Prix race gala, disco-theme night aid causes

Yatooma’s Foundation

Although it was a festive occasion, Yatooma’s Foundation for the Kids’ “Champion for the Kids VIP Dinner” Sunday night was an emotional roller coaster ride for most of the 300 guests.

There was lots of fun, as many embraced the 1970s Sunday Night Fever theme with afro wigs, bell bottom pant suits and miniskirts with platform boots.There was a cocktail reception with passed hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.

Dinner, a salmon and filet duo, was served with red and white wine, and then punctuated with a surprise flashmob dancing to a medley of disco songs performed by the Simone Vitale Band.

The evening included some very spirited live auction bidding, including surprise bids on a Capital Grille dinner package from first lady Sue Snyder, who eventually lost to a high bidder.

There was also sadness — reminders the foundation, named in honor of the late Manuel Yatooma, stands for providing stability and financial aid to families with children who suddenly lose one or both parents.

A touching video was presented of Amanda Cergol and her children, Hunter and Alison, who needed the foundation’s assistance after the death of her husband when she was two months pregnant in 2009.

The Cergol family was presented with the Bridge to the Future Award, which included rent payments for the rest of the year, and a weeklong trip to Disney World.

Matt Friedman, of Tanner Friedman in Farmington Hills, was presented with the Champion for the Kids award for his support for the foundation.

Tickets to the event were $250 and an estimated $260,000 was raised.

Chuck Bennett is a Metro Detroit freelance writer who covers fashion and society. Follow him on Twitter @mrchuckbennett.

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