Columnist is happy to be back

Musicians perform during the 2013 Gesher Music Festival. This year’s festival will take place Aug. 11-21.

Lois Caplan, Columnist Emeritus

BEING AWAY FROM THE LIGHT, the publication I dearly love, and its readers, has been painful. My gratitude to those who enticed me back is endless. So here, by request, are very special stories that, in my humble opinion, make our community a better place to live for everyone. 

ACCORDING TO A QUOTE ATTRIBUTED TO MARK TWAIN, “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” My gut feeling is that golfers disagree heartily with this negative appraisal of one of the world’s most beloved sports. And participating in golf tournaments, whether as a duffer or an expert, has become a popular way of trying one’s skill and using it to raise money for worthy causes.

Here is a perfect example: the Ralph Kaufman Memorial Golf Tournament to be held Aug. 18 at the Whitmoor Country Club in St. Charles. Men’s, women’s and mixed teams are welcome for what I am told is a four-person scramble, which begins at 10 a.m. and includes lunch, a shotgun start, wine tasting (not while playing), cocktails, a silent auction, dinner and a presentation of awards. The most significant aspect of this tournament is that it is a fundraiser for local charities that benefit veterans and children.

The Kaufman Fund, named in memory of their brother Ralph by siblings Wayne Kaufman and Irene Kessler, has as its mission the support of local veterans and children who are at risk of abuse or poverty, who need food, shelter, clothing, medical care and basic needs. 

The tournament costs $300 per player ($175 is tax deductible). You may find yourself playing with or against honorary co-chairmen Jay Randolph Sr. and his son, or event chair Kim Tucci. 

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To sign up for a fine day of golf, eating and drinking, contact Wayne Kaufman  at 314-753-8355. He can answer all your questions and direct you to team registration. Or if you are alone and need a team, he will see that you will be placed on one.

IT’S TIME FOR THE ST. LOUIS SHOW STOPPERS MUSICAL REVUE. With incredible good musical taste, the troupe will feature music from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel,” George and Ira Gershwin’s “American in Paris,” Rodgers and Hart’s “Babes in Arms” and Schwartz and Dietz’s “The Band Wagon.” 

You can see the performance at Clayton High School Auditorium, 1 Mark Twain Circle, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 and 27, or 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 and 28. Tickets are $18 each or $15 for organized groups of 15 or more. 

For tickets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Mike Sander, 12130 Mirror Lake Drive, St. Louis MO 63146 with a check payable to St. Louis Show Stoppers. 

Not only will you have a delightful musical experience, you will also be helping the Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital in support of the Siteman Cancer Center, the recipient of Show Stopper’s net proceeds. Questions? Call Mike at 314-432-5581.

THE WONDERFUL GESHER MUSIC FESTIVAL returns to St. Louis for its sixth season. You can hear these exceptionally talented musicians and meet them at several events. 

The first is on Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Chapel, 6238 Alexander Drive (off Skinker Boulevard) where you meet the musicians during an hourlong program and have a drink (in fact two) with them. The event is free. 

If that evening doesn’t work, come at 10:30 the next morning to meet the musicians and hear them perform at the Wool Studio Theatre at the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur. Tickets are $10 tickets and include coffee and bagels.

Gesher’s theme for the season is American Dreams, which focuses on Jewish artists who have shaped and been shaped socially, politically or musically by the American landscape. The festival plans to brings to life stories of immigration, patriotism and Americana. 

On Monday, Aug. 15, Gesher fans are invited to take a free, docent-led tour of the “Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis” exhibit at 6:30 p.m. at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Boulevard in Forest Park. Then at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, Gesher partners with the museum for a Route 66 Mixtape, which will take listeners on a musical road trip down America’s historic highway. The event will feature works from composers who helped shape the nation’s cultural landscape through folk songs, concert music and film scores. That event is also free.

“Welcome to America,” a concert featuring music by some of America’s most fascinating immigrant composers, begins at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, at the 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave. in University City. Tickets cost $20, which include one drink. 

The festival concludes Sunday, Aug. 21, at 3 p.m. with “The Great (Jewish) American Songbook,” a concert celebrating the music and lyrics of Jewish artists, at the Jewish Community Center’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. A $20 ticket includes wine during the concert and a reception with the musicians afterward.

For tickets ands to see a complete festival program, go to geshermusicfestival.org/2016-events.