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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 1.7.19

Angels Place Annual Dinner

The opening of the dinner which attracted 700 ($225, $350 tickets) to The Henry was a video of life in the Angels Place homes streaming in the background as members of the AP Singers and the Marian Melodies sang “This is Me”. The lyrics (“…I am who I'm meant to be…I make no apologies, this is me”) absolutely celebrate the individuals with developmental disabilities who have lifetime homes at Angels Place. In a way, the lyrics could also reference the early career personality of the guest speaker, Kirk (Gibby) Gibson, who shared some stories of his self-centered days. The superstar was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and now broadcasts for Fox Sports Detroit. He is still spontaneous. He called an audible from the mic, inviting supporters to the stage who could pledge $5,000 so AP could grow its services. Thirty-four people joined him. Another highlight of the program emceed by WXYZ-TV’s Brad Galli was Emagine Entertainment’s Paul Glantz’s praise for the AP residents who work for him. Thanks also to a raffle ($31,000) and generous sponsors (see photo gallery), the event raised more than $545,000, greatly pleasing event chairs Julie and Dr. Joseph Beals and Sally and Wade Mezey.

Boys & Girls Clubs Great Futures Gala

The same night as the event reported above, 200 Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan supporters ($250 tickets) gathered at the Westin Book Cadillac to celebrate the BGSM 92nd anniversary. Highlights of the dinner program included 2018 Youth of the Year Gabrielle Strother’s presentation; BGCSM board chair Hiram Jackson’s insightful remarks and his warm salute of Great Futures Honoree Matt Cullen for his commitment to the community; and the introduction of Shawn Wilson, who, just a few days earlier, officially became the President & CEO of the organization that serves 15,000 children and young adults in eight clubs.

Women’s Division Project HOPE Luncheon & Boutique

The annual fundraiser chaired by Linda Juracek-Lipa brought 100 supporters ($80, $100, $150 tickets) to Forest Lake Country Club, where they browsed the wares of 14 vendors recruited by Tina Prevas and Sherry Saginaw and bought raffle tickets before lunch. But the most notable part of the event was what Project HOPE’s Wendy Kedzierski had to say about the pictures she took during visits to Project HOPE centers in Ethiopia, which, she noted are NOT tourist destinations. “(These) are pictures of people you are helping,” she told the Women’s Division members. Her account of caring for and educating the HIV-afflicted population so they can go on living a good life was powerful. She quoted one patient thusly: “Project HOPE is my everything.” Past Presidents applauding her presentation included: Maggie Allesee, Gwen Bowlby, Jeanne Boucher, Marie Brigstock, Bettina Gregg, Linda Juracek-Lipa, Sherry Saginaw and Diane Schoenith.

Christ Child Society Christmas Home Tour

Babbie Thomas, Amy Gooch and Mary Taylor chaired the society’s annual tour of homes decorated for Christmas. As in past years, the outstanding quality of the five homes – one each on N. Glengarry, Larchlea, Martell, Stanley and Pilgrim – was a post-tour topic at Birmingham Country Club, where most of the 500 ticket holders stopped for a bountiful brunch buffet and to shop at one of the 20-plus vendor booths. Considering ticket prices – $65 if purchased early, $75 closer to the date – this event has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the charity circuit’s best values. Thanks also to generous sponsors (see photo gallery) it raised approximately $50,000 for the society’s support of the at-risk boys who live at the Christ Child House.

Alternatives For Girls Holiday High Tea

For 30 years, interior designer Shirley Maddalena has hosted a tea at The Townsend Hotel benefiting at-risk girls. This year, 142 supporters ($75, $125) crowded into the tea lobby to sip, socialize, buy raffle tickets and shop at the popular silent auction of donated, gently used treasures. The popular, holiday event raised more than $21,500 for the life-changing programs at Alternatives For Girls. AFG’s big fundraiser – the Role Model Dinner – is Wednesday, March 27, at the MGM Grand. It will put the spotlight on Franklin Community Church’s Dr. Althea Simpson, the Detroit Police Department’s Lashinda Stair and Meritor’s Linda Taliaferro.

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

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

Eisenhower Dance Afterglow

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.

The Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is presenting an Edible Landscapes Dinner at Thornlea, 5:00 - 8:45pm, Sunday, January 27, 2019. The Farm-to-Table Dining and Cranbrook History Experience will feature a five-course dinner and wine pairings by Chef Matthew Baldridge and bartender Jarrod Kassis inspired by Henry and Carolyn Booth’s journeys and the menus they collected in France. Tours of Thornlea’s four floors will be included. This intimate dinner, which is strictly limited to 50 guests, is hosted by Gregory Wittkopp, Director of the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, and will feature Cranbrook storyteller extraordinaire, Collections Fellow Kevin Adkisson. For tickets ($195) go to The Bates Street Society Dinner is February 2, 2019 at The Community House. Plans include valet parking, a three-course seated dinner, wine and cocktails, keynote speaker Cynthia Ford, music by Ben Sharkey and inspirational recognition of new Pillars of the Community: Mitch Albom, Richard DeVore, Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund, Jennifer Granger, Arthur Horwitz, Amy and Daniel Loepp and Bill Roberts. For tickets ($300-Patron, $100-Past Pillars - includes 6 pm champagne reception; $250-cocktails at 6:30) go to

The Birmingham Education Foundation annual fundraiser – The Unabashed BASH – is Saturday, Feb. 9 at The Townsend Hotel. Plans include valet parking, cocktails, silent, online and live auctions, dinner and entertainment. For sponsorships and tickets ($200) go to or call 248-203-3030.

Sue Atwell is chairing Marian High School’s Mardi Gras, Saturday, Feb. 9 at the school. The co-chairs are Joellen Shortley, Mary Wenzel and Julie Murray. Contact Atwell at to donate or volunteer for this Mothers’ and Dads’ clubs event.

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

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