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Published: Monday, 8/19/2002

A foot-stompin' good time at the barbecue

A foot-stompin', cowboy-hat wearin', lasso ropin', guitar pickin' good time was had by all Saturday evening at the second annual Barbecue at the Pavilion in Wildwood Metroparks Preserve.

YEE HAW!: Joan and John Coleman suit up in western attire for the Wildwood Metropark barbecue in the pavilion.
 YEE HAW!: Joan and John Coleman suit up in western attire for the Wildwood Metropark barbecue in the pavilion.
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The fund-raiser, which called on partygoers to don cowboy hats, jeans, and casual western attire, was held in the Ward Pavilion in the park's new east entrance near the corner of West Central Avenue and Corey Road. The annual gala raised funds to benefit the Battle of Fallen Timbers battlefield historic site.

Sunny skies and warm temperatures were the perfect backdrop to an evening of lasso-roping wrangler demonstrations, horse-drawn haywagon rides, and corn-husk-doll making.

ROPE 'EM, COWBOY: Clay Vaughan, 6, lassoes his steer. ROPE 'EM, COWBOY: Clay Vaughan, 6, lassoes his steer.
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Attendees showed off their boot-stompin' dance skills to the sounds of numerous country and western and bluegrass music by the Bob Wurst, the Crabgrass, and the Root Cellar old-time string bands. Other attractions were a silent and a live auction, magician Martin Jarret, and astrological counselor Janet Amid. A lively group of dancers from the Village Players, under the direction of Sondra Henry, added to the scenery in authentic cowboy and dance hall girl attire — colorful boas and fishnet stockings included.

Partygoers licked their chops at the Texas-style barbecue that included a plethora of barbecued ribs and chicken, baked beans, corn on the cob with sweet butter, jalapeno cornbread, and peach cobbler.

Cowboys and cowgirls seen mingling in the crowd included event committee volunteer Debbie Johnson and husband, Ed; Dave and Tanya Jensen, who brought their four-month-old daughter Hunter Lee; John and Yves Tooson; John and Joan Coleman clad in authentic cowboy hats; Carol and Bill Block, Jr.; Dale and Linda Hinkelman; Larry O'Dell, and Sam and Debbie Krall.


CLASSY AND CLASSIC: Co-Chairpersons Kim Starr and Joe Luzar look classy next to classic cars at the Mystery Ball.
 CLASSY AND CLASSIC: Co-Chairpersons Kim Starr and Joe Luzar look classy next to classic cars at the Mystery Ball.
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Larry Dillin, sporting a black pinstripe mobster suit, pulled a clicking machine gun out of a violin case and demanded of the woman behind the cashier's cage at the Toledo Country Club: “Listen here. Gimme all your money.” His impudence and style got him the award as best-dressed male at Saturday night's Great Gatsby-themed mystery ball to benefit the Arthritis Foundation Northwest Ohio Chapter.

Rachel Hepner was chosen best dressed female for her 1920s-style finger-wave hair-do, bright red lipstick, and a black flapper dress — complete with a red boa with black tips.

FLAPPERS: Ruth Lewandowski and Jennifer Thompson dress in costume. FLAPPERS: Ruth Lewandowski and Jennifer Thompson dress in costume.
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About 225 partygoers — many whom donned feathers, hats, or clothing from the '20s — dined and gambled in high style at the foundation's first such event.

Flower arrangements abounded, with tall glass vases that held blue hydrangeas, pink carnations, and gerbera and white daisies.

Dinner under a tent on the riverfront lawn started with club Chef Stephen Hurd's signature “floreal” salad of mixed greens topped with thinly sliced red apples, candied walnuts, and grilled onions followed by a choice of beef tenderloin with grilled shrimp, roasted lamb rack, grilled salmon with ginger cream sauce, stuffed chicken breast, and angel hair pasta tossed with asparagus, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a butter sauce. Dessert was a raspberry sorbet in an almond wafer cup.

GATSBYESQUE: Sandy and Jeff Hauter schmooze. GATSBYESQUE: Sandy and Jeff Hauter schmooze.
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A sponsors' party before dinner offered crab cakes, smoked-salmon rosettes, strawberry and brie, melon wrap with prosciutto, and stuffed baby red potatoes.

After dining, party-goers moved inside to play poker, craps, blackjack, roulette, and bet on horses. Bettors used $1,000 bills in play money — that cost them only $1 each — and gambled for 13 prizes, which included a $2,000 travel voucher.

Organizer Cheryl Hardy hoped for big bets from the gamblers to yield a $30,000 profit. . Joe Luzar, who was co-chairman with Kim Starr, promised this was the first of what will be an annual mystery ball for the foundation.

Foundation board members seen were board Chairwoman Jennifer Thompson and husband, Jim; Denise Niese and husband, Dale; Mark Miller and wife, Barbara; Alexis DeCola and husband, Sam; Asha Barnes and husband, Mark; Michael Gordon and wife, Cathy; Ed Goldberger and wife, Mary Baldwin, and Vince Croci and wife, Amy. Also seen were Ruth Lewandowski, Bob and Kathie Maxwell, and Patrick Stapleton.

Bob Sterling, a longtime board member, was honored with the foundation's first lifetime achievement award. He attended with his wife, Leslie.


