Ushering in summer with fun and fashion

Image result for Ushering in summer with fun and fashionHAPPY Memorial Day! Enjoy this family weekend and be sure to thank our veterans. It is also the unofficial kickoff of the warm weather season of outdoor activities. Leading up to the big holiday were fashion shows for summer wear, fishing enthusiasts getting ready for the season, and gatherings for fun and fund-raising.

THE Met Gala, an annual fund-raiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City, had celebrities sporting Versace, Gucci, Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and more, but fashion and philanthropy enticed community leaders in Toledo to strut the runways:

■ The Toledo Opera Guild presented its annual Phashion of the Opera, this year themed “Strike a Pose: Empowering Women,” at the Toledo Club. Models in fashions provided by Elegant Rags, Ragazza, Sophia Lustig, and Vivian Kate circulated on platforms for guests to get a close-up view as they dined at tables centered with Keith Brooks designs.

Bravo to event chairmen Pam Bettinger, Shelli Jacobs, and Elaina Kfouf!

Thanks go to choreography by Studio K and makeup by Let’s Makeup with Carl William Graf III and Beauty By Billie Jo.

$13,000 was raised.

Sponsors included Megan Kabour, Wendy Greeley, Cristina Salgau, Stacy Bowen, Jennifer Poirier, Marianne Ballas, Sandra Seiple, Savannah Hineline via Thomas Knier, Tracy Boice, and others.

■ Scintilla presented by the Garden Club Forum of the Toledo District at the Premier had a “Spring in the Metroparks” theme. Models in togs from Ragazza and Bowinkles strutted the runway. That was after a tasty lunch and time for shopping the silent auction and raffle baskets coordinated by Clare Gorski.

Greeting everyone was president Mona Mackey. Blooms of thanks go to event chairmen Sara Moomaw and Jeanette Fairman. In addition to fun and a gathering of area garden clubs, $3,400 was raised.

The club’s next event, which is free and open to the public, is the Magic in the Garden flower show at Toledo Botanical Garden during the Crosby Festival of the Arts from June 22 to 24.

■ Summit Salon Academy in Perrysburg hosted an Autism Awareness fashion show. The $1,200 raised in two hours was donated to the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio.

■ Not a fund-raiser, but a lot of fun was Interwoven Musings, the Toledo School for the Arts fashion show presented at the Ohio Theatre. It was a showcase of student-created fashion and costume design featuring creations by five seniors — Ren Cottrell, Diamond Richardson, Jasmine Enstad, Maya Ruswinkle, and Drew Young — in addition to younger students.

■ Fashionable was the Royal Wedding High Tea presented by Clara J’s at 219 tea room in Maumee on the day of the big royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Ladies in their finest hats and wedding attire sipped Harney and Sons Royal Wedding Tea as they nibbled on traditional scones, savory tea sandwiches, and sweets.

THE NORTH Branch Boys annual banquet at Carranor Hunt and Polo Club raised $8,000. The club promotes fly fishing education and camaraderie and supports conservation organizations that promote the preservation and improvement of Ohio and Michigan streams, said George Fell, outgoing president.

Emcee Don Leary, co-chairman with Keith Burwell, proudly announced the banquet attendance this year was 116 people, the highest ever for the club. The two men who have led the banquet for four consecutive years are retiring as event chairmen but will still be on the board as active members.

The new officers were recognized: President Mike Calabrese, Mr. Leary, Mr. Burwell, and Glenn Richter.

The featured speaker was Matt Markey, Toledo Blade Outdoors Editor, who gave an insightful talk on “My Role in the Making of the Movie A River Runs Through It in Montana.”

THE AMAZING Race presented by ACT BG, the young professionals branch of the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce, was a fun way to meet with friends and raise a few dollars to give back to the community.

It started at Bowling Green High School Performing Arts Center on Poe Road and ended at Howard’s Club H. Participants completed challenges and solved puzzles around town to win the race. There were 165 participants on 29 teams.

The winning teams were the Pitons (first place), Tie-Died Townies (second), and Team Beat (third).

The estimated $5,200 raised benefits the Montessori School of Bowling Green.

TOLEDOAN Bob Barger, a 96-year-old World War II Navy veteran featured in local and national media after being awarded an associate’s degree at the University of Toledo’s Spring Commencement, was pictured with Lt. Haraz Ghanbari, UT military and veterans affairs director, during a congratulatory gathering of family and friends.

Mr. Barger was sporting a personally designed “Now Here’s the Deal, Bob” T-Shirt, referring to the words Haraz said when surprising him with the news that 70 years after serving in World War II and then attending UT, he earned a degree. He continues to be active in American Legion Toledo Post 335, with his primary duty to organize and compete on the golf league.

VETERANS are staying active through organizations such as the Development of Vietnam Endeavors Fund, known as the D.O.V.E Fund. Each year, several Rotarians, veterans, and friends take vacation time to travel to Vietnam, where the organization has helped build schools, provided medical assistance, helped with clean water, and more.