Kibbitzing with Caplan

Columnist Lois Caplan

By Lois Caplan

THE JERRY PASS COOKING FOR WELLNESS SPRING FLING, a program of the Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis, begins Monday, April 29 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Cancer Support Community, Miss Mary’s Kitchen, at 1058 Old Des Peres Road. Begun in 2009 by funding and inspiration from Jeanne Pass and her three daughters, Cindy Hyken, Carol Garson and Cathie Kessler, the purpose of the cooking program is to teach cancer patients and their loved ones the basics on nutrition such as how nutrition can affect certain cancers and the different effects real and processed food has on the body. All programs are completely free of charge and are offered in a comfortable, home-like environmen

Now I will attempt the impossible by trying to tell you about this program and the Cancer Support Community in a few paragraphs, condensed from the 14 pages of information provided to me by CSC”s Linda Novak Bernardy . Taught by professional chefs, participants learn healthy eating habits to reduce the risk of recurrence, learn what to eat when they don’t feel like eating, learn to avoid food that may slow down digestion and what foods make digestion easier while building their immune system through what they eat.  If you think this sounds boring, let me tell you about kitchen herbs and salad greens. “Learn how to plant, grow and use herbs and micro-greens in your kitchen.  Turn simple dishes into savory and sensational meals,” according to chef Maria Ojascastro.

Cancer Support Community of Greater St. Louis is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. All programs, free of charge, are offered in a comfortable, home-like environment and include support groups, educational workshops, nutrition and exercise programs and stress reduction classes to empower individuals affected by cancer.

To RSVP for the Jerry Pass Cooking for Wellness class or for more information call CSC at 314-238-2000 or sign up on line at

SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG and Hadassah/ St. Louis Chapter is recognizing that with a private tour of the Japanese garden and other gardens on Sunday, May 5 at 10 a.m. at the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Avenue. A Dutch treat lunch will follow at Café Flora. Cost of the tour is $10 per person plus cost of your lunch. RSVP to Hadassah, 12 Millstone Campus Drive, St. Louis 63146, by phone at 314 991 0434 or on line at st.louis@hadassah.

BULLYING IS WHAT BIG MEAN KIDS DO to defenseless little kids.  At least that is how I have perceived the word. Yet the biggest bully of the 20th century was Adolf Hitler, not physically big but hateful and destructive beyond anyone’s imagination.  St. Louisan Susan Winter Balk, who recognized this fact, decided to attempt to break the cycle of hate that has prevented “never again” from happening after the Holocaust. To accomplish her mission, Balk organized HateBreakers, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of hate.

The first annual HateBreakers Awards are to be given to heroes who have transcended the horrors of hate and found the moral courage to become leaders and healers. On Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m. at the Frontenac Hilton there will be an hors d’oeuvres reception and awards ceremony to honor four heroes.  They are Annie Kopp, a senior at Ladue High School and a HateBreaker against bullying: Genocide Breaker Dr. Lawrence Jehling; Educator Graie Barasch-Hagans; and Peter Yarrow, a bullying survivor in his childhood who 10 years ago founded a nonprofit organization called Operation Respect to help teach children ”never again” about bullying. Yarrow (who is Jewish, believe me), is the Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary and will perform at the event, which is sponsored by Webster University’s Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies and presented by New Conscience. Inc. For reservations starting at $35 per person send your check, payable to Hate   Breakers, c/o Susan Balk, 135 Mystic Meadows Lane, St. Louis MO 63141.

RETT SYNDROME, a genetic neurological disorder that occurs mainly in girls, affects more than 200,000 females worldwide. The disease strikes in early childhood and results in a regression leading to lifelong impairments including speech loss, hand use and mobility. It is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy and has no cure. On Saturday May 4 the Rett Syndrome Foundation (RSF) will hold its sixth annual St. Louis Strollathon, a one-mile, fundraising, family-friendly stroll in Tilles Park with registration at 9 and the start at 10. Joyce Opinsky, Strollathon chair, is the mother of a daughter who has Rett Syndrome.  Joyce will be happy to share more information with you. Call her at 314 878 0868 or e-mail her at [email protected]. Take the kids. They’ll enjoy Fredbird, other entertainment and refreshments.


NEVER PASS UP A FREE PARTY, especially if it is at the fun filled Third Degree Glass Factory, 5200 Delmar Blvd. On Friday night, May 17, the public is invited to a 6 to 10 p.m. party. Anne Murphy, Director of Marketing, suggests that you can “chow down with Food Truck Fare and enjoy Maple Jam which cranks out the blues.” As always there are opportunities to make a hands-on paperweight, fused jewelry, glass tile or beads. You can even get a free henna tattoo, which may not appeal to you but the kids will love it.