The Corner Dental ZOOtoDO presented by PNC, a Party with a Purpose June 15 at the Toledo Zoo was a night of divine food, lively music, and mingling.
The zoo grounds were beautiful and lush, and the weather was even better, with clear skies and a breeze. Peter Boyer, event chairman, returned as leader of the event for the eighth time. Tickets were $150 per person, but that didn't deter the 1,600 attendees who were ready to party.
Black tie with tennis shoes was the preferred attire; however, a few didn't get the funky formal message and came in casual wear. Most of the men sported tuxedo jackets and shirts with shorts and tennis shoes and wild hats and ties while ladies came in animal prints, skirts, bare shoulders, and plunging necklines, some with comfortable shoes, other ones with stilettos.
Marv Robon, in shorts and a print shirt with tux suspenders, wore a tie made of glass beads while his wife, Nancy, was in a safari print ensemble. Douglas Andrews was in a tux with shorts and pink tennis shoes and an elephant print cummerbund and tie to match his elephant hat and peanut shell necklace made by his wife, Kathleen, who was in matching attire.
In the crush of the crowd was Demetria Galloway, who wore a belt of golden elephants. Her fiance, Darrick Roberts, wore a tux shirt and said next year he would wear tux shorts rather than long pants. It was their first time at the event, and they made every minute count, checking out the exhibits and dancing to live music.
Fifty-plus area restaurants and caterers were in the limelight with their specialties. New food providers included Inverness Club, Sundown Cantina, Elephant Bar, Star Bar and Grille, Hall's Catering by Design, and Cold Stone Creamery. Another new participant was bd's Mongolian Grill, which won the Best Booth Presentation award. The booth was decorated with elephants sculpted out of aluminum foil, and other items related to this year's elephant theme in honor of the new Tembo Trail: Elephants of the Savanna. The Best Food Presentation went to the Toledo Club for its margarita salmon and pickled watermelon on a wooden "husk" plate. Bars were busy, too, including the martini bars, sponsored by Finlandia Vodka. In the VIP area was a whiskey tasting table led by "Whiskey Pete" Wagner.
Kim VanTuinen, of Toledo, and Aimee Everett, of Milbury, pose for a picture at the Crosby Garden Preview Party.
Major sponsors were YP YellowPages.com and Toledo Refining Company, plus 15 other sponsors.
The event takes 11 months to plan and four nights to set up with the help of 175 staff and volunteers including Ken Borowicz, who has assisted for more than a decade. After the event closes at midnight, they work late to have everything back in order for the next day of business at 10 a.m.
All of the $75,000 that was raised goes to support the zoo's programs and exhibits.
The 47th annual Crosby Festival of the Arts presented by The Andersons to benefit Toledo Botanical Garden was June 23 and 24 with more than 22,000 attendees. Nearly 700 had a sneak peek and first dibs on shopping when they attended the Gala Preview Party presented by Yark Fiat on June 22.
Folks were enticed to the entrance by the sounds of Toledo School for the Arts Urban Jazz Collective. They were greeted by TBG director Karen Ranney Wolkins who wore a pretty sundress, as did many of the women.
Many people strolled the art booths on the way to the social area where Mancy's Brothers Catering served tasty dishes that included a risotto station, crab cakes, ravioli, Greek salad, and fresh fruit. Chris and John Alexander dined first, then shopped as did Kim and John Sidwell.
Eli Lalicich, of People For Sale, poses for a picture at the Crosby Garden Preview Party in the Toledo Botanical Garden.
Meanwhile The Distant Cousinz local band played jazzy tunes that added to the tranquil setting. Gary Yunker dined while his wife Trish shopped.
Among the partygoers, all in casual summer attire, were Joe Pinciotti, Nick and Carla Ulrich, Joanne Ollivier, Jeannie Hylant and Tom McHugh, Karen and Carl Fraker, William Schachner, Tom and Marlene Uhler, John and Yolanda Szuch, Pat Brondes, Holly Metzger, Mary Ann and Jim Kline, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, Edith Franklin, Doug Adams-Arman, Bruce and Betsy Rumpf, John Hadley, Herral Long, Art and Jan Purinton, Molly Reams Thompson, Pat and Jim Appold, Michael Miller and Kim Wagenhauser, and Susan and William Horvath.
About 250 volunteers helped with throughout the weekend working admissions, beer garden, set up and take down and more. Artist ambassadors Eric Hillenbrand and Condessa Croninger visited artists at their booths checking on their comfort as well as to see that they selling what they were juried for into the show.
The estimated net from the weekend is nearly $150,000.