• Sally Gerak

Social Lights November 2020

Events reported in this issue

  • Beyond Basics Garden Party

  • Women Rock Science at Cranbrook Institute of Science

  • Christ Child Society Golf Outing

  • Christ Child Society Night of Angels


Beyond Basics Garden Party

In spite of the pandemic forcing three date changes and one site change for the annual Beyond Basics fundraiser, Mother Nature warmly embraced the solution with idyllic weather for the party September 25 in the gardens of Jack Krasula’s Bloomfield Hills home. Covid-19 guidelines limited attendance to 100 guests and caterer Forte Belanger to plated service (appetizers plus grilled salmon, braised beef with a red wine demi glaze and mushroom risotto), but the alfresco affair was “a huge success’’, according to Katie Nienstadt. She coordinated the party with fellow BB staffer Angela Rampin. Program highlights included Elijah Craft’s moving description of how the literacy program changed his life and Curtis Backwell’s description of his Sound Mind Sound Body Academy’s partnership with Beyond Basics. Guests also applauded three award winners. Julie Rodecker of the DeRoy Testamentary received the 2020 “Whatever It Takes” award. President of Detroit Public Schools Community District Board of Education Dr. Iris Taylor accepted the “Partner of the Year” award. And Terry Rhadigan, Executive Director Communications Operations and Corporate Giving at General Motors, accepted the "Literacy Chair.” Thanks also to event sponsors, the Garden Party raised $150,000 to support BB’s impactful programs in 12 Detroit public schools.


1A. Beyond Basics board member Gina Coleman,

founder / president Pam Good


1B. Event coordinators Katie Nienstedt & Angela Rampin

2. BB founder/president Pam Good, DeRoy Testamentary’s

Julie Rodecker with the 2020 “Whatever It Takes” award

3. Pamela Good, DPSCD board president Iris Taylor

holding Partner of the Year award

4. Pam Good, GM’s Terry Rhadigan with

the Literacy Chair award

5. Manny Amezcua, Derrick & Gina Coleman, James & Demetra Reid, Katelyn Thomas, Paul Davis

6. Eric Esshaki, board member Stuart Dow

7. Mary & Paul Glantz

8. Susanne Forbes Dicker, Tracy Passmore Allen

9. Sound Mind Sound Body founder Curtis Backwell

10. Beyond Basics alumni Elijah Craft


11. Event sponsors


12. Dinner and program in the garden


13. Student artwork exhibit

Women Rock Science

Adele Acheson, Kelle Ilitch, Kim Reus and Linzie Venegas chaired the annual Cranbrook Institute of Science fundraiser which had to be virtual this year. The 400 sponsors and ticket holders got a sneak peek of the You Tube video the night before it went live. It’s notable for the inspiring biographies and remarks of the three STEAM champions who were honored and the views of the many outreach programs the institute conducts for nearly 34,000 Michigan PreK-12 students each year. Below, see some screen shots from the video, which you may also see in its entirety at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njPqP-SobcY. Thanks to the legions of generous sponsors, the event has raised more than $250,000.

1. Event co-chairs Adele Acheson, Kelle Ilitch, Kim Reus and Linzie Venegas

2. Virtual Gala host PNC’s Amy McClain

3. Outstanding Leader honoree Pres./CEO

CMS & Consumers Energy Patti Poppe

4. Outstanding Educator honoree Rahiel HouseyJohnson

5. Rock Star honoree planetary scientist

Cathy Olkin, a Cranbrook Kingswood alum

6. Pop Rocks program presenters

Lindsey Rogers, Becca Folsom

7. CIS Board chair / DTE’s Trevor Lauer

8. Sponsor PNC’s Rick DeVore

9. Cranbrook Institute of Science Director Michael Safford

10. Major event sponsors

Christ Child Society Golf Outing

Christ Child Society added a golf outing to its fundraising calendar last month and 108 golfers filled all the available spots at Indianwood Country Club. CC House Marketing and Development Coordinator JD Hess organized play and sponsorships. Tommy Fink, Andrew Hebden, Luke Wharton and Andrew Weiss were the winning men’s team. Julie Pulte, Carla Pettigrew, Susan Zessin and Katie Liesveld posted the lowest women’s score. Kyle Eick and Katie Liesveld hit the longest drives. Alex Susalla and Julie Pulte recorded closest to the pin shots. Thanks also to a raffle and generous sponsors (including NTVB Media, TCF Financial, Schwartz & Co. Financial Investors and Shannon Family Foundation), the inaugural event raised $55,852 for Christ Child House and the society’s extensive Layette and Literacy programs.

1. Terry (front left) & Kelly Winkler Patterson, Brian Roney (back left),

Kim Shafer, Michelle & John Kelly, John Shafer, Carol Roney

2. Maureen Cosgrove, Patty Dugan, Maria Glod, Karen Kearns

3. Spencer & Tatum Eick

4. Carol Grombala, Gail Haffey, Nora Hamill, Joslin Crowe

5. Michelle Kelley

6. Event coordinator JD Hess

Christ Child Society Night of Angels

A mere 10 days after the above-reported golf outing, Katie Gantner and Amy Gooch chaired the virtual version of the society’s annual Night of Angels gala. Instead of glamorous attire and a fancy venue, members hosted small, informal gatherings in their homes and watched a video. It started like the annual galas - with CCS chaplain Msgr. John Zenz’s welcome and a Grace Before Meals. Go to https://vimeo.com/471047527 to see the video with compelling testimony about the joyful programs that help heal the young residents of Christ Child House. Although this year’s event was socially distanced, the spirit of Christ Child still prevailed with generous donations that totaled nearly $120,000, exceeding the goal of $100,000. And the annual founder’s award went to all the society supporters whose generosity illustrates the group’s motto “Nothing is ever too much to do for a child.”


1. Mary Taylor, Julie Hamaty, Katie Parks, Colleen McGough


2. Karen Liddle, Katie Gantner, Murray Pierce

3. Chris Cosgrove, Steve Cosgrove, Julia Cosgrove, Maureen Cosgrove


4. Event co-chairs Katie Gantner and Amy Gooch


5. Christ Child Society president Chris Schwartz


6. Event art: “Angels Among Us” by Kathleen McInerney


7. Sweet host temptation



8. Celebration cake


Please send ideas for Social Lights to Sally Gerak

SamGerak@aol.com

26 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304


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by Sally G.

Sally G.

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