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Published: 7/28/2003

Inverness celebrates its 100th year

BIG NIGHT FOR THE CLUB: Tom and Paulette Geiger, at left, and Anna and Mike Miller, president, add emphasis to the historic clock at Inverness Club. BIG NIGHT FOR THE CLUB: Tom and Paulette Geiger, at left, and Anna and Mike Miller, president, add emphasis to the historic clock at Inverness Club.
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ICE BREAKER: Bill and Gene Parker, members since 1968, check out the ice sculpture in the form of the crest of the club, which was celebrating its centennial anniversary Saturday night. ICE BREAKER: Bill and Gene Parker, members since 1968, check out the ice sculpture in the form of the crest of the club, which was celebrating its centennial anniversary Saturday night.
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DECKED OUT: John Kretzschmar, with wife, Sue, wears his knickers, or plus fours.
DECKED OUT: John Kretzschmar, with wife, Sue, wears his knickers, or plus fours.
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BAR TIME: Joni Arredia flashes her smile in the men's locker room bar. BAR TIME: Joni Arredia flashes her smile in the men's locker room bar.
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PART OF THE PARTY: Carol and John Cochrane chat with John Hadley at the Party in the Parking Lot. PART OF THE PARTY: Carol and John Cochrane chat with John Hadley at the Party in the Parking Lot.
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TIME FOR FUN: Jeff Shugarman and Tressy Paquin are among the 2,300 people at the Toledo Club party. TIME FOR FUN: Jeff Shugarman and Tressy Paquin are among the 2,300 people at the Toledo Club party.
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Inverness Club now joins the ranks of other Toledo establishments that have made it to the 100-year mark.

The centennial celebration of Inverness Club was Saturday evening amid elegant decor, fine foods, and music. Members all gussied up in their finest formal wear entered the stately club through a topiary embellished doorway, accented with white flowers.

The Centennial Grill held a lavish array of hors d'oeuvres from fresh seafood to black truffles and exotic cheeses that surrounded a giant ice-sculpted club crest. The new Invertini — a raspberry concoction — was offered at the Martini Bar in the Byron Nelson Room, where a historical display of the club was set up. A 1937 menu offered a complete lamb chop dinner for $1.40, rhubarb pie for 15 cents, and ice cream for 15 cents. Also a popular place for schmoozing over cocktails was the men's locker room and private bar area that is normally off limits to the women. The patio, accented for the evening with sheer white drapes and flowers was also a pleasant respite.

Bagpipers signaled it was dinner time but they were barely heard over the din of chatter. Breathtaking bouquets of white flowers in tall silver urns centered at each candlelit table covered with green and set with silver enticed guests to be seated for the invocation by club historian Bill Parker. A champagne toast to the club and its members followed. Longtime members were recognized, including Keith Wilson and Bill Murtagh, Sr., 53-year members; Tom Geiger, Sr., and Harry Mack, 51-year members; and Larry Loughlin, Lon Poll, and Bill Mitchell, 49-year members. Bob May and Marc Stockwell, co-chairman of the U.S. Senior Open 2003, were honored with gold-framed club crests signed by all of the 2003 senior open players.

Kudos go to chef Peter Swick for the outstanding gourmet feast in the Terrace Room and the S. P. Jermain room, newly named for the first president. Ahi tuna and mixed greens started the meal, then cabernet hallot sorbet cleared the palate for the tenderloin and Australian lobster tail entree, with espresso semifredo dessert. General manager Pat LaRocca said the dinner was styled with “A little bit of old (the surf 'n' turf) and something new (tuna and dessert) ... nothing but the best ... even a 100 years ago!” The white-gloved service was impeccable and the staff had a good time too, including Dottie Schmidt, who has waited tables at the club for 20 years. A deluxe sweet table held more sinfully delicious temptations.

After dinner, the patio overlooking the 18th green became a lively night club atmosphere as members danced under the canopy to the tunes of the Reflections. The evening a success, chairman Paulette Geiger, there with her husband Tom Geiger, Jr., let loose and sang a tune or two with the band. Meanwhile Carl Hillenbrand and his band performed jazz and big band tunes. Shaking a leg on both dance floors was longtime member Fred Burgie, there with his wife, Ellie. Also dancing were past president Denny Johnson and his wife, Sheila, Dick and Patty Westmeyer, Zac and Dee Isaac, Mark and Karen Ridenour and Art and Mary Mancini.

