VALENTINE'S Day is tomorrow, but a special sweetheart to many of us was honored last week. Kelley Berry was surprised on her birthday with a lunch Feb. 6 at Shared Lives Studio, where she works.
Shared Lives, a division of Lott Industries and the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, is a nonprofit visual arts center for artists with developmental disabilities to create, exhibit, and sell art.
Kelley, who hit her big 5-0 birthday, is remembered by many who met her over the years when she worked alongside her proud mom, Fifi Berry, owner of the former Fifi's Restaurant.
The studio is this year's Chicks for Charity beneficiary and is funded in part by a grant from the Stranahan organization of the Toledo Community Foundation. It's open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 20 N. St. Clair St., in downtown Toledo.
THE Valentine was filled Feb. 1 for Toledo Jazz Orchestra's Prelude to Valentine's Day: "A Hot Winter's Night."
The cool tunes, a swing tribute to the grand big bands, were the music of Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, and Buddy Rich. Featured were Mike Williams — lead trumpet, Count Basie; Patrick Hession — lead trumpet, Maynard Ferguson; Dwight Adams — trumpet soloist, Stevie Wonder; Dave Tippett — lead trumpet, Buddy Rich; and Scott Potter — Toledo Jazz Orchestra trumpet soloist.
SPEAKING of jazz, many folks enjoyed the Toledo Club's Jan. 24 "Jazz with Sheila Landis" from Detroit, who has been noted for wooing her audiences with her jazz, Latin, and blues-style vocal performances since 1973. She is Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, and the Beatles rolled into one, commented many of the participants at the dinner event.
GUESTS were treated to cake by Wendy Kromer Confections, with the help of Katie Secord, a 10-year-old who loves to bake. It was for the Big Wish Gala presented by Toledo Refining Co. to benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, on Feb. 6 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Perrysburg.
Wish child Katie, who has Burkitt's leukemia, was granted her wish in December, 2013, to meet Buddy Valastro of Cake Boss in New York.
That was just a few of the heart-warming stories that night. The wish of Michael Hudson was celebrated with a happy memory, one that is what Make- a-Wish is all about. His wish — to meet Randy White and the Dallas Cowboys — was granted. His brother, Dean Vollmar, shared the experience that is still fresh in his mind, after 30 years, that his late brother had of walking on the practice field to meet the Cowboys.
The event was attended by 400 guests and reaped an estimated net profit of $160,000. The night included a social hour, gourmet dinner, and silent and live auctions.
All smiles was Marcy McMahon, founder of the local chapter that has grown over the 30 years since it was started.
Among the 20-some other sponsors were RMF Nooter, WNWO-TV, ProMedica, and Taylor Automotive.
THE TOLEDO Club's 17th annual Wild Game Dinner on Jan. 30 was a night for hunters and anglers, mainly men but many women, too. The 260 attendees perused the 16 vendor displays and peeked at the items for auction. Dinner, on the wild game side, included duck confit, rabbit satay, camel sliders, wild boar bacon and ham, turtle soup, leg of antelope, kangaroo loin, elk heart tacos, buffalo fries, lamb kidneys, fish stew, alligator sausage, venison liver dirty rice, root vegetables, and goat cheese cheesecake.
Among the highest auction bidders were David Hart, Tim Schmidt, and Richard Hylant.
Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at firstname.lastname@example.org