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What's on tap – carats and dip, for starters

Finally, a legitimate reason to shop.

The Tapper's 30th Anniversary Gala, to benefit AIDS charities in Michigan and South Africa, was a fundraiser of 3-D proportions – Dancing, Dining and Diamonds. Lots of diamonds.

See more photos from this event Steven Tapper recalls starting Tapper's Diamond and Fine Jewelry with his brother, Howard Tapper, 30 years ago at 12 Mile and Northwestern in Southfield. Twelve years ago, they relocated and expanded to their current location in Orchard Mall in West Bloomfield. On Sept. 28, they opened a second Tapper's in Twelve Oaks Mall — just in time for the holidays.

"To go from a few-person operation to a staff of 85 people and be able to give back to our community is really an honor," Steven said. So he and Howard founded Precious Lives, Precious Metals, a charitable effort to benefit the Midwest AIDS Prevention Project in Michigan and YouthAIDS in South Africa (where 80 percent of the world's supplies of platinum are found).

The brothers launched their initiative with the inaugural gala on Dec. 1, World AIDS Day. More than 400 people donned cocktail attire and Ugg boots (OK, maybe one person wore Uggs; the rest used valet parking) and braved the first snowstorm of the season to attend the event in the concourse of the Orchard Mall.

Through the holiday season, the brothers also make this offer to those unable to make the gala: For every $30 you donate to Previous Lives, Precious Metals, you receive a $30 Tapper's gift certificate. Not too shabby. And Hanukkah starts tonight.

Posted on 12/4/2007

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