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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.8.18

Hospice of Michigan’s SPEED

There were two notable revelations at the annual HOM benefit which brought 200 supporters ($120 ticket) to the festival tent at M1 Concourse. One was honoree Rabbi Bunny Freedman’s explanation of his first name, a babysitter’s shortening of a longer Jewish name. He said he embraces it because it puts his hospice patients at ease. The founder of the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network got a standing ovation when he received HOM’s traditional Crystal Rose for his dedication to knowing what each patient needs and insuring that “…nobody is ever alone.” The other disclosure was HOM’s Marcie Hillary’s introduction of the new Give a Quarter Back campaign video. It features Michigan sports luminaries like Lloyd Carr, who declares that hospice made his grandson Chad’s brain cancer battle bearable for the family. Linda Juracek-Lipa and Sue Nine chaired the evening that began with the National Anthem and witnessed 64 guests donate $100 for thrill rides with professional drivers around the M1 Concourse track. Counting a one-item auction ($3,700), pledges to the new campaign ($6,135) and thanks to sponsors (see photo gallery), the 32nd annual event grossed nearly $80,000 to support end-of-life-care for all regardless of ability to pay.

Camp Casey Gold Rush Gala

The Horsey House Calls, Cowboy Camp Outs and Outlaw Outings that enable the non-profit Camp Casey to deliver happiness on horseback to children with cancer and rare blood disorders were in the spotlight at the non-profit’s annual fundraiser. It attracted 150 supporters ($100 and up ticket) to The Reserve for sipping and dining on the stroll, bidding ($15,000 in the silent auction), chance wine and whiskey pulling ($1,700) and buying 29 donated desserts ($1,200) in the Sugar Rush Raffle. But, as at past events, when parents like Patrick and Megan Brown described the camp’s unbelievably positive impact on their son Hudson, everybody understood what CC founder Molly Reeser saw as a college kid in 2004 – the healing power of horses. More than 10,000 people have experienced that power, which, the late Casey’s father Nathan Foote said, always comforts and amazes him. The gala raised $70,000 to keep brave children and their families smiling as they horse around.

Hall & Hunter Habitat for Humanity Estate Sale

What Realtors Barb Miller and Christine John began in 2005, in the aftermath of Katrina as a way for people who sell homes to help those who didn’t have one, continues to this day. All year long Hall & Hunter Realtors encourage their clients to donate no longer desired furnishings to the annual estate sale to benefit Habitat for Humanity. This happens because Johnna and Bob Struck‘s Changing Places Moving Company picks up and stores the donations and then delivers them to the sale held in tents in the real estate firm’s parking lot. A preview party the night before the sale is a thank you to the realtors and sponsors (which also include U.S. Bank, Stefek's Auctions and Equity Title Agency) and a chance for them to pay a 35 percent premium for first dibs on the treasures. This year 85 attended, socialized, sipped, supped and shopped. They spent $4,000. Volunteers (50 from Hall & Hunter and 10 from Habitat) greeted the long line of shoppers waiting to get first dibs the next morning. When the sale concluded proceeds totaled nearly $20,000, plus much of the unsold merchandise for Habitat to sell in its ReStore shop. And thus, a good idea just gets better with age.

Birmingham House Tour

Speaking of Hall & Hunter, they also sponsored the 31st annual Community House Birmingham House Tour during which 725 nest peepers ($40 ticket) toured six homes. Other sponsors included Gorman’s Furniture, Ethan Allen, Bolyard Lumber, Sterling Development, Prime Lending, Birmingham Bloomfield Credit Union, Mortgage Center, Martini Samartino Design Group and Mercantile Bank. The homes ranged in age from one-year-old to more than 100-years-old and in design from a Wallace Frost classic cottage to a sleek contemporary by AZD Associates. The Frost cottage on Pine Street had been known for decades as “the moose head” house because one was mounted beside the front door until 2016. Tourists were glad to see that when the new owners renovated they paid homage to the historical head by installing a modern, artistic, white version over the living room fireplace. Rose and Brian Bolyard chaired The Community House Foundation fundraiser for the third consecutive year.

Birmingham Teen Council Movie Marathon

The Birmingham Teen Council, launched late last year by the Community House Foundation, staged its first event – an 18-hour movie binge at the Emagine Palladium. More than 100 teens who had each raised $100 turned out. In addition to all the movies one could watch, unlimited popcorn and soda, dinner, midnight snacks and continental breakfast were provided thanks to sponsors Emagine Theatre, V2Soft, Inc., Chipotle Mexican Grille, Papa Romano’s, Target and Costco. BTC members come from all the Bloomingham public and private high schools. Chase Seklar, Sophie Roth, Kasey Boegner, Charlie Casucci, Julia Crump, Grace Ordona, Liz Pedersen and Olivia Pero comprise the board. Membership is open to sophomores and up who are interested in socializing, honing leadership skills and doing community service with kids from other schools. Judging from the animated scene between movies the new BTC has started a fun tradition.

