Friday, May 25, 2018
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Barbara Hendel

ON THE TOWN: Outdoor fun in the sun and moonlight

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    Chairman of the University of Toledo Women and Philanthropy Marianne Ballas, left, stands with Susan and Allan Block at their home. The Blocks hosted a dinner for the group, of which Mrs. Block is a member.

    The Blade/Katie Rausch
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    Joe and Brenda Cousino enjoy the Rooftop Bash on Aug. 9 at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Main Branch.

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    Karen and Carl Fraker, Raquel Bravo and Steve Scarvelis.

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Women & Philanthropy at University of Toledo (W&P at UT) gathers for its annual Summer Social at a different member’s home each year. This year Susan Allan Block hosted the group. While it is a women’s group, men were invited to this event, so Mrs. Block’s husband, Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., was present along with other spouses including Dick Anderson, chairman emeritus of The Andersons and husband of member Fran Anderson; and John Szuch, executive officer at Signature Bank, N.A. and husband of member Yolanda Szuch.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for more photos from these events

The weather was perfect for the outdoor soiree on the terrace by the pool. The 50 some members and guests sipped libations and feasted on delectable edibles by Labib Hajjar of the Beirut. A special treat was the to-die-for dessert by Mrs. Block, a pastry chef. It was her famous tart, in three flavors.

Mrs. Block will be opening her own pastry business, Vendome Pastry, named for Place Vendome in Paris, the location of the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School where she studied and worked. “I will be creating European style pastry and desserts with love and local ingredients,” said Mrs. Block. She is hoping to have the business running by October. Plans are to post the menu on Mondays via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to start, and pick up times will be on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at the Paula Brown Shop. Eventually she would like to open a cafe and retail shop.

Back at the W&P at UT party, these women, by joining forces, have provided $248,831 in grants since 2008. The organization, founded by Marianne Ballas in 2006, provides legacy gifts that are not expendable, meaning no scholarships or salaries, but instead items such as interactive displays for the UT Lake Erie Center, a computer lab for the Eberly Center, and the first project, a glass piece A University Woman commissioned by the late artist Thomas McGlauchlin, which was installed in the concourse of the Carlson Library. The image of the sculpture has become the organization’s logo.

The members are a diverse range of ages and include UT employees, alums, and community supporters such as the late Posy Huebner, who was member number three.

Members seen at the party included Marcy McMahon, Helen McMaster, Marie Vogt, Dee Talmage, Judith Conda, Elizabeth Foley, Karen DeNune, Betsy Gouvernayre, Judge Linda Jennings, Carol Koester, Jane McQuade, Nancy Miller, Lauren O’Neill, Molly Schnell, Linda Speer, Chris Spengler, Barbara Tartaglia Poure, Helen Wagoner, and Ellie Brunner. Pam Davis came and joined that night. Attending as prospective members were Marilyn Newman and Melissa Noe-Freeman.

For information go to or contact Chris Spengler at 419-530-4927 or

Swing by our Rooftop Bash presented by PNC was a 1960s themed party on the roof of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library Main Branch. The event was hosted by the Library Legacy Foundation and Friends of The Library on Aug. 9.

It was a perfect weather night that made some folks linger, enjoying the music and the super moon that highlighted the Toledo skyline on the terrace set with comfy couches and coffee tables.

Retro libations, signature cocktails, and more quenched thirsts and gourmet hors d’oeuvres by Mancy’s Catering sated appetites.

Hepcat Revival played tunes for dancing, and many were especially good dancers. Full skirts flowed in the breeze as ladies whirled while doing the swing with their partners.

Adding to the fun was a raffle for a gorgeous diamond necklace donated by David Fairclough Fine Jewelers. There was also a wine ring toss for donated wine. Popular was the parting gift, a library book selected by guests from a display for the event.

Greeting everyone was executive director Clyde Scoles and honorary chairmen Heather and Bill McDonnell, president of PNC.

Gadding among the nearly 300 supporters were Suzi and Ted Hahn, Meredith and Ryan Sherman, Bob Savage, Karen and Carlton Fraker, Peggy and Ben Brown, Nancy and Wayne Ankney, Diane Rusk, Judge Norman Zemmelman and wife Connie, Larry and Diane Friedman, Sharon Simmons and Ron Coffman, Marsha Molnar, Bob and Kathy Chirdon, Mike and Carol Anderson, Bill and Paula Fall, Carol Bintz, Eric and Olivia Summons, Nick and Judy Dye, Janine and Greg Rosenthal, Dave and Kate O’Connell, and Terry and Katie Rousseau. Also seen were Gretchen and Tom Ziems, who were at the library for Herral Long’s memorial service earlier that day.

The expected net of $14,000 will benefit the Library Youth programs and the purchase of books.

Sponsors included Brooks Insurance, Mercy, and 13abc, plus Eastman & Smith Ltd., Marshall & Melhorn LLC, Robison, Curphey & O’Connell, the William Fall Group Inc., Sophia Lustig Shops, Health Care REIT, OverDrive, Hart Associates, and WTOL-TV, Channel 11.

Penny loafers, saddle shoes, and tennis shoes with bobby socks were the popular footwear to go with poodle skirts, pedal pushers, tight jeans, midriff blouses, and leather jackets with T-shirts. It was all for the “Let the Good Times Roll” party July 19 at Mary Dawson’s Shadow Valley retreat.

Guests enjoyed ’‍50s fare including grilled hot dogs, chips with dips, and cupcakes. Of course deviled eggs and coleslaw were on the soda fountain style menu, too.

The outdoor event had perfect weather to dance to the ’‍50s and ’‍60s tunes of the Watermelon Men. Some folks, including Trish Barone, showed off their skills doing the Hula Hoop. Her husband Tony, might not have been as adept at that, but he sure looked cool in his bright red Miata convertible.

Also seen were John and Mary Adams, Karen and Carl Fraker, Sally Hobbib Rumman, Kathy Youngman, Nancy Sloan, Phil Hazard, Patricia Swemba, Raquel Bravo and Steve Scarvelis, Ellen and Chris Pizza, Audra Fisher, Pamela and Kim Blakely, Barbara Tucker, Dave Hass, and Arnaud Schmit, Ms. Dawson’s houseguest from Paris.

Barbara Hendel is The Blade’s Society Editor. Contact her at: or 419-724-6124.

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