Social Lights Nov. #2, 2019
Updated: Dec 13, 2019
Events in this issue
Detroit International Wine Auction - The Art of Wine
A Celebration of The Village Club
Detroit Uncorked for the Rainbow Connection
Guest House Bishop's Dinner
Yatooma Foundation Big Kid Costume Party
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Evening of Hope
Santa Society Cause for Claus
Rochester Women's Fund Shopping Benefit
Detroit International Wine Auction
Wine lovers were on cloud nine at the 38th annual Detroit International Wine Auction. The Art of Wine fundraiser for the College for Creative Studies attracted 300 enthusiasts ($1,500 & up tickets) to The Fillmore Detroit. During the reception, sipping wine competed for attention with bidding on the silent auction art which raised $38,575. (Fashion statements by such dapper dudes as GM creative designer Chris Webb and Tiffany Director Glen Ross also turned heads. See photo gallery.) When guests were seated for dinner, CCS Board Chair Jim Nicholson, new President Don Tuski and Gerard Bertrand winemaker Stephane Queralt took turns revving them up for Fritz Hattorn’s adroit auctioneering of 27 lots. Queralt smiled broadly when his winery’s Grand Lot sold for $20,000, making the live auction total $237,900. Then a video starring CCS scholarship recipients inspired pledges totaling another $150,000. While bidding, people also savored Forte Belanger’s superb, five course dinner (see the menu in the photo gallery). Some had sufficient energy to stay for the afterglow that featured passed desserts and Ben Sharkey’s music. The evening was chaired by Vivian Pickard, Don Manvel, and the Matt Cullens, Dave Meadors and Jim Nicholsons. It grossed more than $1.5-million for scholarships at the college and free art programs for Detroit youth.
The Village Club Celebration
The structure that is now The Village Club in Bloomfield Hills was named Robin Hood’s Barn by advertising executive Charlie Winningham when he bought it in 1919. (A previous owner had remodeled it to include a barn and Winningham was a Robin Hood aficionada. He also named his sea-going yacht Maid Marion.) Seventy-five people, including Gail Winngham MacLain who grew up in Robin Hood’s Barn, celebrated the centennial of that purchase at a dinner party in the Winningham Room. Gail, who now lives in Florida, shared stories: she would surprise guests by popping out of the secret cupboard in the foyer during her parents’ many parties; she was once discovered fast asleep in an apple tree on the seven-acre grounds; she met many of her father’s famous friends like Henry Ford, Charles Lindberg and Babe Ruth. Guests also perused a number of historic scrapbooks and posters created by Club Historian and past president Lou Simpson. To further honor the event a commemorative plaque now hangs next to the front door. The Village Club will celebrate its own centennial in 2056. Go to https://www.thevillageclub.org/ for more information about its history and programs.
The Detroit Wine Organization (it promotes wine education and enjoyment and supports local charities), staged its 15th annual fundraiser, this year for The Rainbow Connection, in the Apparatus Room at the Detroit Foundation Hotel and nearly 500 people ($100, $125 tickets) attended. Volunteer pourers served more than 300 wines to go with comestibles from 15 eateries. Other diversions included a silent auction ($7,400), a wine wall ($2,400) and a raffle for a Sonoma Valley trip ($100 tickets) all accompanied by Dan Tillery’s music. The three-hour event was preceded by a reception for sponsors and raised more than $106,000 for The Rainbow Connection’s wish grants to seriously ill children. To sign up for free membership in the wine organization go to www.detroitwine.org. For more information about The Rainbow Connection, including the Nov. 24 Celebration of Dreams, go to https://www.rainbowconnection.org/.
Guest House Bishop’s Dinner
More than 300 ($250 ticket) attended the 61st annual Detroit Bishop’s Dinner at The Henry Ford’s Lovett Hall. Chuck Gaidica emceed the program in which event chair Bob Babinski presented awards to Fr. Edward Prus, Fr. Edward Zaorski and Loretta Nagle Ryan for her charitable works. In the keynote speech Sacred Heart Major Seminary President Msgr. Todd Lajiness likened a good priest to a strong bridge to Christ. Proceeds support the Guest House ministry of recovery and wellness for clergy suffering from addictions.
