Shopping to give back (it’s for charity, after all)

Editor Ellen Futterman


Many of us – and I include myself in this group – feel guilty about spending money on items that we want, but don’t need. But if shopping for these items actually helped others, well, then, at least we could justify our purchases as “giving back.”

Best I can tell, Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis is banking on this mindset as it unveils a unique shopping program entitled, “I’m Going to Saks . . . for My Favorite Charity.” Customers who use a Saks credit card to shop can have 10 percent of their total amount spent from Sunday, August 1 through Sunday, October 31 applied to one of five charities: Friends of Wings, the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Humane Society of Missouri, Haven House and Food Outreach.

St. Louis Saks, located at Plaza Frontenac, is one of only two stores trying out this program. Saks Fifth Avenue Indianapolis will also participate.

No need to go “Over the Rainbow,” just head to the Galleria

Anat Cohen at The Sheldon

Looking to break out on Broadway? If you’re between the ages of 16 and 21 and can sing and act, you might consider trying out for the new musical, “WiZaRD,” which opens at Lincoln Center in December 2010.   Auditions for the “Be The Next Dorothy” competition, which will be held at St. Louis Galleria Tuesday, August 17th, is open to the first 400 contestants. Doors open at 6 a.m.; registration takes place from 8 to 10:30 a.m., with auditions starting at 11.  Callbacks will be held the next day, followed by the announcement of the local winner later that afternoon. The grand prizewinner will be announced during the contest finale in New York City on September 3rd.

Once the judges have narrowed down the contestants of the nationwide search to the final three, America will decide who will Be The Next Dorothy.  The entire competition will be filmed for an online reality series where America can follow all the contestants during the 11-city run.

Spearheading the talent search is “WiZaRD” co-producer Sam Arlen, son of the legendary “Wizard of OZ” composer Harold Arlen. “We wanted to create a wholesome family contest and a show that would give us all a break from what seems to be a relentless assault on our innocence, just like my father did as composer of ‘The Wizard of Oz,'” Arlen explained. For complete rules and registration visit

Joke alert

A Jewish mother walks her son to the school bus corner on his first day of

“Behave, my Bubaleh.” “Take good care of yourself and think
about your mother, Tataleh!  Come right back home, Schein Kindaleh. Your
Mommy loves you, my Ketsaleh!” 

At the end of the day she runs to her son and hugs him. “So what did my
Pupaleh learn on his first day of school?” 

The boy answers, “I learned my name is Jerry.”