• Sally Gerak

Social Lights July #1, 2019

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

In this issue:

  • JVS Human Services Trade Secrets

  • FAR Sing Out 4 Kids

  • Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation Celebration

  • Village Club Foundation Grants Luncheon

  • Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature Event

  • Grace Centers of Hope Women Helping Women

  • Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Clinic Spring Luncheon

  • Impact100 Oakland County Grant Total Reveal

  • ORT & the City

  • Beyond Basics Literacy Luncheon


JVS Human Services Trade Secrets

Roz Blanck, Kristen Gross and Linda Schlesinger-Wagner chaired the 11th annual JVS Human Services fundraiser that brought 480 supporters ($150 & up tickets) to the Troy Marriott. Woman to Work awardee Luisa Harrington and honorary chair Mindi Fynke provided the program highlights with their personal stories and advice. Harrington said her struggles taught her, “In life you will meet two kinds of people – ones who build you up and ones who tear you down. But in the end, you will thank them both.” Fynke, president and CEO of one of the largest woman-owned pharmacy benefits management companies in the US, concluded her keynote address with “…you can’t know everything but you can learn anything.” Thanks to generous sponsors and the signature raffle of 50-plus packages, the event raised $240,000 for JVS women’s employment programs which have transformed the lives of over 2,200 women for more than 30 years. (Photo credit: Larry Peplin)


1. Co-chairs: Roz Blanck and sponsor Kristen Gross, Honorary Chair Mindi Fynke, co-chair / sponsor Linda Schlesinger-Wagner

2. Beverly and Arthur Liss

3. JVS Pres. / CEO Leah Rosenbaum presenting Women to Work Award to Luisa Harrington

4. Fran and George Stern

5. Patrick Lannen, committee member Carol Craine, Lena Epstein Medwed, Eric Medwed

6. Sponsors Jack and Annette Aronson

7. Ligia Forgaciu, Nancy Goldman, sponsor Butzel Long’s Beth Gotthelf

8. Gail & Don Lansky

9. Beth Sills, Robin Fenberg, Jorin Rubin


10. Sponsor Molly Chernow, Aileen Canu

11. Teri Sahn Silver, sponsor Carolyn Krieger

12. Vicki Galperin and sponsor Glen Fisher

13. Eileen Kelly, Rodney Drew

14. Alicia Lamont, Mindi Fynke, Mary Taylor

15. Adele Weisler, Judy Greenwald

16. Luisa Harrington, Sherry Margolis

FAR Sing Out 4 Kids

The musical fundraiser for FAR’s therapeutic arts programs was chaired by Karla Sherry and Anna Giammarco. It attracted 170 ($150, $200 tickets) to the Townsend Hotel where food stations abundant with savories and 24 silent auction items ($7,400) were pre-concert diversions. The program emceed by Roop Raj included a tribute to the late Ted Lindsay and bofffo performances. Two duos - FAR client Angelina / music therapist Renae Murphy and father/son team Leo & Mark Palmer – earned standing ovations; the former for “True Colors”, the Palmer’s for “I’m Just a Call Away” from Superman. Also roundly applauded were the talented Steve Acho, Colleen Beaton, Stevie Soul, John Reisen (by video), Dahn Brickner and Greg Stryker, who struck a perfect note when he sang the song he wrote for FAR about how love can move mountains, “We’ve Come So Far.” Auctioneer Gregory Bator jazzed up the intermission by getting three people to pay a total of $16,700 for a private John Reisen concert and two more to pay $10,000 each for a private dinner by Chef John for 20 guests at the Walnut Lake home of Glenn Charest. The live auction ($39,700 total) and dedicated giving ($31,200) plus generous sponsors brought the event proceeds to a nifty $114,000.


