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Published: 7/13/2006

Farr tournament, Mud Hens, All-Stars hit home run

Joe Zerbey, left, with Carolyn Bivens and Jim Muray at Fifth Third Field at the Tuesday evening party. Joe Zerbey, left, with Carolyn Bivens and Jim Muray at Fifth Third Field at the Tuesday evening party.
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Judd Silverman, left, and Joe Napoli take time out to pose with Muddy. Judd Silverman, left, and Joe Napoli take time out to pose with Muddy.
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City celebrated Farr tournament, Mud Hens and All-Stars at bash

Rain, rain, go away, please come back some other day! Showers canceled the National City Pro-Am, part of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic presented by Kroger, at Highland Meadows yesterday - the first time in 21 years.

Rain also poured Tuesday night during the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic Toledo Mud Hens All-Star Bash at Fifth Third Field, but it didn't dampen the spirits of the guests, volunteers, and staff, including the lead bash sponsors, Fifth Third Bank and ProMedica Health System. As Christine Brennan, USA Today sports columnist, said, "Holy Toledo, what an incredible evening!" Ms. Brennan's nephew, Brad Backoff, who just graduated from Ottawa Hills High School, was impressed the party, too.

Guests - 2,600 of them who paid $200 each to attend - strolled the stadium all night long in a sea of giant stars and red, white, and blue - and Panther pink, too. Red carpets were everywhere, covering the usually bare cement floors. Candlelit red linen-covered dinner tables with white skirting and blue linen-covered bistro tables held giant floral arrangements of carnations in the shape of golf balls on tees with putters and baseballs in mitts with bats.

The headline entertainment, The World Classic Rockers, played until 10 p.m., when fantastic fireworks lit the sky.

Cameras flashed as celebrities led by Toledo's Jamie Farr made it through the crowd to be introduced. The tall and handsome Mike Farrell - he played B.J. Hunnicut on M*A*S*H and veterinarian Jim Hansen on Providence - is a heartthrob. And many know he is a vegetarian and human rights activist who opposes the death penalty.

Mr. Farrell's wife, Shelly Fabares, was easily recognized despite her perky fuchsia-streaked hair. Ms. Fabares, niece of Nanette Fabares, is noted for her roles as Mary Stone on the Donna Reed Show and Christine Armstrong Fox on Coach, and she looks fabulous. Several ladies remembered Ms. Fabares' million-dollar dreamy teen recording, "Johnny Angel." Off the screen, Ms. Fabares is also an activist. She was one of the first celebrities to become a national spokesman for the Alzheimer's Association and testified before Congress five times on the topic.

Chuck Ealey, former star University of Toledo Rockets quarterback who has assisted with several Toledo charities, said, "This is my second time here at the Farr and I'm looking forward to many more." With him was his wife, Sherri.

Lots of LPGA and Hens bigwigs were there, too: Carolyn Bivins, commissioner of the LPGA; Jim Murray, president of Ohio Operations for FirstEnergy Corp. who is general chairman of the Farr tournament and chairman of its board; Mike Miller, chairman of the Mud Hens board, and, of course, Joe Napoli, general manager of the Hens, and Judd Silverman, tournament director of the LPGA. Also hobnobbing were Alan Brass, CEO of ProMedica, Joe Zerbey, vice president and general manager of The Blade, and John Stockwell, board member of both the Farr and the Hens. (check)

Dinner was delish. The grazing style set up on the main level made it simple for folks to sip and chat as the Corner Pocket Trio of Bowling Green State University played some jazzy tunes.

Some corporations found it a great opportunity to entertain guests in their air conditioned suites, and it was a great respite from the humid weather downstairs. The same fare was available in the common areas of the suites, too. Sweeping the suites were several community movers and shakers including Pat and Jim Appold, Ken Lay and Rose Richards, Gloria and Tony Shaw, and Phil Rudolph, Jr., and his wife, Mary Lou. Also rubbing elbows were Bill and Mary Brennan, Norm and Diane Johnston, Tom McHugh, Jeannie Hylant, and Sandra Hylant. Looking great after several months in Phoenix was Diane Churdar, there with husband, Paul. Trent Smith, president of Toledo Edison, said, "I've been in Youngstown, Akron, and Cleveland, and I've never seen anything like it." It is his first summer in Toledo.

In the Roost, instead of outdoors as planned, was title sponsor Owens Corning's private party with a giant ice sculpture of a pink panther with a golf bag for their customers from all over the country that they brought in town for the week. Greeting guests was Owens Corning president and CEO Dave Brown. Presenting sponsor Kroger also had a private soiree in the Roost with Steve Peiffer, Kroger zone manager, welcoming their guests.

Bash chairmen were Karen Szymanski, Mary Pierce, and Debbe Skutch, assisted by oodles of volunteers and staff.

The night ended with fireworks, but the spark of the evening for ??? (check) was winning the grand prize, a five-night stay at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort plus a gourmet dinner at Nazareth Hall, a Wildwood Athletic Club membership, a dinner certificate to a Main Street Ventures restaurant, and a 2006 framed tournament poster autographed by Jamie Farr. An Eagle package and a Birdie package also included the tournament poster plus certificates to area establishments. They were won by ???(check)



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