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Published: Monday, 6/29/2009

On the Town: Summer fun blossoms across Toledo region

SUMMER is here, and what a better place to spend time than outdoors in gardens.

THE 44th Annual Crosby Festival of the Arts at Toledo Botanical Gardens was Saturday and yesterday, but those in the know attended the preview party Friday night to get first dibs on the art for sale.

Heidelberg Distributing provided the spirited beverages, and volunteers from Valko and Associates including Dr. Tim Valko himself tended bar. There was a food tent, but most folks busied themselves with shopping and schmoozing. As I stood at the entrance where Robert Zollweg had his booth, many folks passed by including: Denny and Sheila Johnson, Mike and Carol Anderson, Tina Skeldon Wozniak and Russ Wozniak, Denise and Stu Cubbon, Bob and Sue Savage, Linda Webb, Janet and Dennis LeGolvin, John and Yolanda Szuch, Dirk and Julie Van Heyst, Phil and Mary Lou Rudolph, Barbara and Bill Barkan, Carolyn and Herb Metzger, Terry and Jeanne Lesniewitz, Mark and Collette Jacobs, Barbara and Alan Konop, Bob and Mary Arquette, Bob and Linda Helmer, Robin and Scott Libbe, Sandra Hylant, Kim and Kim Sidwell, Cindy Rerucha and John MacKay, Condessa Croninger and Eric Hillenbrand, Carlton and Karen Fraker, Cindy Niggemeyer, Teresa Fedor, Sharon and Paul Frankel, Melissa and Dick Marcus, Connie and Jay Feldstein, Walt and Mary Krueger, Dorothy Price, and board President Mimi Creutz.

About 700 gathered for the preview, and the crowd for the weekend was more than 30,000. More than $180,000 was raised for Toledo Botanical Gardens.

CENTENNIAL Terrace celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday night with a VIP reception featuring the Johnny Knorr Orchestra. In Sylvania, the facility is cleaned up and bigger, to accommodate larger crowds.

A new refreshment stand and more restrooms have been added. The gazebos are there, but the largest outdoor terrazzo dance floor in the country has a new look.

The historical floor has been replaced with a shiny floor, and the orchestra pit, once like an old movie stage, is stone and several times bigger than before. Every Friday and Saturday night entertainment is scheduled and on July 16 War and The Average White Band is on the roster. Saturday night was the 14th annual disco party, and the 70th anniversary of the venue is slated for July 25 with the Johnny Knorr Orchestra.

THE Third Annual Beethoven and Bar-B-Que picnic presented by The Blade, Buckeye CableSystem and Telesystem, was June 23rd at the Anderson complex in Maumee to benefit Partners in Education.

Guests sipped beverages as they perused the Scott High School Allied Health Academy and Toledo Technology Academy displays. Appetites were sated with grub from Shorty s Bar-B-Que. RGB Productions Inc. provided a community involvement video. Then, up close and personal, was the real treat the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, led by Chelsea Tipton, performed.

Welcoming everyone were Fran and Dick Anderson, event hosts, and Mark Rasmus, Partners in Education president. Among the more than 300 patrons registered were those who assisted with the event including Kay Rasmus, Carl Dettmer, Joanne and Bill McElheney, Gayle and Wayne Burrer, Carol and Chuck Stocking, and Donna and Bill Neihous.

The event netted about $20,000, thanks to the more than 15 sponsor tables and other guests.

FRIENDS of Toledo Day Nursery hosted its annual In Another Garden tour 2009 June 20 in Eagle Point Colony in Rossford, but those in the know had a sneak peek a few nights before. The preview party, run by Cecile Bennett and Konni Bostleman, was June 18 at the home of Elaine and John Bachey, whose river front home includes a croquet putting green.

Welcoming everyone was Toledo Day Nursery board President Mike Robarge and Friends President Betty Sherman. In addition to the sponsors and donors including area landscapers, there was a committee of almost 25 Friends members.

Those whose gardens were on tour received recognition including David and Betsy Allison, Jim and Pat Appold, Bob and Linda Bunda, Don and Christie Helvey, George and Carol Koury, Don Leary and Becky Fuhrman, Ted and Suzi Hahn, Richard and Sherry Leichtamer, James Mann, David and Jan Merrell, Jack and Susan Pesci, Beth and John Rust, and Tom and Marlene Uhler, many who had just finished the last-minute touches on their gardens while others would work in haste till the last minute.

After a tasty alfresco dinner, guests perused the gardens, all lovely in their own unique ways. Saturday came, and music and art and art related items greeted people as they toured each garden. The estimated net from the event is more than $20,000.

DEATH by Chocolate, a soiree to benefit the Toledo School for the Arts was June 16 at the school. Students played background tunes as guests meandered about the garden flowers and sculpture that looked especially pretty thanks to Denise Lambes of Glendale Flowers and Gifts who arranged the centerpieces and hung clear glass bud vases in the garden. Of course, the main focus was on chocolate, all sinfully delicious treats by Meredith Myles of Myles Baker Street. Mmm. Rocky Road Turtles, Milky Ways, and more all almost too pretty to eat. Billy Mann and Maggie Vetter loved the homemade peanut butter cups.

Chocolate aside, many strolled indoors to see the new student art gallery.

Seen were Rob Koenig, board president and his wife, Casey; and board members Mike Urbanski and wife Betsy, Mike Calabrese and wife Deb, a former teacher at TSA, and Jeff Anderson. Former board members Karen Merrels and Steve Foster were there. Also among the almost 200 attendees as were Sara Jane DeHoff, Margy Trumbull, Jack Niggemeyer, Ken and Tara Robinson, Jan Baker, Nancy and Lachman Chablani, Tony and Debbie Packo and Alana, 8; Darcy Powell, Christy Stichter, Edith Franklin, Mary Dawson, Sandy and Jon Yobbagy, Simon Hayes, Konni Bostleman, and Murray and Colleen Howe.

About $4,000 was netted for the Visual Arts Outreach program.

SCHEDEL Arboretum and Gardens, a 17 acre garden estate in Elmore, Ohio, about 20 miles southeast of Toledo, is in its peak season. Flowers, trees, and watergardens are enhanced with a sculpture exhibit.

Adding to the scene is an art exhibit by the Athena Art Society through July 12 in Schedel s Trellis Gallery. Athena, a group of Toledo female artists, is one of the two oldest women s professional art organizations in the country. The exhibit includes everything from water color, acrylic, pastel, oil, and gouache, to ceramic, lithograph, and ink.

The Gardens are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sun. Admission is charged. Thursday is an evening guided garden tour at 6:30 p.m. for $12 per person.

July 24 at 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is an Elegant Evening at the Gardens. The $45 admission per person includes gourmet foods. Advanced registration is required. Visit schedel-gardens.org.



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