Monday, May 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Flurry of fall fund-raisers

Fund-raisers are flooding the fall season and it has just turned October. Here are some of the highlights of September.

Bravissimo! Peter Cincotti wowed the crowd at the 2007 Valentine Gala, presented by National City, Saturday night at the historic theater.

Cincotti took to the stage after just finishing a three-week tour in Europe. Not only were his tunes delightful, but he and his band sported classy threads; Cincotti himself wore a brand-spanking-new suit that most folks guessed was made of shark skin.


<img src=> PHOTO GALLERY: ON THE TOWN <a href=" /apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=TO&Dato=20071001&Kategori=COLUMNIST10&Lopenr=1001001&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b>Flurry of fall fund-raisers</b></a>


On the grand piano he tickled the ivories, then pounded those same chords with gusto. Smooth and sexy one minute, sultry and dreamy the next. Sax, guitars, drums, keyboard, all added to the performance, but it was Cincotti who really stole the show. Cheers, whistles, and applause erupted after each song.

The 24-year-old singer, pianist, composer, and arranger hit the scene in 2003. That's when his CD topped the charts, and he's been going strong ever since. He's noted for adding his own twist of pop, rock, blues, funk, and jazz to classics including "I Love Paree," and "Some Kind of Wonderful." But what impressed the audience were his own songs, including "On the Moon" and "I'd Rather be With You." He gave a preview of his soon-to-be-released CD, "East of Angel Town," which includes "Angel Town," "Be Careful," "Good-bye Philadelphia," and "Cinderella Beautiful." He also played "The December Boys," the song he wrote that's the theme song of the film The December Boys. A final standing ovation erupted into a singalong, followed by "Witches Brew" and another standing ovation.

Behind the scenes, Paris Steward and Amaris Johnson of the Toledo School for the Arts and Edward Tucker of St. John's Jesuit High School grad were among the privy to meet Cincotti. Brian Bucher thanked Bradley Ansberg for tying his tux tie just before he went on stage to introduce the singer.

Guests, all in formal attire, enjoyed a reception before the performance. And it was a parade of the well-dressed. A man in a tux always looks dapper, and Frank Kahle looked especially so in his designer tuxedo. And women, dressed in gowns and cocktail suits and dresses, were elegant. Nissa Yoder was especially chic in a short cream dress with a sparkly bodice.

Also among the dressed-to-the-nines guests were Joe and Mary Ann Colturi, Chuck and Stacey Parcher, David and Ann Marie Quinn, Brian Epstein and his parents, Joel and Davie Epstein, Sam and Kelly Zyndorf, Panos and Susan Doukides, Chris and Ann Kozak, Peg Werner, Jack and Cyndi Sculfort, and Sharon Speyer, the new Huntington Bank president, there with Dean Monske.

In the theater, Tom Palmer, board chairman, greeted everyone and introduced the chairmen, Jennifer Wagoner and Linsey Walters Ansberg, both looking lovely in floor-length gowns. Mr. Palmer commented about the great group of young people in Toledo. The chairmen thanked their peers who volunteered - and attended as well - as seasoned veterans who provided guidance. They also gave a preview of what is in store for the upcoming season, which includes everything from Gyspy to Capitol Steps and the African Children's Choir. Then Brian Bucher of National City, the presenting sponsor, encouraged guests to "party like a rock star," as he introduced Cincotti.

After Cincotti's performance, guests dined on a delish buffet dinner and an array of decadent chocolate desserts and more - all with no waiting in lines. Black-linen covered tables centered with towering vases of colorful fall flowers with candles were in the grand and historic lobbies and in the tent at the entrance, creating a night-club atmosphere. Impressed with the performance were jazz aficionodos Bob and Jane Anspach and Jeff and Laurie Jaffe. Eric Fankhauser, there with his brothers and sister-in-law Craig and Joan Fankhauser and Ty Fankhauser and friend Amy Thorpe, said, "It was awesome!" Also pleased with the performance were Jim White, former board chairman and former chairman of the corporate campaign, and his wife, Sue; Lisa and Frank Barone, and Jerry Chabler and Loyalty Rothman.

There was chatter about theater etiquette. Most folks were in the know about theater manners, but there are always a few who come in late, or get up and down during a performance, interrupting others as they get to their seats.

Some folks even checked their cell phone messages. Oops, perhaps they will know better next time.

After all that rich food, folks danced onstage to live music. Grooving were Nancy and Larry Metzger, Nancy and Tom Kabat, and a host of others, including Cari Geiger and her fiance as of just that morning, Rob Kuhr.

Meanwhile, several guests, including Penny and Steve Staelin and Teresa and Dan McHugh, said they were headed home because they were in the Race for the Cure the next day.

The estimated net for the evening is $100,000.

The Inaugural Grand Illusions Saute, honoring Richard Hylant of the Hylant Group and recognizing James Trempe, professor of biochemistry and cancer biology at University of Toledo, was Thursday night at the Hilton Toledo.

And the evening paid off big time, with $140,000 netted for Ohio Cancer Research Associates. The nonprofit, independent organization is "dedicated to the cure and prevention of many forms of cancer and the reduction of its debilitating effects through aggressive basic seed money research, cancer information, and awareness. "

The place was packed with movers and shakers all gussied up in formal wear. They sipped and nibbled as the Billy Kaye Trio played background tunes, then they dined on a fine dinner.

Individual researchers have been funded at several hospitals and universities in Ohio, thanks to the Ohio Cancer Research Associates. Mr. Trempe utilized seed money to research the prohibition of tumor cells.

