• Sally Gerak

Social Lights August #2, 2019

Updated: Aug 17, 2019

In this issue

  • Child Safe Legends of Tomorrow Gala

  • Beaumont Drive for Life Invitationals

  • The Garden Party

  • The Franklin Garden Walk

  • DSO Heroes Gala

  • Charity Preview of The Morrie

  • Michigan Animal Rescue League Yappy Hour

  • Women's Fund Summer Soiree

  • Better Together (Lighthouse and South Oakland Shelter)

Child Safe Legends of Tomorrow Gala

Child Safe supporters (300 with $300 or $500 tickets) convened at The Townsend for the agency’s annual gala fundraiser. It featured some new twists. The chairs, Beatrice and Pierre Boutrous and SuSu Sosnick, decided the VIP party should not require the traditional early arrival. Instead, VIPs concluded the evening in the Regency Ballroom turned French nightclub for the occasion, complete with French music, wines, liqueurs and crepes. Dinner was on-the-stroll with the stations opening early during the traditional cocktail hour. Some people savored their selections at the stand-up tables in the foyer, others chose to sit at their assigned, colorfully-decorated, ballroom table. But the party highlights occurred during the program: presentation of the Angel Award to SuSu for more than 15 years of devoted philanthropy and her heartfelt acceptance; the live auction conducted by Christopher Aslanian that raised $45,000; dedicated giving inspired by the late board member Mark Smits’ daughter that raised $85,000. The evening raised more than $520,000 for Judson Center affiliate Child Safe’s adoption, mentoring, and foster care of its young charges, the Legends of Tomorrow.


1. Co-chairs Beatrice & Pierre Boutros and SuSu Sosnick

2. Co-chairs Beatrice & Pierre Boutros and SuSu Sosnick, board member Bob Pliska

3. Board member Char Terry, Bill Myers & board member Niki Gallaudet

4. Sponsors / board chair Keith & Sonia Pomeroy, Judson Center Pres. / CEO Lenora Hardy-Foster & Duane Foster


5. Sam & Katie Valenti

6. Andy Roisman, retired judge Eddie Sosnick


7. Renee Read, Tom & Laurie Cunnington

8. Pam Granata, Lana Anderson

9. Joelle & Jeffrey Abood

10. Bruce Kridler, Julie & board member Rick Zussman

11. Sandy Melstrom, board member Joseph Saker

12. Linda Hatfield, Betsy Reich, Peggy Kerr


13. Program highlight – Susu Sosnick receives Angel Award from Child Safe co-founder Elizabeth Brazilian Photo: Chuck Cloud Photography

14. Terry & Kim Smits Banfill

15. Steve & committee member Lori Zieman

16. Hemant & Nayana Shah

17. Michael & Harriet Jacobson

18. Close-up of Harriet Jacobson’s rabbit purse, a tribute to her magician husband

19. Galina & Gary Raykhinshdeyn

20. Dennis & Kathy Hoste Janesczko, Patricia Young, Mary Hoste

21. Robert & Lori Sellman

22. Event sponsors


Beaumont Drive for Life Invitationals

The annual benefit for Beaumont’s oncology patient programs, equipment and services at the Walter & Marilyn Wolpin Comprehensive Breast Care Center in Royal Oak and the Wilson Cancer Resource Center in Troy drew 485 participants to Bloomfield Hills and Oakland Hills country clubs. Bobbi Polk, Julie Beals, Kim Fortin and Veronica Isaacs chaired the card contests at BHCC where women gathered to play bridge (224) or canasta (29) and relish a buffet luncheon. Bridge winners were Janet Fruehauf (1st), Nancy Smith (2nd), Liz Lee (3rd) and Glenda Meads (4th). The Canasta draw winners were Tammi Steinberg, Judy Ioannoa, Beth Wolpin and Linda Friedman. Chris Emde, Stephen Howard and Ryan Marsh chaired the links action for 232 players on both courses at OHCC where all the golfers got tips from pros Rick Smith and Bret Hartman. When all the scores were tallied, Stuart Davies, Kevin Yousif, David Sowerby and Mark Brown comprised the 1st place team; Steve Howard, Stephen Polk, Scott Strickland & Hugh Carney the 2nd place; Kent Teeters, David Campbell, Michael Coles & Jim Warzyniec the 3rd place. Individual winners in skill contests were James Housler, Nancy McDonough, Kent Teeters, Christina Turowski, Dennis Wood, Martha Palmer, Matthew Koelliker, Julia Davis, Mike Bayoff, Jim Lynch, M.D. and Pat McCloskey. The two-part event concluded at OHCC with cocktails, dinner and the presentation of Beaumont Distinguished Leader in Philanthropy awards to Susan Cooper and Ed and Sylvia Hagenlocker. Both the invitationals combined raised $516,145.


