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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 12.3.18

Alzheimer’s Association Chocolate Jubilee

The colorful Night in Havana party theme put an upbeat spin on the annual Alzheimer's Association fundraiser chaired by Dan Loepp that attracted more than 600 to the MGM Grand. But the raison d'être for their support was contained in Blake Silverman’s poignant saga of his grandmother and mother’s younger-onset Alzheimer’s. (He was still in college when his mother died two years ago of the disease.) His dedication to supporting AA programs and fundraisers inspired more than $75,000 in donations during the Fund the Need pledging that followed his remarks. Proceeds from the Sweet Chances raffle and a cigar table added another $11,000. And thanks to sponsors like Audrey & William Farber, Bruce & Rosalie Rosen, Rebecca & Gary Sakwa, Lynn & Paul Alandt, Marlene & Bill Emerson, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and many more, the 34th annual Chocolate Jubilee raised $1.3-million. It also offered dinner, sweets from 15 exhibitors (see photo gallery) and dancing to music by Noveauté. The 35th Chocolate Jubilee will be Saturday, October 26, 2019.

Friends of Camp Mak-A-Dream Cookies N’ Dreams

The 20th anniversary of the cookie contest that supports the Montana camp for kids with cancer founded in 1991 by the late Sylvia and Harry Granader attracted 550 to the Grand Court at Somerset Collection North. They sampled treats from 21 generous bakers (see photo gallery) and voted for favorites. (Best Tasting Cookie - D'Vine Cookies; Most Unusual & Creative Cookie - Cookie Studio; Most Indulgent Cookie - Donut Bar+Coffee; Healthiest Cookie - Max's Granola; Celebrity Judged and People’s Favorite - Cool Jack's). Other diversions included a Jasen Magic magic show that starred young Tony Forbes, a Lego station, face painting, balloon twisters and Jassmine Parks singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Folks also applauded loyalists who were honored for 20 years of volunteering. The popular event raised more than $145,000 plus another $35,000 for a new Camp Mak-A-Dream van.

Impact100 Oakland County Grants Selection

The power of collective, feminine philanthropy was on display when more than 200 Impact100 Oakland County members and friends gathered at The Reserve to vote on which three of 70 non-profit applicants would share the group’s 2018 grants total ($270,000). It represents a $1,000 donation from 270 women. Spokespeople from the 2017 recipients (Beyond Basics and CARE House) gave updates on their programs before the four 2018 finalists made presentations. When the votes were all counted, programs described by Common Ground, Huron-Clinton Metroparks and The Rainbow Connection were each granted $90,000. There were such convincing projects as Common Ground’s Text and Chat 24/7 hotline, Metroparks’ Sustainable Agriculture STEM program for Low-Income Students and Rainbow Connections’ kits for seriously ill children’s families with documented financial needs. President Mary Pat Rosen urged all to recruit new members for next year. Since its inception in 2016, Impact100 Oakland County has awarded $571,000 to projects.

Community Foundation Greater Rochester Tailgate

The eighth annual tailgate attracted 370 ($65 ticket) to the Royal Park Hotel to celebrate the Community Foundation’s 35th anniversary. Diversions included fan food, fight songs and cheerleaders. A broad cross section of college loyalties was displayed on sweaters and banners. In the brief program WJR’s Guy Gordon got the crowd to applaud sponsors like Chief Financial Credit Union, Pixley Funeral Homes and Frank Rewold & Son. The event raised $24,000 for the foundation’s new Community Enhancement Fund.

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

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

South Oakland Shelter Dancing with the Detroit Stars

Women’s Division Project HOPE Holiday Luncheon & Boutique

Angels Place Annual Dinner

Boys & Girls Clubs Great Futures Gala

Christ Child Society Christmas Home Tour

Alternatives for Girls Holiday High Tea

Grace Centers of Hope Night of Hope

Kidney Ball


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.

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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