Yatooma Foundation Big Kids Costume Party
The finale of the Yatooma Foundation for the Kids two-part, golf & gala fundraiser attracted more than 350 ($300 ticket) to Detroit’s Garden Theatre. Many in costume, as per the party theme. A silent auction coordinated by Jenn Mylnarek and Char Wells and Simone Vitale’s music provided diversion before the program emceed by Paul W. Smith wearing an “avocado head.” It included “Stand By Me” and other selections by some Detroit Youth Choir singers (fresh from wowing the nation on “America’s Got Talent”). Hollie Jackson, the mother of choir member Gwendolyn, got a rousing ovation when she told how helpful the Yatooma Foundation had been to her family of six kids (providing everything from help with bills to an eight-day Disney World trip) since their father’s death seven years ago). An auction ($36,900) and dedicated giving conducted with vigor by Wade Leist preceded the winning costume announcement: David C. McKnight as a Drama Queen Zombie was first; Ross Schoenherr as Captain Morgan was second. The golf event and the festive evening chaired by Pam Good and Jack Krasula raised nearly $350,000 to help families who have lost a parent, as foundation founder Norman Yatooma did in 2003.
Crohns & Colitis Foundation Evening of Hope
The 42nd annual CCF fundraiser replaced the long-standing Evening at the Movies theme with a vintage Las Vegas spin and it attracted 320 ($225 & up tickets) to the MGM Grand Detroit. They were greeted by two glamorous show girls (actually volunteers, including Crohn’s patient / top CCF fund raiser Natalie Madison). Other costumed volunteers were selling $100 raffle tickets (60) for a VIP trip to Las Vegas while guests socialized, sipped and “shopped” 36 silent auction baskets ($11,315). Fox 2’s Lee Thomas emceed the post dinner program. It had highlights, not the least of which was law student Suktiti Saxena’s saga of living with Crohn’s since the age of seven. Both she and awardee / pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Souheil Gebara extolled the benefits of Camp Oasis for children with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease). When Sander Levin was honored, he referenced family members with the disease. Auctioneer Jerick Miller cajoled guests to pledge $36,000. Thanks also to generous sponsors the event raised more than $190,000 for research and patient quality of life improvement.
Santa Society Cause for Claus
The 22 good guys that comprise the Santa Society tossed their 27th annual party at the Troy Marriott and nearly 400 people arrived bearing donations to the US Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots program. The guys are: Mario Apruzzese, Richard Bloom, Robert Bloom, Dave Boor, Mark Boswell, Jack Bourget, Kevin Brown, Keith Butler, Lee Cabelof, Dave Costa, Ray Dallavecchia, Matt Damman, Steven Dempsey, Mike Guerin, Hillary Heacock, Jason Phillips, Jim LaHaie, Michael Obloy, Harry Radtke, Norm Skomski Tim Turner and Jim Wood. They pay for the ballroom, the band (Tedi Mind Trip), hors d’oeuvres and decorations. The joy they produce for needy children is priceless.
Rochester Women’s Fund Just Us Girls Stroll
Three Rochester shop owners - Valerie Keuten, Pamela Krampf and Dianne Elnicky - enlisted fellow business owners to participate in a shopping benefit for the Women’s Fund. Penny Black, Nothing Bundt Cakes and Linos provided food for guests to savor as they strolled from shop to shop and Dessert Oasis hosted an afterglow. The evening raised $7,150 through ticket sales and a percent of sales. Over the past 18 years, the Women's Fund has donated more than $300,000 to organizations helping women. The fund is a permanently endowed fund owned and administered by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester. Through grant-making, the Fund provides ongoing and future support for programs that aid women while preserving and managing its donations in perpetuity by spending only the fund's income and annual earnings. For more information on the Women’s Fund, go to www.womensfundrochester.org.
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