Monday, Apr 23, 2018
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Barbara Hendel


Toledo Celtics celebrate 40 years

  • Barbara-Hendel-2

  • Man-and-Woman-of-the-Ye

    Man and Woman of the Year honorees for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Grand Finale Dinner were Betsy Nooney and John Smythe.

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  • Toledo-Celtics-Rugby-Football-Club-s

    Toledo Celtics Rugby Football Club's post game party at the Bronze Boar The two on the left are of the Club's first three Presidents: from left to right, myself, Bill, Bingle (the Club's founder), and Mike Fosnaugh.

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  • Northwest-Ohio-Community-Shares-ev

    Northwest Ohio Community Shares event chairman Dawn Christen, left, with auctioneer Jack Amlin, and event emcee Shaun Hegarty enjoy the tropical party.

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THE TOLEDO Celtics Rugby Football Club celebrated the 40th anniversary of its founding in 1974 with festivities over Independence Day weekend. Former players traveled from all over the country to catch up with old friends.

After the kickoff party at Doc Watson's, four games were played at Sterling Park (the Celtics home field) including an "old boys" (alumni) game against the Detroit RFC old boys and a high school game between the Whitmer Junior Celtics and St. John's Titans.

The traditional postgame party was at the Bronze Boar. Among the former players, spouses/significant others, and children there were Bill Bingle (founder and first president of the club), Mike and Jim Fosnaugh, Jon Orser, Charlie and Peter Miller, Kevin Curran, Carmen Amenta, Kim Koren, Rick Rimer, Bill Sulewski, Tom Fitzpatrick, Rich Frohne, Tom Quinn, Craig Brownridge, Gary Kiss, and Rich Schurfeld, who played for the United States Eagles team and played in the 1999 Rugby World Cup, and is an off-camera analyst for NBC Sports' coverage of major rugby events.

The club was a University of Toledo club team but later became a "city" club. The Celtics competed in the Ohio Rugby Football Union (Conference) for many years, but about 20 years ago switched to the Michigan Union for scheduling convenience.

The club plays clubs in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and southwest Ontario and has traveled to Ireland, Grand Cayman, and Hawaii. It has also hosted (and beaten) touring teams from Great Britain and France.

New players, regardless of experience, are welcome. There are programs for both boys and girls. For information go to


NORTHWEST Ohio Community Shares celebrated the community work of the 29 nonprofit agencies in its federation of local nonprofit organizations with a common goal of improving life in the greater Toledo area. The annual Share Our Dreams fund-raiser was June 28 at Toledo Harley-Davidson on West Central Avenue.

Live music by Fu5ion played all night long as guests sipped beverages from the cash bar including a martini bar sponsored by Buckeye Vodka and feasted on foods by Big C's Smoked Barbeque. A cigar bar was great for those so inclined.

Emcee Shaun Hegarty of WTVG-TV, Channel 13 kept the evening on target.

Jack Amlin of Amlin Auctions ran the live auction which included a Final Cut dinner with former University of Michigan football sensation Jordan Kovacs, a behind-the-scenes tour of TV hit Hardcore Pawn, a chance to DJ with FM 92.5's Morning Rush, and more. The silent auction featured art, numerous baskets, and many one-of-a-kind opportunities. A $1,000 cash raffle was won by Sherry Tripepi, executive director of Equality Toledo.

The event netted more than $15,000. Event chairman was Dawn Christen.

YOUNG professionals stepped up to the plate for the local Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Six young adults volunteered for 10 weeks to raise money for the campaign. The second annual Toledo Man and Woman of the Year Campaign Grand Finale Dinner was June 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg with a report of $112,700 raised, according to Mandy Sinclair-Nitschke of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a national organization with local chapters including a Northern Ohio Chapter. Mrs. Sinclair-Nitschke was last year's Toledo woman of the year, then ended up working for the organization.

The Toledo campaign was started last year by John Smythe, who was the event chairman. This year he became the Toledo man of the year, raising more than $35,000 in honor of his late father, Jim Smythe, who lost his battle with leukemia. John said he was inspired by his sister, Amy Lang, who was a woman of the year in Cincinnati. This year she was his campaign manager.

The 2014 woman of the year is Betsy Nooney, who raised more than $40,000. Ms. Nooney of Chicago participated in honor of her late brother Rob Nooney, who died in 1994 of non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 24. She hosted a euchre tournament in Chicago to raise some of the funds.

Her mom, Carole Nooney, and friends Judy Reitzel and Sarah Flores helped by hosting an afternoon tea and style show by Hats & Apparel of Bowling Green that raised about $2,300. The event, at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club on June 4, was attended by nearly 50 supporters including Judy Garn, Ann Lieder, Phyllis Morton, Peggy Casey, Mary Ann Abke, Carol Phillips, Ricki Rudey, Connie Bortz, Marcia McCready, Kathy Detwiler, Cary Wise, Kathy Holmes, Sue Neckers, and Nancy Koch.

Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at

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