Tonight promises to be an artistic evening for Toledo


It's another happening Thursday evening here in Toledo, especially for the creative types, the wannabes, and aficionados. The Toledo Area Artists' Exhibition reception and awards ceremony is at 6:30 tonight at the Toledo Museum of Art. Meanwhile, the Salon des Refuses show is across the street at the Parkwood Gallery building. And not too far from there is Prizm's artist reception from 5:30-7 at the Main Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library downtown.

MEMORIAL DAY is just around the corner, but first comes the fourth annual Crosby Award Luncheon honoring Margy Trumbull and Marie Vogt on May 23 at Toledo Botanical Garden under a giant tent. Those in the know wear hats to the ladies' luncheon. For tickets, call 419-936-3893. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit a new children's garden at TBG.

In the meantime, there was plenty cooking around town last Saturday.

GO ahead, "Blame the Champagne." That was the name of the fund-raiser to benefit the Toledo Opera Association. The high-octane event, now in its sixth year, was held in the showroom of Ballas Buick/GMC.

Walt Churchill revved up the group when he served six different champagnes for tasting, all donated by Walt Churchill's Market.

Fuel for the fun was by Fifi's restaurant, which offered fancy canapes, gourmet ravioli, and more, plus sinfully delicious chocolate truffles and strawberries.

Nearly everyone was on the dance floor, including the volunteer bartenders, who snuck in a whirl or two as they joked, "open bar!"

Among the lively group of 150 were Marianne Ballas, Wayne North, Barbara Baker, Ed Shinaver, Dan and Jane DiSalle, Angelo Gangas, Cookie Westmeyer, Dick Flock, Marina and Bruce Lung, Ken Fallows, Sandra Seiple, Karen and Ralph DeNune, Dave Bingham, Frank and Lynn Jacobs, Rita Mansour, Phil Schmidt, Scott Baker, Lynn Beverage, Tom and Jan Gagnet, Gerald Linares, Ann Sanford, and Rich and Janet Schroeder.

Ed Hoffman, event chairman, was assisted by a host of folks, including Traci Schwann, auction chairman, there with her husband, Tom.

The auction was a shoppers' delight with all kinds of great items, many gathered by Richard and Shirley Joseph, who were also there. Patrice and Lyman Spitzer donated a Maumee River dinner cruise, which caused a bidding war, so they donated another package.

The event raised about $25,000.

IT was a feast for the senses Saturday night during the Masterworks Chorale's last concert of its 35th season, which included performances by the Ballet Theatre of Toledo. The silent auction in the lobby featured works by area artists.

Sue Moesser and Susie Shew headed up the event, which was attended by 387 guests and raised $1,475.

DINING and shopping along with live entertainment was not what drew 2,000 people to the Town Center at Levis Commons May 12. It was the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a 3.1-mile noncompetitive walk through the center. The first-time event doubled its anticipated goal by raising $62,000.

AND they were off! An eclectic group of public-spirited citizens burned rubber for the Amazing Race for Literacy, a scavenger hunt and road rally fund-raiser for Read For Literacy.

The 16 teams, including six labor unions, a group of nuns, a school group, and teams of board members and tutors, met at the Main Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library for their packets full of clues to their destination.

Maj. John Tharp of the Lucas County sheriff's department reminded everyone to obey traffic laws and drive safely.

A "lifeline" phone number was provided for those who couldn't figure out what the final destination was, but teams were docked for using it.

Teams vied for answers to clues while tempting competitors in the wrong direction.

The final clue was at Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, where team members had to engage in a game of Twister before receiving a hot dog bun that held the answer: The party was at Packo's at the Park.

On the winning team were Bill and Susan Booth and their son, Turner, and two of his friends, Sam Fixler, of Waterville, and Peter Funk, of Maumee.

Event chair Marilyn Widman was assisted by committee members who included Major Tharp, Daniel Smith, Mary Jane Erard, Becky Breier, James Allen, Pat Lora, Gary McBride, and George Tucker. The event netted $7,510.