7th Annual Spring Tea Draws Major support for RMHC of Detroit

Detroit. . . The 7th annual Spring Tea, a family-friendly fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit, raised nearly $18,000 from sponsors and 152 guests who attended the April 23 event at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester.

Saxophonist Yancyy’s jazz set a relaxing ambience amid full tables where guests enjoyed sweets and savory finger foods at the afternoon tea. Children got dressed up and many topped off their outfits with balloon crowns made by a balloon artist. Sketch artist Darrell Swift was busy drawing portraits of individuals, couples and children.

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Executive Director Jennifer Litomisky unveiled a new video produced by Zara Creative that captured day-to-day scenes at the House: patients having fun at the House, volunteers extending a touch of compassion, and a former patient talking about the impact the House had on her and her family.

A second video, produced by Ronald McDonald House Charities, depicted how a “home away from home” enables parents to spend more special moments with their child in the hospital. Both videos showed how the House takes care of families by providing rooms, services and amenities so they can focus on helping their child get through an illness or injury.

Event co-chairs Teresa Saputo, of Oakland Township, and Deborah Virgiles, of Southfield, were delighted with the turnout and asked current guests to bring a friend to next year’s tea. Virgiles gave a gift bag to the oldest grandmother in the room, Catherine Bagnasco, age 94; and the youngest grandmother, Latrece Allen, age 43.

“The event raised a record amount this year, and we are delighted with the turnout and the interest of those who attended,” said Litomisky.

A flower sale; raffle for a bracelet; and silent auction that featured a Tapper’s necklace, a Frankenmuth getaway, and kid-friendly baskets with games and toys, raised $5,600. Each child who attended the event received a supersize goody bag with a large stuffed animal, games and treats.

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Funds raised at the event will add to the House’s $3 million “Hearts, Hands and Homes” campaign, which runs through August 2017. Events hosted by the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit and other organizations provide the majority of annual funding for the nonprofit.

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