Sometime in September, I conceived a “Live Well” theme to offer a boost to my sponsors. I regularly look for ways to do that but I also like to keep these things on the up and up with all my valued readers (that means you). Those pages are now called “Words and Wisdom from Our Sponsors.” [Read more…] about Just Between Us: Grace Bennett
Just Between Us
By Grace Bennett
Inside Chappaqua is honored to dedicate this issue about growing up here to Evan Lieberman and to his happy and well lived life. Evan was home from his freshman year at the University of Connecticut and had been on his way to work with three other Chappaqua teens to a summer construction job in Brewster. Evan lost his life after a 32-day courageous struggle to survive. The three other teens all sustained different injuries from the car accident and are continuing to recover both physically and emotionally. Inside Chappaqua and the Liebermans, and the community at large, wish all these boys and their families much love, comfort and full recoveries.
On July 20, the community poured out in unprecedented numbers at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford to honor Evan and to share their love and support.
The service gave attendees a glimpse into a vibrant, fun, funny, kind, affectionate and talented young man. For this column, the Liebermans shared with me their gratitude to all the friends, family and neighbors who have lent a hand and a shoulder to cry on, to Rabbi David Greenberg and to their neighbors and best friends Bill and Jill Madden, both of whom who shared loving stories about Evan at the service. They are also deeply grateful and indebted to Dr. Francis Baccay and all the health care professionals at the Westchester Medical Center Trauma Intensive Care Unit and at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital who cared for Evan. The Liebermans themselves, by all accounts, have been a portrait in courage in the face of every parent’s worst nightmare.
IC was busy preparing a special issue produced by teens about teens when this tragedy struck and approached the Liebermans with the idea for this tribute. — Grace
P.S. A special thank you right back (and you’re welcome!) to my “freshmen dozen,” and in particular to my gracious and brilliant guest editor Lindsay Hand, all of whom jumped on board this past spring to produce a “Growing Up Here” back to school issue. Thank you too to Debra Hand, Lindsay’s mom, who acted as an advisor and consulting editor on the issue as well.
Have I ever mentioned that I spent a few years as a Health Editor, first at a company called Boardroom (editing “Health Confidential” ) and some years later at Woman’s Day? I did a lot of freelance work too for major medical centers. Upon a friend’s suggestion (thank you Jo Rosenfeld), I was happy to “revive” such experiences and channel them into a “health & safety” edition. What I’m trying to say is: Chappaqua, you’re in good hands!
Truth is, I’m very tired as I write this column close to deadline. I spent the day in a most labor intensive fashion (five hours of schlepping “stuff” to my car from a fourth floor dorm room) picking up my freshman from college, though perhaps I’ll sleep soundly tonight. So, in the interest of my own health, I’m going to keep my column short this go round. While I may not be feeling chatty right now, I offer you many words for thought about Indian Point on page 17 via an interview with Michael Kaplowitz. While not the most cheery story, I agree wholeheartedly with Michael’s “Be Prepared” message. Melani Lust (who photographed), Rich Klein (who videotaped it for insidechappaqua.com) and Laurie Fessler (who transcribed the interview) …thank you all for helping me execute this one. Another story about a family surviving a Chappaqua fire ran out of space, so I’m including fire safety info here too. Have a wonderful summer, everyone.
P.S. Love Music? I’ve been enjoying the exciting jam scene in the area. A strong sense of community surrounds the sets which seem to be teeming with suburban guys (and some gals too!) who rock out for fun. One such guy reports on page 29. For jams and other music listings in NY and CT, visit the new ryzemusic.com.
I pegged this issue “The Unforgettable Mom.” Had a nice ring to it, I thought, and have indeed turned the spotlight on some obviously memorable women. If you haven’t been to StacyKnows.com, you will soon be taking all kinds of shopping and living advice from the incomparable Stacy Geisinger! Know I do! A special remembrance of Chappaqua’s Dawn Re is also a page you won’t want to miss. While I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Dawn, I am honored to include Laurie Fessler’s words about “Loving Dawn” in this issue. And of course, the beautiful, art for a cause by Susan Schrott–and writer Lori Sachare’s accompanying story–touched me deeply too. Plus, much more…speech language pathologist Isa Marrs and exotic pets vet Dr. Laurie Hess are two more remarkable women profiled in this issue.
