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Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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Published: Monday, 7/28/2008

On the Town: Midsummer night magic

Day or night, morning or evening: The weather has been perfect for all kinds of doings, including clambakes, art displays, racing on the river, or dining at a fine restaurant.

From the moment guests walked through the underground doors of the Main Toledo-Lucas County Public Library downtown, the tone was set for a simply elegant evening Saturday at A Midsummer Night Up on the Roof.

Two fuchsia linen-covered bistro tables adorned with tall, glass vases filled with an array of brightly colored flowers flanked the entrance.

Inside, co-chairmen Bob and Sue Savage greeted guests on their way to check in at a linen-covered table with six cylindrical clear, glass vases filled with white hydrangeas, decorative grass, blue delphinium, fuchsia gladiolus, orange tiger lilies, and yellow sunflowers all locally grown and arranged by Twigs in Rossford.

On the way to the rooftop Civic Plaza, ladies wearing summer dresses, brightly flowered skirts, and capris with colorful blouses, and gentlemen dressed in khakis with golf shirt, casual button-downs, or sport jackets enjoyed the smooth sounds of the Toledo School for the Arts Jazz Ensemble in the Pilkington Central Court.

Up on the roof, honorary chairman Helen McMaster mingled with guests as the setting sun made the clouds blush a beautiful deep pink blanket over the downtown skyline. Hepcat Revival s swinging sound delighted dancers and diners grazing on poached salmon fingers, pork tenderloin, sliders with caramelized onions, black olive tapenade, and an array of grilled vegetables, including portobello mushrooms, zucchini, asparagus, and green, red, and yellow peppers.

To sooth the sweet tooth, Gladieux Catering presented a scrumptious chocolate fountain with delectable dippers, including strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, and cookies.

Each guest was offered a complimentary white wine spritzer or Sprite with a glowing swizzle stick. Tickets were sold for keys to unlock two treasure chests. The grand prize, $500 in gift coins to Harold Jaffe Jewelers, was won by Jen Jackson of Toledo and her friend Amy Daniels of Columbus during their girls night out. Won t their husbands be surprised?

Dean Monske and Sharon Speyer were one of 10 lucky winners holding a key that unlocked the second chest with yearlong passes to the Authors! Authors! Series and fine-free library cards.

Numerous guests tried their luck at the wine-bottle ring toss. Those who rung the bottles atop the three-tier table took them home.

The fifth-annual gala presented by National City and the Library Legacy Foundation was enjoyed by more than 375 guests, and it netted about $20,000 for librarywide youth services, said the library s Gretchen Gehring.

Major sponsors also included Ellen and Jamie Black, Brooks Insurance, Columbia Gas of Ohio, The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem, DiSalle Real Estate Company, Health Care REIT Inc., Paramount Health Care/ProMedica Health System, Sophia Lustig Shop/Sophie s Sister, Sunoco Inc., and the William Fall Group.

Among those enjoying the cool breeze, great company, and engaging entertainment were Dave and Dottie Pienta, Brian and Beth Bucher, Dick and Nancie Entenman, Bill and Leta Coyle, Ron Coffman and Sharon Simmons, library director Clyde Scoles, Sheila and Stan Odesky, Christina Hulbirt, Pam Shanks, Alissa Romstadt, Elisha Whitenack, Jamie and Ellen Black, Andrea France, Joseph and Mattie Sommerville, Mike and Monica Dansack, and Diane Rusk-Disbrow.

Julie Njaim

Library director Clyde Scoles and Sheila Odesky take in the view from the roof of the library during the evening festivities there.
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<img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/photo.gif> <font color=red><b>VIEW</font color=red></b>: <a href=" /apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=TO&Dato=20080728&Kategori=EVENTSNEWSLETTER&Lopenr=947371475&Ref=PH" target="_blank  "><b> Midsummer night magic</b></a> Library director Clyde Scoles and Sheila Odesky take in the view from the roof of the library during the evening festivities there. <br> <br> <img src=http://www.toledoblade.com/graphics/icons/photo.gif> <font color=red><b>VIEW</font color=red></b>: <a href=" /apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=TO&Dato=20080728&Kategori=EVENTSNEWSLETTER&Lopenr=947371475&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b> Midsummer night magic</b></a>
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The setting was perfect for the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce s 24th annual Clambake Thursday night. Near the end of a sun-drenched day, 1,000 guests dined on lobster, chicken, and summer sausage under tents along the Maumee River against a backdrop of the Veterans Glass City Skyway bridge and the new $3.2 million Toledo Skyway Marina.

Many of the guests also took rides on the excursion boat Sandpiper, where they learned details of the proposed $320 million Marina District project that could bring apartments, condos, shops, and restaurants to the 125-acre site along the east bank of the Maumee.

During the cocktail hour in the new marine passenger terminal, conversation flowed as freely as the drinks. Among those talking about boating were Greg and Jan Bollin, Laura Gretzinger, Tim Gladieux, and Jennifer Stevenson.

But with the likes of Toledo Symphony President Bob Bell and longtime board member Bill Buckley present, naturally there was lots of talk about the symphony, a survivor in an era that has seen the demise of some others, including, apparently, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. And lively music by The Flecks entertained the clambake crowd.

Among attendees were many bankers, who, although competitors, get along famously at events like the clambake. Representing National City Bank, the event s major sponsor, were President Brian Bucher and Tim Coleman, private client marketing executive. Chatting with them was Lee Dunn, president of the Bank of Maumee and this year s Chamber chairman.