1. Event chairs Karla Sherry and Anna Giammarco

2. Board chairs: Michael Brennan (immediate past), Ryan Husaynu (present), John Ashcraft (past)

3. Adam Dabaldo, FAR President Pamela Ayres


4. Ted Lindsay Foundation’s Lew & Lynn Lindsay Lapaugh and Don & Carol Fichter

5. Singer Greg Stryker, Heather Jiles, auctioneer Gregory Bator


6. Julie Booksh & emcee Fox 2’s Roop Raj, Annabel Cohen

7. Cheryl Nestro, Raffaella Navrato , sponsor Cindy Schiano

8. Dan Navrato, Donna & Mario Stante

9. Sponsors

Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation Celebration

The public schools’ foundation moved its annual Celebration from a country club to attorney Jessica Woll’s art-filled home and 150 ($125, $250 ticket) attended. Thanks to a live auction and generous sponsors, the party raised $80,000 for foundation enrichment grants. But the highlight of the evening was the salute to eight Inspirational Educators nominated by their students: David Jenvey (BHHS), Scott Sugg (BHMS); Lauren Rowe (East Hills MS), Mark Honeyman (West Hills MS), Sarah MacLeod (Conant), Ann Keenan (Eastover), Barbara Winkfield (Lone Pine) and Brad Davison (Way). Each was lauded with notes from their students like Eastover third grader Michael: “… (Mrs. Keenan) makes me feel smart and important. I love being in Mrs. Keenan’s class.”



1. Host Jessica Woll, event chairs Lea & Billy Narens


2. Inspirational Educators: Brad Davidson, Sarah MacLeod, Mark Honeyman, Barb Winkfield, Scott Sugg, Lauren Rowe, David Jenvey, Ann Keenan


3. Student musicians

4. Sponsors


5. Untitled frieze by Matt Blake, which elevates toy army men and other garage sale junk to temple status

6. One in a series of portraits of India Stewart: photograph on stretched canvas by Vickie Nelson of Shine Studios


Village Club Foundation Grants Luncheon

Annie Ellis chaired the sold out (210) luncheon for members and recipients. It put two of the foundation’s 49 grant recipients in the spotlight. Jenni Darden from Connect Us, which empowers severely disabled individuals to manufacture products for non-profit organizations, shared a video showing CU clients at work. Samantha Farr from Women Who Weld explained the huge shortage of welders and the 100% completion and employment rates of her program. Sue Sweeney praised her committee (32 members) that vetted the applicants who shared the $191,000. This brings to $2,730,756 the total given to non-profits since the foundation was formed in 1983.


1. Past foundation president Carol Litka, grants trustee Susan Sweeney


2. Special events chair Anne Ellis, foundation president Sandra Pott, past president Rita Margherio


3. VC Foundation trustees Ann Manix and Cathleen Clancy


4. Kathy Hutson, Becky McLennan, Jan Hewlett


5. Suzie Marrella (standing left), Pat Marrella, Women Who Weld’s Corey Ciotti (seated left) & Samantha Farr

6. Assistance League of Southeastern Michigan’s Cindy Cirar, Ann Drake and Betty Zych


7. Committee members Judy Kramer and Marty Londeck

8. 2019 Grant recipients

Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature Event

The annual bar foundation fundraiser attracted more than 400 members of the legal community to Oakland Hills Country Club for sipping, supping and socializing. Their attendance signifies endorsement for the impactful community programs funded by foundation grants. These include such organizations as CARE House, the Family Law Assistance Project, Beaumont Patient Legal Support Program, Southwest Detroit Immigrant and Refugee Center and the Youth Law Conference to name a few. (Grant application information is available at http://www.ocba.org/apply-for-an-ocbf-grant.) Most of the foundation board members arrived early for a group picture on the iconic veranda of the world-famous club. You’d never guess, from the goodwill that reigns at this cocktail supper party, that many guests are serious courtroom rivals. Their camaraderie raised more than $238,000.


Foundation Board of Trustees with president Veronica Leonard center of front row.

