Fireworks in the fog was the coup de grace at the “Putting on the Ritz” holiday lights party Nov. 17 at Stone Oak Country Club. Formally clad guests gathered on the outdoor terrace overlooking the 18th green for fireworks that shone through the fog. Then the “The Star-Spangled Banner” played as a light display of the American Flag sparkled in the mist. It was a moving sight, and one that sparked tears and hugs of appreciation among family and friends.
The elegant evening included cocktails and hors d'oeuvres by the fireplace and an elegant and artfully displayed gourmet meal in the finely appointed dining room. Later, the band Phoenix packed the dance floor and guests nibbled petite sweets and nuts with coffee. It was an extra-special evening, as president Ron Lincoln announced the papers are ready to sign for the club to become membership owned. Among the 230 party goers were Jerry and Ica Sutter, Jim and Dee Caruso, Ford and Phyllis Cauffiel, Pete and Barb Machin, Tybo and Debbie Wilhelms, Linda and Craig Bergman, and co-hairs Jeff and Gina Modica and Jim and Lisa Peer.
The Brandywine Country Club hosted one of its best-attended gatherings of the year Saturday at its Main Dining Room, as roughly 200 people appeared for the Holiday Kick-Off Party. Christmas lights streamed along the ceiling and gently illuminated the dance floor as members and guests relaxed over tasty food, good conversation, and even better dance music.
Ed Paterwich, there with his wife, Virginia, said, “We've been married for 55 years and we just enjoy ourselves everywhere we go.”
Brandywine's executive chef, Rodney Pasker, was the talk of the party, serving up a tantalizing buffet that included chicken piccata, salmon croute, and seafood pasta, along with carved porkloin with rosemary sauce and carved top round that melted in your mouth.
But Chef Rodney has to share the praise Saturday with the party's feature attraction, the Homewreckers band. Party goers - from novice to seasoned swing-dance veterans - crowded the dance floor and twirled to favorites ranging from “Soul Man,” to “Johnny B. Good” along with a couple of hot numbers made famous by Earth, Wind, and Fire for good measure.
Dan Kazierczak and his wife, Diane, joined Dennis and Kathi Granzow in the dining room along with Wayne and Shelley Rhome, Charlie and Jackie Yoder, Pam Brazeau, and Ken and Jan Higgins. “This is the biggest dance we have each year,” said Mr. Kazierczak. “This is a wonderful way to get the Christmas season going.”
Matt and Nadine Townsend laughed and talked the night away with a little help from their friends - Tim and Beth LaPointe, Scott and Sue Irwin, Todd and Joni Downing, and Brian and Gretchen Zientek. “We just called up a group of our friends and asked them to come along,” said Mrs. Townsend.
The Gingerbread House Family Gala at Lucas County Recreation Center was the place to be Nov. 18. The event, to benefit the Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, gave a sneak preview of Children's Wonderland. Tiny tots, and big kids, too, strolled the party, feasting on holiday edibles and listening to holiday tunes.
Staff writer Clyde Hughes contributed to this report.
It was rivalry weekend for college football and in the sprit of things, parties were part of the fun. Friday was the Bowling Green State University - University of Toledo game at Bowling Green and Saturday was the Ohio State - Michigan game at Ann Arbor. The Falcons rolled to a 56-21 rout, while the Buckeyes rejoiced in their 26-20 victory.
Thousands of optimistic Rocket and Falcon fans arrived early Friday to get in the spirit and to check out the smorgasbord of refreshments available along hospitality-tent row just outside Doyt Perry Stadium. Tents sponsored by corporations and clubs hosted private parties as cheerleaders and marching bands paraded through the area.
At the BGSU Alumni tent, Amy Szymanski, class of '93, led a group in singing the BGSU fight song. Mike Wilcox, class of '75 and board of trustees member, said 10,000-15,000 people usually visit the private tents. Nathan Boyle, class of '97, and his wife, Elizabeth, passed out pompons and Falcon stickers to guests, saying the pregame party "is a great chance for BG alumni to reconnect."
In the President's Suite, Dr. Sidney Ribeau was one of the game's most enthusiastic fans. Before the kickoff, the BGSU president praised both schools' football sqauds. UT President Daniel Johnson was out of town and unable to attend, but Toledo was well-represented in the suite by Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. Making a surprise visit were Freddy and Frieda Falcon, school mascots, in their colorful new uniforms.
- DAVE YONKE
It was a special weekend for Nasr Khan and his family. Princess Mehrunisan R. Khan, formerly of Pakistan, was in town for a family visit over the holiday weekend. Princess Khan, of Potomac, Va., was the wife of the late air marshal Rahim Khan, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington.
Mr. Khan, who was the host for the weekend, entertained family and friends Friday in his Perrysburg home and Saturday at Inverness Club, after a family day Thursday. He said many of his family members have not seen each other in years, so it was an extra special reunion, especially since his wife, Karen, passed away in May this year.
Spotted at weekend get-togethers were Jack and Joanie Foster, Beverly and Habib Khan, Amjad and Dottie Hussain, Steve and Kay Foster, and Abbul Hafeez and Meena Khan of Houston.
Sound - style - sequins - sparkle - The Pride of Toledo Chorus, a nonprofit educational organization with a commitment to musical excellence, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
That's thanks to founder Mary Riggs, who commented, "it was in the stars that I got bit by the barbershop bug so long ago."
Mrs. Riggs, 84, was honored at the annual show Nov. 10 at Stranahan Great Hall, where Nov. 10 was proclaimed by the City of Toledo as Mary Riggs Day. While no longer an active member, Mrs. Riggs recalls that when she started the original name of the Toledo chapter of the Sweet Adelines was the Glass City Chapter. The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America - an all-men's group - was in Toledo in 1951 for a convention.
Mrs. Riggs and her quartet were singing in a doorway of the ballroom at the Commodore Perry Hotel when a society member invited them to become Sweet Adelines, and the rest is history. Pride of Toledo recently returned from Portland, Ore., where it placed eighth at the international competition.
The Museum Store at Westgate Village Shopping Center opened just in time for holiday shopping.
The store, owned and operated by The Toledo Museum of Art, was at Franklin Park Mall, but like so many stores, left for new horizons and more affordable rent. Like many unexpected changes, there were hidden benefits that turned it into a better opportunity.
The 4,000-square-foot retail space is more than twice the size of the old store, with oodles of storage too. A metal-girder ceiling beam curves down the center of the store, giving an artsy dimensional look to the typical glass front rectangular store.
Merchandise is displayed as if in a gallery, so passers-by might assume that's all there is, but there is much more than paintings, prints, glass, sculpture, pottery, ornaments, and jewelry by more than 25 local artists.
Greeting cards, calendars, and related museum gift wear also make up the merchandise ranging in price from $10 to $5000. Hours at the Westgate store are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.