Monday, Jul 25, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Performing arts take bow

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    ILLUMINATING TIME: From left, Frazier, and Susan Reams discuss a bottle of wine that's up for silent auction with Mike Robarge during the Illuminations benefit at the Franciscan center.

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    READY, SET, AUCTION: With pens poised, Laura and Thomas Baird, left, and Kirk and Lacey Young prepare to bid.

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    HARD HAT, SOFT TOUCH: Cyndy Meacham, left, and Deb Vas admire Ms. Vas' flower-bedecked hard hat at the Aurora Gonzalez Family Center.

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Music, dance, and more. "Illuminations: An evening celebrating Toledo's Performing Arts," was Saturday night at Franciscan Theatre and Conference Center. The event, presented by Lourdes College to benefit the student scholarship fund, was delightful from the moment one arrived until the revelers bid good-night.


ILLUMINATING TIME: From left, Frazier, and Susan Reams discuss a bottle of wine that's up for silent auction with Mike Robarge during the Illuminations benefit at the Franciscan center.

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More than 300 guests sipped and supped on delectable edibles by Michael's Gourmet Catering, which provided passed canapes, an appetizer buffet, fresh fruits and cheeses, and a carving station as the Maxx Band played peppy tunes.

Greeting guests were honorary chairmen, art diva Susan Reams and her husband, Frazier. Mrs. Reams was in a classy soft green ensemble with a pink shawl that picked up the colors in Mr. Reams' preppy pink with green alligator cummerbund and tie. Also greeting guests with a smile were formally clad college president Robert Helmer and his wife, Linda.

Lights flickered, signaling revelers to tone down the schmoozing and retire to the theater, where emcee Mike Robarge from The Villagers was ready to get the show rolling. A toe-tapping good time put smiles on faces with performances by Ramona Collins, member of the Toledo Jazz Society, the Toledo Ballet, the Toledo Opera, the Toledo Symphony, the Perrysburg Symphony Chorale, and the Toledo School for the Arts, who gave a peek at their Fame performance.

Chuck Oswald took to the stage and said the dancers and singers of the arts school represent our future. Then he invited guests to donate money to scholarships. Five people gave $8,500 each for a year's tuition, several paid $4,000 for a semester, and so on. A thanks to the audience's generosity was the concluding act of the arts school's delightful Fame performance.

All revved up, guests continued the pace in the lobby with dancing, drinks, and sinfully delicious, all-homemade desserts that tempted even the stricest dieters with tarts, cheesecakes, truffles, brownies, Hungarian pastries, carrot cake, eclairs, and candies. When guests weren't burning calories on the dance floor, they rested while shopping at silent-auction tables.

Among the gadders were John and Yolanda Szuch, Robin and Scott Libbe, Cleves and Kathy Delp, Fran and Dick Anderson, Mike and Gloria McAlear, Carol Koury, Martha and Don Mewhort, Debbie and Terry Paul, Tim and Janice Korhummel, Dick and Dolly Flasck, Geoff and Mary Lyden, Bob and Penny O'Brien, Dick and Robin LaValley, Kevin and Sue Kenney, Ruth Lewandowski and Bob Gosling, Denny and Sheila Johnson, Larry and Jane Schaffer, Jean and Bob Youngen, and Mayor Jack Ford and his wife, Cynthia.

Jim Murray of Toledo Edison will be next year's honorary chairman.

The event netted more than $100,000! That's double last year's net, thanks to alumni, auliliary, board members and guests.

Hard hats and tool belts were optional attire for the second annual "Under Construction" gala Friday at the Local 14 UAW hall. The Aurora Gonzalez Community and Family Resource Center once again teamed with Toledo Seagate Food Bank for a fund-raiser, inviting guests to join the construction crew and be a builder for the cause.


HARD HAT, SOFT TOUCH: Cyndy Meacham, left, and Deb Vas admire Ms. Vas' flower-bedecked hard hat at the Aurora Gonzalez Family Center.

