Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
One of America's Great Newspapers ~ Toledo, Ohio

Barbara Hendel


Toledoans gather for fun, fund-raising

FinnFest fund-raiser at Handmade Toledo raised $50,000

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    Jason Indigo Bhakti Finn and Jeni Belt at FinnFest, a formal fund-raiser to benefit Finn, who was seriously injured while on vacation.


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    From left are Erin Garber-Pearson, Erik Bank, and Jason ‘JV’ Werner at FinnFest.


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    Cheri Budzynski, left, and Baker O’Brien, made glass pieces for the auction at FinnFest.


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    Mary and Marty Werner at the Finnfest.


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    Sarah Skow and Gretchen DeBacker at the Finnfest.


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    Cathy Fifer, president of the Toledo Symphony League, welcomes guests to her Salisbury Road home for the Grape Expectations fund-raiser.


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    Rusty Phlegar left, and Beth Bowman, vice-presidents of education for the Toledo Symphony League, chat during Grape Expectations.


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    A fruit bowl at the Grape Expectations fund-raiser.


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    Kevin Fifer the winemaster, shows off his craft of winemaking during the Grape Expectations fund-raiser and wine tasting.


■ THE FinnFest fund-raiser for Jason Indigo Bhakti Finn raised $50,000. The event, held at Handmade Toledo on Adams Street, will help offset costs of Mr. Finn's therapy for a spinal cord injury that left him a quadriplegic. His injury occurred when he and Jeni Belt were on a Puerto Rico vacation and Mr. Finn, 47, was water boarding. It changed their lives forever, but both are optimistic for some recovery. Mr. Finn goes to Walk The Line to Spinal Cord Injury Recovery, in Southfield, Mich. His treatment is not covered by insurance. Home therapy equipment and home alterations also are needed to accommodate Mr. Finn.

Back at the party, Quick Trio played as friends quenched thirsts and sated appetites from Maumee Bay Brewing Co., Cynthia's Catering, Pam's Corner, Manos Greek Restaurant, Treo Restaurant, Ye Olde Durty Bird, Greg's Grill, and All Crumbs Artisan Bakery. An auction and raffles were also part of the fun. For information, visit HelpHOPELive or call 419-351-2111.

■ GRAPE Expectations, a Toledo Symphony League Party of Note fund-raiser at the home of Kevin and Cathy Fifer, was a great way to kick off the league’s 65th year of service on a “positive and fun note,” League President Mrs. Fifer said.

The league provides financial, educational, and volunteer support to the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra.

More than 30 league members and guests sipped wine and nibbled on salmon, veggies, cheeses, fruits carved in the shapes of musical notes, and desserts. Parting gifts were bottles of homemade wine. The event raised $1,000.

Seen were Barbara Brown, Beth Bowman, Rusty Phlegar, Deborah Born and Jonathan Orser, Pam Pilz, Kim Danes, Ann and Don Lieder, Claudia Trombla, Cindy Champer, Kathy Scheer, Sue Potts, Jane Wurth, Mary Beaber, Barbara Bettinger, Susan Lang, Patricia Donahue, Kris and Ray Young, Margaret Doresco, Debbie Andriette, Ruth Alteneder, Phyllis Wadley, and Lynda Fox Lieto.

The League’s ‘Alive at 65 — Celebrity Wait Night’ is Sept. 26 at Belmont Country Club.

■ ANN Sanford, with assistance from Tom and Kathy Reed, hosted a Chaine des Rotisseurs — wine and food society — gathering in her home. A cheeses-around-the-world tasting with top-notch wines was followed by a Pique-Nique. It was a chance for prospective members to learn about the organization. The black-tie Chaine des Rotisseurs member induction ceremony and dinner is slated for Saturday at the Final Cut private dining room at Hollywood Casino Toledo.

Among the fund-raisers this weekend are:

■ THE XXIX Party in the Parking Lot at the Toledo Club from 5 p. m. to midnight Friday. Tickets are $20 at the door or $15 in advance. Call 419-243-2200 or 419-381-8851.

■ THE 10th annual Wine Tasting for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at 7 p. m. Saturday at Degage Jazz Cafe. The suggested donation is $50. Call 419-944-8021 or go to Sal'

■ DEALIN' for Dogs presented by Assistance Dogs for Achieving Independence and the Ability Center is from 7 p. m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Owens Community College, Student Health and Activities Center. Tickets are $60 in advance and $70 at the door for adults 21 and older. Go to, or call 419-885-5733.

■ PROM Possible! for Maumee High School students only, is from 2 p. m. to 6 p. m. Saturday at Maumee High School. Dresses are $10 each. Men's ties are $2, and accessories are $3 each. A student school ID is needed and all purchases are cash only.

Contact Barbara Hendel at:, 419-724-6124.

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