By Mary Helen Darah
Sylvania Area Family Services launched its new event, “Return to the Titanic” gala, on May 13 at the Sylvania Country Club. Guests were greeted by committee members, Pamela Schaefer, Pam Ulrich, Margaret Baehren, Jan Tidd, Deb Unverferth, Lisa LaPoint, Dr. Larry and Jill Johnson, and Mary Kay Urbanski, dressed in period attire. Musical offerings were provided by pianist and retired Magistrate Paul Jomantas. Following socializing, attendees enjoyed the era-inspired meal, floral decorations by Schramm’s Flowers and Gifts, and dinner music by the Northview High School Orchestra. The Segur’s Auto and Performance-sponsored photo booth was available throughout the evening to capture special moments and an Arrow Print and Copy-sponsored DJ brought people to the dance floor.
Between courses, four individuals who have made a significant impact on the greater Sylvania community were recognized. They are Jeff Clegg, Chrys Peterson, Jennifer Archer, and Jimmy Quigley. SAFS Executive Director Dottie Segur stated, “It was an honor to recognize these four outstanding individuals who continue to make a difference in our community. We also thank our sponsors Designetics CARES Foundation, Premier Wealth Management, Jim Scheib, State Bank and Trust, ProMedica Flower Hospital Auxiliary, ProMedica, Unverferth Interiors, Taylor Automotive Family, VZN Group, and the Sylvania Rotary Club. We want to thank attendees for supporting this sold-out event and for being our lifesavers during these turbulent times.”
Toledo Memorial Park President/CEO Jeff Clegg, honored as Community Leader, is also president of Sylvania Area Community Improvement Corporation. “The organization is a collaboration between business and local government,” he stated. “I love working together to help the community, especially attracting and retaining businesses to the area.” Clegg is also involved in Wreaths Across America. “I am the co-chair of the local chapter along with Mel Harbaugh,” he said. “For a decade we have been honoring veterans. This year we honored 8,000 vets with wreaths.” Clegg also fulfilled his dream of honoring first responders with a September 11 memorial at Toledo Memorial Park. He has contributed to the lights in downtown Sylvania, worked with the Olander Park System and the Oak Openings Green Ribbon Initiative to restore native plants to TMP, and assisted numerous local nonprofits including the Sylvania Prevention Alliance, the Buffalo Soldiers, and Veterans Matter.
Public Service Leader
Chrys Peterson, consultant and former WTOL11 news anchor, was honored as Public Service Leader. Peterson has been involved in countless community endeavors and has given a voice to those in need throughout Sylvania and beyond. “I am so proud to live in Sylvania,” she stated. “People look at a community like Sylvania and think people do not need help. I can tell you firsthand that is not the case. There are many in need of a ‘hand up’ and Sylvania gets out there and gives back.” Peterson finds it meaningful to be part of the Sylvania Area Chamber of Commerce Board, Lourdes University Board, the Red Birds Arts District and especially the Sylvania Schools. “A strong community is one that helps one another. It is an honor to help in my corner of the world.”
SAFS Volunteers of the Year
Jennifer Archer, Manager of Volunteer Services at UTMC, was honored as SAFS Volunteer of the Year. “My heart has always been in Sylvania,” she stated. “This is where we chose to raise our family. My first return to work was taking the role of director of the Sylvania Arts Commission. Through engaging with our community, I came to understand the challenges that folks in our community face.” Following the Arts Commission, Archer took a position at the United Way. “I was responsible for rallying volunteers during the pandemic,” said Archer. “I saw a post from SAFS. Even though I was smack dab in the middle of volunteer work, I reached out to them. My plan was to recruit and send people to SAFS. Here I am two years later and I continue to bring new people to help.”
Jimmy Quigley was also honored as SAFS Volunteer of the Year. “With COVID, it felt like a no-brainer to get involved. I started volunteering after learning many organizations were in need of help. Many volunteers who are retirees were not allowed to go out during the pandemic. Nonprofits lost their volunteer force. I helped fill the void. I volunteer at SAFS, United Way, UTMC, and the Humane Society on a regular basis. It is wonderful to be able to give back. Volunteering changed my life. You meet wonderful people. I have had zero bad experiences other than wanting to take home every animal from the Humane Society.”