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

Rochester Area Neighborhood House 50th Anniversary

Hickory Sticks Evans Scholar Fundraiser

Parade Company Distinguished Clowns Grand Jester’s Reception

100+ Millennials Who Care Launch

The Community House SIP Food & Wine Classic

New Day Foundation for Families Hope Shines Gala

Karmanos Partners Night

American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Vine & Dine

Habitat for Humanity Design Challenge

Variety Feeds Kids Luncheon

Yatooma Foundation Champions for the Kids

MOT Gala

Bloomfield Hills Garden Club Benefit Luncheon

Wine & Dine in the D

Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Council Awards

Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors


Sarah Early is chairing the 14th annual Belle Isle Conservancy Polish the Jewel Legacy Luncheon 11 am-1:30 pm, Thursday, October 11 at the Detroit Yacht Club. In addition to lunch, plans include networking and mobile bidding in a silent auction. Proceeds will support the BIC Beachfront Revitalization Project. For tickets ($150 per person or $1,500 for a table of 8) go to at or call 313- 331-7760. Benefactor level tickets (at $2,500 for a Benefactor table, $1,000, $500 or $300 giving levels for individual tickets) as well as corporate sponsorships are also available. Benefactor level tickets include a luncheon celebration on Thursday, Sept. 20.

The Furniture Bank’s 9th Annual Comedy Night fundraiser is Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:00 – 9:00 PM at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak. Plans include a full buffet dinner, 50/50 raffle live auction and main act - Jeff Nease, a Midwestern-bred comic with a global following. For sponsorships and tickets ($50) go to

Linda Dresner, Elle Elder, Elyse Foltyn, Andrea Morganroth, Gregory Parkinson, Terese Reyes, Nedda Shayota and Jane Schulak are the host committee for the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s annual Gala + Art Auction 7 pm, Friday, Oct. 12 at the museum. It will honor the memory of Julie Reyes Taubman. Plans include valet parking, “Lust for Life” attire, cocktails, a silent auction, seated dinner, remarks by Bobby Taubman, entertainment until midnight by Detroit DJ Norm Talley . For tickets ($1,000 & up) call 313-832-6622 or go to

Marla Feldman, Mike Jackson and Lisa & Alex MacDonald are chairing the CARE House Care Night, Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Townsend Hotel. It will honor Jerry and Pat Wagner. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, dinner, a live auction and entertainment by Bluewater Kings Band. For sponsorships and tickets ($250 & up) contact Chad at 248-332-7173 or

The annual Homes for Autism Ring of Hope Dinner is 6 pm, Saturday, Oct.13 at the Village Club. It will pay tribute to the late Bob Wangbichler and honoree Fr. Joseph Dailey, Karen Swietlik and Mike Evola. Plans include cocktails, dinner, a silent auction and music by String Theory. For tickets $250; $400 per couple) call 586-477-0493.

Beth Ann Richardson is chairing Lakeshore Legal Aid’s Annual Event 5:30 – 7:30 pm, Thursday, Oct. 18 at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant (461 Piquette St, Detroit, MI 48202.). Plans include free self-parking, live music, hors d'Oeuvres, a hosted bar, networking and antique cars, to celebrate Lakeshore’s impactful legal work with seniors and low-income clients in 47 Michigan counties. For tickets ($75, $50-student) go to

Jennifer Wheeler is chairing Baldwin Library’s Novel Wine Tasting 6 – 9 pm, Friday, Oct. 19 at the library. This is the 2018 version of the former Books and Bites. Plans include a silent auction, live jazz music, a photo booth, a wine tasting game, a strolling dinner and desserts from Cannelle Patisserie, Commonwealth, Holiday Market, Noble Fish, Svenska Café, Papa Joes, and Ike’s Restaurant. The beer tasting is sponsored by Griffin Claw Brewing Company and the wine tasting is sponsored by Uptown Market. Proceeds will help fund the expansion and renovation of the Youth Room. Silent auction donations are welcome. For sponsorships and tickets ($75, $65 for ages 65 and older) go to

The Lear Corporation is presenting the 6th annual HAVEN Tailgate 12 pm, Sunday, Oct. 21,at Red Run Country Club (2036 Rochester Road, Royal Oak). Plans include a barbecue buffet, bloody Marys, craft beer, open bar, cigars, special liquor tastings, football squares, silent and live auctions and Detroit Lions legends teaming up to tackle domestic and sexual violence. WDIV’s Jamie Edwards will emcee the program. For sponsorships call Blanca at 248.322.3703. For tickets ($125 until 10/8, $150 after 10/8; $60 – under 35) go to

Save the date for the 20th annual Cookies and Dreams, a cookie contest benefiting Friends of Camp Mak-A-Dream, a cost-free camp for children and young adults touched by cancer. It is 5-7:30. Wednesday, Oct. 24 at Somerset Collection North.

