Social Lights Feb. #2, 2020
Events in this issue
CARE House Circle of Friends Preview Party
CARE House Circle of Friends Luncheon
Variety Sliders, Spuds & Soup(er) Bowl
International Polonaise Ball
Impact100 Oakland County Happy Hour
CARE House Circle of Friends
The 24th annual Circle of Friends CARE House fundraiser featured the first, willing-to-go-public, Larry Nassar victim, Rachael Denhoffer. She was the guest of honor at the Preview Party hosted, with legendary generosity and style, by Roz and Scott Jacobson at their art-filled Bloomfield Hills home. (Think Lenny Kravitz designed Edition of Dom Perignon; Besa Chef Nick Geftos and Tallulah Chef Edi Mulle personally calling the shots in the kitchen; crooner Ben Sharkey and friends around the grand piano in the living room; tables designed by fleurdetroit; solicitous service by Sugar Plum Staffing.) The honored guest chatted easily and privately with many of the 75 guests, but, happily, the beauty and friendly ambiance of the evening was not interrupted by public speechifying about ugly child sexual abuse….Denhoffer addressed that topic with wisdom and clarity the next day at the luncheon which brought 315 to the Townsend Hotel. In her welcome remarks, co-chair Anne Weiner thanked the founders present, noting that what they started has raised $1-million. Denhoffer, who lived privately with the horror of her abuse for 16 years, then touched many aspects of the issue “… it’s so common…nearly every victim feels guilt…silence seems safer, etc.” But the one that resounded most was the importance of requiring training for those legally required to report any suspicion of child abuse - i.e. mandated reporters. She credited Nassar’s downfall with the fact that both her investigator and the prosecutor had been trained, which is not a law in Michigan. “Trained adults saved me,” she said. All guests received a signed copy of Denhoffer’s book: “What is a Girl Worth? My Story of breaking the silence and exposing the truth about Larry Nassar and the USA Gymnastics.” It should be required reading for all who love children. And, as the author declared, “CARE House shines…has the full range of resources for victims to be heard and believed.” The Circle of Friends raised $120,000 for that mission.
Circle of Friends Luncheon
Variety Slider, Spuds & Soup(er) Bowl
The new NFL theme for Variety’s comfy food-focused fundraiser changed the table décor and reduced the chef stations to the manageable playoff number of eight - a good call. The 250 fans ($100, $150 tickets) had a good chance of actually sampling much of the fare prepared by the generous restaurants. (See list in photo gallery.) That the sound level of the energetic Dan Rafferty Band was too loud for conversation inspired most to concentrate on eating. One of last year’s food judges, Matt Prentice, has since opened a new eatery - Three Cats Café - in partnership with savvy retailer Leon & Lulu’s Mary Liz Curtin. And the legendary chef, who was busy hustling all night, won the People’s Choice awards for all three offerings. The judges - Annabel Cohen, Melody Baetens and Josh Landon - agreed with the guests on the Best Slider and Best Spuds, but gave the Best Soup Award to Crispelli’s. The raffle of 22 lots was another fun diversion. Thanks also to generous sponsors, the event raised nearly $75,000 for Variety’s special children’s programs. The next event for Variety supporters is Sunday, March 15 - the Fashion Show with models from Variety and FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation at Somerset Collection South. (See details in the Social Lights Future Events section.)
International Polonaise Ball
When Erik Kafarski introduced his wife, Dr. Irena Zalewska, to this reporter at the Detroit Historical Society Ball last month he mentioned that they would be celebrating their 17th wedding anniversary at the International Polonaise Ball in Miami Beach at the end of the month. I was reminded of the years I photographed him and his brother as little pages at the Detroit Bal Polonais founded by his mother, the late Dr. Sofia Karfarski and suggested he be my “stringer” at the Florida event. He has reported that the 48th International Polonaise Ball, organized by the American Institute of Polish Culture and its founder Blanka Rosenstiel, brought more than 300 guests ($395 & up tickets) from all over the world to the Eden Roc Hotel where thousands of twinkling lights and a 20-foot tall feathered Polish white eagle swagged with white and red fabric dominated the scene. The celebration of Polish and Polish-American pioneers in technology and innovation began with the stately promenade of distinguished guests including: Poland’s Secretary of State Adam Kwiatkowski, Poland’s Ambassador to the US Piotr Wilczek, Poland Ambassador to Italy / former Poland Sec. of State Anna Maria Anders, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, recently retired NBA player / philanthropist Marcin Gortat and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Project Manager Arthur “Art” Chmielewski, who was awarded the 2020 AIPC gold medal at the event. In addition to Erik and Irena, other area residents at the elegant soiree included president of Friends of John Paul II Be Not Afraid Foundation Michigan Chapter John Roland, Chancellor of Orchard Lake Seminary & Schools Fr. Can. Miroslaw Krol, philanthropist Stephanie Germack, Republic of Poland Gold Order of Merit Cross awardees Barbara Lemecha and Henrietta Nowakowski, and IT businessman OMA Comp’s Orest Melnyk. The ball, founded in 1972, is reportedly a highlight of Miami’s social season.
Oakland County Impact100 Happy Hour
Amy Tattrie Loepp, president of Oakland County Impact100, reports wide ranging conversations during the gathering at ML Café. Not surprising, given the variety of talents that arrived to sip, sup and network. This included caterer Vera Ambrose, interior designer Sue Hainer, business consultant Renee Axt, artist Carmem Gusmao, attorney Aisha Farooqi and Flashfood’s Danielle Todd. They also learned about Impact100’s philosophy - the power of collective philanthropy. Each member donates $1,000 each year and all vote on which non-profit will get the grant. The next event on the Impact100 Oakland County calendar is Saturday evening, March 7. (See details in the Social Lights Future Events section or go to https://www.impact100oaklandcounty.org/events.) The deadline for 2020 membership is March 31.
Send ideas for column coverage to Sally Gerak
at SamGerak@aol.com or to 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304
(Arthritis prevents Sally G from texting.)