• Sally Gerak

Social Lights Oct. #2, 2019

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

In this issue

  • Bloomfield Hills Garden Club 90th Anniversary

  • Karmanos Partners Night

  • A House Party at Cranbrook

  • American Cancer Society Cattle Baron's Ball

  • Haven - Detroit Lions Tailgate

  • Bridge for Angels

  • Holy Name Knights of Columbus Fall Classic Dinner

  • Beaumont Health Wine for the Spirit

  • Design Challenge

Bloomfield Hills Garden Club 90th Anniversary

President Julie Beals' historical research provided the highlights at the Bloomfield Hills Country Club dinner party celebrating the Bloomfield Hills Garden Club’s 90th anniversary. Not only did she create souvenir booklets with copies of historical documents and photos for each member, she also condensed hours of archival research into noteworthy morsels. For example, the branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association was founded at the old Fox & Hounds restaurant in 1929 by Clara (Mrs. Henry) Ford the first year she was the national president. She accepted the presidency with the vision of establishing branches throughout the country to provide horticultural and agricultural scholarships for women and to help farmers market their products. Members would help farm women can fruits and vegetables, make jams and work at the county fairs. But the roadside farm stand was also her idea. Stands would bring urban folks out to the countryside to buy produce. Driving their Model A Fords, of course! The 119 current garden club members no longer don aprons to work the county fairs, but they do organize educational seminars and have become a 501 © 3 non-profit to fund raise for such philanthropic missions as Belle Isle Daffodil Day. The latter was started by member Cicely O’Connor 11 years ago and has resulted in the planting of 500,000 bulbs. WNF&GA Michigan Division President Sheila Kneeshaw was at the anniversary celebration to present the club an award in honor of their 90 years of community service.


1. Rick Williams, Charli & Chuck Podowski

2. Cindy Carney, president Julie Beals, Karen Caserio, Molly Saeli

3. Richard Brodie, James Henderson, past president Lynn Ferron, Robin Henderson, J Ferron

4. Past presidents Joanne Brodie and Beverly Moore with Barbara Denomme

5. Molly Markley, Anne Kraus

6. Michael & Margie Kell, president Julie & Joseph Beals

7. Gwen North, past president Debbie Erb

8. Past presidents Lynn Stinson and Judith Darin with Rita Buschmann

9. Ellen Rogers, Joyce Helms, Henry Carels

10. Tom & Lauren Balames

11. Joe Caserio, John Anderson, Tom Strickland

12. John Erb, past president Debbie Erb

13. Past president Maureen D’Avanzo, Justine Noel, Patty Black

14. Susan Lucken, Karen Caserio

15. Tim Kraus, Ken Way, Joe Caserio

16. President Julie Beals, Michigan Division President Sheila Kneeshaw

17.One of the member-made centerpieces

Karmanos Partners Night

Matt Melchior and Hilary Notaro chaired the 26th annual Karmanos Partners Night which brought more than 300 ($175, $95 tickets) to the historic State Savings Bank building to raise more than $350,000 for research at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. They also socialized, sipped, supped, bid $9,315 in the silent auction and bought raffle tickets. The highlights of the evening were inspiring remarks by current cancer patient Amanda Hofbauer and cancer survivor Ryan LaFontaine, whose U CAN-CER VIVE Foundation has raised more than $2-million since established in 2016 to support cancer research. The LaFontaine Automotive family led the giving charge at Partners Night with a generous donation match of $40,000 to impact cancer research. The offer to double a donation expires the end of the year. To contribute go to www.karmanos.org/partners.


A House Party at Cranbrook

The second House Party benefit for the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, chaired by Barbara Askar-Kouza and Beth Lilley, attracted 135 guests ($425 & up ticket). More than half of them arrived early to tour the past, present, and future archives repositories - historic Thornlea, the Collections Wing at the art museum and the proposed permanent location at Lyon House. All then convened at Cranbrook House (moments before a torrential rain tried, unsuccessfully, to separate the tented terrace from the House). Cocktails and an extremely spirited live auction followed a short program. It was replete with kudos. CEC president Dom DiMarco praised the board, including new president / the second alum to lead it, Mark Reuss. (The first was Wayne Lyon, who supported the CEC purchase of the above-mentioned future archives home). New CCCR chair Beth Willoughby extolled Sandy Smith, who served the CCCR as chair for six years. CCCR Director Greg Wittkopp thanked his staff and the event chairs. Then, after cajoling guests to bid more than $74,000 for 10 exceptional items, auctioneer Gregory Bator encouraged them to pledge another $25,000 for the Lyon House renovation. The mid-century inspired dinner that followed - think Caesar salad, vichyssoise, meat and potatoes, (that would be tenderloin, of course) - was served at tables set throughout the house. They were notable for their gorgeous flowers and a humorous nod to the 50s - cigarettes displayed in votive glasses. Night caps back on the terrace were quaffed to music by T Bone Paxton & the RJ Spangler Ban. The History in the Making themed soiree grossed about $260,000 to support a permanent home for Cranbrook’s Archives. They comprise more than 1.5 million documents that show the National Historic Landmark’s impact on architecture, art, design, science, and creative thought.


