Bloomfield Hills to host fourth annual Magic of BHS fundraiser

By: Brendan Losinski | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 5, 2018

 Magician, author and TV show host Rick Lax showed off his skills in support of Bloomfield Hills Schools’ 2017 Magic of BHS fundraiser.

Magician, author and TV show host Rick Lax showed off his skills in support of Bloomfield Hills Schools’ 2017 Magic of BHS fundraiser.

Photo provided by Cathie Badalamenti

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Supporters of the Bloomfield Hills School District are putting a call out to residents for a little magic.

The Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation will host its fourth annual Magic of BHS fundraiser on Saturday, March 24, at the Wabeek Country Club in Bloomfield Hills. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the program will start at 8 p.m.

“This is our fourth annual celebration of the BHS, and it’s our signature fundraiser that brings together families, staff members, business leaders, alumni to celebrate our schools and raise money for academic and enrichment programs for the district,” explained Cathie Badalamenti, executive director of the Bloomfield Hills Schools Foundation. “It started when the foundation re-formed four years ago. We knew we needed one big gala event to celebrate all the schools across the district. We thought it would be a fun evening where you could present a lot of programs to a lot of people in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.”

Cynthia von Oeyen, president of the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education, said this is the best time of year for members of the community who don’t normally interact with the district to get a sense of how it is faring.

“This is our annual opportunity to come together as a community to support initiatives that are submitted by teachers and groups in our school community to enrich the education of our children and to support the school district while we have some fun at the same time,” she said. “This fundraiser is a great way to see not only what is going on right now, but is a way we can see where we’ve been through our alumni, as well as where we’re headed.”

The Magic of BHS program will feature a live auction; a “grub grab,” where those who participate can go home with a gift certificate to a local restaurant; and a wine pull, where participants can buy a cork that corresponds to a bottle of wine they then get as a prize.     
“The theme (of the fundraiser) is ‘Did You Know?’ and we will be presenting some videos about some of our programs people in the audience might not know about,” said Badalamenti. “This will include a video on what some of our alumni are doing. We will have other presentations on programs we’ve supported, like robotics and the Community Read program, where people read books and discuss it with our students, and our diversity literacy collection we gave to preschoolers.”

Badalamenti also said several of the district’s students will be dropping by to show those in attendance some of the initiatives their money goes toward.

“We have student entertainment coming too, with the jazz band performing, and a group of middle schoolers from the robotics team, who will demonstrate for the guests how the robots are built and how they work, and that will be very fun,” she said. “Some of the preschoolers will be talking about the books they were given through the literature diversity program.”

The event will be hosted by local auctioneer Gary Mack, and the master of ceremonies will be district staff member Brian Goby.

Tickets cost $125 and are available at

“If people can’t attend the event, we also are offering a chance for people to make a $25 donation where they are subsequently entered into a drawing for a family night out to see ‘School of Rock’ at the Fisher Theatre and a $100 gift certificate to Wahlburgers in Detroit,” said Badalamenti.

A table for 10 costs $1,000.

“It’s just a fun night to have some good food, play some games and reconnect with friends, neighbors and people from all over our district in a context that is outside the usual school environment,” said von Oeyen. “It’s a great (opportunity) to look to the future for our kids.”

Supporting local school districts is of the utmost importance, according to Badalamenti, and it is crucial to the state of the community as a whole.

“Our students are an invaluable investment, and today’s second-grader is tomorrow’s community leader or key employee or entrepreneur,” remarked Badalamenti. “Partnering with us means ensuring educational excellence for our students.”