Kibbitzing with Caplan

By Lois Caplan

NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS did I think I would be writing about gun control issues.  But a major forum on gun violence is being held in St. Louis in April and my very good friend Barbara Finch, a member of the committee with Lise Bernstein, Farilyn Hale and Rabbi Susan Talve, asked me to tell you about it. The forum, sponsored by Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice is titled “Safe and Sound: Smart Strategies to protect our children from Gun Violence” will be held from 8 a.m. to noon Wednesday, April 9 at the J.C. Penney Conference Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The keynote speaker will be Dr. James Mercy whose subject is “A Public Health Approach to Preventing Gun Violence.” He will be followed by family members who have lost children to gun violence and later, a panel who will discuss the issues they confront every day and provide strategies to keep kids safe. The program is open to the public, free of charge, but registration is requested at More information is available on the Women’s Voices website,

“PROJECT RENEWAL” is the brand new community service program being launched this month by the National Council of Jewish Women. Typically, NCJW researches a need and then fills it. Project Renewal addresses the needs of underserved women by providing educational resources for employment, including how to dress for success. Partnering with Shalom House, a non-profit organization working with homeless women with mental illness and chemical dependency to help them stabilize and rebuild their lives, NCJW plans to bring women to their resale shop to choose career clothing with the help of a volunteer personal shopper. The women will also have mentoring sessions on resume writing and interview skills as well as spa services, manicures and facials, to help women feel good about the way they look.  Sounds to me like a very satisfying volunteer job. For more details contact Nancy Litz, 314-803-4445, [email protected] or Lisa Gubernik, 636-519-8533.

“LIFE IS YOUR SYMPHONY – LIVE IT OUT LOUD” is the theme for St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness (SLOCA) 2014 gala to be held from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Edward Jones Corporate headquarters in Des Peres. An evening of music and merriment is planned at this annual fundraiser, where SLOCA hopes to raise $225,000 to meet its threefold mission – increasing ovarian cancer survivorship by promoting awareness of early warning signs and standards of care, funding ovarian research and supporting survivors. The evening’s speaker will be Elizabeth H. Mannen, a three- time survivor of ovarian cancer and a two-time survivor of breast cancer. For reservations at $150 per person call SLOCA’s office at 314-966-7562 or by reserving tickets on line at

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “SOUPS, STEWS AND CASSEROLES: 1976” concludes the Rep’s 2013-2014 Studio Theatre series. Before its run from March 12 to March 30, in collaboration with Operation Food Search and St. Louis Magazine, the Rep will present “Soups, Stews and Casseroles for the Hungry Soul,” a one of a kind event featuring music, art and comfort food tastings, all to benefit Operation Food Search’s child-focused weekend feeding program, Operation Backpack. Mark your calendar for Monday March 10 from 6-8:30 p.m. when in the lobby of the Loretto-Hilton Center, 130 Edgar Road, there will be an amazing display of comfort foods, live pancake art by Dr. Dan the Pancake Man, retro 1970s kitchenware, courtesy of the Future Antiques, tours of the Rep’s Studio Theatre and set for “Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976” and on and on. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and may be purchased by calling the Rep’s Box office at 314-968-4925 or online at 

COCA PRESENTS Tall Stories’ “Snail and the Whale,” a delightful theatrical experience for children. Based on the beloved children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, “Snail and the Whale” follows the tiny snail’s amazing journey as seen through the eyes of an adventurous young girl and her seafaring father. The play is at COCA, 524 Trinity Avenue, on March 22 and 23.  For tickets call 314-561-4877.