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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 11.26.18

CARE House Care Night Gala People are still talking about the $6,000 champagne table at the CARE House Gala. It was loaded with premium wines, perk-filled gift bags at each place and a pair of His & Her Shinola watches from Tappers for the winning ticket holder. During the cocktail reception, 89 people each bought a $100-glass of champagne to get in a drawing to dine at it. The winner, Honigman attorney Michele Nolan and all those at her table, partied at the prominently-placed champagne table all evening. (See photo gallery). The rest of the 350 guests at the sold-out fundraiser settled for fine dining, bidding $94,500 in the live auction of 16 items conducted by Dan Stall (with convincing help from Jeana Asmaro who raved about the Ron Fellows Driving School opportunity) and pledging $22,100 to the CARE House services which are free for all in need of them. But the highlight of the program was the presentation of the Patricia R. Rosen Award to Pat and Jerry Wagner. The couple’s impressive commitment of resources and hands-on services inspired a rousing ovation. Likewise, the salute by event co-chairs Marla Feldman and Lisa MacDonald to presenting sponsor General Motors. Thanks to them and many others (see photo gallery), the annual event raised $401,400 for CARE House intervention and therapeutic services to victims of sexual abuse. Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center Launch Detroit native and HUD Secretary Ben Carson used his political clout to pick The Durfee Innovation Society at the Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine as the first HUD EnVision Center in the nation. And, as the 134 people ($250-ticket) who were at the launch of the Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center within DIS learned, it is on track to connect HUD-assisted families in the neighborhood with the tools they need to become self-sufficient. Speakers were convincing, especially Life Remodeled’s energetic CEO Chris Lambert, whose non-profit has created DIS – a space for the best and brightest non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses to share resources and achieve greater collective impact. Likewise GM’s Terry Rhadigan, whose company gave $250,000 to the Beyond Basics Family Literacy Center and explained, “It’s an investment in the people of this great city.” And Elijah Craft who finally learned how to read as a high school senior in the Beyond Basics program. And longtime Beyond Basic supporter Ira Jaffe who graduated from the high school (Central) that is now part of DIS. The afternoon gathering raised $100,000 for the BB Family Literacy Center where two posters promise: “Today a reader,” “Tomorrow a leader”. Baldwin Library Novel Wine Tasting All the 230 people ($75, $65-tickets) at the library fundraiser received a personalized wine glass. That the laser engraving was actually executed “in house” by Jeff Jimison’s Baldwin Library Idea Lab crew was the buzz at the party which was chaired by Jenny Wheeler. (She is a sommelier-in-training and was actually pouring at various stations.) All the wine was generously provided by John Gharfari’s Uptown Market which is in the Mobil / Tim Horton building at Oak and Woodward. Comestibles were donated by Cannelle Patisserie, Commonwealth, Holiday Market, Svenska Café and Papa Joes; beer came from Griffin Claw Brewing Company; coffee from Caruso World Coffee. When people weren’t sipping, supping and socializing, they were spending $6,880 in the chance raffle of 28 auction packages. Thanks also to a wine pull and generous sponsors, the sixth annual event raised more than $27,000 for renovation and expansion of the library’s Youth Room which yearly hosts more than 600 programs for 25,000 children. Lakeshore Legal Aid Annual Event Lakeshore Legal Aid, the state’s largest provider of free civil legal assistance for low-income people, staged its annual event at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant and 149 legal beagles attended. They cruised the three floors of the National Historic Landmark, sipped, supped, relished jazz by Bare Assets and paused to hear Matthew Dupree describe how determined advocacy for populations facing overwhelming obstacles can truly change lives. Many also took photos in a rare 1915 Ford Model T. Check in the coming weeks for reports & photos from these events: 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 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

The Gallery kicks off the 2019 North American International Auto Show at 6:30 pm, Saturday, Jan.12, 2019 at the MGM Grand. Plans include a strolling dinner from 6:30- 8pm, a silent auction to benefit C.S.Mott Children’s Hospital and the Car Salon from 8 – 11 pm. The salon will feature a $10 million collection of the most acclaimed automobiles the world has to offer. For tickets ($500) call 248.283.5126. For sponsorship opportunities contact Tavi Fulkerson at 248-819-8332 The NAIAS Charity Preview is 6 -9 pm, Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 at Cobo Center. Plans include first views of the spectacular North American International Auto Show 2019 at one of the most exclusive, high profile events in the nation. Since 1976, the Charity Preview has raised more than $117 million for southeastern Michigan children's charities - over $40 million of which was raised in the last 10 years alone. Charity Preview beneficiaries are: Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan; Boys Hope Girls Hope Detroit, Children's Center, The Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation; Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Fund, Detroit Pal, Judson Center, and March of Dimes Metro Detroit. For tickets ($400) 1-888.838.7500. The night of Charity Preview Lisa & Bill Ford and Kathy & Jim Hackett are hosting AutoGlow 4:30 pm – midnight at Ford Field to benefit The Children’s Center. Plans include valet parking, shuttle service to and from the Charity Preview, a pre-event reception, strolling dinner service, desserts and full bar service, live music and dancing, followed by a late-night menu. For those looking to design a dream getaway, the evening's raffle features travel vouchers for air travel, made possible by sponsor Delta Air Lines. There are several drawings throughout the night and raffle tickets are $25 each or five for $100. For AutoGlow tickets ($275 -by Dec. 14, 2018, $325 after Dec. 14) call the Children’s Center at (313) 262-1085 or go to

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

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