By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Organizing and chairing a major fundraiser is no easy feat, but Patrick Rugiero, Roman Village Restaurant Group executive director, relishes in the challenge.
Rugiero was named the event chairman of Beaumont’s 11th annual Red Tie Ball shortly after he completed his chairman duties for the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball in December.
“Beaumont contacted me right after the Kidney Ball and asked if I would chair the Red Tie Ball,” he said. “We raised over $650,000 at the Kidney Ball and hope to raise $500,000 during the Red Tie Ball.”
Rugiero has been involved in philanthropic work for a number of years, including being a member of the Red Tie Ball executive committee for five years and Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families board for 10 years.
“At this stage, I’m comfortable and grateful to be chosen to be able to help so many people and children,” he said. “I’m also humbled by the work being done by the doctors at both facilities.”
The ball will benefit the Beaumont Center for Exceptional Families and Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that houses 5,000 premature or at risk babies annually.
The center offers patients and their families the resources needed to develop into adults including medical and rehabilitation.
This year’s Red Tie Ball will take place at 6 p.m. April 9 at the Westin Book Cadillac, 1114 Washington Blvd. in Detroit, with a “Casino Grand” theme for attendees.
Tickets are $275 and can be purchased by calling Marti Drabing at 313-586-4924. For more information, go to oakwood.org/foundation.
Sponsors include Healthrise Solutions and Northwestern Mutual along with many more.
Rugiero said planning for the ball began in December and has been a collaborative process for an event of its size.
The process began with establishing an executive committee with community leaders, venue decision and then targeting sponsors and securing auction items, Rugiero explained.
Next, came the band and menu selection along with working out the logistics of valet parking, coat check, ballroom layout and presentation schedule.
“There are a lot of moving parts that have to come together to make an event like the ball possible,” he said. “I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do my charity work without my supportive and helpful family.”
A live auction and giving pool, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, live entertainment from the Rick Lieder Band and caricatures will be part of the evening filled with community members, physicians, vendors, donors and guests.
Born at Oakwood Hospital (now Beaumont Hospital-Dearborn) and raised in Dearborn, Rugiero has a personal connection to the event and city.
“I am honored and privileged to be in this position and use my resources to help with such a great cause.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)