Baby, it’s cold outside

The timing couldn’t be better. As temperatures plunge to bone-chilling degrees, supporters of THAW got busy to make sure those who can’t afford their heating bills get help to stay safe and warm. On Friday, WWJ Newsradio 950 presents its 12th Annual Winter Survival Radiothon for The Heat And Warmth Fund with a 14-hour, nonstop broadcast that aims to raise $1 million in emergency energy assistance funding for struggling Michigan families.

This year’s campaign kicked off Wednesday with “Cocktails for a Cause” at the new Addison Eatery in downtown Detroit, where some 50 guests were served up specialty, weather-themed cocktails by local celebrity bartenders (including The Detroit News’ Nolan Finley). A portion of cocktail and food sales was donated to THAW, along with tips received by the guest bartenders.

On Thursday, another team of local celebs served coney dogs to customers at American Coney Island for tips, including Fox 2’s Charlie LeDuff,Roop Raj and Jennifer Hammond; WWJ’s Vickie Thomas; Mike Stone and Bill McAllister of 97.1 The Ticket; Neal Rubin of The News and Saunteel Jenkins, CEO of THAW (and former Detroit City Councilmember). Well, we actually saw Charlie sweeping up and chatting up patrons, not serving, but hey, there’s a job for everybody! A portion from the sales of coneys and all tips were donated to THAW.

On Saturday, the Gold family from “Hardcore Pawn” will get into the act, with their third annual Hardcore THAW event at American Jewelry & Loan. Tickets are $125 VIP and $60 general admission; guests will enjoy food, drink and music, with a portion of the proceeds to benefit THAW. For information, visit

Getting pumped

The ever-glam Donna Yost hosted a fun dinner party at Forest Lake Country Club in Bloomfield Hills last week to celebrate the release of her book, “Pumptitude: My Journey from CEO Wife to CEO Life.” In the book, Donna, who’s married to Art Van Furniture CEO Kim Yost, writes about how she transitioned from being “the woman behind the man,” to running her own successful business, The Life Chest, which produces elegant memory boxes.

The book traces her personal experiences while offering tips to women who may be pursuing a new career path or entering the workforce for the first time. “We give them the skills and courage they need in a fun, but informative format,” Yost said. The book reveals her humble beginning raising chickens and wearing rubber boots on a farm in Alberta, Canada, through today, where she is in boardrooms clad in her favorite Christian Louboutin pumps. For information, or to purchase “Pumptitude,” visit

Johnnie’s guitar

The late Detroit blues great Johnnie Bassett never got to perform on “Late Night with David Letterman” (Bassett died in 2012), but thanks to Detroit guitarist Brett Lucas, Bassett’s guitar made it there Thursday night, as Lucas played the Conrad behind the peerless Bettye LaVette, his boss (Lucas bought the guitar via a mutual friend). LaVette, whose new album “Worthy” is just out, is performing at the Cafe Carlyle in New York until Saturday.

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