Grace Centers of Hope Women Helping Women

When Sarah and Mary told about their previous lives, it was easy to see why nearly 600 flocked to the Royal Park Hotel to support the programs at Grace Centers of Hope. The women are, as Sarah said, “…new creation(s) transformed by God’s grace.” They both graduated from the program, met their husbands there and now work there. They were highlights of the luncheon program emceed by 910 AM’s Angela Moore. It also included a disturbing “Nightmare” short film, a happy video of Luigi Bruni and his salon staff transforming GCoH clients, and a super RGA Model Management fashion show commentated by Cheryl Hall Lindsay. It showcased client models and pros in apparel from Lilly Pulitzer, Vineyard Vines, Max Mara, Intermix, J. McLaughlin, Christiane LaRue, Nina McLemore and Simply Marcella. Thanks to the huge silent auction ($41,000), a raffle ($21,500) and generous sponsors, the 25th annual event grossed more than $200,000.


1. Molly Conway, Laura Kachan, Marcie Kelkar, Valerie Clark

2. Amy Francis, Yuni Lang wearing a Mr. Song butterfly fascinator

3. Sponsor Volkwagen’s Rachael Zaluzec and Dree Harrison (right) with her daughter Lexi

4. Committee members Lynn Oates and Kathy Shelton

5. Kim Dahring, sponsor Emerald City Designs’ David C. McKnight, Deanna Kavanaugh

6. Sponsors

Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Clinic Spring Luncheon

When you learn, as this reporter did from Michigan Medicine’s MHW Food Allergy Clinic director Dr. Jim Baker, that an 11-year-old died brushing her teeth because the toothpaste contained milk protein and she was allergic to it, you realize the significance of the clinic’s mission. It attracted 325 supporters to Knollwood Country Club for the fifth annual benefit Spring Luncheon. A panel discussion preceded the luncheon. It was highlighted by a video and “the allergy guy” Kyle Dine’s presentation of his personal story and the importance of research. Three young people with food allergies - Violet Perakis, Alexander Prodan and Gabriella Golden – also had microphone duty. Generous sponsors and a silent auction brought proceeds to $215,000.


1. Gabriella and honorary co-chair Hilary Golden


2. Honorary co-chair Marla Davidson Karimipour, Suzy Farbman, Dorothy Davidson Gerson, Erica Gerson Ward

3. Sponsor Dr. Emily Levin, host committee member Dana LaKritz Marcus, her mother Cheryl LaKritz


4. “The Allergy Guy” Kyle Dine (center), event co-chairs Adriane Perakis (left) and Kim Prodan

5. Elizabeth May, her daughter, honorary co-chair Stacy Klein

6. Nikki Schwartz, Kristin Riga, Freddie Harvith, Jackie Coleman

7. Doris August, her daughter-in-law / committee member / sponsor Kathy and granddaughter Aliza August

8. Mallory Shaevsky, host committee members / sponsors Lois and Missy Shaevsky

9. Ben Shaevsky, host committee member / sponsor Marlo and Tom Shaevsky

10. Cathy Schwartz, Anne Berluczhi, Hilary Borman

11. Sannnon Anderson, Stephanie Toma, Taniz Yatooma, Ashley Goldberg

12. Sponsors

Impact100 Oakland County Grant Total Reveal

An event generously hosted by Saks Fifth Avenue illustrated a truth of that 1985 kitschy movie, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Some 150 Impact100 members and their guests socialized big time, sipped, nibbled, shopped, applauded dancers from Birmingham’s Next Step Broadway and SFA models in a short and sweet fashion show before getting down to the business of learning how many dollars they would give away. Shaina Allen introduced the seven women who had hosted new member recruitment house parties and they worked the runway before removing their jackets. Ta Da. Numbers on six backs and a comma on Colleen Miller’s baby bump revealed that 306 women (including 100 new this year) had given $1,000 each to make their philanthropy impactful. All the applicants are being vetted and, in the Fall, members will reconvene to hear some of their pitches before voting on which three will each receive $100,200. For more information go to www.impact100oaklandcounty.org.


