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November 01, 2007 - Image 62

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-11-01

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Looking for a unique way
to celebrate your kids' birthdays?
Three local venues offer certain success
and high ratings from the littlest critics.


B 2 0



WHAT: Club Rayanne:
Exclusive Spa for Girls
WHERE: Southfield

In a room with walls splashed bubble-
gum pink, where feather boas and fluffy,
white spa robes beckon, a gaggle of girls
have come to experience the party of
their dreams.
At Club Rayanne: Exclusive Spa for
Girls in Southfield, the fanciest of girly
girls will be elated by the glamorous
and pampering options available at their
manicured fingertips. Club Rayanne
is the newest party option at Franklin
Athletic Club's Kids Club — where
choices already include a dramatic play
stage, a 26-foot-high climbing wall, a
72-foot-long obstacle course, an inflat-
able soccer field or pool and gymnasium
But until last October, there was noth-
ing that was all about girls — where they
could party, dance and be pampered.
So when Franklin's beauty salon closed,
Kids Club director Deanna Cortese sug-
gested combining the empty space with
the missing party option. After some
brainstorming sessions between Cortese,
Franklin's owner Rick Brode and the
club's general manager Cindy Wilkinson,
Club Rayanne was formed.
"We tried to think of some unusual,
feminine names for the club, and
someone suggested using my daughter
Rayanne's name," Brode says. 'After
clearing it with Rayanne, who was 11
at the time, we had a meeting with
her to see what girls her age like. Her
favorite color is pink, so we went with
a pink theme throughout. And because
Rayanne, who is now 12, is very ani-
mated, intelligent and fashion-oriented,
it turned out she is the best person to
personify Club Rayanne."
Brode describes Club Rayanne par-
ties as "a customized production — an
event." And each one is fine-tuned based
on the age levels and requests of the
birthday girls, according to Franklin's
event planner and camp director, Regina

Partygoers as young as 3 years old
are welcomed for tea parties with
their moms. Fun for the 4- to 7-year-
old crowd may take place at a "Royal
Princess" party, with each girl making
her own tiara in the club's craft area,
then receiving a princess makeover with
hair up-dos and glittery nail polish.
At "Spa Diva" parties, the girls can
relax in plush white spa robes, getting
manicures and pedicures while sip-
ping chocolate milkshakes and taking
home flip-flop party favors. Guests
at a "Rayanne's Rockin' Dance Party,"
explains Fortushniak, get rock-star
makeovers and then go to the in-house
dance studio to make a music video.
And teenagers may choose a Girl's
Night "In" Pajama Party, replete with
sparkling cider and chocolate fountains,
karaoke, scented neck wraps and all-
night movie watching.
For budding songbird Emily
Finkelstein of Huntington Woods, the
Karaoke machine was essential.
"Emily really, really loves to sing, like
her father [Cantor Meir Finkelstein of
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Oakland
County]," says her mother, Monica. "She
has wanted to sing at her other birthday
parties but it was never an option until
her 'Glamour Girl Makeover' party at
Club Rayanne." Emily's big request for
her 8th birthday party in September was
to include the music of her favorite sing-
er, Gwen Stefani. So, says Fortushniak,
"That became our main focus."
Her guests received light makeup
and manicures, then chose an outfit to
strut their stuff in for a runway photo
shoot. (Lemonade and hors d'ouevres are
provided, but the Finkelsteins opted to
bring their own kosher treats.)
Although Emily's 9-year-old brother,
Noah, had a pool party at Franklin two
years ago, Emily had not made use of
the club before. But it only took one
peek at Club Rayanne and she was sold,
as indicated by her first reaction. Says
her mom, "All she could say when she
looked into the spa, was... 'Awesome!"
—Shelli Liebman Dorfman

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