January kicks off the new year and the start of the social season for 2006. It may appear to be slow on the circuit right now as revelers rest from last year's holiday hurrahs, but behind the scenes, things are cooking for upcoming events.
MIRROR, MIRROR: Jeff and Laurie Jaffe steady the mirror as Cindy Taylor admires the multicolored sapphire and diamond earrings she is trying on during the Red Cross kickoff party to the Oscar Night benefit in March.
GLITZ, glamour, excitement. It was all there at the second annual Prelude to Oscar Night presented by The American Red Cross Wednesday night at Harold Jaffe Jewelers. The swanky place that boasts a bank door from Cleveland, dated 1800, is "one of the top 10 coolest stores in the country" according to In Store Magazine, an upscale jewelers publication.
The prelude is a special girls-night-out to get ready for the Oscar Night 2006 that's slated for March 5 at Owens Community College.
Board members of the male persuasion were waiters as they served wines provided by Tom McHugh of Heidelberg Wines and tasty tidbits compliments of Labib Hajjar of Beirut and Poco Piatti.
MAY I BE OF SERVICE: Nancy Howenstein takes a helping of shrimp from Don Baker during the Red Cross kickoff party at Harold Jaffe Jewelers.
Meanwhile, ladies were treated to physical fitness, massage, skin-care and makeup advice from the Beauty Bar and Beauty Bar Apothecary; Bella Via Theraputic Wellness Spa; Soto, the Salon and Spa; The Kerr House, and Robin Carter of Bally Total Fitness. The real treat was the red-carpet fashion show featuring community divas modeling evening wear from the Sophia Lustig Shop and Sophie's Sister. Elegant and sexy designer gowns and cocktail dresses ranged in price from a few hundred to a Tom and Linda Platt gown priced at $2,600, which was modeled by Carolyn Zanville. Also on the runway were Jani Miller, Vicky Black, Paula Mehring, Marsha Manahan, Elaine Bachey, Margaret Hedlund, Barb Biggs, Joan Brown, Cheryl Silverman, Melinda Johnston, prelude co-chairman Cindy Taylor, and Karen Hajjar, looking fabulous in her new "up do" and fake eyelashes.
And ooh, la, la! Diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and black pearls. Earrings, necklaces, watches, and purses from Jaffe's added just the right spark. Pieces ranged in price from $200 to $75,000. Stephanie Murtagh wore a raspberry ruffle gown priced at $2,070 and accented with jewelry made by Jaffe's that day. Ellen Fruchtman sported a Swiss watch worth $28,900: It was a Carl F. Bucherer design, and Jaffe's is one of only a few U.S. agents. A flawless diamond necklace was priced at $42,000. A green diamond ring was $50,000. A black pearl necklace worn by Cheryl Tyler Fulsom was $11,000. Sandra Hylant, there just for fun, looked like a professional model in her Sophia Lustig ensemble accented with her own jewels from Jaffe.
Checking things out while they chatted the evening away were Mia Armstrong, Mo Devany, Jeannie Hylant, Evelyn Foster, Caroline McMahon, Toni Moore, Loraine Boersma, Pearlia Kynard, and prelude co-chairman Elaine Nicol. More than to 100 guests paid $25 each to attend. Among the last of the crowd to leave were Debbie Perry, Carla Smith, and Shirley Sieler.
PARTYING ARTY: From left, Barbara Swindle, Liz Koster, and Jean Baker are happy that everyone's getting a kick from their kickoff party for Toledo Artists Club.
A WINE-tasting party in the Lambertville home of Ed and Liz Koster kicked off the "March to the Arts" party to be presented March 18 by the Toledo Artists Club at Gladieux Meadows. Mrs. Koster, the club president, said invitations will be mailed sometime this week.
The artsy dinner will not only be a fun evening with great food and a silent auction, but the unveiling of the club's first art catalogue.
Back at the tasting, the wines were compliments of Flick's Party Store with Linda Flick as the presenter. Bubbly whites to blended reds to Greek sweets - there was something to tempt everyones pallette. Guests - about 40 of them - sipped and nibbled as Jim Gottron tickled the ivories.
Event chairmen are Barb Swindle and Jean Baker. Several committee members were there, including Betsy Ford, Patty Tonoff, Ruth Arden, Neil Frankenhauser, Ellie Miller, and Elaine Gregory with her husband, Leonard. Sharon Larrow, the president of the Resident Organizations Council at Toledo Botanical Garden, was also present with her husband, Jim.
LOTS OF BUNCO: Joey Stamp, left, and Terri Cole have a lot of fun at their monthly Bunco game.
Bunco: Just what is it? I was invited to my first Bunco party Thursday, thinking it was a card game and an excuse to get together with gal pals. The latter is true, and then some.
This group started 26 years ago, losing and gaining members. Food - and gabbing - are always part of the fun.
