Monday, Jul 25, 2016
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Barbara Hendel


Raising funds to raise hope

  • Sarah-Goubadia-Brenda-Jordan-and-Sandra-Riversgill
  • Jeff-and-Hong-Buehrer
  • Gene-and-Judy-pearson-with-Shawn-Askinoise

    From left, Gene and Judy Pearson talk with guest speaker, award winning chocolatier, Shawn Askinoise, founder of Askinoise Chocolates.



Jeff and Hong Buehrer of Buehrer Group Architecture and engineering Inc. were honored for their service to the ISOH/IMAPCT International Hope Center project.


ISOH/IMPACT presented it’s first Hope Gala sponsored by the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons where it took place on Feb. 28. Nearly $200,000 was netted, thanks to the completely underwritten event created by the office staff in just 30 days. Sponsors in addition to the Hilton included DLN Enterprise, Fred Dieter Family, Fifth Third Bank, Mercy, ProMedica St. Luke’s Hospital, Fischer Tool & Die Corp., Medical Mutual, Perrysburg Patio and Sunroom, Principal Business Enterprises, Rebecca Rynn, Waterville Community Church, and Wendy’s, plus more than 60 auction sponsors.

The organization is half way to its March 31 goal to match a grant by the Diehl Family Foundation, dollar for dollar up to $400,000. The proceeds go toward the building of the International Hope Center on ISOH/IMPACT’s site in Levis Commons.

The new 15,282-square-foot facility will double the capacity of the current warehouse in Waterville, and serve as the only dedicated distribution center for disaster relief aid in this community, said Linda Greene, president and CEO.

PHOTO GALLERY: Raising funds to raise hope

She said it will be a model for similar centers around the world with the warehouse, sorting area, medical services, offices, and meeting rooms. Since 2004 the organization has provided more than $60 million in food, clothing, medical supplies, and other assistance to disaster victims and impoverished families, but with the new facility the projection for 2013-2020 is $104 million. 

A reception, silent auction, cash raffle, mystery raffles, and dining station dinner with harp music by Joy Campbell were followed by the program with emcee Jeff Smith of WTVG-TV, Channel 13. Board president Jim Bramlett welcomed the nearly 200 attendees. Sharing their experiences were speakers including Ms. Greene, Sarah Diehl of the Tardio-Diehl Family Foundation; Dr. Richard Paat, volunteer medical director; Dr. Jennifer Fallon-Delucia, assistant medical director, and Mark Campbell, board secretary.


From left, Gene and Judy Pearson talk with guest speaker, award winning chocolatier, Shawn Askinoise, founder of Askinoise Chocolates.


The Chocolate Soiree with a Twist: Changing the World Through Chocolate was presented by the Junior League of Toledo Feb. 28 at the Valentine Theatre. The League’s featured guest was Shawn Askinosie of Askinosie Chocolate.

Mr. Askinosie told of his journey from a criminal defense lawyer to chocolatier. Askinosie Chocolate gives back to the community and the world through fair trade employment and profit sharing, financial support, and Chocolate University, which teaches children and teens about business plans, direct trade, sustainability, and entrepreneurship. The all-natural chocolate, made in small batches, has no additives and the beans are imported from Tanzania from the only women-led farm group in the country. Anne Ruggiero, league president, was impressed with the company’s stress on green concepts and being completely transparent regarding its business.

A VIP chocolate tasting reception with champagne for $50 each featured Mr. Askinosie, who provided samples of all kinds of chocolate from hazlenut and liquorice to dark and white as he described the 17-step bean-to-bar process.

The main event for $75 each included dinner, silent auction, and chocolate desserts by local and national chefs including Eve Arnoff of Frita Batidos and Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, and chefs from Swig, Clara J’s, and Zinful. 

More than $15,000 was raised. Event chairman was Christine Senack, assisted by members Kelly Keefer, Laura Parrish, Deb Slowinski, Katie Bush, Meriden Sucker, Laura McIntyre, Jessica Rumpf, and Jackie Martin-Gabay.


From left, Sarah Goubadia, Brenda Jordan, and Sandra Riversgill celebrate their heritage at the Our Rhythm, Our Voices event.


Pink was the popular attire for Pink in the Rink Weekend for breast cancer awareness presented by ProMedica Cancer Institute and ProMedica Breast Care at Huntington Center last Saturday and Sunday. Walleye hockey players wore pink jerseys as they played the game on pink ice against the Evansville Icemen on Saturday and the Trenton Titans on Sunday. Then the jerseys were auctioned off after the games. Also donning pink were breast cancer survivors and their families and friends, and many of the hockey fans. It was a sellout on Saturday night with more than 7,000 attendees and a nearly sellout crowd Sunday with about 6,500 attendees. The first 2,000 fans to enter Saturday night received a Pink Glow Wand and Sunday the first 2,000 fans received a pink Rally Towel. And children had fun, too: Posing for pictures were Team Umizoomi with Millie, Geo, and Bot.

Many breast cancer survivors were treated to a ride on the Zamboni. Debbie Knight dropped the first puck on Sunday night. Anne French sang the National Anthem on Saturday night and Crystal Bowersox, though not a cancer survivor, sang it on Sunday night.

Nearly $10,000 is estimated to be netted from the silent auction which will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northwest Ohio Affiliate.

The WordUp Drama Ministry of Friendship Baptist Church presented a Black History Celebration “Our Rhythm Our Voices” on Feb. 23. “The program, comprised of youth and adults, was a journey of our rich heritage conveyed in spoken word, dance, storytelling, acting, song, and African drumming,” said Sandra Rivers-Gill, who produced and directed the event. An art exhibit and light reception followed the performance.

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