Friday, Nov 17, 2017
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel

ON THE TOWN

Mills Trophy Race marks yacht club’s 150th anniversary

Today is flag day, in commemoration of the official U.S. flag adopted in 1777. So fly your flag, be proud to be an American, and appreciate your freedoms.

The 92nd Invitational Mills Trophy Race was last weekend in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the Toledo Yacht Club. It was windy night for the more than 126 sailboats filled with skippers and crews and sadly, one sailor perished during the race. Fellow sailors mourn his loss as they are reminded of the importance of boating safety and that accidents can happen, even to seasoned salty dogs.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to begin slideshow

But the historical race story continues. The 2015 winner of the Mills Trophy Race is Flat Stanley, owned and skippered by Trey Sheehan and Terry McSweeney of Edgewater Yacht Club, Cleveland. This is not a misprint, the same boat won last year.

Honorary chairmen were Greg Thomas and John Trost, frequent Mills Trophy Race winners and members of Bayview Yacht Club, Detroit. Festivities at Toledo Yacht Club included a Masters dinner for those who have sailed in the race 25 or more years. A 2014 Winners Party presented more than 40 silver trophies and cups, many dating back to the race's beginning including the President Taft Trophy, The Governor's Cup, the Toledo Blade Trophy, Cleveland Press Cup, and memorial and yacht club trophies and cups. Photo ops over, the trophies, all polished and bright, were put back in their secured cases for safe keeping.

The Mills Trophy Race Party was one big reunion of sailors with family and friends, some of whom don't sail but love a great party. The race on Lake Erie from the Toledo Harbor Light ended at Put-in-Bay with a celebration at Put-in-Bay Yacht Club.

Behind the scenes volunteers, most of them power boaters, not sailors, make the event happen every year. General chairman and past Toledo Yacht Club commodore Ron Soka was assisted by his wife Kaye Soka. Nearly 20 other chairmen and their committees helped including Principal Race Officer Ed Theisen, On-water Race Officer Steve Harris, and Toledo Yacht Club commodore John Sokol, Michelle Glanville, Jim Balogh, Jack Bernard, Dick Anderson, Ron Gabel, Barb and Jerry Chauvin, Geri and Tom Buckley, Paul Janowiecki, and Becky and Barry Vincent. Sponsors make it happen too: BoatU. S.; Mount Gay Rum, Remy USA; West Marine; Storm Trysail Club; and Anheiser-Busch, Inc./Treu House of Munch.

A bagpipe player greeted members as they entered Highland Meadows Golf Club on une 6 for the annual membership appreciation party with a Now & Then themed party in celebration of the clubs 90th anniversary. Club President Richard Balhoff and his wife, Vicki, greeted everyone. “Now and Then” cocktails were the Tommy 1925 — the traditional Tom Collins and the HM15, a new spin on the old favorite — Absolute Curant, Razzmatazz and tonic.

The more than 200 attendees, many in Ragtime costume and old fashioned golf attire reminisced over photos of years gone by. The private golf club in Sylvania established in 1925 for working families, was named for its “high rolling land which the Ottawa River quietly meanders” according to the clubs 1925 prospectus. Members are proud of their club. No wonder since it has hosted the Marathon Classic, formerly the Jamie Farr Classic, for 27 years and will do so again July 13-19 when professional from the Ladies Professional Golf Association come in town.

The Erie Shores Council of the Boy Scouts of America, celebrating 103 years of service to area youth, hosted its annual Scouter Recognition Dinner on June 2 at Stone Oak Country Club. In fitting with the thank-you night, a Thanksgiving-style turkey dinner was served.

The presentation of colors and prayer started the program. Ross Ellet of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, welcomed everyone. Council President Ed Frey, raved about the organization and its volunteers.

The Silver Beaver Award for council-level service was presented to Aaron Crawford and Joe Lemble of Toledo; Robert Ohler of Bellevue; William Giezie of Oak Harbor and Steve Sherman of Sylvania.

Life Time Achievement Awards were presented to Richard Ball of Toledo; Dennis Gable of Fremont; and Dick Reynolds of Sylvania for their continuous commitment to scouts and the community.

Veteran Awards for scouting service went to Dean Roberts and Dick Watkins, 70 years; and Jim Whitehead, 50 years, who also received the Torch of Gold Award, a national award for an adult leader for outstanding service to youth with disabilities. (CHECK-maybe one more name)

The District of Merit Award to registered scouts for noteworthy service to youth was presented to Commodore Perry’s Scott Doty and Aaron Wisnewski; Eagle Bay’s Mischele Fisher and Andrew Hershey; Northeast’s Alison Rogers; Scoutreach’s Glenda Bowman and Alan Mack; Swan Creek’s Mickey Avalos; and Wood’s Terry McKibben and Brian Crites.

Order of the Arrow Vigil Recipients included Doug Corey, Diane Wilkie-Smith, Donnie Snyder, Brandon Bailey, and Graham Wilson.

St. Francis de Sales High School 60 year anniversary and Fr. Olszewski being the leader of the school for 40 years was a big To Do on June 6 at the Pinnacle. Community movers and shakers joined in the celebration. A special Mass at Gesu Church was June 7 followed by a public reception at the school.

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

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