I had never heard of Camp Kesem before until a regular reader, a few days ago, informed me about its efforts. And, may I say, was I surprised.
I have a regular reader!
As for Camp Kesem, I would say "impressed" was the word that came to mind. Camp Kesem takes place on nearly 100 college campuses across the country. It is a summer camp that serves children whose parents are dealing with cancer, many of whom live in our Sun Press coverage area.
Locally, the camp is held by about 70 passionate students and alums at Case Western Reserve University. Junior CWRU nursing student Annie Cheng is one of those participating students.
Cheng, who grew up in California attending summer camps, signed on with Camp Kesem as a freshman because of her past enjoyable experiences with camps. She said she has since grown as a person while working with the youngsters, ages 6-18, at the non-profit Camp Kesem.
"It's been humbling and I've learned a lot," Cheng said. "The children are so resilient. We think our lives are so busy and that we have problems, then you see them and what they're dealing with. They're able to deal with it and still smile.
"And they're so grateful for what you do for them."
Cheng is also the co-coordinator, with Mihir Nilkanth, of the upcoming "Third Annual Make the Magic" Camp Kesem benefit dinner. If you would like to attend and help the camp work its magic, you can purchase tickets to the three-course dinner, being held from 6-9 p.m. April 1 at the DoubleTree Tudor Arms Hotel, 10660 Carnegie Ave. in Cleveland.
Tickets cost $60 per person, or $110 per couple. You can purchase tickets online by visiting donate.kesem.org/cwrumtm.
By all means, join my regular reader, who will be there, in helping putting smiles on youngsters faces.
Gala: Beaumont School will host its 2017 Gala beginning at 5:30 p.m. April 1 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights.
Proceeds will allow the Cleveland Heights school to provide a scholarship to each of its students, provide tuition assistance to those in need, and to help with operating expenses.
Honorary chairs of the Gala are Mo and Mary Jo Paulett Toumert, Class of '75.
George and the late Maryellen McBride Hammer ('48) will be the recipients of this year's Beaumont Award, which will be presented at the Gala.
So, to all friends of Beaumont, and those who would like to be, you can buy tickets at a cost of $150 per person, or $300 per couple and help the cause.
For more information, visit beaumontschool.org/beaumontgala.
And, while we're on the subject of Beaumont, the school wants all to know that the second installment of its 2016-17 St. Angela Merici Speaker Series will take place from 7-8 p.m. March 8 at the school, 3301 North Park Blvd.
Sister Ann Winters, OSU, will lead "Becoming the Light of Christ: An Experiential Hour of Releasing and Forgiveness to Love Ourselves as God Loves Us."
All are invited to attend this free Lenten season event. If you plan to attend, register at beaumontschool.org.'Pestival' is coming to the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes April 7.Jeff Piorkowski/Special to cleveland.com
Pestival: We wrote about it here last year and it's back -- Pestival.
The Nature Center at Shaker Lakes will celebrate 12 years of progress in eradicating the garlic mustard plant at its annual cocktail-style reception.
Pestival combines successful land management and creative cuisine by featuring delicacies made by some of Cleveland's most celebrated chefs from the invasive, yet edible, garlic mustard pulled from the Nature Center's grounds.
That's right, garlic, mustard and, likely, some bad breath all combined into one cocktail party. Yes, you might want to keep a little distance between yourself and other revelers as you're discussing the latest upturn in the stock market.
The event also includes beer, wine, soft drinks and raffle prizes.
This year's Pestival will be held from 6-9 p.m. April 7 at the Nature Center, 2600 South Park Blvd. in Shaker Heights.
The events starts, from 6-7 p.m., with a limited meet-the-chefs hour, and continues with an open tasting from 7-9 p.m. Twelve restaurants are participating.
The fun doesn't stop at 9. If you head, after 9 p.m., to Gigi's on Fairmount, 3477 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, the designated post-Pestival party spot, you can continue eating and helping the Nature Center. Gigi's is donating 10 percent of its proceeds from the entire day of April 7 to the Nature Center.
Make your reservations for Pestival early. There is a presale for Nature Center members only through March 17. Non-members can start reserving a spot on March 18. Meet-the-chefs and tasting reservations are $90 per person, while a ticket for just the tasting is $65.
Make a reservation by calling 216-321-5935, or by visiting shakerlakes.org.
Partnering: Temple Emanu El in Orange is partnering with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood. The temple will now carry merchandise from the Maltz Museum gift store.
"Cleveland is a community that understands the power of partnerships," said Maltz Museum Executive Director Ellen Rudolph. "This relationship extends the museum's reach while allowing Temple Emanu El to leverage our buying power and the expertise of a seasoned store manager. It's a win for both organizations."
Meanwhile, the temple's executive director, Renee Higer, said, "This collaboration is a great opportunity for Temple Emanu El to partner with one of our fellow local Jewish institutions, open our doors to the community, and provide our congregants with easy access to the Maltz Museum's wonderful selection of Judaica."
Temple Emanu El is located at 4545 Bainbridge Road.
Get into the swim: March is near and that can only mean that it's time once again for the annual Heights High School Swim Cadet Show.
The shows will be performed at 7 p.m. March 9-11 in the pool at Warrensville Heights High School, 14270 Northfield Road.
I caught the show a couple of years ago, and I think you'll enjoy it, as did I.
This year's theme is "Swim Cadets Break Your Heart" and it features break-up songs from different genres over the decades.
The 20-member synchronized swim club has been practicing 12-15 hours per week the past five months just to entertain you. The club is the longest-running at Cleveland Heights High, dating to 1939.
Senior and club president Aubrey Fort has been a member since she was a freshman and considers her fellow swimmers family members.
"The team is really fun," she said. "We laugh, we cry, we work really hard, and we put on a stellar show."
Tickets cost $8 and can be purchased from club members and at the door.
Above stairs: The Shaker Historical Society has a new exhibit ready to go. It's titled "Above Stairs: Domestic Service in Shaker Heights."
The exhibit focuses on Shaker Heights households and the people who kept them working. "Who were the maids, chauffeurs, cooks and butlers here, and where did they come from?" asks the SHS release.
I know where all those things come from in my house -- they're all me.
The exhibit, open now, runs through July 31. There will be a special "after hours" reception from 6-8 p.m. March 9. The SHS is located at 16740 South Park Blvd.
New veep: The Mandel Jewish Community Center in Beachwood has named Traci E. Felder to the newly created position of vice president of fund development.
Most recently, Felder served as director of endowment campaign and major gifts at the Menorah Park Foundation. Previously, she served as executive director of three non-profits in the Cleveland area, including the Old Stone Education Center, Dress for Success Cleveland, and the Make a Wish Foundation.
She is the mother of three children and lives in Bainbridge.
Student art show: The Beachwood Arts Council's 22nd Annual Juried Regional High School Student Art Show, featuring the work of more than 90 students from 24 Greater Cleveland schools, is available for viewing through March 5 at the Beachwood Community Center, 25225 Fairmount Blvd.
The judges commented that "This was a very strong show this year." So, you might want to stop by and take a look around.
Awards have already been presented and the lone winner from our Sun Press area is Jenny Feng, of Shaker Heights High School, who took an honorable mention for her work, "Blooming Flower."
LinkedIn: Have you wondered how to get the most out of your LinkedIn account? If so, you can learn about the social and business networking website from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 8 at the Lee Road Library branch, 2345 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights.
The class covers how to get established as a member, as well as hints and tips for using the site for career development. You must have an active account to register on LinkedIn.
For further information, visit heightslibrary.org.
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