1. Sponsors Christopher & host committee co-chair Barbara Askar Kouza (they hosted the Patron Party at the Monarch Club), CCCR Subcomittee chair Beth & sponsor Mike Willoughby

2. Kim & Cranbrook Educational Community board chair Mark Reuss

3. CCCR Subcommittee member Bobbi & Stephen Polk, host committee member Sandy Smith (immediate past six-year CCCR Subcommittee chair)


4. Sponsors Carolynn (also a CCCR Subcommittee member) & Aaron Frankel

5. Jonathan & host committee member Marisa Wege

6. Kate Stella, Dr. Larry Larson, CCCR Subcommittee member Janice King

7. Debbie & John Erb

8. Tom & Missy Mark, Patsy & Paul Hartmann

9. Joyce & Myron LaBan

10. Major sponsors

11. Event sponsors

12. Table host donors

Cattle Baron’s Ball

The 17th annual American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball attracted 400 supporters to Novi’s Suburban Collection Showplace for western themed frivolity, country music, dining on the stroll and silent and live auctions. Cooper-Standard’s Christopher Couch was the honorary chair of the event that saluted: Beaumont Health, Oakland U basketball Coach Greg Kampe, Real Men Wear Pink Ambassador Jeffrey Sheehan, The Suburban Collection, TNG Worldwide and volunteer / committee member Melissa Bunker. The latter received the Cowger Leadership Award, the local’s highest volunteer honor, named after Gary & Kay Cowger, who headed the first event in 2004. At the conclusion of the evening, ACS announced that $17-million has now been raised by the toe tapping event.

HAVEN - Detroit Lions Tailgate

The seventh annual Detroit Lions-focused fundraiser for HAVEN’s domestic violence prevention and survivors’ programs attracted 100 supporters ($150, $125, $65 tickets) and a dozen volunteers to the Birmingham Athletic Club. Included in the crowd were Lions Legends Eddie Murray, who pitched the HAVEN mission briefly at half time, Luther Blue and Maurice (Moe) Harvey. A few folks ventured outside to play corn hole but most were happy to watch the Lions-Eagles game on TV, which, unlike the six previous events, ended with a Lions victory. Other diversions were buffet and bar fare, the squares chances, a silent auction, and the live auction by Jim Albon that raised $1,700 for two items. But survivor, slam poet Kelly “Native Child” Mays supplied the most thought-provoking memory. Her powerful presentation of “The Darkness of Nightmares” included the drama of her young daughter saving her life by convincing her to leave her abuser. Event proceeds of $30,000 support the 43-year-old organization’s cost-free programs for more than 30,000 people annually.


