Ana Howrani-Heeres, left, and Dennis Sander enjoy the festivities, which included, food, music and awards. (Ricardo Thomas / The Detroit News)
Those involved with Danialle Karmanos' Work It Out program are quick to reveal the most rewarding thing about the work is the results they get from the children in the yoga-based, nonprofit program.
"Our success is defined by the children we serve," explains executive director Laura Mackiewicz. "To hear a child say he feels 'unstoppable' after practicing yoga or that she is 'more focused' because of what she's learned through this program is what inspires us to keep going."
On Thursday, about 125 of the organization's supporters gathered at D'Amato's in Royal Oak for the fourth annual "Evening Out With Work It Out." The chic restaurant's décor was enhanced with freshly grown wheat grass on the tables and bar with delicate tea candles housed in glistening Mason jars.
Bright spring green custom drapes were used as backdrops for blown-up photos of DKWIO kids practicing yoga. Guests were in awe of the ability of some of the children to practice particularly challenging poses that were captured in the posters.
A fun twist to the event was a food and vodka pairing that masterfully teamed various Pearl Vodka concoctions with delectable hors d'oeuvres such as cucumber bloody Marys with chilled shrimp cocktails or sweet and sour martinis to complement vegetarian spring rolls.
The entertaining and informative evening also included a brief program where volunteers were recognized, along with a DKWIO update.
Afterward, award-winning DJ Urban Kris kept the evening upbeat with great dance music.
"I am so grateful to all the people, organizations and businesses that support DKWIO and our success and commitment to helping children stay healthy," said the organization's founder, Danialle Karmanos, who was radiant in a colorful beaded jacket over second-skin jeans. "In nine years, we've reached almost 3,000 kids in Detroit. The remarkable resilience of the kids propels us to continue to provide them with a first-class program that will equip them with the tools to make healthy choices."
Chuck Bennett is a Metro Detroit freelance writer who covers fashion and society. Follow him on Twitter, @mrchuckbennett.