Society: A review of the best charity parties of 2018

Chuck Bennett
Special to The Detroit News

A look back at the year in society:

The Gallery: The Gallery is annually the first official party of the North American International Auto Show. This glamorous bash features $10 million worth of luxury cars and an over-the-top meal curated and served by famed chef Wolfgang Puck himself. More than 800 people were in attendance on Jan. 13 at Cobo Center, where cars on display included Bugatti, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce. Tickets were $250 per person with proceeds benefiting the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor.

Elizabeth and Sydney Ross from The Garden Party
Photo by Keith Tolman

The Garden Party: The Garden Party Foundation celebrated its 10-year anniversary at the organization’s signature spring event held at Meadowbrook Hall on June 10.  Founded by Syd Ross and his wife, Elizabeth, The Garden Party Foundation provides professional trade scholarships to underprivileged young adults. More than 600 people attended the affair, which featured signature dishes from 28 top Metro Detroit restaurants and more than 100 types of wine. The Garden Party Foundation has raised nearly $1 million.

The Great Big Auction: About 300 guests bid on exciting, once-in-a-lifetime, experiential auction packages at The Great Big Auction benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters held at Motor City Casino on June 22. A dozen metro Detroit movers and shakers were identified as “auction warriors” by Big Brothers Big Sisters, who in turn presented awesome auction packages. The party included music, fun food (a variety of tacos, sliders and sushi), and a hilarious performance from BET Comic View comedienne, Coco. Tickets were $100 for VIP, and $60-$75 for General Admission. Over $155,000 was raised.

l-r, Karen Jacobson, Roz Jacobson, Todd Skog at MOCAD party

Scott and Roz Jacobson for MOCAD: Scott and Roz Jacobson hosted about 100 people at their tastefully decorated Bloomfield Hills home with a swank event as part of MODAD’s popular summer Interchange Art + Dinner Series. Upon arrival, guests were driven in golf carts from valet to the private pool entrance where cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served, followed by an amazing strolling dinner catered by Luciano DelSignore. Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s annual Interchange Art + Dinner Series allows Detroit’s most avid art collectors to open their homes for a range of exclusive evenings.

CCS Wine Auction: On Oct. 13, the College for Creative Studies hosted its 37th Detroit International Wine Auction with more than 400 people in attendance. The black-tie gala took place at Beacon Park, and included a plated dinner, and a spirited live auction featuring an array of exclusive wine, travel and luxury lots. Tickets were $1,500 general admission and $2,500 VIP. $2 million was raised.

Nino and Elizabeth Cutraro Toys for the Kids: Bella Piatti owners Nino and Elizabeth Cutraro hosted Nino’s annual Halloween/birthday bash at their popular Birmingham restaurant on Oct. 28. About 100 high-profile Metro-Detroiters gathered in elaborate costumes and in lieu of gifts, donated cool toys and gadgets to Variety Children’s Charity. 

Uncork for a Cure: Founded and hosted by Flora Migyanka, a breast cancer survivor, Uncork for a Cure is a benefit for the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center Breast Oncology Program. The lavish event, held at the newly renovated Cauley Ferrari, featured dishes from some of Metro Detroit’s most celebrated chefs paired with exquisite wines curated by Master Sommelier Madeline Triffon. Tickets to the event were $500 and more than $260,000 was raised.

l-r, Mona Simoncini, Danialle Karmanos and Christopher Webb at Hob Nobble Gobble

Hob Nobble Gobble: The Parade Company continues to make the magic with its ever-popular Hob Nobble Gobble presented by Ford Motor Co. At Ford Field on Nov. 16, guests dressed in black tie attire — adults and children alike — enjoyed carnival rides and games, a Parade of Stars and a meet-and-greet with Jesse McCartney, a massive buffet table, gifts and prizes, and so much more. Proceeds went to the Parade Company for the America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van.

London Chop House/Salvation Army Christmas lunch: London Chop House owners Maria, Nico and Ellena Gatzaros team up with Tom and Diane Schoenith to host this traditional Christmas Caroling lunch to benefit The Salvation Army. More than 100 people attended the lavish lunch on Dec. 6, and over $33,000 was raised.

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