Lighthouse PATH Chief Development Officer Priscilla Perkins with Lighthouse PATH President/CEO John Ziraldo. (Photos by Martin LeFlore / Special to The Detroit)
About 200 people showed up on Friday to “Salute America” at Oakland Hills Country Club. The popular annual event benefits the Lighthouse PATH program and honors exceptional Michiganians for community service. This year’s honorees are former Gov. James Blanchard, who spoke about his call to action as a young boy to help organizations such as Lighthouse; WDIV’s Rhonda Walker, for her remarkable work with young women through her eponymous foundation; and Karen Rashid-Balow, Nancy Sullivan and Molly Williams, founders of 100+ Women of Motown Who Care.
The evening kicked off with a cocktail reception, a silent auction and a Frame Your Face-Paint by Numbers canvas of Diana Ross that was later auctioned for $2,000. A buffet dinner was served while a short program began with remarks from Lighthouse Chief Development Officer Priscilla Perkins.
“Lighthouse PATH has been working for 23 years to move women and their children from homelessness to stable, productive lives,” Perkins said. “We are so grateful for the tremendous generosity of our community, most recently for helping to raise funds to remodel 18 units of the 23-year-old Lighthouse PATH kitchens.”
Penelope Allen, a Lighthouse PATH client, shared her emotional story of achievement and hope. John Ziraldo, Lighthouse president/CEO, introduced the honorees, just prior to auctioneer Charles Wickins conducting the live auction.
The party ended with guests dancing to the sounds of the Rick Lieder Band and enjoying an assortment of desserts and complimentary cigars.
Tickets were $125-$250. Laurie Horvath and Rebecca Sorensen were event chairs and more than $100,000 was raised.
Chuck Bennett is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador and the creator of the Social D, a website that represents the social side of Metropolitan Detroit. See thesociald.com.