The 9th annual Think Fit For Kids event, which supports pediatric brain cancer research, took place once again at Club Fit in Briarcliff on March 3rd. As always, the event brought the community together for a fun-filled day of fitness, while raising funds to support novel pediatric brain cancer research. Since the 2018 event, A Kid’s Brain Tumor Cure Foundation has merged with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, the largest pediatric brain tumor foundation in the country, in order to serve more families and find more promising treatments for children battling brain tumors. This merger would not have been possible without the success of Think Fit For Kids, which has raised close to $2 million over the last nine years. Think Fit For Kids funds are currently funding two clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and an on-going research project at the Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as the first ever privately funded pediatric brain cancer research project at the National Cancer Institute. The non-profit is excited for this opportunity as it finally gives pediatric brain tumor research the recognition it deserves from the government. “None of this would be possible without the community support of the annual Think Fit For Kids event. The community’s generosity has given hope to kids battling brain tumors who have run out of treatment options,” noted Kim Gilman, a Chappaqua resident and co-founder of the Think Fit For Kids event. To find out additional information or to donate, please visit thinkfitforkids.org.
Armonk Just Between Us
I’m thrilled to be into a fourth year of publishing Inside Armonk Magazine, and to add finishing touches to an early spring edition while basking in an unseasonably warm late February day. Please enjoy this edition chock full of “strong starts” snapshots into North Castle living with a special spotlight on the North Castle Public Library…and on many area libraries in fact. I often wondered how our libraries are faring in this increasingly digital world, so was delighted to read that they continue to engage us with ever evolving and innovative programming. Please enjoy the issue, and the always welcome promise of spring! In sweet anticipation of it, I joined many area merchants for an enjoyable evening of networking hosted by two Castle Chambers, per below! — Grace
A Two-Chamber Affair at The Seafood Grille
In time for our ‘Gratitude’ edition, I’d like to mention a journey I’m on at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco. I announced on Facebook recently that I’d gained a lot of weight over the last year. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to work out twice a week with a wonderfully engaging and pro personal trainer, Sarah Eichorn. She’s making a huge difference in how I feel both physically and mentally in my still kind of new empty nest years.
The changes in how I look and feel are coming in little increments, and I’m embracing Sarah’s belief that a positive journey is as important to my well-being and long term success as any weight loss I experience. I’ll be writing more about this special journey in the next edition, too!
So, tell me. What are you grateful for? Maybe your experience could also be a story in a future edition of Inside Armonk! Please drop me a note any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Grace Bennett
Paris is personal for me. It holds some special memories. It’s where my ex-husband and I spent our honeymoon. But that’s not my subject here. Summer of ‘77…I’m 17 ½ following a freshman year at Boston University and accompanying my parents to Frankfurt, Germany, for a Nazi war trial. My dad was called to testify against a low to mid-level Nazi commandant who oversaw his barracks in Auschwitz. He asked if I would write about it for the employee newspaper at Yeshiva University in Washington Heights where he worked as a maintenance supervisor. (I did.)
We stayed a couple days, didn’t tour…it was strictly business. The day in court, Mr. Schmidt roamed freely and even approached my father casually. “Hello, Jacob,” he said before court officiated, clearly recognizing my dad, using his name!, as if they had once shot a game of pool together.
My dad acknowledged him with a hello back. I asked my dad how he could even look at him; he said simply, “he wasn’t the worst of them.” For my part, I concentrated on aiming daggers his way through my eyes, but I’m not sure he saw.
From Frankfurt, we chose Paris to visit before our final destination of Tel Aviv; it was the one place in Europe that my mom, in particular, had dreamed of seeing as a teenager growing up post war in Poland, having survived after her immediate family escaped from Warsaw to Russia. My mom’s family was sent back to then Communist-turned Poland. Even after all they had been through, they had to wait years for visas to Israel, where she eventually met my dad.
So Paris was where we stopped to unwind following the time in Frankfurt…and we experienced the usual…a clear view of the Eiffel Tower, crepes and finer eats, a walk along the River Siene, a visit to the Louvre.
It was more than the City of Lights for us for a short time, It was a place to put the trial behind us, to let our hair down, laugh a little. Thoughts of the awful events of decades earlier were suspended and then shelved as we picked up souvenirs, sipped café au lait, and tried so hard to simply be “normal” tourists to Paris.
I think we succeeded despite all our baggage. There we were, two Holocaust survivors and their kid, in Paris, safe and carefree…as Paris is meant to be, as Paris should always be.
