There's so much to be thankful for, including football and the gathering of friends who can be a part of the fun. The Ohio State/University of Michigan game Saturday was great for the Buckeyes, but fun for Michigan fans, too - at least as far as a good party goes. Some parties started the night before the game.
Jerry Phillips and his brother, Lenny Phillips, threw a bash Nov. 19 at the Olander Park Shelter House with the help of their significant others, Diane Phillips and Cindy Banyas. Guests were invited to show their colors, creating a sea of mainly maize and blue.
Nearly 200 friends created a high decibel level of chatter, then danced until the place closed. Partygoers included the Phillips brothers' mother, nonagenarian Bee Phillips.
Meanwhile, in the Ottawa Hills home of John MacKay and Cindy Rerucha, their "The Night Before the Real Battle: Ohio State vs. Michigan" party was at about the same decibel level with about the same number of guests. Several "mixed" couples were present, including Regina and Chris Joseph - she was for OSU, and he for Michigan - and Lynn Hoover, who was for Michigan, and Tim Hoover, for OSU. The hosts also were on opposite sides: Mr. MacKay rooted for Michigan, while Ms. Rerucha cheered for OSU. On the same side of the battle were Suzanne and Matt Norton, for OSU, while co-hosts Gary Deisling and Sue McClay were for Michigan. Wendy and Barry Howard were in the neutral category, along with Jack and Martha Esbin.
On Saturday, rivalry continued with the second annual Breakfast of Champions pancake breakfast at the Commodore Building in Perrysburg, hosted by the Perrysburg Rotary and the Perrysburg School Foundation. Elaine Moore worked hard clearing tables, while Ron Stewart, Sherry Hendel, Merle Smith, Joan Caswell, and others flipped pancakes. Jim Bilkovsky was co-chairman with Donna Eaton. Seen eating pancakes were longtime residents including Marian Moore, Bill and Thora Swirbul, Betty Heslup, Florence Ryder, and Sondra Samsen.
Kickoff time came with a Chili Cook-Off at the Toledo Ski Club's Clubhaus. Hoyt and Betty Ensign hosted the party.
On Tuesday it was time to head to the Glass Bowl at the University of Toledo for another big rivalry as UT played Bowling Green State University. Some people arrived by 9:30 a.m. to get a good spot for tailgating. The UT Alumni tent overflowed with nearly 800 fans who feasted on hot dogs. Jill Molnar was in Falcon colors and her son, Sam, 9, wore Rocket colors.
Brian and Gretchen Zientek and Brad and Julie Rubini, who joked "We just recycled the colors from the Michigan game Saturday," rooted for UT. Ditto for Jerry and Susan Clement.
"The BG/UT game party is one of the final events of the centennial celebration for Dana Corporation this year" remarked Lynne Nark (UT fan), who organized the bash with Denise La Fleur (BG fan) and Lauren Heil (UT). They used to serve fancy gourmet foods, but hot dogs, burgers, and brownies were the popular choice this year.
Jeff Cole (UT) has been tailgating for 13 years with friends, including Mike and Leesa Borsos, Mike and Jana Gressner, and Bill Noltner and his wife Lori, who made some great chicken noodle soup for the occasion. The group was still in the parking lot at halftime, and were among the last to leave after UT defeated BG.
Bush/Cheney volunteers, who were at every UT game this season, became such good friends during the election campaign that they decided to continue the fun. They deep-fried turkey on the spot for the occasion.
In the suites, the popular joke for many revelers was "Is there a game?" as they mingled, many suite-hopping throughout the evening. Cruising the suites were Mike Bell, Patty and Dick Westmeyer, Phil Barone, Sharon and Paul Meinerding, George Isaac, Truman Irving, Sandra Hylant, Bruce Rumpf, Jim and Kristine Hoffman, Dave Newhort, and Jeannie Hylant, and Tom McHugh in bright orange, as was Puck Rowe of Findlay.
Jim and Ann Hartung were among 134 guests in the president's box.
Mixed couples included Christie Serrato (BG) and Andrew Leidlaw (UT). It was a reunion of college buddies for Rick (UT) and Nancy (BG) Warnement of Charlotte, N.C., who were home for the holidays in Tiffin. Mr. Warnement, a quarterback way back when, said the men in their group all played ball together at UT in 1974 before graduating in 1975. Among their group were Randall Whatley of Detroit, Tom and Cindy Osborne of Oak Harbor, and Jim and Elizabeth Deer of Sandusky.
Among the last to leave were Jim Teachout and Tim Casey, who arrived at 12:30 p.m. to set up. Former Toledoan Kathy Lewis Thompson of Lexington, Ky., brought her husband, Rick Thompson, to see the game, and stayed around to see Coach Tom Amstutz and others afterward.
ON A SERIOUS NOTE, the Stanley K. Levison Award for outstanding commitment to Planned Parenthood was presented Nov. 17 to Nancy Williams. The soiree was in the riverfront home of Georgia and David Welles. Among the crowd were Ann Stranahan and Suzanne Rorick, who were hosts of the evening with Mrs. Welles. Also among the well-wishers were Dave and Jan Merrill, Kay Ball, Patty Wise and Dave Francisco, Lois Bigelow, Adelaide and John Morse, Posy Huebner, Paula and Peter Brown, and Molly and John Chiles.
The award is given to only a few who show extraordinary support. Board president Lee Hakel gave the impressive list of past Levison awardees: Betty Morais, Marion Knight, Jane Paterson, Brunette Billstein, Peggy Gifford, G. Walton Cottrell, Sally MacNichol, Jane Shambaugh, Shirish Shah, Linda Furney, John Galbraith, Carole Rogers, James Burch, Joan Durgin, Horton Rorick, Kathie Levison, and Philip Kuebbeler.