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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 12.10.18

OUR TOWN Opening Night Party

More than 340 people ($75 & up tickets) gathered at The Community House for the opening of the 33rd annual art show and sale. Guests included many of the 153 Michigan artists whose work was selected by jurors Barbara Heller and Melissa Parks. A bountiful buffet competed with viewing the art and conversation, but all paused to applaud the 14 prize winners when event chair Liz DuMouchelle presented them checks. Local winners included K.F. Fujiwara of Rochester Hills and Ellie Gause and Laura Teste of Bloomfield. Community House CEO Bill Seklar also praised the generosity of the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation for funding the prizes, the artists for donating 35 percent of the sales price to The Community House, Bolyard Lumber for donating 98 new display partitions for the exhibition and the Benefactors. Twenty pieces of art sold the night of the opening party; 16 more sold before the show closed two days later.

Oakland Literacy Council Ex Libris

The 29th annual dinner attracted 112 loyalists to the Village Club. After they socialized, sipped and supped, council president Judy Lindstrom saluted honorary host Barbara Van Dusen and introduced featured student Asuncion Escobar-Chirino, an electrical engineer from Mexico, who thanked her “amazing” tutor Michele Dragisty. The OLC-trained volunteer marveled at the tenacity required to move to a different country with a different language. Then guest speaker / author / U-M linguistic professor Anne Curzan spoke about words – from her mother’s obsession with proper usage to the current mania for texting. She also noted the many English “dialects” and opined that even though they are subjected to social judgments, “…all dialects are linguistically equal.” The event raised $37,685 to help adults in Oakland County achieve their literacy goals.

Panhellenic Alumnae Scholarship Luncheon

Anne Hammond and Sharon Moore chaired the annual luncheon that attracted 89 women to Birmingham Country Club for fraternity and fundraising. The women represented 20 of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference sororities, nine of which had prepared baskets for the chance raffle that raised $1,200. President Mary Baumgarten recognized attendees who had been sorority members for more than 50 years and Pi Beta Phi, which had the most (23) members present. Following lunch Richard Grinstein spoke about. "The Art of Jewelry: A Studio Jeweler's Perspective." The entertaining and engrossing slide talk covered the field from cave drawings to modernism. Funds raised will support summer enrichment opportunities for high school girls to pursue arts, athletics, journalism or science. (The 2018 awardees include Maggie Plazzon, Kylie Kreucher, Nora Rhein, Julia Tatone, Wendu Klunk, Dana Rinkel and Mary Ellen Blaszczak.)

Beaumont Autumn Gala

Four hundred supporters ($300 tickets) of Beaumont Hospital Farmington Hills convened at the MGM Grand for cocktails, auctions, dinner and dancing. A highlight of the program was the recognition of 14 physicians who have served Beaumont Health for 25 years. This included Family Medicine DOs Eric Coffman and Andrew Colman. The auctions brought in $25,572. Thanks also to generous sponsors like Drs. Phoebe and Harris Mainster, Beaumont Farmington Hills Medical Staff, Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine and PNC Bank, the event raised $386,000 to support campus expansion plans.

Habitat for Humanity Fall Extravaganza

The sixth annual Fall Extravaganza attracted 270 supporters ($185, $275 tickets) to the Troy Marriott for cocktails and dinner. It honored Community Builder of the Year Hall & Hunter’s Dennis Wolf, Volunteer of the Year Laura Miehls and Homeowner of the Year Kimberly Swift. The event raised $130,000 for the Habitat programs which build homes, communities and hope.

HAVEN Tailgate

HAVEN's sixth annual Tailgate event attracted 122 to Red Run Golf Club to watch the Lions play the Dolphins on an outdoor screen on a bitter cold afternoon. Club Chef Joe’s famous chili helped warm the fans that included HAVEN's new CEO Aimee Nimeh, guest speaker Eric Hipple, Lion Legends Luther Blue, Ken Dallafior, Maurice Harvey and Scott Conover. The Lions beat the Dolphins and the event raised more than $60,000 for HAVEN’s programs that support victims of sexual abuse.

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

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

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

Salvation Army Sing-a-Long

Meadow Brook Hall Starlight Stroll

Detroit Historical Society 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 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

Variety, The Children’s Charity’s sixth annual Chili, Wings & Soup(er) Bowl is 6:30 pm, Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Townsend Hotel. Plans include drinks, dancing, a raffle and friendly competition for best chili, wings and soup between many of Metro Detroit’s most talented chefs. Awards for both People's Choice and Critic's Choice (with Celebrity Judges Annabel Cohen, Kate Lawson and Matthew Prentice) will be announced. Featured restaurants include: Under Bar & Grill, Beans & Cornbread, Birmingham Country Club, Brady's Tavern, The Community House, Hazel Ravines & Downtown, Jim Brady's Detroit, The Maple Kitchen, The Rugby Grille, The Souperbowl, Whistle Stop Diner and more! For sponsorships and tickets ($100, $150) call 248-258-5511.

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

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