• Sally Gerak

Social Lights Dec. #1, 2019

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

In this issue:

  • Christ Child Society Night of Angels

  • Judson Center A Night to Embrace…Our Amazing Flight

  • Women of Bloomfield Starry Starry Night

  • Sky Foundation Annual Lunch

  • Preservation Bloomfield Awards Dinner

  • Benefit for Life Charity Reception

  • Beaumont Gala

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

Sarah Dubay, Laura Karmanos and their committee repeated the fun, Feather Party theme introduced at last year’s N o A and it attracted a sold-out crowd (300) to Bloomfield Hills Country Club. They passed the silent auction display (20 items - $17,085) en route to cocktails in the President’s Grill where a Notre Dame football game on TV garnered some attention. CCS President Chis Schwartz then welcomed all to the ballroom where President Elect Elaina Ryder, with her trademark energy, lauded honoree / Motor City Casino’s Pam Harris for her devotion to the boys of Christ Child House. “What I do is from my heart,” said Pam, who knows the foster care system from personal experience. Dinner, a brief live auction ($30,700), raise-the-paddle pledging ($43,950) and three bingo games mid lots of laughs followed with Taryn Asher and Jason Carr as good natured emcees. Prizes (like Shinola watches) were “…way beyond blue hair bingo!” Bingo card sales and the 52 Card Raffle raised another $12,730. Susan Hall, Alexandra Howe and David French (who tied with Pam Harris’s sister) won the bingo prizes. Wally Schwartz won the Epicurean 52-card raffle for dining at 15 different restaurants. Good Gravy then made music for those with staying power. The classy event raised $155,000. Members will next convene for the annual Christmas Home Tour, brunch and boutique shopping at Birmingham Country Club Friday, Dec. 6. For tickets go to www.ccsdetroit.org.


1. Event chairs Sarah DuBay and Laura Karmanos

1. Event chairs Sarah DuBay and Laura Karmanos
2. Honoree Motor City Casino’s Pam Harris, CCS president Chris Schwartz
3. President elect Elaina Ryder, emcees Jason Carr & Taryn Asher, committee member Katie Gantner

4. Past event chair Julie Pietrosante, board member Tinney Newman, sponsor Mike Dubay and Nancy & Patrick Timlin watching Notre Dame on the TV in the bar

5. Christa & Greg Schwartz
6. Sponsors Nancy & Ted Haddad

7. Sponsor The Remington Group’s Kate Cahill, Maddie Wyatt, Mary Ann O’Leary, and Peter Remington
8. Kim & Andy Romanosky

9. CCS Chaplin Msgr. John Zenz, Kim Greidanios, Paula Boehman, sponsor Pam Surhigh, Mary Bergmann

10. Kathy Reason, Caroline Johnson, John & Julie Hamaty
11. Bob & Carolyn Fascetti

12. John & Sue Bergmann, Steve Bergmann

13. Sue & Joe Ahern
14. Shelby & Erik Stein
15. Nicole Chubb, Deanna Tafeln, Sarah Teykow, Steve Rea, Christ Child House Executive Director Maria & Mike Lessnau
16. Alexandra Howe, one of the bingo winners
17. Sponsors

18. Memorial tribute

19. Feather Party centerpiece

Judson Center A Night to Embrace…Our Amazing Flight

Judson Center, taking a theme from the first, U.S. Army Air Service round-the-world flight in 1924, celebrated its 95th anniversary with an airborne theme. Volunteers dressed in flight attendant attire. Dancers from Next Step Broadway of Birmingham wowed the 620 guests ($300 ticket) at the MGM Grand when they opened the program performing to Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me.” Other highlights of the program emceed by WXYZ’s Ann Marie LaFlamme included salutes to Henry Mistele, the Carls Foundation and, posthumously, the first Circle of Compassion to the late David Lau who passed away less than a month before the event. A special video message from Kodi Lee, the 22-year-old, legally blind, autistic vocalist who won the 2019 America’s Got Talent, also resonated for the supporters of the multi-county human service agency. Past board chairs John Aubrey, James Bayson, Curtis Bolden, John Carter, Richard DiBartolomeo, Peter Farago, Kyle Hauberg, David Lau and Henry Mistele co-chaired the 36th annual Night to Embrace Gala. Thanks to auctions, a raffle and generous sponsors it grossed more than $575,000.