1. Kathy Martin, Linda Ebert, bridge co-chairs Julie Beals and Bobbi Polk, Wendy Powers

2. Canasta co-chairs Veronica Isaacs and Kim Fortin

3. Patty Haron, Rita Ducker, Lacey Foon, Carol Ziecik

4. Paula Taub, Sharyl Ackermam, Linda Friedman, Leslye Rosenbaum

5. Marlene Rosenberg, Wendy Roth, Mary Krasman, Janice Ross

6. Linda Schafer, Debby Lessor, Tammy Steinberg, Vera Gell

7. Edie Anderson, Marilyn Klein, past bridge winners Valerie Straith & Claudia Snyder

8. Terry Hartle, Debbie Oben, Joan Heinz, Linda Kane

9. Gretchen Anderson, Mollie Saeli, Lynn Miller, Judy Anderson

10. Kathy Cubbin, committee member Karen DeFiore, Valeie Leebove, committee member Patty Ghesquiere, Barbara McCarthy

11. Pat Hochstein, Gale Colwell, Ann Aikens, Dodie Smith

12. Golf co-chair / board member Stephen Howard, card co-chair Bobbi Polk, Beaumont Pres./ CEO John Fox, Beaumont trustee Stephen Polk

13. Golf committee member Jan & Ed Mann

14. Distinguished Leader in Philanthropy awardee Susan Cooper

15. Distinguished Leaders in Philanthropy awardees Sylvia and Ed Hagenlocker

16. President Beaumont Troy & Grosse Pointe James Lynch, M.D., board VP Ryan Daly, pro golfer Rick Smith, trustee Stefan Wanczyk, board chair John Lewis

17. Card Tournament sponsors

18. Golf Tournament sponsors

The Garden Party

Perfect weather (pleasant temp, sans hot sun) reigned for The Garden Party Foundation’s annual Sunday afternoon food / wine / classic car / charity celebration. It brought 578 ($150 ticket) to Meadow Brook Hall where 25 classic cars and the music tent featuring Tosha Owens conveniently bordered the walkway from the manse to the festival tent. (To hear Owens sing “Detroit Strong” go to https://www.detroitrocknrollmagazine.com/search/label/Tosha%20Owens). The restaurants (27) and wine companies (22 tables offering more than 85 wines from France, California and Michigan) all showed off! (To wit: the culinary students from beneficiary Oakland Community College were serving grilled baby octopus and a deviled egg inserted with a tiny dispenser of hot sauce.) Founders Elizabeth and Syd Ross, staying true to their goal of creating a pleasant respite sans speeches, graciously chatted informally with most guests. The event booklet was a feel-good keeper (recipes from some participating restaurants and the heartwarming bios of eight OCC scholarship recipients). The 11th annual event added more than $101,000 to the $1-million plus total The Garden Party has raised for charity. The fourth Garden Party Northern Michigan will be 3 – 6 pm, Sunday, Sept. 7 at North Central Michigan College in Petoskey. For info and tickets ($150) go to http://www.thegardenpartymichigan.org/.


1. Co-founders Elizabeth & Syd Ross

2. Sponsors Celani Family Vineyards’ Tom & Vicki Celani, Craig Snyder, John Landis

3. Patrick & Christiane LaRue designer Bonnie Foley, host committee member Don Manvel

4. Volunteer Sandee Rellinger, RGA models Krista Ferguson and Tiffany Moore in Gena Conti hats and Christiane LaRue dresses

5. Blythe & Matt Moran, Valerie & Tom Pursel

6. Event co-founder Syd Ross with sponsors Candace & Dan Sebold

7. Mawbry Wines’ Mike Laing pouring sparkling Mawbry Brut Blanc for Cynthia Bass & Michael Scheid at the first wine station