1. President Mary Pat Rosen, new member Kat Phillips

2. New members Kristen Von Bernthal, Sherie Dobbie

3. New members Rosanne Siegal, Nina Weina, Sanamtha Ruma, Robyn Gilleran

4. New members Leena Gupta, Dilnaz Panjhni, Patricia Luber

5. Guest Andrea Chorkazwk, new member Kara Szpondowski

6. Veteran member Veronica Thomas, new members Rebecca Hanrahan and Monica Twomey

7. Impact 100 house party hostesses: Rochelle Adkinson, Francine Nesti, Angel Lau, Colleen Miller, Veronica T homas, Deb Michael, Allison DeCapite

8. House party hostesses revealing the 2019 grant total

9. Helmet Lang lilac satin dress, AG denim jacket

10. Cing a Sept yellow, front tie ruffle one shoulder dress

11. Jonathan Slimkhai polka dot ruffle dress

ORT & the City

Nearly 400 ORT supporters gathered at Shed 5 in Eastern Market for the fifth annual fundraiser chaired by Elizabeth Belkin, Stephanie Freedman, and Marlo Scott. They bought raffle tickets, socialized, sipped, noshed on passed hors d’oeuvres and on food truck fare (Plum’s Side Car, Pita Post, and Cheese Street) and bought all 24 of the art works on display. The casual event raised more than $100,000 to support ORT’s worldwide programs that educate the disadvantaged. The next ORT fundraiser - the popular annual Rub-A-Dub - is August 20 at Franklin Hills Country Club.


1. Artist / sponsor Brenda Rosenberg beside her photo art “Masked Orchids” The statement card: “Underneath the masks we wear lies the connection we all share.”

2. Erik & Andrea Morganroth, Nedda Shayotta

3. Andrew Luckoff, Julie Marx, Tony Fayne, Benji Rosenzweig

4. ORT chapter president Scott Marcus (center), event co-chairs Elizabeth Belkin (left) and Marlo Scott. Co-chair not pictured – Stephanie Freedman

5. Max & Caryn Emmer

6. Past ORT presidents: Andi Wolfe, Robbie Sherman and Doreen Hermelin

7. Steve Linn & Laura Segal beside “Masked Orchids” by Brenda Rosenberg

8. Stuart & Hilary Borman

9. Sponsor Mackey & Mackey’s Al Broida & Erin Epstein

10. Event sponsors

11. Corporate artist sponsors & their artist

12. Artists

13. Artist sponsors

Beyond Basics Literacy Luncheon

Lareea Jester’s powerful rendition of “One Moment in Time” was a perfect prelude to the inspirational efforts spotlighted at the annual Literacy Luncheon. It brought 144 to the Detroit Athletic Club and raised more than $105,000 for Beyond Basics. The program emceed by Gina Coleman saluted the passions and vision of Emily and Henry Ford III, Laurie and Tom Cunnington plus Give Merit’s FATE program (https://givemerit.org/) and Life Remodeled’s neighborhood renovation projects (www.liferemodeled.com). Henry Wells also spoke briefly of what he sees at his Westside Christian Academy: “…Kids come to us with a huge achievement gap. Beyond Basics comes with loving, caring hearts…(Detroit) needs Beyond Basics in every school.”


1. Marisa Wege, Elizabeth Runyon, Kara Antonini Howe

2. Board members / sponsors Carolynn & Aron Frankel, BB co-founder/president Pam Good

3. Honoree Emily Ford with Brooke Fisher, Katie Bologna, Katherine Merszie

4. Patrick Cunnington, honoree Tom Cunnington, Westside Christian Academy’s Mike Thomas

5. Manuel Amezcua, honorees Life Remodeled’s Chris & Andrea Lambert

6. Sue Wilhelm, board chair / sponsor Artichoke Garlic Foundation’s Jack & Annette Aronson

7. Robert Dempster & Carolyn Rooney Dempster, Sandy Morrison, advisory board member Jack Krasula

8. Honorees Merit’s David Merritt and Kuhu Saha with Priscilla Perkins

9. Allison deWindt Hull, Lisette Keil, Maggie Durant, Josee-Anne Wakefield

10. Shaina Allen, Lexi Hallahan, Rose Abbott, Melissa Kuhn

11. Shawn Ciavattone, Ric DeVore

12. Jean Carman, Susanne Dicker Forbes

13. Event sponsors



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by Sally G.

Sally G.

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