Baum 'Art in the City Gala' to honor Fredda Fischman
Each year, The Baum School of Art holds an annual gala, bringing together donors and local organizations in support of the community efforts of the school, and honors those whose service and generosity has made an impact on the local arts community.
At this year's "Art in the City Gala," Oct. 13, the Baum School is honoring Fredda Fischman and her late husband, Dr. Bruce Fischman, for the financial assistance fund they founded for senior citizens known as STAR (Senior Tuition Assistance Reward). For more than five years, STAR has provided more than 120 creative older adults the means to find their passion through financial aid to study at Baum.
The gala will features visiting artist, acclaimed social realist painter Max Ginsburg, whose exhibition, "Max Ginsburg: The Social Realist Master," continues through Oct. 19 in the David E. Rodale and Rodale Family Galleries at Baum.
Art always has been a part of Fredda Fischman's life. Her mother was an artist by avocation and worked in oils and jewelry-making, and her family worked in all phases of Civic Little Theater, now Civic Theater.
She was surrounded by art as a child growing up in Allentown. As a student of the Allentown School District, she was especially awed by the artistic talent of her high school art teachers, including James Musselman. Her interest in education and foreign languages led her to a career working with children.
As a kindergarten teach-er of English as a Second Language, she discovered that many non-English speaking children are tremendously talented in art and express their awareness of learning and language visually. For two summers, she and her husband taught with Dr. Howard Gardener and "Project Zero," which theorizes that there are multiple intelligences through which all people learn, not just verbally, visually or aurally.
In spring 2002, Fredda retired; and Bruce suggested Fredda take some art classes. Fredda says, "The Art Gods were smiling down on me and sent me to The Baum School of Art to study with Dana Van Horn, who is the epitome of the very best in teachers. He sees where you begin, and he takes you as far as your own talent will take you.
"He does not try to make you a carbon copy of himself, but allows you to develop as you see fit, all the while praising and softly encouraging you to accept happy accidents in the watercolors as enhancements, not as mistakes."
After Bruce passed away in 2007, Fredda "peopled" their home in portraits and brought the walls to life with still lifes and landscapes. She says of her experience at The Baum School of Art, "Even my untrained eye can see the difference in artistic growth from my earlier works to today's. Who knows where I will go in the future? Thank you, Dana."
A number of older people were in her class and she wondered if it was a stretch for them financially to take the class, and thus STAR was born.
She wanted everyone "of a certain age" to find their joy, their passion, their fun and perhaps their fame, so she talked to Rose Ackerman, Baum Director of Development at the time, and created STAR, offering an opportunity for those in need to open their world to an outlet heretofore unreachable and perhaps unknown. The STARs know no limit.
Fredda has continued to fund STAR for more than five years, providing opportunities for dozens of senior artists annually. In addition to her involvement as a student and philanthropist, Fredda also gives her time as a volunteer, helping to develop a new arts-based early childhood curriculum that will be unveiled in 2013.
The gala begins with a cocktail hour and silent auction from 6 - 7:30 p.m., with art from the Baum School collection, and works donated by faculty. Dinner at 7:30 p.m. is catered by Karen Hunter.
Proceeds from the auction benefit the Baum School's educational mission. The Baum School's programs and scholarships provide arts education opportunities to underserved populations, especially disadvantaged youth.
The Baum School serves more than 3,000 students with almost 350 classes, including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry-making and metal-smithing, fashion design and construction and photography, graphic design, illustration, film-making. The School holds workshops, gallery exhibits, public and private meetings, receptions and events.
Ticket information: Leigh Young, leigh@ baumschool. org, 610-433-0032
Hunger Walk: The Allentown CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by the Lehigh County Conference of Churches is Oct. 14. Registration begins at 12:45 p.m., St. Timothy's Lutheran Church, Ott and Walnut streets, Allentown.
The walk begins at 1:30 p.m. There is a six-mile walk through Allentown with rest stops along the way and a "Golden Mile Walk" for the elderly, families with children or dogs, or those wanting a leisurely pace
One quarter of the proceeds of the Allentown CROP Hunger Walk will be shared between the Lehigh County Conference of Churches Soup Kitchen and the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank.
In 2011, the Lehigh County Conference of Churches Soup Kitchen served more than 36,000 meals, with 1,500 meals served to children.
Each year, the Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank provides food for more than 30,000.
"Recruiter Packets" for the walk are available at First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Crest Boulevard and Tilghman Street, and Lehigh County Conference of Churches' office, 534 Chew St., Allentown.
Non-perishable food items will be received the day of the walk by the Allentown Ecumenical Food Bank. The Food Bank is in need of peanut butter, jelly and canned soups.
Aid "The Marshall Plan": When Kaitlin Reinbold's Marine boyfriend was stationed in Afghanistan in 2011, she sent care packages to remind him of home. Tastykakes were the most popular items with the Marines, particularly with one named Marshall, who had never had them before.
In June 2011, Marshall was severely injured by an I.E.D. He endured surgeries, rehabilitation and physical therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md. Marshall, the Marine for whom the program is named, is hoping to return in December to his home and family in Arkansas.
Marshall's story inspired Bob Price, a friend of Kaitlin's family, with an idea to show wounded warriors gratitude and respect by delivering boxes of Tastykakes to Walter Reed. "The Marshall Plan" came together. Bob and Dave Reinbold, Kaitlin's father, rode on bicycles from Bethlehem to Bethesda – 2,000 miles – followed by the Tastykakes (thanks to Tom and Kari Mesko) and the rest of the team by car a few days later.
On Oct. 17, 2011, the team delivered 1,600 boxes of Tastykakes and more than $9,000 in donations, most of which was used to purchase gift cards for wounded warriors and their families. Extra funds were donated to the USO, Washington, D.C., in thanks for help with logistics. The Marshall Plan also sent a few care packages to troops in Afghanistan.
The Marshall Plan succeeded because of family members, friends and residents of the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. Support also came from Team Capital Bank, and The Tasty Baking Company, especially Lehigh Valley Tastykake Sales Distributors.
The Marshall Plan is gearing up for its drive to support wounded troops. The delivery date to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center is Oct. 15. Fresh Tastykakes can be dropped off at Team Capital banks through Oct. 10. Monetary contributions can be sent to: The Marshall Plan, P.O. Box 285, Bethlehem, Pa. 18016.
Good Cause is a column about fundraisers and galas for Lehigh Valley nonprofit organizations. Email press releases and event coverage requests to Paul Willistein, Focus Editor: email@example.com.