1. Meloney & Jonathan Lau, his mother Nancy Lau (Jonathan accepted his father’s posthumous award)

2. Circle of Service awardee / board member Henry Mistele, President & CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster, Bryan, Kevin & Sandy Mistele
3. Carol & board member / event co-chair John Aubrey

4. President & CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster, Circle of Support awardee the Carls Foundation’s Elizabeth Steig

5. Mark Chmielewski, board member Jim & Barbara Bayson, Bill Bufe

6. Judson Center’s Melissa Peters, her husband Chris

7. Next Step Broadway of Birmingham dancers

8. Board members from Judson Center and affiliate Child Safe Michigan

9. Judson center President & CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster

10. Sponsors
11. Sponsors
12. Party theme poster

Women of Bloomfield Starry Starry Night

Van Gogh's famous painting, a copy of which was on display, inspired the Women of Bloomfield Starry, Starry Night fundraiser which brought 120 ($80 ticket) to Oakland Hills Country Club. Sydrena Epstein and Beverly Schine chaired the dinner party and, together with other board members, helped Terry Stacy make the lighted, star studded centerpieces and larger, similarly decorated trees. Singer Heidi Hepler and her husband Michele Ramo made music while people socialized, dined and bid $10,000 on the 150 silent auction items. Representatives of WoB’s two philanthropies - SCAMP and CARE House of Oakland County - thanked the club for their long-standing support. Women of Bloomfield welcomes new members to participate in a plethora of social activities as well as its charitable work. For information call president Sharon Ulmer at 248-521-6255 or vice president Terry Stacy at 415-830-1264.

1. Heidi-Hepler-Ramo, event co-chair / past president Sydrena Epstein
2. Board member Gail Ozment beside Van Gogh's Starry Starry Night
3. Ava Wixted, Director Dr. Carolyn Steffen

4. Board members Terry Stacy and Anita Hedeen
5. Rebecca Sidelko, Val Beaudoen, Leah Kompus

6. Kaia Whyte, Early Scott

7. Norma Hunsberger, Christa Hintz, Carole Campau

8. Ernie & Barbara Abel

9. Linda & Brian Lang

10. Jim Boucher, Richard Heidrich

11. SCAMP coordinators Jessie Haines and Emily Price

12. CARE House of Oakland County Director of Philanthropy Chad Ozias

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13. Centerpiece

Sky Foundation Annual Lunch

Eleven victims of pancreatic cancer, including Michigan Opera Theatre’s David DiChiera, were memorialized in a streaming video at the 11th annual Sky Foundation Lunch. The Sunday event brought 350 supporters ($150 & up tickets) to The Henry Hotel where emcee WJR’s Guy Gordon showed his support for National Pancreatic Awareness month by wearing purple socks. Foundation founder / 12-year pancreatic cancer survivor Sheila Sky Kasselman welcomed all and begged everybody to “…start talking about pancreatic cancer and listen to your bodies.” Three researchers - Karmanos’ Asfar Azmi, PhD, University of Michigan’s Howard Crawford, PhD, and Henry Ford Hospital’s Dr. Parag Parikh - then shared updates about their work. Their messages were filled with hope and signs of real progress in the search for an early pancreatic cancer marker. Now, if the wild enthusiasm Christopher Aslanian then generated in the live auction bidding for 10 items ($109,250) and the Dedicated Giving ($66,000) could be packed in a test tube, pancreatic cancer wouldn’t have a chance of surviving. Thanks also to a wine pull ($5,215), a raffle and generous sponsors, the Annual Lunch raised an all-time high of $345,000. For pancreatic cancer warning signs click on Resources at www.skyfoundationinc.org.


1. Sponsor Chemical Bank’s Dave & Christine Provost, Wendy & board member Bill Powers

2. Rev. Rick Beattie, board president / sponsor Carol Quigley

3. Table sponsor Judy McClelland, her daughter Sara Hofman and daughter-in-law Michelle Donaldson

4. Wade & Sally Mezey, Nancy & Mike Smith

5. Board / committee member Janice Steinhardt, Edwina Davis, Heidi Sky at the Wine Pull station


6. Board member Larry Marantette, Jr, his sister Mary Ann Listman, their parents Carol & Larry Marantette, Sr.

7. Linda, Dominic & Larry Luchi, Bill Myers & committee member Niki Gallaudet

8. Julie Fries, Barbara Declerk

9. Elaine Grohman, Cathey Ferguson, Berna Ravitz

10. Mary Cahalan, Tracy Sebastian, Katy Eakins

11. Bob & Carol Solano

12. Kathy & Dan Yessian, Ray & Candy Hanna

13. Event sponsors

14. Lottery Ticket “Cake”, a raffle prize

Preservation Bloomfield Awards Dinner

Nearly 100 community advocates ($100 ticket) convened at the Iroquois Club to honor Ed Anderson as Preservationist of the Year. The retired GM executive earned the title by being the volunteer accountant for Preservation Bloomfield and its Friends group. When he accepted the award, he praised the volunteer organization as “…a case study for non-profits. They really have a handle on things. They blow me away,” said he. In the spotlight for a Special Community Preservation Award were Paul DePorre, Dr. Pierre DePorre and Matt Michalski. The trio has saved and renovated the Bowers House - a 1927 Tudor at 130 East Long Lake Road. The classic former residence will now house office suites known as Bloomfield Downs. This was not the first City of Bloomfield Hills renovation project for Paul, a real estate and estate planning attorney. Fifteen years ago, he and builder Michael Petrucci saved the historic Bagley Inn, making it into their executive office suites. (Go to www.deporrelaw.com/pdf/BagleyHistory.pdf to read a fascinating history of that building.). A Bloomfield Hills High School string Quartet (Celeste Meisel, Madeline Thai-Tang, Melissa Liu and Alan Yang) played during the cocktail hour of the tribute dinner that was emceed by Sue Nine. Event proceeds are earmarked for the PB endowment fund to maintain the historic Barton Farmhouse and Craig Log Cabin which now occupy land on the Bowers School Farm campus.