Kick-off parties this summer highlighted upcoming gala events:

  • The wind kicked up and umbrella tables tipped and took flight, but everything was OK.

    There was no emergency — the “wind” was created by the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center Life Flight helicopter, which arrived in the backyard of the home of Pat and Leonard Bullard on Aug. 8 for the kick-off party for the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center “A Night to Remember” fund-raiser. Life Flight made a special landing for a brief show-and-tell.

    A PREVIEW: Karen and Alan Fadel, left, and Jane and Mike Hartman discussed plans for the  Heart of Toledo Gala. A PREVIEW: Karen and Alan Fadel, left, and Jane and Mike Hartman discussed plans for the Heart of Toledo Gala.
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    There was more show-and-tell — guests enjoyed a picnic of fabulous foods prepared by chefs and dietary staff from Mercy Health Partners, thanks to party Chairpersons Kelly and David Ferner, Doris and Gerald Stark, and Kelly and Chris Riordan.

    The big show will be Sept. 14 at the Valentine Theatre, when the featured entertainment will be The Rat Pack: Reflections of Frank, Dean, and Sammy.

    Cocktails and station dining with a silent auction will precede a live auction and the performance. A gourmet coffee bar will follow, said event Chairwoman Kathi Glascock. The gala benefits the St. Vincent Dialysis Unit, according to foundation board Chairwoman Kathy Zacharias and Executive Vice President and COO Jeff Peterson.

    MAKING PLANS: Sharon Speyer, left, Ann Sanford, and Darlene Minnick attended the Sapphire Ball kickoff at Inverness Club. MAKING PLANS: Sharon Speyer, left, Ann Sanford, and Darlene Minnick attended the Sapphire Ball kickoff at Inverness Club.
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  • The Toledo Opera's Sapphire Ball, “Two on the Isle,” is slated for Oct. 26 at the Pinnacle, according to Chairwomen Sharon Speyer and Elizabeth Gorski. The announcement was made during an intimate gathering Aug. 7 at Inverness Club. The black-tie event — known as a showcase for ball gowns — will include elegant dining, dancing to Persuasion band, and a dozen live-auction items, including a sculpture, a vacation package, and a landscape package.

  • The American Heart Association has several volunteers with a lot of heart organizing the sixth annual Heart of Toledo Gala, scheduled for Feb. 8 at The Pinnacle.

    A preview reception was Aug. 1 in the home of Anoar and Kathy Zacharias.

    Jane Hartman, chairwoman of the gala, said the goal is to raise awareness of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of Americans, and to raise $115,000. She has plenty of assistance from committee chairmen, including Karen and Alan Fadel, Cindy Taylor, Rob Gemerchak, Tom Bartlett, and John Garrity, who are already hard at work.

  • A Save the Date party was July 25 in the home of Lachman and Nancie Chablani, where guests chatted on the multilevel deck overlooking the quarry.

    The event was to preview the St. Charles Mercy Hospital's Crystal Ball, called “The Golden Gala” in honor of the hospital's opening 50 years ago. The hospital has been celebrating with 1950s-style parties since the anniversary of the ground-breaking three years ago, but the Crystal Ball, slated for March 8 at Gladieux Meadows, will be all glamour and elegance.

    Chairpersons are the Chablanis and Kent and Holly Meyers, assisted by Co-chairmen Larry and Sue Fanelly and Joe and Ashlee Assenmacher.

    Guests at the kick-off party at the Chablanis' house enjoyed the peaceful setting on the deck as they sipped wines and nibbled canapes and desserts. Seen were Rasesh and Shilpa Shah, Bob and Kathie Maxwell, Cheryl and Bob Marquette, Nasir and Lynn Ali, Otis and Micki Smith, Don and Yanula Stathulus, and Don and Judy Turner.

  • The Toledo Rowing Foundation's 18th annual International Regatta will be Oct. 12 at International Park. The event was announced at a kick-off party July 10 in the home of George and Stepper LeBoutillier.

    Toledo native and NBA free agent Jim Jackson, son of James and Sandra Jackson, married entertainment manager Shawnee Simms of Atlanta before more than 500 guests July 6 at the Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Buckhead, Ga.

    Among the guests at the formal affair were more than 100 Toledoans, including Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, Calvin Lawshe, and Deborah Barnett.

    The bride was given away by professional boxer Mike Tyson — she is his business manager.

    The Rev. Duane C. Tisdale of the local Friendship Baptist Church, Mr. Jackson's family pastor, officiated.

    Awaiting the newlyweds outside the church was a horse-drawn, Cinderella-style carriage and six black stretch limousines for the wedding party and family members. Jim and Shawnee each had nine attendants.

    For the reception, several ballrooms of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Buckhead were transformed into a festive, elegant space with white patent leather floors and a raised dance floor.

    Members of the R&B group Boyz II Men serenaded the couple, and singer Tyrese performed at the reception. Guests included NBA players Dikembe Mutombo, Damon Stoudamire, Gary Trent, Rod Strickland, and Sam Cassell, a groomsman. Toledo native Myron Bell, who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, also served as a groomsman.

    The couple honeymooned in Barbados and now reside in their Toledo home in Stone Oak.


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