Others enjoying the clambake included Mark Zyndorf, Peter Silverman, Olivia Summons, Adam Davenport, John and Kim Martin, Dan Kory and his wife, Elaine Canning, Gary Corrigan, Jim Murray, Carolyn Matthews, Jerome Bechstein, Mark and Joanne Olnhausen, Karen Fraker, and Linda Stacey.

Homer Brickey

Graced with beautiful weather, the 16th annual University of Toledo Art on the Mall was a splendid success. So was Saturday night s Kick-off Gala party in the UT Student Union Auditorium, attended by a merry crowd of more than 500.

Galagoers purchased more than 100 objets d art donated by nearly all of the participating artists.

Amidst the happy buzz of socializing and informal networking, the evening featured terrific munchies provided by seven popular restaurants and caterers, smooth jazz by the Dan Seemann Quintet, and some upbeat talk about UT s 16,810-member alumni association.

UT Prexy Dr. Lloyd Jacobs was there, as were university trustees Dave Huey and Olivia K. Summons.

Given that the alumni association is the beneficiary of the weekend s good fortunes, representation of the alumni board was vigorous, including board president Jon Dvorak, Stephen Bazeley, Craig Burkhart, Eddie Cole, Terrie Lee, and Chip Carstensen.

Also spotted were Barb Berebitsky, Karen Fraker and her husband Carlton, and former UT trustee Bruce Douglas and his wife, Dolores.

It is the 175 volunteers many of them loyal to their alma mater who take care of both artists and visitors and make the Kick-Off Gala a success. Among them were Robert Schlembach, Jim and Pat Baldwin, Barbara Berente, Abe Fadell, Beth and Jim Getz, Bernie Solomon, Wade Woolford, and Jim and Lois Whiteman.

Artists who donate their work for the auction are also invited to attend the gala. Seen were woodworker Will Anderson, jeweler Suzanne Beavis, photographer Michael Davis, metalworker Sharon Tobasko, and glass makers Steve Kemmerley, Patrick Dubreuil, and Robin Schultes.

Major sponsors were The Blade, Buckeye Cablesystem, UT Medical Center, Huntington Bank, Plante & Moran, SSOE Inc., and WTO5 Toledo s CW.

Tahree Lane

For the seventh straight year, a legion of people-powered dragons took to the water in the Great Maumee River Dragon Boat Festival. Saturday s event to benefit

Partners In Education involved dozens of teams in long, colorful boats paddled by 20 people each in a continuation of a Chinese tradition that goes back more than 2,000 years.

There were races throughout the day, and each craft came complete with a dragon head on the bow and a tail on the stern, as well as a steersman and drummer to keep the cadence over the 500-meter course. While the point was to raise money for a valued nonprofit, participants from area businesses and organizations certainly had their eyes on first place. This year s winners were Division A: Rowing Titans (St. John s Jesuit High School/KeyBank); Division B: Buckeye Speed Demons (Buckeye CableSystem); Division C: Stautzenboaters (Stautzenberger College); Division D: Stingers (Ohio Air National Guard s 180th Fighter Wing), and Division E: Big Brown (UPS).

Eileen Kerner, executive director of Partners in Education, said the group expected to clear about $70,000 thanks to the festival. The organization fosters relationships between schools and businesses, government agencies, other groups, and churches, particularly focusing on student success and supporting at-risk youth through tutoring. Right now, it has 138 partnerships in the Toledo Public and Diocese of Toledo schools.

There were plenty of other eats and treats at the festival in International Park too. The Chinese Association of Greater Toledo provided various cultural activities, and live music and a children s area made sure that even those who weren t racing stayed busy.

The new painting in the dining room at Fifi s Reprise Restaurant and Lounge says it all: Fifi s back.

The painting, done by Catherine Wixey, is a reverse mirror portrait of the slim, fashionably dressed Fifi Berry standing with her back to viewers and detailed to include her jewelry. The painting was a popular topic of conversation at Fifi s grand opening Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, not only because it is unique, but because it is a decided contrast to the portrait of the popular restaurant owner that for many years hung above the bar.

Lest longtime Fifi followers fret that the original painting of Fifi peering through tropical foliage was lost in the changeover, it was not. Ms. Wixey moved it to a place of honor in the dining room.

Ms. Wixey, who was largely responsible for the fresh new look at the popular South Toledo restaurant on Bernath Parkway, was among the large group of well-wishers attending Thursday night s celebration when proceeds were given to Chicks for Charity, a local organization.

Stephen Goldman likened the enthusiastic crowd that welcomed the reopening of the restaurant to a gaggle. And there will be more gaggles Friday and Saturday nights, the University of Toledo professor emeritus said. It was an accurate prediction.

Marianne Ballas also was very instrumental in the upscale interior design and rightfully received compliments for the achievement at the celebration. Master craftsman Tasso Psarras is also credited for his input in the decor.

Each evening the Bob Rex Jazz Trio played New York, New York, which was played at the opening of the restaurant Oct. 1, 1980. The restaurant was under different management for a brief period last winter. The word Reprise is in the name Fifi chose to reopen her restaurant.

Laura Blackburn of New Orleans planned a trip to Toledo to attend the opening. She was there with her daughter, Carrie. Alice Schorling considered it a stroke of luck that Thursday was also her birthday.

Many guests had dinner, including Fred and Nita Harrington, while others tried Chef Jason Brown s new lounge appetizer menu that includes petite burges fromage (yes, miniburgers at Fifi s!) and duck confit along with lamb lollipops, baked brie, and tomato bread, longtime favorite standbys.

Mary Alice Powell

Contact Sue Brickey at:suebrickey@theblade.comor 419-724-6121.



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