Tuesday, May 22, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Toledo has a gift for giving


Committee Members for the Holiday with a Heart Charity Gayla line up for a picture on the stairs of The Toledo Club in Toledo. Pictured are, front row, top to bottom of stairs, are Wayne North, Andrew Larsen, Rick Cornett, and Kenyetta White, and in the back row, Billy Man, Steve Manley, Ed Hoffman, and David Bringham.

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Tuxedos and cocktail attire were the styles of choice for the 300 some party-goers Dec. 1 at the 35th annual Holiday with a Heart Charity Gayla Christmas Dinner and Dance. The event, held at the Toledo Club this year, is the premiere social soiree for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community and friends, said Rick Cornett, an event director.

The Kelly Broadway Duo performed during the cocktails. Representatives from benefiting charities spoke: Lexi Staples of Toledo Pride Foundation, Julie Embree of AIDS Resource Center, and Kelsey Friedmoth of Spectrum Gay and Lesbian Student Endowment Fund at the University of Toledo. The $13,000 proceeds also support the Charity Gayla Fund at Toledo Community Foundation.

Linen-covered tables centered with breathtaking flowers by Brooks Florist and the Flower Market set the elegant dinner scene in the stately club. Wooden-boxed wine stoppers and openers were compliments of Skylight Financial Group, the top sponsor. Delectable desserts by Tim Schulien finished the feast.

Dancing followed with D.J. Martha Rappoport. MaKayla Sinclaire Styles and the CityBoyz Models sold tickets for the 50/50 Raffle; Tom Brooks Studio offered portraits, and Photobooth Live by Grand Lubell Photography proved fun for everyone.

PHOTO GALLERY: A gift of giving

The Charity Gayla-themed Christmas tree is part of the Toledo Club's Parade of Trees: The proceeds from that tree's sale will benefit the Ann Wayson Locher fund for HIV care at the UT Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio.

Kudos go to event directors Mr. Cornett, David Bingham, Ed Hoffman, Andrew Larsen, Wayne North, and Kenyetta White with director emeritus David Hindall.

St. Francis de Sales High School's 21st annual Knights' Ball "Christmas Knight" raised $170,000 for tuition assistance. The Dec. 1 event was at the Premier banquet facility owned by Joey Skaff, a 1975 graduate of St. Francis. Amid the traditional holiday theme the 340 attendees dined and shopped. Auctioneer Jeff Keim spurred a lively auction.

Seen were Mark and Jennifer Bevington, Jim and Nancy Bingle, Peter and Deanna Douglas, Karl and Shaila Fernandes, Frank and Sandy Viviano, John and Beth Zavell, Gene and Terri Zmuda.

The evening ended with dancing to the tunes of Johnny Rocker and the Hitmen. Thanks go to event chairmen Lori Dillon and Debbie Spegele, volunteers, sponsors, and guests who gave matching donation challenges.

Beatnik-styled party-goers hung around the '60s scene of the 12th Annual Ten Grand: Birth of Cool, a cabaret presented by the staff of the Toledo School for the Arts. The Nov. 16 event was at the Secor Building, the original home of the school, so it was deja vu for many. Drums beat, poetry vibed, and creative folks did their thing. There were tarot readings, jazz, go-go dancing, live mannequins, and a reverse raffle. Melissa Culp held on eof the top two winning tickets.

Nearly $10,000 was netted. Among the 350 cool cats, many in berets and turtlenecks, were event chairmen Jamie Dauel and Justin Longacre, board president Bill Bostleman, Mike and Deb Calabrese, Rob and Casey Koenig, Tom and Betsy Brady, and Tim and Areka Foster.

The 21st annual Dinner Auction "The One Evening" to benefit Central Catholic High School was Nov. 17 at the school and it raised $210,000 for scholarships. The 400 supporters entered into a casino-themed Central Royale 21 evening with a luck of the Irish flair. Michael Hanley, board chairman and Steve Scarbrough, emcee, welcomed everyone.

Honorary chairman Kathryn "Kate" Ginter Andrews, class of '38, said she has a nearly 80-year relationship with the school because all seven of her children are graduates. Event chairman June Maas Parker, class of '65, credits the school for her successful career and life.

Inspirational testimonials were given by Michael Anderson and Gina Gbur, both seniors, and Jonathon Bush Michael, a 2011 graduate.

The steering committee included Georgette Horlamus, Donna Puccetti, Deb Perry, Terry Kirkham, Connie Kern, Karen Merrels, Ken Smith, and Sean Dixon.

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