Kibbitzing with Caplan

Lift for Life Academy founder Marshall Cohen. Lift for Life Academy is holding its 3rd Annual Celebrating Success Sewing Seeds Fashion Show.

By Lois Caplan

OH JOY, OH GLEE! Classical music is back on radio after a long absence dominated by baseball, football, basketball and hockey broadcasts – apologies to sports fans. You will find the not-for-profit Radio Arts Foundation (RAF) at 107.3 FM. Its six-person staff, which includes broadcaster Kathy Lawton Brown and Station Manager Jim Connett, will present programs from opera companies to orchestras including interviews with local arts figures, all punctuated with very limited sponsor announcements.

RAF staffers, I am told, will neither read the news, other than arts news, nor will they bother about things like traffic reports available elsewhere.  They will focus on the music much of which will be long-form with complete symphonies. According to Connett, listeners will not encounter the so-called “beg-a-thon” pledge drive approach to fundraising. Instead they will invite listeners to contribute. It is my experience that RAF needs more funds to increase the power of its transmitter, so if you agree with me you may donate online; send a check to RAF-STL, 7711 Carondelet, Suite 302, St. Louis, Mo. 63105; or call 314-881-3523 for more information.

‘PROJECT RUNWAY’ STARS and St. Louis natives, Laura Kathleen Planck and Michael Drummond, are co-hosting the 3rd Annual Celebrating Success Sewing Seeds Fashion Show benefiting Lift for Life Academy. The event will be held Saturday, May 11 at Windows on Washington from 6 to 9:30 p.m. During the show, academy students will walk the catwalk in looks they created in their fashion design class, taught by Planck. Guests will also enjoy a seated dinner, meet and greet with student designers, and a silent and live auction. Tickets are $100 per person. All proceeds from the Fashion Show benefit Lift for Life Academy, St. Louis’ first independent charter school, which was founded by Marshall Cohen, who serves now as its director (and was one of the Light’s Unsung Heroes in 2012). The academy opened in 2000 and provides education to 575 at-risk students in grades 6-12. For more information, go to

‘BROTHERS ON THE RUN-FLEEING HITLER, FIGHTING FRANCO’ is a brand new novel by St. Louisan Pat Lorraine Simons based on the experiences of her father and uncle who fled from their native Germany prior to World War II. I found this story quite different from other Holocaust accounts as the teen-age Kahn brothers’ experiences were in France and Spain where they escaped from Nazi Germany. Although it is a novel based on the experiences of Gottfried and Rudolph Kahn, the book reads like a memoir as if the Kahn brothers were telling their own story. I will refrain from “reviewing” the book since my understanding is that one is already in the works and should be in the paper shortly. But I will mention that “Brothers on the Run,” published by CreateSpace, is available at or by contacting the author at [email protected]. Simons is donating profits from the sale of the first 250 books to Ready Readers as well as donating books to the St. Louis Holocaust Museum where she is a docent.

LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER is a new Mother’s Day tradition that is part of a national series of live readings celebrating the beauty of motherhood. St. Louis is one of 24 cities across the country to host a performance, which is produced, directed and performed by local moms.  Co-producer/director Ellie Grossman, the author of “Mishegas of Motherhood,” promises a day of fun including food, live music, inspirational readings, fantastic prizes and even shopping for designer merchandise. The show will be held on Saturday, May 11, the day before Mother’s Day, at the St. Luke’s Institute for Health Education in Chesterfield.  There will be two show times – 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting

FLORA DORA, CIRCUS FLORA’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISER on Saturday night, June 1, will be different this year. For starters, there will be a three-course sit-down dinner beginning with cocktails at 6 p.m., and a circus performer seated at each table. The evening, dubbed “A Trip to the Moon,” will bring circus fantasies to life and make space travel as simple as setting foot inside a circus ring. Proceeds benefit Circus Flora’s outreach programs, including the year-round “Clowns on Call” program at two area hospitals; Share the Circus, which provides free Circus Flora tickets to underserved local youth and the annual Community Circus Camps, which provide children with a once-in-a-lifetime experience under a big top with professional equipment, animals and the instruction of world-class performers. Individual tickets, on sale now, are $125 and $250; tables begin at $2,500.  Contact Development Director Susan Mintz at 314-289-4043 for more information, to purchase tickets or to enquire about sponsorship packages.