Making waves

By Ellen Futterman, Editor

How do you conquer hate?

Mindy Corporon believes the best way is to shower the world with random acts of kindness and love.

As you may recall, Corporon lost her father, Dr. William Corporon, 69, and her son Reat Underwood, 14, when the two were shot and killed in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park, Kansas, last April. Reat had just participated in a singing competition at the JCC that his grandpa had driven him to and watched. Terri LaManno, 53, was gunned down shortly thereafter as she left a nearby Jewish assisted-living home after visiting her mother.

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., a lifelong white supremacist, has been charged with the killings. He told the Kansas City Star in November that he thought he was dying from emphysema and wanted to make sure he killed some Jews before he died. 

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None of the three victims was Jewish. 

Last Friday, Miller, 74, pleaded not guilty and asked for a speedy trial within 150 days, despite objections from his lawyers. The judge set an Aug. 17 trial date; prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Meanwhile, Corporon and others, including LaManno’s husband, Dr. Jim LaManno, are behind an organization called Seven Days – Make a Ripple, Change the World, which is dedicated to “turning one ripple of kindness into an unstoppable wave of faith and love.” 

Mindy Corporon says: “When our family members were killed, we received such an outpouring of love from our community. That love and faith is really what helped us through. That’s why it’s important for us to give back.”

Beginning Tuesday, April 7, Seven Days (givesevendays.org ) is sponsoring a weeklong series of events, each with a specific theme, leading up to the April 13 anniversary of the shootings. For example, on Day 3 (Thursday, April 9) the theme is “Others.” People are encouraged to give of themselves to others that day, be it another individual and/or a charitable organization. 

Speakers during the week will include a Holocaust survivor and a Rwandan genocide survivor. On April 13, the week will culminate with a 3-mile-long peace walk from the JCC in Overland Park, where the shootings began, to a church in Leawood, Kansas, for a celebration.

“Our goal is to remember those we have lost and, in their memory, create waves of positive change for the future,”says Corporon, a financial planner with her own business. “We want people to understand that we don’t have to hate or fear one another because of our differences. Rather, we can celebrate them.”

Beneficiaries of givesevendays.org include the Reat Griffin Underwood Memorial Foundation, which honors the legacies of Corporon’s father and son in the disciplines of medicine and the performing arts; the Terri LaManno Scholarship for visually impaired children; and RRACE (Race and Religious Acceptance and Racial Equality), which promotes tolerance and acceptance through the arts. 

For more information and to get involved, go to givesevendays.org.


Deals on wheels

The Scholarshop Foundation is rolling out a mobile fashion truck. Beginning in May, Miki’s Closet by Scholarshop, named in memory of businesswoman, fashionista and philanthropist Miki Zimring, will sell gently worn designer men’s and women’s clothing, shoes and accessories at events and locations throughout the St. Louis region. 

An inaugural luncheon and fashion show to kick off the new truck will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 14, at the Ritz-Carlton featuring speaker Christos Garkinos, co-owner of the luxury consignment boutique Decades in Los Angeles. Proceeds, with tickets available starting at $75, will benefit the Scholarshop Foundation, which awards interest-free loans and grants for college to those in need. For more information, or to buy tickets to the Ritz event, go to sfstl.org/FashionTruck.


Dueling parodies

Not one, but two, Passover-themed parodies set to megahit “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars are trolling the Internet. The first, by Jewish a cappella group Six13, came out in early March (http://bit.ly/uptown1). 

Not to be outdone, Aish HaTorah released its version last week (http://bit.ly/uptown-aish). 

Both present spirited takes on the story of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and journey from slavery to freedom.

Which is better? Check out both and decide.