Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Couples share voews in area ceremonies

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    MR. TOLEDO CLUB: Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, right, presents a proclamation honoring Toledo Club greeter Walter Nuzum.


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    The Cloisters at the Toledo Museum of Art provides a romantic setting for the marriage of Erin Harshman and Mark Mitchell.


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    CHAIRPERSONS: Steve Stanford and Mary Werner at the home of Debi and Jay Mertz.


Wedding bells chimed for several couples this summer, including the recent wedding of Boyz II Men singer Shawn Stockman and former Toledoan Sharhonda Jones. And folks are still abuzz over the Sept. 2 affair at the Wyndham Hotel rumored to include several celebrities -- the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Stevie Wonder, and Eddie Murphy -- but none were seen at the private gala which excluded all local media due to a contractual agreement with In Style magazine. There were, however, plenty of local folks on the A-list including Jim Jackson who hosted a party the previous evening in his Stone Oak home with his fianc e Shawnee Simms. Also seen were Calvin Lawshe, Sharon and Jimmy Gaines, Roy and Holly Hodge, Dina Smith, Matthew Coleman, and Anthony Frieson.


The Cloisters at the Toledo Museum of Art provides a romantic setting for the marriage of Erin Harshman and Mark Mitchell.

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The Toledo Museum of Art Cloister was the site for the Sept. 1 wedding of Erin and Mark Mitchell. And lucky for guests the invitation in hieroglyphics on papyrus included English translation. The reception was in the Egyptian room.

Former Storm hockey player and head coach Greg Puhalski tied the knot with Alison Fillion August 18 at Corpus Christi church with a reception at the Toledo Museum of Art where guests danced to the tunes of Voodoo Libido. Mr. Puhalski is the son of Verna Puhalski of Thunder Bay, Ont., and the late Lloyd Puhalski, and his bride is the daughter of Glen and Cathy Fillion of Ottawa Hills. Before the newlyweds return to from their Carmel Valley Ranch honeymoon in California to their Ft. Wayne, Ind., home, they will attend the Sept. 14 wedding of the bride's brother, Dan Fillion, to Erin Burrell in Las Vegas.

Bells chimed on the same day and time for two other couples too. Heather Weber and Martin Nowak repeated their vows in the First Congregation Church, attended their reception at The Pinnacle, then headed for a Grand Traverse Bay honeymoon. The bride is the daughter of Bill and Nancy Weber and the groom is the son of Pat Nowak and the late Casimir Nowak.

Meanwhile, St. Joan of Arc Church was the site of Lisa Artman's marriage to Ron Reeder, Jr. A reception followed at the Franciscan Center. The talk of the evening was about the bachelorette party in Miami Beach, Fla., and bachelor party in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Lost Wages, Nev.

Stacie Krenz and Dennis Woods celebrated in Toledo on July 28 with a Hawaiian luau, then were married in Seattle, where they live. The bride is the daughter of Gene and Debbie Krenz and the groom is the son of Robert Woods.


CHAIRPERSONS: Steve Stanford and Mary Werner at the home of Debi and Jay Mertz.

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Kick-off Parties for upcoming events have been plentiful:

Debi and Jay Mertz opened their new home Thursday for the 50th Annual Ursuline Benefit Dinner kick-off cocktail party. The "Golden Gala" is slated for Nov. 2 at Gladieux Meadows according to chairman Steve Stanford and co-chairwoman Mary Werner.

Tom and Debbie Merritt were hosts for a preview party in their home Wednesday for "A Night to Remember" featuring illusionist Jeff McBride. The gala, which benefits St. Vincent Medical Center, is slated for Oct. 6 at the SeaGate Centre, according to chairmen Bud and Lana Beekman and Vince and Lynn Mezinko.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society had a preparty July 23 at The Pinnacle, where the Dinner of Champions Triumphs and Treasures will be Wednesday.

Don and Judy Turner started plans early for the Crystal Ball slated for March 9 at Nazareth Hall. The kick-off party was July 26 in their Stone Oak home.

Gayle Campbell, chairwoman of "An Evening of Expression" to benefit The Mentally Ill of Great Toledo, held an invitation addressing party in her home last month for the Oct. 12 event at Franciscan Center.