8. Host committee members Frank & Kimberly Campanale and Renee Godin & Scott Ferguson

9. Veronica & Carlos Carmona

10. Simon & Melanie Esland in a Gena Conti hat

11. Jessica Nolley, Stephanie DiMarco, Rose Yee

12. Close-up of OCC Culinary Institute’s deviled egg with hot sauce dispenser

13. Larry Walsh, Bonnie Jobe, Don DeClercq

14. Theresa & Greg Sbroglia, Mary & Dennis O’Bryan, Don Tocco

15. Participating restaurants

16. Sponsors

17. Sponsors

Franklin Garden Walk

Members of the Franklin Garden Club (officially the Franklin Branch of the Women’s National Farm & Garden Association) sold 834 tickets ($15) to the 34th annual Franklin Garden Walk. The walk, chaired by Cindy Juliano and Kathy Lorencz, featured an artisan market as well as the six remarkable gardens of Mary Sue & Paul Ewing, Dr. Sharon Wolf, Bruce & Shelly Hoffman, Paula Butler & Larry Elkins, Dr. Majd Aburabia and Ed Blondin & Dan Gillean. Sixty garden club members reconvened two days later for the post walk wrap up “picnic” hosted by Mark and Pam Signorelli at their remarkable, 1950s Bloomfield Hills home. It was designed by renowned architect Minoru Yamasaki with a deck-in-the-trees that was a perfect setting for the club meeting conducted by co-presidents Margaret Bancroft & Peggy Dufault. They announced that the walk raised nearly $10,000 for the club’s philanthropies. They also praised the picnic hosts – Pam, an artist, and Mark, a business executive who eagerly dons his chef jacket to prepare and serve yummy Italian cuisine.


1. Picnic hosts Mark & Pam Signorelli

2. Walk co-chairs Cindy Juliano and Kathy Lorencz

3. Garden Club co-presidents Margaret Bancroft and Peggy Dufault, PR chair Shelley Farkas

4. Pam Signorelli's picnic committee: Lavon Cook, Dorothy Nagy, Kae Gaskin and Shari Garber


5. Lynn Choudhury, Mary Cafferty, Susan Clayton

6. Ingrid Simich (in background left), Pam & Mark Signorelli

7. Ann Huston

8. Close-up of Orange Tiramisu dessert

9. An antipasto presentation with view of gardens in background

10. The picnic hosts are applauded at Garden Club meeting on the deck

Detroit Symphony Orchestra Heroes Gala

The ninth annual DSO hero benefit honored Mort Harris, a guy who also earned the hero title (along with many medals) flying B-17s over Berlin during WW II. The honor was especially suitable this year as the gala launched the centennial of Orchestra Hall and Mort will be 100 years old during the year-long celebration. The gala guest list (250 at $1,000 ticket) included scores of colleagues from other community institutions that have known Mort’s decades-long benevolence, friends, neighbors and members of his family here from both coasts. Unfortunately, due to a short confinement, Mort had to watch the gala dinner program live-streamed from his hospital room. When Max Harris accepted the crystal award from DSO board chair Mark Davidoff for his grandfather, he noted what all knew: “…(Mort) does not need nor want praise.” A standing ovation followed Max’s declaration, “He is my greatest role model.” The gala crowd then joined 1,600 others for a concert conducted by Damon Gupton (like Harris, a Detroit native). It began with a rousing salute to Mort (Gershwin’s “Strike Up the Band”) and included Leslie Odam, Jr. enchanting the audience with such classics as Johnny Mercer’s “Autumn Leaves”. The annual event raised more than $1-million.


1. Past Hero Barbara VanDusen, Charlene Handelman

2. Richard & Joanne Brodie

3. Linda Dresner, Sally Orley, Ed Levy, Pauola Orley

4. Larry & Kate Gladchun and Mort Harris’ neighbors Mike & Kathie Yatsko

5. Joanne Danto & Arnie Weingarden


6. Mort Harris’ neighbors J & Lynn Ferron, Henry Ford Health System’s Lindsay Anderson

7. Keith & Gretchen Pretty, Bobbi & Stephen Polk

8. Dana & Jim Lentini

9. Scott & Charlotta Harris, Max Harris, Justin Powell

10. Leah Sorrentino & Max Harris

11. A centerpiece inspired by the late Brigitte Harris’ love of rose gardening created by former DSO Volunteer Council coordinator Anne Wilzack, now of AWE Production and her lead floral talents, Halley McKenzie and Laura Daluga

12. Hero Mort Harris’ grandson Max Harris accepting the Hero Award for his grandfather from DSO Board chair Mark Davidoff Photo: Scott Spellman.

