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Society: Kidney Ball features silent auction

Chuck Bennett

Nearly 800 business executives and socialites aimed to raise $900,000 on Dec. 3 for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at the annual Kidney Ball at Motor City Casino Hotel. More than 250 eclectic and unique auction items and hundreds of children’s toys, books and games were featured in the live and silent auction events, as well as dinner, a brief program and live entertainment that highlighted the night.

Tiffany Albert, CEO of The Blue Care Network, and her husband, Derek, enjoy the Kidney Ball.

Since 1955, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan has led the fight against kidney disease, enhancing the lives of many Michigan residents through patient services, education programs, children’s programs and research for the more than 1 in 9 people in Michigan with chronic kidney disease. Also crucial are its prevention programs — studies show that 70 percent of kidney disease is preventable.

The evening began with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m., dinner at 7:30 p.m. (prepared by executive chef Raymond Bertschy), followed by the program, with dancing and entertainment in Sound Board to the band Your Generation in concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse.

Kidney Ball volunteer Jae Plawecki, from left, Kidney Ball Chair Patrick Rugiero and volunteer Mary Okray.

The 2016 Kidney Ball Chair is Patrick Rugiero, executive director of Roman Village Restaurant Group, who took the stage with his two children, Isabella and Patrizio. The honorary co-chairs of the Kidney Ball are Duane McLean, executive vice president of Business Operations for the Detroit Tigers, and Ed J. Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet & Commercial.

Tickets to the black-tie event were $250. The mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it. The organization was recognized for its success in sound fiscal management by receiving a 4-star rating, nine years in a row, from Charity Navigator — the nation’s leading charity evaluator.

Attilio Rugiero, left, with cousins Isabella and Patrizio Rugiero. Patrick Rugiero of the Roman Village Restaurant Group chaired the event.

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