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Published: Monday, 10/19/2009

On the Town: Arena parties ice-breakers

Bridgette and James Kabat have a goal in mind: Party hearty in a suite at the new arena rented for the inaugural Toledo Walleye hockey game.
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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?Site=TO&Date=20091019&Category=ART03&ArtNo=101909998&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b> OTT: Arena parties ice-breakers</b></a> photo gallery
Bridgette and James Kabat have a goal in mind: Party hearty in a suite at the new arena rented for the inaugural Toledo Walleye hockey game. <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?Site=TO&Date=20091019&Category=ART03&ArtNo=101909998&Ref=PH" target="_blank "><b> OTT: Arena parties ice-breakers</b></a> photo gallery
JETTA FRASER Enlarge

It was history in the making as the new Toledo Walleye hockey team broke the ice Friday night in the new Lucas County Arena. Fireworks exploded as the team was introduced, then it was time to play some hockey. That is, after Ramona Collins sang the national anthem. Even some walleye, the fishy kind, were thrown on the ice before the third period.

But there was more to the night than the game. Music blared, beverages flowed, food was plentiful; even the novice hockey fan enjoyed the event. Food by Gladieux Catering included hot dogs, burgers, chicken, fruit, popcorn, shrimp cocktail, sweet potato chips, and more, including walleye sandwiches.

Lots to know for those not in the know, and if you blink or turn your head, you might miss the action. Hockey talk — such as “drop the gloves” when a fight was about to erupt, and “face-off” to start the game — was thrown around. Novices learned that there are three periods to a game and two intermissions, and the big machine that resurfaces the ice is the Zamboni. And those guys standing in front of the big nets weren't twin Jasons of Friday the 13th fame; they were goalies.

Fishing through the suite area, Bridgette Kabat rented a suite for the night and was among those who dropped the ceremonial first puck. The arena's suite prices are listed at $1,875 per day. The corporate suites tip the scales at up to $55,000 per year.

In the Walleye suite were Mike Miller and Larry Boyer. In another suite shared by several unions were Ron Gabel, Reggie Hohenberger, and Jim Kozlowski.

We didn't get all the suite-cruisers, but spotted were Fred and Julie Treuhaft, John and Karen Yark, Arlene and Jon Levine, Jeannie Hylant and Tom McHugh, Bill Schooler, Nancy and Dan Lehman, Marcia Rubini, Robin and Scott Libbe, Sharon Speyer, Ben Konop, Bill and Margaret Foster, Betsy and Bruce Rumpf and son Sam Rumpf and Claire Arnos, Steve and Neerja Jindal, Chuck Price, James and Linda Telb, Denny Johnson, Brian Epstein, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, Karen Fraker, Brenda and Tom Geiger, Jack Jolley, Anita Lopez, Bob Ransom, Janet Schroeder, Tom Wisniewski, Carl Wisniewski, Barbara Sears, Kim Klewer, Joe Lawless, Terri and Larry Schmakel, Michael and Lillian Walsh, Zach Stewart and Christina Yeager, Candy and Jim Millon, Marty and Mary Chris Skeldon, Bernie Quilter, Phil Rudolph, Jr., Dan and Christine Cassovar, Paula Ross, Mark and Kay Rasmus, Susan and Panos Doukides, and Richard Hylant. Former owner of the Toledo Storm Tim Gladieux was enjoying the scene too.

Before the game, Lathrop hosted a Hat Trick and an opening day celebration in the Aquarium for more than a few hundred friends.

A “hat trick” is when three goals are scored by one player in a game. Greeting guests was the goal of Tom Manahan and Steve Klepper. At the Lathrop party were Bill and Jean Buckley, Mike and Jan Wilcox, Dan and Jasmine Wakeman, Ken and Jean Lovejoy, Ann Baker and Bob Lacy, Olivia and Eric Summons, and Molly and Bob Mack. Bill Kitson and Scott Schultz were there as bachelors for the night, as were many of the men: They recalled the old arena and the sticky floors and were duly impressed with the upscale accommodations. Joe Zunk, arena project superintendent, was all smiles. He was with Kevin and Carrie Machcinski, and Kay Ball.

An aftergame tailgate party was in the Aquarium that night for everyone, however, some were privy Thursday night to the “Walleye at Wildwood featuring Mr. Hockey Gordie Howe,” a tailgate party that celebrates the inaugural season.

The party, in a tent at the Wildwood Medical Center, included the Toledo Walleye team and its coach, Nick Vitucci, and Joe Napoli, Walleye president. Spike, the team mascot, was there, and didn't act like a fish out of water with the great Mr. Howe, who was signing autographs.

