Oscar Acceptance Speech Highlights

The Oscars, which took place on Sunday, yielded exciting results.
Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’ won Best Picture, while Daniel Day-Lewis won Best Actor for his role in ‘Lincoln’.
The much-loved Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for her leading role in ‘Silver Linings Playbook’, and newcomer Ang Lee won the award for Best Director for his film “Life of Pi’.
Anne Hathaway won an award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in ‘Les Miserables’, and Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘Django Unchained’.

Here are some of the highlights from the event:

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Research and Care for Adults and Children with Cancer

Jim Donovan
Dana-Farber Trustee Jim Donovan

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was founded in 1947 and is today located in a modern medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. Today the Institute is engaged in comprehensive research into the causes of and possible cures for this devastating and dreaded disease. The Institute also reaches out to the general community with information while providing easier access to medical care.

The Yawkey Center for Cancer Care, part of the Dana-Farber Institute, is a cutting-edge research and care facility especially designed to bring the best treatments to patients as quickly as possible. The special care offered by Dana-Farber also reaches beyond the immediate boundaries of the Longwood Medical Area. The Institute networks with satellite centers in several locations throughout Massachusetts, and even as far as Londonderry, New Hampshire.

The Dana-Farber Community Benefits Program reaches out to the greater Boston community to educate, help prevent and reduce the risk of cancer in the area’s under-served populations. One example of the way the program accomplishes its goals is through a mobile mammography program, the only one of its kind in all of Massachusetts. Dana-Farber also supports a community outreach program whose aim is to increase the rates of colon cancer screening among minorities in the Boston area and thereby reducing the rate of death from this disease.

In a recently written article Jim Donovan explains how supporting cancer research has helped him put meaning into the death of a close friend who passed away from cancer. Donovan became a supporter of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, serving on the Board of Trustees, establishing the Christy and Jim Donovan Fund for Prostate Cancer Research at Dana-Farber, as well as supporting Dana-Farber in a myriad of other ways. As Donovan puts it:

“This participation helped me process my grief over losing my friend.  I continue to show my support for him every day through these activities.  And it also changed my perspective on the fight against cancer. I realized it takes much more than doctors in the operating room and researchers in the lab.  It takes regular people devoting their time, talents, and resources, whatever those may be, to champion the cause. I’m thankful I can use my business and financial background to support organizations dedicated to cancer research. I’m also an avid runner, so I also participate in road races to raise money. And, as corny as it may sound, I think of my friend when I run, and I really do feel as though I’m running towards the cure.”

How to Stick with Fitness Resolutions

FitnessMillions of Americans listed healthier lifestyles amongst their New Year’s resolutions. According to recent studies, the majority of these are headed for despair.

“We’ve tracked the patterns,” reveals YMCA Health and Wellness Director Sue Dissinger. “After 30 to 60 days people start to slowly decline or quit.”

The figures, which are based on several years of study, have been confirmed throughout the health and fitness worlds. People generally lose enthusiasm after about a month, despite their best intentions.

Lori Steven, a dietician with WakeMed Cary Hospital, explains the phenomenon. “We often make our goals too big, too ambitious,” she said. “We say, ‘Once the year starts, I’m going to cut all sugar out of my diet.’ That’s extreme. It’s not sustainable.”

“The main reason most people fail is because they don’t have a plan,” adds Ronnie Neal of Rex Wellness Center. They need to have specific goals, not just “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get in better shape.”

Stevens recommends setting realistic goals, like cutting dessert out of weeknight meals. “Or, instead of saying ‘I’m going to work out every day and run a marathon in March,’ say you’ll work out five days a week and do a 5K in April, then maybe a 10K in June and a half-marathon or marathon in the fall.”

Neal adds: “Writing down your goals hardwires them a little more into your subconcious.”

Lastly, it is very important to stay patient. It can take months to see real results, but stick with it and don’t get discouraged!

What Do Your Valentine’s Day Flowers Mean?

Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic days of the year. Giving loved ones flowers is a classic tradition and a wonderful way to express appreciation. Interestingly, different flowers have different implications, and the type you select or receive may have a special meaning. Spruce up your flower knowledge and learn what some of the top Valentine’s Day flowers really symbolize:


Probably the most popular Valentine’s Day bloom, the rose represents love, romance, perfection and beauty. It has a fairy-tale association and is also relatively expensive, making it the classic choice for this holiday.



Daisies are beautiful, representing innocence and purity. They also come in a wide range of bright, cheerful colors. These happy blooms have the ability to lighten the mood, and imply a relaxed, appreciative relationship.



Tulips are extremely classic. These affordable buds “stand for perfect love,” according to Michael Gaffney, Director of the New York School of Flower Design, and convey warmth and comfort.



Peruvian LilyPeruvian Lilies

The petals of the Peruvian Lily, or Alstroemeria, are long-lasting and extremely beautiful. They represent devotion and strong friendship. Multiple flowers bloom on each stem, making it easy to create full, luscious arrangements.


LilyCasa Blanca Lilies

Gaffney explains that these flowers represent “beauty, class and style.” He adds, “A man who creates a bouquet with these dramatic- and expensive- lilies is sophisticated and knows his partner well.”


Zarsha Leo CEO on Catering to Customers

Evan Burschkopf, CEO of Zarsha Leo, recently discussed the importance of getting to know your target audience. Zarsha Leo is a leading restaurant-bar franchise based in New York City.

“Each Zarsha Leo venue is unique,” Burschkopf explains. “We analyze every location before we launch, taking residents, style, competition and costs into consideration. We make sure to stay flexible, and give our customers what they want. For example, our Florida and LA branches offer special deals for seniors, while our Maryland branch is extremely Ravens-focused. The Ravens theme turned out to be quite lucrative during the NFL playoffs this year.”


Embrace Life

The Super Bowl commercials are still generating buzz as people discuss which were the most controversial, the most entertaining, the most convincing, and of course, which were the biggest waste of time.

The five most popular commercials this year include the Tide ‘Stain‘ commercial, Best Buy’s customer service ad, Budweiser’s “Clydesdale: Brotherhood“, Taco Bell’s ‘Viva Young’ and Oreo’s Cookie Vs. Cream debate.

Commercials have a significant impact on a person’s attitude and opinion. They can be used to market products and services very effectively. However, some organizations have learned to direct them to a higher purpose- road safety. One of the best seat belt ads ever created is “Embrace Life” by Sussex Safer Roads. Though this commercial is not graphic or violent in any way, it manages to touch the very core of any audience.