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Published: Sunday, 9/26/2010

October's a prime time for charity balls

At the Gorskis' Sapphire Ball kick off part were, from left, Dock Treece, Jr., Barbara Baumgartner, Joel and Clare Gorski, and Michael Sordyl. At the Gorskis' Sapphire Ball kick off part were, from left, Dock Treece, Jr., Barbara Baumgartner, Joel and Clare Gorski, and Michael Sordyl.
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INVITATIONS to the 50th Sapphire Ball to benefit the Toledo Opera Association will be in the mail this week.

The grand formal affair, where ballgowns are the IN attire, is slated for Oct. 23 at the Crowne Plaza.

A preview party last month at the riverfront home of Clare and Joel Gorski in Perrysburg gave some details. The ball chairman is Barbara Baumgartner, the co-chairmen are Mrs. Gorski and Michael Sordyl, the junior chairman is Dock Treece, Jr., and the honorary chairman is Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, the parent company of The Blade.

Jack and Cindy Niggemyer enjoy appetizers at the Sapphire Ball Kickoff. Jack and Cindy Niggemyer enjoy appetizers at the Sapphire Ball Kickoff.
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Unveiled was the new logo courtesy of Amir Kahn. Floral arrangements by Keith Brooks were on display. The ball menu is all set, which includes an anniversary cake by Wendy Kromer, Martha Stewart's pastry chef. A Cadillac for lease from Taylor Cadillac and a pearl and sapphire necklace by Lisa Barrow of Barrow Jewelers were on display as raffle items.

And the wine treasure trove raffle was announced. Among the wines will be a 1982 bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild valued between $1,500 and $2,400. There will be live and silent auctions, too.

Tickets are $50 for each raffle.

Dock Treece, left with trustees Ian Toner and Ann Sanford. Dock Treece, left with trustees Ian Toner and Ann Sanford.
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The ball is open to the public; tickets are $250 a person from the Toledo Opera Association office at 419-255-7464, ext. 5.

Wednesday night was a Sapphire Ball mixer for the junior set — those 35 years old and younger. More than 100 young professionals gathered downtown at Table Forty 4 for cocktails (including a Sapphire Ball signature drink) and appetizers amid beautiful floral arrangements by Keith Brooks, a longtime supporter of the ball. Special was a preview of ball fashions by Sophie's Sister. Chairmen of the mixer were Brittany Craig and Liz Fowler with the assistance of committee members including Sara Stacey, the junior Mr. Treece, and Mr. Kahn.

Youth brings some advantages; their tickets to the Sapphire Ball are only $175.

A few months ago there was a tea at the home of Traci and Tom Schwann for past ball chairmen and others.

Past chairmen shared stories about their involvement. Renay Conlin, the opera's general and artistic director, and Andy Stuart, chairman of the board of the Opera Association, were there along with numerous opera supporters. On display were a few gowns worn by past ball chairmen. Chairman of the first Sapphire Ball, run by the Opera Guild, was Peg Werner.

HOLD onto your hat and take the reins! Toledo's Cattle Baron's Ball to benefit the American Cancer Society is slated for Oct. 9 at Stranahan Great Hall with honoree William Vaughan of Whitehouse, a lung cancer survivor.

The night will be packed with western entertainment, Texas-style food, all in a rootin' tootin' atmosphere. Casino-style gaming, a mechanical bull, dancing, and live and silent auctions are on the shindig slate. Headline entertainment is Rodney Parker and the Liberty Beach.

Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy, which will be the caterer, has dedicated Thursday as the American Cancer Society Cattle Baron's Ball day at its restaurant and will donate 20 percent of all food sales to the society (alcohol not included).

David and Denise Matheny, left, with Richard and Shirley Joseph. David and Denise Matheny, left, with Richard and Shirley Joseph.
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So put on your best cowboy hat and get ready to kick up your heels to help defeat cancer, say event chairman Bridget Root and Lucas County ACS board president Cathleen Nelson. Tickets are $100 each from Erin Matheson at the American Cancer Society, 888-227-2345, ext. 5211, or toledocattlebaronsball.org.

In the meantime, local cancer patients and their families who need free information, help, and support can call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 800-227-2345 anytime, day or night, or go online to cancer.org.



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