Truthfully, in retrospect, I think the phrase “The Unforgettable Mom” is a bit misleading. I don’t think I have ever met a mom, or any person at all really, whom I’d call “forgettable.” I know as a journalist and publisher that there’s a “story to tell” in each of us. A new friend and Rabbi-in-training recently reminded me that we’re each a world within this world. Count on a future Rabbi to weigh in with a simple truth. The life experiences that each one of us contributes to the lives we intersect, for better or for worse, is truly what’s unforgettable.
The people and stories behind any business, advertising driven or not!, can be as interesting as any that come my way. In this issue, local camp owners proudly share the unique aspects of their camps, in case you are still pondering your child’s summer. A feature that follows on the Wagon Road Camp demystifies a vibrant backyard camp too.
I was also thoroughly delighted by fellow mom biz owners who described so positively the impact of being a parent in their daily business lives.
So Happy Mother’s Day to y’all, and to me too, this year! Here’s to no one ever describing you or me as “forgettable.”
P.S. May 1 in White Plains: A Yom Hashoah Remembrance
I also included a story by Rich Monetti, about the Human Rights Institute, a program of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center. I am a member of its advisory board and, as many of you know by now, a child of Holocaust survivors. The HHREC provides free programming to shape tomorrow’s leaders and to serve educators in the area of human rights in a host of phenomenal ways. A great way to support the center and its mission is simply to attend its annual Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Commemoration that will be held from 2-3:30 p.m on Sunday, May 1 at Congregation Kol Ami (252 Soundview Avenue) in White Plains.
The program is organized annually by the HHREC and is co-sponsored by the Westchester Jewish Council and Congregation Kol Ami. The event is free and open to the public. After the ceremony, guests will be invited to visit The Garden of Remembrance, located in front of the Michaelian Office Building at 148 Martine Avenue in White Plains.
The Garden was created by HHREC.
“It’s now 66 years since World War II ended, ” said Donna Cohen, executive director of HHREC. “With each passing year, there are fewer Holocaust survivors to tell the world first-hand about what they saw and about the dangers of bigotry. As time marches on, these stories become more and more vital to the history of the Jewish people–and serve as a constant reminder to the world about the critical importance of respect for human rights everywhere.” For more info, visit hhrecny.org.
10. Local celebrity can be a blast. I still enjoy hearing, “ You’re THAT Grace? I love your magazine!” Who wouldn’t?
9. Why give up a great team? There’s a wonderful synergy between myself and my two right hand folks, Carine and Dina. All my other contributors really rock too!
8.New testimonials are heartening. At a local business networking group meeting I was invited to attend recently, a new advertiser mentioned “six hits” he received as soon as the magazine came out. While not every advertiser will share a success story so readily, I am convinced print advertising still works just fine!
7. Working at home does the trick. Inside Chappaqua is a home based business conceived of in part to accommodate my work and family life. It still serves that purpose for me and I’m glad I can help many of my contributors accomplish the same.
6. There are new social media opportunities I happily exploit. I can spend hours in a day online posting for work while simultaneously entertaining virtual friends with my great wit or flirting with the occasional suitor on my personal page. That I’m “on” Facebook is quite accurate.
5. Party plans. I hope to hold a 10th anniversary bash in the spring of 2013 and invite the entire world.
4. I always wanted to own a dog. I have happily settled instead for the intrepid Maggie Mae Pup Reporter in these pages.
3. Rick’s Last Licks. Rick’s is so many people’s favorite page in IC, there could be riots around here if I stop publishing.
2. I’m privy to all kinds of Chappaqua chatter, and not just about the Clintons. It’s fun to be “in the know.”
1. I like surviving against all odds. I am a daughter of Holocaust survivors, after all.