13. Gala Donors

14. Gala Donors

Charity Preview of The Morrie

The 100-plus CARE House supporters ($150 ticket) on hand for a charity preview of The Morrie in Birmingham's Palladium Building at 260 North Old Woodward on Aug. 7 had plenty of elbow room in Aaron Belen’s spacious new eatery. They also had a good view of singer / CARE House friend Edward Joseph, on the stage above the large bar and no lines at the bountiful buffet set up in a side room. It offered savory samples of the restaurant’s roadhouse type cuisine including roasted cauliflower, mac & cheese, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and burgers, both chicken and beef, the latter named after Belen’s grandfather, Morrie. The 16 outdoor seats and tables are closely connected to those right inside and are sure to be popular. Large TV screens were raised for the event, to make room for the singer, but should have lots of eyeballs for sporting events. All we interviewed agreed that The Morrie and its food, drink and music will be a welcome addition to downtown Birmingham. The charity preview raised more than $10,000 for CARE House to heal young victims of sexual abuse. It’s big fall fundraiser – CARE Night – will be Saturday, Oct. 5 at The Townsend.


1. CARE House director Blythe Spitsbergen, The Morrie proprietor Aaron Belen

2. Tim Currier, Birmingham mayor Patty Bordman, Scott Ballard, CARE House board member Cathie Weissenborn

3. Evan & Gwen Weiner

4. Eliot & Whitney Weiner, Danielle & Andy Petcoff

5. Sponsor Huntington Bank’s Frank Stewart, Brooke Kircher, Brian Wall

6. Sponsor Huntington Bank’s Todd Pado, Sharon Mandel, Ashley Boday, Leslie Hill, Mike Vieregge

7. Amy & Mark Webberly, Steve Phillips, Marlene Roth

8. Alex Urban, Justin Near

9. Matt Friedman, Paige Long, Joe Bauman

10. Michele DeLuca, Janet Baccanari

11. Wendy Levitt, Channel Ozias

12. Robin Krohn, Bill Stachniks

Michigan Animal Rescue League Yappy Hour

Because MARL first opened its shelter doors in 1953, co-chairs Beth Davidson and Cara Krupa chose to nod at that decade (think Elvis) at the 10th annual benefit cocktail party which attracted 450 to the Pegasus Garden at Meadow Brook Hall. In addition to drinks and comestibles, highlights included a photo station, a large silent auction that raised $6,700, booths like Canine Couture (free grooming on the spot for the four-legged guests who are always welcome at this event), the Dog Bar at The Urban Dog and MARL’s retail shop. More than 50 sponsors arrived early for the VIP reception. All guests could take home doggie treats. Yappy Hour Ten raised nearly $200,000 for the shelter that provides life-saving care to more than 1,500 animals every year. The party was a final romp for the popular Chamois, a disabled albino pooch who died of congestive heart failure shortly afterwards.


1. Board president Cindy (holding Miss Peacock and Samuel) & Barry Howard (holding Big Joe), board member Lisa Wasserman (holding unnamed pooch) Photo: Bari Balbes

2. Board member / event co-chair Beth (holding Connor) & Jeff Davidson Photo: Bari Balbes

3. Lena Winngham (holding Clive), Elvis impersonator Ron Short Photo: Daniel Lippitt

4. Host committee member Connie Hogan & Chamois Photo: Faith Nemeth

5. Overview of Meadow Brook Hall Gardens and Yappy Hour Photo: Chelsea Webster

Women's Fund Mid-Summer Soiree

More than 100 ($75, $100 ticket) supporters of the Rochester-based Women’s Fund socialized, sipped and supped on the Meadow Brook Hall terrace and adjacent gardens on a pleasant summer evening. Other diversions included music by cellist Nicole Shogren, a raffle and silent auction (Tesla weekend rental donated by Corporate Auto). The amiable affair raised more than $6,000 for grants to established programs that benefit women in need. Recent recipients are Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan, Career Dress, Families Against Narcotics and the Neighborhood House. Since its founding in 2000, the Women’s Fund has distributed over $300,000.

(Following photos: Part of Life Photography)


1. 2019 Board Members: Judy DeSteiger, Christina Hogan, Lynn Florek, Kelly Dean, Lori Roscoe, Sue Upton, Kathy McCarter, Lynn Oates, Kathy Bogdziewicz, Barb Cenko, Erika Kruse

2. Kathy Losinski, Jane Richie, Ronna Stencel, Barb Cenko

3. Jane Sawin, Mary Ann Reidinger

4. Mary Salpietra, Maly Bounthavongso

5. Raffle winner Robin Bjelica

6. Raffle display

Better Together

The sagacious merger of Lighthouse of Oakland County and South Oakland Shelter was celebrated by 250 supporters at the M1 Concourse. A great description of the event may be found at

https://southoaklandshelter.org/2019/07/05/heartfelt-speeches-and-fireworks-kick-off-lighthouse-merger/.


Please send Social Lights column ideas to Sally Gerak at 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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