Mr. Hylant, president of Hylant Group Toledo, is actively involved in the community. But it was his family's first-hand experience with cancer that sparked him to be roasted for the cause. His sister Polly and his father, Bob, both died of the disease, and others in his family have had their bouts.

So, in the name of charity, the native of Ottawa Hills and St. John's Jesuit High School was sauteed for the cause. Mr. Hylant, the youngest of nine children, married his lifelong friend, Clare, whom he met in the 5th grade. They have three children: Andrea, 14, Jack, 12, and Courtney, 9. His friends - Steven Bogart, Howard Ice, along with brothers Michael and Pat Hylant - did the sauteeing while emcee Joseph H. Zerbey IV, vice president-general manager of The Blade, kept them on track. Judging from the pan-fried delivery, it looks like Mr. Hylant is a University of Michigan fan and is an avid of hunter and fisherman - or not.

All joking aside, Mr. Hylant asked everyone to get regular medical checkups and monthly exams, exercise, watch your diet, and listen to your body.

Event chairman Bill Buckley is pleased as punch over the net of $140,000 for the cause.

It WAS a dream come true for Diabetes Youth Services. The organization's Fantasy Fest in the Rainforest, presented by Your Travel Business, Sept. 21 in the Nairobi Pavilion at the Toledo Zoo netted $30,000, nearly twice as much as did at last year's event.

Maybe it was all the great theme baskets on the silent auction or maybe it was the live auction to fund-a-camper run by Fred Lefebvre of WSPD 1370-AM, emcee. That was after the personal story by Mike Kwiatkowski and the skit by Big and Little Shots camp counselors.

Bob and Kathie Maxwell, honorary chairmen, won the $1,500 Carnival Cruise gift certificate!

Entertaining was watching Bob Schira of For the Love of Art create a rainforest watercolor painting that was raffled off.

Gourmet grazing stations sated appetites for humans as the beasts slept the night away. Tropical beverages, bright colored tablecloths, and torches added to the scene. A giant overhead circulating fan gave the feeling of a tropical breeze. June Effler and Jan Martin, in their gauze and floral skirts, added to the tropical theme.

Enjoying the night were Tony and Trish Barone, Bob Beach and Pam Howell Beach, Cindy Rerucha and John MacKay, and John and Barbara Burson. Elaine and Jim Deaton bought bikes for their children and rode them to the car. DYS has two summer camps for children and retreats for parents and families. Rick Gray is the board chairman.

A Bake on the Lake soiree in the Willow Bend home of Gary Boehm and his wife, Bonnie Blankinship, was Sept. 19 for leadership donors of Maumee Valley Country Day School, where Mr. Boehm is the head.

It was a lazy time along the river as guests sipped beverages and swatted mosquitoes before dining al fresco on a lobster dinner under a tent. But bug repellent was supplied. Fritz Byers, president of the board, thanked them for their generosity.

There are two top donor groups, named for the flora and fauna found on the 70-acre campus. Members of the Trillium Club, named for the state of Ohio wildflower and found on the school grounds, give $10,000 annually. The Dogwood Club, named for the dogwood trees on campus, consists of donors who give $15,000 or more each year. There are six donors at this level.

Among the guests at the soiree - too numerous to mention all - were Bob and Pat Maurer of Bowling Green, Joan Bayer and Tom and Polly Webb of Ottawa Hills, Dave and Hilary White, and Dave Francisco and Patty Wise of Holland, Robin Flaum of Sylvania, and a host of Perrysburg folks, including Fritz and Mary Wolfe, Georgia Welles with Deke and Hope Welles, Tim and Barbara Reed, Dean and Becky Kasperzak, and Lyman and Patrice Spitzer.

Parting gifts were pewter bird feeders with dogwood blossoms.

The Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Dinner of Champions: Triumphs and Treasures, Celebrating People Who Make a Difference," presented by BIOGEN Sept. 20 at The Pinnacle, honored two outstanding citizens. The color combination maize and blue that decorated half the room represented the University of Michigan in honor of Teresa Arnold, a UM alumna and active fund-raiser. Mrs. Arnold, who said, "Life has a way of teaching you lessons if you want to listen," was honored with the MS Achievement Award. Diagnosed in 1983, she has not let MS stand in her way. Many describe her as disciplined, optimistic, and energetic. She started her own PR business in 1985 after losing her previous job because of MS, and she is a support group facilitator both locally and nationally.

The other half of the room was decorated to honor Jim Murray, president of Ohio Operations of FirstEnergy Corp., who received the Silver Hope Award. Mr. Murray is a hard-core Pittsburgh Steelers fan, so everything was black and gold.

Mr. Murray was roasted - with jokes and old photos of Mr. Murray from infancy to his heydays - and hair styles - in the 1970s. Friends including Eddie B. from Focacia's, where their salad named after Murray is a best seller, were there too. Big hitters including Alan Brass, Bob Savage, and Jim Hartung, who were not present, penned their admiration in letters read to the crowd of more than 200. Mr. Murray, a Vietnam veteran, is involved in the community in a variety of ways, from being a celebrity waiter for fund-raisers, to sitting on community boards.

The elegant evening with a night-club setting started with a dinner and jazz by the Warren Commission.

Throughout the night were chances to win one of many treasure raffle prizes and the opportunity to donate to the cause. Participating in the program were emcees Laura Emerson of WUPW, Channel 36, and Suzanne Carroll of WRVF-FM, 101. 5.

The net was $37,000. The event chairman was Gloria Sheline. Board chairman is Anita Voveris.

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