1. Preservation Bloomfield board president Michael Dul, Preservationist of the Year Ed Anderson


2. Community Preservation awardees Paul DePorre, Dr. Pierre DePorre and Matt Michalski
3. Committee members Judy Kelliher and emcee Sue Nine

4. Ed Anderson’s fan club: his granddaughter Elia Costakes and his wife Karen Anderson

5. Past honoree John Marshall, Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli

6. PB founder Pat Hardy, committee member Christine Blackwell

7. Joan Gaston, Friends of PB board member Karen Gerhart and Friends resident Mia Matera

8. Bloomfield Township Supervisor Leo Savoie, PB volunteer Larry Trinkaus

9. The renovated 1927 Bowers House, now Bloomfield Downs, with office suites for lease

10. The renovated Miner’s Bagley Inn, offices of Paul DePorre, a real estate and estate planning attorney, and Michael Petrucci, a builder

Benefit for Life Charity Reception

The 90 supporters ($100 ticket) of the Right to Life of Michigan Educational Fund gathered at Wyndgate Country Club for the 24th annual fundraiser will not soon forget the story Cynthia Wenz shared with them. When she was 19 she had her third and final abortion. But complications a few days later sent her back to the clinic where she learned, “They didn’t get everything!” Unbeknownst to the clinic personnel, she had been pregnant with twins. On the video screen we then saw a picture of the child that survived that abortion 29 years ago. (He is now married and his wife is pregnant with twin girls.) Wenz’s post-abortion shame and grief led her to found women’s health centers, write the book “Healed for Life: A Story of Redemption” and become a compelling voice for Life. She earned a standing ovation at the Wyndgate event. Event coordinator Barbara Rotary was also roundly applauded following a heartfelt tribute by her husband Dennis. After 17 years, she is passing leadership of the event, which raised nearly $34,000, to Brad Smith.


1. Dennis & Barbara Rotary, celebrity speaker Cynthia Wenz
2. Vince & Rose DiLorenzo, host committee member Dr. Luisa DiLorenzo
3. Drs. Tim Bierma, John Bonema and host committee member Joe Skoney

4. Host committee members Dan & Sheila Argue with Bob & Kathy Davis
5. Mike Davis, Joseph Argue

6. Host committee member Mike Brown, Mike & Jo Obloy

7. Leonard & Anita Gayeski, host committee member Karen Brown
8. Lissa & Bruce Barron
9. Lennie & Jackie Wilson, Barbara & Robert Wilson

10. Joan Ferrar, Tony & Ann Ferrar Ross
11. Jesi, Faith & Right to Life Development Coordinator Brad Smith

Beaumont Gala

The 14th annual Beaumont Farmington Hills Autumn Gala brought nearly 400 ($300 ticket) to the MGM Grand Detroit. They cocktailed, bid in a silent auction, dined and danced. During the program longtime physician and friend of Beaumont Dr. David Susser was saluted upon his retirement and 25-year physicians were recognized. These were: Richard G. Herman, DO; Judith A. Joslin-Page, DO; Bahman Joorabchi, MD; Mark A. Kachadurian, DO; Philip V. Kaplan, DO; Steven R. Klein, DO; John D. Parmely, DO; William R. Raminick, DO; Mark B. Silverman, DO; Robert Gregory Smith, DO; Mirta T. Soler, MD; and Danette C. Taylor, DO. Thanks to title sponsorship by the Beaumont Farmington Hills Medical Staff and the event chair Dr. Harris Mainstar, the gala raised $346, 000 to support cardiovascular program updates at Beaumont Farmington Hills.


1. Benefactor sponsors Drs. Phoebe & event chair Harris Mainster

2. Honoree Dr. David & Danielle Susser with family members Steven, Aviva and Isaac Susser

3. Gerson Cooper and his granddaughter Natalie Cooper

4. Jill Willen and Mark Bohen
5. 25-year physicians Danette Taylor, DO, and Judith Joslin-Page, DO

6. Christina and E. Aron Haass, DO

7. Dana and Bethany Knochel

8. Many wore red to show support for the cardiology programs

Please send material for Social Lights to SamGerak@aol.com or to 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.

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by Sally G.

Sally G.

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