World-renowned artist headlines Red Tie Ball fundraiser

With the theme ‘Children at the heart of it all,’ the Oakwood Red Tie Ball in honor of Winfred and Paula Weldon, promises to be an electrifying event featuring one-of-a-kind entertainment in support of two good causes.

The 7th annual event will feature famed artist Michael Israel, sponsored Kelly’s Kidz and the Hermann Family, who will bring his ‘Art in Concert’ concept to the ice at Joe Louis Arena on April 21 for the fundraiser, which will benefit the Oakwood Center For Exceptional Families (CEF) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.

“This will be a wonderful event that supports two very worthy causes,” said Carla O’Malley, executive director of the Oakwood Foundation.

Israel is the featured entertainer of the night. He has performed with musicians as well known as Bruce Springsteen and Garth Brooks, appeared with celebrities such as Warren Buffett and has performed at presidential galas and Olympic ceremonies. He helped generate more than $7 million in charitable donations last year. During his high-energy show, which he describes as a combination of a rock concert with paint and an emotional happening, he’ll create five six-foot tall paintings in about half an hour on spinning canvasses.

“It’s action; it’s almost like watching a story unfold very quickly in the time it takes to play a couple of songs,” Israel said.

Israel said collectors have been known to fly in from as far away as Australia to bid on his work, which retail for about $50,000. The paintings will be auctioned off after his performance.

The event takes place on the ice at Joe Louis Arena. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. An elegant dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Other activities include The Giving Pool, a silent auction, photo opportunities on the Zamboni and self-guided tours of the Detroit Red Wings locker room. The Legends Club and Olympia Club will be open after 6 p.m.

The NICU cares for about 500 premature and/or at-risk infants annually—and many of them require long-term medical care, therapy or other support. The Center for Exceptional Families provides care for more than 3,000 children with special needs—and their families—throughout southeastern Michigan. It is a nationally-recognized facility providing unique services of all sorts, from medical care to physical therapy, support groups and more, under one roof.

Israel said he was happy to be able to help generate funds for the two programs.

“It’s an amazing feeling to do what you love and be able to help other people,” he said. “Everybody, in their own way, should do something to help out.”
For more information or for tickets, visit For more information about Michael Israel, visit