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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 10.21.18

American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball

The annual Detroit version of the American Cancer Society's western-themed fundraiser attracted more than 750 cancer fighters to the Suburban Collection Showplace where they were greeted by volunteers on horseback. Foot-stomping music provided atmosphere while they bid more than $60,000 in the silent auction, sipped and supped. Sixteen eateries (see photo gallery) donated chow for the strolling dinner. Culinary awards were judged by New Radio Media foodies (Sara Fouracre, Joe Santos, Bill McAllister and Danielle Carlomusto) and went to the following: Best Sweet was a tie – Achatz Pie Company & Nothing Bundt; Best Savory – Granite City; Best in Presentation was a tie – Novi Chophouse & Tito’s Handmade Vodka. The program emceed by WDIV’s Kimberly Gill had highlights, including a tip of the hat to Cowger Leadership Awardee Janelle Tischer for heading up the auction committee two years in a row, the live auction ($82,450) and moving personal stories by Cheri Ott and Jessica Wright. Following Wright’s saga of being a caregiver for her fiancé, auctioneer Scott Swenson generated more than $80,000 in Mission Moment pledges. Some of that was from the offer of a great prize to the last person to pledge. This clever ploy kept the pledges rolling in. The 16th annual Detroit ball was presented by Toyota and led by the company’s Bob Young and Original Equipment Suppliers Association’s Julie Fream. They smiled broadly when the event proceeds were announced as $885,829. This includes $60,000 from the silent auction, the generous sponsors (see photo gallery) and proceeds of a golf event at Oakland Hills Country Club.

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber Vine & Dine

Although it moves around, wherever the BB Chamber holds its fall fundraiser lots of people turn out. This year, 350 ($85 & $95-ticket) flocked to Brad Oleshansky’s M1 Concourse to sample spirits and snack at stations deliciously provisioned by 16 restaurants (see photo gallery). Some of the guests were invited to stop at the VIP tent where presenting sponsor Mi Bank in Organization’s Rob Farr was schmoozing prospective customers. Sixty fast car fans took thrill rides with the pro drivers around the track. Axis Music Academy talents Ali McManus, Zachary Hooper, Chelsea Grey and Alison Buckman performed in the big party tent where volunteers from Gleaners Community Food Bank were selling tickets for the five, chance auction packages. (Guests bought enough to provide 10,000 meals for those in need.) Event proceeds support the chamber’s mission to create a prosperous business climate through relationships.

Rochester Area Neighborhood House 50th Anniversary

The RANH celebrated 50 years of neighbors helping neighbors move from crisis to self-sufficiency with a free, classic car show on the streets of Canterbury Village, followed by a benefit birthday bash and auction. The former enabled volunteers like Maria Trahan and Mary Howarth to educate people about the “community jewel’s” aid programs (like the clothes closet, food pantry, financial advising and career pathway services). The latter attracted 120 ($115 ticket) and generated enough profit to provide emergency shelter to an additional 25 families this year. It also provided a platform for Executive Director Kathy Losinski to introduce the legacy fund that will generate support for the next 50 years.

Northwood University Distinguished Women Award Gala

For the 49th year, Northwood University has identified a select group of accomplished women as Distinguished and honored them at a gala. The event not only provides role models for the students, but also real-world experience by working on the event committee and by introducing the honorees. This year, the gala attracted 150 to the Midland Country Club where new DW included Motor City Lyric Opera founder Mary Callaghan Lynch, Shinkle Fine Art founder / general counsel / artist Linda Schinkel Rodney and Cass Tech High School principal Lisa Phillips. Their impressive stories generated standing ovations and served as inspiration for the 35 students in the audience. Following the program, which was emceed by past DW Pam Good, many danced to the music of Rennie Kaufmann (NU ‘92) and his daughter Esther. Proceeds from the event will support scholarships at the University, known for developing future business leaders of a global society.

100+ Millennials Who Care Launch

Seventy charity-minded Millennials convened at the Royal Oak Emagine Theatre for the first meeting of the organization founded by Michelle Denno to harness the power of collective giving. They had each committed to giving $100 per quarter to a charity to be determined by the group. They heard three five-minute, Shark Tank-esque pitches for non-profits. Michael Kelly pitched the PEERS Foundation; Rebecca Schultz pitched Helping Hands Gifts; Chris Clark pitched Fleece & Thank You. A Q and A followed each presentation before the voting. Fleece & Thank You, which creates blankets for hospitalized children and delivers them with a video message from the maker, was the winner and received $7,000 plus $1,000 from corporate partner UHY, LLP. The program also included sage advice and encouragement from Amy Whipple, a co- founder of 100+ Women Who Care of Greater Rochester. Denno, who is joined on the steering committee by Joey Bastian, David Ehrlich, Emilie Fitch, Joseph Kulwicki, Jess Nestrovski, Casey Schario, Ryan Schario, John Shiha and Ramy Sulaiman, was encouraged by the palpable energy in the room.

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

Karmanos Partners Night

Habitat for Humanity Design Challenge

Variety Feeds Kids Luncheon

Women Officials Network Wonder Woman Dinner

MOT Gala

Bloomfield Hills Garden Club Luncheon

Wine & Dine in the D

Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Council Awards

Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors

Belle Isle Conservancy Polish the Jewel Luncheon

Walsh College Leadership Awards Dinner

MOCAD Gala + Art Auction

CARE House Care Night

Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center Launch

Lakeshore Legal Aid Annual Event

Baldwin Library Novel Wine Tasting

HAVEN Tailgate


Catherine & Nathan Forbes are chairing the 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. For sponsorships and tickets ($60, $100, children under 17 -pay their age) go to or call Pete Grimes at 248-723-5575.

