Social Lights March #1, 2020
Events reported in this issue
Academy of the Sacred Heart Benefit
The Community House Foundation Bates Street Society Dinner
Motor City Open Sponsors Party
Academy of the Sacred Heart Gala Benefit
This reporter recalls the late Phyllis Marra describing the early years of decorating the ASH gymnasium for the annual benefit - Hemlines and Horsepower - and reading in the society pages about her enchanting transformations and the auto executives and fashionistas spotted in the crowd. For the 63rd annual benefit, which long ago became an auction, this year’s chairs, Paul and Emily Buckles, chose a Roaring 20s A Grand Affair theme and the Townsend Hotel as the stage. ‘Twas a perfect match, and a lot less decorating labor for the committee. (An especially good call considering that Emily gave birth to their third child four weeks before the event.) More than 200 ASH boosters attended, including nonagenarian Theresa Gorman Mayer, ASH ’44, who drew the winning raffle ticket. Before dinner they socialized and bid $28,000 in the silent auction. In his brief welcoming remarks, board chair Ryan Marsh referenced “…the Sacred Heart difference” noting it was a home away from home for his four children. Following dinner, Iron Man auctioneer Chris Swanson generated $41,800 in the live auction of 10 items and $127,000 in pledges (which were increased by $100,000 from an anonymous donor). A Grand Affair grossed nearly $345,000.
Bates Street Society Dinner
The Community House Foundation staged a sold out (280) dinner party that accomplished a challenging mission. It spotlighted, very graciously, seven new inductees into the Bates Street Society for cumulative giving of $25,000 or more, two Leadership Award recipients Rose and Brian Bolyard and nine Pillars of Vibrancy. Maybe it was the champagne splashed cocktail hour, Ben Sharkey’s music and the outstanding cuisine that put all in a mellow mood. There were no tedious speeches. Emcee Huel Perkins introduced the pillars. Each spoke briefly when Pierre Boutrous gave them a crystal sculpture. Mary Kramer credited Jim Hayes for Crain’s Homecoming event that has generated $600-million in Detroit investments by ex-pats. Margaret Cooney Casey praised generous people present like Geoffry Hockman. Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz credited TCH for spanning partisan divides. Keith Pomeroy thanked his staff for making him look good. Dr. Brian Berman saluted his wife of 44 years. Hannan Lis said that many things unite us. Linda Solomon cited memorable past events held at TCH which “made me feel special.” Christine Provost noted that TCH has been the family’s second home since their children started in the Early Childhood Center when it was launched 29 years ago. Dave Provost cited his wife for making him “the luckiest guy alive.” It was indeed a feel good, warm kind of night. It also raised $150,000 for TCH, which receives no public funds and will be 100 years old in 2023.
Motor City Open Sponsors Party
Before the final, in which Peru’s Diego Elias bested the top-ranked squash professionals who played in the 21st annual squash tournament at the Birmingham Athletic Club, committee co-chair Derrick Glencer welcomed sponsors to a strolling dinner party following the first night of competition. The tournament purse ($76,000) is critical to attracting the best pros. Glencer was especially grateful to new presenting sponsor Sturbridge Capital and new co-chairs Terry Barr and Johny Kello. Music by Ray Burton’s Sting Ray Jazz Quartet accented the casual social but all paused to see who would win the cash raffle benefiting Racquet Up Detroit. Ta da! That would be Rosemary O’Connor, daughter of BAC members and Program Director at the non-profit that combines squash, mentoring and community service. Through the years, the event has raised $250,000 for Racquet Up programs.
Send ideas for Social Lights to Sally Gerak
28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304