Kibbitzing with Caplan: Oct. 22, 2014

By Lois Caplan

AGELESS REMARKABLE ST. LOUISANS is a special evening honoring 19 dynamic older adults who remain an active force in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  The evening is designed to recognize the achievements of St. Louis’ most active and productive citizens who are 75+. Among them are four members of the Jewish community – Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein, Judith Garfinkel, Joan Quicksilver and Mendel Rosenberg. Sponsored by the St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System to demonstrate that age is truly nothing more than a number, the event is planned for Sunday, Nov. 9 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. The evening includes cocktails, dinner and the presentation of awards to the honorees.  For reservations at $175 per person call St. Andrews at 314-726-0111.

St. Andrews is non-sectarian, faith-based and an expert in serving both older adults and their caregivers. This year’s Ageless Remarkable St. Louisans is its 12th annual fundraiser for the support of the older adult program, which serves more than 8,700 seniors annually. Since its inception the funds have been used to enhance the lives of seniors through a wide range of programs and services, and to extend financial aid to residents who have exhausted their resources. 

I could write a book about each of our Jewish awardees, but a brief description will have to suffice. Judith Garfinkel — Judy to me and almost everyone — is a docent at the St. Louis Art Museum where she has served for 50 years. She is the longest tenured docent, mentors new volunteers and helps design new programs, and from personal experience I can tell you that her tours are wonderful.  

Joan Quicksilver is a former public relations professional with a career that spanned six decades. A cancer survivor, much of her time is now spent helping to plan fundraising events for cancer research and cancer support groups. 

Mendel Rosenberg is a Nazi concentration camp survivor who now works tirelessly to share his story with individuals across the St. Louis area. Having endured years of torture, starvation and deprivation as a young boy in war torn Europe, he now makes 80 to 100 presentations annually at the St. Louis Holocaust museum and area schools. He shares his tale that is both horrifying and inspiring, with the goal of making sure no one forgets the Holocaust. 

Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein, a talented journalist who has written everything from fashion advice to tips on auto care, is presently involved with writing children’s books, the most recent being “The Peanut Butter Birthday Party.” As a cancer survivor, Cynthia also devotes her time and talents to supporting the St. Louis Breast Cancer Coalition and Maryville University’s “Kids Rock Cancer” organization among many others.

These octogenarians are great examples of St. Andrew’s Resources for Seniors System, individuals who help other seniors live a better life.

READY READERS is one of my favorite organizations as its mission is to inspire preschool age children from low-income communities to become readers. Currently, the program has 570 trained volunteers who read to 8,700 preschool age children at 172 early childhood centers. Every year Ready Readers gives each child and his or her teacher six or seven new, high quality books. Ready Readers relies solely on support from individuals, corporations and foundations in St. Louis. This is why I am telling you about Ready Reader’s annual Trivia and Silent auction Event on Friday, Nov. 14 at the John Burroughs School Field House, 755 S. Price Road. The cost is $25 per person, $250 per table, which seats 10 people. Show up at 6 p.m. for the silent auction and at 7 for trivia.

IT IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL that Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein is turning up twice in this column, a first in my 51 years of writing. Hot off the press is Cynthia’s new children’s book, “The Peanut Butter Birthday Party,” a charmingly written, beautifully illustrated (by Peggy Collins) story about 8-year-old Elmer Kay who plans his birthday party while giving the reader a lesson in philanthropy. 

Cynthia considers the book a way of expressing her gratitude for her 39th anniversary of being a breast cancer survivor. A donation from every book sold will go to non-profit cancer groups and/or other organizations that work to improve the health and well-being of both children and adults. “The Peanut Butter Birthday Party” costs $17 and will be available at the Book Store at the Jewish Community Center when it opens for Jewish Book Festival, from Nov. 2 to 16. Also you may order it online at or by emailing [email protected].

GIRLS IN THE KNOW, a non-profit organization designed to educate and empower girls ages nine to 13 with their moms or mother figure, will celebrate its fifth anniversary with a fundraiser to benefit outreach and scholarship programs and services. Founded in 2009 by Chesterfield mother Lori Lander, Girls in the Know encourages positive decisions and healthy behaviors as pre-teen girls mature into adulthood. A reception including cocktails, appetizers and desserts will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 13 at Vue 17, 1034 S. Brentwood Boulevard. The evening will feature founder Lori Lander and St. Louis parenting expert Dr. Tim Jordan whose subject will be “Raising Strong Girls in Today’s Culture.” Tickets are $75 per person, and reservations may be made at For more information, call 314-717-1270.