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The 13th Annual Greater Toledo Urban League dinner “Celebrating 100 Years of Serving our Communities” was March 12 at Parkway Place. The classy scene was a sea of red, black, and white from the black linen-covered tables and chairs to the flowers, accented with candlelight.
The local chapter, chartered in 1996, celebrated the national organization's centennial anniversary that night, but the evening was a call to service now and for the future, said John C. Jones, president and CEO of the local chapter. The nation's largest civil rights organization is headquartered in New York and its mission is to provide advocacy and service in the areas of education, youth, employment, career development, and more.
Mistress of ceremonies Kristian Brown of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, welcomed everyone.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, (D., Toledo), Ohio Treasurer Kevin Boyce, Toledo Mayor Mike Bell, and Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken gave greetings along with Jim Murray, board chairman.
Giving kudos to the league was honorary chairman Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica Health System.
The Charles H. Penn Humanitarian Award was presented to Yolanda Jackson of KeyBank.
The Boy Scouts of America Whitney M. Young, Jr., Service Award was presented to Cleveland Sherman, who was there with his wife, Zonia. It is the first time in the nation that the service award was given and it was extra special since the Scouts also are celebrating a centennial year.
Keynote speaker Marc Morial, National Urban League president, talked about empowering the community and changing lives.
The evening ended with the “Big Papa and the Kat House Review Featuring Do Diligence” presented by CRSmith Productions.
The event is expected to raise about $30,000, thanks to the sponsors, the 420 attendees, and banquet chairmen Rhonda Sewell and Cheryl Slack, who were assisted by Walt Cockrell, Keith Jordan, Gina Thompson, Robert Langford, Erica Parish, Jermaine Young, Darlene Miller, Sena Mourad, and many others.
The invitee list was impressive with the likes of Larry Sykes, Mike and Carol Anderson, Henry and Joann Triplett, Henry and Billie Johnson, Michael Stubblefield, Charles Doneghy, Norman Bell, Larry and Judie Burns, Keith Burwell, Anne Baker, Jay Black, Calvin and Vickie Lawshe, and many others.
‘Steppin' Out' in funky shoes
THE TOLEDO School for the Arts (TSA) fifth annual “Steppin' Out” event presented by Rudolph Libbe was at the Toledo Club last Saturday night. The funky shoe event encouraged guests to sport wild footwear with their party attire, and many did, from decorated tennies, disco-days platforms, and decorated stiletto heels made to look like flying pigs, the unofficial school mascot.
The Not-So-Silent Auction was in the Centennial Room on the main floor where party-goers shopped as they listened to performances by TSA's Glass City Steel drum band, the Urban Jazz Collective student group, the TSA Pop Combo, and more.
Then the supporters retired to the dining room for dinner and a lively live auction by Karen Rose. Sold! Sold! Sold! Artwork, gift certificates for restaurants and entertainment, a hot-air balloon ride, a hot tub, and vacation packages were sold at a fast pace.
The estimated net is $30,000, thanks to the nearly 200 attendees including honorary chairmen Tom and Betsy Brady. Also seen were Karen Merrels, Marna and Suresh Ramnath, John and Jeannie Hayward, Ann Baker, Tim and Areka Foster, Yvonne and Tom Goodwin, Judd and Sheila Johnson, Alice and Mike Momonee, and John Miller and his wife, Janine Ody-Miller, who donated one of her art pieces to the auction; it received an over-bid.
To observe some of the great talent that comes from the school, the Toledo Club has joined with TSA to offer evening entertainment by TSA students at the club. Dates will be announced soon.
DANCING with the Jewish Stars, with a theme this second year of the Revenge of the Polka, was March 13 at Congregation B'nai Israel and what a show of talent it was, led by Fagie Benstein, chairman.
The St. Ursula Academy dance troupe opened the show with a fabulous performance that set the toe-tapping mood for the evening, which was attended by 250 supporters.
Emcee Cantor Jamie Gloth kept the spirit going for the intergenerational and intercongregational event. Rabbi Moshe Saks got in on the act and dressed as “Rabbi Moshe E. Presley.”
Between performances, folks kibbitzed, shopped the silent auction, and noshed. The auction raised nearly $4,000 which certainly brought a smile to the face of congregational president Michael Podolsky.
The Stein Family Tap Dancers — Howard, Dagmar, Cory, and Sean Stein — gave a delightful performance.
Couples performed a variety of dance routines: Ann and Howard Rosenberg, swing; Irina Zaurov and Priscilla D'Anniballe, flamenco; high school juniors Lindsay Scheinbach, the United Synagogue Youth president, and Eli Kaufman, vice president, hip-hop; Hedva and Buzz Romanoff, rumba; Ellen Federman and Steve Federman, polka, and a special performance by Sharon Russell Aloni and Alan Brenner, Argentinian tango.
The CBI Sisterhood Dancing Queen Rocketts, in vintage hats and red T-shirts, did a hora variation featuring Luann Garber, Sharon Hoicowitz, Ann Rosenberg, Anne Bauer, Shirley Gerber, Sue Kale, Gail Kwait, Michelle Kart, Cheryl Rothschild, Judy Scheinbach, Rhoda Miller, Judy Weinberg, and Mrs. Benstein.
Gold medals were presented to dance participants. The evening ended with the community hora, featuring representatives from Temple Shomer Emunim, Etz Chayim, Hadassah, ORT (Organization for Rehabilitation and Training), and the United Jewish Council and its agencies.
WAY Public Library in Perrysburg presented its third and final season of “Dancing aWAY with the Stars III” presented by Physical Therapy Consultants on Feb. 27 at the library.
The adult event paired six local celebrities with six dance professionals to compete for the trophy and title of “Peoples Choice 2010.” The winner was Jeff Normand with Lorie Clark.
Other contestants included Bob Mack with MariAnne Wozniak; Sandy Latchem with Jeff Lever; Beth Christoff with Tom Nehring, Dave Hancock with Brenda Miller, and Becky Beebe with Bill Matheny.
Introducing the contestants were emcees Aaron Bortz and Jill Perry. The classy nightclub scene with black-covered tables and candlelight in the cafe and a bar at the information desk included tasty treats from Premier Catering. A silent auction included a flying lesson and plane ride donated by Bill Davis.
The net was $24,000, thanks to sponsors and the committee including Joanie Foster, Peggy Fuller, Kim Henderson, Julie Liebenthal, Julie Olmstead, and Rozanne Stepnick. The 410 attendees included Matt Skotynsky, foundation board chairman, and Richard Sipp, library board president.