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Published: 1/3/2005

Ringing in the New Year

READY FOR 2005: Sharmon and John Minns look ahead to the new year together during the celebrations at the Toledo Club. READY FOR 2005: Sharmon and John Minns look ahead to the new year together during the celebrations at the Toledo Club.
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INTO THE FUTURE: Lisa Topel and her fiance, Scott Rozanski, look ahead to their future. INTO THE FUTURE: Lisa Topel and her fiance, Scott Rozanski, look ahead to their future.
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RARE OCCASION: From left, Lori and Ron Welty and Donna and Marty Gallagher gather at Mancy's Steak House for a rare but well-done get-together. RARE OCCASION: From left, Lori and Ron Welty and Donna and Marty Gallagher gather at Mancy's Steak House for a rare but well-done get-together.
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SWINGING INTO 2005: Sydney Schreibman and her fiance, Jim Ross, swing in the new year with Johnny Knorr at Stranahan Great Hall. SWINGING INTO 2005: Sydney Schreibman and her fiance, Jim Ross, swing in the new year with Johnny Knorr at Stranahan Great Hall.
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YEAR ENDS, YEAR STARTS: Tiffany Arlaro, left, and Stephanie Minnich toast a year of friendship past and future at Gumbo's. YEAR ENDS, YEAR STARTS: Tiffany Arlaro, left, and Stephanie Minnich toast a year of friendship past and future at Gumbo's.
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IN WITH NEW: Revelers try to catch balloons as 2005 dawns at Gumbo's Bayou Grille. IN WITH NEW: Revelers try to catch balloons as 2005 dawns at Gumbo's Bayou Grille.
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TOAST: Joyce and Bill Rimmelin host and toast the new year in their Sylvania home. TOAST: Joyce and Bill Rimmelin host and toast the new year in their Sylvania home.
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Party hats, noisemakers, and balloons. Everyone rang in the New Year in their own way. Some stayed home and cooked a special dinner, others dined out and toasted the new year at home, while others chose to trip the light fantastic and party the night away.

AN ELEGANT evening was at the Toledo Club. Black gold, and white balloons, lame, and stars added just the right touch to the stately club. In the lobby was a table anchored by a giant 2005 ice sculpture, surrounded by oysters on the half shell, shrimp, and crab claws. In the Red Room and Reading Room were delectable cheeses and canapes.

Furs, diamonds, strappy stilettos, and fancy evening bags accessorized the ladies who all were lovely in black velvet and pearls, sexy form-fitted gowns, and short flirty numbers. The men were gallant in tuxedos, making individual statements with cummerbunds and matching ties, buttons, and cuff links in classy colors and prints.

A lobster and steak dinner was topped with a fancy chocolate concoction.

Music for everyone's preference included The Wreckers, The Night Hawks, and Traffic Jam. Midnight struck, then kiss, kiss, and champagne toasts.

Among the more more than 300 revelers were Howard and Mary Madigan, Gloria and Howard Schmelzer, Lance and Dee Talmage, Debbie and John Joslin, Betty and Jim Dupre, Irene and Newell Kaufman, Joy and Mel Hyman, Amy and Britt Eaton, Kirk and Patricia Kovacs, Tom and Brenda Geiger, Bob and Linda Domini, Lou Tosi and Mary Ellen Pisanelli, Hedva and Buzz Romanoff, Joe and Bonnie Coyle, and Harry and Carole Mack. Also, there were Nancy and Marv Robon, Tom and Connie Schmidt, Marc and Terri Stockwell, and his brother and sister-in-law, John and Chris, and hosts Lisa Topel and Scott Rozanski, and Bill and Ann Baronas-Jonke, who rode in the Jonke family limousine.

A few early birds came for dinner and left just as the big bash started, including Dick and Dolly Flasck and best friends Mike and Ellie Maggiano, who are moving to Charlotte.

CATAWBA Island Club hosted a killer of a party on New Year's Eve. The patriotic-themed celebration included dancing, jazz, and singalong time. Don Leary and Becky Fuhrman and Steve and Janet Day were all gussied up for the elegant evening. There was also an option for a casual party with families.

A SEA of black and silver with top hats set the celebratory scene at Stone Oak Country Club's New Year's Eve party, the club's first since 2001.

Hors d'oeuvres and ethnic grazing stations sated appetites as revelers packed the dance floor. Bubbles popped as partiers cheered in the new year with a champagne toast.

