• Sally Gerak

Social Lights May 2019

In this edition

  • Beyond Basics 20th Anniversary Gala: story & photos

  • SHINE Variety and FAR camps benefit: story & photos

  • Erin Go Bra(gh) CARE House benefit: story & photos

  • Academy of the Sacred Heart Annual Benefit: story & photos

  • West Point Society of Michigan Founders Day Dinner: story & photos

  • Women's Division Project HOPE on Safari: story & photos

  • Detroit Zoological Society Conservation Gala: story & photos

  • Friends of Preservation Bloomfield "Hamilton" Benefit: story & photos

  • Ted Lindsay Foundation Wine Tasting: story & photos


In future editions

  • ORT Michigan WINGO: story & photos

  • Brother Rice Irish Nite: story & photos

  • Junior League of Birmingham Little Black Dress Brunch: story & photos

  • Roeper School Scholarship Auction: story & photos

  • Alternatives for Girls Role Model Dinner: story & photos

  • Screening at the DIA of Call Me Bill: The William Davidson Story: story & photos

  • Questers "Looking Back - Vintage Fashion Luncheon: story & photos

  • JVS Human Services Trade Secrets: story & photos

  • FAR Therapeutic Arts & Recreation Sing Out 4 Kids: story & photos

  • Village Club Foundation Grant Awards Luncheon: story & photos

  • Oakland County Bar Foundation Signature Event: story & photos

  • Grace Centers of Hope Women Helping Women Luncheon & Fashion Show: story & photos

  • U. M. Mary H. Weiser Food Allergy Center Spring Luncheon: story & photos

  • Impact100 Oakland County 2019 Grant Total Reveal: story & photos

  • Project! Whose Your Bartender

  • Michigan Women Forward WomanUp & Celebrate


Beyond Basics 20th Anniversary Gala

“What a journey,” Pam Good noted after she got a standing ovation at the gala celebrating the very effective, in-school, literacy program she co-founded 20 years ago. The gala attracted 250 to the DAC for cocktails, dinner and a program emceed by board member Gina Coleman. So many memories and good stories. My favorite – one of the kids came from a home that did not have any books until he brought home the one he wrote and published at BB. Thanks to friendly cajoling by Jack Krasula that generated generous bidding for a stay at a Turks & Caicos villa and dedicated giving by supporters like Mort Harris, Gordon Follmer and Drew Peslar (to name only a few), the gala raised $342,000 for the program that gives kids a productive future by bringing struggling readers to grade level.




1. Co-founder / executive director Pam Good (center) with honoree Farbman's David Farbman and Suzy Farbman


2. Volunteers of the Year Sue Wilhelm and Sue Galambos

3. Gabby and sponsor Tim Wagerson, son of the late co-founder Joanne Wagerson

4. Judy, Rick and Katie Wallace

5. Board members Carolynn & Aron Frankel

6. Board chair Jack Aronson and advisory committee member / event auctioneer Jack Krasula

7. Tony Rea, Robert Dempster, Don Tocco

8. Suzanne Rea, Carolyn Rooney Dempster

9. Sha Tarra & Beyond Basic’s Javier Reed, Anthony& Mara Costa


10. Jean Carman, Graeme & Maria Womersley

11. Co-founder / executive director Pam Good, sponsors George & Kathleen McCann



SHINE ! Variety & FAR camps benefit

From the first note of Rainbow Connection that Ella sang to the final model on the Somerset South atrium runway, the annual SHINE fashion show produced lots of smiles and enthusiastic applause for the 26 youthful models. They had been prettied up by the talents at Alex Emilio Salon before dressing in the Somerset outfits they had selected (and get to keep). A Community Mentor accompanied each model. Ruthie Seltzer and Brooke Kircher chaired the Sunday afternoon event that raised $20,000 for Variety’s horseback riding and FAR’s Camp Sing Out programs for children with special needs.


1. Felicia Palazzolo Shaw and Claudine

2. Board president Lois Shaevsky and Jenna, Katelyn and Gina Coleman

3. Event chairs Brooke Kircher and Ruthie Seltzer and her niece Laini Seltzer

4. David King and Andrew


Erin Go Bra(gh) CARE House Benefit


“Blythe has blown it out of the park,” Kathy Broock Ballad declared. She was introducing her girlfriends to CARE House director Blythe Spitzbergen at the Village Club where they were gathered for her sixth annual St. Patrick’s Day charity cocktail party. Blythe spoke briefly about the problem of sex trafficking, how it starts, and how to spot it. Kathy thanked all for their gifts - bras for CARE House clients. “We all need support,” quipped she. And when the rack on which the donations were hanging collapsed, buddies from her Max Broock real estate team quickly put it back in the support business.


