A night to remember: Titanic re-creation dinner set for April 14Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A nine-course meal, ballroom dancing to music of the era and a silent auction will be featured as part of an upcoming re-creation dinner commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.
The event is set for 6 p.m. April 14 at Central Park West, 3141 Central Park West Drive, and will commemorate those lost (including several from the Toledo area) as well as celebrate the continuing disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross. Tickets are $100 per person. Captain’s table tickets are sold out. Proceeds from the event will go to the American Red Cross, Greater Toledo Chapter.
“People are showing a lot of interest in this event,” said Jason Copsey, communications specialist with the American Red Cross. “They recognize how unique it is and, with it being the 100th anniversary of the sinking, it’s an opportunity to not only support a local organization, but also to have a memorable and historically themed evening.”
Actor Dave DeChristopher will portray Captain Edward Smith and the dinner will be a close approximation of a meal actually served on Titanic, Copsey said.
Silent auction items will include historic memorabilia, an autograph from a Titanic survivor, movie items and gift baskets donated from several local sponsors .
Local music group TAPESTRY, consisting of Denise Grupp-Verbon on harp and her husband, Michael, on guitar, will perform live music from the era as guests arrive.
“We have gathered a few selections from a Titanic songbook and we will also be featuring Celtic music selections since the Titanic sailed from Ireland,” Denise said. “We hope people enjoy it — although I’m happy to say we will not be going down with the ship. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find someone that is not fascinated by the story because it’s just such an extraordinary story of survival.”
The evening will also include:
- A performance by local singer-songwriter Mark Graff
- Titanic prints signed by local artist Rudolph Schroeder
- Titanic personal caricatures by local artist Jim Beard
- Hand-rolled cigars
- Ballroom dance performance and instruction by Paulette’s Studio of Dance
- Photos by Kurt Nielsen of Kurt Nielsen Photography
The event is sponsored by Toledo Free Press, Louisville Title, Midwest Terminals and Hollywood Casino Toledo. FOX Toledo is the event’s media partner.
The dinner is part of a Titanic memorial series that includes an April 15 commemorative issue of Toledo Free Press, displays in Toledo-Lucas County public libraries, Rave Motion Pictures’ presentation of James Cameron’s “Titanic 3D” and an artifact exhibit at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
Copsey said he hopes guests have a memorable evening.
“This will be a unique event. It’s not often you get to have something like this,” Copsey said. “It was Red Cross volunteers providing care to the people rescued from the site as soon as they got back to the harbor in New York City. All services the Red Cross provides are made possible by the generosity of the community. An event like this is a great way to show your support of the Red Cross while having a special evening.”
For more information or to order tickets, contact Jason Copsey at (419) 329-2619.
A Titanic Anniversary — in 3D
How fast can 15 years melt away? It was nearly that long ago, in 1997, when James Cameron’s “Titanic” debuted. As pop culture film events go, there has been nothing to rival it since its 1997 splash.
“Titanic” is one of the highest-grossing films of modern times, with more than $600 million in box office domestically and $1.8 billion worldwide. The film also won a record-tying 11 Oscars (including Best Picture and Best Director), four Golden Globes and more than 60 other industry laurels. “Titanic” redefined Hollywood’s approach to storytelling, digital effects and budget priorities.
On April 4, “Titanic” is returning to theaters, this time in a 3-D conversion overseen by Cameron. It will be the first time in a generation the film will be on the big screens it deserves; if you’ve only seen “Titanic” on a television or iPad/iPod screen, it’s worth the trip to the cinema, even in 2-D.
A longtime amateur historian of the great lost ship for many years before the movie, I devoured books and library clippings about the doomed luxury liner and the more than 1,500 people who died when it struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, and sank in the wee hours of the following morning. People who become fascinated with Titanic lore are said to have “Titanic Fever,” and since about 1990, I have had an overwhelming case. There is something primal about the tale of hubris and disaster, fate and coincidence, life and death, that Titanic represents. The real-life story has elements of mystery, romance, adventure, opulence, poverty, hope and tragedy. Cameron’s film may not perfectly capture all of these elements, but as the movie started and the footage of the ship began, it overwhelmed me.
Seeing the ship I had studied and read so much about in black and white come alive, in full color with people walking the decks and waves parting as it cut through the Atlantic, was breathtaking. It was my most vivid imaginings realized.
I once briefly met the late Millvina Dean, the last living Titanic survivor, and heard her describe a ceremony in which one candle for every victim was lit and set afloat on the Mississippi River. The first time I saw Cameron’s film, all the stories and interviews and impressions converged into a wellspring of emotion and empathy, but it was Dean’s warm hug that enveloped me in that dark theater.
When “Titanic” debuted, much of the Western world was still reeling from the car accident death of Princess Diana, and I maintain that global grief was focused onto Cameron’s film and explains the swell of love and devotion moviegoers experienced. For a while, “Titanic” and Titanic were everywhere. I lived in Washington, D.C., at the time and had access to international newsstands, so I buttressed a collection of books with magazines celebrating the phenomenon all over the world, in scores of languages. From December to the following summer, “Titanic” and Titanic dominated popular culture.
My interest led to a friendship with Jennifer Carter, the first woman to travel to the ocean floor to see Titanic’s broken hull. She and her husband, the late composer Joel Hirschhorn, maintained contact and we shared many stories of discovery. While living in Pittsburgh, I contributed to the history when the family of victim Mary Miller Corey shared letters that revealed she was nearly nine months pregnant when she died on Titanic. That had never been reported, and once the letters were documented, copies were filed with the Titanic Historical Society in Massachusetts.
It is jarring to realize “Titanic” is 15 years in the past. I’m not fever-driven on the topic like I once was, but I still keep up with news and the occasional pop culture reference.
Toledo Free Press is working on a special issue for April 15, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Ship of Dreams. We will tell the stories of people with local ties to the disaster, preview the many great events planned around the 100th anniversary and profile local painters, writers and musicians who have been touched by the story of Titanic and integrated it into their work.
The cornerstone of our remembrance is a nine-course Titanic re-creation dinner, April 14 at Central Park West, a fundraiser for the Greater Toledo Chapter of the American Red Cross. That event is described in detail on Page 9; for Titanic buffs and people who appreciate the Red Cross, it will truly be a night to remember.
Michael S. Miller is editor in chief of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Contact him at email@example.com.