The Guild of St. John Hospital & Medical Center will raise money to purchase five multiperformance mobile surgical beds.

The Guild of St. John Hospital & Medical Center will raise money to purchase five multiperformance mobile surgical beds.

Photo provided by St. John Hospital & Medical Center


Fundraiser serves up donations, dinner and laughs

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published May 8, 2018

DETROIT — Seventy years ago, a group of individuals joined together to assist the Sisters of St. Joseph in establishing and maintaining St. John Hospital in Detroit.

They eventually became known as the Guild of St. John Hospital & Medical Center, and for decades, the members have held fundraisers to raise money to provide new medical equipment, technology updates, and services at St. John Hospital & Medical Center.

The Guild will hold its 58th annual dinner May 23 at MGM Grand Detroit, 1777 Third St. in Detroit. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, with a multicourse dinner at 7:30 p.m.

Comedian Bobby Collins will perform his stand-up comedy routine for the crowd. The master of ceremonies for the night will be Roop Raj, of WJBK Fox 2 News.

Steering this year’s dinner committee are Chair Greg DeMars, of Grosse Pointe Shores, and Vice Chair Sean Lane, of Grosse Pointe Farms. Both Guild members always look forward to the annual event.

“We anticipate it will sell out. We usually get around 800 to 900 people. It’s very festive,” DeMars said. “It brings together doctors, medical staff, donors, administrators and nurses. It brings people in the community that support St. John.”

DeMars, his wife and her family have been involved with the Guild for many years.

“I believe in the hospital’s mission,” DeMars said. “It really serves the poor. The Guild has played a very important role on the east side of Detroit.”

The Guild has raised approximately $18 million for the hospital over the years. The Guild currently has approximately 585 members.

This year’s proceeds have been designated to purchase five multiperformance mobile surgical beds at St. John Hospital & Medical Center. The beds — which come with a versatile configuration and easy-click operation — are designed to give a surgical team the flexibility, control and convenience it needs.

Hospital staff provides the Guild members with a wish list of items.

“We hear that numerous times the doctors are very appreciative,” Lane said.  “They’re very receptive.”

When trying to find an entertainer for the night, Collins was the choice.

“I had seen him a number of times,” Lane said. “He’s approachable and delivers material that’s clean and funny across the board.”

There are several different ways to enjoy the event. Some attendees just stop in for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, while others stay for the entire evening, including dinner and the show. Last year, the party continued past midnight.

“We had members on Facebook at Lafayette Coney Island (in Detroit) at 1 o’clock in the morning,” Lane said.

Lane said the chefs for the event will be featured either May 17 or 18 at 11 a.m. on WJBK Fox 2 News.

Along with dinner and comedy, there also will be time for the Guild to honor the following individuals: Louis Saravolatz, M.D., of Grosse Pointe Shores, who will be recognized with the Physician of the Year Award; Michael T. Timmis, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who will be awarded the Philanthropic Services Award; John E. DeWald, CPA, of Grosse Pointe Shores, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Walter Cytacki, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who will be presented with the Sister Verenice McQuade Distinguished Service Award.

Tickets for the event cost $300 and are available online at www.stjohnguild.org or by contacting Lorraine Owczarek at (313) 343-3674. Special pricing for “Generation Next” guests — ages 21-35 — is $175, which includes a free, one-year Guild membership.