Among the nearly 300 members in attendance were president Mike Miller and his wife, Anna, Anor and Kathy Zacharias, John and Yolanda Szuch, Margy and Scott Trumbull, Art and Jan Purinton, Marty and Kathy Holmes, Jim and Sue White, Sharad and Elizabeth Jain, Rick and Barbara Brunner, Spence and Christie Stone, Jr., Mark and Jenny Stegeman, John and Michelle Hills, Duane and Nancy Ankney, Rod and Joan Durgin, and Steve and Mary Saddemi.

Also, Judd and Lisa Silverman, Jim and Nancy Smythe, Mike and Ellie Maggiano, Gloria Kistler and Keith Wilson, Jim and Barb Yavorcik, Jon and Kathy Miller, Carolyn and Alan Fadel, Jeff and Corinn Mann, Skip and Mo Gardner, Jenny and Rick Brunner, Don and Diane Breese, Joel and Davie Epstein, John and Andrea Monoky, Jim and Kay Murray, Larry and Kathy Ulrich, Larry and Terri Schmakel, Tom and Cheryl Walter, Bill Murtagh, Jr., in his family Irish tartan kilt and his wife, Barbara, in a black sequin sheath, and Penny and Steve Staelin, the only past president whose father was also president.

Inverness, established in 1903, was named after Inverness, Scotland. In 1919 Scottish golf course architect Donald Ross transformed the original 9-hole course into an 18-hole championship terrain.

The following year, Inverness hosted the U.S. Open and was the first club in history to open its doors to the visiting professionals. Eleven years later, the club was host of the first national open tournament to be broadcast nationally from a course. That year, the players, in gratitude for Inverness' hospitality, presented the club a giant cathedral chime clock that was inscribed with “God measures men by what they are, not by what they possess ... ” Over the years, George and Tom Fazio and later Arthur Hills enhanced the course to what it is today. But there is more to the club than the golf course: It holds family history. It's a place where children grow up, learn to swim, play tennis and golf, and dress for dinner. It's a hub of social gatherings from ladies luncheons, family dinners, and wedding receptions to a place where clients are entertained. Longtime member Fred Bostleman said of being a member, “First you don't know anybody, then you know everybody, then you don't know everybody ... I've gone through the cycle.”

Downtown Toledo bustled with action Friday night as people strolled about, enjoying activities at four sites.

The Mud Hens game at Fifth Third Field ended with a fireworks display and The Docks restaurants in International Park were busy.

The Party in the Parking Lot XVI presented by the Toledo Club was THE place to see and be seen.

The affair, which benefits the Kidney Foundation, is like the old Rally by the River and it was packed with a crowd of more than 2,300.

For many guests it was a reunion of friends, for others it was a chance to meet new faces, and still some came solely for the featured entertainment, Eddie Money.

While the majority of the crowd wore slacks, shorts, sandals, and tennis shoes, a few ladies wore revealing halter tops and micro miniskirts with stilettos. One woman even wore a black fringe cocktail dress and heels.

Cruising the scene were Gay Lynn and Randy Hunt, Tom and Marlene Uhler, Dan and Becky Bollin, Matthew Weston, John and Diane Lark, Deb Sendelbach, Pat and Rob Robinson, Tammy and Jeff Fretti, Bonnie Porz, John and Carol Cochrane, Viorica and Tony Fuhrman, Jim Zaleski and Alison Roller, Sue Porz, Margie and Mike Eversole, Jeff Shugarman and Tressy Paquin, and a few firemen who stopped by for dinner.

Larry Boyer said he had lunch with Eddie Money that day at Belmont Country Club, where Mr. Money played golf.

Larry and Heather Meyer left as the band started, but heard the music as they walked to their car.

The Zenobia Shrine Center — a stone's throw from the Toledo Club — hosted a Sea Food Fiesta with shrimp, crab legs, mussels, clam chowder, fish, oysters on the half shell, and more for $18.98 per person.

The Dixieland Band — the guys in the red suspenders — sang for their supper, as they entertained members of their own club.

Proceeds from the dinner supplement the 2007 installation ceremonies in Anaheim, Calif., when the Toledo chapter's Bernie Lemieux will be installed as the imperial potentate with his wife, Helen, by his side.

Also dining were Potentate Patrick Pope and his wife, Gina, Tomisina and Ken LeBay, and Susan and Mike Schnapp, who will be the local potentate in 2007.



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