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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 11.5.18

Wine & Dine in the D

Because Sid Moss was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, he founded the non-profit Cure Multiple Myeloma Corporation (CMMC). Its mission is to educate myeloma patients and caregivers in the metro Detroit area, provide a community of support and help fund treatments. And because he likes good food and wine, eight years ago he and his wife Sharon started hosting an event offering both to raise funds for CMMC and the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. This year, another myeloma patient-in-remission Bill Baer and his wife Darrene were the honorary chairs at the event that attracted 400 ($175 & $275 tickets) to the Westin Book Cadillac. About 100 of them came early for the roundtable discussion with physicians and researchers who discussed new treatments for the still incurable blood cancer. Great restaurants (25), wineries (16) and two breweries served up small plates and spirits while jazz singer Ursula Walker and the Buddy Budson Quintet made music. Thanks also to a silent auction, a wine pull and sponsors (see photo gallery), the eighth annual Wine & Dine in the D raised approximately $160,000 for the CMMC and the MMRF.

Bloomfield Hills Garden Club

Every other year the Bloomfield Hills Garden Club (officially the Bloomfield Hills Branch of the Michigan Division of Women’s National Farm & Garden Association, Inc.) stages a benefit for its outreach programs. This year it was a luncheon that attracted 100 women ($100 & up tickets) to Bloomfield Hills Country Club. The first thing they saw just inside the entrance was a huge floral arrangement. (See photo gallery.) It was created by the club’s house florist, Alexandra Zikakis of Morningview Gardens, and duplicated the one on the cover of “Fresh,” the latest book by the talented guest speaker Sybil Brooke Sylvester. (Event chair Julie Beals thanked member Stephanie Kemp for getting her friend from Birmingham, AL to come to Bloomfield Hills.) With a charming Southern accent, the event designer / author / instructor demonstrated flower arranging “… (with what) God has put out there.” She also noted that flowers are “tough” and don’t need food or refrigeration. “Cut the stems under fresh water and let them open on their own,” she advised. She completed three natural arrangements that Sis Fisher, Christa Schwartz and Jeanne Kellihar won as door prizes. Thanks also to generous local florists (see photo gallery) who created the centerpieces that were sold in a silent auction and the sale of 64 copies of “Fresh,” the biennial event raised $20,000 for the club’s community horticultural projects.

Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Council Awards

It was standing room only at the BBAC when the Birmingham Bloomfield Cultural Council made its 23rd annual awards – the Lifetime Achievement Award to world famous pianist James Tocco and the Arts Award to artist / author / philanthropist Julie Dawson. Although Tocco lives in Cincinnati, OH, 25 years ago he founded the Great Lakes Chamber Musical Festival which annually brings renowned musicians to perform at Temple Beth El, Kirk in the Hills and St. Hugo of the Hills. One of Tocco’s 11 siblings – “Fr. Tony Tocco” - is pastor of the latter church and was credited by the honoree with “helping get the festival off the ground.” Dawson, a BBAC alum whose fan club at the ceremony included people from Beaumont Hospital and CARE House, where her murals and books make children smile, as well as collectors of her art and people from non-profits who have toured her studio and gardens, made her acceptance remarks in a creative and humorous poem. The program also included comments by BBCC president Laurie Tennent, awards co-chairs Marcy Heller Fisher and Anita DeMarco Goor, and representatives of the award sponsors The Community House, the BBAC and the Eccentric Newspaper.

Yatooma Foundation Silver Anniversary Gala

As Norman Yatooma told the 284 guests gathered in the party tent at M1 Concourse, the silver lining to losing his father 25 years ago was the birth of the foundation in his memory. It has helped turn tragedy into triumph for more than 2,000 kids who have lost a parent. This year’s two-part benefit event – golf and a gala chaired by Barbara & James Rossmann that featured thrill rides along the track, cocktails and a strolling dinner – raised $261,371 for Yatooma Foundation for the Kids programs.

