2017 Gala Recap

Thank you to all who supported our June 8, 2017 Great Hearts Gala!  Because of the generosity of you and many others, $500,000 was raised for the 2,000 children and families who we serve daily! Thank you again and we hope you’ll join us next year on May 18, 2018, to honor Beaumont!

The Great Hearts Gala Event Leadership Team included Karen Schoenberg and Nancy Grosfeld, the honorary co-chairs, Janet Lawson, Starfish Board Chair, and Ron Sollish, Starfish Immediate Past Chair. Lisa Widner chaired the planning committee and the sponsorship committee.

Nearly 400 guests came together at Cobo Center in Detroit to socialize, dine, celebrate families, and to honor the 2017 Great Hearts Awardee, The Jewish Fund.

The Jewish Fund was established in 1997 from the sale proceeds of Sinai Hospital in the Detroit Medical Center, Sinai Hospital was a Jewish community-funded facility that grew into one of metropolitan Detroit’s top health care institutions. As a legacy of Sinai Hospital, The Jewish Fund continues the tradition of assuring excellent and compassionate care for those in need in Metropolitan Detroit through its annual grant making. Since 2004, Starfish Family Services has received funding totaling $465,000 to fund programs like Baby power, which helps new moms bond with their babies.

The night’s festivities included the debut of a Starfish video featuring Baby Power, an impactful Starfish program for mothers. And a special video about the history of Sinai Hospital and its transformation into The Jewish Fund.

During the cocktail hour guests had the opportunity to help with a sand art project, designed by Farmington Hills artist, Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan.  When completed, the artwork will be installed at the entrance of the Starfish cafeteria. The community art project was designed to include hidden images, encouraging the children to interact with the artwork in a playful manner.

The evening concluded with a fantastic Live Auction. There were 8 packages with one-of-a-kind experiences like a trip to New York to see Hamilton and watch the Rachel Maddow show live, and a trip to Napa Valley. The evening ended with dedicated giving, a live auction-style fundraiser, where guests gave from their hearts.

The spectacular evening raised $500,000 which will directly benefit our 2017 key priorities:

  • Building Resilience in children who have experienced emotional and physical trauma.
  • Strengthening the Parent-Child Bond through programs like Baby Power and Dad Power, in which parents and caregivers can receive developmental guidance, self-care skills, and family/parent involvement.
  • Empowering Parents to succeed in supporting their children’s development and with their own goals through Starfish University.