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Published: Monday, 4/25/2005

Center stage: East Toledo's 'Love-In' is like groovy, baby

Bell bottoms, Nehru jackets, plaids, and flowers. Love-In 2005 was a groovy experience Saturday night at the 8th annual Renaissance Gala to benefit the East Toledo Family Center, which was built in 1971. The '70s retro gala, in the hangar at Metcalf Field, was a step back in time with psychedelic colors of hot pink, grass green, bright orange, turquoise, yellow and purple. Striking flowers were everywhere: the walls, the centerpieces, and even on the guests, who were encouraged to dress in their flower power and disco best.

 70S ARE HAIR AGAIN: Jeff Chaaf, left, and Doug Kwiatkowski take a break from tending bar at the East Toledo gala.
70S ARE HAIR AGAIN: Jeff Chaaf, left, and Doug Kwiatkowski take a break from tending bar at the East Toledo gala.
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Judy Dilloway, there with her husband, Arthur, was in a sable fur-trimmed wrap from the '60s. Adding to the scene was Colleen Neidert in a pink wig with a scarf, rose shades, and a low-slung chain belt. Beth Giller, in a vintage spatter-print jumpsuit, made quite a team with her husband, Hans, who wore a blue polyester knit leisure suit with a polyester print shirt. DJ Mike Jamieson kept the ball rolling with funky tunes, man.

Guests had fun reminiscing about days gone by: Paisley prints, hot pants, and boots, Sonny and Cher, Alan Shepard on the moon, the Jaws movie, Hank Aaron breaking the Babe's home run record, eight-track players, Patty Hearst, streaking, and the VW Beetle.

FEELIN  GROOVY: Mark and Deb McLaren and Roger
Dodsworth have a blast with the past during the gala.
FEELIN GROOVY: Mark and Deb McLaren and Roger Dodsworth have a blast with the past during the gala.
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Carty Finkbeiner, as honorary chairman, started the evening off right and had the honor of presenting the awards. Outstanding high school scholar awards went to Katie Wolff and Nicole Zutavern. Inducted into the Distinguished Citizens Hall of Fame were Bob McCloskey and Andy Kandik, who were both raised in East Toledo.

A variety of tasty treats at food stations were provided from local establishments, including Fricker's, Country Catering, Empire Restaurant, Michael's Gourmet Catering, Rosie's Catering, Tim Hortons, and Carolyn's Personalized Catering. El Camino Real made a fantastic lobster soup, something that's not on the menu at the restaurant.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Bob McCloskey and Andy Kandik smile after receiving honors from the East Toledo Family Center.
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Bob McCloskey and Andy Kandik smile after receiving honors from the East Toledo Family Center.
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There was something for everyone among the chicken wings, pot stickers, kielbasa, chicken with fancy dips, tortillas, a mashed potato bar, shrimp cocktail, and Schmucker's pies, which could be topped off with ice cream from Cold Fusion. Consolidated Biscuit and Pepsi Americas also contributed.

Several folks shopped the silent auction that offered sports tickets, a handcrafted poker table, spa packages, jewelry, art, and more. And those with a sense of mystery bought a box for $50 or one for $100 for the blind auction.

Jerry and Dortha Baum, there with son, David, won the live one-item auction. The Baums get a Pompano Beach vacation at the Fairfield Fort Lauderdale Sea Gardens Beach & Tennis Resort, which is a place they have been wanting to visit, Mr. Baum said. So they have something to wear, they also won a shopping trip to Westfield Shoppingtown Franklin Park.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Sandy and Dick Fisher, make sure guests have a swinging time at Metcalf Field. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE: Sandy and Dick Fisher, make sure guests have a swinging time at Metcalf Field.
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Then it was time to groove with Karen and the KGB band, who enticed guests to the dance floor as they played old favorites, including "Working at the Car Wash." Yeah!

Hanging around were Mayor Jack Ford and Cynthia, Mike and Sandy Sheehy, Peter Ujvagi, Bernie and Michelle Quilter, Ellen Critchley, Eric Barnum, David and Joyce Ameens, plus several alumni inductees, including Greg Michael, Helen Michael, Bill Romp, Robert Yenrick, Barney Quilter, and Bob Clark.

Event chairmen Dick and Sandy Fisher expect to net nearly $30,000. Next year's event will be East Toledo Family Center: The Center for All Seasons.

Just about every mover and shaker interested in downtown Toledo stopped by the Civic Center Promenade in Erie Street Market Thursday night for its gala opening.

More than 300 curious cats paraded through, bidding at the art auction and enjoying the entertainment.

The place is huge, so even with a few hundred people or more and a stage, there is plenty of room. On the left wall as one enters from the main entrance identified by a black canopy but no signage yet - it's on order, are several streetscape murals by local artists including Bob Martin, Neil Frankenhauser, Michael Goettner, Robert Garcia, Walter Chapman, Aaon Bivins, Larry Golba, Laurel Agnew, Gerald Hill, Jim White, Richard Dziak, Harold Roe, and Anjelika Manakhimova. The walk area, or the "artisans way," can suffice as a stage or a private party area. On the right side of the hall are historic photos of Toledo, including one by Patrick Rauh. In the middle of the hall is a break-a-way stage that can be moved around to meet a renter's needs.

Pat Nowak, market manager, said Bob Seyfang, did the interior design and that gas lamps, on order, are to be installed over the paintings and in the hall.

That night, several of the market merchants provided edibles including Messina's Italian Deli, Mr. Bigstuff Plantation BBQ, Pam's Corner, LTD, T.J.'s Cafe, and Gladieux Catering. The Pinnacle provided a chocolate fountain, which Sharon White enjoyed.

The auction of art by local talent included works from market merchants Botl'ady, which also provided the contemporary glass centerpieces and works from Martin's Metal Gallery and Garden.

The center, which is under the management of Citifest, rents for $350 for nonprofit organizations and $500 for other tenants, Mrs. Nowak said.

The event's committee members included Mayor Jack Ford, Marianne Ballas, Dennis Duffey, Rich Iott, and Jim Smythe.

Strolling in for a peek were Sandy Isenberg, Greg and Karen Elder, Jean Smith, Ron and Marian McKinney, Kathie Padilla, Tom and Barb Clark, Susan Ello, Merle Pheasant, Jan Robe, Joanna and Norm Koenesecker, Sue Martin, Tiffancy Romstadt, B.J. and Frank Styles, Dee Talmage, and Larry Boyer, chairman of the Citifest board.

Those who attended the new fund-raising venue at the Make-A-Wish Texas Hold 'Em festival last month at SeaGate Centre had a firecracker of a good time.

Wheelers and dealers played games of chance - and perhaps some skill too, depending on whom you ask - as others tantalized their taste buds with spicy chili.

Tournament winner Nicholas Koda raked in a $7,500 cash prize. But the real winner was Make-A-Wish Foundation, reaping $10,000 net to grant wishes to children with life-threatening diseases, remarked board Chairman David Rec-

tenwald. He was the pit boss for the more than 200 participants.

Tea for two - or 22 - is a pleasant respite from life's hustle and bustle, and it's a great way to celebrate a special occasion.

TOLEDO First Lady Cynthia Ford, noted for hosting teas, held a Tea and Tour Wednesday at Mom's House, where she is the executive director. Floral print china tea sets donated by David and Patty Hayes set the prim and proper scene. Tiered trays garnished with orchids held yummy petite sandwiches of chutney, salmon, cucumber, and chicken from Sophisticatering. Plates held sweets and cream and raspberry condiments for tea. Crisp white linen-covered tables were accented with pink napkins, fresh flowers, and pink place cards. While moms' babies slept, guests toured the nursery.

Guest of honor Hope Taft remarked on the importance to the community to help the girls rise above their situations. Sr. June Ketterer, SMG, one of two Grey Nuns left in the area, included in her prayer: "May the house always be a place of peace for our moms and children."

Among the guests at the tea, which was on Mrs. Ford's birthday, were Pat Appold, Martha and Duke Wheeler, Mary Pat Anderson, Fran Anderson, Carolyn Sauder, Elaine Johnson, Gwen Mickus, Cindy Gladieux, Andy Devine, Ruth Lewandowski, George Baibak, and board Chairman Bill Sheehan.

Nancy Nudo began the local Mom's House after hearing of the idea from national founder Peg Luksik. While Mrs. Nudo provided the vision, it was community philanthropist Patricia Baibak who made it happen.

A reception-house tour is set for 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. May 1 and is open to the public. The event will include a dedication ceremony for the new kitchen in memory of the late Mrs. Baibak. A portrait by artist Pat Beazley will be unveiled.

A HIGH TEA was for ladies of the wedding party of Brittany McMahon, who is to be married this fall at St. Patrick's Historical Church with a reception following at Toledo Country Club.

The bridal party and their mothers, and the bride and groom's grandmothers, gathered over the holidays for tea, crumpets, and more. While the adults chatted over wedding plans, little ladies played with Barbie and Ken dolls in bridal gowns and tuxedos.

The bride-to-be is the daughter of Marcy and Brian McMahon, and the groom-to-be, John Craig, is the son of Lance and Patrice Craig.

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