Here it is, a new year. Folks are resting up from the holidays, but there is plenty to do to keep the winter doldrums at bay. Before you know it, there will be fund-raisers galore, a host of good-time parties and dinners, and fabulous gala events to keep your spirits high.
COMIC ACT: Actor Jamie Farr, left, and comic Tom Dreesen share a joke at a private party after the gala for the LPGA event in Mr. Farr's name.
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However, January is time for not only looking ahead, but back as well. Despite war and world tragedies, there were a lot of good times in Toledo, 2004.
Several celebrities visited, including a fan of Toledo and a Toledo fan, Jamie Farr.
During the year, movers and shakers once again stepped up to the plate and supported the community, having fun in the process.
Celebrity Wait Nights continued to be a popular fund-raising avenue, with more than $500,000 combined net for the year. Perhaps it's the simplicity of these events that makes them so popular: There's little overhead and the events can be on a small or large scale.
OHIO FAMILIES: Ohio's first lady, Hope Taft, holds Toledo Mayor Jack Ford's grandniece, Precious Watkins, during a vintage tea presented by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
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Dinner auctions still rated tops for fund-raising. These events netted at least $1 million in 2004. However, they are more work and organizers need to rely on guests to bid generously. Keep in mind, these totals don't include other fund-raising avenues, such as golf events, fashion shows, galas, theme parties, and capital campaigns.
What event stood out as the best of 2004? There's no way to tell. So much variety, so many budget levels, so many good causes. From formal to casual, each event was unique and volunteers, sponsors, and guests are all to be commended for their support.
So when people say there is nothing to do here, they must not be looking. Toledo is loaded with great restaurants, sports, parks, unique shops, golf courses, yacht clubs, country clubs, and just plain fun, with house parties, weddings, and more.
That said, for something alive in '05, take a look in your own backyard!
Proud parents always like to brag about their children, especially when their offspring are in military schools. So why not have a ball about it?
COMRADES AT ARMS: At left, Cadet Karlton Wolf of the Air Force, left, and Army Cadet Mike DeMichiei pose for a photo at the Military Service Academies Ball.
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The Military Service Academies Parent's Clubs of Northwest Ohio, which includes the Coast Guard, the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Merchant Marine, hosted its annual ball Dec. 29 at Nazareth Hall. The stately mansion was the perfect choice: The facility was formerly known as Nazareth Hall Military School.
As guests sipped and nibbled, popular chatter was about the Navy beating New Mexico in San Francisco's Emerald Bowl. And since cadets and midshipmen were in already in mess dress, "prom" pictures were part of the drill. Meanwhile, a silent auction of gift baskets made seed money for next year's ball.
Students formally introduced, a tasty dinner was followed by a program that included a special address to the group via DVD from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Vernon Clark, USN. As formal obligations cleared the deck, guests danced the rest of the night.
FAMILY PRIDE: Joy and Doug Ceraldi bask in the moment at the ball.
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Ball chairmen were Ed and Dianne Sitter. Committee members included Joe and Sue Kahl, Karen Baker-Zepf, Susan DeMichiei, Diane Butcher, Tammar Klinksiek.
Who else came home for the holidays?
Former Toledoan Andrea Markowicz of New York City, daughter of Hindea and Allen Markowicz was home. While she was here, she also demonstrated her talents. Ms. Markowicz, a singer known onstage as Andrea Rae, performed Tikvah in the Toledo Museum of Art's Great Gallery. Tikvah, an oratorio of hope arranged by internationally acclaimed composer Burton Beerman, was based on the memoirs of Philip Markowicz, Ms. Markowicz' grandfather, a Holocaust survivor.
Former Toledoan Joy Jacobs Pilipski, daughter of Lynn and Frank Jacobs, came home with husband, Eitan Pilipski, of San Diego. The newlyweds, who were married in Israel, enjoyed showing wedding photos while brunching at the Toledo Club.
Jetting into town was native Perrysburger Stephanie Day and her husband, John Kollm, of Virginia Beach, Va. Mrs. Kollm is the daughter of Mary and Paul Schlatter and Steve and Janet Day all of Perrysburg. The newlyweds married July 24 at Zoar Lutheran Church and enjoyed their first Christmas together with family.
And it was a true family affair. Mrs. Kollm's sister Lisa and brother-in-law, Mike, and daughter Natalie Martin, 3, of Manassas, Va., joined the get-togethers with the Day brothers Landon of Pittsburgh and Luke of Perrysburg.