Cowboys aren't known for sitting around, and the American Cancer Society’s annual Cattle Baron’s Ball aims to keep its attendees on its feet. 

The ball, held Sept. 24 at Cobo Center, drew 700 attendees and raised $1 million to support the society’s mission. It featured a strolling supper with local celebrity chefs making their signature item; a live auction; and entertainment. The event, though open to the public, is primarily a corporate fundraiser that draws its support from sponsorships. 

“For us, it’s been attractive because it’s not a black-tie gala,” says Christine Kenny, the society’s senior events manager. “Our executives like coming in jeans and a cowboy hat. They’re excited to dust off their cowboy hats once a year.”

The supper featured dishes from Achatz Handmade Pie Co., Alpine Chocolat Haus, Berkley’s Gourmet Cupcakes & Party Cakes, Inc., Beyond Juice, Brome Burgers and Shakes, Café Sushi, Centerplate, Chapman House, Club Venetian – Banquet and Conference Center, Firebird Tavern, Forte Belanger, Granite City Food and Brewery – Detroit, Kona Grill, Maggiano’s Little Italy – Troy, Mario’s Italian Restaurant, Pink Elephant Cupcakes, Ridley’s Bakery Café, A Serendipity Cakery, Small Plates Detroit, The Melting Pot and Tijuana’s Mexican Kitchen.

“At most gala events, a corporation would buy a table; you might have a cocktail hour and then you’d sit with your guests from your company for two hours,” Kenny says. “What our guests like about ours is they can mingle. A lot of business cultivation takes place in that strolling period.”

The event’s live auction included distinctive items like dinner on the ice at Joe Louis Arena; tickets to the 2016 World Series and the 2017 Grammy Awards; a trip to the Masters Tournament; a guest appearance by Red Wings Coach Jeff Blashill; and a walk-on to the PBS show “A Craftsman’s Legacy.” 

But the event’s most successful element, Kenny says, was the connections it helped attendees make with the society’s mission and the people it serves. When guests arrived, they could write the name of a loved one affected by cancer on a star, and the evening’s entertainers spoke about the society’s cause.

“We brought the event back to focus on the mission,” Kenny says. “We brought that focus into the performances, talked about why we’re here, where the money goes and how it makes an impact. It paid off really well.” 

At ARTFEEL, the entire community of The Woodlands is encouraged to take the stage. 


Imagine a playground for event professionals–where there’s no pressure to be somewhere or to stick to an agenda—and you’ve got Haute Dokimazo, HD for short. “There’s a time and place where education needs to happen, but we also, as senior event managers, sometimes need to talk to each other,” says Liz Lathan, chief experience officer at Haute Dokimazo.


Lansing isn't just the capital of Michigan, but it’s also the central hub for the entire state—literally; it’s located within 90 minutes of 90 percent of the state’s population, making it both eventful and accessible for groups located throughout the state.