Footloose and fancy free. That's what Bill Block, Jr., is now that he retired as chairman and a board member of The Blade, chairman of the board of Block Communications, Inc., and chairman of its executive committee. But he will remain on the BCI board and on the executive committee, as well as remain as president of the Blade Foundation.
He also serves as a board member for Read for Literacy, Toledo Symphony, the Ohio Historical Society, and St. Luke's Hospital. In addition, he will continue to be business manager for his wife, Carol, an artist. Her oil paintings have been exhibited in juried shows in 25 states.
Over the years, Mr. Block, who joined the company after passing the bar exam in 1972, has worked in all aspects of the newspaper industry and at various papers in New Jersey, Washington, Pittsburgh, and Toledo. His community service includes the Toledo Museum of Art, United Way of Greater Toledo, Maumee Valley Country Day School, and the Toledo Zoo.
KEITH HOYT, that handsome guy who sings Sinatra tunes, is glad to talk about what happened on New Year's Eve at Mancy's Steakhouse. He surprised Brenda Brenneman with an engagement ring. He said, "The ring was weighing heavily in my pocket so I asked her if she was having a magical evening.
"Then I said, 'Maybe this will make it more magical,' as I pulled out the ring."
SPEAKING of engagements, Gretchen and Duncan Thomas of Toledo had a special surprise on New Year's Day. Their son, Nicholas "Nick" Thomas of Jacksonville, Fla., became engaged that day to Katherine "Katy" Denton, daughter of Robert and Dorothy Denton of Mansfield, Ohio. She is a nurse in Raleigh, N.C. He is a mortgage officer in Jacksonville. The two met before Nick moved to Jacksonville and before Katy finished nursing school at the University of Toledo. The couple are considering a wedding around Labor Day.
"IT'S PARTY CENTRAL all the time in the Old West End," said Jeanene Perkins, owner, with her husband, Skip, of the neighborhood's lovely Edward Drummond Libbey house. So, after 11 years, the Perkinses decided it was high time for them to do some entertaining. They had a New Year's party Sunday - and what a party it was! It was apparent that Mrs. Perkins loves to decorate for Christmas: The mansion was a wonderland, with a 12-foot live Christmas tree. Upstairs, downstairs, and all around, the 120 guests, including neighbors, friends, and family, chatted as they enjoyed the wonderful food.
PRELIMINARY TOTALS are in for the fund-raiser holiday party hosted by Nick Tokles and Sue Elliott and Tim and Dee Janney for the Toledo Children's Hospital. Mr. Tokles, owner of Nick and Jimmy's, and Mr. Janney, owner of Janney's Ace hardware, teamed up for the party. Mr. Tokles said for the last 10 years he watched members of the Janney family open their home and hearts to spread joy and raise money for the hospital. When the Janneys retired the party a few years ago, no one picked up the ball until this year, when Mr. Tokles got it rolling again. Mr. Tokles is pleased to report a net of more than $6,000, and they are still counting as donations keep coming in. The party was in memory of Bob McHenry, Mr. Janney's Little Brother from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Janneys' great-nephew, Zachary Paul Burnor, and Megan Shuchert, daughter of John and Cathy Shuchert.45.2822 7.89775