Women’s Philanthropy; Hadassah frames the future; honoring Dr. Lyss

By Lois Caplan

I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT of September as a time when children return to school, and the leaves turn gold and brown. No more. The kids are back at school already and everything is still green, due to the excessive rain we have had. But September is still the beginning of the club year, the theater season, the fundraising time and the switch from white shoes to dark. As I collected information for this column, I realized that the fall is starting off with a bang and that those of us involved in community events should get out our calendars to chart our September activity.

Let’s start with Women’s Philanthropy, part of Jewish Federation of St. Louis, which is planning a trip down memory lane and a look ahead for our bright future at a luncheon slated for 11:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 5 at the Jewish Federation Kopolow Building, 12 Millstone Campus Drive.

If you have not seen the invitation for the event, ask to have one sent to you, as you just might find your mother and/or grandmother pictured on both the cover and inside. All the ladies on the cover are wearing hats, so you can guess the date of that event. My dear friend Lucille Hurwitz, sixth Women’s Division president, is quoted: “The woman who keeps her mind active and alive, who is informed on the important issues of the day, who seeks deeper understanding of the ethics, morals, and life around her is a true asset to her family and her community.” A good motto for Women’s Philanthropy. 

The cost of the luncheon and the program is $36. RSVP online at  WomensPhilanthropySTL.org. 

dTHE BOUNTY OF HOPE GALA to be held on Sept. 13 at the Ritz Carlton, starts at 6:30 p.m. It is a fundraiser for Cancer Support Community (CSC), a nonprofit whose purpose is to ensure that all people with cancer are empowered by knowledge, sustained by action and by community to enhance their over-all wellbeing. 

Dr. Alan P. Lyss, who will be honored at the gala, is a practicing oncologist involved with prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast and lung cancer. Express Scripts will also be honored. According to Dr. Gary Ratkin, a board member of CSC (and a trustee of the Jewish Light), “CSC depends heavily on money raised at the gala to support its comprehensive programs for cancer patients and their families. These are programs that hospitals can’t support and are provided free to anyone.” Tickets start at $225 per person. To purchase tickets, call Ann Kelly at 314-238-2000 ext. 235 or email [email protected]

ONE OUT OF 68 CHILDREN BORN TODAY will be diagnosed with autism. This makes autism the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. No, I did not make up these statistics. They came to me from Geri Weissman, who, with her sister-in-law Nancy Kessler, is co-chairing Action for Autism’s A New Beginning, a fundraising gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton on Friday, Sept. 19. They know firsthand about autism as Nancy’s son Garrett was diagnosed with it when he was two years old and to this day is non-verbal. Action for Autism provides financial assistance for education, therapy, equipment, summer camp and other resources for families with autism or other neurodevelopmental disabilities. The organization supports two schools which, I am told, are bursting at the seams so they are in the process of raising money to assist with the purchase of a new building. For information or reservations, contact Monica Combs at 636-227-2339.  

HADASSAH will hold “Framing the Future,” a dinner event, at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7 at the St. Louis Woman’s Club, 4600 Lindell Boulevard. Special guest and speaker for the evening will be Marcie Natan, Hadassah National President. Receiving Hadassah’s Leadership Award will be Judy Kramer. I loved the message on the invitation, which reads: “We’re not waiting for the future. We’ve built it. Now let’s equip and furnish it.” It’s a reference to the fact that proceeds support the completion of the Sarah Wetsman Davidson hospital tower in Israel. For reservations at $72 per person, contact Arin at 314-991-0434 or at [email protected].

WANT TO PARTY? IF YOU ARE 90 PLUS YEARS of youth you are invited to a NORC birthday party from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 at the Jewish Community Center, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Entertainment will be by the Gentlemen of Sound Barbershop Quartet and light refreshments will be served.  Reservations are required, so call Laura at 314-442-3255 to let her know that you are coming.

‘FIDDLER ON THE ROOF,’ the beloved musical about 1905 Russia, Tevye, his wife and five daughters, opens at Stages St. Louis Friday, Sept. 5 for a month’s run (until Oct. 5). I advise you to call Stages now for tickets at 314-821-2407 to make sure you get in before it sells out.