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Local actor in reality show ‘Last Squad Standing’

Hunky actor and model Mike Merrill packed up his bags and moved to Atlanta earlier this year, and he’s already coming back — as a special guest for a “Meet the Cast” party of the new competition series “Last Squad Standing.” The raw and sexy reality show, which features Mike as a prominent member of the team called “The Detroit Players,” premieres Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. on Oxygen. Hosted by actress/comedian Alesha Rene (“Girl Code”), three groups of friends from around the country will live together, compete and ultimately vote each other off the show for a grand prize of $100,000 and the title of “Last Squad Standing.” In addition to the new show, Mike says, “I also have two films and a TV series with Tier 2 Films that will be on network TV soon.” Starting this weekend, Mike will be in town for a few weeks working on some projects here. You can say “welcome home” to him and meet the rest of the cast of “The Last Squad Standing” at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 at PV Lounge in downtown Detroit.

College for Creative Studies bash raises more than $1M

There were many majorly magnificent lots up for bid at the International Detroit Wine Auction benefiting the College for Creative Studies on Saturday, but there was one in particular that had all the fashionistas in the crowd up in arms. The luxury package was donated by CCS’ celebrated Chair of Fashion Accessories Design Aki Choklat, who happens to be a well-respected international footwear and accessories designer, as well. The lot includes a private fashion tour by Aki for two in Florence, Italy; a personalized women’s and men’s accessory from akichoklat.com; travel with Aki to his factory outside of Florence to see where the pieces are made; round-trip business class airfare; and a three-night stay at the exclusive Excelsior Hotel. “It will be a true insider’s experience,” says Aki. “Especially when I show them the secret side of Florence.” Danialle Karmanos won the bid, which was then doubled and sold to Gretchen Davidson, as well. Overall, the entire live auction at the extravagant gala brought in a rather impressive $1.14 million, all to support student scholarships and free art programs for Detroit youth.

USS Detroit will have fans of all ages at commissioning

Seven-year-old Patrizio Rugiero has been enamored with Navy battleships since he was a toddler. So when his dad, Patrick Rugiero (the family owns Antonio’s and Roman Village restaurants), was presented with the prospect of working on the commissioning of the USS Detroit, he jumped at the opportunity. “I can’t tell you how much this kid loves battleships,” says Patrick. “There’s no way I would let this unique experience pass by without him being a part of it.” The USS Detroit arrived in its namesake city on Oct. 14, docking by the GM Renaissance Center for a week of activities leading up to the commissioning ceremony to take place at 11 a.m. Saturday. And among the 4,000 people expected to attend will be young Patrizio, standing front and center with his dad, who is a member of the Navy League and co-chair of finance for the ship’s commissioning. After the USS Detroit is commissioned, it sails across the river to Windsor, and then to the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in San Diego.

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

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