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

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 Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza is 6:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Troy Marriott. Plans include cocktails, dinner, awards to the Community Builder and Volunteer of the year, live auction and afterglow. For sponsorships and tickets ($185-Patron, $265-Benefactor, includes 6 pm reception) call 248-338-1843 or go to

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.

The Santa Society’s 26th annual Cause for Claus Gala Charity Ball is 7:30-11:30 pm, Friday, Nov. 2 at the Troy Marriott. Plans include hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and music by Jedi Mind Trip. The host committee of 22 good guys covers expenses. Guests bring one new, unwrapped toy per person for the Marines’ Toys for Tots program.

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 is 6 pm, Saturday, Nov. 3 at the MGM Grand. Plans include silent and live auctions, cocktails, dinner, program and Afterglow. For tickets ($300, $400-VIP, includes 5:30 VIP reception) and sponsorships go to at or call Joann Ingoglia at 248-837-2075.

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

Dani Gillman & Ben Chutz are chairing JARC’s annual Fall Fundraiser 7:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Max & Marjorie Fisher Music Center. Plans include the amazing Believing the Impossible Live Tour of the Masters of Illusion. For tickets ($75 an up), go to or call 248-538-6611.

Denny Dinan-Panico, Mia Materka and Martha Whiting are chairing the Ladies of Charity Festive Friendsgiving Luncheon 11 am, Friday, Nov. 9 at Red Run Golf Club. Plans include cash bar, a raffle, luncheon and talk by Patricia Montemurri about her book on the history of Detroit Catholic parishes. All guests will receive a signed copy of the book. For tickets ($55, $155) call Rose Obloy at 248-646-1043.

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.

Julie Kowalik and Cynthia Lutz are chairing FAR Therapeutic Arts & Recreation’s annual FAR, Friends & Fa La La Wednesday evening, Nov. 14 at the Seligman performing Arts Center at Detroit Country Day School. Doors open at 5:30 pm for FAR Bazaar shopping and the Silver Circle Pre-glow reception. Variety, The Children’s Charity, Steven Teich and Ron Piotrowski will be honored. For tickets ($75-reserved seating, Afterglow Party; $150-valet, Pre-glow, special seating, Afterglow) call Pamela Ayres at 248-646-3347.

Audrey & Gerry Weinberg and Dr. James P. Lynch will be honored at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 41st annual Evening at the Movies 6:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 15 at the Masonic Temple. Plans include valet parking, strolling dinner, silent auction, the program with Brandon Pomish as the Mission Speaker. A movie presentation will follow at 8 pm. For sponsorships and tickets ($175 and up) call Laura James at 248-737-0900, ext. or go to

Dan Loepp is chairing the executive committee of Hob Nobble Gooble 6:30-10:30pm, Friday, Nov. 16 at Ford Field. Plans for this 2018 Michigan Thanksgiving Parade benefit include valet parking, dinner, delights, carnival midway, new ride, give-a-ways, music by Your Generation in Concert and performance by Jesse McCarthy. Tickets range from $200 for children 6 and under to $500. Call 313-923-7400 ext. 244.

Jennie & Bill Cook and Tim & Marci Rice are chairing South Oakland Shelter Dancing with the Detroit Stars 7 pm, Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Townsend Hotel. Plans for the 10th annual glam fundraiser include strolling food stations, open bar and watching as six couples compete for the winners’ trophy based on the decision of celebrity judges. The dancers who will have partners from Arthur Murray Dance Studio are: Eric Fadie (The Detroit Cast), Tara Szott Wasik (Szott Automotive Group), Kelli Robinson (Stella & Dot), Angel Lavery (Brother Rice High School), Alexandria T. Riley (City of Pontiac) and Chef Eric Avila (The Townsend). The judges are Rabbi Rachel Shere (Adat Shalom Synagogue), Karen Dumas (Images and Ideas Inc.), Roop Raj (Fox 2 Detroit) and Derrick Coleman (DC Elite). For tickets ($200) and sponsorships go to

Linda Juracek-Lipa, Tina Prevas and Sherry Saginaw are chairing the Women’s Division Project HOPE annual Holiday Luncheon & Boutique, 10am - 3pm, Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Forest Lake Country Club. Boutique Shops include: Art Loft, Christian Dior Beauty, Christina Larosa Pottery & Garden Gifts, Ella’s Designs, El-Mar Furs, Event Bliss, Franklin Village Boutique, Gifted, Innis Joswick Jewelry, Klassics by Kurtis, Michelle’s Chocolate, Mrs. Mason’s Company, Sutherland Style, Trends in Fashion and others. Lunch will be served at noon. For tickets ($80-Guest, $100-Patron, $150- Benefactor) or Sponsor ($250-2 tickets) Contessa Bannon at 248-860-7004 or

Wade & Sally Mezey and Joe & Julie Beal are chairing the Angels Place Annual Dinner 6:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 29 at The Henry Hotel. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, dinner and the program featuring an address by super sports star Kirk Gibson. For sponsorships and tickets ($225, $350-includes 6 pm reception with Gibson), go to

The Boys & Girls Clubs Great Futures Gala, is Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Westin Book Cadillac. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, music, dinner and the program honoring Matt Cullen. For tickets ($250 and up) contact Jennifer Trussell at 248-522-4412 or

Amy Gooch, Mary Taylor and Babbie Thomas are chairing the Christ Child Society Christmas Home Tour Friday, Nov. 30. Five homes will be open for touring. Boutiques and a buffet will be set up at Birmingham Country Club from 9:30 am – 2:30 pm. For tickets ($65) 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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