It s real zoo out there, and some of our events included wild animals, dogs, and even falcons and chicks, though the last two are of the human variety. And all events keep the coffers of their causes complete. Here are some highlights.
MICHELLE, MOWGLI, and Elvira, three Masai giraffes, were the animal stars Friday night at the Toledo Zoo Feast with the Beasts, but it s Louie, the elephant, who will benefit from the annual fund-raiser.
It s time for Louie to leave Renee, his mother, and strike out on his own. So the estimated $30,000 raised is earmarked for a holding barn for the 5-yearold,
Perhaps the new barn will provide fresh inspiration for Louie s artwork. At last year s fund-raiser, a Louie painting brought top dollar in the auction that boosts the funds.
The highest bidders, Kimand Doug Kearns, say the piece is a prized possession in their home.
About 100 $250 ticket holders traveled to Africa! Overlook for a night that began with a tour of the giraffe barn. There the trio of tall animals came to the fence expecting treats. They were not disappointed. Nor were the guests, who were invited to feed them carrots. Only Elvira ignored the offers: She accepts treats only from the zookeeper.
Lest anyone think Louie was neglected, consider his daily diet of hay, alfalfa-based pellets, air-popped corn, and mulberry branches and fruit and vegetable treats. Dave Ross, lead keeper of large animals, lists carrots, apples, bananas, squash, and watermelon as favorites too.
And what were the favorites of the grand menu executed by Chef Marcel Hesseling and a large catering staff? Battered, deep-fried squash blossoms were a different and popular twist to butler-served appetizers.
The beautifully set dinner tables under the Caribou Barbecue were marked by service plates with an elephant design and were centered by large glass art pieces that held the table guest list. From chilled cucumber soup to strawberry truffle served with chilled chocolatecoated spoons, the menu was a demonstration of Chef Marcel s culinary ability and an explanation why the zoo is popular for private parties, from small groups to 1,000 people.
On the sultry night the dress code was comfortable, or as the invitation read, zoo chic.
Animal-inspired jewelry was the talk of the cocktail hour.
Helen Emmert s beaded giraffe earrings complemented a tigerprint top. Mary Ellen Coleman of Findlay wore a giraffe necklace from her large collection that ranges from 1-inch giraffes to 5-foot models. She was at the party with Elizabeth Foley.
The necklace worn by Carolyn Tasker, there with husband Jerry Tasker, is a prize souvenir from a trip to Africa.
Not only is the fund-raiser an annual event, but the volunteers who help to make it happen are annual committee members.
They are Karen and Tom Baither, Konnie Bostleman, Elizabeth Foley, Kay and Steve Foster, Dorothy Mackenzie Price, Cindy Rimmelin, and Anne Baker. Auctioneer Fritz Byers again encouraged high bids. The hand-beaded evening purse, made by Belinda Milligan of New Jersey, brought $1,000; dinner for 10 by Chef Marcel, $1,250, and a behindthe- scenes tour of the Central Park Zoo in New York, $775.
And everyone left with a whimsical frog-design plate made by local artist Jan Pugh, and a gift of National City Bank, the night s sponsor. The Year of the Frog is an international conservation effort.
Also attending were Jon and Catina Harding, Sharon Simmons, Ron Coffman, Judy and Nick Dye, and Gretchen and Tom Ziems.
Mary Alice Powell
Chicks with puppy dogs
WITH TENETS of simplicity, fun, and helping others, Chicks for Charity continues to grow, as evidenced by Thursday evening s successful Chicks Mix 08 at the Toledo Zoo.
More than 500 females, spanning ages from a babe in arms to septuagenarians, chatted and munched at the third annual event and, according to an early estimate, generated $40,000 for Assistance Dogs of America, said Laura Waltz, an account executive for R/P Marketing Public Relations in Holland.
Moreover, in the course of the three-and-a-half hours, several people inquired about volunteering for the assistance-dog program and about fostering a dog for a year.
After two years of training, the labradors and labradoodles, golden retrievers and goldendoodles all canines that love to help and that have a friendly appearance are placed with people who have mobility difficulties and will benefit from having a companion to help fetch a phone or a dropped set of keys. Dogs are also placed with families who have a child with autism, at hospices, and in schools, said Patty Gelb, development director for Assistance Dogs, located in Swanton and serving people in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. These are not seeing-eye dogs for the blind.
With a staff of 11 full and part-time employees, the program expects to place 20 dogs this year. At any one time, 50 to 60 dogs are in the pipeline,
Ms. Gelb said, noting that 18 puppies are being trained by prisoners at Toledo Correctional Facility and the Cleveland Pre- Release Center.
