THE Toledo Chapter, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, hosted its 26th annual Black History Banquet, "Strengthening Our Ties Through Unity," Saturday at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center on Secor Road.
After the welcome and after the Black National Anthem was sung, a formal dinner was served as Jamie Coleman and JAMM Band played background tunes.
Honorees were recognized: George Sarantou, WilliAnn Moore, Philip Boles, and the Bethany House.
Ohio State Sen. Edna Brown, guest speaker, gave a brief talk stressing the importance of unity.
Cenia Willis is the chapter chairman. Behind the scenes, Cerssandra McPherson and Cheryl Tyler-Folsom, banquet co-chairmen, made everything run smoothly. After the event, many migrated to a hospitality room for more camaraderie.
THE Toledo Chapter of Charms, Inc., women dedicated to the improvement of cultural, civic, and community involvement in the Toledo area, hosted a Black History Month event Feb. 22 in the home of Theresa Wilkins, chapter president.
Guest speaker was Angela Siner, an undergraduate advisor in the University of Toledo sociology and anthropology department who teaches African-American history and culture and cultural anthropology courses.
Her topic was First Lady Michelle Obama as a woman for all seasons. She discussed Mrs. Obama's humble beginnings, education, hosting state dinners, hula hooping, and White House gardening. Event chairman was Kathy Nail.
THE Power to Grow, an event to support parents of premature babies, was Feb. 20 at Mancy's Steakhouse. The event was for Graham's Foundation, a locally based nonprofit global organization established in 2009 by Nick and Jenn Hall after the birth of their twins at just 25 weeks. The organization is named for their late son Graham, whose sister, Reece, survives. Since its inception, more than 35,000 complimentary care packages have been delivered and Parents of Preemies Day, which is May 4, 2014, was created.
Nick, Graham's grandfather, and Gus Mancy started The Ideal restaurant in 1921. It became Mancy's Ideal, then Mancy's, which was sold to Gus' twin sons. Hence, Mancy's Steakhouse gladly sponsored the event. The night included gourmet grazing stations by Mancy's, complimentary martinis by Tito's Handmade Vodka, and coffee and desserts by Maddie & Bella Coffee Co. in Perrysburg.
Jim and Blair Nooney of Perrysburg are the 2014 Graham's Foundation Ambassador Family. Their daughter was born 8 weeks premature weighing just 3 pounds, 15 ounces. Now, 2½ years later, she is a healthy child.
Gene Seidman, who designed Graham's logo, came back from New York City to be the auctioneer for the fund-raiser. There was everything from vacation packages to jewelry and a private lunch and tour at Toledo Museum of Art with Brian Kennedy, director.
Thanks to the sponsors and about 125 attendees — nearly twice as many as the previous year — the event raised about $25,000 for the care package program for families of preemies.
Other sponsors included Bionix, Dr. R.W. and Laurie Mills, Findley Davies, Signature Bank, HCR ManorCare, and weber-obrien ltd.
For information go to www.grahamsfoundation.org, call 419-740-1075, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to facebook.com/micropreemies, or twitter @grahamsfound.
CONTINENTAL Office Environments celebrated its 75th anniversary Feb. 6 at the Toledo office on Erie Street. Continental has been in Toledo for eight years. Its home office is in Columbus with another office in Pittsburgh. The office, decorated in a Mad Men theme, included copies of advertisements from yesteryear, along with nostalgic food and candy. Many recalled the days of three martini lunches.