Esteemed benefactors of the Toledo Museum of Art were thanked with a grand soiree Oct. 13. The Centenary Celebration of Museum Leadership took place in the museum on Monroe Street, where it has been located since 1912, after being founded in 1901 by glass industrialist Edward Drummond Libbey. The private museum has been maintained for the public for 100 years, thanks to contributors, and on this night more than 400 major donors were personally greeted by director Brian Kennedy and wife Mary, along with board president Deke Welles and wife Hope.
During cocktails, many toured the current Manet: Portraying Life exhibit sponsored locally by BP, represented by Mark and Barbara Dangler, and Block Communications, Inc, represented by Allan Block, chairman of the board, and his wife, Susan, and John Robinson Block, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Blade, and his wife, Susan. Among the elite were Rita Kern with former TMA director Roger Berkowitz, Georgia Welles, Tony and Debbie Knight, Jay and Trina Secor and daughter Virginia Secor Shaw, Carol Bentley, Jr., and son Anderton Bentley, III of Hopkinton, Mass., Sara Jane and Bill DeHoff, and Kathy Magliochetti.
The Museum People: Faces of TMA exhibit drew a crowd which included Tom and Betsy Brady, Posy Huebner, Mike and Carol Anderson, Barbara Baker, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, George and Leslie Chapman, Marjorie Hutton, John and Yolanda Szuch, Scott and Margy Trumbull, Chuck and Cindy Dana, Jim and Kristy Hoffman, Mary Lou Fox, Frank and Carol Kistler, Donna and Bill Neihous, Susan Morgan, and Pam Hersberger.
Dinner was breathtaking. Lush red roses, Gerber daisies, and berries centered on escoffier tables set with gold chiavari chairs, tunneled through the glorious art galleries, many with giant crystal chandeliers, creating an exquisite setting. The French cuisine was paired with French wines. Joan Travis sat next to Bill Cosgrove, who proudly sported a tie he bought in Paris with his wife Kim Collins on their 15th wedding anniversary 15 years ago. Many recalled the museum's centennial celebration in 2001, in the Peristyle transformed into a lavish night club, the brain child of Mary Wolfe and Susan Reams, who were present this night, too, with their husbands, Fritz and Frazier, respectively.
In the Great Gallery amid masterpieces by famous artists French horns, trombones, trumpets, and more sounded. It was the "Vento-Vetro-Vernice" ("Wind-Glass-Paint") fanfare by composer and BGSU professor Christopher Dietz.
Mr. Welles said the Libbey family made a matching grant one year, but the first fund-raising campaign was in 1965 led by Harold Boeschenstein and the Presidents' Council, many of whom were present on this night, including Bill Boeschenstein (son of the late Harold Boetschenstein) and wife Molly, Pat Stranahan and wife Robin, and Phil Williams and wife Nancy. Since then 75 percent of the monetary gifts have been from major donors.
Then it was show time for songs that were befitting of the classy surroundings. Tony Award nominee Christine Andreas wooed the audience with songs as her husband, Grammy-nominated composer and record producer Martin Silvestri, played piano. It was their first time performing in a museum, and they were honored.
THE American Cancer Society's Toledo Cattle Baron's Ball: Rhinestones and Ropers lassoed a heap of fun as well as $50,000. The Oct. 13 event at the Stranahan Great Hall featured Midwest Dueling Pianos sponsored in memory of Jeanne and George Horen. Special song requests, taken for donations, made it personal as tunes were played in honor of loved ones.
Before the show, there was something for everyone including casino gaming, a wine cork bottle raffle, a cactus raffle for restaurant certificates, and silent and live auctions. Tasty grub was Tex-Mex cuisine donated by Texas Roadhouse, City BBQ, Abuleo's Mexican Embassy, and Spaghetti Warehouse.
Adding to the western theme were the 250 attendees, many in denim, boots, and cowboy hats. Thanks go to event chairmen Michael Flis, Pam Jensen, Bridgett Root, and honorary chairman Mary Helen Darrah, a cancer survivor; and Mercy and other sponsors.
MECCA Court No. 73 hosted a weekend of events Oct. 12 and 13 to increase exposure and raise $5,000 for education and community service. At the Grand Plaza Hotel, guest speaker Ingrid Bias, survivor of the year, talked about breast cancer and the dramatic story of her faith walk as she battled the disease. A monetary gift was given to the Nightingale Harvest Food Pantry for breast cancer survivors.
The 49th Annual Commandress Ball in honor of outgoing commandress Lisa Fails took place in the Sullivan Center of Gesu Parish. More than 200 members and guests attended, including Homer Buchanan, Imperial Potentate, Prince Hall Shriners; Marie Anderson, Imperial Deputy, Desert of Ohio; and Danielle Shockley, Imperial Deputy, Oasis of Toledo. Scholarships were awarded to Tre Vaughn Moss and Ramone Richardson, through the the Charlesena H. Smith Scholarship fund, named for Charlesena Smith, Past Imperial Commandress, Imperial Court Daughters of Isis who was also present.