The 18th annual Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Toledo presented locally by Hickory Farms and nationally by American Express and Sysco was Sunday night at The Toledo Club. From the estimated $130,000 netted, many children will be served locally via this year’s grant recipients: Aurora Project, Inc., Toledo Day Nursery, Toledo GROWs, and Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. The goal of the event is “No Kid Hungry.”
That’s thanks to the nearly $70,000 in individual ticket sales and more than $90,000 in corporate sales, said Marla Schecht, who was co-chairman of the event with Gus Mancy, Moussa Salloukh, and Terri Thompson. They were assisted by 31 committee members and more than 300 volunteers for the all-volunteer driven event. Since 1996, Taste Toledo has raised more than $1.4 million.
The steering committee included Labib Hajjar, Craig Joseph, Dean Kasperak, and Ty Szumigala. Honorary co-chairmen were Dr. Jon Frankel, Judi Grodi, and Diane Larson.
Nearly 1,200 attendees were at the five-hour black-tie optional event for $150 per person.
PHOTO GALLERY: Taste of the Nation
Celebrity chefs were Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana Osteria Enoteca, Washington, D.C.; William Skinner of Bar North, Huron, Ohio, and Steven Meece, SOS Chef Ambassador, Toledo. There also were about 40 local chefs/restaurants who presented a taste.
Gourmet delights included seafood, lamb chops, lobster bisque, and much more.
Wine aficionados enjoyed the upscale spirits all night long. The night also included raffles, door prizes, PhotoBooth Live, and cigar rolling by Casa De Montecristo.
Raffle winners included Kathy Rennels, a Jeffrey Mann fine jewelers Michele Deco diamond watch; Diego Perez, a Taylor Family Automotive $1,500 cash prize, and Howard Ice, a Toledo Furs blonde mink jacket. Reed Walbolt won the door prize for a 50-pound swag bag of items donated by corporate sponsors.
The 58 local sponsors included six who donated $10,000 or more: Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons, ESD, an information technology consulting company, The Toledo Club, and media sponsors WTVG-TV Channel 13, Cumulus Broadcasting, and The Blade.
It was a special night for Carrie Foster, there with her dad Jeff Foster, because she is a student at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Also seen were Randy and Barbara Oostra, Keith and Susan Burwell, Dan and Becky Bollin, Tim Valko and Jim Moore, Virginia and Steven Keller, Jeff Cooley and Racha Kutaish, Leo and Deb Dieger, John MacKay and Cindy Rerucha, Jeannie Hylant, Sandra Hylant, Tom McHugh, Diane Sturt and Duane Horst, and Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., The Blade’s parent company, and his wife Susan, who were headed to the Bob Dylan concert that night with Rachel Steele and Scott Ciolek.9cdba4b7-2179-4be6-a821-fa963a00da60
A VIP party was the night before on the 28th floor of Fifth Third Center with the Raq the Casbah belly dancers and band. David Joseph was recognized for selling 55 individual tickets.
Here are the local chefs and restaurants that participated:
The Toledo Club, Tea Tree Asia Bistro, Bar 145, Cake in a Cup, Mancy's Italian Grill,
Rockwell's, Stella's, Swig, Evans Street Station, Registry Bistro, Ciao! Ristorante,
Real Seafood Co., Premier Catering.
Zia's, House of Eats, Eston's Gourmet Creations, City Barbeque, Koto Buki, Handel's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt, Rosie's Italian Grille, Star Bar & Grille, Avenue Bistro, Crackers Plus, Revolution Grille, Mancy's Steakhouse, Element 112, Mancy's Bluewater Grille.
The Beirut & Byblos, Poco Piatti, Georgio's Cafe International, Two Seasoned Chicks,
LaScola Italian Grill, LaScola Tuscan Grill, Mama La Scola's Italian Kitchen, Burger Bar 145, Manhattan's, Stadium Salsa, Rachel Michael's Gourmet Popcorn, Java Sensations,
5th Street Pub, Barry Bagel's in the Chefs' Only Lounge on the third floor.
Wines that ranged from $30-$50 per bottle were provided by Heidelberg and Glaser.
Beers were provided by Yuengling and Heidelberg. Other spirits were provided by Brown-Forman.
Local presenting sponsor was Hickory Farms. Platinum sponsors Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons, Cumulus Broadcasting, ESD – IT Consulting, The Toledo Club, The Blade, and WTVG - 13abc.
Gold sponsors were A1 Accurate Limousine and Airport Service, Battery Wholesale, Brown-Forman, Buckeye CableSystem, Burkett Restaurant Equipment, Calphalon - A Newell Rubbermaid Company, Cooper-Smith Advertising, Face Junky, Glazers Distributors, Goose Island, Heidelberg Distributing Company, Ice Creations, Jon Frankel Dentistry, Kathy Rennels Design, Kingston Healthcare, Labib and Karyn Hajjar, Nu Century Textile Services, ProMedica, Revé Salon and Spa, Serenity Health and Wellness Center, and Signature Bank.
Silver sponsors were Sofo Foods, SYSCO, Toledo Furs, Toledo Refining Company, and Universal Urethane.
Copper sponsors were AA Boos & Sons, Acqua Panna/San Pellegrino, Aktion Associates, Inc., American Rent-All, Brooks Florists, Casa De Montecristo Cigar Lounge, D. G. Yuengling & Sons, Dean and Becky Kasperzak, Everdry Waterproofing, Grand Lubell Photography - Photoboothlive, Hanson Inc., HCR ManorCare, ITI, Inc., Jeffrey Mann Fine Jewelers, Mira + Kolena, ProMedica Erie West Hospice, SJS Investments, Sylvania Graphics, TAS, Inc., Taylor Automotive Group, The Bridges Band, The Loop 419.
Honorable mention sponsors were Almondina - YZ Enterprises, Howard Teifke/Timber’s Bowling, Lawrence Schmakel, DDS, Mitchel Dermatology, Rachel Michael’s Gourmet Popcorn, Tastefully Simple, Swan Creek Candle Co., and Sweetheart Balloons & Floral
Event chairmen were Gus Mancy, Moussa Salloukh, Marla Schecht, and Terri Thompson.
The steer committee was Labib Hajjar, Craig Joseph, Dean Kasperzak, and Ty Szumigala.
The committee was Christi Benner, James Caldwell, Laurie Cohen, Shelley Crossley, Maurine Dougherty, Denise Fox, Anita Gardner, Judi Grodi, Sue Hague-Rogers, Mike Jacob, Dani Kusner, Brian Lauber, Jenn Maher, Brian Lauber, Jenn Maher, Alli McMaster, Kristin Obarski, Maggie O'Connell, Melissa Pollock, Andy Rennels, Kathy Rennels, Mindy Romanoff, Mike Rosendaul, Marla Schecht, Pat Scheuer, Claudia Vercellotti, Dennis Williams, Melody Williams, and Byron Wynn.