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

Women Officials Network Wonder Woman Awards

Pink Fund Dancing with the Survivors

Beaumont Red Tie Ball

Children’s Leukemia Foundation Hope Rocks Luncheon

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

Night of Swine Dining

Impact 100 Grants Selection

Friends of Camp Mak-A-Dream Cookies and Dreams

Community Foundation of Greater Rochester Tailgate Party

Friends of Foster Kids Fundraiser

Alzheimer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee

OUR TOWN Art Show and Sale Opening Night Party

Oakland Literacy Council Ex Libris

Habitat for Humanity Oakland Fall Extravaganza

Panhellenic Alumnae Scholarship Luncheon

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

Judson Center Rewind Gala

Sky Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration


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.

Katie Gantner is chairing Brother Rice Mothers’ Club Holiday Sip & Shop 5 – 9 pm, Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the school. For tickets ($35) go to

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

The Restore Foundation is hosting a Thanks for Giving Fundraiser 5:30-8 pm, Thursday, Nov. 15 at The Iroquois Club. Proceeds benefit Oakland County Courts substance abuse recovery programs. Tickets ($60 - $500) at the door or contact Judge (ret.) Ed Sosnick at

The Junior League of Birmingham is hosting the first ever Bingo for Boots event at The Royal Oak Elks Club (2401 E. 4th Street #34, Royal Oak, MI 48067) 7 pm, Friday, Nov. 16. Plans include cash bar, games, prizes and Bingo to benefit Lighthouse of Oakland County families in need. Guests are welcome to bring food but no outside alcohol. For each ticket sold, one pair of boots will be donated to a family in need. For tickets ($30-general, $120-reserved seating for 4) go to the JLB EStore at

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

Meadow Brook Hall’s 47th annual Holiday Walk is Nov. 23 through Dec. 23. It offers self-guided tours of the grand manor’s elegant rooms decorated for the holidays plus tours of Knole Cottage and Danny’s Cabin. Go to for the ticket prices and the full schedule of opportunities.

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

Forest lake Country Club on Wednesday, November 28th from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The ticket prices are: Guest $80.00, Patron $100.00, Benefactor $150.00 and Sponsor $250.00 (includes a Benefactor and one additional ticket for a guest). Sherry Saginaw and Tina Prevas are Vendor Chairs and I am the Event Chair. Franklin Village Boutique, Klassics by Kurtis, El-Mar Furs, Event Bliss and Michelle Chocolates are only a few of the vendors who are participating. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Contessa Bannon at 248-860-7004 or Sherry Saginaw at 248.931.3983 or email her at

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

Shirley Maddalena is hosting the 30th annual Holiday High Tea benefitting Alternatives for Girls 3 – 5 pm, Friday, Nov. 30 at The Townsend Hotel. Plans include a silent auction of “treasures” brought by guests. For a reserved table for 8 ($750) contact Taylor Gawlik at 313-361-4000 ext. 273. For tickets ($75; $125-Patron) 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

The Gatzaros Family is hosting the Salvation Army Sing-a-Long at the London Chop House noon – 2 pm, Thursday, Dec. 6. Tom & Diane Schoenith rekindled the legendary event and Paul W. Smith will emcee the frivolity. For tickets ($250; $10,000 per booth) call the LCH at 313-962-0277.

One of the highlights of the holidays at Meadow Brook Hall is the Starlight Stroll, 7-10 pm, Thursday, Dec.6. Plans include valet parking, a four-course strolling dinner with chef attended stations placed throughout The Hall, full bar service including signature cocktails, live music, dancing in the ballroom and self-guided tours until 8 pm. For tickets ($100) call Jill Moran at 248-364-6252.

The Detroit Historical Society Ball is 6 pm, Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Lexus Velodrome. Plans for the free-wheeling, black-tie evening that will draw upon Detroit’s rich and relatively unknown cycling history include: valet parking, a VIP Reception at 5 pm, champagne upon arrival, VIP-only auction items, and a special toast from new CEO, Elana Rugh; cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction followed by an elegant seated dinner, the announcement of the 2018 Moving Forward Honoree, and a live auction. At 9 pm the party shifts into high-gear with a demonstration of cycle racing on the Velodrome’s dramatic banked track, music from Ben Sharkey and dancing until midnight with an open bar, coffee and desserts. Cocktail attire. For sponsorships and tickets ($850-VIP; $500-patron; $75 Late Night) call Mary Ann Bauman at 313-833-4143 or go to

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

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