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The Tile Club of Toledo, a men's club formed in 1895, hosted its first St. Valentine's Day Dinner on Feb. 14. The event is noteworthy because it is rare when women are admitted through the doors of the club. The men meet every Tuesday night for dinner, camaraderie, singing, painting, and a few jokes. This was just the third such dinner meeting that included women.
Ladies were first admitted on Nov. 30, 1955, and it made headlines in The Blade under a story titled, "Tile Club Breaks Down, Lets Wives into Meeting." That story was written by the late Mildred Benson. Tilers, as she called them, said it was nice to have the ladies there, but it was too much work, too much fuss. The second ladies night was April 29, 1973.
Women have been invited on other occasions. One was the club's 100th anniversary in 1995 and it included cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, but no dinner. I was there that night.
So, 17 years later on Valentine's Day, I was back as a guest at the exclusive club where membership is limited to 22.
The old structure looked just as before, with lots of paintings on the walls by members. There were long-stemmed red roses on the table for all of the ladies, thanks to member Robert Pollex.
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The artist of the month is always highlighted in the dining room with a spotlit painting on an easel. This month it is by Scott Heacock. And, as with most nights, steak was grilled over the fireplace. Chris Workman did the grilling. Also served were baked potatoes, asparagus spears, and sauteed mushrooms, prepared by chef for the night, Bob Lubell, who thought of the idea to invite the ladies.
A salad and some desserts were prepared by wives Stevie Grand Lubell and Jean Chapman. It went well with the "cowboy" coffee, made in a huge white enamel coffee pot that is as old as the club. No filters, just dump some coffee in, add the water, and simmer.
Just as at every meeting, the night started in the living room where portraits are displayed of every member along with the date when they joined. President Jack Straub played piano and Kenny White sang along with every tune. Wine and a full bar plus the usual cheese, crackers, and canned fish of some sort were served.
If the ladies had not been there, some of the men would have been painting and drawing upstairs in the studio and playing cards after dinner, but there was not enough time.
Among the members are artists, musicians, architects, and lawyers, including Larry Golba, Eric Bergman, David Smith, and Walter Chapman, who as the eldest member will celebrate his 100th birthday on Pearl Harbor Day. He smokes cigars, drinks, eats steak, and loves sweets. Right behind him are elders Jim Brower, 97, and Julius Orosz, 90.
Guests on this night included wives and significant others Elisabeth Ladd Heacock, Sandy Sutter Pollex, Karen Wolfe, Lynn Golba, Judy Smith, Pamela Straub, Linda White, Trudy Kahn, and Susan Orosz.
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Bidding was lively at the Rotary Club of Perrysburg 28th annual Charity Auction Feb. 11 at the Hilton Garden Inn. An estimated $60,000 was raised to benefit Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation; Perrysburg Rotary Service Foundation's endowed scholarship at Owens Community College, and the Daughter Project -- Setting Girls Free From Human Trafficking, a local nonprofit recovery shelter.
The sponsors were assisted by a committee that included Joanie Asendorf, Melissa Bell, Jim Euting, Jennifer Fehnrich, Alsion Frye, Steve Hopkins, Matt Matuga, Susan Nelson, Julie Roberts, Ken Robinson, Cindy Russeau, Lori Stephens, Bob Venzel and Chris Vogel.
Among the 252 attendees were Perrysburg Municipal Court Judge Dwight Osterud and wife Judy Reitzel; United Way's Bill Kitson and wife Diane; Wood County Commissioner Jim Carter; Perrysburg Township Trustee Bob Mack and wife Molly, Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson, Perrysburg councilmen Mike Olmstead and Tom Mackin, Perrysburg Rotary president Julie Roberts and husband Randy, and many others including Jeff and Laurie Huskisson, Jennifer Fehnrich, Ken and Tara Robinson, Jeff and Mickey Schaller, Jack and Cyndi Sculfort, Matt and Lea Skotynsky, Bob and Jackie Venzel, Jeff and Deborah Normand, Kim and Nancy Klewer, Laura Moore, Greg and Alison Frye, and Matt and Brenda Welch.