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Published: Thursday, 10/12/2006

Shoppers turned out for Country Garden Club event

Ladies shopped till they dropped, then came back for more. The 20th annual Country Garden Club Holiday Trunk Show at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club in Perrysburg was kicked off Monday night with a preview party, and the focus on what else, but shopping? Chairmen of the party, Debbie Knight and Jesse Datillo, made sure that guests were fueled with plenty to whet their whistles and sate their appetites. There was no need for music because the decibel of chatter was so high that no one would have noticed.

The 18 vendors offered everything from gifts, clothing, and baby items to silk floral arrangements, jewelry, and more from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Indiana, Virginia, and Illinois. Prices ranged from $3 to several hundred, so there was something for everyone.

Tina Black, left, Cindy Taylor, and Deanna Radeloff at the
Country Garden Club Holiday Trunk Show preview.
Tina Black, left, Cindy Taylor, and Deanna Radeloff at the Country Garden Club Holiday Trunk Show preview.
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While there are mainly new vendors each year, some vendors came back in honor of the 20th anniversary. A former Toledoan among the vendors was Sally Friend of Indianapolis, whose Earthly Designs, created with her husband, Jim, included home and garden gifts, seasonal decor, and baby gifts. She is the daughter of Herb and Carolyn Metzger of Sylvania.

Enjoying the preview were nearly 160 guests, including several men who did plenty of shopping, too. Walt Churchill, there with Lois, was showing off the ties he bought. David Kienzle, there with Suzie, was proud of the sweaters and a suit he found. Dave Franciso, there with wife Patty Wise, looked especially svelte as he checked out the men's merchandise.

Seen were Duane and Nancy Ankney, Donna and Bill Niehous, Paul and Jan Smart, Walt and Mary Krueger, Jane and Dan DiSalle, Bill and Vicki Souder, Julie and Steve Taylor, and a group of gals who left their hubbies at home so they could power shop: Monika Lieber, Melinda Johnston, Elaine Lloyd, and Phyllis Deaton. It was also a great opportunity to shop for their husbands.

On Tuesday the place opened to the public, with the first Girls Night Out that evening, thanks to chairmen Cindy Rimmelin and Margaret Hedlund. The party was sold out, and about 200 ladies chatted over cocktails and hors d'oeurvres and power-shopped their hearts out. Lots of gals brought groups of friends, including Dee Cicak, Joni Fought, and Kathi Souder. Also seen were Diane Snyder, Amy Finkbeiner, Susan Reams, Cam Nitschke, Kathy Nelson, June Effler, Marcia Rubini, Linda Rava, and Karla Chesser.

It was old home week for a few Perrysburg gals, including Jill Powers, Margot Quick, Mary Roberts, Julie Lindsey, Cindy Rimmelin, and myself, all graduates of Perrysburg High School.

Ann Meier, left, and Jeannie Rerucha with baby gifts to be donated through the Christ Child Society s Red Wagon Shower.
Ann Meier, left, and Jeannie Rerucha with baby gifts to be donated through the Christ Child Society s Red Wagon Shower.
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The whole female side of the Casey clan was there, too, including mom Ida, daughter Patrice Spitzer, and daughters-in-law Peggy and Beth Casey. Meanwhile, Gloria Shaw and Mrs. Hedlund guarded the door as they listed to the chatter in the club.

Wednesday was more shopping, and many of the women, and a few men, too, came back to get that last chance to buy a few more gifts.

Stepper LeBoutillier, Shelley Julius, Diane Johnston, and Jan Poole founded the show. Trunk show chairmen Cindy Taylor and Tina Black, assisted by next year's chairman, Deanna Radeloff, are looking forward to another decade of shopping. The chairmen hope to exceed last year's net of $35,000, but the totals are not in yet. The event would not have been possible without the more than 35 hours of volunteer time, and that does not include all the advance planning hours by the 12 committees.

The Country Garden Club, an affiliate of the Garden Club of America, is celebrating its 75th year. The kick-off to the celebration was an ice cream social a few months ago at the W.W. Knight Preserve. There will be numerous celebrations throughout the year, ending end with a grand gala on the actual diamond anniversary of the club, Sept. 15, 2007, at Belmont Country Club.

THE CHRIST Child Society of Toledo hosted its fifth annual Red Wagon Shower Tuesday at Sylvania Country Club. This was not the typical shower for a friend or a relative. In fact, none of the ladies knew who the shower was for. Members brought shower gifts for newborns, but it was in support of the organization's layette program.

A layette is a package of newborn clothing, blankets, diapers, and infant necessities. The club purchases, assembles, and delivers more than 800 layettes per year to area hospitals and social service agencies that serve families in need.

Ladies lunched at tables centered with baby rattles, books, bibs, and toys, which made for a cute theme-related arrangement, but the articles also could be used for the layette packages. It was a smart move by chairmen Ann Meier and Jeannie Rerucha.

The Christ Child Society is a national organization founded in 1887 by Mary Virginia Merrick for children in need.

The Toledo chapter, currently run by president Marjorie Hanley, was founded in 1990. In addition to the layette program run by Marilyn Arbaugh and Tootie Morrette, the club distributes new winter clothing to more than 1,000 Head Start preschoolers through the club's Clothe-a-Child program, run by members Karen Merrels and Judy Halker.

The club is involved with several other related programs, including parenting classes, tutoring students in math and reading, educational enrichment opportunities, and more. In total, the Toledo Chapter of Christ Child Society members contribute more than 10,000 hours of service annually to the community, according to member Kitsie Valiton.

THE BOATS may be docked, but boaters are still having fun. Toledo Yacht Club's fifth annual Chili Cook-off and Live Auction was Oct. 1, with attendance as hot as the chili.

Nancy Youssef-Ringle organized the bash, got more than 90 items for the auction, and recruited entrants with the assistance of fellow TYC members Cheri Kanitz, Colleen Sanders, and Susan Stahl. Then Ms. Youssef-Ringle did double duty as "Vanna White" during the auction while her husband, Tim Ringle, played barker. The winning chili was made by Joanne Tadsen. Colleen Sanders won for Best Salad and Andrew Lewandowski and past commodore Becky Vincent tied for the Best Dessert. Among the guests was the present commodore, Tony Fletcher.

The $1,400 netted will be used to help offset the cost of the commodore's ball for the incoming commodore, Dave Keil.



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