Among the some 200 partygoers were Ford and Phyllis Cauffiel, Leslie and Stan Ford, Brenda and Clyde Kunkel, Sally and Mike Burns, Marilyn and Bob Bender, and Tom and Kay Lion. Kathy Yager, Barrie Howell, and Jan Higgins were committee chairmen.

ELEGANT, stately, and always superb. More than 800 reservations were accommodated in three seatings at Mancy's Steak House on New Year's Eve. Albert and Arlene Brookenthal said, "We come here for New Year's, birthdays, and anniversaries!" They were with Sharon and Nis Rapport and Fannette Terman.

Speaking of special occasions, Keith Hoyt surprised Brenda Prenneman with an engagement ring.

Also there were Michael Bell and Karen Jarosz with Derrick Diggs and Cindi Kurtz, Jeff and Shelly Bankey, Vince and Nancy Manera and Mark and Angie Manera, Nick and Susan Vessignano, Larry and Gina Kaczala, and the Tucker clan, including Denny and Jennifer, Gregory and Catherine, and Chris and Mary.

John Mancy stopped by to greet customers and his son Gus, who runs the show, but missed friend Gus County, who was not able to join the fun.

IT WOULDN'T be the same without Johnny Knorr and his Orchestra at Stranahan Great Hall on New Year's Eve with vocalist Gay Hobbs and emcee Don Edwards. The band gave the bandleader and his wife, Jane, a lovely Waterford crystal bowl, and Mr. Knorr jokingly asked if he could use it for his cereal.

Proud new father Scott Weaver stopped by to show the Knorrs photos of his 2-week-old baby, Bryce. Mom, Karen, was home, but grandparents Dick and Andrea Weaver, who have been dancing to Knorr's orchestra for years, whirled and twirled on the dance floor.

Rumba, cha-cha, foxtrot, waltz and tango. Sexy and slinky and peppy big band tunes.

Ballroom dancing is fun exercise and a great way to get close to your honey, said the Knorrs' daughter Janice, who is hoping that her husband, Orville, will be taking dance lessons soon.

It was only about 10:30 p.m., but the more than 200 guests who had been dancing all night long as they nibbled on hors d'oeuvres, were already using noisemakers.

SIN Saturday was a bit more wicked at Gumbo's on New Year's Eve. A hot spot for the 21 and over set, Saturday night is always known as "Sin Saturday."

The cover charge went from the usual $5 to $20, but included a buffet, a champagne toast, and more than $1,500 in prizes. The place was packed shoulder-to-shoulder as guests, dressed to impress, crushed together to see and be seen.

Hot-shot beverages included hurricane caramel apple martinis, bourbon infusion, and vodka shooters.

Eric and Donna Gwinn, who had dined earlier at the Toledo Club, arrived with their nephew, Matt Baginski, who looked mighty fine in a jacket and tie. It was the Gwinns' first night out since their daughter Jacqueline, 7 weeks, was born.

The revelers continued till the last call at 2 a.m. or before if they indulged a bit too much and needed to go home in a cab.

WHAT'S your New Year's Revolution? After the regular diners left Diva that night, a private party hosted by the Toledo League "Independent" Voters, started at 10 p.m. and kept rocking till 3:30 a.m. Guests 18 and older gadded about on all three levels as they drew on a graffiti mural, watched projected images, and gave their new year's revolution on video. The whole point was to get them involved in changing the world.

THE NEW YEAR here, most folks rested on Jan.1 or watched bowl games. The Hair that Bit the Dog annual gathering among a group of longtime friends was moved from Kim and Nancy Klewer's home to Jack Sculfort's, who hosted with his significant other, Cyndi Marcis. Nothing fancy, just holiday leftovers and a few other treats. Then came the annual white elephant gift exchange. Mr. Klewer had the flu, or so he claims, and stayed home, but Mrs. Klewer joined the fun.

BILL Rimmelin, better known in his heyday as "Wild Bill," was glad to relax with family. His wife, Joyce, stirred up her usual fabulous dinner. Of course, pork and sauerkraut is a must for good luck.

Mr. Rimmelin's son and daughter-in-law, Brock and Cindy Rimmelin, and their girls, Dodi, Mikey, and Lizzie, joined the fun. Godchild Jeannie Hylant stopped by with friend Tom McHugh before they headed to her mom's house for dinner.



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