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Published: Thursday, 7/21/2011

On The Town

Belmont event helps breast-cancer battle

Debbie Knight, Chris Spielman, center, and Dr. Robin Shermis at the putting tournament at Belmont Country Club. Debbie Knight, Chris Spielman, center, and Dr. Robin Shermis at the putting tournament at Belmont Country Club.
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Pink was the popular color of attire at The Classic presented by Hollywood Casino Toledo last week at Belmont Country Club. That's because the event directly benefits the ProMedica Toledo Hospital Breast Care Center, and pink is the signature color for breast cancer.

Scratch and novice golfers vied for the top prize at the putting tournament -- putters compliments of Bob McPherson. The top team was Larry Peterson, Harry Shaw, Mike Smith, Boyd Montgomery, and Paul Ravas. The chipping contest winner was Richie St. Jean, who came closest to the hole and earned a $500 gas card. If he had put his ball in the hole, he would have won a car.

Spectators enjoyed cocktails, grazing, and shopping the silent auction.

The featured speaker Chris Spielman, two-time All-American Ohio State Buckeye linebacker and four-time Pro-Bowl Detroit Lions linebacker, who returned again to spread the word of the importance of women's breast health. Since his wife, Stephanie, died of breast cancer, he has helped to raise more than $9 million to fight breast cancer. Mr. Spielman remarked that the success in life is measured by what we overcome -- the victories and losses. His wife told him not to use her death as an excuse but for motivation. He ended with "embrace the experience of living!" and received a standing ovation.

Ken MacLaren, left, celebrates his birthday with his wife Jalna, and Jimmy Keys. Ken MacLaren, left, celebrates his birthday with his wife Jalna, and Jimmy Keys.

Honorary chairmen Debbie Knight and Robin Shermis were introduced. A breast cancer survivor herself and grateful to be here to tell her story, Mrs. Knight is an advocate for the cause too. Dr. Shermis is medical director of the hospital's breast care center.

The event made about $100,000, according to event chairmen Denise Benton and Darryl Lycourt, Jr.

The success of the evening was due to the 250 attendees, sponsors, and volunteers.

Ken MacLaren celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this month with an elegant surf and turf dinner for family and friends at the Ramada Inn Hotel and Conference Center on Secor Road, one of the hotels he owns.

Everything was scarlet and gray, because Mr. MacLaren is an alum of Ohio State University.

But this night was all about his friends -- and there are many from all walks of his life: He was a nationally known educator and administrator for 17 years, a commercial real-estate agent for 20 years; a hotelier for the past 18 years, and a 33-year member of Highland Meadows Golf Club. Also there was his wife of 32 years, Jalna, who travels with him to their Devil's Lake cottage or their home on Naples Bay in Naples, Fla.

Pattrick Przysiecki is Pattrick the magician. Pattrick Przysiecki is Pattrick the magician.

Family included Tammy MacLaren, Margaret Roemer, K.C. MacLaren, Lea MacLaren, and Ellie MacLaren and their children.

Guests came from such cities as Minneapolis; Charleviox and Dearborn, Mich.; Naples, Fla.; Toronto; Milwaukee; Philadelphia; Baltimore; Seattle; Dayton; Omaha; Atlanta; Cincinnati, and Indianpolis.

Among the local attendees were Bob and Rosemary Price from Devil's Lake; Jim and Jeannie Schwerkoske, Roger Radaloff, and George and Nancy Ward, all of Catawba Island, and Bob and Lisa McPherson, Marv and Nancy Robon, Dave and Rebecca Schmitz, Mark and Gretchen Zyndorf, Mike and Sarna Dorf, Dave and Linda Ball, Scott and Kathi Prephan, and Jerry and Lareen Parker, all of the Toledo area. Local physican Tim Hacker played photographer for the night.

Pattrick and Rita Przysiecki were there, too. Pattrick's gift to Mr. MacLaren was to perform magic during the cocktail hour, then he then joined in the celebration. Mr. Przysiecki just placed second in his magic category in a competition in Pittsburgh, which qualifies him for the International Federation of Magic Societies' World Championships of Magic next July in England. The competition included magicians from U.S.A., Canada, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Spain, and many more.

The featured entertainment was the Jimmy Keys Live Show. Mr. MacLaren met Mr. Keys, an impersonator and comedian, on a cruise ship a few years ago.

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