Friday, Jul 29, 2016
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Barbara Hendel


Fund-raising is in full bloom

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    Rotary Club of Toledo board president Gary McBride, left, and president-elect Tom Backoff welcome members and guests to the Itza Ball at Parkway Plaza.

    <The Blade/Zack Conkle
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Rotary Club of Toledo board president Gary McBride, left, and president-elect Tom Backoff welcome members and guests to the Itza Ball at Parkway Plaza.

The Blade/Zack Conkle
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Area service and nonprofit organizations are busy wrapping up their spring fund-raising seasons.

The Rotary Club of Toledo hosted Itza Ball: It's About Time in celebration of its centennial year. The event, hosted by the Rotary Foundation, was recently held at Parkway Place. The 577 guests mingled before sitting down at black linen-covered tables centered with red roses and candlelight.

Greeting everyone was club president Gary McBride. Reginald Jackson, foundation board chairman, was also there.

This event was the grand finale of centennial celebrations that started in 2009, with the goal to raise money for one large contribution. A $300,000 check was presented before the event to the Metroparks of the Toledo Area for a riverfront park in downtown Toledo.

Community philanthropist Dick Anderson, chairman emeritus of the board of The Andersons, Inc., was honored with a roast. Tom Walton, emcee, and friends and family including Sam Irmen, Carol Krause, Fran Anderson, Jim Findley, and Jim Anderson roasted and toasted. In between jibes were spontaneous flash mob-type dance routines by several groups of Rotary members. There was also a silent auction, a raffle, music, and more. Sponsors included KeyBank, V & A Risk Services & Impact Employment Services, PNC, Yark Automotive Group, Owens Corning, and Spengler/Nathanson.

PHOTO GALLERY: Fund-raising in full bloom


Club president David Czerniak and club president-elect Susan martin cut the cake to celebrate the Rotary Club of Reynolds Corners' 50th anniversary in the Cloister at the Toledo Museum of Art.


Event chairman Kathy Gries and her co-chairman, Holly Jensen, reported a net of more than $120,000 from the evening's event. Ms. Gries also is the new executive director of the Rotary Club of Toledo. Thanks go to interim executive director Hunt Sears.

The steering committee of nearly 20 people included Carol Bintz, Alex Due, Tyson Fankhauser, Tom Backoff, Melissa Noe, Gary Murphy, and Jillian Lepiarz.

The Rotary Club of Reynolds Corners celebrated its 50th anniversary last month with 70-some guests in the Cloister at the Toledo Museum of Art.

The club, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sylvania, was started in January, 1962, by charter members who were area businessmen. The Reynolds Corners Rotary has sponsored both the Swanton Club and the Holland-Springfield Club.

Since the club's inception, it has raised $300,000 for local and international needs, said club president David Czerniak.

Special guests at the celebration included District 6600 Governor, Helyn Bolanis, of the Rotary Club of Toledo, and District Governor- Elect Robert Vincent of the Rotary Club of Bowling Green. The longest-active member in attendance was George Turpening. Event chairmen were club member Paul Smith and his wife Barb.


Angele and Antoine Kabwasa at the West Toledo Rotary Club's Denim and Dinner.


West Toledo Rotary Club's "Denim and Dinner" reverse raffle presented by KeyBank was held recently at St. Pius X.

About $7,100 was raised to benefit the YMCA Youth Opportunities Program for low-income at-risk youth and the Congo Community Health Center for impoverished people in the Congo.

Among the 300 attendees was Antoine Kabwasa who operates the African Cultural Initiatives For Peace and Development, which will supervise and sponsor the Congo health center.

Northwest Ohio Community Shares, a federation of 26 nonprofit organizations, hosted a Share Our Dreams dinner auction last month that netted nearly $8,000.

More than 200 guests flocked to Fifth Third Field for the cause. The auctioneer was Shaun Hegarty of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and he enticed folks into bidding wars for popular auction items such as dinner for six at a Toledo fire station.


Guest speaker and former FOCUS client Steven Spain with Rev. Margaret Sammons of St. Michael's in the Hills episcopal Church and FOCUS board member.


FOCUS, which stands for Family Outreach Community United Services, celebrated its 30th anniversary during the annual luncheon last month in the Grand Ballroom of the Park Inn. Emcee Kristian Brown of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, welcomed everyone. Former client Steven Spain spoke of the poor choices made early in his life that caused him to become homeless, and how the organization provided him with the skills to find housing and employment.

Board president Lindsay Potts was among the guests who helped raise nearly $35,000. In addition, the Oswald Supporting Organization of the Toledo Community Foundation recently awarded a $15,404 grant to FOCUS to continue helping local families and individuals recover from homelessness.

Mexican cuisine was delicious and raffle prizes added to the festive "A Night with Nuestra Gente" held last month at La Fiesta Restaurant in Maumee.

The event netted $1,500 for Nuestra Gente Community Projects, Inc., which provides education and health programs in Lucas County and surrounding communities. For information go to or call 419-283-0581

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