Ingo Angermeier almost gave those attending the 16th annual Toast of the Town more than they wanted to see.

Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s president and CEO began to gyrate, removing his jacket, tie and shirt to a jazzy showgirl tune, before stopping at his undershirt, which had the Salvation Army’s logo on the back.

“Who would have thought you were paying $40 a ticket to see Ingo do a striptease,” asked Ryan Langley, Toast of the Town’s committee chair.

The event, which had about 450 people in attendance, is a fundraiser for the Salvation Army’s community center in Una, which serves children and senior citizens.

Angermeier, who’s considered a Renaissance man, with his high IQ, ability to perform music, draw cartoons and restore antique cars was roasted by USC Upstate Chancellor John Stockwell; Tonie Edwards, director of surgical services at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center; and Spartanburg Mayor Bill Barnet.

They cracked on his clothes, perceived ego and days as a collegiate swimmer.

“He’s a man who eats with janitors, whether they like it or not,” said local radio personality Bill Drake, who acted as master of ceremonies.

Angermeier graduated from Drake’s alma mater, Ripon College in Ripon, Wis., and Drake said he’s never seen Angermeier’s name on the school’s donor lists.

Angermeier is a member of the Mensa Society because of his high IQ. Stockwell didn’t believe it.

“You’ve heard the saying, ‘A penny for your thoughts,’ ” Stockwell said. “Well, with Ingo, you get change.”

Speaking of Angermeier’s swimming skills, Stockwell said, “He earned a varsity letter, and someone read it to him.”

Edwards said it was fitting that the Salvation Army recognized Angermeier because he shops for clothes in its thrift store.

“The least that organization could do in these tough economic times is honor a customer who contributes so much to their bottom line,” said Edwards, who said a Goodwill event was in the works.

Edwards also took a few shots at Angermeier’s short neckties. She did a couple of top 10 lists for Angermeier, including one with the most popular comments in a suggestion box outside his office. No. 4 on that list was, “Try to make (your ties) go past your breast bone.”

Barnet, who wore an extra short tie, reminded the crowd of the hospital’s decision to close the B.J. Workman Hospital in Woodruff a few years ago. Barnet said he placed the opportunity to roast Angermeier on eBay, and Woodruff’s former mayor was the highest bidder.

Angermeier was born in Berlin, and his family moved to Omaha, Neb. Barnet said the family moved to Nebraska because that’s where Spam is produced and Angermeier’s father liked the canned meat a lot.

Barnet then took another jibe at Angermeier’s ties.

“Some members of Ingo’s staff said they’ve seen the tie he’s wearing tonight 100 times – this year,” Barnet said.

Barnet said he once moderated a panel discussion that Angermeier participated in. Barnet asked Angermeier the first question, and he replied, “That’s the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.”

Angermeier ended the program with his striptease and encouraged young people participating in Salvation Army programs to emulate Barnet, Edwards and Stockwell, while sharing anecdotes about each.

Capt. Bret McElroy with the Salvation Army said the event usually raises between $60,000 and $80,000.

“He has a heart for kids, a heart for the community and he helps people every day,” McElroy said of Angermeier. “We appreciate the support he gives the community and organizations like the Salvation Army.” Spartanburg, SC
By Dudley Brown
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