Society: Sing-a-Long benefits Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

Some of Metro Detroit’s top business and social leaders came out Dec. 6 for the London Chop House’s annual Christmas Carol Sing-a-Long luncheon benefiting the Salvation Army. Hosted by Tom and Diane Schoenith along with the Gatzaros family — Maria, Nico and Ellena — a little more than 100 guests came out to sing their favorite Christmas songs and enjoy fine dining from the London Chop House’s menu.

Nico Gatzaros and Tom Schoenith host sign-a-long luncheon at The London Chophouse

One of Detroit’s most coveted holiday traditions, tickets were $250 each, $10,000 for Booth No. 1 and Booth No.2. Attendees raised more than $33,000. Proceeds will go toward The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit's 2018 Red Kettle fundraising goal of $8.2 million. These funds will help provide critical social services and programs to those throughout Metro Detroit, including educational and outdoor programs for youth, a legal aid clinic, drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Jerry and Josie Norcia, from left, Bertram and Monique Marks, Dave and Peggy Meador

Spirit of Giving Gala

Franklin Wright Settlement hosted its annual Spirit of Giving Gala on Dec. 8 at DTE Energy Plaza. About 300 people attended the event, which included cocktails, dinner from Eurest Dining Services, dazzling entertainment from Alexander Zonjic and Serieux, and a program honoring a group of people who are committed to the Franklin Wright philosophy of service and sacrifice. Honorees included Maggie Allesee, Jemele Hill (who was unable to attend), Dr. Colleen Allen, Alexis Wiley and a special tribute to Aretha Franklin.

There was a bittersweet element to this event. Sadly, it was announced that Franklin Wright Settlements Board Chairman, the Rev. Dr. Robert Dulin, died the night before the event, just after writing his welcome speech for the gala. He was honored with a moment of silence. 

 Franklin Wright Settlements is America’s oldest settlement house, having spent 138 years of helping the child, preserving the family and strengthening the community. Tickets to the event were $150 per person, with proceeds benefiting the youth programs at Franklin Wright.

Chuck Bennett is the creator of and hosts “Happy Hour” Monday-Friday from 5-7 p.m. on 910AM Superstation.