1. Sponsor / board member Bill Keller, emcee WXYZ’s Ann Marie Laflamme

2. Committee member Bernie White, Kristin Supancich

3. Volunteer Janice Lovchuk, HAVEN Pres/CEO Aimee Nimeh, board chair Debra Thorpe

4. Sponsor Brad Simmons, past board member Rick Beer

5. Sponsor Magna International’s Nitya & Sukhi Rai and Candice & Tom Skorupa

6. Paoao & board member Carla Sarti, Melanie & Chris Scott

7. Mandi Hill, Amy Kennedy, sponsor Crestmark Bank’s Terri Haynes and Heather Felske

8. Volunteer Tatiana Jaacks, committee member Sharon Ashcraft, Bob & Lori Keller Hogan

9. Detroit Lions legend Eddie Murray, Mike & sponsor Beaumont’s Christine Matthews

10. Lions Legend Luther Blue, Caitlin Blu, Lions Legend Maurice (Moe) Harvey & Cheryl Harris

11. Volunteers Kate & Mike Scharf

12. Rachel, 5-month-old James & John Ross

13. Hal & Mickie Miller

14. Sponsors

Bridge for Angels

Gwen North and Julie Beals chaired the second bridge Angels' Place fundraiser that brought 60 players ($100 each) to Oakland Hills Country Club where popular instructor Lynn Root coordinated the duplicate tables. At the conclusion of play, winners were announced: Marianne Gard, Peggy Kross, Lori London and Kathy Landschulz. But the take away for most was what Angels' Place director Cheryl Loveday shared during her thank you remarks when play paused for lunch. She told of a new Angels' Place resident, a 65-year-old gentleman whose 90-year-old mother could no longer be his care giver. He had never uttered more than a single word during the months he had been an AP resident. But after going to his first-ever Tigers’ game with the other residents, he talked excitedly, non-stop for ten minutes about the experience. “That the Tigers lost did not matter in the least,” she recalled. The next Angles' Place fundraiser - Fall Fest - is 4:30 to 7:30 pm, Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Royal Oak Farmers Market. Plans for the family friendly event include carnival games, petting zoo, inflatables, food and beverages, craft beer, music and dancing. For tickets ($20-individual, $85-family of five and up) go to https://www.angelsplace.com/events. While there, also check out the 27th Annual Dinner, Nov.14 starring musician Amy Grant.


1. Sally Atkinson, Karen Kearns, Susan Withrow, event co-chair Gwen North

2. Kelly Cash, event co-chair Julie Beals, Mary Beth McGuidwin, Mary Jung

3. Glenda Meads, Shelley Roberts

4. Bernadette Larimer, Marianne Walsh, Marcia Morad, Cathy McQueen

5. Angels' Place director Cheryl Loveday, bridge instructor Lynn Root

Holy Name Knights of Columbus Fall Classic Dinner

The Holy Name Birmingham chapter of the philanthropic Knights of Columbus hosted its fifth annual Fall Classic Dinner and nearly 100 supporters ($75 ticket) attended the event at Oakland Hills Country Club. During the cocktail hour, guitarist Eric Watson made music while those who were not bidding on the silent auction items or buying raffle tickets for donated goody baskets were watching the MSU football game in the bar. Following dinner, emcee Robert Dempster first played his upbeat “Blue Skies, Yellow Sun” accompanied by young violinist Avery Martin and vocalist Miranda Sullivan. Chuck Gaidica then bounced off its inspiration theme advising everybody to “…dream big dreams.” Some other very positive Gaidica nuggets included “…you cannot become you if you don’t begin…it’s never too late to be what God intended you to be…you don’t have time to mess around.”


1. Guest speaker Chuck Gaidica and committee member / musician / emcee Robert Dempster

2. Committee members John Schrot, Bob Stossel, Mike Doonan and Mike Hainer

3. Carlee Faber, violinist Avery Martin, vocalist Miranda Sullivan

4. Committee members Debbie Schrot, Mary Lee & Bob Stossel

5. Committee member Caroline Rooney and her father Dr. Bob Rooney

6. Alex & Carley Jakstys, Julie & Pete Ross

7. Pierre & Beatrice Boutrous

8. Patti & Bob Koval

9. Marie Molnar, Dale Prentice

10. Jake German, Bob Pliska, Pierre Boutrous, committee member Robert Dempster

11. Committee member Debbie Schrot, Frank Matson

Beaumont Health Wine for the Spirit

More than 400 supporters of Beaumont Children’s programs convened at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center for Wine for the Spirit, a fundraising evening chaired by Ron Moran and hosted by Beaumont’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO). With Ben Sharkey’s music filling the rooms, they dined on the stroll, sampled unique wines from around the world and bid $20,000 in a silent auction. The merrymaking paused briefly to salute the 50-year old Beaumont Children’s Center for Human Development where children overcome developmental and behavioral challenges through compassionate, comprehensive care. In addition to dyslexia, attention deficit syndrome, hyperactivity and hearing impairments, it also offers intensive interventional treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders through its Ted Lindsay Foundation HOPE Center. The evening raised $250,000 to support programs throughout Southeast Michigan.


