Hear Ye, Hear Ye. The Order of the Heel Award was presented to Jeni Belt, a partner at Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick who has an expertise in health law, during the Toledo Junior Bar Association Gridiron Wednesday at the Valentine Theatre. Ms. Belt is the third female to receive the honors. The Honorable Judith Lanzinger was given the award in 1994 and the Honorable Arlene Singer in 2007.
The award is presented to an attorney who has given to the community and has mentored young lawyers. Last year’s awardee, Ronnie Wingate, a criminal defense lawyer in Toledo, had the honor of speaking at the “An International Sensation,” the 80th annual Gridiron Show.
The show was a witty presentation, which includes many lawyers’ hidden talents as singers and dancers, and is always off the record to the working press. Kenneth L. White, 2012 recipient of the Order of the Sole, an award only given for special Gridiron show participants, was recognized for marking his 44th year this year. Event chairmen were Junior Bar Association co-presidents Nick Malone of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick and Gayle Beier of Stephen A. Skiver & Associates.
Lawyers, judges, business associates, and guests gathered for a pre-Gridiron Party hosted by Connelly, Jackson & Collier at Ice Restaurant and Bar. Seen were Amy Sterling, Jeffrey Helmick, Kathleen Zouhary, Gary Byers, Michelle Goulding, Janine Avila, Marv Robon, Mayor Mike Bell, Bill Connelly, Jr., Nancy Miller, Lori Olender, and many others. An after-show party for the cast and crew was at Ye Olde Cock n’ Bull.
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Speaking of barristers, the Toledo Bar Association Auxiliary presented its annual Take a Lawyer to Dinner recently at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club. Legal eagles and auxiliary members schmoozed and dined, then heard the guest speaker, University of Toledo football coach Matt Campbell, speak of his character and player driven football program that is a 365 day a year commitment. The auxiliary presented $1,000 donations to the Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Legal Services program and the Lucas County Public Defender Program.
Event chairman Connie Barron-Smith was assisted by Sue Martin, Sheila Jordan, and Karen DeNune, and club president Claudia Handwork. Charter members present were Dolly Rowley, Maurine Glasser and husband George, Phyllis Ide, and Martha Marsh and husband Ben. Also among the 70 attendees were Carol and Tom Pletz, Sanna and Said Orra, Diane and Jerry Phillips, Nancy and Marv Robon, Louise and Bill Barkan, Judy Reitzel and Dwight Osterud, Susan and David Strup, Suellen and Gary Newnham, Carole and Jim Nooney, Nancy Celusta, and Sarah and Jack Puffenberger.
There’s still chatter about the Toledo Symphony League Gala “Friday Night Lights” May 3 at the Toledo Club. Guests sipped cocktails and shopped the silent auction as the Urban Jazz Collective from Toledo School for the Arts played soft tunes followed by the symphony’s Jazz Trio. League president Beth Bowman welcomed guests and introduced event chairmen Barbara Brown and Shelli Jacobs. Featured entertainers were two music stu- dents. Katie Trumbull, a seventh grader at Toledo Christian Schools and budding opera singer wowed the audience with music by Puccini.
Thomas Stuart, a violin student at the Cleveland Institute of Music and former Toledo Symphony League Young Artists Competition winner, performed works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Gershwin. Among the 110 guests were Sandra Lass, Dorothy Bonser, Steve and Jane Wurth, Mike and Joanie Barrett, Doug and Sue Neckers, Dave and Myrna Bryan, Dick and Fran Anderson, Ann Hartman, and Frank Snug, who won the $1000 cash raffle and donated the prize money back to the League. An estimated $20,000 was raised.
Many of Toledo’s elite gathered in memory of the elegant Elinor “Ellie” Shutts Baker on May 11 at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club in Perrysburg where she and her late husband Bernard “Bernie” Baker were members. Her son, Bernard R. “Robin” Baker III, of West Palm Beach, and her niece, whom she raised, Eleanor M. “Sis” Hight, greeted everyone.
The group of some 60 friends chatted over fond memories of the former Blade writer for society, music, fashion, and interior design who wrote under the pseudonym Lynn Stevenson. She was an icon of the aging genteel and gracious living generation which is rare in society today. A toast was made to Mrs. Baker and her late husband Bernie as well as their late daughter Lynn Agnes Baker.
Then the stories: The Baker’s, always having as much fun as their guests, were noted for their lavish dinner parties with crystal, silver, and china. “Bernie and Ellie Baker were one of the most social couples in Toledo from the end of World War II until the early 1990s,” said her godson John Robinson Block, publisher and editor-inchief of The Blade, “She was truly an elegant and graceful lady even in her later years.” The Baker home was called Inwood and the compound still bares the same name. The pink house on Front Street was their first home, the site of many soirees said Tibble Foster, a longtime and dear friend who was once related to Ellie by marriage. Mrs. Foster said Mrs. Baker was known for her dark hair with a white streak but more for her glamour and sparkling personality. Mrs. Foster was there with her son Dr. Marvin Rorick and his wife Lindsay.
Many reminisced about the visits to the family B.R. Baker Co. menswear retail shop where suits ranged from the most reasonable to the very finest available. Whether one knew Ellie though the many non profit organizations she worked with such and the Country Garden Club or the Toledo Opera where she was a founding member of the Guild, or because she was the mother of a childhood friend, all remembered Mrs. Baker for her grace, charm, wit, intelligence, fun-loving way, connections, leadership and organizational skills, generosity, and talent as a classic lyric soprano.
Among those in attendance were Marilynn “Lynn” Willey and her son and daughter-in-law Dr. Jim and Elizabeth Willey, Fritz and Mary Wolfe, and daughter Lisa Wolfe, Carol Bentley and daughter Kate Bentley McPherson, Dan McCarthy, J.B. and Suzanne Rorick, Tony and Debbie Knight, Carty Finkbeiner, Susan and Frasier Reams, Sandy Blackstone-Carman, and Rick Newcomb of Washington, D.C. and Watertown, NY. Mr. Newcomb grew up here and his family owned Newcomb Baker shoes.