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Head to Los Angeles for rocking Detroit party by Allee Willis

Award-winning songwriter Allee Willis is hosting a fabulous Detroit party on April 1 — in Los Angeles. Willis, a native Detroiter who penned such mega hits as Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” and the theme from “Friends” (“I’ll Be There for You”), gathered her friends actress Lily Tomlin and songwriter Lamont Dozier (both native Detroiters) to host the D-themed party at her delightfully whimsical Los Angeles home, known as Willis Wonderland. The big Detroit Party in Los Angeles also has a pretty cool host committee, including Freda Payne, Sandra Bernhard, Mary Wilson, Don Was and Valerie Simpson. Tickets to the party are $250 VIP and $100 general amission. Proceeds will benefit Mosaic Youth Theatre in honor of the group’s 25th anniversary.

“I love Detroit and have been working on “The D,” a theme song for the city sung by 5,000 Detroiters, for the past few years,” Willis says. “Mosaic Youth Theatre played a massive part in that project. I’ve worked with the Mosaic kids since 2011, think they’re incredibly gifted, and will keep the tradition of major stars coming out of Detroit going for decades. I’m excited to host this benefit with my friends, not to mention getting that many Detroiters living in L.A. together all at once. It’s going to be crazy.”

People magazine once said “Willis’ parties are works of art in themselves.” Willis insists that this party will be fun-filled, funk-filled, with soul food, games, prizes, memorabilia, sing-alongs, and special performances. “It more resembles a kid’s birthday party on acid than one of your run-of-the-mill fundraisers,” Willis adds.

Epic fundraiser for NextGen fills Fillmore Detroit

About 600 well-dressed guests filed into the Fillmore Detroit on Saturday night for a spectacular event called “Epic,” which is the premier fundraiser for the Jewish Federation’s NextGen division. Presented by the Sue and Alan Kaufman family, the party offered a ton of food provided by Quality Kosher Catering, along with cocktails, entertainment and dancing. The headliner was comedian J.B. Smooth of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” AFB Hospitality Group hosted a VIP behind-the-curtains reception with open bar and hors d’oeuvres for the Ben Gurion Society (donors of $1,000 or more). Smooth hung out, took some photos and signed autographs. An estimated $250,000 was raised.

Party celebrates grand opening of Maccabees Traders

Michigan native David Kraus’ illustrious culinary career has taken him to New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Chicago, but his roots have always been firmly here in Metro Detroit. After successfully trekking across the country, Kraus, 45, has returned home as the new co-owner and operating partner of Maccabees Traders (formerly Maccabees Midtown).

The restaurant held a grand opening event Saturday where friends, family and community dignitaries had a chance to taste executive chef and Chicago native Rafael Esparza’s delectable creations. Kraus and Esparaza revamped the menu, which is defined as Asian-inspired with a Detroit flair. Maccabees Traders opened to the public Monday.

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

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