• Sally Gerak

Social Lights, August 2020

Although this reporter, as one of the "most vulnerable", cannot yet safely cover charity events in person, we are happy to publish reports using submitted information. We also applaud the many non-profits like Michigan Women Forward and the Christ Child Society, who have presented successful virtual fundraisers as well as those like the DSO, MOT and the BBAC who are offering great online experiences.

Events in this issue

  • Angels Place Golf Tournament

  • Women of Tomorrow Girls on Track on the Move

  • Paul W. Smith Golf Classic

  • Alternatives for Girls at the White House

  • Michigan Fine Arts Competition at the BBAC

Angels Place Charity Golf Event

One of the first non-profits to stage an in-person event since the onset of the pandemic was Angels’ Place. Co-chairs John Frasco and Tim Hildebrand, along with their committee, took some mulligans, so to speak, when they down-scaled the annual fundraiser from a Masters-themed event in June to a par three format on July 13. But they still convened 100 golfers at Pine Lake Country Club. Masks were de rigueur at registration and social distancing was maintained throughout the 18 holes, all of which were set up for relaxing par three play. Cocktails and dinner were scraped, but some stayed to watch Bob Pulte pull the names of the raffle prize winners. The raffle raised $38,000, bringing the day’s total to $180,000 for the Angels Place mission - life-long, loving, Christ-centered care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The next fundraiser on the Angels’ Place calendar is a Road Rally 3 - 5 pm, Saturday, Sept. 19. Check at www.AngelsPlace.com for details. But the next celebration - the ground breaking for the 21st AP Home - is 12 - 1 pm, Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 31234 Middlebury Lane, Bloomfield, 48301.

1. Guess who?

2.Frank & Judy Jonna

3. Jim & Connor Remski

4. Nora Hamill & her dad Jack Carroll

5. Bob Pulte checking out raffle prizes

6. Sponsors

7. More sponsors

Girls on Track on the Move

As they did last year, Melissa and Bill Kozyra chaired the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program’s annual car-focused fundraiser July 29. But this year the pandemic dictated that they take it “on the road.” Instead of a party highlighted by thrill rides around the M1 Concourse track (see Social Lights September #2, 2019) the event was a five-hour parade of more than 35 exotic cars. Brands included Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Ford GT, Lotus, Dodge Hellcat, Dodge Viper and Ford Mustang, to name a few. The volunteer drivers/owners, many of whom have an M1 Concourse garage, convened there for the “starter’s flag”. Participants included Scott & Isaac Baker, James & Antonina D'Agostini, Jess Hackney, Brad Oleshansky, Chas Ostezan and M1’s John Myers, who led the parade around the Detroit past the Boys and Girls Clubs, Piquette Square Veterans Home, Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak and Henry Ford Hospital Detroit to name a few viewing locations. These were the choice of those who made a $2,500 donation. Thanks also to the online raffle offering seven-nights’ use of a Forester Class C, luxury-outfitted, motor home donated by the A & S RV Center, the 2020 event raised $210,000 to empower the 1,200 at-risk girls in 28 Metro Detroit High Schools to live up to their full potential.

1. 2019 & 2020 event chairs Melissa & Bill Kozyra

pictured at the 2019 event

2. Honorary co-chair Laurie Cunnington pictured

at the 2019 event with Gina Coleman

3. Pictured at the 2019 event WoT Detroit Executive Director Jill Harris,

WoT founder Jennifer Valoppi, her son Jordan and husband

Christian De Berdouare, holding Bacci

4. Pictured at the 2019 event Amy & sponsor Beaumont’s

Dr. David Wood and Margaret Cooney Casey & Brian Casey

5. Pictured at the 2019 event Joe Cauley, Sieglinde Espenshade,

Lisa Morelli and M1 founder Brad Oleshansky

6. 2020 event sponsors and W o T leadership

7. Melissa Kozyra with hand sanitizer pictured in a OG Ford GT

8. The Lamborghini Huracan Lambo Mantis

Bill Kozyra drove in the parade

9. Kendra & Phil Zak at M1 Concourse

10 Larry Crocenzi at M1 Concourse

11. Mark Turnbull at M1 Concourse

12. Scott and Isaac Baker at M1 Concourse

13. At M1 Concourse

14. At M1 Concourse

15. Zack Thompson at M1 Concourse

16. “Eleanor”, the OG Ford GT, On the Move

17. On the Move

18. On the Move

19. On the Move

20. On the Move

21. At Royal Oak William Beaumont Hospital

22. Zack Thompson and Brad Oleshansky stretching their legs

23. On the Move

24. On the Move

25. On the Move

26. On the Move

27. On the Move

The Paul W. Smith Golf Classic

On Monday, August 3, nearly 200 goodhearted folks convened at the Detroit Golf Club for Paul W’s 17th annual fundraiser for four children’s charities - The Children’s Foundation, Detroit PAL, The Children's Center, and Variety, the Children’s Charity of Detroit. Socially distanced camaraderie and outdoor dining maintained the COVID-19 safety protocols. The Suburban Collection team topped play on the North Course; the Smith team was the best on the South Course. But the biggest winners are the 55,000 youth served by the four agencies who split the $426,400 event proceeds. That is thanks to the golfers’ donations and sponsors: News/Talk 760 WJR (title sponsor), Ford Motor Company (Tournament Sponsor), and Presenting Sponsors Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, FCA Corporation, General Motors Corporation, Lear Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, USA. Other sponsors are listed at paulwsmithgolf.com/sponsors. The Paul W. Smith Classic has raised $7.2-million since 2004. While the golf tourney is finished, the needs of the youth continue. Therefore, the public is encouraged to support the charities through the Paul W’s Caring for Kids Club. The Club will continue to accept donations online year-round at www.paulwsmithgolf.com. Donation subscriptions start at less than 10 a month.

Grant Presentation to Alternatives For Girls

Representatives from Detroit-based Alternatives For Girls, human trafficking victims, and other organizations that serve them gathered at the White House on August 4 to receive awards from Attorney General William Barr and presidential advisor Ivanka Trump. AFG will receive a $500,000 grant over three years under the Office of Justice Program funding opportunity entitled “Office of Victims of Crime (OVC) FY 2020 Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking.” The event was a celebration of the work by the administration, service providers, and the survivor community to confront trafficking and also an opportunity to hear victims’ personal stories. Modeled after AFG’s Rapid Rehousing Project for youth, the OVC FY 2020 grant will support housing assistance for victims of human trafficking. Starting September 1, 2020, AFG will provide trafficking victims with access to resources that will allow them to be safe, grow strong, and experience housing stability. AFG, which helps homeless and at-risk girls become strong and make positive choices, is currently accepting nominations for its 2021 Role Model Awards. Go to www.AlternativesForGirs.org.

39th Annual Michigan Fine Arts Competition

The Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center’s annual show includes 91 works selected by juror Kevin Grogan from more than 400 entries. It is entirely online and much of the art is for sale. See all at bbartcenter.org/michigan-fine-arts-competition/.

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


by Sally G.

Sally G.

©2019-2020 Sally Gerak