• Sally Gerak

Social Lights October 2020

Events in this issue

  • Ted Lindsay Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing

  • Kovan Golf Classic

  • OUR TOWN Virtual Benefactor Party & Art Show

  • New Day Foundation for Families Hope Shines No-Show Gala


Ted Lindsay Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing

The 20th annual TLF golf fundraiser attracted 170 golfers to the Detroit Golf Club on Sept. 14. This was the second year that the foundation founder/namesake was (presumably) watching from on high. Each of the 34 fivesomes included a celebrity, many of them friends of the late hockey legend. The Oakland University team (Michael Westfall, Hugh Elliott, Nick Pumford, Chad Elliott and Fox Sports Detroit’s Trevor Thompson) had the low score on the North Course. Michael Fichter, DJ Fichter, Paul Fichter, Andy Helmuth and retired Detroit Lion Jason Hanson took top honors on the South Course. Since pandemic guidelines prevailed, the cocktail hour and program emceed by Mickey Redmond were alfresco and the traditional sit-down dinner was replaced with passed hors d'oeuvres. The program included remarks by TLF spokespersons Dylan Larkin and Joe Kocur and presentation of the foundation’s monetary Courage Awards. Laura Figliuolo won the individual award sponsored by Oakland MRI’s Susan V. Swider. The Ditrapani family won the family award sponsored by Michigan Brain & Spine Surgery Center’s Dr. Lucia Zamorano. Ken Daniels conducted a live auction of four items ($17,200). A silent auction raised another $8,700. “(Considering the pandemic) I think Dad would be pleased with the way the day went,” said Lynn LaPaugh, whose husband Lew is president of the foundation that funds autism research and educational programs.

We are grateful to Erica Treais-Holm (www.ericatreaisholm.com) for the following photos.


1. Foundation president Lew and secretary Lynn Lindsay LaPaugh


2. Emcee Mickey Redmond


3. Frank Beckmann


4. John Ogrodnick autographing auction item

(bench made of hockey sticks)

5. Darren McCarty

6. Brian Connors singing the National Anthem

7. Luke Glendening during the National Anthem


8. Eddie Murray and Joey Kocur


9. Jiri Fischer


10. TJ Lang


11. Natalie Rink, Janina Jacobs


12. Jai Reddy, Larry Burns

13. Ron and Margie Gobler, Dylan Larkin, Marie Hauswirth, Michael Mikaelian

14. Jeff Blashill and Darren McCarty

15. Vincent Pangle, Eric Dietz, Dennis Cholowski, David Hopkins, Tim Finkbeiner


16. Ed Fisher, Dennis Bisoni, Drew Miller, Christine and Eric Perry


17. Steve Carollo, Robert Carollo, Anthony Mantha Greg Fisher, Mike Carollo

18. Brian Crane, Sean Carson, Eddie Mio, Doug Wood, Tony Gatliff


19. Lynn and Lew LaPaugh with Ted Lindsay Award trophy presented annually by the NHL

OUR TOWN Benefactor Party and Art Show

Not only did the pandemic virtualize the annual Community House OUR TOWN art show, it also made artist Julie Dawson’s planned Benefactors Arty Party a virtual event as well. Benefactors were invited to relish at-home bubbly & snacks (delivered in advance by TCH’s Chris Smude) as they watched a virtual tour of Dawson’s art-filled Birmingham home, gardens and studios narrated by the host, who co-founded the art show in 1985. Below you will see some screen shots we made from the video. They include some images of the OT Benefactor Souvenir Art Tile. This reporter introduced that tradition the first year I chaired the event in 1995. It continued for 25 years and Dawson has installed many of them in her home. Below you will also see images of the 13 award winning show entries determined by jurors Barbara Heller and Laurie Tennent from the 300-plus works of art in the show. You may see the entire show at https://www.artworkarchive.com/profile/ourtown2020. And yes, if you arrange purchases from the website, thanks to support from the artists, the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation and the Bank of Ann Arbor / Birmingham, a 35-percent donation will support The Community House.


