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Published: Sunday, 2/10/2013

Toledo society is in high gear

BY BARBARA HENDEL
BLADE SOCIETY EDITOR
Mayor Mike Bell, left, and Allan Block at the Toledo Auto Show Gala, Wednesday at the SeaGate Convention Centre. Mayor Mike Bell, left, and Allan Block at the Toledo Auto Show Gala, Wednesday at the SeaGate Convention Centre.
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Shiny new cars and motorcycles in colors from red, black, white, silver, and orange to lime green and ranging in price from $13,000 to $126,000 are at the Toledo Auto Show, which opened Thursday at SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.

The show is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, its last day. Tickets are $6 for adults, and children 12 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult.

A sneak peek Wednesday night during the Cars are the Stars X Preview Gala was presented by the Auto Dealers United for Kids with The Blade. The 800 attendees contributed $250 per person to check out more than 200 cars while eating and drinking.

Emcees Jim Blue and Abby Powell Turpin of WNWO-TV, Channel 24, introduced the gala sponsors who have supported the event since the beginning including The Blade, plus Fifth Third Bank, Lyden Oil, WTVG-TV, Channel 13, WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and WNWO. Sponsors for the night also included Cumulus Toledo and Enterprise.

Toledo Mayor Mike Bell welcomed everyone and thanked them for their support. Event chairman Bobby Jorgensen, owner of Kistler Ford, introduced the event committee: Marianne Ballas, Ballas Buick GMC; Mike Barchick, Charlie's Dodge; Robb Brown, Brown Automotive Group; Jim Dunn, Dunn Chevrolet Buick; Tim Mathews, Mathews Ford; Mike Rouen, Rouen Auto Group; Pat Stark, Automotive Distributors Warehouse; Dave White, Jr., White Automotive Group; John Yark, Yark Automotive Group, and Paul Devers, Vin Devers Autohaus, who is next year's chairman.

Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, Inc., parent company of The Blade, said he was impressed with the dealers' joined efforts for charitable causes. "It's great what you are doing. My wife, Susan Allan Block, is a board member of the YMCA/JCC. You show who you are by the charities you support. The Auto Dealers are doing a great job in supporting northwest Ohio."

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo society is in high gear

Annie and Tommy Pipatjarasgit pose for a photo with Toledo Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy, center, during the 94th Toledo Area Artists Exhibition. Annie and Tommy Pipatjarasgit pose for a photo with Toledo Museum of Art director Brian Kennedy, center, during the 94th Toledo Area Artists Exhibition.
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In honor of the gala's 10th anniversary, Mrs. Ballas, chairman of the first gala, announced the formation of the Auto Dealers United for Kids and Toledo Auto Dealers Association scholarship endowment of more than $500,000 over five years through the University of Toledo, Owens Community College, and the National Auto Dealers Association charitable foundation. Other charities will still be supported through the gala. She said "when we started planning in 2004 there were doubters who said we would never be successful. More than $1.1 million has been made ... not counting tonight."

The more than $100,000 estimated net proceeds from the night will benefit the YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo, Mobile Meals of Toledo, Inc. Weekender Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Imagination Station Science Society, Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio plus automotive-related scholarships to Northwood University and Owens Community College.

OPENING night Feb. 1 for the 94th Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition was the place to be seen as guests sipped drinks in the Libbey Court of the Toledo Museum of Art. The free show continues through April 14, according to Toledo Federation of Art Societies president Erin Palmer Szavuly.

Guests of major sponsor Huntington Bank enjoyed a champagne reception and a first peek of the show just before the grand opening. "We collect the best works of the best artists around the world, but today we are celebrating our local talents," said museum Director Brian Kennedy.

Clifford Murphy plays bass as Ramona Collins sings during Mr. Murphy's 81st birthday celebration at the Aqua Bar in the Grand Plaza hotel. Clifford Murphy plays bass as Ramona Collins sings during Mr. Murphy's 81st birthday celebration at the Aqua Bar in the Grand Plaza hotel.
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Celebrating in advance of the show were many who attended "An Evening with the Jurors -- Tasteful Temptations and Conversation" Jan. 25 at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. The annual dinner, sponsored by the museum and the Toledo Federation of Art Societies, featured Joe Fig and Kate Nesin, jurors for the local artists' exhibition.

Also fun is the Salon des Refuses "Where Art Rebels Go to Dis Play" featuring art not accepted into the local artists' exhibition. Held after the exhibition at the museum, emcees Emilie Voss of WTOL-TV and Michael Seay of Sensory Max welcomed everyone and announced the winners. The show, judged by Thomas Muir and Dennis Wojkiewicz, is in the Parkwood Gallery across from the museum on Parkwood Avenue and it runs through March 15. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with special evening hours Feb. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Clifford Murphy, jazz bassist, celebrated his 81st birthday with fans and friends Wednesday at the Aqua Lounge of the Grand Plaza Hotel. Joining him were fellow musicians, including drummer Scott Kretzer, pianist Josh Silver, and vocalist Glenda Biddlestone. Also among those who came to jam was vocalist Jon Hendricks, 91. But it wasn't quite the same without their long-time friend, pianist Claude Black, who died at the age of 80 on Jan. 17: Murphy and Black were the jazz team for Murphy's Place, which closed in 2011.



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