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Published: Thursday, 10/19/2006

Autumn begins with lots of entertaining fund-raisers

Fall blew in with a gust of fund-raising and fun events.

FURBALL 2006, a benefit for the Toledo Area Humane Society, was Saturday at Inverness Club. Candlelight glowing on white- linen-covered tables centered with red roses set the classy scene. Guests whet their whistles and sated their appetites at dining stations as they shopped the silent auction and John Cleveland played piano with panache.

Just about the time everyone was finished dining, Jerry Anderson "barked" up a storm and enticed guests to fight like cats and dogs over vacation packages, art glass, and hand-painted furniture with animal themes.

Among the 300 cool cats were Rob and Pat Robinson, Marcia and Don Siemens, Holly Metzger, Bob and Leslie Sterling, Bill Takacs, Barbara Gill, Carrie and Brad Alexander, and Mark and Gretchen Zyndorf.

Melinda and Clark Trowbridge with children Amber, 9, Derreck, 11, Deon, 2, and Jared, 7, at the Adopt America benefi t.
Melinda and Clark Trowbridge with children Amber, 9, Derreck, 11, Deon, 2, and Jared, 7, at the Adopt America benefi t.
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Sponsors were numerous, but the top dogs included Key Bank, Mercy Health Partners, National City, and the law firm Weber and Sterling, LLC.

Something to really purr about was the evening's net of more than $70,000. Enjoying that sweet success were several committee members, including Joan Caswall, Teresa Beebe, Beth Bowman, Mary Moser, Karen DeNune, Jennifer Hildebrand, Connie Bohlender, Joanna and Norm Koenigseker, and Deb Johnson, the humane society's vet, who presented a heartwarming video about animals at the shelter that upped the ante on the Gifts from the Heart auction. Smiling like a Cheshire cat was board president Martha Vetter. Guest of honor was Ben, a dog rescued from a cruelty case and adopted by Mike Russell.

GUSTING winds and chilly temperatures made for some fancy rowing on the Maumee River Sunday. And wouldn't the late Philip LeBoutillier, Jr., have been proud? His son and daughter-in-law, George and Stepper LeBoutillier, both took home golds in the 21st annual Toledo International Rowing Regatta Frogtown Races 2006. The late Mr. LeBoutillier, captain of the Princeton University Varsity Crew in 1938 and an avid rower until his death in 1995, was one of the founders of the Toledo Rowing Club.

The three-mile head race started at the Rossford Marina and ended at The Docks at International Park. Mr. and Mrs. LeBoutillier were in the masters men's and masters women's recreational single races. "Stepper is a superb sculler," said Sue Zurawski, last year's gold winner in the women's single division, who took home a silver this year.

Other masters medalists included Bill Walker, Rick Carveth, Greg Prince, Sheila Ng, and Susan Vandenburg.

The event was run by chairmen Tom Broderick and Kate Pollex. Mr. Broderick has a daughter who rows with St. Ursula Academy and Mrs. Pollex coaches St. Francis de Sales High School's crew team. They had plenty of help from parents, volunteers, local businesses, and friends, including Jim Skelding, president of Toledo Rowing Club.

AN AUTUMN Soiree was Saturday night at Georgio's International Cafe presented by St. Paul's Community Center in support of its food program. The center can accommodate about 35 men and women for 30 days before they find other suitable housing. However, the center also provides dinner to others in the community. In total, the center provided slightly fewer than 100,000 meals last year and expects to surpass that figure this year.

At the soiree, about 100 guests sipped cocktails and nibbled appetizers, then sat for a delightful dinner as Jim Gottron tickled the ivories.

So far the net is about $7,000, but donations are still coming in.

Among the guests were board chairman Tony Thiros, and George and Sue Gusses, Sue Martin and Jude Aubrey, Chris and Patty Theodorou, Maureen and David Judy, Don and Sue Reinbolt, and Rolland and Albee Romanoff.

PRIVY to a sneak peek at what's in store for the Mobile Meals Wine Gala slated for Nov. 4 at Stranahan Great Hall were members of the table with the most winning bids at last year's live auction. They were invited to attend the wine-lotting dinner Oct. 14 at the home of gala general chairmen Rob and Dana Loeb with committee members and volunteers.

Chris Mallow, from last year's winning table, was there with girlfriend Sheri Rauth.

The group created 34 lots of wine, plus entertainment packages, including a day at Rockwell Springs Trout Club with Bob Maxwell and Ward Taylor and a package from Worthington Industries - two tickets to a Red Wings hockey game in its suite.

Seen were Sam and Maggie Thurber, Mike Van der Veer, Phyllis Morton, Jerry and Joyce Johnson, and Joe Colturi, honorary chairman of the gala, there with his wife Mary Ann. The Colturis are celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary.

FRIDAY the 13th may be unlucky for some, but not for Adopt America Network, which held its 21st annual Very Special Evening sponsored by the Ransom family at Stranahan Great Hall on that date. In fact, it was a lucky time for the network, which recently placed its 3,000th child in a home since its inception in 1983. And that special child, Deon, was there with his parents, Clark and Melinda Trowbridge and his new brothers, Derreck and Jared and sister Amber, who were also adopted. It's all thanks to founder Dick Ransom, who was there that night and glad as always to see the children.

Harp music was played as the 300 guests shopped the silent auction then dined at black-linen-covered tables centered with fall arrangements.

Gadding about were Elizabeth and Richard Ruppert, Marv and Nancy Robon, Keith Burwell, Jamie and Ellen Black, Nancy Smythe, Susan Morgan, Greg and Sandra Chestnutt, and Bob Billstein and his son, Bob, Jr.

Before the live auction started, the raffle tickets priced at $100 each were drawn for a chance to win $1,000 cash. Robin and Dick LaValley had one of the winning tickets and donated the cash back to the cause. Bob Ransom, a gold sponsor, won a reverse raffle of $1,200.

In addition to the sponsors, including Best Western Falcon Plaza, Fifth Third Bank, Hickory Farms, Kim and Mark Karchner, Richard and Mary LaValley, ProMedica Health Systems, the Royal Arch Masons, and John and Cheryl Wakelin, special tribute was paid to the late Therese "Terrie" Gladieux Geiger and the late Jim Smythe. Both were both generous supporters and will be missed.

Board chairman Jani Miller reports a net of $100,000.



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