1. Hostess Kathy Broock Ballad, Janet Boitos, Lynn Novak, Sandy Czako, Amy Seneski

2. Alexandria Foranso, Allie Betz, Helen Reasoner, Cheryl Bournias

3. Patti Prowse, Dana Brophy

4. Patty Ghesquiere hangs up her donation

5. CC Homovec, Susan Post, Lindsay Aikens, Kelly Schuert, Jennifer Ghesquiere

6. Pam Trask, Amy Webberly

7. Dr. Deanna Lites, Terri Chapman, Andrea Schiller, Debbie Karr

8. Liz Lee, Stacey Mollison

9. The supporting cast


Academy of the Sacred Heart Annual Benefit

Secret Garden Gala


The Secret Garden theme Michelle Jonna and Karen Wilson chose for the ASH benefit was a welcome change after the rugged winter. It was, thankfully, winding down albeit with rain as school loyalists arrived at Bloomfield Hills Country Club where fantasy-sized posies stood at attention near the protected entry. The new, as of last summer, Head of School Damian Hermann and his wife Kristin, (who works at Eton Academy) were front and center greeters. More than 40 Patrons arrived early for a reception in the President’s Grill where a Giving Tree and two raffles competed with conversation. The silent auction nearby displayed 45 items which brought in $10,000. When all 175 guests arrived, the party moved upstairs and Gabby Antakli paid tribute to her grandmother Virginia Antakli, the 2019 Cor Unum honoree. A sense of family is a most discernible ASH difference, and the Antakli clan knows it well. Virginia’s lifelong ties to the worldwide community of schools began when she was in the sixth grade and she has shared them with all nine of her grandchildren. A video of cute kids (“Spend a lot of money, Mom”) preceded the live auction ($40,000) and paddle raise ($55,000). Thanks also to generous sponsors the annual fundraiser netted $176,00.


1. Honoree Virginia Antakli, board member John & Denise and Gabby Antakli

2. ASH board chair Ryan & Mara Marsh


3. Event co-chairs with their husbands Matt & Michelle Jonna and Karen & John Wilson

4. New ASH Head of School Damian & Kristin Hermann

5. Patrick & Kara Antonini Howe

6. Patron raffle winner Jim & Carol Burg

7. Diane Hofsess, John & Susan Markley Knight

8. Isabella & Carol Shaya, with lighted Giving Tree in background

10. Jacky & Erik Feinauer


11. Mary Lou Cochran, Stephanie Chaczyk, Connor Grant

12. Garden themed dessert

West Point Society of Michigan Founders Day Dinner

Nineteen future West Point cadets were among the 179 guests at the annual West Point Society of Michigan Founders Day Dinner at the Troy Marriott. The evening emceed, by WPSMI president Tom Lynch, included lots of toasts, “Beat Navy” cheers and public admission by alums of “total hours walked” (i.e. cadet punishment). Lynch had the most (200). He also generated enthusiasm for the Army vs Michigan tailgate and football game Sept. 7, the first meeting at the Big House since 1962. But the most memorable part of the evening was the talk by Colonel Cliff Worthy ’53 about his appointment to West Point in 1948 and the challenges for an African American cadet at that time. The nonagenarian, Bloomfield Hills resident’s book - “The Black Knight: An African-American Family’s Journey from West Point—A Life of Duty, Honor and Country” – is getting good reviews since its release in January.



1. Mike Carroll, Pat Carroll ’61, Cliff Worthy ’53, Henry Carroll ‘23, the third generation of his family to head to West Point

2. WPSMI President Tom Lynch ’82, Joe ’73 & Dianne Laura

3. WPSMI V.P. Jim Suhay ’66, Carmen Milia ’50

4. Temple Cumiskey ‘70, Walter Oehrlein ’65, Jim Fleming

5. Mitch Bonnett ‘65, Tom Hagan ‘80

6. Barbara Suhay, Joanne Cumiskey

Women’s Division Project HOPE on Safari

Diana Shoushanian and Tina Prevas took Hope on Safari to the Huron River Hunting & Fishing Club. Approximately 50 people made the trek to the 96-year-old private dinner club, originally located riverside near Brighton, now just north of M-5 in Farmington. Its current home is the third version and it retains the rustic décor its founders envisioned. WD guests embraced the hunting tag, many choosing animal print apparel. Lisa D. & Eric Harrington made music during cocktails, the dinner, which met with rave reviews, and afterwards for dancing. The late winter Saturday night safari, though devoid of wild animals, raised some $2,500 for Project HOPE’s global medical mission.

