Charity gala opens Toledo Auto Show

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    Left to right: Michael DeCourcy, Larry Burns, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Michael O'Brien, and Tod Kowalczyk.

  • AHH, that new car smell. That was one of the rewards for people who attended the Auto Dealers United for Kids' 11th annual the Cars are the Stars charity gala presented by The Blade with Huntington and Fifth Third Bank on Wednesday.

    Attendees also enjoyed the first peek at the cars in the Toledo Auto Show, which runs through today.

    Braving snowy and icy weather, they entered a room decorated in red, white, and black, with flowers and dice.

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    About 800 tickets were sold for the event. The $250 ticket price included valet parking, an open bar, and dining stations plus casino gaming entertainment by Hollywood Casino Toledo.

    Emcees Jerry Anderson and Chrys Peterson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11 welcomed everyone. Ms. Peterson, who is leaving WTOL at the end of the month, was presented with flowers for her continued support over the years, said event Chairman Paul Devers of Vin Devers Autohaus of Sylvania.

    The event has raised more than $1.5 million in the last 10 years, and this event raised about $120,000.

    From left: Brian Darah, Marianne Ballas, Susie Doukides, and John Hadley during the Auto Show Gala on Feb. 5, 2014.
    From left: Brian Darah, Marianne Ballas, Susie Doukides, and John Hadley during the Auto Show Gala on Feb. 5, 2014.

    Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications, Inc., parent company of The Blade, thanked everyone for attending in support of the charities, despite the Level 2 weather, ending with, "The cars are the stars and it's all about the kids!"

    Local charities to benefit include Sunshine Foundation of Northwest Ohio, Adopt America Network, Kids Unlimited, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Vail Meadows Theraputic Riding Facility, the Science Society for Imagination Station, and Auto Dealers United for Kids-Toledo Auto Dealers Association Scholarship Endowment for Owens Community College and the University of Toledo.

    Back at the fun, Aaron Krott said the Audis are his favorite cars. But many were dreaming about the $75,000 Audi A7 and the Corvette Stingray 251 starting at $59,000.

    Also seen were Sharon Speyer and Dean Monske, Susan Gilmore, Robb and Jacqueline Brown, Kim and Doug Kearns, John Yark, Pat Stark, Mary Gerken, Marianne Ballas, Mark Goodremont and Mo Devany, John Hadley, Tim Mathews, Roger Parker and Barbara Sears, and Dave White, Jr.

    Raffle prizes included a trip for two to the M resort, spa, and casino in Las Vegas won by Allison Paxton and an Audi convertible for this spring and summer donated by Vin Devers was won by Cory McKenzie.

    Five third-place winners received $1,000 free slot play each, compliments of Hollywood Casino Toledo.


    Jamie Smeltzer, Elyce Ervin, and Jackie Peiffer.
    Jamie Smeltzer, Elyce Ervin, and Jackie Peiffer.

    INSPIRE Toledo for effective action in our communities was presented by the Junior League of Toledo on Jan. 30 at Parkway Place. Emcee and league member Lissa Guyton of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, welcomed everyone. But before everything started, tribute was paid to our firemen who lost their lives while working to save others.

    Guests received a few life lessons from headline speaker Kyle MacDonald, author of One Red Paperclip: Or How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply. He relayed the story of his journey via the childhood game of Bigger and Better, starting with one red paper clip, trading 14 times from a fish-shaped pen, a camper stove, and a snowmobile to an afternoon with Alice Cooper, and finally a house, then back to the original paper clip, which he gave to his girlfriend when he proposed marriage. He said it was about meeting people and making things happen — not to obsess and be afraid of failure, but to "just do it!"

    The evening included a silent auction and raffle, a candlelight dinner served on linen-covered tables centered with flowers that included red paper clips, and a signature "One Red Paperclip" cocktail.

    Among the about 230 attendees, who paid $80 per ticket in honor of the local league's 80th anniversary, were Dan and Nancy Lehman, Walt and Pat McConnell, Larry and Jill Peterson, Axel Mueller and Wendy Ziems-Mueller, Aaron Haydu and Tausha Moore, Laura Robinson, Christine Happ, Bridget Holt, Margot Estes, and Areka Foster.

    League President Linsey Walters reports an estimated net of $20,000. Event Chairman Laura Parrish was assisted by Chairman-elect Allison Deckelman Murawski and the committee.

    Among the sponsors were Equity Trust Co., Health Care REIT, ProMedica, Brooks Insurance, Eastman & Smith, Ernst & Young, Fifth Third Bank, and First Solar, Inc..


    Left to right: Michael DeCourcy, Larry Burns, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Michael O'Brien, and Tod Kowalczyk.
    Left to right: Michael DeCourcy, Larry Burns, Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, Michael O'Brien, and Tod Kowalczyk.

    TIE One On 2014 held in the Savage Arena at the University of Toledo on Wednesday before the game was a fun way to raise funds. The dapper Larry Burns, vice president, external affairs, who is noted for sporting bow ties, founded the event.

    Of the 600 attendees there were 517 bow ties tied in the room, which they are hoping will set the Guinness World Record for the most bow ties in a room.

    Approximately $30,000 was raised for cancer care, awareness, and outreach at the University of Toledo Medical Center.