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Published: Thursday, 12/12/2002

St. Francis benefit kicks off party season

'Tis the season for holiday parties. The Saturday after Thanksgiving and the first Saturday in December are prime times for gatherings. Country clubs traditionally have their formal affairs at this time, making it official that the holiday season has started.

One event, a fund-raiser always held on the first Saturday in December, is the St. Francis de Sales High School benefit. The school's 11th annual Presidential Ball, “Light the Knight Within,” was held Saturday at SeaGate Centre, and focused on fun.

Jim and Nancy Bingle, left, and Toni and Chris Kelly were chairmen of `Light the Knight Within.' Jim and Nancy Bingle, left, and Toni and Chris Kelly were chairmen of `Light the Knight Within.'

In a sea of red and blue table linens, balloons, and roses, guests sipped cocktails and nibbled hors d'oeuvres as they perused the silent auction tables filled with all kinds of great holiday gifts, including home and garden accessories, school logo items and student art, wine, dinner certificates, sports, toys, and luxury items.

Dinner offered a break for weary shoppers, although many raced to get in last-minute bids before tables closed. Dee and Tom Dillon won the bidding war for the life-sized knight donated by Larry and Pam Hanley. Larry and Anita Boyer were delighted to buy the slot machine. Bonnie and Joe Coyle purchased glass jewelry donated by Pat and Shelia Nicholson, Terry Gladieux Geiger, and Richard and Jeanne Schoen. Commemorative ornaments were sold for $50, and there was a chance to win the traditional Treasure Quest. This year, prizes included a summer lease on a 2003 Thunderbird from Mathews Ford, won by Dan and Mary DiSalle; a week's stay at Homestead/Glen Arbor, Mich., from Gerry and Mike Smith, won by John and Ruth Kantner; flowers once a week from Bartz Viviano, won by Steve and Molly LeBlanc, and a holiday feast courtesy of Honeybaked Ham, won by Dave and Patrice Mallory.

Once shopping was done, the Homewreckers drew a crowd to the dance floor.

Chairmen were Jim and Nancy Bingle and Chris and Toni Kelly. Among the crowd of 440 guests, the largest ever, were master of ceremonies Joe Sweeney and his wife, Sue; George and Carol Koury, Stan and Mary Stachek, Tom and Sharon Tafelski, Janice and Tim Korhumel, Kathy and John Wetli, Kathy and Mark Rennels, Donna and Dave Moyer, Mike and Donna Glonek, and Kitsie and Jim Valiton, who headed off to another party.

CHARITY PARTIES also come into the limelight this time of year:

Brandywine Country Club's annual Christmas Auction and Luncheon was Dec. 4 with a bake sale, raffle, and small crafts. Chairmen of the event were Nancy Haas and Lynda Green. All proceeds benefit needy families in northwest Ohio.

The Christ Child Society of Toledo's Christmas Cocktail Party Dec. 3 at Inverness Club was more than an enjoyable time. Guests in holiday attire brought nonperishable food, and laundry and paper products to be included in baskets for area families.

The Toledo Women's Club's annual Christmas Luncheon and Auction was Dec. 4 in the club on Woodley Road. The group, established in 1892, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing social, educational, and community activities for women of the Toledo area. Members and guests did holiday shopping, and proceeds benefit the club's charitable projects. One of them is Suitably Attired, an organization which provides clothing and support for low-income women going into the workforce.

Laura Palmer was chairman, assisted by Eldonna Cox, Terry Rakosik, Jinny Patterson, Verna Hauser, Tish Price, Pat Howard, and May Jo Ritchie. Club president is Lois Stack.

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