Memorial Day was a day to honor and remember those who fought for our freedoms, and it is a day to appreciate those freedoms by gathering with family and friends.
Toledo Country Club hosted its annual picnic and fireworks party that included games for children. Stone Oak Country Club had a barbeque and the grand opening of the pool which welcomed 1,000 people over the weekend. Carranor Hunt and Polo Club hosted its annual Field Day of lawn games on Memorial Day after the Perrysburg parade, followed by a family picnic, an annual reunion for many who came home from out of town for the occasion. Family clans included Secors, Stranahans, Fosters, and many others.
Memorial Day weekend is also the kickoff to boating season with the Opening of the Port weekend of festivities for members of the Associated Yacht Clubs which include clubs in Ohio, Michigan, and Canada.
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The four host clubs include Maumee River Yacht Club and Toledo Sailing Club which are next to each other behind Walbridge Park along the Maumee River, and up river Bay View Yacht Club and Toledo Yacht Club which are next to each other on Summit Street in Bay View Park at the mouth of the Maumee River.
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The clubs alternate years as hosts. This year the event was at BVYC and TYC and included cookouts with dancing, a Commodore's Champagne Brunch, and a Memorial Day service. But the big deal was the official Opening of the Port Ceremony with commodores in dress whites all lined up with boats in the background. The Canadian and USA national anthems were sung by Hayley Simmons, the flags were raised, and a wonderful benediction was given by John Sokol that brought tears to the eyes as he talked about those who fought for our freedoms and for the land, water, and air. After fresh cut flowers were tossed into the water for the Blessing of the Fleet, there was a boat parade up-river to the Anthony Wayne Bridge on the beautiful sunny day.
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NATIONAL Safe Boating Week was kicked off May 17 by the Toledo Sail & Power Squadron members aboard the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. It was also a celebration of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft's "Ready, Set, Wear It!" campaign which reminds everyone aboard to wear their life jackets. The Squadron offers boating classes and does vessel safety checks. They want people to enjoy the water, but stay safe.
e_SDLqHealing Lake Erie: Bring Back the Blue" on May 2 kicked off the Progressive Catawba Island Boat Show at the Catawba Island Club. Attendees were folks who are serious about saving our waters. They call themselves the Lake Erie Improvement Association (LEIA), founded two years ago for economic sustainability of healthy waters and fish. The organization's immediate mission is to end the algae problems that plague Lake Erie. Jim Stouffer, chairman of Catawba Island Club is the LEIA president. For information go to lakeerieimporvement.org.
THE next big boating deal is the Mills Invitational Trophy Race slated for June 6 and hosted by Toledo Yacht Club. The destination of the night sailing race is Put-in-Bay. And the next big patriotic event is The 4th of July where many boaters will be on the Maumee River in downtown Toledo for The Blade's Red, White, KABOOM, presented by Taylor Automotive Group and Humana. The free event includes music and a fireworks show by Pyrotecnico with synchronized music on WXKR 94.5. radio.
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ELEGANT was the 49th annual Debutante Cotillion presented by the Toledo Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Club's Inc. on May 24 at Stranahan Great Hall. Young ladies, after a year of training, were presented to society clothed with "the finer thoughts of living and endowed with a complete sense of responsibility."
The show stopper of the night was the grand waltz to Fascination which always demands an encore performance. The Debs, in full-skirted long white gowns and long white gloves and the escorts, in white tails, shoes, and gloves showed off their poise as proud parents and families gazed with admiration.
Before the dance, each Deb, on the arm of dapper fathers and father figures in black tail's, are presented to society. Red flowers tied with yellow ribbons, the NANBPWC's colors, are exchanged for a string of of pearls, fastened by elegant Debs-in-waiting, in red gowns. It is truly a ritual sight to see.
Miss Debutante is Carla Cunningham, Toledo Early College High School (UT). Anthony Stuffolino was named Mr. Escort. Miss Congeniality is Chayna Brunner, Whitmer High School. First Place Talent went to Brianna Stewart, Toledo Christian.
Special guest was Barbara Tucker, North Central District Advisor. Emcee was Rhonda Sewell, of The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.
Cotillion committee chairman Wilma Brown was assisted by co-chairman Karen Jarrett, president Denise Black Poon, and many others including Bill Miller and Jackie Black, who once again did an outstanding job as dance instructors and choreographers.