Chicks for Charity was founded by Martha Vetter, president of R/P Marketing.
Members are not required to attend meetings or pay dues but are invited to hold their own event, such as a dinner or golf outing, euchre tournament, or even baby-sitting by a Junior Chick, to raise extra money for the designated charity. We try to make this fun.
We don t really have set rules, Ms. Waltz said. Notes chicksforcharity.net: We have simple beliefs. Enjoy life. Laugh a lot. Work hard. Play hard. Be thankful for our blessings. Share the wisdom. Give back.
At year s end, the panel Chicks in Charge picks a different charity. Benefi ciaries have been the Beach House Family Shelter and the nowdefunct Furniture Bank. The Chicks structure is informal and its budget nonexistent, but organizing is provided by R/P s able staff.
MECCA TEMPLE No. 43 celebrated Shrine Day July 12 in conjunction with the third annual African-American Festival.
Members lead the festival parade, then returned to the Grenadier Club, 1343 Avondale Ave., for their event, which included vendors, a DJ, and other entertainment, and a raffle, all in a block-party setting, said Noble Michael Stanton, First Ceremonial Master. The organization has been celebrating Shrine Day for almost 40 years, he added. Among the guests was Noble Leo Thomas, Illustrious Potentate.
IT WAS a fitting picnic in honor of outgoing Bowling Green State University President Sidney Ribeau on a steamy July 8, and nobody looked uncomfortable in the sticky heat.
More than 800 people gathered for the jovial celebration of
Mr. Ribeau s 13-year career at BGSU. All were smiling, laughing, and reminiscing as they enjoyed the summer fare of pulled pork sandwiches, chicken with a citrus glaze, veggie burgers, fruit kabobs, Greek pasta salad, and iced tea and raspberry lemonade.
Mr. Ribeau described the day as the most exciting in his life and his wife, Paula Whetsel- Ribeau, a BGSU alumna, got choked up as she expressed how thankful she was for all of their friends.
Mr. Ribeau and his family plan to leave Bowling Green at the end of the month for Washington, where he begins his presidency at Howard University on Aug. 1. The farewell picnic drew students and staff of today and years past, university trustees, politicians, and Bowling Green community leaders.
Among the guests were State Rep. Randy Gardner , State Sen. Mark Wagoner , former BGSU trustee Kerm Stroh, who recently donated the largest gift in university history of $8 million, immediate past chairman of the university s board of trustees Mike Marsh and his wife, Terri Marsh, trustee John Moore, trustee Bill Primrose and his wife Diane Primrose, Bowling Green Mayor John Quinn, former Bowling Green Mayor Wes Hoffman, Bowling Green City Schools Superintendent Hugh Caumartin, former Toledo mayor and Toledo Board of Education member Jack Ford, and Wood County Hospital President Stanley Korducki.
LPGA Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez was the guest of honor at a fund-raiser for Toledo Children's Hospital Foundation in the Perrysburg home of Barbara Steele and Alan Kimpel.
"Fame and Champagne An Evening of Champions for Children" July 7 raised more than $120,000, reports Lynn Beverage, coordinator of the event chaired by Rita Mansour. In addition to sponsorships and auction proceeds, help for the cause came from two individuals who each pledged $6,100 - the average daily cost of a stay at Toledo Children's Hospital.
Ms. Lopez raised another $5,000 though an auction of a putter that Arnold Palmer had given her. Frank and Jeannine Duval offered the winning bid. Proceeds go to a charity close to Ms. Lopez' heart - Adventures In Movement for the Handicapped, Inc., a national nonprofit organization founded in Dayton in 1958. The organization provides "specialized movement education" to children and adults who have visual, hearing, emotional, learning, orthopedic, or coordination problems. AIM doesn't charge for its services.
Some 250 guests in country-club attire grazed and mingled through the house and outside onto the patio and lawn, taking in the beauty of the Maumee River while sampling champagne, fine wines, and oh-so-delicious nibbles presented by area chefs.
Providing the delectable edibles were Michael Bulkowski of Revolver in Findlay; Erika Rapp, formerly of Diva; Meredith Myles of Myles Baker Street in Bowling Green, Rob Campbell of Mancy's Bluewater Grille, Rick Whitehead of Gladieux Catering; Karyn and Labib Hajjar of the Beirut; and Elias Hajjar of Poco Piatti.
Seen in the crowd were Alan Brass and Dana Fike, Jean and Allan Rubin, Dave Venable, Lance and Wanda Tyo, Julie Miller, Fran and Karen Rogalski, Steve and Mary Saddemi, and Michael and Susan Moront.