Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

On the Town: People of Vision

You get one pair, no spare. Prevent Blindness Ohio's seventh annual People of Vision award dinner presented this year by Block Communications Inc. recently at the Toledo Club.

And the slogan — Our Vision is Vision — said it all.

“Tonight we celebrate leadership and vision … vision touches everyone,” said host and event chairman Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, parent company of Buckeye CableSystem and The Blade.

Prevent Blindness Ohio's mission is to preserve sight through education, advocacy, research, and early detection, said Mr. Block, who announced that the event raised nearly $66,000 for the cause.

The People of Vision Award was presented to Alan Brass, CEO emeritus, ProMedica Health System, for his exemplary leadership and support in collaborating between the corporation and Prevent Blindness. “Every person should be entitled to annual physical, dental, and eye exams” said Mr. Brass, ending with “Vision says it all. Close your eyes and exit the room... it's hard to do.”

Special congratulations to Mr. Brass were from Chuck Ansley, Prevent Blindness honorary board member, and Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo, who said he has experienced vision problems.

Appropriate for the celebration of sight and those who support the cause were the ProMedica table favors — kaleidoscopes.

Tables also included vision simulation cards to show what it is like to have certain sight problems including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and more. Battery-operated votive candles were lit at each place setting in honor of those who have been affected with vision problems.

The evening's emcee, Chrys Peterson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, said we take for granted our sight, remarking that this is the first year she has required progressive lenses.

Jenny Camper, state board chairman, said she had vision problems as a child and still does. She urged people to check the box on “Save our Sight” fund when getting a driver's license because while most vision problems go undetected, 50 percent of all vision loss is preventable. She also urged people to see the “Wise About Eyes” exhibit at Imagination Station, which runs until June 28 or go to

Executive council chairman Michael Seay from Buckeye TeleSystem welcomed everyone and thanked the local physicians who supported the Vision Care Outreach program. They reduced the waiting time from 10 months to five months for eye care. Then he introduced chairman-elect Shelly McCoy Grissom of Mercy College of Northwest Ohio.

Sponsors included people from all areas including banks, unions, businesses, law firms, politicians, insurance agents, contractors, health care agencies, and personal donations.

Making sure things ran smoothly were Richard Meeker, local chapter director, and Sherill Williams, state president and CEO.

Two hospitals held their annual medical staff dinners earlier this month.

FLOWER Hospital's “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” took place at the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center on the Lourdes College campus. The elegant evening was full of humor, from the whimsical floral arrangements in bedpans to the medical jokes and toy stethoscopes scattered on tables, to the medicine-bottle favors that read, “Laughter, take multiple doses every day.”

In keeping with the theme, comedian Tim Bedore had people laughing all night long.

All jokes aside, service awards were presented to several physicians including M. Bassam Abaza for 35 years and Richard Fell and Kul Gupta for 30 years.

Alan Sattler, president of Flower Hospital, and his wife, Lisa, welcomed everyone.

Dr. Chip Evanoff, chief of staff, who was there with his significant other, Rachelle Raymer-Gilbert, turned the power over to Dr. Kesari Sarikonda, chief of staff-elect, who was there with his wife, Candace.

Among the 259 attendees were Pam and Bob Jensen, Jeanne and Greg Druillard, James and Elizabeth Ravas, Sanjiv and Madhu Bais, and Barbara Steele, regional vice president of ProMedica.

MASKS were everywhere, including on the faces of about 325 people who attended St. Luke's Hospital's “Venetian Masquerade Ball” at Parkway Place.

Winners of the best masks were Dr. Kathryn Schramm and her husband, Tim Lehman. For every mask worn to the event, a donation was made to the MLK Kitchen for the Poor in Toledo.

Fun aside, 43 physicians were honored for their years of service, including three celebrating 50 years of practicing medicine: Carl Herkimer, Ramon Sevilla, and Armando Vicente.

Thanks went to Dr. Louito Edje, the descending chief of staff. A family physician from Fallen Timbers Family Physicians, Dr. Edje was the youngest physician and the first African-American to hold the leadership role in St. Luke's 100-year history. Stepping up to the plate as ascending chief of staff is Dr. Robert Friess, an anesthesiologist with Southwest Anesthesia Services.

Dr. Edje celebrated by kicking up her heels to her favorite dance song, “The Electric Slide.”

Seen at the event were Dr. Don Doneff and his wife, Donna; Dr. Donna Woodson; Dr. Clark Weidaw and his wife, Grace; Dr. Stephen Bazeley and his wife, Cathy; Dr. John Croci and his wife, Susan; Dr. Tom Houston and his wife, Martha, and President and CEO Dan Wakeman and his wife, Jasmine.

The Mercy St. Charles Foundation's 11th annual Crystal Ball presented this year by Orchard Villa was held recently at the Hilton Garden Inn, Levis Commons.

The elegant setting sparkled with candlelight and lime green and white flowers and linens with brown accents.

A candy bag raffle and silent auction kicked everything into action. Bidding wars erupted in the live auction, especially for a champion purebred female yellow lab, named — what else? — Crystal. David and Kris Beeks won the final bid at $1,500.

A grand raffle drew excitement, even though the winners were not present: Chuck Gallagher won $4,000 in AAA travel vouchers. Jen Discher won $2,500 in AAA travel vouchers, and Margaret Weisenburger won $1,000 cash.

The sparkle continued with station dining that offered all kinds of food, from an Asian chopped salad served in to-go boxes, to mashed potatoes with all the trimmings served in stemmed goblets, to prime rib, salmon, and mini pastries. Partygoers burned calories by dancing to the sound of the KGB.

The estimated $100,000 that was raised benefits St. Charles Hospital programs and services, said Foundation Chairman Dr. Larry Fanelly, Jr. That's thanks to event chairmen Kent and Holly Meyers and the ball committee, the numerous sponsors, and the more than 350 attendees.

Among the trustees present were Brad Blandin, Ed Nagle, Rev. Joseph Cardone, Riaz Chaudhary, Erin Davis, Stan Deventhal, Sr., Phyllis Ann Gerold, Ritchie Levine, Laura Sunder-Kowalec, Marilyn Stoner, and Sr. Dorothy Thum. Committee members included Keith Brooks, Amanda Caldwell, Linda Fournier, Jennifer Lucas, Amy Hilt, Jackie Snyder, Rob Snoad, Jamie Tooman, and others.

Thanking everyone for their support was Bob Gospodarek, president and CEO of the hospital.

Click to comment

Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit qui in ea voluptate velit esse quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum qui dolorem?

Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet.

Copyright © 2018 Toledo Blade

To Top

Fetching stories…