1. Co-chair Diana Shoushanian with Virginia Vartanian and Sona Manzo

2. Kixie Cosma, Anthony Thrubis, Rosemary Bannon, Patricia Thrubis, Anita & James Terry, co-chair Tina Prevas, (seated) Cathy Pikulas

4. Dr. Steve & Sherry Saginaw

5. Bob & Maggie Allesee, Contessa Bannon, Linda Juracek-Lipa & Larry Lipa

6. C J & Patty Ghesquiere

7. Chris & Sona Manzo, Nicole & Adam Wirick

8. Adriana & John McCulloch

9. Sue Anderson, Virginia Vartanian

10. Michele Carroll-Pearce, Chris Bellino, Caroline Reisner, Carolyn Carr

Conservation Gala

Detroit Zoological Society’s third annual Wildlife Conservation Gala, presented by Ford Motor Company, attracted more than 100 to the Detroit Zoo’s Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. Society loyalists like Bobbi and Stephen Polk, Peter Remington, Jonathan Holtzman and Lisa and Hanna Lis were spotted in the crowd that socialized and savored cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before the elegant seated dinner. In conjunction with the gala theme - “Saving Birds Around the World”- they also learned from DZS Executive Director / CEO Ron Kagan of the DZS’s extensive work in bird conservation. The highlight of the event was his presentation of the Nautilus Award to Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr., a professor of ornithology and conservation biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. He has worked for more than four decades to prevent bird collisions, which kill a staggering one billion birds every year in the U.S. alone. The evening netted $53,000 for the DZS’s wildlife conservation programs. (See the Social Calendar for news of Sunset at the Zoo, Friday, June 7.)


Dr. Daniel Klem, Jr. receives the Nautilus Award from DZS Ex.Dir/CEO Ron Kagan

The dinner scene in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery

Friends of Preservation Bloomfield "Hamilton" Benefit

Sue Nine is getting mega kudos for the super event she coordinated for Preservation Bloomfield. Having snagged 22 front row mezzanine seats for “Hamilton”, for a total of $300 per ticket she added dinner at The Heathers Club and party bus shuttle to and from the Fisher and still made $2,000 for the organization that is restoring the Barton Farmhouse and Craig Log Cabin at the Charles L. Bowers School Farm.


1. Sue Nine, holding cupcake topped by a mini "Hamilton"

2. Friends president Mia & Stan Materka

3. Sharon Jacobs, Betty Bright, Ginny Bennett

4. Ed & Karen Anderson

Ted Lindsay Foundation Wine Tasting

More than 230 people ($150 ticket) gathered at the San Marino Club to benefit autism research and education. Birmingham Wine’s Hélène Fertal offered each a pour of JP Chenet sparkling dry rosé before they checked the silent auction, buffets and other wine stations staffed by such celebrities as Frank and Karen Beckmann, Paul W Smith, Deena Centofanti, Jay Towers, BettyAnne and John Ogrodnick and Eddie Mio. Most looked for Lynn Lindsay Lapaugh, Meredith Lindsay Berman and and Blake Lindsay to repeat condolences conveyed the month before at their father’s wake. Foundation president Lew Lapaugh also invoked a moment of silence for Ted and his late wife Joanne before thanking honorary vintner Sonja Magdevski and Frank Beckman who conducted a brief live auction. For this reporter the feel good story of the night, relayed by Ted’s physical therapist John Czarnecki, confirmed that off the ice “Terrible Ted” was anything but. “For his 75th birthday party Ted had seated my wife and me at a table with the Yzermans, the Schembechlers and the Ilitches…He noticed we did not get to the party…And when he learned that it was because our two-year-old son who had autism (needed our attention), he said, ‘What is this autism? What can I do to help?’” recalled Czarnecki. Thus was born the Ted Lindsay Foundation and all it has achieved after "Terrible Ted" turned 75.


1. Lynn Lindsay Lapaugh, Susan Swider

2. WJR's Frank Beckmann, foundation president Lew Lapaugh, Steve Cooper

3. Dominic and John Czarnecki


4. Board member Steve Eick, Dave Provost, Doug Hellyar

5. Kari & Rob Gillette

6. Celebrity pourer Fox Sports Detroit’s Mickey Redmond with Red Wings anthem singer Karen Newman, WDZH’s Kim Adams and Dick Powell

7. Rochester Wine’s Jean-Jacques Fertal, Birmingham Wine’s Hélène Fertal


8. Marie Hauswirth, Kelli & Sam Haidle, Larry Sisson

9. Bob Zafarana, Genevieve Finley

10. Kathie Wolney, Mike Mast

Please send story ideas and requests for free copies of photos to SamGerak@AOL.com.












































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































812 views

by Sally G.

Sally G.

©2019-2020 Sally Gerak
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED