Tuesday, May 22, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Evening of tropical sounds, flavors at Buffett parties

Palm trees, flamingos, grass skirts, leis, and bright tropical colors everywhere set the scene for Brandywine Country Club's third annual Jimmy Buffett Bash last Friday. More than 350 revelers attended what has become the most popular party of the year for the club. Food stations had everything from "cheeseburgers in paradise" to a "Margaritaville" bar where margaritas specially made by Nelson Brule, the bartender, were served. The hula bar, decorated with grass skirting, offered other tasty specialties. Oodles of fresh fruit and shrimp, oysters, and crab added to the feast as parrotheads paraded about in Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, shorts, and sunglasses.

The Juncanoo Brothers, a Buffett tribute band, played favorite tunes while the crowd dined by the pool lit with strings of lights, then danced the night away.

That same night Belmont Country Club held its second annual Buffett bash, too - "Burgers, Brews, and Buffett ... as in Jimmy."

It was a casual evening on the 19th hole, the patio overlooking the lake centered with a fountain. Burgers were grilled to order with favorite Buffett tunes as background music.

SOME folks went for a more gourmet venue for dining. On Friday night, Laura and Tom Baird hosted a party with an Asian theme at their home in Hasty Hills, catered by Diva Restaurant. The weather was as perfect as the food and drink, purchased through The Blade auction, Bid N' Buy. Chilled wasabi and pea soup shooters, crab rolls, shrimp and tofu lo mein, and pork dim sum and other Asian specialties were prepared by Erika Rapp, the new chef at Diva, a homegrown Toledoan back home again.

Among the guests were Jeff and Stephanie Judis, Alan and Barbie Sheperd, Dave and Carrie Zanville, and Dave and Mariann Austin.

A POOL party was at the home of John and Sally Russ for neighbors on Larchwood Lane. The neighborhood is a cul-de-sac developed by the late Dean Bailey in South Toledo, overlooking Swan Creek Nature Preserve. Live music by the Road Ahead bluegrass band added extra pizazz to the party. Ann Sisnyak missed all the fun because she was in England with her granddaughter on a Harry Potter tour. But for those who were there, it was one big happy family affair. Among the neighbors present were Bob and Antoinette Blair, David Lemon, Albert Kern and Albert Kern, Jr., Steve and Anna Kowalik, Walter Myers, Steve and Alison Zielinski, Lucy and Lupe Flores, and Helen Lambillotte.

DRESSED in uniform were about 80 veterans at roll call for honors at the Tribute to Veterans night at Centennial Terrace with Johnny Knorr and his Orchestra. The July 9 event was attended by some 400 fans. "God Bless America" was sung by all, followed by "Amazing Grace" and "Stars and Stripes Forever." It was an impressive sight, Mr. Knorr said. Among the veterans were Hoyt Ensign, John Whitacre, John McMahon, Clint Longenecker, Ed Snabnow, and Jack Holmes.

THEY met some nice people, but this trip was not just for fun. Jeannie Hylant and her sister, Sandra Hylant, participated in the "Breast Cancer 3-Day" walk in Detroit July 15-17. That's 60 miles of walking in three days. The walk, sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, will be held in several cities around the country this year. The Hylant sisters did it together in celebration of Sandra's success as a breast cancer survivor.

Sandra said they trained by walking eight to 15 miles three to four times a week for eight to 10 weeks and more. Then the day came, and "It was hot and it was humid," said Jeannie, "but I can tell you we are in shape!"

The experience earned them more than blisters on their feet: Spectators applauded and thanked the participants as they passed by. Sandra said there were 1,700 walkers in Detroit who raised more than $4.7 million. The women both agreed that they will do it again. Perhaps the walk will be in Toledo one of these days - if the Hylants have anything to say about it.

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