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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 12.17.18

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

The energy level was sky high at Bloomfield Hills Country Club when the sold-out crowd of 300 ($175 ticket) flocked there for the Christ Child Society annual benefit with a bingo twist. Event chairs Julie Pietrosante and Annette Royce and their committee revived the Feather Party – a concept from the 1920s when church bingo games funded Thanksgiving turkeys for new immigrants. But Night of Angels revisited the country club version of the 1980's. Instead of turkeys, winners collected fancy prizes (a Shinola Watch from Tappers Jewelry, a $4,000 Somerset Collection gift certificate, a two-year lease of a Lincoln MKZ from Lincoln of Troy and Ford Motor Company). They also applauded the Realtor group KW Domain, which received the Mary Virginia Merrick Award for its leadership and generosity, bid $80,000 in a live auction of six boffo items including private jet and eight badges to the 2019 Masters golf tournament which sold for $33,000, and pledged $44,000 in outright support for the boys of Christ Child House. The event netted a record $180,000. President Laura Keziah also led a toast to the Detroit chapter’s 106 years. This vibrant organization welcomes new provisional members of all ages during January.

Judson Center Rewind Gala

More than 550 supporters gathered at the MGM Grand to celebrate Judson Center’s 35th annual gala fundraiser chaired by Bill Kolb whose McCann WolrdGroup Detroit was the presenting sponsor. The earliest events were much more modest affairs at the San Marino Club. Subsequently the event outgrew the ballroom at the Townsend. Diversions included serious socializing, silent and live auctions, music by 80’s retro band, the Square Pegz and a program emceed by WXYZ’s Ann Marie LaFlamme. It put the spotlight on one family from each of Judson Center’s four core program areas – autism connections, children and families services, mental health services and disability services. The retro theme evening grossed more than $430,000 for the comprehensive programs at the agency founded in 1924.

Sky Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration

Four hundred pancreatic cancer fighters ($135 & up tickets) attended the 10th anniversary of Sheila Kasselman’s SKY Foundation benefit luncheon chaired by Laura Eaton, Mary Beth Castorri and Carol Quigley. They offered great music by NUCLASSICA (which does not impede conversation), popular raffle baskets and a wine pull in place of the traditional silent auction. Dr. Philip A. Philip’s upbeat, scientific update preceded a video of the first-time foundation autumn stroll in Ann Arbor and the live auction ($21,500) of 10 items conducted by Christopher Aslanian. The top earner ($4,000) was tickets to the US Open Tennis tournament next summer. Thanks also to pledges, the event netted $140,000 for research grants to fund early detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

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

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

Rochester Women’s Fund Holiday Party

Salvation Army Sing-a-Long

Meadow Brook Hall Starlight Stroll

Detroit Historical Society Ball

Irish Nite Auction Ingathering


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

Kris & Andy Applebee are hosting the CARE House Circle of Friends Preview Party 6 – 8 pm, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. The celebrity guest / author / sex trafficking survivor Theresa Flores will also be the featured speaker at the luncheon the next day chaired by Lisa Bouchard & Anna Rea at The Townsend Hotel. For tickets ($125-luncheon; $175-patron, $150-preview party; $275- patron & preview party) go to For sponsorships go to

David King, Dante Rosa and Aubrey Tobin are chairing Variety, The Children’s Charity’s sixth annual Chili, Wings & Soup(er) Bowl 6:30 pm, Friday, January 25, 2019 at the Townsend Hotel. Bruce & Kathy Broock Ballard are the honorary chairs. Plans include drinks, dancing, a raffle and friendly competition for best chili, wings and soup. 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. Awards for both People's Choice and Critic's Choice (with Celebrity Judges Annabel Cohen, Kate Lawson and Matthew Prentice) will be announced. 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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