Sunday, Jul 24, 2016
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Barbara Hendel


The waiting game

Organizations serve food and fun

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From left, Greg Dempsey, Chuck Ealey, Peg O'Hearn, Tom Cole at Central Catholic High School's fifth annual Celebrity Wait Night.


Celebrity wait nights continue to be a great way to raise funds. They are a win/win situation because there are no up-front expenses for the organizations, restaurants get customers, and the tips go to the causes. Plus, everyone has loads of fun in a relaxed and casual setting. Here are just a few of the many over the last several months.

CENTRAL Catholic High School’s fifth annual Celebrity Wait featured “Central-ebrity” waiters at Parkway Place in March. Wine and cheese was served while guests shopped the silent auction. After dinner Piano Wars! dueling pianos entertained the group.

Several Central staff members were waiters, including football coach Greg Dempsey; Mike Boyle, vice president of operations, and Patrick Williams, vice president of institutional advancement.

A number of Central alums were waiters, including Peg (Palmer) O’Hearn and Bill Carroll, board chairman.

Among the waiters from the community were Chuck Ealey, former University of Toledo quarterback; Tom Cole of BCSN; Bill Anderson of Dale’s in Maumee; J.R. Toland of Savage & Associates; Tom Wright of Brooks Insurance, and George Zilba of Parkway Place.

The estimated $20,000 that was raised supports the school scholarship fund.

ST. FRANCIS de Sales High School Chappuis Society hosted its WaitKnight in March at Mancy’s Steak House. The catchy “Knight Court” theme set the mood because 15 local alumni attorneys were waiters serving more than 300 guests. The attorneys would have been hard pressed to turn down a chance to serve since the chairmen were Judge Gene Zmuda’s wife, Terri, and local attorney Mark Trimble’s wife, Cathy.

The event raised $15,000.

THE PARTNERS in Education Celebrity Wait event in March was at the Real Seafood Company. The $10,000 that was raised supported the Mark Rasmus Scholarship Fund for graduating Toledo area high school students.

Celeb waiters were Nate Alt, Gayle Burrer, Carl Dettmer, Greg Guzman, Gary Johnson, Kevin McQueen, Debby Schaefer, Hunt Sears, Chuck Stocking, Marlene Uhler, Christina Williams, and Richard Wolff.

THE KIDNEY Foundation Celebrity Dinner was in March at Parkway Place with a Mardi Gras theme. Among the volunteer waiters were Becky Minger, Miss Ohio; Dave White, Jr., who was the keynote speaker; Steve Sherline of Fifth Third Bank; Jennifer Hildebrand of TTC Holdings, and Rob Wiercinski of WTOL-TV, Channel 11.

The event raised $12,000.

CHRIST Child Society held its 16th annual celebrity wait night in February at Real Seafood and Zia’s. Thirty volunteer waiters along with the real wait staff served up a fun time with great food.

Event chairman Candy Sturtz was assisted by Kitsie Valiton, Ann Marie Blank, Marsha Cyranowski, Diana Gabel, Charlene Kuhn, Carol Koury, Carol Pickett, and president Mary Murnen. The event raised nearly $30,000 thanks to the more than 500 guests, the real waiters, owner Mike Gibbons, and the volunteers.

Celebrity waiters included Mary and Bob Arquette, Keith and Katy Walker, Bill and Barb Biggs, Cindy Folger, Lucy and Samir Abu-Absi, Henry and Karen DeMain, Karen Ridenour, John and Judy Gonia and many others.

THE TOLEDO Opera Guild’s Celebrity Wait Night “It aint’t over ‘til the fat lady sings...or laughs!” was in January at Fat Fish Blue. The last laugh of the night was with comedian Chili Challis, former staff writer for Jay Leno.

The $4,200 netted supported the Education Outreach, which continues while the opera is reorganizing.

Event chairman Barbara Baumgartner and honorary chairmen Ann Sanford and Denise Matheny were assisted by Ian and Heather Toner, Sandra Seiple, Michael Sordyl, Cindy Niggemeyer, Cookie Westmeyer and Susan Mason. Celeb waiters included Barbara Baker, Joel Gorski, Tom and Traci Schwann, Dock Treece, and many others including Barbara Brown, president.

THE FAMILY and Child Abuse and Prevention Center Celebrity Wait Night was recently at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club.

A silent auction of art from St. Joseph students added to the fun. The theme was Blue Pumpkins to represent Abbey Pawlak who started selling blue pumpkins in 2007 when she was 10 to help prevent child abuse. Event chairman was Barb Dianda-Martin. The net was $12,000.

The celeb waiters list included Steve Bowe, Lynne Brechin, Brandi Doniere, Susan Herring, John and Debbie Joslin, Pauline Locascio, Bob and Kathie Maxwell, Jonna McRury, Karen Merrels, Abbey and Barb Pawlak, Cindy Pisano, Mike Robarge, John Schaeufele, Dean Sparks, Tom and Betty Straub, and Kathy and Zach Zacharias.

Click here to see more photos from the On The Town page.


Groups lift a glass (or two) to help with good causes

Wine is fine, especially for raising funds.


Dominic Catalano, Julie Rubini, and Mary Chwialkowski attend a wine-tasting to benefit the Library Legacy Foundation of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library and Claire's Day Ind.


THE ANDERSONS, Library Legacy Foundation of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, and Claire’s Day Inc. partnered to present a wine-tasting fund, friend, and glass-raiser Wednesday at The Andersons in Maumee. Participants sampled and purchased the library foundation’s selection of private-label California wines. The wines are part of The Andersons Private Label Wine Charity Program, which donates to the foundation the equivalent of $2 for each bottle of wine sold, said Rhonda Sewell of the library.

Special guest was local author/illustrator Dominic Catalano of Perrysburg who drew illustrations for tasters and is participating in Claire’s Day festivities. Tickets for Claire’s Night, an adult prelude May 20 at the Main Library to the festival are $65 per person for the prelude and can be purchased at The Andersons stores or by visiting

Seen were Kathryn Fell, Nancy Eames, Brad and Julie Rubini, Mary Chwialkowski, Bridget Holt, Gretchen Zientek, Gaye Tebay, and Jan Metzger.

“SOCKS for the Sole” for Hannah’s Socks kicked off April 21 at Maumee Wines. The casual wine tasting for the cause is a monthly event at Maumee Wines, and the next one is slated for May 19.

Among the attendees were Hannah’s dad, Vic Turner, who is also a board member; Dawn Christen, board president; and several other board members including Cyndi Sculfort, Pat Giammarco, Robin Laird, Jan Aguilar, and Chiara Camerson.

Also seen were Cheryl Johnson, Linda Kosinski, Nancy Norman, Kristin Rose, Sharon Christen, Jennifer Lake, Gary Seymour, Scott Morrin, Karen Shulman, Marilyn and Neal Levine, Tom and Martha Schaffer, Samantha Scott, Leitha Sackmann, and Wendy DeBord.

THE WATERVILLE Area Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual “Uncorked!” wine tasting and art auction was in March at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons.

The semiformal event featured silent and live auction items donated by area businesses. Local artists works included those of Teri Utz Bersee, Baker O’Brien, Norm Abrass, Ann Kniep, Kim Nelson, Janet Leahy and Jack Schultz.

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