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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 11.19.18

Walsh College Leadership Awards Dinner

The 18th annual Walsh College scholarship fundraiser attracted nearly 300 to The Townsend to honor the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation, banker David Provost, distinguished alum Alan Young and 33-year WC trustee Richard Aginian. There were highlights during the dinner program emceed by WXYZ’s Brad Galli. Two DeRoy Testamentary Foundation scholarship recipients spoke convincingly about their experience and their gratitude. Merrill Lynch, DeRoy and David Provost’s Chemical Bank made spontaneous matching grants during the fundraising pledging which totaled $90,000 for full ride scholarships. Auctioneer Gary Mach garnered $12,000 in the brief live auction. This included the $2,000 Chemical Bank paid for the speed painted “Spirit of Detroit” (see photo gallery) to hang in the bank’s new Detroit headquarters. However, the speaker who seemed to most enjoy the opportunity to pontificate was (this reporter’s former boss at the Eccentric) Richard Aginian. The Lifetime Achievement awardee pointed out that, before Twitter, listening was an important leadership quality. “People talked face to face,” he noted. Repeatedly. Thanks to generous sponsors (see photo gallery) the event, chaired by WC alum Kahn Hall, added about $170,000 to the 18-year scholarship total of $1.5-million plus.

MOCAD Gala + Art Auction

“This was her baby,” board chair Elyse Folytn said to the crowd gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. The Gala + Art Auction, in memory and honor of Julie Reyes Taubman, who lost her battle with cancer last January, attracted the largest crowd in the 12-year history of the event (329 @ $1,000 and up ticket). From the stacked copies of “Julieisms” (18 verities like “never complain, no one cares”) to the streaming video that chronicled private and public moments, the late MOCAD co-founder / wife / mother / photographer was, indeed, present. “Julie was all in…she had to invent a contemporary art museum…Her spirit is in every brick here,” Bobby Taubman noted. One of her seven brothers, Duke Reyes, contributed, “This city was a goldmine for Julie…(she always said) never follow the crowd; be the leader.” Dinner and music by DJ Norm Talley followed the brief but meaningful program. When the silent auction closed, more than 170 auction lots had been sold. This included works curated by executive director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and Susanne Feld Hilberry senior curator Larry Ossei-Mensah as well as some Henry James Haver Crissman plates and Abigale Murray vases in use on the dinner tables. The 12th annual event raised about $500,000 for arts programing at MOCAD, where, as Foltyn noted in her tribute to Julie, the teens who participate have a 100 percent high school graduation and a 98 percent college admission rate.

Children’s Leukemia Foundation Luncheon

More than 120 supporters ($75-ticket) of the Children’s Leukemia Foundation gathered at The Village Club for the fourth annual Love, Laughter and Lunch event chaired by Lorri and Carson Delaney. The mother-daughter team became involved with CLF when son/brother Adam Delaney, now a college junior, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of three. During the luncheon program emceed by Dr. Deanna Lites, Lorri told how CLF supported the whole family with very practical help “…and, most importantly, they remind you that you are not alone.” Before lunch, guests bought raffle tickets from high school student volunteers Shane Delaney, Henry Sznewajs, Billy Zimmer and Ben Williamson for dozens of great items. Thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery) the luncheon raised more than $35,000 to help CLF bring hope and compassionate, personalized support to individuals touched by blood cancer.

Night of Swine Dining

A sold-out crowd of 115 ($100-ticket) flocked to the Whiskey Factory to benefit the John T. Osborne Plaid Pig Endowment at Schoolcraft College. The event was hosted by Slows Bar BQ, Detroit City Distillery, Supino Pizzeria, Wright & Co, Guilt Chocolates and Ackroyd's Scottish Bakery. It featured the launch of Detroit City Distillery’s first ever single barrel bourbon, craft cocktails and a multi-course menu by Brian Perrone, Michael Metevia, Dave Mancini, Marc Djozlija, Joe Nader, Scott Breazeale, Shawn Loving and Megan Ackroyd. Osborn was a plaid-shirt-wearing, pork lover who rarely met a stranger before his sudden death in July 2017 at the age of 28 due to an undiagnosed heart condition. The evening raised $14,000 for culinary scholarships at Schoolcraft College.

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

CARE House Care Night

Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center Launch

Lakeshore Legal Aid Annual Event

Baldwin Library Novel Wine Tasting

HAVEN Tailgate

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

JARC Fall Fundraiser

Ladies of Charity Friendsgiving Luncheon

Village Club Foundation Benefit

Julian Boivin Courage for Cures Foundation Brave Knight Benefit

Beaumont Autumn Gala

Brother Rice Mothers’ Club Holiday Sip & Shop

FAR Therapeutic Arts & Recreation’s annual FAR, Friends & Fa La La

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Evening at the Movies

The Restore Foundation Thanks for Giving Fundraiser

Junior League of Birmingham Bingo for Boots

South Oakland Shelter Dancing with the Detroit Stars.


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

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

Detroit Tigers’ Duane McLean and Lou LaRiche Chevrolet’s Scott LaRiche are the honorary chairs of the Kidney Ball Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Westin Book Cadillac. Madison Heights Glass Company’s Jon Krebs, and Surety, VTC Insurance Group’s Jeff Chandler are chairing the committee that has chosen a Roaring Twenties theme for the 14th annual National Kidney Foundation of Michigan fundraiser. Plans include open bar, appetizers, champagne cocktails, and a beer and wine tasting, starting at 6:00 pm, holiday shopping along several hallways of over 250 eclectic silent auction items, including the popular Kids Auction Toy Room, and dinner at 7:30 p.m. followed by a short program a live auction. After the auction, dance to Your Generation in Concert (YGIC) in the Venetian Ballroom. New this year are tickets for the after-party from 10:00 pm. to 1:00 am. Sponsored by Madison Heights Glass, the “Party Hard Speakeasy”-themed after-party includes an open bar, beer tasting, dancing to YGIC, late night Coneys, and the candy “bar”. The Party Hard Speakeasy ticket, which is $100 per person, also includes access to mobile bidding on Kidney Ball silent auction items prior to the auction close. For tickets ($350, $100-afteroarty) call the NKFM at 800-482-1455 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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