Society: Cattle Baron’s Ball rustles up cancer aid

Chuck Bennett

No suits, no ties. Jeans and boots with spurs and cowboy hats. This is not your grandma’s typical fundraising gala. It is the Detroit Cattle Baron’s Ball, celebrating 15 years of saving lives and celebrating life at Cobo Center on Saturday night. The event, presented by Ford Motor Co., generated more than $800,000, bringing the total raised in the event’s 15-year history to nearly $16 million.

WDIV’s Chuck Gaidica was the master of ceremonies for the event.

The party was trimmed with all the cool western-themed party tools, including mechanical bull riding and line dancing. There were live performances by Detroit-based Annabelle Road and the Nashville country trio, Levon. Other highlights were the silent auction and exciting live auction led by Texas auctioneer Scott Swenson.

During the program, Kate Mahanic was awarded the Society’s prestigious Cowger Leadership Award, for her successful launch and leadership of the Associate Board of Ambassadors, a young professional group that supports the Cattle Baron’s Ball. The program also celebrated 15 cancer survivors, caregivers and researchers who had been impacted by the American Cancer Society.

Culinary delights were provided by a number of Detroit-area restaurants, including Achatz Handmade Pie Company, Brio Tuscan Grille, Kona Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Melting Pot of Troy, Punch Bowl Social, The Whiskey Six, and Woodpile BBQ Shack. Awards were presented for the favorite dishes of the evening selected by distinguished food judges. Winners included: Best Sweet — Achatz Handmade Pie Company; Best Savory — Centerplate; Best in Presentation — TRIA - An American Brassiere; and People’s Choice — The Whiskey Six.

Cattle Baron’s Ball committee member Ken Hopkins with award recipient Kate Mahanic.

General admission tickets to the Cattle Baron’s Ball were $200 each. Patron tickets were $500 per person. More than 24,000 metro Detroiters will be diagnosed with cancer this year. In the last 15 years, money raised at the ball has supported the more than $47 million the American Cancer Society has granted to Michigan cancer researchers, supporting over 51,000 cancer patients in metro Detroit with information and services.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of, hosts “Chuck’s Closet” every Saturday from 4-5 p.m. on Super Station 910AM, and is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador.