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Published: Saturday, 5/8/2010

On the Town: Rotarians gather for fellowship and fund-raising

Julie and Brad Rubini and Christina Dunn, right, enter the Toledo Rotary Foundation gala. Julie and Brad Rubini and Christina Dunn, right, enter the Toledo Rotary Foundation gala.
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Rotary Club, formed in 1905 in Chicago for fellowship and service to others, is active here in northwest Ohio.

More than 1.2 million members are in more than 29,000 clubs on six continents, all with the same motto: Service Above Self. And they have a four-way check as a reminder — Is it true? Is it fair? Will it bring goodwill? Will it benefit all concerned?

I found out first-hand how dedicated Rotarians are when one of the members of the Maumee Rotary Club, my brother, Greg Hendel, passed away after his wife, Sherry, died in the same year. The Rotarians were there for my family, and if this is any indication of how they come together for those in need, it is a top-rate group in my book.

SO it is with pleasure that I write about the 60th anniversary celebration of the Maumee Rotary Club held recently at Toledo Country Club. It was an all-fun, no fund-raising, night for a change, since most of its gatherings are about supporting community and foreign projects. To better serve the community, there is a Rotary Foundation headed by chairman Greg Fish, who was there with his wife, Raynell.

The lovely evening among friends included a gourmet dinner with music by the Maumee High School String Quartet followed by a live show with Frank and Dean and Then Some, impersonators from Westlake, Ohio.

Event chairmen Bill Schmidt, there with his wife, Anne, and Dave Lindsay, with his wife, Gail, were assisted by committee members Tom Dussell and his wife, Sherri, Jim Moeller and his wife, Ellen, and Christina Short.

Among the members and guests were Joe and Bonnie Coyle, Hector and Waleska Ramirez, Howard Teifke and his wife, Teresa, Bill Haupricht and his wife, Beth, Barb and Dave Mang, Karen Merrels, Don Knepper and his son, Robert Knepper, Bob Navarro and Dolly DeLucia, Do and Theresa Nguyen, Chris and Ernie Spohn, Jim and Phyllis O'Bryant, Ben and Martha Marsh, Joe Ludwig and his wife, Suzanne Hagelberg, and Robbin and Jody Syrek. Also, president-elect Sue McCloskey, there with her husband, Tom, and district governor-elect David Dayne and his wife, Carol, of Galion, Ohio. Current president Ana Belongea was unable to attend.

MEANWHILE, the Rotary Club of Toledo recently held its annual fund-raiser “Itza Ball … It's a Really Big Show” presented by Penn International Gaming, Inc., and BP-Husky Refining LLC at Parkway Place. Cocktails and a tasty dinner were followed by a silent auction and a live auction with Jason Whalen. A reverse raffle was for BP and The Andersons gift cards and for a Jeep Wrangler, which was won by Kevin Webb.

Honorary chairman was Ronald Unnerstall of Global Acetyls, who was recently transferred to Shanghai, China. Mark Dangler took his place at the event.

Entertainment was the variety show presented by Parlan Financial Corp. with host Paul Casmus of St. Joseph's in Sylvania.

Members performed skits and sang. Showing their talents were Mr. Casmus, Laura Emerson, Jessica Hale, Ashley Johncola, Nikke Hale, Monnie Holeman, Katie Rofkar, Mary Beth and Rick of WRVF-FM (101.5), Mark V'Soske, Dick and Fran Anderson, Joe and Annette Napoli, Bruce and Linda Seeger, Lindsey Denham, Matthew Oster, Matt Black, Mark Jacobs, John Streicher, Gary Murphy, Jim Vassar, and Eric Fankhauser, who is the president-elect.

Event chairmen Holly Jensen and Kathy Gries estimate the auctions alone brought in more than $60,000. But it was a team effort with about 80 members on the committee including Carol Bintz, Barbara Berebitsky, Mr. Fankhauser, Scott Libbe, Riaz Chaudhary, and Gary McBride. Also assisting with the night were Notre Dame and St. Francis de Sales High School students and many area Rotarians. The centerpieces were created by the Toledo School for the Arts' seventh-grade students.

Brad Rubini is the board president, and Stacy Hammer is the chairman of the foundation board.

Scholarship gala lights up the night at Lourdes College

Folks are still buzzing about the recent electrifying night at Lourdes College for its ninth annual Luminations presented by HCR Manor Care and Northwestern Mutual Finance Network.

Honorary chairmen Stephen Guillard of HCR ManorCare and his wife, Kathy, and college president Bob Helmer, and his wife, Linda, welcomed 550 guests to the night of performing arts in the Franciscan Theatre & Conference Center.

The Maxx Band played as dining stations by Michaels offered tasty treats. Guests also shopped the silent auction, which offered artwork and entertainment items, including “Dinner with the President” prepared by the Helmers and Bob and Mary Arquette. It was purchased by Paul and Pam Hollenbeck of The Collaborative.

Then everyone retired to the theater with emcee Jeff Smith of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and Brian Terrell, a sophomore majoring in social work, who gave thanks to guests for their support.

Since its inception Luminations has raised nearly $1 million for Lourdes students. This year, approximately $247,000 was netted including more than $100,000 from the live auction.

Then it was entertainment time with former Miss America Susan Powell, sponsored by Jim Findlay and Findlay Business Partners; the Toledo Ballet, the Toledo Opera, and the Toledo Symphony.

Dancing, desserts, and coffee followed, and cinnamon rolls were parting gifts, a small token of appreciation.

Seen were John and Elaine Bachey, Larry and Kathy Ulrich, Jim and Pat Appold, Steve and Peggy Klepper, Tom and Denise Colturi, Mr. Findlay and Pamela Schaefer, Dick and Kathy Faist, Judy and Kevin McFarland, Tom and Nancy Kabat, Bill and Cathy Carroll, Kathy Magliochetti, Denny and Sheila Johnson, Bob and Penny O'Brien, Paul and Carol Hood, Milo and Chrissie Danzeisen, Duke and Martha Wheeler, Mike and Jennifer Muse, Dave and Tracy Seeger, Marie Vogt, Mike and Carol Anderson, Jim and Michelle Haudan, Sara Jane and Bill DeHoff, Tom and Paulette Geiger, Matt Lewandowski, Sandra Hylant, George Baibak, Dan and Jasmine Wakeman, Pam Hershberger, Troy and Stacy Langenderfer, and Dorothy Price.

Housing center marks 35 years of fighting discrimination

The Toledo Fair Housing Center celebrated its 35th anniversary with a luncheon, “Opening Closed Doors for 35 Years,” at the Toledo Club on April 30, the last day of Fair Housing Month.

The center is a nonprofit agency that battles housing discrimination. Since its inception, it has investigated more than 10,000 allegations of housing discrimination and recovered almost $28 million in damages for the victims, according to center information. In these challenging economic times, the center has stepped up and saved hundreds of families from forclosure, said Michael Marsh.

Back in 1975, the year the Vietnam War ended, the song “Love Can Keep Us Together” was popular, and the passage of the Fair Housing Act marked its seventh anniversary, the local center was started by several concerned citizens and community groups, including the Women of the Old West End Neighborhood Association.

Honored at the luncheon was U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo) with the Public Policy and Political/Government Action Award for her efforts to stem the tide of foreclosures. Honored with the President's Award for her 15 years of service on the board was Pam Pullella, who recently retired.

A tasty meal was capped off with birthday cake and house-shaped cookies as CRSmith Productions provided musical entertainment.

Among the attendees were board chairman John Widmer and several board members, including the Rev. John Williams, Angelita Cruz Bridges, Julia Bryant, Nellie Edwards, Louis Escobar, Ann Hornstein, Elizabeth Kollar, and Ricky Walker.



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