The evening of May 18 was a good one for Whaley Children’s Center. Attended by 300 guests, the annual Tux & Tennies Gala and Auction raised approximately $140,000 according to Whaley’s Development Director, Katrina Khouri. The funds directly benefit the programs and services for Whaley children.
With the help of Special Occasions, Vogt’s Flowers, Five Star Entertainment, Simply Elegant Events, Airhead Balloons, Gerych’s Special Events & Floral Design, and Grand Blanc Motorcars – title sponsor and event host – the car dealership and service center were transformed into an opulently elegant ballroom. “I am so proud of the outcome of this event,” said Fred Hensler, chairman of the Tux & Tennies committee and owner of Hensler & Associates Wealth Management. “The committee and I put immense amounts of effort into the planning of this evening, and I couldn’t be happier with the turnout.”
The silent and live auctions, which grossed $60,500, featured items such as a hot tub donated by Midwest Pools, a Bahamas timeshare vacation donated by Jon Gerych, and a Vail, CO getaway donated by Phil Hagerman. Guests also had a chance to win a Rolex watch donated by Medawar Jewelers, which contributed $13,000 to the final auction total.
In addition to the Rolex watch donation, Ronny Medawar led a surprise appeal for Whaley’s Project Joy campaign. This campaign provides the necessary funding to renovate the bedrooms at the Center to create safe and comfortable safe havens for the children. With a price tag of $1,500 per bedroom, Medawar pledged to fund the completion of three bedrooms, ultimately inspiring 14 other guests to make similar pledges. In total, 23 bedrooms were sponsored for a total of $34,500.
“I was in complete disbelief when Ronny inspired 14 of our guests to join him in renovating the Whaley bedrooms,” said Kevin Roach, President and CEO of Whaley Children’s Center. “It was overwhelming to have so many people connect with our cause and commit to support the future of both our Center and the children.”
The evening included a cocktail hour performance by Ina Yoon, pianist with the Flint Institute of Music, dinnertime entertainment from Mark Randisi featuring The Motor City Horns and the Motor City Jazz Orchestra, as well as plenty of other support from more than 40 sponsors, including Grand Blanc Motorcars, Icon Mortgage, Landaal Packaging, Dr. Samasandrapalya Kiran and Dr. Mona Hardas, the Loeb Trust with First Merit Bank and McLaren Health Care.
PHOTOS BY AUTUMN D. RUMMEL
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