’s Samaritan Center that provides comprehensive services in its impoverished, east Detroit neighborhood. Eighty Good “Sams” and their guests ($200 ticket) gathered at Chef Paul Grosz’ Cuisine restaurant to socialize and dine before trekking across the street to the Fisher Theatre to see “Motown the Musical.” The evening, which was coordinated by Marianne Bolton, Carolyn Andree, Sue Nine and Lisa Wilson, raised $9,000 for the Center. The message of one song – “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, Make this world a better place if you can...” could well become the Good Samaritan‘s theme song. Check in the coming weeks for reports & photos from these events: Beaumont’s Drive for Life Invitational Women’s Division Project HOPE SOS Luncheon American House Foundation Fundraiser ChildSafe Legends of Tomorrow Gala The 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 A House Party at Cranbrook


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.

Kevin Kernen and Jonas Rodger are the co-chairs and Mark Anusbigian is the honorary chair of Forgotten Harvest’s 16th annual Cruisin’ to Drive Out Hunger 6 – 10 pm, Friday, Aug. 17 at his Westborn Market in Berkley. Plans include valet parking, food and drink from Metro Detroit’s best purveyors, live music by Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band, a photo booth, a silent auction and a sneak preview of the Woodward Dream Cruise from a great, curbside vantage. Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is the presenting sponsor. Call Rebecca Gade Sawicki at 248-864-7527 for other sponsorship opportunities. For tickets ($150) go to events at

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.

The 18th Annual Ted Lindsay Foundation Golf Outing Monday, September 10 at The Detroit Golf Club offers golf, dinner and open bar, silent and live auctions and the awards program or the post golf-only activities. A highlight of the dinner program will be the presentation of two Courage Awards which recognize a person and a family who demonstrate great character and perseverance while living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. For information go to Connie Beckett and Kelly Shuert are chairing the Variety Feeds Kids Luncheon 11:30 am, Thursday, Sept. 27 at Pine Lake Country Club. It will feature inspirational author/speaker Steve Pemberton, Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice President—Walgreens. The Honorary Chairs are Karen and Alan Barry. For sponsorships and tickets ($125, $225-includes feeding one child for a year) call 248-258-5511, email or go to https://varietyfeedskids.event.

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

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