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This year the team nearly doubled its net with more than $15,000, said Cyndy Meacham, the executive director of Aurora, and Deb Vas, the executive director of the food bank.

Ms. Meacham quipped, "We only had $14 and some odd cents for expenses since everything was donated."

Caution tape, orange cones, stop signs, hard hats, and other familiar construction paraphernalia set the scene for guests in casual to cocktail attire.

Participants gadded about bursting balloons for prizes and bidding on some 90 silent-auction packages donated by area businesses, which netted half of the evening's total net.

A "Canteen Buffet" of foods that whetted appetites was donated by area businesses, including Chef Marshall Goldstein, JoJo's Pizziera, Rambo's Sport bar, Maumee Bay Brewing Co., Giant Eagle, Strauss Bakery, and Don Pablo's.

Among the 225 guests were Oscar Bunch, Local 14 president, Janet and Dennis Meacham, Jim Thompson and fiancee Pat Rose Wilson, John Brown, Frank Szollosi, Larry Sykes, Tom and Cheryl Smith, Simon Rodriguez, Bob McCloskey, Lynn and Joyce Olman, and Ron Thomas and Kelly Hendershott.

Jack Zouhary, who like the other politicians present, was schmoozing with the crowd, except that he was handing out his "Judge Fudge" recipe.

Event coordinator was Cathy Box.

Guests were invited to "Come Home to the East Toledo Family Center" Saturday night during the center's 7th Annual Renaissance Gala at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center. And who could not feel at home with food stations named Home Sweet Home, Home is Where the Heart is, Home on the Range, Home for the Holidays, and Home of the Free and the Brave.


AT HOME: From left, Dick Fisher, Chrys Peterson, and Sandy Fisher make themselves at home during the East Toledo Family Center's Renaissance Gala.


Food by Carolyn's Personalized Catering added an even homier touch: a mashed potato bar, apple crisp, carved turkey, and more. Decorations hit the homey side too: Photos of the center's children filled the hall and children's art bedecked the walls. Illustrations by Birmingham, Raymer, and Franklin elementary students included the four bridges that connect East Toledo to Toledo. The center's preschoolers made thank-you notes for guests.

So what else happened? Everything!

In addition to the silent auction and the popular blind auction for fancy gift boxes with treasures, emcee Chrys Peterson of WTOL-TV ran a six-item live auction featuring a scooter, a diamond necklace, a Christmas tree decorated with bird houses, a package of souvenirs from the 1980 Olympics, a fishing trip, and a day of pheasant hunting.

Several folks were recognized, including the 2004 Distinguished Citizen inducteees: Mike Cicak, Frank Gerrard, and Stan Reiter, as well as a few past honorees who were present, including Jackie Franks, Ed Reiter, Helen Michael, William Romp, Robert Clark, and Sharon Belkofer. Special guests were Robert Holdren of Waite High School and Lindsay Jarzynski of Cardinal Stritch. The students were the 2004 Warren Densmore Scholarship fund recipients.

New executive director Kim Partin presented past excecutive director Tim Yenrick and his wife, Linda, with a Chicago trip as a thank-you for his dedication to the center, and the audience responded with a standing ovation.

Chairmen Richard and Sandy Fisher received a beach bag of vacation goodies for their Florida trip, which they postponed until after the event. Mr. Fisher estimated the net at $30,000, which will go to the Heffner Early Childhood Center.

The big coup was Marcy Kaptur's announcement that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Funds has granted the Heffner Center $124,263 for renovations. She said the center is "the best example of integrated services in our region."


MOTHER-SON DANCE: From left, Deb Sanders and her son Zach dance as Marianne and Duke Keller have their own special moment at the St. John's Mom Prom.


Spring is here, and that means it's prom time. Students, dashing in tuxes and pretty in formals, pose impatiently while parents snap pictures before sending their children, now grown up, off to their proms, a snapshot of memories as mom and dad recall their own school dances.