1. Event chair Ron & Terry Moran

2. Event sponsor Ciena Healthcare President /CEO Mohammad Qazi (center) with Cinena colleagues

3. Rania & Dr. Belal Abdallah



4. Beaumont Foundation’s Margaret Cooney Casey, Kevin Hammer, Kouhaila Gafari Hammer

5. Dr. Anthony & Paulette Stallion

6. Molly & Ryan Daly



7. Adam & Courtney Miller, Dan & Kristen Smith, Debbie & Gary Stanford

8. Kathleen & Robert Rosowski, Margaret Cooney Casey

9. Rita & Fahed Sabagh

10. Mary Zatina, Drew Besonson, Celina Geronimo

11. Don & Mary Kosch, Margaret & Michael Lightner

12. Tim & Sharon Kostoroff

13. Pete & Lori Seilo

14. Dr. Brian & Nora Berman, Priscilla & Huel Perkins

15. Shirley Brady, Michelle Dollis Brady

16. Maureen & Michael Milantoni, Sheri Wetted, Adrienne Mancuso

17. Laurrie Tannous & Patrick Rugerio

Design Challenge

The Professional Women in Building council (PWB) of the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA) partnered with Humble Design to produce the third annual Design Challenge. It attracted 325 ($35 & $45 ticket) to the Royal Oak Farmer’s Market to view and appraise the result of many hours of work that created 40 room vignettes, 21 by professionals and nine by college student teams. They used pieces from the Humble Design inventory of donations for the homes it decorates for clients transitioning out of homelessness. While cruising the exhibition, people sipped, supped on fare from Lafayette Market, bought raffle tickets and offerings pulled from the Wall of Wine. The audience included 10 judges: Dwane Adle, Kyle Huntoon, Cari Cucksey, Sydney Daly, Rachel Lutz, Sarah Macklem, Lynne Pratt, Sarah Reep, Helen Velas and Terry Wick. When the voting closed, HBA’s CEO Michale Stoskopf announced the winners determined both by the judges and by popular vote. The Judges Choice winners: Student - The College for Creative Studies team of Natalie Molnar, Lezi Chase, Eli Hong, Lexie Freidman; Professional - Main Street Design Build’s team of owner Christine Ramaekers, Christopher Swint, Amy Fischer. The latter also won Best Use of Mystery Accessory. The Popular Vote winners: Student (all from Michigan State University) - #1: the playroom designed by Dima Alnajjar, Gyuri Jang, Julia Kassel; #2: the backyard patio designed by Lucia Cibelli, Megan Emke, Julia Gough, Jiuen Yun; - #3: the bedroom designed by Chloe Jaworski, Rachel Rantenan , Sophia Tiglao. Their professor is Laura Winter; Professional - #1, the kitchen from Mans Lumber & Millwork team of Kimberley Swan-Fugaban, Nicole Branscum, Rosie Martinez; - #2, the living area by Amy Termarsch of Amy Elizabeth Designs; - #3, the bathroom by MainStreet Design Build's team of owner Christine Ramaekers, Christopher Swint, Amy Fischer. However, the real winners were Humble Design and those who will get college scholarships from the PWB. They will share the event proceeds of $26,000.


1. Sponsor CMIT Solutions’ Stuart Feravich, co-chair / PWB president Erika Harper

2. Sponsor Independent Bank’s Jeff Clatterbaugh, committee co-chairs Elizabeth Wyss and Jennifer Carneghi

3. Co-chair Celeste Goings, Kristin Andrew, Cindy Maxwell Philips, co-chair Cheryl Trevarrow

4. Sponsor US Bank’s Mark Webberly, beneficiary Humble Design’s Lisa Crawford and Jean Hershey

5. Annie & Dave Burnham, co-chair Barbara Burnham, Harrison & Jenny Burnham

6. Judges Rachel Lutz and Helen Velas

7. Judges Tracy Wick, Dwane Adle, Kyle Huntoon and Sydney Daly

8. Contestant Susan Thomas, (moversnshakersllc.com), her daughter Lauren Thomas Whitney, Sue Fiorello, Leslie Collins

9. Baker College students Callista Benton and Denise McMakan

10. OCC faculty member Michelle Pergeau-Dudgeon, her students Brittany Clark, Alina Osnaga and Andrea Clawson

11. Volunteers Lynn Duerr, Danielle Brand and Mindy Furnari

13. Pam Bouchard, Claudia Jackson

14. Designer Debora Wright (center) with her son Londarius & husband Larry Wright

15. Vignette by Dee Dee Design (Debora Wright)

16. Sponsors

17. Sponsors

Please send material for Social Lights to SamGerak@aol.com or to 28 Barbour Lane, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.


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by Sally G.

Sally G.

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