Guests arrived by boat and car on Aug. 17 to the River Road home of Jim and Cheryl Oedy, who were hosts of a kick-off rally for the New Hope Gala Auction Dinner.

The event is slated for Nov. 9 at The Pinnacle, according to Ed Reiter, chairman of the event with Mr. Oedy.

A diverse group of ministries were represented as guests sipped, supped, and chatted about the upcoming dinner to benefit some 25 area ministries.


MR. TOLEDO CLUB: Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, right, presents a proclamation honoring Toledo Club greeter Walter Nuzum.

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Longtime members of the Toledo Club gathered Wednesday evening for the Golden Era Party. The idea was started 12 years ago by members Clay and Betty Hepler, who decided the club needed a party for the senior members. The Heplers thought the fall was the best time so friends could see each other before flying to warmer climes for the winter. Doris and Stan Goldman are already in Sarasota, Fla., but came back to visit for the month -- they are staying at the club. Katherine and Boyd Montgomery were chatting about a trip to China. But everyone took time out to honor their longtime greeter, Walter Nuzum. Mayor Finkbeiner stopped by to present a special proclamation making it official that Walter is "Mr. Toledo Club" and bragged about Walter's ability to recall everyone's name. Walter joked, "Thank you, mayor Kessler."

The annual Lobster Feast, Toledo Symphony League's fabulous fall island party, was Friday evening at Anderson Activity Center. More than 200 guests in tropical prints, tourist shirts, hats, and sandals mingled over cocktails on the outdoor patio as Groovemaster played Reggae music for listening and dancing. Clam chowder whet appetites for lobster dinner under a big tent decorated with sand and shells.

Chairwoman Denise Benton was assisted by volunteers Terry Benton, Kim and Gerry Danes, Teri and Tim Tomase, Mike and Kim Kastner, Bob Stone and Becky Bauer|schmidt, and Marcia Pizanti and Cary Gross. Seen were Howard and Mary Madigan, Regan and Cathy Smith, Don and Diane Breese, Mark and Marcia Rubini, Joyce Maines, Marlene and Tom Uhler, Maggie Arnold, and Jim and Kay Murray.


AFTERGLOW: Michael Marsh and his event committee came up with a new venue.


SRO Afterglow: A Celebration of the Human Spirit gave a new twist Saturday evening to the decade of SRO (Supporters Reaching Out) parties to benefit David's House of Compassion. For the past ten years the parties were noted for their huge, elaborate galas with entertainment galore, food, and beverages for a thousand plus attendees. It would be tough to outdo themselves, so this year -- with the beginning of a new decade -- there dawned a new venue.

Event chairman Michael Marsh said he and his committee considered ways to lower the cost to generous donors and conserve people power while keeping it a grand event. The SRO Afterglow accomplished their goals by providing “The intimate feel of a dinner party paired with the energy and excitement of our traditional large event.”

About 500 guests dined in 23 homes. Then, the sun set and they ventured to the Afterglow party at The Hilton hotel where they could dance off their dinner, indulge in decadent desserts, and raise the roof with a live auction with anchor Bill Hormann, of Toledo 11.

The evening glittered softly with stars and candlelight both inside and out as guests schmoozed and cruised the crowd as they compared who had what for dinner and where.

The silent auction tables laden with art, vacation packages, and more, drew a crowd, while two completed panels of the Names Project national AIDS quilt on display drew compassion: It honored local aids victims and reminded guests of the real purpose behind the party.

Back to fun, Sally Binard, Ed and Sally Lee, and Katie O'Neil hosted a party at the Lee's home, where they nixed the work and opted for the Inverness Club to cater. Ditto for Helen and Glenn Iossi who had Liz Sofo create the cuisine. Also among the hosts of the 23 dinner spots were Mike Plewa and Tina Ferner with Mike Ferner and Sue Carter, Neal Ward and Jim Jefferies, Richard Enk and Gene Roach, Kristi Polus, Bruce Yunker, and Leisa Leninger-Hilou, Don Rowney and Susan Carlton, Edward and Carla Willis and Mr. Marsh with Jeffrey Pinkerton.

Spotted in the crowd of guests guests were Sara Theis, Mike Stickney and Cinda Robertson, David Parrish, Marv and Nancy Robon, Bob Zimmerman, Debbie and Thomas Monagan, and Jasmine Williams.

Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor. E-mail her at

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