Friday, Jul 29, 2016
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Barbara Hendel

Around Town: Adoptive families and MS fighters lauded

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Becky and Mike Dornoff enjoy the evening with a few of their 20 children.


Fall is here with fund-raisers and honors for community supporters.

Adopt America Network's 25th annual “Very Special Evening” dinner auction was Friday at the Stranahan Theater Great Hall.

The agency facilitates the adoption of children who have been abused or neglected, have physical or emotional challenges, are of minority heritage, have siblings, or are of school age.

This year's honored host family was Becky and Mike Dornoff who have adopted 18 special-needs children. They also have two birth children, and their daughter Dawn has adopted two children, both with Down syndrome.

The dinner included assorted desserts. About 280 supporters attended, including Todd Hoyt, who enjoyed tasting all of the desserts, even before his meal.

Harpist Denise Grupp-Verbon played background tunes as guests shopped the silent auction and nibbled hors d'oeuvres.

The raffle basket winner of $1,000 was Larry Boyer, who had given up his opening-night Red Wings hockey tickets to be at the dinner.

The Kia car raffle by Taylor was won by the American Legion of Grand Rapids, which opted for $15,000 cash.


Top: Bob Ransom, left, and Larry Boyer at the Adopt America Network's 'Very Special Evening.' Bottom: Wendy Sowers, left, Adopt America Network's board chairman, and Tammy Corral, past event chairman.


Wendy Sowers, board chairman, and Wendy Spoerl, president, were the top winners of the bead raffle, splitting more than $1,000 cash. Ms. Sowers, of the Ramsom Corp., who has worked with the agency for all 25 years, beamed delightedly about her winnings.

Among the 280 attendees were Mark and Jenna Wasylyshyn, Fred Ruffin, Shannon and Mike Irmen, Mark and Sue Moser, Mary Lou and Phil Rudolph, Jr., Tony and Debbie Packo, Brian McMahon, Mike and Kelly Hart, Bob Bunda and Betty Johnson, Joe and Beth Beham, and past event chairman Tammy Corral.

Oodles of volunteers and sponsors helped to make the evening happen, including top sponsors — the Ransom Family and Letitia Marth and Paul Bishop; auctioneer Jason Whalen, and emcee Diane Larson of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, who has volunteered for the event for 18 years.

The estimated net is more than $103,000, including a $20,000 check presented that night from the Royal Arch Masons of Ohio.

THE MS DINNER of Champions Sept. 29 at The Pinnacle honored two people who have “made a difference in the community through outstanding personal achievement, volunteer service, philanthropic support, and business leadership.”

The 10th annual event to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society honored Joe Napoli and Terri Hubbard.

Mr. Napoli, president and general manager of the Toledo Mud Hens Baseball Club and the Toledo Walleye Hockey Club, was presented with the Silver Hope Award. He also serves on boards for the Great Lakes Center for Autism, ProMedica Health System, and the Boy Scouts of America. He and his wife, Annette, whom he met in Toledo during his first stint with the Hens, have five children.

That night his children, in a slide show, honored their awesome dad. Mr. Napoli was also surprised with a visit from an old friend, Joe Paloscio of Brooklyn, who regaled folks with fun tales about Joe's younger days.

Mrs. Hubbard was presented with the MS Achievement Award for her triumph and successes dealing with the challenges presented by the disease. Mrs. Hubbard, diagnosed with MS in February, 2005, said that she had to slow her pace down and set more realistic goals, then raved about the society for helping her with her struggle against MS.

Through all of this, she has been a staunch MS Society volunteer and has also been an active volunteer for Toledo Christian Schools, the Dancers Parents Association, YWCA Resource and Referral Advisory Committee for Child Care. A newlywed, her biggest supporters are her husband, Tracy Hubbard, and daughter, Kaitlyn Rood.

More than 200 supporters enjoyed dinner and shopped the silent and live auctions which featured something for everyone: handbags and jewelry, sports memorabilia including a first-pitch experience at a Mud Hens game and a Zamboni ride at a Walleye game, a ride along with the Toledo Police, a behind-the-scenes day with a judge, and a flat-screen television.


Terri Rood Hubbard, left, and Joe Napoli at the MS Dinner of Champions.


The nearly $30,000 raised at the event helps to fund programs and services for the more than 3,400 northwest Ohioans with multiple sclerosis.

ALSO honored recently were young professionals during the 15th annual 20 Under 40 Leadership Recognition Reception Sept. 29 at Fifth Third Center.

Among the 20 awardees who were recognized as young dynamic leaders of the community were three members of the Junior League of Toledo: Aileen Meyer, Linsey Ansberg, and Jennifer Hildebrand.

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