Rallying to support a family whose home was lost to fire

Ellen Futterman, Editor of the St. Louis Jewish Light

By Ellen Futterman, Editor

Last Sunday, the Roth family of Creve Coeur lost their home and all of their possessions in an early morning fire. Luckily, none of the family-parents Jane and Boaz and daughters Liat, 12; Sela, 8, and Orli, 1-were hurt in the three-alarm blaze that gutted the home on Betsy Ross Lane and is believed to have begun in the downstairs furnace.

On Tuesday, I spoke with Jane Roth’s aunt, Myra Miller, who said the family was doing as well as can be expected and were “overwhelmed” by the generosity of the St. Louis Jewish community. Aunt Myra explained the family is now living in a fully-furnished house near Traditional Congregation of Creve Coeur, where they are members and Boaz Roth is president of the board. So the good news is that they have a place to stay, but they are still in need to some basic, everyday items, should you want to help out.

“The girls are in good shape,” reports Myra, explaining that people have donated all kinds of clothing items to them. “But Jane and Bo basically have two outfits each. Bo doesn’t have any ties or dress shirts to teach in and there is a dress code at his school.” Boaz Roth teaches at Thomas Jefferson School and is also a basketball coach. At 6-foot-4, Myra describes him as a “big guy” who wears extra-large size shirts and sweaters or size 17 dress shirts with extra long sleeves, pants size 36/36, and shoes size 13. Jane Roth, who also teaches, wears size 0 or 2 or a small, and has a shoe size of 7½. The two also could use winter coats and outerwear.

In addition, gift cards to Trader Joes or Whole Foods are appreciated-the Roths are kosher and vegetarian. “And generic mall cards where they could get basic clothing and household items, like their own blankets and pillows, would also be great,” says Myra.

The easiest drop-off points, adds Myra, are Thomas Jefferson School at 4100 S. Lindbergh Boulevard in Sappington or Traditional at 12437 Ladue Road. Or you can email Myra, who is coordinating efforts at [email protected].

Dancing like there’s no tomorrow

Most anyone who has attended a Weight Watchers meeting at Dierbergs Heritage Place in Creve Coeur is likely familiar with Ellen Abramson, better known as Ellen A. She leads several of the meetings there and knows of what she speaks, having lost serious poundage some years ago and kept it off.

So when Ellen recently dropped by a self-published paperback called “Live to Dance,” which chronicles the aftermath of a heart attack she suffered in 2008 at the age of 51, I was truly shocked. As someone who eats healthy and exercises regularly, Ellen seemed an unlikely candidate for cardiovascular disease.

But what shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows her is that after recovering, Ellen made it her mission to educate women about heart disease and warding off the risk factors. In less than 100 pages, she tells how heart disease is highly preventable and offers all kinds of “action steps” to help readers chart a heart healthy course.

Anyone interested in a copy for $14.95, can order through several websites including amazon.com and authorhouse.com. A portion of the proceeds will go to heart charities.

Beary good boys and girls

Nominations are being accepted for the ninth annual Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes program that recognizes and rewards young leaders, ages 8-18, for positive contributions to their communities and the world. The deadline for submission is Monday, Feb. 27.

Ten Huggable Heroes will each receive $10,000, a $7,500 educational scholarship and a $2,500 donation for the charity of his or her choice. To nominate a candidate go to www.buildabear.com/huggableheroes or pick up an entry form at participating Build-A-Bear Workshop stores.