Some parents had a chance to go back in time, only with a twist: Their children were their dates. OK, it was not exactly prom night: Formal attire was nixed for more casual dress, but the concept was still there, and everyone posed for prom pictures. The parent-child proms were earlier in the year so as not to conflict with spring breaks, activities, and proms. Now the parent proms are just memories as parents proudly watch their children head out to the real thing. Here are a few precious moments:


SPECIAL TIME: Anthony and Tina Schultz have a turn on the dance floor.


MOTHERS leaped at the chance to dance with their sons at the St. John's Jesuit High School's 16th annual Mom Prom Feb. 29 at SeaGate Centre. The dinner dance with some 900 St. John's mothers and sons was, "A Tropical Luau," with a Tiki hut, sailboat, and a tropical mural for prom shots. Senior moms performed a song-and-dance number as a tribute to their sons, then each class was highlighted during certain dances. Then everyone danced, and some braved a limbo contest. Chairmen were Mary Eble and Carol Ulrich.

ST. URSULA Academy's 28th annual father-daughter dance, better known as a Date with Dad, was Feb. 22 at Gladieux Meadows. Highlights included a dance competition for each class and special recognition for seniors. Among the father-daughter couples were Nikki and Don Harbaugh, Molli and Chris Hensien, Katie and Bill Meyer, Alex and Jim Edgeworth, Amanda and Jeff Lambert, Courtney Cobb and Russell Hurford, Bailey and Bill Giacci, Samantha and Ray Zammit, and Jilian and George Ward. Darla Harbaugh, chairman, and Boo Hensien, co-chairman, were aided by a vast committee of mothers.

PIZZA was served for St. Francis de Sales High School's Mother-Son dance Jan. 25 at the school. Mom's Knight Out, named for the school mascots, the Knights, included the traditional serenade to moms by seniors who performed on stage. Dancing was the highlight of entertainment as each class had a turn to have the dance floor to themselves. Then everyone packed the floor. Chairman was Jeanne Fairchild.


READY, SET, AUCTION: With pens poised, Laura and Thomas Baird, left, and Kirk and Lacey Young prepare to bid.

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Bidding wars erupted over just about everything during the biennial Green Bear Ball's "A World of Art, A Villager's Perspective: All Cultures, All Ages, All Styles, All Art!" by Ottawa Hills Schools Community. The Saturday event was at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library downtown.

Everyone vied for art done by their child's class in live and silent auctions. Dorothy Figy bought a piano decorated and signed by all OH elementary students. And awww, it was hard to resist the temptation to buy the cuddly Golden retriever pup: Doug and Lisa Brown took the critter home.

Libations flowed from the Artini Bar, where martinis were sold for a chance to win a Dolgin Jewelers diamond necklace valued at $1,000 in the Diamond-tini raffle, which Jennifer Diehl won.

Canapes and scrumptious food at stations, and a dessert and coffee bar by Gladieux Catering tempted all. Reggae and soca by the ARK band added extra flair.

A cash-reverse raffle provided $13,000 in prizes, including a $10,000 grand prize won by raffle chairmen Kate and Tom Backoff. The other prizes were nothing to sneeze at with $1,000 on down for the 300 ticket holders.

KGB band kept guests on the dance floor past midnight, while treasurer Karol Williamson ran the auction check-out with help from Larry Kaczala and others.

Seen were Jane and Paul Lyons, Jenny and Rick Brunner, Dee and Zac Isaac, Craig and Michelle Joseph, Larry and Carol Nichols, Pat and Kathy Perz, Brad and Anne Huebner, Marcia and Paul Kozy, Lisa and Judd Silverman, Brad and Lisa Lay, Tom Calderon and his wife, Yoli Mora-Calderon, Dirk and Julie VanHeyst, Sam and Kelly Zyndorf, Becky and Tom Hauck, Pete and Elizabeth Shawacker, and Bruce and Betsy Rumpf. Chairmen were Laura Baird and Lacey Young.

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