Greg and Christina Kasper during ZEST at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
ZEST of Toledo presented by ProMedica at the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel raised $100,000.
The inaugural black tie affair replaces the Taste of the Nation Toledo event for the hungry. All the money raised goes to provide food, shelter, and education resources for local charities, according to event chairmen Gus Mancy, Moussa Salloukh, Marla Schecht, and Terri Thompson and the steering committee, Labib Hajjar and Dean Kasperzak.
And this time, in addition to a showcase of local talented chefs, restaurants, breweries, and fine wines, local artists have been added.
The grant recipients are Aurora Project, Toledo Day Nursery, Toledo GROWs, and Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank.
Orange, yellow, and white accented the room of black-linen-covered tables as the Bridge Band played tunes.
Honorary chairmen — community visionary Randy Oostra, president and CEO of ProMedica; Diane Larson of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and Kathy Rennels of Kathy Rennels Design — were thanked.
The 30 restaurants and food vendors offered lamb chops, lettuce wraps, meatloaf sliders, beet hummus, seafood, homemade ice cream, and more. Upscale spirits were popular, too. Be sure to look online for a list of them all, as they donated everything. There were no extras such as a giant tent, meaning more profit for the cause.
An online auction included art, wines, dinners, jewelry, and more. A raffle was for local artists’ creations.
PhotoBoothLive caught the fun. And what a sight! The nearly 800 party-goers were dressed in tuxedos, suits, long form-fitted gowns, short dresses, and more.
Seen were Dr. Tom and Denise Colturi, Jim and Barb Yavorcik, Mindy Romanoff, Patrice Spitzer, Mike Mikkonen and Magistrate Nancy Miller, Susan and David Strup, Hal and Melissa Munger, Jr., Lois Whiteman, Deb Deiger, Donna Lewandowski, Dan and Becky Bollin, Rose Mock and Bob Spain, and Joe and Lizzie Marck, who are expecting their first child in June.
Sponsors included Heidelberg Distributing Inc., the Renaissance, The Blade, WTVG-TV, Channel 13, and others.
THE Toledo Chapter of Jack and Jill of America’s 65th anniversary Sapphire Gala was an elegant formal affair in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion with ladies in sparkly blue gowns and men in tuxedos and suits. Founded in 1938, Jack and Jill of America is the oldest and largest African-American family organization in the country, shaping youth into leaders through volunteer service and philanthropic giving. The local chapter was started in 1952 by 16 mothers.
Welcoming everyone was chapter president Asha Barnes. Brian Kennedy of TMA and Barb Petee of ProMedica praised the organization for its accomplishments.
In honor of the milestone anniversary, a collaborative mural by the children from Jack and Jill, Boys and Girls Club of Toledo, and Wayman Palmer YMCA was created during the museum’s Art After School program and unveiled at the gala. Also, a video of the Jack and Jill children showcased their acts of kindness throughout the year in honor of the anniversary.
Kudos to event chairmen Kelli Winston and Dee Dolsey and their committee! The about $10,000 raised benefits the Wayman Palmer YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo. Sponsors included the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Buckeye Broadband, and First Federal Bank, Huntington, and others.
The evening ended with dancing to the tunes of It’s Essential.
Enjoying the evening were many of the members including Angelita Cruz Bridges, Ebonie Jackson, NaTasha Baker, Candice Harrison, Sheila Eason, Jovita Robertson, Yvette Perry, and Rhonda Sewell.
ITZA Cabaret presented by the Makulinski Family Foundation to benefit the Rotary Club of Toledo’s foundation raised more than $85,000.
The event at Parkway Place in Maumee included a social hour, silent auction, and elegant dinner starting with an invocation by Mike George.
President Sharon Skilliter welcomed everyone. The Toledo Rotary started in May, 1918, when World War I had just ended and the jazz and flapper era had begun, hence the cabaret theme.
Recognized was honorary chairmen Mark Makulinski, there with his wife Rose. He came back from Greenville, S.C., for the occasion. Mr. Makulinski, former owner of Lockery Manufacturing, Inc., in Toledo, lives the Rotarian life of goodwill and peace, giving to others, locally and internationally. He is the president of the Traveler’s Rest rotary chapter in Greenville, S.C.
Rotarian Jeff Keim led the live auction, which raised more than $40,000.
Then cabaret performers from Paulette’s Dance Studio whirled and swirled on stage. The final act included brave male Rotarians. Spotted in the audience were Louise Jackson, foundation board chairman; Sue Martin, the club’s first female president; event chairman Travis Tangeman and vice chairman Scot Henshaw and their committee of nearly 20, including Gary Murphy, Jane Marie Rahe, Alex Due, and many others.
Casino games, scotch, whiskey, and fine wines in the Cabaret Lucky 13 Lounge ended the evening.
Sponsors included YarkAuto.com, 2 Scale, Buckeye Broadband, The Blade, Markey’s Rental & Staging, Telesystem, Thread Marketing Group, Lamar Advertising Co., Impact Employment/V&A/Prime Consulting, and many more.
Barbara Hendel is The Blade's Society Editor. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-724-6124.
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