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Published: Wednesday, 12/10/2008

Holiday party goes to the dogs (for charity)

BY BARBARA HENDEL
BLADE SOCIETY EDITOR

A multitude of charity events on local calendars makes it clear that having fun while fund-raising is the way to go.

"4 PAWS SAKE, Who Let the Dogs Out?," the event held last month for our four-legged friends, is still something to bark about. Held at the new Passenger Ship Terminal on Front Street, it was an evening of music, dancing, station dining, and raffle prizes. Phil Dirt and the Dozers enticed many of the 265 guests to shake a leg and dance 'till nearly midnight. The event brought in $3,584, according to 4 Paws Sake president Cindy Smith, who was assisted by a pack of volunteers including Valerie Fine, Elisabeth Ladd, Connie Ayers, Karen Mayhew, and Nancy Kloss. Information on the organization can be found at 4pawssake.org.

THE ANNUAL Girlfriend Holiday Charity Get-Together tookplace Monday night, hosted by Jalna MacLaren and her sister-

in-law, Raquel Bravo, at the Corey Road home of Ms. Bravo and Stephen Scarvelis. The evening was short and sweet, with lots to eat, all brought by guests. But this year, there was a featured guest speaker: Katie Doyle of San Francisco, who founded Virungan Artisan Inc. The BGSU graduate, who was a roommate of Mrs. MacLaren, started the project in 2006 because of her love of animals and passion to help others. While in Africa, on the volcanic slopes near Kinigi in Rwanda, she met women whose families killed gorillas for their livelihood and who walked up to 25 miles a day to get drinking water for their families. The gorillas are no longer in danger, since the women now earn money by making baskets, which were for sale during the party. About 80 baskets worth $30 to $40 each were sold, netting more than $2,000, which provides for a year of education for one child. For those who missed out on the baskets, they are for sale at the Toledo Zoo. More information is available at virungaart.com.

Among the nearly 45 women at the event were Claire Kirsner, Pat Levy, Leslie McCarter, Mary Dawson, Sue Kruez, Pam Snyder, Christy Lorton, Sue Bobowick, Mary Zraik, Sarna Dorf, Cindy Niggemier, Jacquie Mac-Intyre, and Nancy Robon.


Sharon Arquette, left, and Kathleen Walczak with Goldie the dog at the 4 Paws Sake party. Sharon Arquette, left, and Kathleen Walczak with Goldie the dog at the 4 Paws Sake party.
THE BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge | Buy This Photo

CHICKS for Charity, a group of gals who joined forces to make a difference, are winding down one year and starting the next at the same time. Their 2008-09 charity is Assistance Dogs of America and to date, the group has raised more than $28,000 and is hoping to break $30,000 by year's end.

Personal contributions on behalf of the Chicks for Charity can be sent to Assistance Dogs of America, 8806 State Rt. 64, Swanton, OH 43558, but there are also a few more gatherings for the cause.

One was the Spoil Yourself and Loved Ones that was Thursday at Denise Zeller's home where ladies had fun and did some shopping, too. Mary Kay products were sold and 40 percent of the profits went to the cause.

Tomorrow from 4:30 to 8 p.m. is An Evening of Friends and Fun at Ragazza shop in Perrysburg. Ragazza will donate 10 percent of the whole day's sales. And to entice shoppers, anyone who spends more than $50 will receive a free copy of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, the latest selection in Oprah's book club. It is a story of a boy and his assistance dog - what a great tie-in to this year's charity!

In the meantime, the CHICKS voted on a charity for 2009-10. It was tough decision with finalists including the Backpack Program from NWO Food Bank, and Mom's House, both wonderful organizations who provide much-needed services to the women and families of northwest Ohio. But there could be only one winner.

So drum roll, please.

The 2009-10 Chicks for Charity recipient is the Victory Center for individuals dealing with cancer.

NOT ALL the parties were about charity. Some were about joining forces as volunteers to make a difference in the community.

The Wood County Economic Development Commission's annual holiday reception was Thursday in the Holiday Inn French Quarter in Perrysburg. It was a virtual Who's Who of the northwest Ohio business community. Among the estimated 300 in attendance were Sharon Speyer of Huntington Bank, Dean Monske of Regional Growth Partnership, Larry Dillin of the Dillin Development, Cheryl Hardy of Hardy Communications, Frank Butler of O-I, Mike Cicak and Jim Heider of Willard and Kelsey, Steve Serchuk of Signature, Nelson DeVoe and Terry Jones of First Solar, Jeannie Hylant of the Hylant Group, Tom Uhler of TTL, and many others.

Camaraderie and delicious food, catered by founding WCEDC member Bennett Enterprises, made for a great time.

Many civic leaders were there including Wood County Commissioners Jim Carter, Alvin Perkins, and Tim Brown. Also, Wood County Judge Dave Woessner, Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, Mayors Bill Verbosky of Rossford and Nelson Evans of Perrysburg, as well as council members, township trustees, and school superintendents from across the county.

PETS naughty and nice can visit Santa Saturday during the Humane Ohio's "Pet Photos with Santa" fund-raiser from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Pet Supplies Plus on Alexis Road. Freeze-Frame Photos is donating its time, and Kohne Camera & Photo is donating the printing, so 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Humane Ohio.

Photo packages range from $10 to $25. Humans can be in the photos, too, with or without a pet. Humane Ohio is a nonprofit low-cost spay/neuter program.



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