• Sally Gerak

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.


1. Event chairs Paul & Emily Buckles, Maya and ASH board chair Ryan Marsh
2. Keenie & Geoffrey Feiger
3. Ran & Patti Jessup, Sue & Rob Spangler
4. Townsend server, board member John Antakli, Robert Dempster
5. Board member Hans-Werner & Anke Kaas
6. Justin & Kelley Merenius Ruccolo, Katie Merenius, Mitch May
7. Denise Antakli, Caroline Rooney
8. Cedric & Jennifer Ballarin
9. Tina & Bob Byerlein, Polly & Steve Powell
10. Jim & Judy Bisignano
11. Tamara & Yousif Kareem
12. Chris Froling, A.J. Nafso, Maria & Armando Riccardo
13. Deone Larkins, Lesley Redwine
14. Kate & Jim Gwaltney
15. Martha & Chris Wilker
16. Mike McCormick, Mary Beth Carozza
17. Mike McCready, Glen Seaman
18. Former head of School Bridget Bearss, RSC, Head of School Damian Hermann
19. Nicole Pielecha, Len & Suzanne Tosto
20. Kelita Bak, Katie Lynch
21. Sue Spangler, Patti Jessup
22. Robert & Caroline Rooney Dempster

23. Sponsors

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.

1. TCH President/CEO Bill Seklar, honoree Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, Doreen Hermelin
2. Nancy Bolyard, honoree / board member Rose Pochmara Bolyard, Judy Pochmara
3. Chris Pochmara, honoree Chris Bolyard, Chris’ father Jake Bolyard

4. Denis Fortin, honoree / sponsor TCF’s Dave Provost, Denis Lincoln
5. Veronica Isaac, Jo Lincoln, Kim Fortin, honoree Christine Provost
6. Inductee Mills Pharmacy’s Beatrice & Pierre Boutrous
7. Honoree Keith Pomeroy, Eylse Foltin
9. Lisa & honoree Hannan Lis, honoree Mary Kramer & Bill Volz
10. Honoree Linda & Barry Solomon, Laurie & past honoree Dr. Jeff Fischgrund
11. Brian Casey & honoree Margaret Cooney Casey, Rick Herman & Deborah Tyner
12. Honoree DeRoy & Devereaux’s Christina & Sean Metrose…Photo: IGersh
13. Honorees Christine & Dave Provost…Photo: IGersh
14. Nora & honoree Dr. Brian Berman… Photo: IGersh
15. Honorees Pat & Gene Jacoby…. Photo: IGersh
16. Honoree Ethan Allen’s Tracee & John Meinel ...Photo: IGersh

17. Past honoree Carole & Keith Deyer, past honoree Jim & Barbara Suhay
18. Beth & board member Michael Willoughby
19. John & Deborah Schrot, Bob Pliska, Caroline Rooney & past honoree Robert Dempster
20. Past honorees Robb & Katie Harper
21. TCH board chair Brad Wolf & Laura Restum, past honoree Jeffrey & Ashleigh Imerman
22. Board member Ann & David Conrad
23. Eliot & board member Whitney Weiner
24. Sandie Knollenberg, Bill Storen, Ryan & Molly Daly
25. Mike & Kathy Schwartz
26. Alex May & Sal Salort-Pons
27. Cheryl & Paul Robertson
28. Event sponsors
29. Event sponsors

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.


1. Presenting sponsor Sturbridge Capital’s Meredith & Salam Chaudhery
2. Co-chair Johny Kello, Nathan Lake, co-chair Derrick Glencer

3. Sponsor / co-chair Terry Barr, co-chair Peter Schmidt
4. Sponsor Robert Greenstone, Joe O’Connor
5. Sarah & Tom Post, Susan Post
6. Rosemary O’Connor, Grace Fowler, Tatyanna Dadabbo
7. Tim Mrock, Dicran Haidostian
8. Club manager Paul Spencer, raffle volunteer, Becky Fisher, raffle chair Brad Steel
9. Leila Kello, Tara Barr
10. Walt Oehrlein, Rob Bradley
11. Raffle winner Rosemary O’Connor, Brad Steel, Becky Fisher
12. Sting Ray Jazz Trio
13. Event sponsors

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