The Community Foundation of Greater Rochester eighth annual Tailgate Party is 6 pm, Thursday, Oct. 25 at the Royal Park Hotel. It will celebrate the football season and the Foundation’s 35th anniversary as well as launch the new Community Enhancement Fund. Plans for the casual event include fan attire, tailgate-style food, cash bar, self-parking and performances by local high schools. For sponsorships and tickets $65) go to To become a Community Enhancement Fund 35th Anniversary Donor contact the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester at 248-608-2804.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano will emcee the fifth annual Friends of Foster Kids Fundraiser, 6-9 pm, Thursday, Oct. 25 at Troy’s San Marino Club. Plans include food stations, cash bar, raffles and a 50/50 drawing. Go to for tickets ($100).

Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Dan Loepp is chairing the Alzhimer’s Association’s Chocolate Jubilee Gala - A Night in Havana - Saturday, Oct. 27 at the MGM Grand. Plans include a Pre-Glow at 6:30 pm for donors of $2,500 +, dinner at 7 pm, the chocolate samplings at 9 pm. For sponsorships and more information go to

Elizabeth DuMouchelle is chairing the OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale which opens with the Opening Night Party 6-9 pm, Thursday, Nov. 1 at The Community House. The Benefactor Chairs are Connie & Ian McEwan. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, strolling dinner and desserts and first chance to see and buy the 372 works of art juried into the show by Barbara Heller and Melissa Parks. For tickets ($75) go to or call 248-644-5832. The 33rd annual show will remain open to the public free of charge through 8 pm, Saturday, Nov. 3

The Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza is Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Troy Marriott. For sponsorships and tickets ($185, $265) call 248-338-1843 or go to

Barbara Van Dusen is the honorary host of the Oakland Literacy Council Ex Libris 6:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Village Club. Plans include cocktails, dinner, and keynote address by U-M English professor Anne Curzan, a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage Panel, and co-host of Michigan Public Radio’s “That's What They Say.” For tickets ($125, $175, table of 10-$1,000) call 248-253-1617 or go to Proceeds support adult literacy.

The House of Providence Wishes Gala is 6 pm, Friday, Nov. 2 at the Royal Park Hotel. Plans include strolling hors d’oeuvres, dinner and a program emceed by Chuck Gaidica, Go to for tickets $125). Proceeds benefit girls in foster care.

Julie Pietrosante and Annette Royce are chairing Christ Child Society Night of Angels Saturday, Nov. 3 at Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Plans include a revival of the old-fashioned Feather Party with cocktails at 6 pm, dinner, BINGO and dancing at 7:30 pm, plus raffles, live and silent auctions. For ticket ($175) go to

Judson Center Rewind Gala Saturday, Nov. 3 at the MGM Grand. For tickets and sponsorships go to Events at

Mary Beth Castorri, Lauren Eaton and Carol Quigley are chairing the Sky Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration 1 pm, Sunday, Nov.4 at the MGM Grand. Plans include hors d’oeuvres, lunch, program emceed by WXYZ’s Alicia Smith, a wine pull raffle, live auction and a performance by NUCLASISCA. For tickets ($135 and up) call 248-385-5143 or go to

The Julian Boivin Courage for Cures Foundation 8th annual Brave Knight Benefit for pediatric brain tumor research is Saturday, Nov. 10 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include a seated dinner, silent and live auctions, raffle prizes and dancing. Proceeds of the 2018 Brave Knight will fund research grants at U-M's Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center and The DIPG Collaborative. To donate an auction item, become a sponsor, or inquire further, call (248) 790-2350.

South Oakland Shelter Dancing with the Detroit Stars is 7 pm, Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include strolling food stations, open bar and watching as five couples compete for the winners’ trophy based on the decision of celebrity judges. For tickets ($200) and sponsorships go to

Emilie Mardigian Fitch and Nanette Drouillard are chairing Grace Center of Hope’s Night of Hope 7 pm, Friday, Nov.30 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include valet parking, strolling dinner stations, live music and dancing, silent and live auctions, photo booth and stories about the children whose lives have been impacted by the children's programs at Grace Centers of Hope. For tickets ($95-dinner, cash bar; $135 – VIP dinner & cocktails) and sponsorships call Kim Wehner at 248-334-2187 ext 1140 or Olivia Jones at, (248) 334-2187 ext. 1142 or go to

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

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