Saturday, Jul 23, 2016
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel


Local folks remain generous despite the economy

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    Victoria Simms, left, and Annette Napoli at the 'Going Wild for Kids' event at Hilton Garden Inn.

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    Mike and Kelly Hart, left, with Tim Schlachter.

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From left, John Irwin, chief financial officer; executive director Marcia Langenderfer, board president Tony Thiros, and honorary chairman Marty Connors of Brooks Insurance at the VANtastic Fundraiser for St. Paul's Community Center.


The VANtastik Fund-Raiser for St. Paul's Community Center was April 7 at Georgio's Cafe International. Money from the event will be used to purchase a van for the center to pick up food donations and transport clients. The proceeds also go toward replacing the 35 beds in the shelter. St. Paul's Community Center provides services to promote self sufficiency for the homeless and indigent.

The event was $75 to attend, and music was provided by pianist Andreas Xenopoulos. The event raised $20,000, which brought a smile to the faces of honorary chairman Marty Connors of Brooks Insurance and board president Tony Thiros.

Seen were board members Robert Town, Joanne Champion, Regina Silletti, and Lynn Carder, and mental health board attendees Gayle Campbell, Mary Gombach, Audrey Weis-Maag, David Schlaudecker, and Denise Benton.

The annual "Going Wild for Kids!," presented by Hart Associates and Laibe Electric recently at the Hilton Garden Inn, was a fun-filled event to help the Autism Collaborative and Toledo Children's Hospital.


Victoria Simms, left, and Annette Napoli at the 'Going Wild for Kids' event at Hilton Garden Inn.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
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Little girls in butterfly costumes greeted guests. The event featured live and silent auctions, a photo booth, dining stations, tempting desserts including candy to take home, and five raffles for jewelry from Harold Jaffe Jewelers.

Abby Paskvan, a freshman at Bowling Green High School, sang several songs and impressed everyone with her vocal talent.

Local children benefiting from the support tugged at the 420 attendees' hearts, and the result was more than $100,000 raised, according to Rita Mansour, Toledo Children's Hospital Foundation board chairman.

Tijanna Glover danced for the audience. Then Madeline Voetsch talked about what it's like to have a brother with autism and introduced the new video on the Autism Collaborative. More than 10 local groups are part of the collaborative, including the University of Toledo, ProMedica, Toledo Children's Hospital, Autism Society of Northwest Ohio, Great Lakes Center for Autism, and Autism Model School.


Mike and Kelly Hart, left, with Tim Schlachter.

The Blade/Andy Morrison
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The audience all primed, Melissa Voetsch of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and mother of Madeline, asked for gifts from the heart. How could anyone refuse? Firefighters in their work garb collected donations and promoted their dinner at Toledo Firehouse No 5, which was sold in the live auction.

Emcee and auctioneer Jerry Anderson and emcee Chrys Peterson also of WTOL, urged folks to bid during the live auction.

Event chairmen were Michelle Cicak-Jaffe and Meredith Sherman.

Attendees of note included Ivan Jaffe, Kevin and Judy Kwiatkowski, Denise Benton, Labib Hajjar, Brian Epstein, Rich and Margie Heck, Jon and Catina Harding, Larry and Jill Peterson, Jim Murray, Julie and Kirk Mizerek, Jen and Matt Homier, Annette Napoli and her son Danny and many of his friends, Rob Fredrick and Cindy Skaff, Garry and Jan Roberts, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, Brenda and Doug Dymarkowski, and Pierre and Mary Vauthy.


Event Chairmen Bob and Kathie Maxwell at the Mercy College of Northwest Ohio's Sounds of Spring fundraiser.


Mercy College of Northwest Ohio hosted Sounds of Spring April 8 in the Toledo Symphony space at the Professional Arts Building near the Toledo Museum of Art. It was a fund-raiser with event chairmen Bob and Kathie Maxwell before the concert that night in the Peristyle.

The evening raised nearly $10,000 for college scholarships and student experiences such as the mission trip to Guatemala.

Enjoying the night were Mercy College President John Hayward and his wife, Jeanie, Chris and Karen Bates, Joe and Geri Kovaleski, Tom Brell and Barbara Creque, Jim Essig, Marsha Manahan, Pat and Angele McGrady, Phil and Johanna McWeeny, Carol Whittaker, Carol Berman, Ann Rotterdam, Eleanor Debo, Sister Karen Elliott, and many others.

Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor.

Contact Barbara Hendel at or 419-724-6124

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