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Paytra Gessler  performs music Paytra Gessler  performs music from Moulin Rouge.
Paytra Gessler performs music from Moulin Rouge.
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Published: Sunday, 10/7/2012 - Updated: 2 years ago

On the Town: Toledo struts talent, style

BY BARBARA HENDEL
BLADE SOCIETY EDITOR

What a night of talent. PNC Presents EPIC Rocks with Hollywood Casino was Sept. 29 in the Grand Aire Hangar at Toledo Express Airport.

VIPs and the general crowd crushed together for a full house of 1,000, mingling in anticipation of the show. Meanwhile models were back stage primping with the help of Reve Salon and Spa for tresses and Sephora for faces.

The event was created in 2008 by EPIC Toledo, Engaging People, Inspiring Minds, a division of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce, and The Blade to attract and retain young talents in the area. So the majority of attendees were young.

The Candice Coleman and Chris Brown Band cranked up the tunes and revved the audience. Breast cancer survivors sporting pink boas and escorted by male models strutted the stage for ROCK the Runway Presented by PNC. Cheers and standing ovations erupted for the whole lot: Jill Besgrove, Lynn Brough, Michele Garbers, Lisa Hager, Priscilla Hutchens, Shirley Jaros, Kaylene Kramer, Itzel Krauss, Linda Kruse, Coral Long, Kathy Metz, Wilma Phenix, Linda Scheid, Kristi Shaner Noviski, and Gail Willis-Allen.

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo struts talent, style

Amanda Holewinski on the runway with an assistance dog. She is modeling clothes from Macy's. Amanda Holewinski on the runway with an assistance dog. She is modeling clothes from Macy's.
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Models, all between the ages of 14 and 29 and paid as professionals by Starbound Entertainment Group, walked the runway with flair sporting togs from Vivian Kate, Pink Door Boutique, Sophie's Sister, Ticknors Men's Clothier, Elegant Rags, The Limited, and Cole Facts. Among the 39 models were Zahra Collins, Emily Kuhn, Ashley Kynard, Hannah Nighswander, Celina Nowicki, Ashley Taylor, Maddy Taylor, Melissa Wittenmyer, Caleb Baumann, Anthony Davis, and Greg Ward, who all recently returned from New York for Fashion Week.

The entertaining and fast-paced show also included singers. Tatiana Owens, of New York and formerly of Toledo, wowed the crowd when she sang Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." Toledoan Paytra Gassler joined her for another audience-pleaser, "Lady Marmalade." Daniel Horst of Toledo sang "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour. Dancers added to the sizzle of the night: former Toledoan Andre Anderson of New York and Toledoans John King, Avvin Fitzgerald, Tyree Bell, Desiree Czerniejewski, and Seth Hillard of Los Angeles.

The event raised an estimated $10,000 thanks to sponsors Yarkauto.com, The Andersons, Reve Salon and Spa, La Scola Italian Grill, The Blade, Cumulus Toledo, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, and others.

The 28th Annual Style Show and Luncheon "The Magic of Fashion" presented by the Auxiliary to the Ability Center of Greater Toledo was Sept. 13 at the Pinnacle.

Fashions were provided by Vivian Kate, Ragazza, Macy's, and V Couture. Form-fitting dresses, short hems, mile high stilettos, sleeveless dresses, plus slim cut pants, a few gowns, boots, hats, and more were highlighted. Fall colors were featured: Beige, black, and brown, with color accents in textures, solids, and a few prints. Male models were quite dashing, and the long stemmed white roses they gave to various ladies at the event was a special touch. Tom Zraik drew cheers as he strutted the runway, stopping along the way to give a rose to his wife, Mary.

Before the show started, vendors' booths offered everything from shawls and scarves and handbags to glass art, jewelry, hand painted furniture, and more.

Raffle tickets were sold for chances at all kinds of gifts. Setting the "magic" theme, guests sat for lunch at tables centered with black top hats with playing cards and magic wands.

Magician Andrew Martin mesmerized the 320 guests with a few tricks.

Event chairmen Sue Vrooman and Ellen Bradley were assisted by a vast committee of supporters. The event raised about $14,000.



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