Monday, May 21, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

Late summer is a blast under the sun and stars



Catawba Island Club boomed with excitement over Labor Day weekend, the last big party of summer. With swimming in Lake Erie on the club's beach and in the pool, playing in the huge sand box, sitting by the water's edge, dining, boating, and playing golf and tennis, there was something for everyone at the family club.

In celebration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, the weekend's theme was "Don't Give Up the Ship." Many rode the Hindu tall ship docked at the club.

Club members gathered Saturday night for the Harbor Lights when the boats were lit up, docks were decorated, a live band played dance tunes, and fireworks exploded in the sky.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view more photos from these events

In spite of the rain Sunday morning, the place was packed with members and spectators to see the Ohio State University marching band strut down the 18th fairway to the water's edge for an impressive concert that included the National Anthem and the Navy Band song.

Many folks boated to Put-in Bay Sunday night for the spectacular fireworks display. The club's CEO Jim Stouffer and his wife, Heather, took a group on their new Gemini II, a 73-foot Berger.

Fashionably Late hosted by the Gretchen Gotthart Skeldon Fund was a night of dancing and food with friends. The fourth annual event was Aug. 24 under a star-kissed night at Centennial Terrace in Sylvania. Three bands played throughout the night and enticed the nearly 1,400 party-goers to pack the dance floor.

The fund, named for the late Gretchen Skeldon, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010, is a volunteer organization to support issues related to breast cancer and children with disabilities.

The nearly $20,000 raised at this year's event helped the total grow since its inception to $120,000. All of the money is held with the Toledo Community Foundation. For information go to or or call 419-509-9885.

Committee members included Gretchen DeBacker, Phil Skeldon, Casey Schreiner, Yvonne Dubielak, Karen Ranney Wolkins, Mary Helen Darah, Kristie Hoffman, Denise and Scott Walsh, Sarah and Tim Croak, Mary Chris Skeldon, Chrys Peterson, Kathy and Rob Bules, and many others.

Sponsors included KeyBank, Manchester Roofing, UP Design Group, Hart Associates, Mossing Pools, Harold Jaffe Jewelers, Jim White Honda, and Custom Deco.

Island sounds from Glass City Steel and Madison Avenue Band enticed party-goers to rock in the sand all night long in a Paradise Island setting with tropical flowers, thatched roof bars, beach chairs, umbrellas, and surf boards. It was the Boys and Girls Clubs' 12th annual Barefoot at the Beach presented by Medical Mutual of Ohio Aug. 17 at Maumee Bay State Park.

A treasure trove of more than 20 local restaurants provided a feast of savory foods. Thirsts were quenched at tiki bars that provided spirits, soft drinks, and drinks such as pina coladas. There was also an upscale wine and cigar bar.

Many people came via boat including Dorothy and Carroll Ashley, who won the bid on a trip to the event. Connie and Tom Schmidt came from Catawba Island as did Karen Kelley and Chris Seiple. Don Harbaugh, Rick Salem, and Bob Young traveled to and from the party via limousine.

Bumming around in Hawaiian print shirts, dresses, and shorts with flip flops and tennis shoes were more than 1,500 revelers including board president Dan Frick, wife Kathy, Sara Moynihan, Brian Epstein, Thomas Winston, Rob and Jeri Shick, Fred and Lyntia Ruffin, Beau and Beth Barrow, Chris and Ann Kozak, Josh and Victoria Rupli, Doug and Marianne Schoenrock, Mayor Mike Bell and Karen Jarosz, Terry and Susan Gerken, Larry Boyer, Mark Tooman, Sharon and Steve Gillespie, Traci and Jeff Shook, and Amanda and Nathan Brown.

The $175,000 fund-raising goal was met and exceeded.

Kudos to the endless list of sponsors and in-kind donors including Citizen Advisory Group, Ernst and Young LLP, Meijer, Toledo Molding and Die, The Blade, WTOL-TV, Channel 11, Walter Terhune Memorial Foundation, Keybank Trustee; Heidelberg, Glendale Flowers, American Rent All, and Turner Electric.

Event chairman Rick Mann and co-chairman Rick Sabin were assisted by committee members Ben Brown, Stacey Dunbar, Andrea Gibbons, Connie Schmidt, Richard Jackson, Maggie Vetter, Christine Senack, Chad Turner, Denise Lambes, Tim Melroy, Ron McCoy, Laura Keptner, and Connie Feldstein and more than 100 volunteers to plan, set up, run, and tear down the event.

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