1. Virtual Arty Party host Julie Dawson welcomes guests

in the front garden of her Birmingham home

2. House tour included kitchen sink with some of the 25 benefactor tiles mounted as a back splash


3. Tile designed by Sally Gerak

4. Tile designed by Julie Dawson


5. Tile designed by Marshall Fredericks


6. Tile designed by Sue Bolt


7. Dawson’s studio with some OUR TOWN art photos


8. Selfie of artist Laura Whitesides Host),

her painting “Moroccan Blues”


9. Julie in her studio backed by Dawson-designed

digital print fabric


A. Gold Ribbon winner: “Woodbridge Nocturne” by Brant MacLean; oil on canvas ,23” x 29”


B. Silver Ribbon winner

“Three Floors Up” by John Diephouse; Digital Photograph on Metal, 20” x 40”


C. Bronze Ribbon winner

Bronze Free Pour Necklace by Janice Degen


D. Bronze Ribbon winner

“Florastone” by Rodney Lloyd; handbuilt & thrown stoneware, 8”x11”X11”



E. Bronze Ribbon winner

“Chinatown Morning” by Robert Perrish; oil on canvas; 16”x16”


F. Honorable Mention: “Prowler” by Gerald Piaskowski; copper on wood, 12”x29”x5”


G. Honorable Mention: “The Painted Desert” by Bruce Finsilver; photo, 16”x20”


H. Honorable Mention: “Pear and Apple” by Barbara Bartley; oil on board; 12”x16”x1.5”


I. Honorable Mention: “Grounded” by Laura Teste; pair lost wax bronze casting; 4”x3”x14”



J. Honorable Mention: “Hot Tea” by Deborah Hecht; mosaic in antique frame; 20”x24”x6”


K. Honorable Mention: “Neighborhood Watch” by Lynda Pietka; watercolor; 16”x18”


L. Honorable Mention: “Untitled 2” by Galina Sarkisian, ceramic; 14”x10”


M. Honorable Mention: “Regionals” by Pat Vartanian; acrylic on canvas / photo weaving; 20”x24”



New Day Foundation for Families Hope Shines No-Show Glow

The annual gala for the foundation that reduces the financial toxicity which accompanies cancer treatment for many families was virtual on Sept. 17. The hour-long video was emceed by WDIV’s Evrod Cassimy and hosted by New Day co-founders Gina and Michael Spehn. (The Rochester couple’s real-life story of two families’ love loss and found is the subject of their book and a Hallmark film - “The Color of Rain”.) The virtual gala had many highlights: a guest appearance by Hollywood actress Lacey Chabert; musical entertainment by Cassimey and singer Dean Madonia, a New Day recipient fighting cancer who performed his original song - “Learn How to Lean” (which Gina immediately adopted as New Day’s anthem); Fox Sports’ Mickey York bantering with MSU and UM sports figures; remarks by New Day recipients and gratified sponsors; and an auction. More than 100 viewers logged in. Below are some screen shots but you can see the entire video at https://www.foundationforfamilies.org/noshow/. The No Show Gala netted more than $173,000 from the auction, sponsors and donations. Paul Glanz is also offering a screening of “The Color of Rain” to benefit New Day Foundation for Families at 8 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 14 at his Emagine Novi Drive-In Theatre. For tickets ($25-per-vehicle) go to https://colorofrain.eventbrite.com.


1. New Day board president Steven Meyer with his sons


2. Michael & Gina Spehn mix up cocktail hour drinks


3. Emcee WDIV’s Evrod Cassimy, Gina Kell Spehn & Michael Spehn on the video filming set


4. Actress Lacey Chabert played Gina Spehn in Hallmark movie “The Color of Rain"


5. The Spehn-Kell combined family with actors who played in the movie of their story


6. New Day recipient fighting cancer Dennis Sikes plays with his family


7. New Day recipient fighting cancer Dean Madonia


8. Sponsor BSP Law’s Patrick Seyferth


9. Cassimey & the Spehns with screen image of Michigan Medical’s

Dr. Carl Koschmann and his “star” brain cancer patient Sam Kell


10. Close up of Dr. Carl Koschmann


11. Sponsor Kroger’s Rachel Hurst


12. Tom Izzo visiting with the late Matt Kell, a big MSU fan


13. Former MSU basketballer Paul Davis, Fox Sports’ Mickey York,

former UM quarterback Devin Gardner


14. Honorees / sponsors Annette & Jack Aronson, who is fighting cancer


15. Evrod Cassimy signing his original song “Green Eyes”



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