Do enjoy our entire Winter 2015 edition! The theme was “Express Yourself, “ as I did here in the aftermath of the tragic events in Paris. Together with our wonderful contributors, I tried to fill this issue with a variety of meaningful civic, artistic and personal “expressions;” they run the gamut, so see what resonates most with you! Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season.
The Magic of Frosty!
By the time you read this, you will likely have enjoyed one of Armonk’s most anticipated family fun days of the year: “Frosty Day!” Our online coverage and story by Stacey Pfeffer of the 2015 Frosty Day parade and activities can be viewed at www.theinsidepress! but these wonderful 2014 pictures from the president of Friends of Frosty, Robby Morris, highlighted all the fun Armonk residents can always anticipate.
Forgive me but I’m going to state the obvious: the same roads that divide us bring us together. Our communities are so close by that it’s no surprise that the synergy between us feels so entirely natural. That is, in fact, a point that our Executive Editor Beth Besen noted so well with our launch edition, “It’s Hip to Be Square,” (in celebration of a true downtown revitalization) and I would like to offer that message again.
Here’s why: That same synergy is very much at work as we work hard producing our two Inside Press publications: Inside Chappaqua and Inside Armonk. There are stories in Inside Chappaqua that may appear to be “more Chappaqua,” but in fact, can easily appeal to Armonk, or any Westchester community (or “beyond,” for that matter). One such story is the formation of the Northern Westchester Artists Guild, “If you Guild it…” That story was originally slated to run in Inside Chappaqua only, but I am delighted to have “found the space” to include it here too. While it may have been spearheaded by one terrific Chappaqua mom, Leslie Weissman, it is still, at its heart, a story that could appeal to anyone, anywhere with a passion for the arts.
And if I’ve learned nothing else about Armonk, I know North Castle boasts a thriving arts community with volunteers dedicated to offering and promoting the arts as well…proof positive of that being the annual and spectacular Armonk Art Show that we proudly featured in our second edition.
Your incredible arts passion is also reflected in a story in this issue about the amazing community theatres that have their grass roots on North Castle soil. I am so impressed to know that just ten minutes from my own home there are so many options for adults possessing a genuine yen to act, the talent and skills to do so, and/or contribute to theatre efforts behind the scenes. I’m impressed…and intrigued for my own personal reasons.
This past fall, I have been positively overtaken by an acting bug. It’s been a recurring phenomenon in my life, I must admit, and I address it as best I can, considering time constraints, alas. It all started when I had the lead role of “Mama” in an 8th grade production of “I Remember Mama.” A standing ovation in an auditorium filled with family and friends created a moment of pure adolescent glory that’s fun to remember and reignite by engaging in new efforts. While my career of course took a difference turn (as I sit here writing a publisher’s letter in a magazine to you all!), over the years, I attended a New York City acting school (the Lee Strasberg Institute), took acting and improvisation classes in the various neighborhoods I’ve lived in–pre marriage, post marriage and post divorce. I took two workshops at one point in Pleasantville with Howard Meyer’s Acting Studio, and I can vouch for the professionalism of its instructors and stellar performances of the Axial Theatre. I’ve enjoyed several productions of The Armonk Players too, and I have worked directly with the wonderful John Finelli, the founder of Standing Ovation Studios. John directed me in a lead role I had as the Wicked Witch in a production of Music in Chappaqua and the Saw Mill Summer Theatre Group at Tarrytown Music Hall.
Finally, having incorporated a great deal of Sam Morell’s beautiful photography into this edition, I’m aware of his talents, and now entirely curious to attend a production of his Small Town Theatre Company one day too!
But I digress from the synergy discussion I led with. Ah well. Changing topics? Entirely natural for me too!
If you allow me one final topic change/confession too: I sit here writing this with a good dose of the winter blues. It’s been an unusually frigid February, and I’m thrilled that I can at least focus on spring themes in my work. It sends my imagination soaring to hope for new possibilities, not only in my “acting life,” but on an even more personal note, in my love life as well!
I hope to continue sharing “my story” with you all from time to time. I would LOVE to hear from many of you too…with your own stories–your thoughts, essays, and general ideas about Armonk living. Beth and I wish nothing less than to continue to embrace and understand your community as much as possible and reflect that understanding in these pages. Feel free to write me anytime at email@example.com. In the meantime, here’s to waking up to spring, which brrrr…cannot come soon enough!