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Ball gowns and tuxedos with masks, suits and cocktail dresses, and costumes made for glamorous affairs over the weekend.
FROM THE mysterious masked guests to the scrumptious Italian feast to the opera stars who beguiled everyone with their voices, the Toledo Opera s Sapphire Ball Un Ballo in Maschera: A Masked Ball presented by ProMedica Health System, Dana Holding Company, and National City withToledo Edison and others, Saturday night in the Dana s Dorr Street Campus was molto bene.
The event put many guests in the opera frame of mind to ensure they have their tickets for performances of Rigoletto on Saturday at 7:30; Nov. 14 at 7:30, and Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.
And of course, there were plenty of big-ticket packages on the live-auction block to tempt everyone. It was all in an elegant and stately setting accented with candlelight, masks, and bouquets of rich colored roses and lilies fit for a Dutch masters painting.
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The menu was delish from the antipasto to the grilled tiger shrimp and crostini to the potato gnocchi to lamb and tiramisu. The auction included something for everyone, from the nine Pete Beckmann paintings from the Dana collection, to several gourmet dinners in one s home, vacation and sports packages, to a fur coat, and more. Event chairmen Marianne Ballas and Rita Mansour, in their lovely gowns, held court. Honorary chairmen Barbara Steele and Jim Murray, greeted everyone.
Among the nearly 20 committee members were Barbara Baker, Tom Brooks, Elizabeth Foley, Dennis Hicks, and Ann Sanford. Jenelle Buschur, mask chairman, did a superb job in collecting a variety of creative pieces that were auctioned off in advance, on line and from the office. While there were several levels of patrons from $250 per person to $500 per person n everyone was treated like royalty.
The Toledo Jazz Orchestra played for dancing.
Peeking from behind their masks were Brian and Beth Bucher, John and Elizabeth Gorski, Patrice and Lyman Spitzer, Debbie and Terry Paul, Sara Jane and Bill DeHoff, Margy and Scott Trumbull, Becky Fuhrman and Don Leary, Scott Baker, Lloyd and Ola Jacobs, Breen and Tara Lyden, Marcy and Brian McMahon, Pam and Gene McMillin, Bill and Marlene Garbe, Lovi and Dick Aldinger, Barbara and John Burson, and Jan Skunda and her husband, Chuck Krueger, who marked his Halloween birthday that night. Among the Dana bigwigs there were John Devine, and Bob Machin, with his wife, Ellen. Toledo Opera Director Renay Conlin, there with her main maestro, Tom, estimates the net at $100,000.
Junior League ladies
THE JUNIOR League of Toledo s 75th Anniversary: A Diamond Celebration was Saturday at The Valentine Theatre. The elegant evening was appropriately held in the Grand Lobby. Guests members and spouses who paid $175 per person lingered over cocktails and canapes, thensat for a delightful dinner at linen-covered tables lavishly set with crystal, silver, and china, all accented with flowers and candelabras.
The five-course gourmet dinner was one to savor: smoked white fish with caviar; lobster with date compote; baby spinach salad with figs, pecans, and more; mesquite-grilled Angus filets with artichokes and shrimp, and sauterne cake with strawberries and olive oil ice cream and basil, all paired with wines to match. Adding just the right background touch was the Bob Rex Jazz Trio.
The crowd was black-tie and diamonds, and the event chairmen, a mother-daughter team, rose to the occasion. Nancy Metzger was ravishing in a long red gown, and her daughter Lisa Silverman, was pure elegance in a black off-the-shoulder gown.
Margot Estes, president, talked about the league s future. Sustainer rep Fredi Heywood talked about the league s history. The local chapter, The Junior League of Toledo Inc. was founded in 1929 as a Junior Service Club and was incorporated on Nov. 1, in 1933 . The organization s purpose is exclusively educational and charitable, promoting effective volunteerism of women for community support.
Fourteen local women, many from the area s founding families, including Paula Secor, Annette Haigh, Hildea Bentley, Virginia Stranahan, Betty DeVilbiss, Madeline Waite, Margaret McKelvey, and Josephine Blair, were the first trustees. The first president, Margaret Walbridge.
The local league has endless area projects, from the Toledo Museum of Art s Docent Program to the Aurora House, and has given to endless nonprofit sas well, including COSI. They are most remembered for fundraising through the old Town Hall Lecture series and Toledo After Hours events.
