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  • Sally Gerak

Week of 2.18.19

Bates Street Society “An extraordinary night” is how The Community House Foundation Vice Chair Brad Wolf described the fourth annual Bates Street Society dinner. Most of the 250 tickets holders ($300, $250, $100 tickets) were in the Wallace Ballroom at The Community House to applaud the new inductees into the Society (membership comprises at least $25,000 cumulative donations to TCH) and the seven Pillars of Vibrancy. The new society members are Jim and Barbara Suhay, Ken and Marilyn Way and Gorman’s. The 2019 community Pillars are: the event presenting sponsor PNC bank’s Ric DeVore, Dr. Jeffrey Fischgrund, Arthur Horwitz, Amy Taittrie Loepp, Dan Loepp, Jennifer Granger, Bill Roberts and Mitch Albom. Each was presented a pin and a crystal pillar and some, notably Roberts and Albom, took advantage of the microphone. The former, owner of the 30-year-old Roberts Restaurant Group which generously supports 300 organizations each year, evoked nostalgia by citing his mentor / first employer / restauranteur Harris Machus. The latter told how his S.A.Y. Detroit charities came into existence. To wit, during the 2006 Superbowl in Detroit, Albom spent a night at the Superbowl Party for the homeless “…a euphemism for …hiding the homeless (for three days) so they wouldn’t bother the paying customers,” he noted. The profound experience inspired him to ask his newspaper readers for $60,000 to keep the shelter open through the winter. When that plea raised $360,000 in one week, he formed the foundation that is now nine separate charities whose expenses he totally finances. And one of his board members, Cynthia Ford, followed the Pillar presentation as a decidedly compelling keynote speaker. The passionate philanthropist was introduced by her daughter-in-law, Sarah Ford, a new TCH board member. Max Broock Charitable Foundation MS Society Benefit More than 200 people ($25-ticket) flocked to The Broock (Max Broock Realtors Ferndale satellite office) for the fifth annual National Multiple Sclerosis Society fundraiser coordinated by Realtor Mike Sher and his team. They sipped and socialized but sushi was the star of the event. Volunteers like Michelle and Stephen Brazeau, Erwann Lecoutre, Fang Ling, Missy Sawicke, Melinda Nagler and Sher collected donations for hand rolling individual orders. Thanks also to a silent auction/basket raffle (see photo gallery for sponsors/donors) the event raised more than $10,000 for the National MS Society. Check in the coming weeks for reports & photos from these events: The Birmingham Education Foundation Unabashed Bash Marian Mardi Gras Benefit Evening


Beyond Basics 20th Anniversary Gala is 6 pm., Friday, March 1 at the Detroit Athletic Club. It will honor the Farbman Group as Partner of the Year and volunteers Sue Galambos and Sue Wilhelm. Plans also include cocktails, dinner and artwork. For sponsorships and tickets ($250, $500) call Sarah Kmetz at 248-250-9304 or go to Marcy & Dick Ford are chairing the Eton Academy Auction, March 2 at the school. The theme - Unmasking the Art of Learning - invites masks as accessories. For sponsorships and tickets ($200) go to Michelle Jonna and Karen Wilson are chairing the Academy of the Sacred Heart Benefit – The Secret Garden Gala – 6 -11 pm, Saturday, March 9 at Bloomfield Hills Country Club. Plans include cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a silent auction, 52-card raffle, dinner and a live auction. For tickets ($185, $250-patron, include a 6 pm pre-party in the Colt Lounge and a special raffle sponsored by Miner's Den Jewelers) go to Tena Prevas and Diana Shoushanian are chairing The Women’s Division Project HOPE Hope on Safari, 6 pm, Saturday, March 9 at the Huron River Hunting and Fishing Club in Farmington. Plans include wine tasting, dinner dancing. For tickets ($100, $159) contact Tina at 248-568-0532.

Joy Levran, Lisa Rothberger and Carly Sanfield are chairing ORT’s WINGO, 5:30 pm, Thursday, March 14, at Knollwood Country Club. This women’s only bingo party offers lots of prizes, a strolling dinner, signature cocktails, a silent auction and lots of raffles with great prizes.

Ron & Katie Gantner are the Leadership Chairs of the Brother Rice Irish Nite 6 pm, Saturday, March 16 at Birmingham Country Club. Bro. David MacIntyre is the Honorary Chair. For tickets ($250-includes 5pm VIP reception, $100-friend) go to

The Detroit Zoological Society’s third annual Wildlife Conservation Gala, presented by Ford Motor Company, is 6-9:30 pm, Saturday, March 16 at the Detroit Zoo’s iconic Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. Plans include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, a sit-down dinner, raffle and presentation of the Nautilus Award to an individual whose efforts have made a profound impact on the future of wildlife and embody the DZS’s mission of Celebrating and Saving Wildlife. Themed “Saving Birds Around the World”, the gala will include a presentation highlighting the DZS’s extensive field work with penguins in the Falkland Islands and Antarctica, as well as long-term work in the Great Lakes region with piping plovers and other avian species. For tickets ($250 and up) go to All proceeds will benefit the DZS’s wildlife conservation programs.

Faye Nelson and Pam Rodgers are chairing the Alternatives for Girls 30th annual Role Model Dinner 5:30 pm, 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. Plans include valet parking, silent and live auctions, reception, dinner. And inspirational program. For sponsorships and tickets ($200) go to or call Taylor Gawlik at 313-361-4000 ext. 273.

The Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan’s annual Cookie Gala is 6-9 pm, Thursday, March 28 at the MGM Grand.

Mindi Fynke is the honorary chair & keynote speaker at the JVS Trade Secrets benefit evening which Roz Blanck, Kristen Gross and Linda Schlesinger-Wagner are chairing 6 pm, Thursday, April 11 at the Troy Marriott. Plans include cocktails, dinner, and the signature raffle. For tickets contact Judy Strongman at 248-233-4213.

The Ted Lindsay Foundation Wine Tasting is Thursday, 6- 9 pm, Thursday, April 11 at the San Marino Club. Plans include valet parking, celebrity wine pourers, strolling dinner and desserts, silent auction and cash bar. Proceeds benefit autism research and educational programs. For tickets ($150) call Lynn LaPaugh at 248-310-2853 or go to

Skillman Foundation’s Tonya Allen and Michigan Department of Education, Office of Health & Nutrition Services director Dr. Diane Golzynski will be honored at Gleaners Community Food Bank Women’s Power Breakfast, 7- 9 pm, Tuesday, April 23 at the MGM Grand. Plans include valet parking, coffee and networking and the program. For sponsorships and tickets ($125 & up, $85-under 35) go to

The Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan Annual Celebration is 6 - 11 pm, Saturday, April 27 at Petruzzello’s of Troy. Plans include cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, a program honoring five parishes and dancing. For tickets ($200) email For sponsorship go to

Adriane Perakis and Kim Prodan are chairing the fifth annual University of Michigan Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center Spring Luncheon Tuesday, April 30 at Knollwood Country Club. Plans include a 10:30 Food Allergy Panel Discussion, 12 noon luncheon and program featuring Kyle Dine, the “allergy guy” who uses music to help children learn about food allergies in a way that is fun, engaging and empowering. For sponsorships and tickets ($120 and up) go to

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