Introducing the Zest of Toledo

  • SOC-zest21p-2

    Dean Kasperzak, left, Marla Schecht, and Gus Mancy at the Zest of Toledo kickoff at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
    Buy This Image

  • THE Taste of the Nation in Toledo has a new name: The Zest of Toledo. It was officially announced during the ticket launch party at the Heights of the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel. By breaking away from the nationwide event, all proceeds remain in the local community.

    The mission of Zest is to host an annual culinary event combined with wines, music, and art to benefit people in need of food, shelter, and education. This years grant recipients are Aurora Project, Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank, Toledo GROWS, and Toledo Day Nursery.

    The event chairmen remain the same: Gus Mancy, Moussa Salloukh, Marla Schecht and Terri Thompson, along with the steering committee Labib Hajjar and Dean Kasperzak.

    The black-tie affair will be April 29 in the ballroom of the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel. The event will feature music by local band the Bridges, an art raffle, and an online art auction of works by local artists. Contact Lynn Weiner at lfw2@bex.net.

    The 700 attendees will include individual ticket holders, sponsors, volunteers, and the committees.

    Only 250 individual tickets at $175 each will be sold. On April 1, the price will rise to $225. For tickets go to facebook.com/events/1575062462575258/ or to zestoledo.ticket.qtego.net. Or email Marla Schecht (marlaschecht@bex.net) or Shannan Hoelle (shannanhoelle@gmail.com).

    Sponsors already on board are Rose Mock, Mock Law, ESD, ITI, Inc., Kingston, NuCentury, Kwest, ProMedica, Dean Kasperzak, The Blade, WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and Jon Frankel Dentistry. A sponsors party on the event's eve will include swag bags worth more than $150. For corporate sponsorships contact Terri.Thompson@promedica.org or call 567-585-0910.

    Among the guests at the launch party with tasty appetizers and spirits provided by the Renaissance were Kathy Rennels, Sue Hague-Rogers, Kylie Stokes, Claudia Vercellotti, Brian Lauber, Ali McMaster, Lynn Weiner, and Maggie O’Connell.

    THE seventh annual Sexy Body, Sexy Food, Sexy Lifestyle cocktail dinner celebration presented by Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar and Grill and Serenity Health and Wellness Center was a fun time for the 300 some patrons. People of all ages came on one or both of the nights where the event was held at Spicy Tuna on Airport Highway.

    Live music donated by Ryan Roth and Chris Knopp set the lively pace as guests tasted wines courtesy of Wine Trends, feast on delicious sushi and Asian cuisine, and enjoyed complimentary chair massages courtesy of Serenity.

    Among the notables seen were Michele Free, chiropractor Tom Baur, Greg Lamb, Sandra Seiple, Bobby Parker, Jonathan Schordt, Paula Birney, Clayton Birney, dentist Larry Schmakel, Tom Friedel, and Amy Friedel.

    Hosts Deitra and John Hickey, Serenity owners, and Derek Stalder and Richard Smith, Spicy Tuna owners, report more than $5,000 raised for Ruthie's Angels for individuals who need physical, mental, or emotional health care and who who have a financial challenge. Tanya Glick and Dave Carr, Ruthie's Angels board members, were all smiles.

    Sponsors were Arista Home Care Solutions, Shordt's Lawn & Landscape, Padgett Business Services, Sandman, Schmakel Smile Design, New Life Spine Center, and Heidelberg Distributing Co.

    PINK ICE was what The Toledo Walleye played on to raise money and promote breast cancer awareness. The two-game ‘Pink out the Rink’ weekend was presented by Hondros College of Nursing at the Huntington Center.

    Fans who were there first received free pink pom-poms. Jersey raffles were held both nights and there were free postgame party with the players.

    Barbara Hendel is The Blade's society editor. Contact her at bhendel@theblade.com or call 419-724-6124.