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Published: Sunday, 8/26/2012

On the Town: Just beachy

BY TAHREE LANE AND BARBARA HENDEL
BLADE STAFF WRITERS
Jina and David Felix put their toes in the sand at the Barefoot at the Beach party at Maumee Bay State Park. Jina and David Felix put their toes in the sand at the Barefoot at the Beach party at Maumee Bay State Park.
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A most transporting party, Barefoot at the Beach drew a record-breaking 1,100 people to Maumee Bay State Park on a gorgeous Aug. 18 evening.

A large section of the bay-side beach was fenced off with reed mats enclosing a Caribbean-style resort "village" of white tents, eateries, drinkeries, and music. The crowd, youngish and psyched for a good time, bopped to the energetic Glass City Steel band and danced shoeless to the Madison Avenue Band. A wine bar and cigar stand were new this year.

Beach attire ranged from fun and jazzy (Panama hats, parrot shirts), to way-cool and wow (miniskirts, bare backs, and ankle-grazing dresses). Feet in all types of ware went home dusty. Hither and yon, sandals were tossed into piles.

PHOTO GALLERY: Barefoot at the Beach

Shortly after 8 p.m. soaring flocks of gulls heralded a pink-streaking sunset: logs were set ablaze in deep pits near the shoreline as were 60 tiki torches. And at 10 p.m., the fireworks went boom.

Dave Wehrmeister, executive director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo, greeted guests at the gate, draping leis of fresh orchids from Hawaii about the necks of the honored, such as Beth and Mark Tooman, he of presenting sponsor Medical Mutual of Ohio Inc. Event co-chairs Rick Mann and Stu Love and their spouses Barb Mann and Joan Love were there, as were Tom and Connie Schmidt. She’s the board president.

For Kristen and Chet Craft, Arizonans transplanted to Monclova, the evening was a happy reminder of their wedding on a beach in St. Lucia. Mary Ann and Kaitlin Studer, mother-daughter from Grand Rapids, were happy to have received a friend’s tickets. Enjoying themselves were Jill and Dave Gierke (he’s with Toledo School for the Arts, whose students performed on steel drums), Kelly Ryan and Todd Belote of Sylvania, Cindy and James Spratt of South Toledo, Larry and Nancy Hutson of Perrysburg, John and Phyllis Tharp of Monclova Township, Katie Hunt of the Old West End, and George Thomas of West Toledo.

In addition to 65 orange-shirted volunteers, 20 deputies from the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary volunteered to keep the peace. A total of 100 volunteers set up over three days, and 40 tore down the following morning.

In its 11th year, with tickets at $100, the party netted $150,000.

Pollyball

Pollyball, the gathering with a competitive edge thrown by the Hylant-Tracy families, pulled more than 600 to International Park on a glorious Aug. 18. Over 21 years, the riverfront volleyball fest has generated more than $1 million for programs that make life better for people who have cancer.

It’s named for Polly Hylant-Tracy, who was pregnant when she learned she had breast cancer. She died in 1990 at 35, leaving a young family and eight go-getting siblings. What would Polly have thought of what’s transpired?

"She would have been amazed," said her sister, Sandra Hylant.

PHOTO GALLERY: Pollyball Tournament

Added Polly’s youngest daughter, Sarah Tracy, 24, of Lexington, Ky: "There’s nothing better than this day, with everyone being here." Joining her were sisters Lauren Tracy, 26, and Rachel Tracy, 28. Rachel’s take on the day: "The relationships we’ve made; lots of the same teams have been playing for 15 years."

Among 45 ball-punching teams, Ace Sanitation took home the gold. Other contenders included four UAW teams, Hy-Five made up of children of Richard Hylant and their friends, and the Kath Pollyballers, named for Geof Tracy’s sister who succumbed to cancer. Cheerleading were Courtney Hylant, 14, and Olivia Petas, 15.

The next generation of Hylant-Tracy women are acutely aware of breast cancer’s symptoms. Pollyball, expected to raise $70,000 this year, supports Encore Plus, which provides mammograms and breast exams for 500 needy women a year, said Lisa McDuffie, CEO of the YWCA of Northwest Ohio. Andrea Hylant, a freshman at the University of Michigan, worked with Encore Plus in 2011. "It was a cool way to get behind the scenes and see how we’re helping people," she said.

— Tahree Lane

AdBASH

SERVING, spiking, and a few high fives were all part of the fun at the AdBASH volleyball tournament presented by the Advertising Club of Toledo on Aug. 2 on the beach at International Park.

The perennial AdCLUB favorite with music, food, and beverages was a great networking party that also netted $1,600 for the club’s programs.

First-place winner was Impact Fun Co., followed by Outdoor Business Network, Interrupt Marketing, and Hanson Inc. Making their best effort was the team of H.O.T. Printing & Graphics, which came in last but had a heap of fun. The Communica team might not have been the best in volleyball either, but they won the award for the best-dressed team.

Other teams included Adams Street Publishing, SSOE Group, and Mail Works. Among the 20 sponsors were advertising industry-related businesses plus Subway, NWO Beverage, and Pepsi.

— Barbara Hendel



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