Oh yes, the game: It's about rolling dice for numbers. There are no cards. Table talk is tops because not much concentration is involved. Prizes can be money or gifts. Either way, the stakes are low: There are only 12 ladies maximum.
But it's the fun that counts.
Joey Stamp, who started this group with Jane Zychowicz, said, "It has become really popular in the last 15 years or so." Mrs. Stamp's aunt, Terri Cole, who has subbed a few times, hosted last week's gathering.
BOOK IT: From Eileen and George Korhumel discuss Jack K. Paquette's book with the author himself.
Jack K. Paquette.
Most folks know him as a retired vice president and assistant to the president of Owens-Illinois Inc., the world's largest manufacturer of glass containers, based here in Toledo.
As a result of his career, Mr. Paquette has written about America's glass industry, including, The Glassmakers: A History of Owens-Illinois Incorporated and Blowpipes: Northwest Ohio Glassmaking in the Gas Boom of the 1880s.
For his next book, Mr. Paquette drew on another experience: his childhood in the Great Depression. A Boy's Journey Through the Great Depression talks about growing up in a working-class family as the son of an alcoholic father. He was sent to live in an orphanage, was adopted as a teen, and entered the U.S. Navy in World War II.
Afterward, the epilogue says, Mr. Paquette studied journalism at Ohio State University. There, he not only received bachelor's and master's degrees while working at a local newspaper, he met his wife, Jane, whom he married in 1947. They had four children, Jan, Mark, Mary Beth, and John. He began work at O-I in 1951 and stayed for 33 years.
A few months ago, friends Eileen and George Korhumel hosted a Meet the Author reception. The place was packed with well-wishers who sipped, supped, and shopped for an autographed copy of the new book that's sold at local bookstores and sites online.
LET'S SHAKE ON IT: Bonnie Nagle shows Annie Albring and John Sullivan, both 7, how to correctly shake hands during a session at the Toledo Country Club.
Ever wonder which fork you're supposed to use when there are several varieties in front of you? You wouldn't be alone, given that in today's society, standards of dress, decorum, and dinner manners have become lax.
A few schools, such as St. John's Jesuit and St. Francis de Sales high schools, teach what is proper, and it shows. Without knowing manners, one can look mighty foolish.
Inverness Club hosted etiquette classes for children and teens just before the holidays. Both classes emphasized introductions and table manners, including no elbows on the table, which utensil to use and how to use it, and more. Jill Marie Zachman makes making good "First Impressions" her business in Waterville. She included dating dos and don'ts in her teen classes.
Toledo Country Club has offered several etiquette classes, through the John Casablancas Centers.
The Toledo Club recently held social-savvy classes and plans are in the works for more soon. Rita Taylor of Gentle Image in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a former Toledo gal, and offers timely classes for today's generations. She doesn't focus on the old snobbish rules but courtesy, respect, and civility, so young people have a good foundation with which to go out in the world. Conversation and listening skills, introductions, body language, respect, kindness, phone manners, school smarts, guest savvy, party and dinner manners, social blunders, and more, she covers the whole gamut.
So, there's help for those embarrassed in social situations to come out of it with finesse.
HONORED GUESTS: Guests in 'The Party' are 15 freestanding figures and wall panels.
Giant olives - mini green mums in an oval shape with one big red carnation at the end - in a king-sized martini glass, made up the centerpiece for a cocktail party last month amid the holiday soirees at the Toledo Museum of Art. Marisol Escobar's The Party, a major new acquisition for TMA, is a series of sculptures depicting guests, a waiter, and waitress at a cocktail party set in a 1960s' atmosphere.
"It's the '60s all over again from hairdos to dresses," one guest said. In fact, the artist is said to have helped define the Pop Art Movement while she hobnobbed with the likes of Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger.
Those guests who appreciate contempory art loved the masterpiece; those who have more appreciation for realism were not so sure about the acquisition. As a museum docent, I tried to get the naysayers to appreciate the work for what it is. But it may not be everyone's cup of tea, or martini glass.
But like the art or not, it made for a great cocktail party. Guests sipped martinis by the Matisse then feasted on delectable delights from Diva restaurant in the Libbey and Classic Courts before they wandered into the gallery to see The Party. Art aficionados posed for pics set with the front of the museum as a backdrop.
Seen were Kathy and George Jones, Pat Smith, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, Karen Merrels, Carol and Pete Bentley, Alan Rudolph, Sara Jane DeHoff, Deanna Johnson Ross, Patty and Dick Westmeyer, Shakil Khan and Susan Stoner, Dave and Kerry McMurray, Edith Franklin, and Bob Mossing. Paul Churdar, John Uebelhart, and Deke Welles sipped a few cocktails while waiting for wives Diane, Karen, and Hope to finish shopping in the gift shop.