With thoughts of feasts with family and friends over this past weekend brings to mind the many folks that gathered this fall to break bread together in the name of charity at ever-popular celebrity wait nights.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Ohio's third Celebrity Wait Night presented by Service Spring Corporation and GM Powertrain/UAW Local 14 was Nov. 8 at Premiere Catering Banquet facility. Emcee Kristian Brown of WTVG-TV, Channel 13 welcomed everyone.
Among the 16 waiters were Pastor Kevin Bedford, NAACP; Vince Marinelli, Stapleton Insurance; Equilla Roach, retired educator; Marianna Baker, dentist; Kevin Webb, Toledo Children's Hospital, and event chairman Ray Wood, president, UAW Local 14.
About $20,000 was raised thanks to the more than 150 attendees, the waiters, and sponsors.
Central City Ministry of Toledo's Celebrity Wait on Oct. 29 at Real Seafood netted $30,000. Waiters included Dan and Lynn Anderson, Bishop Leonard P. Blair, Bill and Cathy Carroll, John Hayward, Rev. Monte J. Hoyles, and many others. The proceeds support scholarships at the Queen of Apostles and Rosary Cathedral campuses.
Heart and Soul: Caring for Our Community celebrity wait night was Oct. 22 at Zia's Italian. The $5,000 raised benefits Heart and Soul and the Thomas M. Wernert Center in an effort to raise awareness about mental illness.
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The fourth annual Celebrity Wait Night hosted by the Victory Center's Medical Advisory Council Oct. 16 in the Toledo Zoo's Nairobi Pavilion netted about $12,000 for the center. Dinner, a photo booth, games, and raffles were all part of the fun for the 250 guests. Board president Michelle Keller welcomed everyone.
Among the 27 waiters were Toledo Mayor Michael Bell, board members, medical professionals from ProMedica, University of Toledo Medical College, and Mercy, and area business and community leaders. Waiters were thanked with an embroidered logo towel, made by Linda Blaesing, a cancer survivor.
Family Child and Abuse Prevention Center's 10th annual Guest Wait Night Sept. 25 at the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club netted more than $16,000, according to event chairman Barb Martin. The 182 diners were at tables centered with blue painted pumpkins by Abbey Pawlak (the color represents child abuse awareness). Waiters included Ani Geha, Sandra Hylant, Jane Larsen, Cindy Pisano, Lucas County Sheriff James Telb, Larry and Luann Croy, and Carrie Serber.
Pro Musica First Celebrity Server event Sept. 20 at Snook's Dream Cars raised $15,399. The proceeds support student grants and awards at Bowling Green State University College of Musical Arts. The 36 waiters, including Bowling Green Mayor Richard Edwards and Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn, sported aprons that were autographed by the 178 diners through out the night. A silent auction included an in-home concert by faculty staffers Thomas Rosenkrantz and Conor Nelson.
Event chairmen were Sharon Hanna and Karol Spencer, president, Pro Musica.
Little Sisters of the Poor's third annual Celebrity Chefs Night Sept. 19 at the Pinnacle raised about $50,000. The 15 chefs, all area ministers, including Rev. Msgr. Michael Billian, Rev. Msgr. Marvin Borger, Rev. Robert Wilhelm, and Rev. Msgr. Dennis Metzger, divided into four teams for some great food.
Emcee Michael Scott, advisory board chairman, kept the evening rolling for the 400 guests who perused the dining stations, silent auction, and mystery box sale and posed with their favorite chef for pictures.
Lourdes University's Celebrity Wait Night at Real Seafood on Sept. 11 with more than 300 diners to support the student scholarship fund, raised about $20,000. Janet Robinson, interim president of Lourdes, and Mary Arquette, vice president, welcomed guests. Among the waiters were Bob LaClair, Ernest and Carolina Enrique, Dick LaValley, Jr., Ann and John Meier, Bob Arthur, Raquel Bravo, and Dolly and Dick Flasck.
Earlier in the season of celebrity wait nights, the Auxiliary to the Ability Center hosted a waiter night at Rosie's Italian Grille and netted more than $5,000. Among the waiters dressed in black and white with fun hats were Claire Browning, auxiliary president; Ted Bowman, the center's board chairman and his wife Beth, Toledo Symphony League president; Pat Nowak of the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce; Paula Dionyssiou of Rudy's Hot Dog, and Carty Finkbeiner, former Toledo mayor.
Bethany House Celeb Wait night at La Scola Italian Grille with 250 diners netted just more than $17,000. Among the waiters were Art Jones, Charla Ulrich, Mary Jo Jaggers, Paul Sullivan, Jeni Belt, Kathy Rotte, and Angela Crosby. Hand-made book markers made by the children at Bethany house were thank-you gifts to guests.
Now let the holiday parties begin!