A hot time for all at Viva Salsa


Here’s a party that traditionally sells out, so be forewarned and make your reservation ASAP. It’s the J Associates annual major fundraiser which this year is “Viva Salsa”, “…an evening of the romantic world of Salsa where the music pulsates, the atmosphere simmers, the colors are vivid, the mood is alive and the ambiance is electric,” according to co-chairs Judi Scissors and Marie Levy. The scene of “Viva Salsa” will be Meadowbrook Country Club on Saturday evening, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. The evening, described as an occasion to celebrate music and celebrate life, will feature a special dinner buffet, music by the salsa band El Caribe Tropical, and silent and live auctions. The cost is $80 per person which also includes two drinks. For reservations call Lisa Liebschutz at 314-442-3188.

Salsa, in my vocabulary, means a type of hot, spicy sauce eaten with taco-like chips. Right? Wrong. It is a dance based on Afro-Cuban music incorporating elements from other Latin American styles. So I expect that you will dance the salsa at Viva Salsa but you will also eat some interesting, not-too-spicy food. Thus, I have to share with you the exotic menu items that reflect the “Viva Salsa” theme. They include gazpacho shooters, beef filet with mild ancho chili sauce, jerk snapper with spinach and pine nuts in a ginger rum sauce over tropical fruit chutney, pistachio and almond encrusted chicken with fire roasted red pepper curry sauce, black bass enchiladas and incredible desserts and specialty drinks. I should add that a kosher meal will be made available upon request.


When not dancing or eating, guests can peruse and bid on the silent auction items. Later Guy Phillips of Y98 will serve as auctioneer for the live auction when he will be auctioning off the opportunity to appear with him on his morning radio show. There are lots of other unique auction items like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” where the winning bidder and four friends will have breakfast at Tiffany’s before store hours, and will receive some lovely gifts and discounted shopping. Those who prefer bicycles to bangles may want to bid on a bicycle from Ghisallo. I am told that J Associates has collected many restaurant and boutique gift certificates and, of course, beautiful jewelry.

J Associates is a support auxiliary of the Jewish Community Center and is dedicated to raising money for the JCC. These funds are then allocated to the many departments of the J to be used as scholarships for vital programs and services. Because of the financial assistance from J Associates, children who could not afford camp or other J activities and elderly who receive care as well as other services are served. These programs and services are offered to persons of all races, religions and age groups from infants to the frail elderly, regardless of their ability to pay.

Viva J Associates! Viva Salsa!

IDIE HERZMARK, after valiantly battling ovarian cancer for 2 1/2 years, finally succumbed to the dread disease at the Cedars, where she spent many of her last weeks. Always cheerful and never complaining, Idie was a role model for graceful living and dying. It was never a chore to visit her or speak to her on the phone, and usually she was much more interested in my well-being than in her own. In many ways Idie was a Renaissance woman, eternally intellectually curious and involved in the arts. She loved the Saint Louis Symphony and the Art Museum, but she also was an avid tennis player and once a skier. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Idie majored in political science and economics (as did I) and minored in English and art history (as did I). Her courses in interior design at the Washington University School of Architecture led her to a half-century career as an interior designer. Idie and I were members of the Pioneers, a serious study group, and once delivered a paper together on “humor” which was not at all funny. Working with her was fun though as she never let her business interfere with our pleasure. Idie is survived by her husband of almost fifty years, two sons, grandchildren and lots of grieving friends.