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Published: 10/11/2006

7 to be inducted into Hall of Fame

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Two athletes, two businessmen, two distinguished citizens, and one athlete-businessman will be inducted into the Birmingham Hall of Fame on Saturday during the 30th annual inductee and scholarship banquet.

The nonprofit association publicly honors those who attended one of the schools in the historic Hungarian community and contributed to civic life, athletics, or business, among other categories, said Robert Toth, one of 12 board members.

More than 350 people have been inducted since the first awards banquet in 1977. Their photos are on display in the basement of St. Stephen's Church.

This year's event will be held at St. Stephen's School Hall, 2018 Consaul St. in East Toledo. A social hour is to begin at 4:30 p.m. with dinner following at 6 p.m.

Tickets, costing $20, can be purchased for the event by calling Buffy Barciz at 419-691-6484.

This year's inductees are:

•John Brezvai, Sr., sports. As an athlete, Mr. Brezvai was a member of the original Polish-Hungarian golf team.

He also was a part of the St. Stephen's CYO basketball team that brought the first state CYO cage title to Toledo in 1959.

As a coach, Mr. Brezvai led both the boys' and girls' CYO basketball teams and was assistant coach of the boys' and girls' softball teams and the boys' soccer team.

The Hudson, Mich., resident retired in 2001 after working at Owens-Illinois and Sun Chemical for 30 years.

•Brian Fodor, sports. Mr. Fodor followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in bowling.

He has bowled two perfect games, one 299 game, and more than 30 700-series, and has a high average of more than 200.

The Toledo resident is employed by the city as a supervisor in the division of fleet operations.

•Mary Ellen Poturalski, business. Ms. Poturalski of Toledo worked at Owens Corning for 21 years.

She retired in 2005 after 14 years with River East Economic Revitalization Corp.

She now serves on Toledo's cemetery commission, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Government's transportation council, and the Maumee River Crossing task force.

Past services include Toledo's neighborhood economic development loan and facade committee, coordinator for River East Associates, and a board member and associate director for River East.

She also served on the TMACOG 2025 transportation planning committee.

•Matthew Szollosi, distinguished citizen. Mr. Szollosi is an Oregon city councilman who has been elected to four two-year terms beginning in 1999.

As a councilman, he is chairman of the city's economic development and planning committee, sits on the board of directors for Lucas County Children Services, is a trustee for the city's senior center, and is a member of Ohio's Coastal Resources Advisory Council.

Mr. Szollosi was all-Great Lakes League at Clay High School in baseball in 1990 and 1991.

In addition, he was an assistant coach for the American Legion's Dunberger Post baseball team.

•Louis Takacs, business. Mr. Takacs and his wife, Nancy, own Takacs Grocery & Meats, a market specializing in ethnic Hungarian foods.

He is well-known for his catering of Hungarian cuisine in East Toledo.

He is involved in nearly every function concerning the Birmingham neighborhood, including the Birmingham Hall of Fame, where he has catered the annual inductee and scholarship dinner.

Mr. Takacs of Oregon is a sponsor of the scholarship golf outing both monetarily and through his food service.

•Cherlynn Toadvin-Webb, distinguished citizen. Ms. Toadvin-Webb of Oregon is the choir director at Inspirational Baptist Church of Toledo.

She is a human resources manager at Harbor Capital Advisors Inc., where she has been employed 28 years.

While at Waite High School, she competed on the girls' track team.

She was a member of the Afro-American Club, student council director of organization, and was voted Afro-American queen.

•Richard Zak, sports and business. Mr. Zak of Oregon was an established bowler in several leagues and carried a high average.

He would often make adjustments to his bowling balls, leading him to open two bowling shops that are known as Rick's Pro Shop.

He had two locations - the first in the Toledo Sports Center and the second at Southwyck Lanes. He operated them for 30 years.

In addition, he played CYO basketball for St. Stephen's. When in high school, his team won the Ohio Youth Organization state basketball championship, led by Mr. Zak's 20 points.

In addition to inducting members into its hall of fame, the association since 1990 has awarded $1,000 scholarships to youths for two and four-year educational institutions.

Relatives of hall of fame members are given preference, but when no one qualifies for that category, the association considers children who have gone to school in the neighborhood.

To date, the organization has given about $71,000 in scholarships, said Raymond Zak, president of the Birmingham Hall of Fame and brother of Richard Zak.

"Individuals from the neighborhood write checks [for scholarships] because they remember what that neighborhood meant to them and how everyone gave and helped each other," he said. "It's just an unbelievable thing."

Scholarships will be awarded this year to Joshua Alfaro, Alexandria Cantrell, Nichole Dumas, Nicolette Hicks, Matthew Toth, Rikki Toth, and Katelyn Zak.



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