Joyce M. Johnson

The Children’s Concert Society celebrated 65 years of bringing music to young people with a dazzling gala Saturday evening at the Portage Country Club.

The evening started with a cocktail hour and entertainment by the 7 Mile Isle steel drum band, dinner and a concert by jazz trumpeter Jack Schantz and pianist Joe Augustine. Patty LaNasa sang for the crowd of more than 130 people.

Jim Maguire brought his sons Mike, 13, and Matthew, 15, to the event.

“The involvement of children in this always gives them an appreciation for music,” Jim Maguire said.

Paul and Laura Martucci were first-time attendees. Board President Carol Lewis served as the chair for the gala. Committee members included: Cheryl Boigegrain, Sara Burky, Nikki Cannon, Bobbie Eaton, Diana Gayer, Rosemarie George, Jeannie Hamilton, Diane Lazzerini, Executive Director Patricia Lehnhart, Mary Jean Lyon, Renee Pinsky, and publicity chair Margo Snider.

Michele Pringle and Mike Santee agreed that the organization was vital to the community.

“Music education is very important and this organization brings music to kids,” Santee said.

Joy Hagelin attended with her husband, Bruce. She said, “I ushered for the concerts when my kids attended.”

Bill Eaton added, “My wife started taking her students in 1961 as a teacher in the Akron schools.”

Jean Blair said, “My son won first place in their piano competition when he was 8 years old.”

Guests could bid on auction items including a hand-painted violin by Jessica Pinsky.

Pat and Chuck Miller have gone to many of the group’s benefits.

“The 50th was so wonderful I said that we just had to be here for the 65th,” Pat Miller said.