The weather was perfect Sunday afternoon for the 11th annual Garden Party event held at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester. Founded by Sydney L. Ross and his wife, Elizabeth, this lavish event is comprised of fine wine (200 different kinds, to be exact); delicious food (from 30 of Metro Detroit’s best restaurants); and classic cars (rare beauties from antiques to muscle cars driven by male and female guests).

About 700 guests attended, dressed to the nines in colorful garden party attire. The women were amazing in spectacular hats and flirty floral dresses and the men were sophisticated in linen and seersucker suits. Striking models from the Renee Godin Agency added sparkle to the scene, showcasing elaborate hats designed by Gena Conti and dresses from Christiane Larue.

Tickets to the Garden Party were $150 per person. Proceeds will provide professional trade scholarships to underprivileged young adults. “It warms my heart to see the strong support we get from our community for this event and cause,” says Ross. “This is what it’s all about – enjoying the finer things in life and helping others succeed.”

The Great Big Auction 

Three years ago, Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Jeannine Gant launched the organization’s inaugural signature event, the Great Big Auction. Rapidly becoming one of Metro Detroit’s highly anticipated charity parties, the third edition of this party took place at Detroit Shipping Company on June 6, brought to you by Wells Fargo. Nearly 300 guests enjoyed entertainment from Larry Lee and the Back in the Day Band, a strolling supper from select vendors at Detroit Shipping Company, and an interactive auction with clever items procured by a dedicated group of volunteers with an eye for putting together once-in- lifetime trips and experiences.

Rick Hampson, president of Citizens Bank, served as the event chair and Maurielle Lue, Fox 2 News anchor, was emcee. General admission tickets were $75; $100 for VIP. Proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit, which arranges meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers (“Bigs”) and children (“Littles”), ages 6 through 18. BBBS develops positive relationships that have a direct and lasting effect on the lives of young people. More than $163,000 was raised.

Chuck Bennett is the founder of

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