Survivors, heroes in the spotlight

Event co-Chair Cindy Taylor, center, claps as she names off the Pink Tie Guys, men who have helped in the search for a cure for cancer, Saturday evening during the Pink Ribbon Gala at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.
Event co-Chair Cindy Taylor, center, claps as she names off the Pink Tie Guys, men who have helped in the search for a cure for cancer, Saturday evening during the Pink Ribbon Gala at the SeaGate Convention Centre in downtown Toledo.

The Northwest Ohio Susan G. Komen for the Cure celebrated its 20th anniversary April 13 with a Pink Ribbon Gala at SeaGate Convention Centre.

PHOTO GALLERY: click here to view.

The event, presented by Heidtman Steel Products,KeyBank, Savage and Associates, Pro-Medica, and The Blade, was attended by 670 survivors, families, and friends. Since the first race in 1994, $9 million has been given to the local area through breast health grants to the uninsured and under-insured and $2.5 million to research. The Race for the Cure has grown from 600 people in the first year to more than 17,000 participants.

This year $1.6 million in grant requests have been received but only $700,000 could be funded. That’s why event chairmen Cindy and David Taylor and their committee are all smiles over the more than $200,000 raised from the gala.

Emcee Chrys Peterson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11 and Honorary chairman since 1995, said “...every dollar and every volunteer hour counts...”

Receiving a standing ovation was board president Mary Chris Skeldon, a breast cancer survivor who talked about her experience that started 16 years ago. It has been a tough fight, but she took advice from her doctor who said “...you stay in life and leave the cancer to me.” She has been in and out of remission and is battling the disease now, but she keeps on going.

A new group has stepped up to help: The Pink Tie Guys who support the breast cancer movement through their role in the community, their organizations, and their personal involvement.

The inaugural crew includes: Mark Ridenour, CEO, Heidtman Steel Products, Inc.,

and the president of the first board of directors for the local Komen; Mayor Mike Bell; Allan Block, chairman, Block Communications, Inc., The Blade’s parent company; Phillip Brondes, owner, Brondes Ford; Bob Chirdon, vice president and general manager of WTOL-TV, Channel 11; Barry Greenblatt, owner, Barry Bagels, who donates pink bagels on race day; Timothy Mathews, owner, Mathews Ford Oregon; Dan Schwanke, president, ProMedica Fostoria Community Hospital, and Mark Thees, president, The Pinnacle.

Honored were Pink Ribbon Heroes, women who are Komen partners in helping in the fight against breast cancer. Each received a pink cashmere shawl donated by Ragazza. Honorees were breast cancer survivors Ingrid Bias and Karen Ridenour, plus Chrys Peterson, and the late Margaret “Lambie” Guyton Stout, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Her sister Lissa Guyton accepted the honors.

The celebration continued with dancing to music from Mustang Sally from Nashville sponsored by Northwest Ohio Ford Dealers. Mark your calendars for Sept. 28 in Findlay and Sept. 29 in Toledo for the Races for the Cure.


An Aussie Evening with food, music, and spirits April 10 celebrated the Toledo Museum of Art’s exhibition of Crossing Cultures: The Owen and Wagner Collection of Contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art at the Hood Museum of Art, which opened April 11. The reception was for the museum’s Art Business Council members — those who donated $1,000 to more than $100,000 per year.

Museum Director Brian Kennedy provided a private tour to the group. He is a former director of the Hood Museum and the National Gallery of Australia, and he provided plenty of details of the exhibit. Spotted were Joe Stancati and David Durst of Dana, Julie Payeff of The Andersons, Ian Thielman and Ashley Cox of IntelliShop,

Zack Ottenstein of Health Care REIT, Mike Schmidt of Ed Schmidt Auto Group, Karen Smith, Michelle Beard and Will Hall of Mail It Corporation, and Madeline Merrill and Greg Szymanski of Element 112 among many others including Joseph Zerbey IV, president and general manager of The Blade.

A salute to the 180th Fighter Wing Ohio Air National Guard was hosted by The Toledo Club April 12 in the Red Room, a grand setting to pay tribute to the unit for service to our country, abroad and at home. All of the service men and women guests are officers. They are members of the F-16 Fighter Unit engaged in training for homeland security and federal missions, said Maj. Gary Bentley.

A glass trophy specially created by artist Shawn Messenger was presented to the unit. The 180th unit presented the club with a tail flash of an F16. Female officers present were Capt. Tiffany Sykes and Melanie Ferguson. Also present was Tony Barnum, who was a Navy special flight systems test pilot, stationed at Traverse City, Mich., during World War II. He was there with his daughter and son-in-law Kathy and George Jones.

John Genewine brought his nephew Connor Richardson, who is in ROTC at Bowling Green State University, studies at Lourdes University, and does his physical training for ROTC at University of Toledo.