Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel


Good causes get helping hand

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  • The-members-of-the-winning-team-for-th

    The members of the winning team for the Amazing Race were, from left, Debbie Powers, Sarah Weglian, Angie Overton, and Tracy Zielinski.

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    Executive Director Dawn Christensen presents Cynthia Roepke with the 2013 John Goerlich Distinguished Service Award at the EyeEvent.

  • Featured-guest-speaker-Jeff-Zavac-with-his-wife-Nancy-during-the-EyEvent-to-benefit-the-Sight-Center

    Featured guest speaker Jeff Zavac with his wife Nancy during the EyEvent to benefit the Sight Center

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  • Special-guest-Dakota-and-her-ado

    Special guest Dakota and her adoptive parents Dave and Meg Avalos during the Paw Hoorah! fund-raiser.

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THE EyEvent to benefit the Sight Center, formerly the Toledo Society for the Blind, raised $30,000 April 30 at the Hilton Garden Inn. The night also raised awareness about how precious sight is, and how the lack of sight does not have to be a barrier to success.

Just ask guest speaker Jeff Zavac of Miami, Fla. Born and raised in Toledo, he has been blind since birth, yet has excelled in all activities throughout his life, saying "I never knew I couldn't see." Mr. Zavac learned to play the alto saxophone at the age of 9 with the help of his teacher, Gene Parker. Over the years, he has played at Rusty's Jazz Cafe, Murphys, and Ragtime Rick's. Currently he teaches the history of jazz and popular music at Miami Dade Community College in Homestead, Fla.

Mr. Zavac came to the event via friend Suzanne Hahn, who was a counselor at the Sight Center's camp. They reunited a few years ago when he performed at the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club with Jim Gottron. Mr. Zavac and Mr. Gottron entertained guests at the EyEvent during cocktails and later in the evening.

Mr. Zavac's Gratitude CD featuring Claude Black and Clifford Murphy, made as thanks to his parents, Louis and Carol Zavac, the Sight Center, wife Nancy, and Mr. Parker, was sold that night and two-thirds of the profits went to the Sight Center.

The 215 supporters dined, shopped the silent auction, and bid on the two live auction items sold by emcee Chris Vickers of WTOL-TV, Channel 11: vacations in Jeff Stephen's Colorado place and at Suzanne and Tedd Hahn's Florida respite.

Cynthia Roepke, wealth management advisor with Fifth Third Bank, received the John Goerlich Distinguished Service Award. Honorary chairmen were Sheila and Denny Johnson, president of Brooks Insurance. Event chairmen Diana Stephens and Judy Walle were assisted by committee members Carol Morley Beck, Kathy Detwiler, Mrs. Hahn, Marsha Molnar, Sara North, Diane Pacella, Janine Rosenthal, and the center's staff.


DRESSED in everything from fancy jeans to full-length dresses were the more than 270 women at Cherished Friends of Ahava annual wine soiree May 1 in the suite level of Fifth Third Field. Ahava, celebrating its ninth year, provides cancer patients with custom spa packages.

Wine tasting by Heidelberg Distributing, Inc., a silent auction, and raffles were all part of the fun. Sharon Walters and her crew and A Cut Above Catering prepared and served cold and hot edibles. The Cookie Lady, also known as Janet Romaker, a fellow Blade journalist, and Eston's Bakery cupcakes provided sweets.

Event chairmen were Shelley Demko and Carol Schwartz, both board members. Nearly $20,000 was raised.

PAW Hoorah! a celebration of saving the dogs and cats of our community was April 26 at Toledo Country Club. The 13th annual event to benefit Planned Pethood netted more than $61,000 according to event chairmen Doy DiNardo, Jen Frey, and Merin Schrinel with treasurer Robin Rayner.

The sell-out crowd of 300 supporters dined from grazing stations, including an animal themed dessert table.

Special guest was Dakota. Caught by Lucas County Canine and Control, she was fed during her year as a stray by Toledo police officer Dave Avalos: He and his wife Meg adopted her.

Top sponsors were SylvaniaVET, West Toledo Vet and Perrysburg Animal Care, Elanco Trifexis, and Yark Auto.


THE Amazing Race photo mobile scavenger hunt April 26 to benefit Read for Literacy netted more than $24,500. Kudos to event chairmen Bob Howell along with Steve Dolley, of The Blade's finance department, and their committee.

More than 30 teams motored all over Toledo to find and photograph area landmarks, businesses, and more from the clues given to them. The race started and ended at Stone Oak Country Club, where an outdoor dinner, prizes, and auctions took place.

Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at bhendel@theblade.com

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