Society: Tompkins Center toast of fundraiser

Chuck Bennett
John Schoenith came in from San Francisco to attend the Grosse Pointe Park Foundation event.

John Schoenith was in town a couple weeks ago and took advantage of what he saw as a pretty lucky situation. The Grosse Pointe Park Foundation was offering a special $40 ticket for those under 40 for its upcoming coveted summer soiree. Schoenith, who turned 40 on Aug. 30, copped his ticket a few days before his birthday.

“Well, technically, I was still under 40,” explained Schoenith, a Grosse Pointe native, who currently lives in Chicago and travels extensively. “I was actually in San Francisco and cut the trip short to get back here for this. In fact, I came straight from the airport. I wasn’t going to miss this one. I knew it was going to be good — especially at that price.”

An additional 250 other guests attended the foundation’s party Sept. 8, with this year’s theme, “Toast to the Tompkins Center.” The purpose of the party was to raise money for renovations to the Tompkins Community Center in Windmill Pointe Park. Richard and Jane Manoogian hosted the party and graciously opened their beautiful lakefront home (with its own private boat canal), which was the site of the 2016 Junior League Showhouse.

Guests enjoyed a champagne entrance, a Tito’s Vodka Moscow Mule station, a full bar and a strolling supper prepared by the Roostertail that included crab cakes, stuffed beef tenderloin and grilled lamb chops. Tarot card reader Pamela Taylor told fortunes in the basement and a deejay kicked out an impressive collection of dance tunes under the tent out back.

Richard and Jane Manoogian hosted the event at their lakefront home.

“Our newest project, undertaking a total renovation of the Tompkins Center, is an exciting one, as it will capitalize on its stunning lakefront view, adding a glass atrium on the waterfront and updating the kitchen and restroom facilities,” said Barbara Barrett Detwiler, one of the foundation’s trustees. “We were fortunate to have over 39 sponsors and 13 in-kind sponsors. The Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation and the Dolores and Paul Lavins Foundation were our two Diamond Sponsors. This year’s party was our highest-grossing event yet.”

Tickets to the event were $150, and, of course, $40 for the 42 guests under 40 who attended.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of the and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.