Movers and shakers mixed it up with a variety of ways to support the community.
Fine Crystal Ball
Candlelight, towering clear-glass vases filled with white flowers, and crystals scattered on white linen-covered tables with black napkins set the elegant scene Saturday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons for the Crystal Ball to benefit the St. Charles Mercy Hospital Foundation.
The privy attended a VIP reception beforehand, with cocktails and hors d oeuvres as Josh Silver tickled the ivories. The chic crowd of more than 400 was a mix of all ages in tuxes and classy suits and sexy and pretty gowns and dresses. The KGB enticed guests to the dance floor before, between, and after dinner and auctions.
Dinner was delish and artfully displayed. Appetizers antipasto were at the diners tables, then guests feasted from stations that held tempting delights, including individual Caesar salads in parmesan cheese cups, greens with fruit, cheese, and nuts in martini glasses, carved beef tenderloin and grilled tuna, stuffed chicken, grilled veggies, twice-baked potatoes, and all kinds of sinfully delicious petite desserts, including petit fours, mini eclairs, and creme brulee. Of course, what is dessert without coffee and teas with flavored syrups and toppings?
The auctions had something for everyone, from vacation and sports packages to art, jewelry, and personal health services. Candy jars were for sale to give guests a chance to win travel vouchers and raffle prizes from AAA. George Karagiorge won the travel voucher worth $6,000.
Gadding about were Carol Whittaker, hospital president and CEO, Steve Mickus, president and CEO of Mercy Health Partners, Larry and Sue Fanelly, Barb Gessel, Lynn Kordash, Don and Judy Turner and their son and daughter-in-law Chad and Michelle Turner, Riaz Chaudhary and son Omar, Dennis and Lisa Pavley, Marilyn and Tarry Stoner, Stephen and Rachelle Reed, Rich and Karen Pilatowski, Phil and Darlene Harrison, Will and Sue Moss, Rose and Mark Heard, Laura and Mike Kowalec, Don Leary and Becky Fuhrman, Hal and Debbie Schultz, Cynthia and Jeff Coleman, Geof and Molly Meyers, Phil and Mary McConnell, Brad and Carmen Morse, Keith and Kathie Campbell, Tim and Brenda Dudderar, Marcia and Mike O Neill, Barbara and Mike Berebitsky, and Rey Nevarez and his wife, Deb.
Event chairmen Ritchie and Penny Levine and Kent Meyers and his wife, Holly, foundation trustee chairman, expects the net to be more than $100,000.
That s thanks to the attendees, and more than 80 donors, including platinum underwriter, Orchard Villa, and gold underwriter Sunoco, many, many more silver, bronze, and pewter underwriters, plus benefactors and friends.
Making a WAVE
IT was such a beautiful Saturday that many folks stopped by Lourdes College, which hosted the second annual Women Artists Visionaries and Entrepreneurs Celebration of Women festival on campus in honor of Women s History Month.
An exhibition and sale of fine arts and crafts such as ceramics, fiber arts, jewelry, pottery, and paintings, as well as an art exhibit, was great for shopping and sightseeing.
Entertainment included performances by Kyle White, Spectrum, the Aegela Dance Company, Root Cellar String Band, Poets Lady T and Ophelia Thompson, Hemline Theory, and more.
The proceeds, not available yet, will support Women Blessing Women, an organization dedicated to empowering women living in poverty to achieve success, gain confidence, and obtain living-wage jobs.
Lunch with a punch
The people who attended the National Multiple Sclerosis Society s sixth annual Women on the Move Luncheon at Hilton Garden Inn on Thursday, were there to make a difference.
Suzanne Carroll Witherell, event chairman and emcee, said the event had been called Women against MS. The name was changed to reflect the new national attitude of moving toward a world free of MS, plus, she said, it is a descriptive word for those suffering from the disease that robs people in their prime of the ability to move about physically.
She should know; Ms. Carroll Witherell was diagnosed with the disease 16 years ago on St. Patrick s Day.
The event was a pretty affair with tables centered with planters, donated by Schramms Flowers, sold later for $15 each. And the lunch chicken marsala, salad, potatoes and veggies, with chiffon petit fours for dessert was scrumptious. And everyone had fun during the auction of purses stuffed with goodies.
But it was the call for caring that made the difference. Guest speaker Austin Carty, essayist, novelist, and TV star, who has been featured in numerous publications, including People, TV Guide, and Today s Christian, told his tales of being on the CBS television show, Survivor: Panama Exile Island.
He related his experience to his mother, who was diagnosed with MS in 1999, and her challenges to Survive Everyday!, a new theme that was adopted by the local society in honor of Mr. Carty and his mom.
Just like the show, it s someplace in life you didn t want to go, but you re there and you have to fight to survive, he said.
He said the MS society is a big community of love, hope, and faith, and to survive, one needs to believe in something bigger. He encouraged folks to donate to help find a cure for the disease.
Helping with the event were Sharon Cox, Susan Gavron, Ginny Mojzesz, Cathy Nelson, Anne Parsons, Jacque Pratt, Teri Swimmer, and Tonya Paige-Pyles. Richard Moore is chairman of the National MS Society, Northwestern Ohio Board of Trustees.
Among the guests were Jodi Brouillette of Valdosta, Ga., daughter of Ms. Carroll Witherell; she traveled the farthest for the event, just to be there with her mom. Also there from out of town were Barbara and Robert Paige of Elyria, Ohio, parents of Ms. Paige-Pyles.
The estimated net is more than $15,000, however, still pouring in are gifts from the heart.
Wood County bigwigs
The 16th annual Wood County Economic Development Commission Dinner was Wednesday also at the Hilton Garden Inn. The event, with emcee Jerry Anderson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, celebrated the anniversary of the organization s incorporation in 1993. The successes of 2008 were highlighted with the unveiling of the organization s annual report, which included the $80 million intermodal freight hub announced by CSX Transportation, and the $100 million-plus expansion by First Solar, adding 134 new green jobs to the 700 already at the renewable energy giant s Perrysburg Township campus, Tom Blaha, executive director, said. Guest speaker Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher presented the commission s Corporate Citizen of the Year award to First Solar, and company official Carol Campbell, accepted the award.
It was a virtual who s who of the northwest Ohio civic and business community that night. Among the more than 500 attendees were Brian McMahon, who was installed as corporate secretary by Wood County Commissioner Alvie Perkins, Steve Serchuk of Signature Associates, Jeannie Hylant of The Hylant Group, Carol Cartwright, BGSU president, Wendy Gramza of the Toledo Chamber, Chuck and Carol Stocking of Principle Business Enterprises, Tom Uhler of TTL, Tony Reams of TMACOG, Jeff Normand of Normand Associates, Larry Dillin of Dillin Development, Kathleen Krueger of Kenakore Solutions, and Trent Smith of FirstEnergy, to name a few.