Among the 90 members and spouses who all forgot about fund-rasing for one night since fun was the only thing they were raising that night were Bridget and Clayton Holt, Martha and Don Mewhort, Suzi and Tedd Hahn, Candy and Jim Millon, Mariann and David Austin, Jan Baker, Sue and Jim White, Sandra Chestnut, Nat Louviaux, Brenda and Doug Haag, Nancy and Dan Lehman, Lillian and Michael Walsh, Sandy Alexander, Mary Galvin, Lois and Walt Churchill, Becca and Peter Gorman, Alice Momenee, Barbara and Mark Metusalem, and Bob and Mary Westphal.
While this was a grand celebration, the membership kicked off the festivities during the September general membership meeting at the Toledo- Lucas County Public Library downtown, where there was an exhibit Women Volunteers at Work: 75 years of commitment.
THE FLOWER Hospital Auxiliary and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral presented Pillars of Hope on Saturday at the cathedral s community center.
And everyone was Greek for the night, said Bonnie Sloan, auxiliary president.
The place was low on decor budget, leaving more for the cause, but it was still a warm and inviting atmosphere with ferns, Greek columns, gold stars in towering glass vases, imitation torches, and more. The internationally known Holy Trinity Hellenic Dance Company added the finishing touch. The food was something to brag about too: It was even tastier that it looked.
The hors d oeuvres spinach pies, grape leaves and more were homemade by auxiliary and church members, and the dinner beef tenderloin, salmon, or chicken was made by Georgio s. A silent auction, from entertainment and vacation packages to a tool chest that caught the attention of many of the men, fueled bidding wars.
Emcee Jerry Biernacki, cathedral president, kept the evening on target. Jim Findley, in a tux, stopped by to introduce a few who were involved with the evening then dashed off to another event a few blocks away. Kathy Carlson of Flower Hospital and event chairman Mary Ann Dionyssiou gave a heartfelt thank you.
The grand finale was the inspirational speech by cancer survivor Linette Guilford.
Nearly 100 supporters paid $100 per person to attend the black-tie-optional, cocktail attire affair.
The totals are not in yet, however, Mrs. Sloan estimated a $10,000 minimum net in honor of the Hickman Cancer Center at Flower Hospital, the Ebeid Hospice Center, and the Karamanos cancer center in Detroit, which is affi liated with the hospital for research and more advanced cancer cases.
Ski or treat MEMBERS OF the Toledo Ski Club gathered on Halloween night at Laurel Hills Swim and Tennis Club for a spooktacular good time as Jamie Medley spun tunes that lured everyone to dance.
Jim Pope dressed up as Republican presidential nominee John McCain and Sally Coulter went as Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Among the 60 fun-lovers: Britni Dumas as Cleopatra; Jeff Stober as Count Dracula with Sandy Woodford as Bloody Mary; Sheri Luedtke was Miss Piggy and Dick Luedtke was Elvis; Ed Brown went as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Kathy Brown as Dog s wife; and Kristen Emty was Helio Castroneves and Lisa McClain, Jessica Simpson. The party was hosted by Tricia Fee-Maindardt and Lisa Lutman.
Cooking for dimes
THE MARCH of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction on Oct. 27 at the Hilton Garden Inn at Levis Commons in Perrysburg was short and defi nitely sweet in taste and in outcome. The 3 hour event netted $81,000 to help reduce the rate of premature births, birth defects, and other threats to babies health.
Aromas started mouths to water as 20 of our area s leading chefs presented their finest cuisines from elk to scallops, sushi, and more, along with vintage wines and beers. Richard Grimm of Toledo Country Club was the lead chef and Kirk Dixon of the Hilton Garden Inn was the host chef.
A baker s dozen of wine and beer vendors supplied just the right touch to match the chefs delights.
Silent and live-auction packages were part of the fun. But first, pulling at the heart strings of the 450 there, were Mark and Denise Greenblatt, this year s ambassador family. They shared
their story of the loss of their first child, Jonah. Then their second child, Cayden, was born premature with a birth defect.
That made auctioneer Pam Rose s job a piece of cake. Jennifer Roe bought the Hawaii trip, Jon and Lisa Hawker bought dinner for eight at the Toledo Country Club, John Elliot bought the in-home casino party, and Dick and Alix Greenblatt bought the PF Chang package.
Keeping everything on time was emcee Susan Ross Wells of WTVG-TV, Channel 13. Special
guest was honorary chair Dr. John Schaeufele, president and CEO of St. Vincent Mercy Children s Hospital.
Event chairman Jennifer Skeldon was all smiles over the success, as was Mrs. Hawker, northwest Ohio board chairman.
IF YOU are hosting an election party tomorrow, let me know. Barbara Hendel is The Blade s society editor.