By Angela Huston
Special to The Gazette
A record crowd filled Blue Heron Banquet and Conference Center April 18 for Life Fest, the 21st Annual Hospice of Medina County Dinner and Auction. Guests could buy chances for a necklace valued at almost $2,400 donated by Dave and Diane Wiant and a collection of fine wines as well as bid on silent auction items.
Emcee Jeff Kehnle introduced Honorary Event Chair Barbara Wise, then Board President Fred Schwab, who thanked the sponsors, recognized other board members, and introduced Executive Director Pat Stropko-Oâ€™Leary, whom he described as a â€œLady with Vision.â€
Stropko-Oâ€™Leary said of Hospiceâ€™s beginning, â€œSomeone in Medina County was dying alone and in pain. Our mission was to do something about that.â€ She announced Hospiceâ€™s building project, and closed by thanking event organizer Anna Guy-Leach, who received a standing ovation.
Working with Leach were Joan Brooker, Karen Carlson, Mary Dunham, Annette Finley, Kathy Gatto, Sally Giovinazzo, P.M. Jones, Kehnle, Michelle Kirda, Jennifer Kotalac, Kathy Kotowski, Betty Lynham, Nancy Marquard, Janie Parish, Linda Pfaff, Tracie Rose, Christine Steinbrink, Charlcie Towne and Amy Wermer.
Gold sponsors were Dick and Betty Lynham, Michael and Nancy Marquard, Rory and DeDee Oâ€™Neil, Michael and Tracie Rose, The Medina County Womenâ€™s Journal, The Gazette and Wal-Mart Medina. Silver sponsors were Ron and Cathi Carmony, Eric Daiber and Charlotte Karson Daiber, Nate and Kathy Elseser, Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Esterburg, The Hoffman Group, Ron Pfaff Electric Inc., Jackie and Jeff Kehnle, Steve and Chris McClure, Mr. and Mrs. Elbridge Moxley, Chet and Jane Scholtz and Therapy Group.
There were 20 benefactors and patrons, as well.
Other board members include Vice President Charles Kay, Secretary Andy Dunham, Treasurer Janet Griffing, and members Dale Boehnlein, Jani Davis, Larry Hammarberg, James Kimbler, Nancy Likens, Ed McKeon, Berni McQuigg, Curtis Perkins, Don Poest, Tracie Rose, Cindy Steeb, Greg Vincent and Janis Zachman.
Auctioneer Darrell Jenkins conducted the live auction, which itself raised about $17,500.
Among the high bidders were Bob Smith, Jim Lary, Brian Harr, Jim Gowe, Rory Oâ€™Neil and Dr. Tony Giovinazzo, who won a choice of vacation destinations donated by past and present Hospice Board Trustees, created by Scott Yoder of TBI Tours.
Other guests included Bob and Nancy Abbott, Chris Baker and Arlene Brennan, Bill and Sue Bennett, Lori Betz, Dr. Thomas and Donna Bica, Glenn and Mim Blair, Kathy Boehnlein, Bill and Pat Boyle, Jackie Campolo, Pat Carlson, Ann Cole, Judith Cross, Pat Drum, Barbara Dzur, Brian and Carole Feron, Brian Finley, Holly Goodyear, Nancy Gowe, Dr. Richard and Scottie Gross, Corinne Hadley, Pete and Fran Hansen, Susan Harr, Jack and Pat Hofstetter, Katie Horn, Adrian and Michele Horvay, Chorey and Maggie Howell, John and Jeanne Hurt, Dan and Nancy Ihrig, Joan Jenkins, Brent and Julie Jividen, Hannah Jones, Mary Kay, Richard Kotalac, Karen Lary, Kim Laurene, Russ Leach, Alex and Nancy Lippisch, the Rev. Beth McGuire and David Kersten, Judy Morrill, Jim and Cynthia Nemec, Pat Oâ€™Leary, Earle and Rosemary Olson, Ron Pfaff, Pete Rademacher, Gene and Ann Reusch, Dr. Warren and Vivian Rose, Brian and Laurie Russell, Cindie Schneider, Sue Schwab, Jim Shields, Don and Edie Simmons, William and Agnes Simonson, Don and Alice Spickler, Pam Stropko, Bill Sturgess, Charlie Towne, Carla Yoder, and Sam and Carla Zickel.
Accent Floral and Gifts arranged the centerpieces and Renee Schneider the gift basket design.
Event proceeds will be used to further the work of The Preston and Katherine Robertson Bereavement Center.
The Medina Chapter of The Society for Human Resource Management, the worldâ€™s largest professional association devoted to human resource management, held its fifth anniversary celebration April 22 at Weymouth Country Club. Event sponsor was Aramark, represented by Mary Mittica.
President Pam Giguere read a letter from chapter founder and first president Sharon Morawski, and updated the chapterâ€™s five-year progress. In that time, its membership has doubled.
President Elect/Program chair Melissa Robinson introduced the engaging guest speaker Phil Stella, of Effective Training and Communication, whose topic, â€œElevate Your Elevator Speech,â€ was directed toward people who want to communicate with more power and success.
The other 2008 officers and board members of SHRM include Vice President/Membership Lynn Emmons, Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Moore, Marketing/PR Natalie Lapossy, SHRM Foundation Kristen Spring, Diversity Terri Wilfong, Workforce Readiness Sandy Frommeyer and Legislative Affairs Hans Nilges.
Among the afternoonâ€™s guests were Pat Shrimpton, Mary Gifford, Marilyn Szendrey, Rose Bartuccio, Bonnie Thompson, Irene Hill, Todd Carruthers, Laura Knaak, Lori Henry, Gail Reese and Laura Loew.
Drawings were held for many door prizes, including a book from Stella.
Bowling for Blindness
On April 13, The Trinity Rose Foundation held its â€œBowling for Blindnessâ€ benefit at AMF Medina Lanes to provide financial aid for Tayden Stockman, son of Medina residents Tony and Britney Stockman, who was diagnosed with septo-optic dysplasia at four months of age.
More than 150 friends and family members attended the event that raised $4,000.
A portion of the funds will go toward the purchase of a wheelchair and the remaining proceeds will be used to help with ongoing medical expenses.
Guests bowled and participated in skill games, including one in which bowlers were blindfolded to help them better understand how some visually handicapped individuals function in todayâ€™s world.
Main Event Sponsors were Associated Retinal Consultants, Cathrin and Tim Butz and Sterling Paper. Strike Sponsors were K and K Specialties and Partners in Plastics Inc. Spare Sponsors were Rich and Joyce Bonitz, Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary No. 2224, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Dental Implant Surgery, Jeff and Jeanne Palker, Rick Roush Honda, Andrea and David Sliwinski and Western Reserve Bank. Lane Sponsors were Cindy Anderson, John Dague Electric, Kramer and Goyette D.D.S., Tim and Beth Kunicki, Tom and Shelley Lewin, Donald and Catherine Parent, Shale Creek Golf Club, Warner Technology Inc., Dr. Thomas Ebner, Brian Feron for Commissioner, Hendricks Family Dentistry Inc., Tony Lenzi, Medina Country Club, Joe and Karole Polasko and Theresa and Bill Vasilatos.
The Trinity Rose Foundation was founded by Rich and Stacy Bonitz and named in honor of their visually impaired daughter.
Huston may be reached at email@example.com.