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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

Military academies' ball headlined busy party season

The party season started early and shows no signs of slowing down.

Most folks might think that Bruce Roberts Interiors' Holiday Open House Nov. 16 was the first party of the season. Or that Gross Electric's third annual Holiday Party Dec. 6, with the popular mashed potato bar and martini bar with all the sparkling lights, was among the first.

Linda Gross, left, and her brother, Joe Gross, right, with their father, Richard Gross, at the Gross Electric holiday party. Linda Gross, left, and her brother, Joe Gross, right, with their father, Richard Gross, at the Gross Electric holiday party.
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However, the event claiming the top spot on the list was "The First Christmas Party of the Season!" hosted by Mary and Ken Corbett and Keith and Jamie Krobath Sept. 30 in the Corbetts' home. OK, so they had an ulterior motive - to acquire items for the Central Catholic Auction held in November - but guests were invited to bring an unwrapped Christmas item, and the place was decorated for the season.

This season was so full of holiday gatherings there was no way I could get to all of them. I am sorry I missed the Waterville Historical Society holiday party Dec. 20 at Toledo Country Club.

Guests were entertained with the Toledo Repertoire Theatre Dickens Carolers, dressed in period costumes. Extra-special was the schoolgirl stitch sampler on display. It is soon to be given to the Waterville Historial Society Museum by members Tony and Janice Braida and Jim and Toni Stoma. The framed sampler, made in the 1840s by Rowena Sargent, was made in the Sargent home, which is now part of the historical museum.


Norm Witzler, left, Toni Stoma, and Ann Lotshaw at the Waterville Historical Society holiday celebration. Norm Witzler, left, Toni Stoma, and Ann Lotshaw at the Waterville Historical Society holiday celebration.
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Society president Amy Lotshaw was happy that the party raised $300 from a live auction of the handmade Williamsburg-style centerpieces.

Other delightful holiday events included the Lourdes College Auxiliary luncheon hosted by Carole Martin and Sharon Arquette that featured the Beautiful Sounds of Christmas performance by Central Catholic High School's Glee Club. And the Christ Child Society Holiday Gathering at Stone Oak Country Club with entertainment by the St. Francis de Sales Glee Club. And the University of Toledo College of Engineering celebration of the holiday season with Dean Nagi Naganathan. Also worthy of note was the sixth annual Historic Vistula Foundation's Victorian Christmas Tea in the Casey-Pomeroy House. And the Cookie Exchange Night at the home of Gloria Carpenter and her daughter, Diana Randolph. And the Toledo Bridge Club party, and the Party with a Purpose in the Ottawa Hills home of Erik and Maureen Chappell, where guests brought clothing and toiletries for the Beach House, and the holiday party in the Old Orchard home of Rick and Hope Mitchell. And the Women's Club of Bowling Green's third annual Holiday Open House Tour and Boutique in the homes of Virginia Marks, Douglas and Cathleen Nelson, Lloyd and Nancy Peters, Dale and Donna Schmidt, and Scott and Karen Seelinger. The boutique was at the Stone Ridge Golf Club.

I had to miss the American Association of University Women's Holiday Brunch at Toledo Country Club, too, and the Christmas party in the Bartley Lofts home of Paulette Bond, and several other parties, but I wanted to be there.

Among the guests at the Hardy Communications party were, from left, Larry Dillin, Cheryl Hardy, Meredith Griffin, Cheryl Nicolaidis, and Terri McCullough.
Among the guests at the Hardy Communications party were, from left, Larry Dillin, Cheryl Hardy, Meredith Griffin, Cheryl Nicolaidis, and Terri McCullough.
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I did drift by the Hardy Communications holiday open house in the agency's lovely new Levis Commons digs.

Yet, all this season's parties, as festive as they were, couldn't compare to the All Military Service Academies Ball. When students are home for the holidays, proud parents get bragging rights. So several years ago, the academy parents clubs all over the country joined forces and started a ball for all the military service academies.

Last Saturday the All Military Service Academies of Northwest Ohio Ball was held at Nazareth Hall in Grand Rapids.

Northwest Ohio academies represented included the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. The U.S. Coast Guard Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy have no active cadets from the area this year.

Among the cadets and midshipmen present were Air Force cadets Zachary Dolley, Brian Bertka, and John Dombroski; West Point cadets Steven Saxion, Kiel Towns, Jonathan Metcalf, Thomas Milevec, Dan Sowa, and James McKinney, and Naval Academy midshipmen Arthur Zepf and Anthony Sitter.

This year's ball featured speaker Lt. Col. Steve Nordhaus, '89 grad of the Air Force Academy, currently serving our nation through the 180th Air National Guard stationed in Swanton.

The "Homeward Bound"video of armed services in action, helping each other, and experiencing the loss of fellow servicemen, was touching. It was a quieting time for the students and their parents, said event chairman Vicki Bertka, of the Air Force Academy parents club, who hoped that regardless of one's feelings about the war in Iraq, that the sons and daughters in the service will be respected.

Mrs. Bertka said that while the local academies' ball is small, the same weekend there are hundreds attending balls across the nation, including 800 in northern Texas, where Ross Perot was the keynote speaker.

A live auction, courtesy of Beth Rose, helped pay for the local ball. There was music to the sounds of "A Kiss of Class," DJ Mitch Kahl, which drew several guests to the dance floor.

Assisting Mrs. Bertka were committee members of parents clubs of northwest Ohio, including Anna Carpenter and Krissy Dombroski, USAFA; Terri Metcalf, Deb Towns, Sue DeiMichiei, and Susan McKinney, West Point, and Julie Flage, USNA.

SEE YOU next year, and have a safe and happy New Year.



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