Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Barbara Hendel

On The Town: Local groups celebrate their longevity

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    Jerry Kern, left, Mary Kern, and John Shaffer, at Heartbeat of Toledo’s 40th anniversary banquet.

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    Guest speaker Jennifer O’Neill, left, and Carol Clark, board president, at Heartbeat of Toledo’s celebration.

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From left, event chairman Meg Ressner, keynote speaker Ninive Calegari, and Dr. Elizabeth Ruppert, honorary chairman, at the Women’s Initiative of United Way’s anniversary event April 6.


Several area organizations recently celebrated milestones.

THE WOMEN'S Initiative of United Way marked its 10th anniversary April 6 in the theater at the Owens Corning world headquarters.

Event chairman Meg Ressner welcomed everyone, and Simone Hayes, vice chairman, introduced the featured speaker. The Initiative mobilizes women to become leaders, philanthropists, and advocates for women's issues. It has focused on children and education, so it was most approporiate that the featured speaker was Ninive Calegari, co-founder of 826 Valencia, a national nonprofit tutoring, writing, and publishing organization that assists students.

Ms. Calegari, the former head of 826 Valencia, is also a co-author of Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America's Teachers, which is the basis for the film American Teacher that she is producing to focus on effective teachers.

Honorary chairman Dr. Elizabeth Ruppert, professor emeritus of pediatrics at the University of Toledo's medical school, the former Medical College of Ohio, summed up the evening by saying health and education are intertwined, and since the day the Women's Initiative was started in Sara Jane DeHoff's kitchen, more than $1 million has been invested in programs that affect women and children. Assisting with the evening were Mrs. DeHoff, Mary Kennedy, Linda Liber, Carolyn Matthews, Sara Skirvin, and Mary Sabin.

A smaller group headed to the Oliver House where owner Pat Appold, also a Women's Initiative member, talked about the more than 150-year-old building, saying that it has a few friendly spirits in residence.

Extra special was a happenstance visit from Wally Amos, originator of Famous Amos Cookies, who was visiting from Hawaii. He started a new product line of original recipe cookies that are to be baked in the Toledo area.


Jerry Kern, left, Mary Kern, and John Shaffer, at Heartbeat of Toledo’s 40th anniversary banquet.

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THE WEST SIDE Montessori Center recently celebrated its 35th year with a "Make A Wish" birthday party at Brandywine Country Club. The party for big kids included food, fun, and lots of frivolity. The tasty menu was completed with desserts made by West Side staff and families.

Silent and live auctions provided opportunities to shop for some fun packages. Auctioneer Jack Amlin kept the pace fast as folks bid on items such as trips to the Outer Banks and Catawba and a golf package to play six of Toledo's premiere courses.

Event chairman Nicole Nungester is all smiles over the more than $32,000 raised for the school.

Among the more than 200 guests were Jeff and Julie Kesler, Andrew and Tracey Croak, Matthew and Andrea Dewood, Peter and Becca Gorman, Adam and Nina Rettig, Brian and Annette O'Neill, and Carl and Jackie Wheeler.


Guest speaker Jennifer O’Neill, left, and Carol Clark, board president, at Heartbeat of Toledo’s celebration.

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HEARTBEAT of Toledo celebrated its 40th anniversary with a banquet recently at Gladieux Meadows. The nonprofit organization offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and a chance for women to explore their options in a safe and confidential environment with emotional, educational, and practical support. Prenatal and parenting classes are also offered.

Featured speaker Jennifer O'Neill shared her story of "Surviving Myself." A teenage high-fashion model, an actress opposite John Wayne at 21 with several starring roles to follow, including in The Summer of '42, and 30 years later a spokesman for Cover Girl cosmetics, she seemed to have it all, but it was not so rosy behind the scenes.

She told of her teenage suicide attempts, abortion, sexual abuse, domestic violence, depression, and failed marriages as well as her journey of spiritual and emotional healing. Today Ms. O'Neill is a spokesman for the National Silent No More Awareness Campaign.

The estimated net for the first-time event is $20,000, thanks to the more than 300 attendees.


Barb Cutillo, left, with Frank Stella at The Toledo Museum of Art.


"AN EVENING with Frank Stella," a public event with the artist, Toledo Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy, and art critic and blogger Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes, was held April 7.

The discussion in the Peristyle was about Mr. Stella's nearly 50-year career as well as the Frank Stella: Irregular Polygons exhibit.

Following the talk, Mr. Stella signed books in Libbey Court while attendees had a first peek of the exhibition that opened the next day in Canaday Gallery and runs through July 24.

A prereception with Mr. Stella for members of the museum's president's council and director's circle and KeyBank representatives was in the Classic Court with music by Urban Jazz Collective.

Seen were David and Audrey Mirvish of Toronto, Margy Trumbull and Ben Trumbull, Naran Burchinow, Eileen Sullivan and Chad Baker, Betsy and Tom Brady, Paula Mayes, Pam and Bill Davis, Katherine Hart, Johnna and Phil McWeeney, and many others.

Contact Barbara Hendel at or 419-724-6124.

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