MOBSTERS and flappers crowded into Rosie's Italian Grille Jan. 20 for a speakeasy. They knew it was the right place because Bob and Barbara Bettinger's 1939 Packard was parked in front.
It was the Toledo Opera Guild's annual celebrity wait night "Dons and Dames" with jazzy tunes, libations, and a tasty meal that included MaMa bread, salad, lasagna, chicken, fish, or strip steak with yummy carrot cake for dessert.
Fedora-clad "Godfather" Phil Barone, Rosie's owner, welcomed the "families" with his raspy voice.
The 1920s-attired celeb waiters included Barbara Baker, Barbara Brown, Tim Hansen, Beth Bowman, Diane Rusk, Dr. Tom and Traci Schwann, Susan Conda (who sold 38 tickets), Guild President Cindy Niggemyer and husband Jack, and Suzanne Rorick, executive director of the opera.
Guild member Roberta Royhab and husband Ron, who moved from Perrysburg to Marblehead, came back to hang out with the gang.
Also seen were Kathy and Jon Miller, John and Mary Fedderke, Susan and Frazier Reams, Fran and Dick Anderson, Denise and Tom Colturi, Elizabeth Emmert, Ann Hartman and Frank Snug, Susan Kruse, Lisa Wolfe and Ed Reams, Tom Tank, Dorotha and Jerry Baum, Claire and Joel Gorski and son Charlie, Cindy and Brock Rimmelin, and Rita Mansour.
Behind the scenes, Kelly Rechtenwald, counted the loot which looked to be about $7,000 raised for the opera.
Joann Phipps won the raffle for a sapphire and diamond necklace raffle donated by Broer-Freeman Jewelers.
Auctioneer Richard Leonard enticed bids for the wooden crate of top shelf booze won by Mark and Shelli Jacobs, who was the event chairman. Margie Grose won the bid for tickets to the Toledo Opera's "Lady in Red" Gala at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Valentine Theater. The night includes dinner and the concert of favorite opera arias followed by dancing. Tickets are $200 per person ($150 per person for ticket-holders).
A Sunday gala at $100 per person is Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Valentine, followed by dinner at Real Seafood Co.
A free lecture "Deadly Divas: The Baddest Women In Opera" by Denise Ritter-Bernardini, soprano and assistant professor of voice at the University of Toledo, is 5:30 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Secor Gallery, 425 Jefferson Ave. A wine reception ($15 at the door) will follow.
For tickets to the concert only or the benefit dinners go to www.toledoopera.org or call 419-255-7464.
THE Stormy Petrels of Maumee Bay, a Toledo scion of the Baker Street Irregulars since 1975, celebrated the 160th birthday of Sherlock Holmes, who was, according to many Sherlockians, born on Jan. 6, 1854. The annual "Masters' Birthday Dinner" was on Jan. 18 at the Claddaugh Restaurant.
Many of the Petrels came wearing 1895 canonical outfits as described in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Doyle's first novel, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in 1887, yet the popularity of Holmes and his friend and biographer, Dr. John Watson, continues to this day, said Mike Hagan, tantalus (secretary) of the group. A hot topic of discussion was the expiration of the copyright of most of the Sherlock Holmes adventure books.
THE Society of Young Professionals of the Maumee Chamber of Commerce host Cash Mobs in support of local businesses. This month it was Jan. 16 at Dale's Bar and Grill in Maumee. Mobsters came around noon and after work. For information go to www.maumeecashmob.com.
THE YWCA annual Celebrity Wait Night was Jan. 14 at Table Forty4. Live music filled the air as a delectable menu was served by real waiters with the assistance of celebrity waiters Lauren Strauss, Kelly Schaefer, Mary Martin, Johanna Hull, Diane Friedman, Tina Kern, Serena Lipski, and Lisa McDuffie, president/CEO.
These ladies are just a few of the women involved in our community.
The 19th annual YWCA Milestones: A Tribute to Women luncheon is slated for March 13 at SeaGate Convention Centre. The event recognizes extraordinary women in the community for their outstanding leadership qualities and contributions to the empowerment of women.
This year's honorees are:
Arts: Leslie Adams, an internationally respected portrait artist;
Business: Marianne Ballas, owner-operator of Ballas Buick GMC;
Education: Susan Martyn, professor in the University of Toledo College of Law;
Government: Vallie Bowman-English, municipal clerk, City of Toledo;
Sciences: Sonia Najjar, professor, University of Toledo, founding director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research;
Social Science: Kim Sidwell, Senior Vice President, Resource Development for United Way of Greater Toledo Social Services; and
Volunteerism: Barbara Eikost, an active volunteer for 50 years and the first volunteer director for Hospice of Northwest Ohio.