Introducing everyone was Dan Cummins of WTOL-TV, Channel 11. Mr. Howe, who gave a lot of hugs, said all hockey players need great peripheral vision like he has. His son, Murray Howe, is a radiologist at the team's imaging facility, Toledo Radiological Associates.

On the agenda was a peek at the plans slated for Toledo's first dedicated orthopaedic hospital, which will be built on the center's campus. Many noticed that the land, next door to the center, is the site of a former bowling alley.

The proceeds go to the Wildwood Medical Foundation for its mission's projects, said event chairman Michelle Dean. Big shots from the center were there, including Holly Bristoll, president of the Wildwood Medical Center; Randy Oostra, ProMedica Health System's CEO; Mary Morrison, executive director of the Toledo Hospital Foundation, and Barbara Steele, Toledo Hospital president.

Also seen were Gerry and Nora Sutherland, Denise Benton, Ken Krupp, Carol and Ed Bardy, Tedd and Suzie Hahn, Steve Welly, and many others.

Cutting a rug

Catholic Charities put its best foot forward Saturday night, “taking the ‘d' out of fund-raiser and putting it into dance” with Dance Uncorked, an evening with exceptional wines, exciting dancing, and outstanding silent-auction items. The event was at St. Joseph Sylvania Family Center. Emcee Don Rawlins kept the evening on target along with Dody Hamilton, mistress of ceremonies. Mr. Rawlins quoted renowned dance instructor Ruth St. Denis:“I see dance being used as a communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep for words.”

Matt Miller's the Dance Clinic trained the six celebrities and partners. Mr. Miller believes “anyone can dance at any age.” There to prove it was Mr. Miller's student Olga Boone, 101 years old and looking great. The 1928 Miss Maryland did a quick dance with Mr. Miller that brought cheers.

The couples had practiced since the end of July, with the help of St. Vitus, patron saint of dancers. Then it was showtime. Turns out, the dancers'prayers appeared to have been answered.

Marianne Ballas of Ballas Buick and Mr. Miller did the quickstep. The waltz of Frank Barone and Brenda Miller had a few surprises that added humor and excitement. Gossip gal Sally Dandar and Mark Beach did a rumba/cha-cha routine. Sister Anne Carmen Barone and Bob Arthur did a fancy merengue/hustle, lifts and all, including a “death drop.” Robert Shiels of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and MariAnne Wozniak did the foxtrot.

But it was the Rev. Alan Zobler and Lorie Clark with their hip-hop/swing/cha-cha routine that won the People's Choice Award. Ms. Clark joked that if Father Zobler doesn't make pope, she hopes she is not to blame.

Costumes were all fun, but not over the edge as seen on TV.

Honorary chairmen were Nancy and Jim Bingle and Sandy and Mark Luetke. Event chairmen were Colleen and Mike Grady.

The mistress of ceremonies reports an estimated net of more than $30,000, which pleased Bill Sanford, the interim executive director of Catholic Charities, and his wife, Shannon.

Others who assisted with the evening included Chris Berlacher, Terri Payak, Donna Posluszny, Cheryl Schroeder, and Karen Szymanski.

Coterie turns 55

THE Coterie Club celebrated its 55th anniversary Saturday at the Oliver House. Coterie is French for clique, but in this case, the founders preferred it to mean a club of friendship for the social club that started in 1954 for networking and fellowship.

Among those at the soiree were club president Wanda Brown and event chairmen Jonie Jackson and Lillian Spaulding. Co-founder Thelma Adams, 89, was there, but co-founder Hazel Harding could not attend. She was in everyone's thoughts.

Mrs. Adams and five charter members — Kathryn Franklin, Dora Garner, Cleo Goldie, Clementine Sherman, and Shirley Walker — continue to be active in club activities.

Tanzanian magic

The Magic of Tanzania, presented by Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development and the Arts Council Lake Erie West Monday night in the Franciscan Center at Lourdes College, was indeed magical.

Guests sipped and supped as they perused art by local artists and female artists from Tanzania in East Africa, plus a Tanzanian fashion show by designer Fatma Amor Hamad.

The program is part of the U.S. State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs International Arts Exchange on Women's Issues. The grant provides exchanges of U.S. and Tanzanian female artists for the development of arts business and women's gender issues.

Among the artists were Tanzanians Harieth Bitanuzile and Miriam Mzee of Bagamoyo; Zena Walakai of Dar es Salaam; Miriam Mussa and Kauthar Khalfan from Zanzibar; Mefakii Jumbe and Kulthum Omary of Tanga; Maria Chuwa, Martha Ntoipo, Veronica Mushi, and Regina Mfoy of Arusha, and Scolastica Malecela of Dodoma.

The Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development and the Arts Council Lake Erie West are regional nonprofit agencies working in collaboration on this grant program.

Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor.

Contact her at: bhendel@theblade.comor 419-724-6124.



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