Cha-ching! The slot machines were hot. And guests quickly learned to say, “Hit me,” at the blackjack tables at “An Evening in Monaco,” the Riverside Mercy Hospital benefit held Saturday evening at The Pinnacle. It was the first fund-raiser for the hospital.
Trees in tubs sparkled with twinkle lights, huge urns held white flowers and ostrich feathers, black-covered tables were centered with tall glass vases of white roses, gold brushed leaves, and peacock feathers.
Portable ballustrades sectioned off various activity areas encircling a central playground for gaming. One area held sweets set amid an “Eiffel Tower” ice sculpture marking the French Dessert Extravaganza. Other grazing stations artfully displayed Italian, Asian, Indian, Mexican, Middle-Eastern, and American cuisine.
Meanwhile the L'USA trio played upbeat tunes in the background as guests were greeted by “Her Royal Highness Princess Stephanie” aka Stephanie Shook, with “Crown Prince Albert” portrayed by Steven Ariss, Jr.. Even Monaco's monarch, “Prince Rainier” showed up, played by Michael Ariss.
Kappa Delta Sorority members from Bowling Green State University were among volunteers in sparkly gowns.
Just like at a real casino, guests traded cash for chips to play slots and table games at portable Monaco Money carts. Drusilla Smallwood confessed with a grin that her husband, Thomas, had been on a winning streak at the craps table - until the dice turned against him. Trish and Gary Yunker joked they were in training for their planned trip to Las Vegas this spring.
“Miss Westie,” the West Highland Terrier pup that caught the hearts of several bidders is the hospital's new mascot. The pooch also reminds fans that the name of the new hospital in West Toledo - it will replace Riverside Mercy - is Mercy Health Park West.
Still, a lot of guests preferred the stuffed version of Miss Westie, which they received for the purchase of a ticket for a jewelry raffle. The prize was a 24-karat yellow gold and diamond slide and necklace valued at $1000 - Joanne Johnson was the lucky winner.
During the lively oral auction guests bid on furs, vacation packages, art, and more. Highlight was the trip to Las Vegas - everyone present was entered. Nanci and Lachman Chablani happily claimed the prize.
Spotted among the crowd of more than 300 were Riverside CEO Scott Shook and his wife, Judy, who was auction chairman; Dick and Peggy Evans and Steve and Gwenn Mickus. Also seen having a great time were Lynn and Joyce Olman, Harry and Deepa Dasani, Dave and Carolyn Jimenez, Judy and Dave Walrod, Barb and Mike Berebitsky, Tom and Jane Manahan, Lynn and Vince Mazinko, and seasoned gamblers Mark Zyndorf, his brother, Sam, and Sam's wife, Kelly.
The totals aren't in yet for this very well-organized event. But already planners, sponsors, volunteers, and staff can claim that it was a smashing success.
SCHOOL TIES: Chairman Tom and Connie Schmidt, left, with Robin and Dick LaValley at the Notre Dame benefit.
Academy Blue, white, and silver balloons clustered for a festive touch at “A Night for Women of Vision” at Gladieux Meadows Saturday night, to benefit Notre Dame Academy. Guests chatted over cocktails and canapes as the Gay Galvin Trio played. Cruising auction tables revealed art and collectibles, house and garden items, and many packages for adults and teens with the school logo.
Blue-covered tables with white lilies and blue-violet orchids amidst twinkling votives was the setting for a gourmet feast. The menu included pecan-herb pork tenderloin and saffron-garlic shrimp, with peach charlotte in a sea of peach puree and fresh peaches on a painted plate - a dessert almost too pretty to eat. which was served later.
Diplomats, 35 select students, assisted with greeting, valet parking, coat check, and the auction and raffle. Lucky winner of a trip to Ireland was alumna and parent, Barb Yavorcik.
Among nearly 300 were academy president Sr. Mary Carol Gregory, event chairmen Connie and Tom Schmidt, and Mike and Carol Anderson, Joe and Bev Rideout, Len and Pat Bullard, Pam Shanks, Frank and Sandy Viviano, Jeff and Pat Kuhr, Bob and Penny O'Brien, Jim and Nancy Smythe, Jim and Mary Tita, Gary and Cheryl Dewood, Eric and Peg Nathe, Bill and Carol Schoen, and Patty Bynre.
Nearly $100,000 was raised for scholarships and financial aid.
EASY GAME: Bob Harold, left, and Greg Nelson of the Toledo Club on Thursday.
The stately Toledo Club knows how to change with the times, most recently declaring coat and tie are no longer required in the dining room. Last Thursday, first day of the new dress code, some 300 attending the fifth annual Sportsman's Show and Wild Game Dinner revealed many variations of casual while guests sampled smoked bluefish pate, bison salami, wild boar sausage, venison tamales, Cajun alligator, smoked duck, roasted pheasant, smoked peppered mackerel, pastrami spiced venison, and blackened ostrich.
A SATIRICAL SAUCE: Mayor Carty Finkbeiner was prime cut at the Press Club of Toledo's 28th annual Ribs 'N' Roast on Thursday at Gladieux Meadows. Mark Rasmus, left, and Press Club president Larry Boyer check notes before turning up the heat and basting the Mayor.
The Lourdes College Alumni Association's “Fire and Ice Gala,” which was scheduled for this Saturday at the Franciscan Center, has been cancelled. The office will contact those holding tickets.
Wintering in Florida this year? Before you head south, tell us your favorite spots and when you'll be there. Please contact Barb Hendel at The Blade, telephone 419-724-6124, or fax 419-724-6105.
Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor. E-mail her at email@example.com.