By Angela Huston
Special to The Gazette
The Medina Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals held its first Pre-Holiday Gift Basket Extravaganza Nov. 8 at the Medina Eagles.
The brunch buffet was sponsored by Helyn and Bob Connelly, Sandy Dudas of 701 Medina Street Inc., Martha Pierce with Char Klimko, Joanne and Lloyd Knudsen, Loretta Kreiger and Miller Brothers Groceries of Lodi.
More than 30 people donated more than 50 theme baskets for the silent auction.
Special guest Dick Goddard, WJW-TV Channel 8 meteorologist, had Ohio State University jackets and shirts available; he announced the winners of the baskets and was photographed with many of the attendees.
Event chairwoman Sue Nissoff and committee members Lois Calvo, Joanne Knudsen, Barb Havlin, Carol Klingel and Cindi McDermott organized the fundraiser.
Money from the brunch that drew more than 70 participants will be used primarily for operating expenses.
Among the guests were Amber Williams, Penny Blake, Paul Calvo, Pat Taylor, Lori Henry, Kristy Galish, Alexis Barnes, Lynne Stamatis, Kathy Baker, Carole Feron, Sheila Benson, Judy Kluender, Sue Bryenton, Gary Sabo and Ken and Erica Moehring.
The 13th annual Dessert First, a benefit for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, was held Nov. 8 at the Sheraton Suites in Cuyahoga Falls.
Gold sponsors were FirstEnergy and Key Bank. Silver sponsors were Akron Childrenâ€™s Hospital, Akron Beacon Journal, Goodyear, Northern Ohio Live, and Omnova Solutions Foundation.
There were 18 bronze sponsors and patrons. Media sponsors were The Gazette, The Akron Beacon Journal, Northern Ohio Live, Sun Newspaper and The Morning Journal.
Chefs from 15 of the areaâ€™s finest eateries â€” Akron Womanâ€™s City Club, Caffessimo CafÃ© and Eclectic Edibles, Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern, Carriage House Bakery and Market, Embassy Suites Hotel, LeFeverâ€™s River Grill, Lola, Moeâ€™s Restaurant, The Office Bistro and Lounge, The Olde Harbor Inn, Piatto Novo, Portage Country Club, Vue Restaurant, West Point Market Bakery and West Side Bakery â€” offered an array of deliciously decadent desserts created with one or more varieties of Girl Scout cookies.
The 2008 panel of Dessert First judges who chose the winning treat were Lewis Adkins, Sue Bielawski, Carol Howlett, Katrina Papas, Melissa Salmon, Sarah Sphar, Ron Vidika and myself.
Our choices were Lemon Chalet and Passion Fruit Panna Cotta from Portage Country Clubâ€™s Executive Chef Mike Wagner, first place; Samoan Stuffed Peaches with Coconut Rum Sauce from The Olde Harbor Inn and Lighthouse Bar and Grillâ€™s Executive Chef Clayton Cundiff, second place; and Signature CrÃ¨me Puff Swan from Akron Womanâ€™s City Clubâ€™s Executive Chef Thomas May and Thin Mint Cookie Mousse from Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavernâ€™s Executive Chef Brandt Evans, tied for third place.
The Peopleâ€™s Choice Awards went to: Do-Si-Dos and Bacon Buckeyes from Lolaâ€™s pastry chef Cory Barrett, first place; Samoan Stuffed Peaches with Coconut Rum Sauce from The Old Harbor Inn and Lighthouse Bar and Grillâ€™s executive chef Clayton Cundiff, second place; and Karamel Kahlua Karma from Caffessimo CafÃ© and Eclectic Ediblesâ€™ pastry chef Katt Miller, third place.
Guests participated in a silent auction of dozens of baskets, and auctioneer T.K. Oâ€™Grady conducted the live auction after dinner.
Event chairwoman Madeline Bozzelli worked with committee members Jackie Cooper, Linda Emore, Nicole Florio, Becky Goehler, Joann Graham, Howlett, Cecilia Huffman-White, John Matheos, Iris Meltzer, Linda Nuosci, Gail Raabe and Elaine Volarich.
Beginning Jan. 4, the 45,000 members in the 18 counties of the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio will sell eight varieties of cookies.
On Nov. 13, Brunswick Eagles No. 3505 held its charity check presentation.
Accepting on behalf of the local charities who shared in the generous donation of almost $103,000 were Brunswick City Police Department Lt. Brian Ohlin, Brunswick Hills Police Officer Steve Kloppenstein, Brunswick City Fire Department Chief Jim Baird, Frank Cseh of the Brunswick Hills Firemenâ€™s Association, Penny Thomas and Debbie Bugos of the American Cancer Society, Emil Stecki of the Brunswick City Police Academy Alumni Association, Sunny Ledford and Kathy Kotowski of the Kidney Foundation of Medina County, Kim Tomashefski of the Brunswick City School District, and Cindie Schneider of the HANDS Foundation.
Eagles President Terry Wise and Ladiesâ€™ Auxiliary President Carol Fritz were the presenters.
Brunswick Mayor Dale Strasser, Brunswick Hills Township Trustee Michael Esber and Chuck Calvert each briefly addressed the audience.
Others present for the occasion included Nate and Kathy Elseser, Sandy Calvert, Dan and Nancy Ihrig, Fred and Dolores Suing, Bob and Pat Drum, Berndt Schneider, Greg and Lori Betz, Evelyn Czyz, Paul Tomashefski, Trustee Christina Kusnerak and Susan Strasser.
Huston may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.