Amistad group planning event for Sept. 20
Six area couples who founded a scholarship dance and hosted it for the past 20 years are planning their last event, but the group is hoping that someone in the next generation will take ownership and continue the Amistad Scholarship Dance.
This year’s event is Sept. 20 from 7:30 p.m. until midnight at the Meadowbrook Park Ballroom in Bascom.
Bob Valle, a Gibsonburg resident, came up with the idea of a reunion-type gathering in the early ‘80s when he ran into a childhood friend at a retreat.
“We hadn’t seen each other in 30 years,” Valle said. “We were reminiscing and later I told my wife that it was sad that we don’t see people anymore. I said, “Does it have to be that way?’”
So in 1987, he contacted six people and they reached out to others and so forth until they had enough people to reserve the Meadowbrook Park Ballroom. The group became known as Amistad, meaning friendship, and the first dance was in 1988.
Fellow organizer Fernando Costilla of Fremont said the group was just looking to break even that first year, but since the turnout was so good, there was money left over afterward.
“We thought, now what do we do with it,” Costilla recalled. “We decided to donate it to something in the area that needs it. And so we started giving money for scholarships at University of Toledo, Findlay, Bowling Green and Defiance.”
When Valle joined the Terra College Foundation board in 1996, the community college in Fremont became the sole beneficiary.
To date, the event has netted $9,500 for Terra and an Amistad scholarship is awarded each year. And it has allowed old friends to keep in contact.
“This has kept us young,” Costilla said. “We feel that it’s rejuvenated us. We’ve become really close. It’s like a class reunion every year.”
The Tex-Mex themed dance is just part of a three-day campout in Bascom that brings friends from as far away as Michigan and Cleveland. Both Valle and Costilla hope this isn’t the last event.
“Hopefully the younger generation will grab the importance of this,” Valle said. “If only three or four couples would step up and take over. I’ll stay with them to help organize and I’m certain that some of our Amistad members will do the same.
“It’s vital that a social organization has influence in our youths’ education by making sure that there are scholarships available.”
For more information on the Amistad Scholarship Dance, call Bob Valle at 419-637-7496.
The Oak Harbor High School class of 1988 will hold a 20th class reunion Oct. 4 at the Commodore Perry Inn & Conference Center, home of Mr. Ed’s in Port Clinton.
Classmates from Oak Harbor are invited to attend the celebration with family and friends, and to reconnect and reminisce on the past 20 years.
An impromptu gathering will take place Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at the football stadium for the Oak Harbor vs. Port Clinton home game.
Invitations have been sent. Organizers are still seeking the whereabouts of Brian Bettowski, Herb Beyer, Mary Pat Chase-Gilbert, Barb Cooper-Alfaro, JT Crouch, Tim Cutcher, David Fillmore, Dan Hunter, Jerry Jewett, Donald Lenke, Jim Magers, April Trout-Miller, Mara Velliquette, Javier Vidal Cheryl Wadsworth, Kenny Williams and Carl Wright.
Rooms may be reserved at the Commodore Perry at www.commodoreperry.com or by calling 419-732-2645.
Clay High School class of 1983 will hold a 25th reunion celebration in September.
The alumni will gather at Eagle’s Landing Sept. 26 and at the Groove in the Grove with the Clay Alumni Association Sept. 27.
For more information, contact Lori Roe at 419-691-8696 or
. Many addresses are still needed.
The 8th Waite High School Golden Years Luncheon, representing all classes that have celebrated their 50-year reunions, including the classes of 1915-1958, will be held Sept. 9 at St. George’s Banquet hall, 740 Glenwood Rd, Rossford.
Alumni are invited to bring a spouse or a friend and enjoy a day of reminiscing about the good old days at Waite.
Doors will open at 11 a.m..Luncheon, which will be catered by Malczewski Catering Service, will be served at 12:15 p.m.
The cost is $17.50 per person. The deadline for reservations is Sept. 2. Reservations and payment should be sent to WHS Luncheon, c/o Judy Bee, 224 Elgin Ave., Toledo, OH, 43605. For more information, call 419-693-6114 or e-mail to
Small business basics
The Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra Community College is offering free, two-hour seminars, “Small Business Basics,” designed to answer questions about starting, buying or expanding a small business.
The seminar will take the confusion out of efforts and help avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary steps. Learn the basics of name registration, licensing, taxes, zoning, business entities, employees, insurance, financing and business planning.
The September schedule includes:
Sept. 3: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Ottawa County Improvement Corporation (conference room), 8043 W. SR 163, Oak Harbor.
Sept. 24: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Terra Community College (Building B, Room 101), 2830 Napoleon Road, Fremont.
The events are free and open to the public.
To register or for more information, call Bill Auxter, director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Terra Community College, toll-free 800-826-2431 or 419-559-2210 or contact him by e-mail at
The Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM) welcomed Ohio’s newest physicians at a commencement ceremony held May 17 at The University of Akron’s E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Center. Sixty-three percent of NEOUCOM’s graduating class will remain in Ohio for their residencies. Forty-six percent of the senior class will continue their training in a primary care field such as family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics or obstetrics/gynecology. The remainder of the class selected a service or other specialty such as surgery, emergency medicine or anesthesiology.
“As the public medical school for northeast Ohio, we are delighted that 63 percent of our graduates will remain in Ohio for their residencies. We are so proud of our graduates as they continue their education, becoming highly skilled and compassionate physicians across their chosen specialties. The entire NEOUCOM community congratulates the members of the Class of 2008,” says Lois Margaret Nora, M.D., J.D., NEOUCOM president and dean for the College of Medicine.
Graduate Jason Tank will complete a medical residency in Orthopaedic Surgery at Summa Health System-NEOUCOM, Akron, Ohio. Tank is a graduate of Oak Harbor High School and the son of Timothy and Becky Tank of Graytown, Ohio.