HEY, foodies! The 19th annual Taste of the Nation Toledo, part of the national No Kid Hungry — Share Our Strength, is slated for 5 p.m. April 27 at Health Care REIT.
This is a sell-out kind of event and no invitations are being sent. There is, however, a great new poster around town, compliments of Mike Jacobs of Cooper Smith. Only 400 tickets are being sold.
Tickets are $150 each until March 15, when the price will rise for the first time in a decade to $175. Each ticket includes "tastes" from more than 40 restaurants and desserts, wines, beer, and spirits, live music, and more.
Raffle prizes include items from Harold Jaffe Jewelers, Toledo Furs, and Taylor Automotive Family.
Proceeds from ticket sales go toward helping end childhood hunger. The local grant recipients are Aurora House, Toledo Day Nursery, NWO FoodBank, and Toledo GROWS.
Details of Taste of the Nation Toledo were announced during the ticket sales kickoff Jan. 23 at Vistula City Club, a private club owned by Dave and Jodi Venable, soon to open, said Greg Zappone, curator. Moussa Salloukh, of La Scola Restaurants and Burger Bar 419's, donated a tasty dinner. Wine and beer were donated by James Cameron of Heidelberg Distributing Company.
Event chairmen are Labib Hajjar, Marla Schecht, Terri Thompson, and Ty Szumigala. The steering committee includes Mr. Salloukh, Craig Joseph, Gus Mancy, and Dean Kasperzak, who was missed but was home with his wife, Becky, a vibrant, creative, and kind friend of all of them. Sadly, she passed away on Super Bowl Sunday, and will be dearly missed. Many recall the great parties at their home and how welcoming and supportive Becky always was to everyone and to the cause. So this event will be extra special, in loving memory of Becky Kasperzak, generous supporter of Toledo's Taste of the Nation since its inception in 1995.
Honorary 2014 chairmen are Dr. Jeff Kesler of Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons, Diane Larson of WTVG-TC, Ch. 13, and Mindy Romanoff, a long-term committee member and ticket ambassador turned ticket co-chairman.
Ticket ambassadors in attendance included Beth Baumert, Laurie Cohen, Shelly Crossley, Yvonne Dublielak, Denise Fox, Kendall Gigax, Holly Goldstein, Sue Hague-Rogers, Christy Ide, Jen Keller, Racha Kutaisch, Mike Noble, Lela Rashid, and Molli Rupli.
Several companies are already on board as sponsors including those in attendance at the kickoff: Mark Rodrigeuz, presenting sponsor Hickory Farms; Jeff Cooley, Promedica Erie West Hospice; Charlie Boos and Scott Hayes of AA Boos and Sons.
For information go to www.toledotaste.org or contact an ambassador or chairman.
"IT WAS a once-in-a-lifetime experience" said Larry Boyer of Toledo, who was at the Super Bowl. His son Tim Boyer, who lives in New Jersey, acquired two tickets so he invited his dad, saying "you have done so much for me, so I wanted to do this for you."
The $2,000 seats came with a seat pad and a cold weather packet complete with ear muffs, a radio, and, to wear at half time, a lighted stocking cap.
The senior Mr. Boyer said "there were so many people!...It was so exciting, with the half-time show, the fly overs — everything." It took them an hour just to get through the security gates and it was impossible to connect with friends from Toledo who were also there, including Mike and Tina Hylant.
Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at firstname.lastname@example.org