From left, Tom Waggoner, Alexis Waggoner, and Karen Mathison at United Way of Greater Toledo's annual meeting and recognition event.
Sexy Food, Sexy Body, Sexy Lifestyle Cocktail Dinner Celebration! was held recently at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar and Grill with Serenity Health and Wellness Center. The more than $1,500 that was raised benefits Project I Am founded by attorney and musician Nicole Khoury for local children with autism.
The second annual event, held on two nights, included wines, tasty food, chair massages, a photo booth, and musicians Jeff Stewart on one night and Kristi Marie and the Dudes the next night.
Heidelberg Distributing provided a variety of wines that sell for $10 or less. The menu was healthy, with sushi and Asian fusion cuisine, according to Spicy Tuna manager Krys-Anne Heath-Rohm.
Seen were Tanya Glick, Nick Martin, Kristen Schweitzer, Ashley Heath, Shayna McKenzie, Patricia and John Jezek, Brandi Smith and her daughter Isabella, 8, Kristen Mollenkopf, Rhonda and Paul Mulder, Shawn Reinhart, Dave Copeland, and a host of nurses from Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center emergency room who volunteer for the Autism Society, including Gina Martinez, Ellie Munger, Sarah Thiede, Tiffany O'Neal, and Melinda Lambright.
Make-a-Wish BIG Wish Gala: Making Wishes Come True presented by Toledo Refining Company was Feb. 7 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg at Levis Commons. The event celebrated 30 years of the national organization's mission of granting wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions.
Emcee Abby Powell Turpin of WNWO-TV, Channel 24, welcomed everyone. Ron White, governance board member, talked about the organization's mission. After a gourmet dinner and silent auction, auctioneer Pam Rose enticed the nearly 300 attendees to bid. Inspiring bids was honorary wish child Connor, 8, who is battling bone cancer and whose wish to go to Walt Disney World Resort was granted. His father, Dave Bell, told of the hope that the wish experience gave his family.
An estimated $120,000 was raised at the event. Major sponsors included WNWO, Ronald White, Sylvania Pediatric Dental Care, Fifth Third Bank, RMF Nooter, and Baker Hughes Company.
The BIG Wish Gala committee included Brent Vogel, Leslie Harst, Barbara Rivas, Alia Wolaver, Christine Benner, Emily Logan, Sarah Gruss, and Brittany Costa.
The local chapter, which is the largest in the country, fulfilled 865 wishes last year. There are 87 northwest Ohio children waiting for their wishes to come true. To volunteer, contribute, or donate frequent flier miles, go to makeawishohio.org or call 1-877-206-9474.
The United Way of Greater Toledo annual meeting and recognition event presented by Dana Holding Corp. Feb. 7 at Premier Catering was led by Karen Mathison, president and CEO. A recap of 2012 highlights included $13,828,490 raised from the campaign led by Randy Oostra, 2012 campaign chair and president and CEO of ProMedica. Chip Carstensen, president of Block Communications, Inc., The Blade's parent company, is the 2013 United Way campaign chairman.
Board chairman Jani Miller, president of Central Travel, handed the gavel to new board chairman Tom Waggoner, president, Turf & Specialty Group, The Andersons, Inc.
Among the numerous honorees were the 2013 Spirit of Caring awardees Fifth Third Bank and Cindy Dana, member of the United Way board of trustees, as well as a community philanthropist through the United Way.