Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Barbara Hendel


Thousands spend a day in ‘India’

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  • Theresa-and-Do-Nguye

    Theresa and Do Nguyen, board member and D.O.V.E. mission trip chairman, enjoy the organization’s gala.

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    Julie Abbey, trustee and fund-raising chairman, and husband John Abbey, emcee, trustee, and clean water and maintenance chairman enjoy the evening of the D.O.V.E. dinner.

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    Festival of India event chairman Arun Agarwal and his wife Rakhi.

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    From left, Father Kent Kaufman, All Saints Roman Catholic Church, Rossford, Annat Dixit, the priest at the Hindu Temple, and Father Tim Philabaum, Zoar Lutheran Church, gather for a photo at the festival of India

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Thousands spend a day in ‘India’

THE 25th annual Festival of India was Sunday at Centennial Terrace. It was not a fund-raiser, but a friend-raiser, providing a taste of Indian culture to northwest Ohio . The scene was colorful and full of music with classical and folk dances. Many attendees wore Indian garb including the Salwar suit or a Sari (wrap-around) for women and the Kurta (shirt) Pajama for men, all in an array of flamboyant and beautiful colors accented with jewelry.

Temporary henna Indian design tattoos were applied to several hundred guests. The bazaar included Indian clothes, jewelry, music, movies, books, arts, and crafts. Event chairman Atul Agnihotri said two hours after they opened they were already running out of food and had to make more. In total they made food for 6,000, and the estimated attendance was more than 5,000 people. About 20 items typically on the Indian street food menu were offered including Pani Puri, a puffed fried crisp filled with chutney, mashed potato, and chickpeas; Gulab Jamun, deep-fried cake balls with sweet syrups; Paratha, whole-wheat unleavened flatbread fried and filled with cooked vegetables, and Samosas, triangular deep-fried turnovers filled with potatoes and vegetables. More than 230 performers ages 3 to 65-plus years old danced to more than 60 different songs. Classical Indian dances including Bharatanatyam and Mohiniyattam added pep to everyone’s step.

Popular was the performance on the “dhol.” Slung over the neck of the player and played with two wooden sticks, it is a doublesided wooden barrel drum with animal hide stretched over its open ends.

The grand finale was a musical play of a traditional Indian wedding, a ceremonial look back on the newlyweds’ life — falling in love, courtship, events leading to their wedding, and the wedding ceremony. It was done in Bollywood style, an Indian film industry term for movies typically depicting optimism and the movies are about love, drama, action, songs, and dances.

THE D.O.V.E. (Development of Vietnam Endeavors) Fund charity dinner Aug. 8 at the Pinnacle netted nearly $75,000 . Scholarship chairman Celeste Southard reported more than $20,000 was donated for the scholarship programs benefiting students from fifth grade through college. Other profits support programs in Vietnam to help those in impoverished areas via construction of schools, medical care, clean water, micro finance, and humanitarian aid .

Welcoming everyone was emcee John Abbey, a Vietnam veteran and D.O.V.E. trustee. He compared Toledo area’s recent water ordeal to that of Vietnam people regarding water safety issues. His wife, Julie Oswald Abbey, auction chairman, was assisted by Jill Grimm, Sharon Trabbic, and Tim Kearney. John Craven, board chairman, talked about a project to provide small mobility carts to the disabled in Vietnam.

The invocation was by Clint Longennecker, who engaged everyone in sharing for what they are thankful. Dinner was followed by a lively auction conducted by Jerry Anderson of WTOL-TV, Channel 11, and the station’s former anchor, Chrys Peterson.

Among the supporters were Tim and Patricia Kearney, Dave and Susan Langendorfer, Marian Grems, Joe and Bonnie Coyle, Greg and Raynell Fish, Chuck and Deb Oswald, and Tom and Renee Treece. THE 31st annual Northwest Ohio Taylor KIA Toledo Rib-Off, presented by The Blade Aug. 7-10, whet folks’ appetites for more ribs at local establishments and fresh corn from area farms .

Here are a few statistics from event chairman Mike Mori of The Blade, who was assisted by about 125 Blade employees and volunteers each night: Over the weekend, sold were 24,720 bottles of pop and/water; 7,652 racks of ribs; more than 4,756 cans of beer; more than 223 kegs of beer, and more than 2,300 ears of corn .

Contact Blade Society Writer Barbara Hendel at 419-724-6124 or at

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