Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Barbara Hendel


The art of having fun

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    The Art’s Commission’s The Mix: Black & White Ball event chairmen included, from left, MAUREEN BROGAN, BOB MEEKER, MARY LARKIN, and KATE KELLEY.

    The Blade/Andy Morrison
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    Seated, TOM KILLAM and MARSHA MANAHAN, along with JOHN and JOHANNA HULL enjoy the wonderful array of food during the Toledo Chefs Collective event.


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    JULIE ROBERTS, left, and Dr. LAURA MURPHY at the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association.

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THE Mix: Black & White to benefit the Arts Commission was March 15 at One SeaGate in the lower level concourse.

There was so much to see and do. The real fun was mingling and watching the parade of fashions of everything from blue jeans to black tie amid the crowd of more than 450 revelers, mainly the 20-something to 40-something range.

Music included Ruth Nichols Trio; the Late Spring Quartet; Charlie Baran y Grupo Gringo; Limitless Dance Company/Toledo School for the Arts; The Good, the Bad, and the Blues, and D.J. Q.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for more photos from these events

The Birds' Eye View Circus provided aerial acrobatics, fire eating, a stilt walker, statue people, and more. Other entertainment included Spontaneous Art, Video Cube Installation: The WORK Collective, and PhotoBooth Live by Grand Lubell Photography.

An auction of works by 33 local artists was a big draw: Nick Bensch, Sally Hobbib Rumman, Daniel Mauk, Ben Grazzini, Maura Meyers, and Dustin Hostetler, to name a few.

Many long-time art lovers and arts supporters stopped by the auction, including Margie Trumbell and Sara Jane DeHoff.

Artist Mary Gaynier demonstrated the art of making snowflakes and the stories behind them. A mini-spa experience was provided by Make Me Make Up, Much-Kneaded Massage, and Bartholomy Massage.

Toledo Design Center opened for visitors to view ideas for Toledo created by their architects, landscape architects, and planners.

Providing savories and sweets were more than a baker's dozen of Toledo's best caterers and restaurants, including Mancy's Brothers Catering, Flying Rhino Coffee and Chocolate; The Beirut, Maddie & Bella Coffee, Focaccia's Delicatessen, Burger Bar 419, and in the VIP section, Registry Bistro. Heidelberg Distributing provided the beverages and bar services were by Premier Pour Bartending.

A raffle gave chances to win a painting by Phil Hazard, a Sawmill Creek golf weekend and Lincoln MKX rental car, a Fourth of July fireworks party at Bartley Lofts with food by Burger Bar 419, or bar and wine starter kits.

All smiles was Marc Folk, Arts Commission executive director. The estimated profit from the event is $32,000.

Kudos to event chairmen Mary Larkin, Maureen Brogan, Kate Kelley, Gretchen DeBacker, and Bob Meeker and their committee and 99 volunteers. The committee of 16 included Julie Beckert, Scott Deca, Nicole Brandstrup, Dave Gierke, Kelly Repka, Adam Jackson, Gail Zimmerman, Larry Meyer, and Meghan Burmeister.

Thanks go to the 30-some sponsors and in-kind donors.

The next big deal in the artsy world of the commission is the Gallery Loop, April 19 in downtown Toledo. For information go to


THE 17th annual Heart Ball "Ignite!" to benefit the American Heart Association was March 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons. The theme represents the spark and passion for fighting cardiovascular disease, the No. 1 killer, and stroke, the No. 1 cause of disability, in the United States, said event chairman Dr. Anthony Comerota, director of Jobst Vascular Institute.

A wine reception included a performance by Forte Trio Boys. Welcoming everyone were Rick Woodell, 101.5 The River, and Michelle Rowe, RN, who blogs about living, shopping, and eating healthy.

A sea of red fabric and flowers with soft lighting set the scene for the elegant evening. The 270 formally clad attendees dined on a tasty heart-healthy dinner. Many stopped to get a Keepsake Portrait.

Folks were enticed to buy, buy, buy, when auctioneer Jason Whalen took to the stage for the live auction sponsored by ProMedica Physicians Cardiology, which also sponsored the silent auction.

The experiences of Bernard Fine, a heart disease survivor, and his wife Joyce Aldred-Fine, a heart disease and stroke survivor, were relayed in a video which reaped donations to the cause.

The evening ended with dancing to 56 Daze band.

The executive leadership team included Randy Oostra and Stephanie Cihon, ProMedica; Tony Knight, New Waste Concepts, Inc.; Marianne Ballas, Ballas Buick GMC; Julie Roberts, Kingston; Bob Schoonmaker, Huntington Bank, and Drs. Lloyd Jacobs, Laura Murphy, Munier Nazzal, and Gretchen Tietjen, all of the University of Toledo Medical Center, the former Medical College of Ohio.

The event raised $96,000 for the local Heart Association for research, education, and advocacy programs, including public health advocacy campaigns, physical activity and nutrition education, and lifesaving CPR courses.

The auction committee, led by Elsa Comerota, the wife of the event chairman, included Katie Blair, Ashley James, Debbie Knight, and JoMarie Ambrosia.

Sponsors included The Andersons, Inc., Barkan & Robon Legal Professionals, HCR ManorCare, Huntington Bank, Jobst Vascular Institute, ProMedica, ProMedica Physicians Cardiology, and the University of Toledo Medical Center. Media sponsors were The Blade, 101.5 The River, WTOL, and Fox Toledo.


WHAT do some of our area chefs do in their spare time? Gather to whip up their specialties for special events that are Toledo's version of The Iron Chef. The chefs receive a bottle of wine ahead of time to taste, then decide what appropriate meal they will create to pair with it, using specified featured ingredients.

They call themselves the Toledo Chefs Collective, a group of chefs in the 419 area, hosting bi-monthly pop-up dinners and other events. "It's a time to get together for fun... We break even on the cost and anything extra goes to the charity of the host chefs choice," said Chef Garrett Jones of Reverend's Bar and Grille in Bowling Green. Many of these chefs also donate their specialties to charitable fund-raisers, so when you support them, it is a thank you for their generosity to local causes.

A dinner featuring wine and cheese on March 16 at the Toledo Club sounded so simple, yet the offerings were fabulously uncommon. Other events took place at the Revolution Grille with a beer pairing, the Registry Bistro with a Thanksgiving theme, and the Gathering in Findlay for smoked food paired with mead, a wine of fermented honey.

Chefs at the recent event were Mike Rosendaul from the Toledo Club, Garrett Jones from Reverend's, Robby Lucas of Bar 145, Moussa Salouk of Lascola and Burger Bar 419, Erika Rapp from Registry Bistro, Chris Nixon of Element 112, Micah Risher from House of Eats, and Rob Campbell representing Stella's and Swig.

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