• Sally Gerak

Social Lights December 2020

This is THE LAST column Social Lights column I will publish.

God bless you all.

Sally G

Events ( all virtual ! ) in this issue:

  • Flagstar's Dancing with the Stars benefiting Lighthouse Michigan

  • Grace Centers of Hope Night of Hope

  • National Kidney Foundation of Michigan Kidney Ball

  • Assistance League of Southeast Michigan Mistletoe Marketplace




Flagstar’s Dancing with the Stars

The virtual Lighthouse Michigan fundraiser was co-chaired by Liz and Flagstar Bank’s Jim Ciroli. It was presented by Erica and Jeff Lawson (new names to this reporter, but the generous, billionaire couple is easy to find on the internet at https://givingpledge.org/Pledger.aspx?id=385https://givingpledge.org/Pledger.aspx?id=385.) The program, emceed by Fox 2 anchor Taryn Asher and her husband WDIV anchor Jason Carr, featured scenes of Lighthouse volunteers nurturing the needy, a wide variety of dance demonstrations and good-natured banter among the celebrity judges. This year the winning dancer, Rabbi Rachel Schere, was determined by a vote of the viewers. Grammy Award-winning gospel singer Dorinda Clark-Cole provided dramatic highlights to accident survivor Alexandria Riley‘s performance with a stirring version of “I’m Still Here”” and in a mini-concert that included “Lord Bless My Home.’ The annual event raised $215,845. See the entire video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjtf-mnxZtU.


1.Emcees Fox 2 anchor Taryn Asher and her husband WDIV anchor Jason Carr


2. Event co-chairs Flagstar Bank’s Jim & Lizabeth Ciroli


3. Lighthouse Michigan CEO Ryan Hertz


4. Celebrity judge retired NBA player / entrepreneur /

youth mentor Derrick Coleman


5. Celebrity judge / entertainment attorney Howard Hertz


6. Celebrity judge WXYZ reporter Andrea Isom and her husband Joe Harris


7. Celebrity judge Fox 2 reporter Erika Erickson

8. Competitor / vocalist Amanda Lyberg and her Arthur Murray partner


9. Competitor / vocalist Amanda Lyberg and her Arthur Murray partner


10. Competitor / NYC-based tap dancer Claudia Rahardjanoto


11. Jazz pianist Michael Jellick


12. Luly Del Real introducing her dancers


13. Luly Del Real Mexican folkloric dancers


14. Dorinda Clark-Cole, Alexandria Riley and her Arthur Murray partner


15. Competitor Alexandria Riley and her Arthur Murray partner


16. Rabbi Rachel Shere (left) and her Arthur Murray partners


17. Rabbi Rachel Shere program finale


18. Martha Reeves with youth dancers “Dancing in the Street”


19. Close-up of Martha Reeves


20. Grammy Award winner / gospel singer Dorinda Cole-Clark


21. Event Sponsors



Kidney Ball

Ideal Group’s Loren Venegas co-chaired the 16th annual Kidney Ball with the Detroit Tigers’ Duane McLean, Michigan Health’s John Magee, MD, and Lou LaRiche Chevrolet’s Scott LaRiche. The virtual event raised $215,000 for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. To see the video which includes memories go to nkfm.org/kidneyball.


1. Co-chair Loren Venegas (center) and his family


2. Co-chair Dr. John Magee, in operating room


3. Co-chair Dr.- John Magee, formally attired


4. Emcee Steve Garagiola


5. Auctioneer Christopher Aslanian


6. Kidney donor Jeff and his recipient / daughter 2015 Kidney Kid Lily Levine


7. Rachel & Eli Rost (2016 Kid)


8. 2017 Kidney Kid Danny Zivian


9. Team Jaxson: 2019 Kidney Kid Jaxson Scott (center), his mom Grace Yount and sister Genevieve


10. Your Generation (before concert)


11. Your Generation in Concert


12. Sponsors


13. More sponsors


14. Co-chairs and event leadership


15. Live auction item


16. Live auction item



17. Live auction item


18. Live auction item


19. Live auction item


20. At home Goody Bag



Grace Centers of Hope Night of HOPE Virtual Gala

The annual fundraiser for the Hands of Hope Child Care Center at Pontiac’s faith-based Grace Centers of Hope was virtual last month. The steaming video featured a tour of the center conducted by center director Traci Cunningham and the adorable, happy children who thrive there. It also showcased three moving stories of women who remade their lives by successfully completing one of the women’s programs Grace Centers conducts. More than 250 people bid on the 100 silent auction baskets, the Vacation Choice raffle and the Shopping Spree raffle. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the event raised about $145,000 for the Hope-filled agency which receives no

government funds. Below see some screen shots from the program.


1. Event co-chair Nanette Drouillard-Murphy


2. Event co-chair Emilie Fitch


3. Committee member Nancy Bontumasi


4. Committee member Janet Falcoff


5. Director of Children’s Programs Traci Cunningham conducting a tour


6. GCH Director of Donor Relations Misty Phillips


7. A collage topped by CEO / pastor Kent Clark


8. GCH program graduate Jackie Pesavento (right) with husband and son


9. Dorothy Burt, GCH graduate, now on the GCH staff


10. GCH program graduate Sarah Zeoli (right) with husband & daughter


11. Virtual Night of Hope Sponsors


12. Hands of Hope child Manny


13. A Hands of Hope child in school


14. Hands of Hope child, Madison


15. Hands of Hope child



Virtual Mistletoe Marketplace

The 17th annual signature fundraising event for Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan® known as Mistletoe Marketplace was literally a virtual success. With the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent history. Like many other nonprofit organizations, Assistance League adjusted plans for their previous annual indoor event, which draws nearly 800 people each year. It featured a half-hour, live-streamed program highlighting Assistance League’s established philanthropic programs, such as Operation School Bell for schoolchildren, Wee Help for infants, Assault Survivor Kits for victims of abuse, Nourishing Neighbors for people with food insecurity and how their efforts benefit the metro-Detroit community. “Our dedicated and creative members worked very hard to turn our traditional Mistletoe into a different, fun, successful online auction with a streamed event highlighting our programs,” said Ann Drake, president of Assistance League. It raised $80,000. To view the program, go to https://cbo.io/bidapp/index.php?slug=alsm.


1. ALSM President Ann Drake at entrance to ReSale Connection shop


2. Honorary chair Fox 2’s Monica Gayle


3. Karen Boyk, conducts a tour of the ALSM ReSale Connection shop


4. ALSM President Ann Drake, co-founder Cindy Cirar


5. Amy Fratarcangela, R.N., Director My Pregnancy Coach Program for needy moms



6. Barton Elementary School’s Choi Shorter


7. School Bell program recipient


8. Karen Boyk and Barbara Donohoe discussing the ALSM Nourishing food pantry program


9. Executive Director Wayne County SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensics Examiner) Kim Hurst

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by Sally G.

Sally G.

©2019-2020 Sally Gerak
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