George W. Bush Presidential Library Opens to Public Today

George W. Bush Presidential LibraryLast week, five presidents came together to honor George W. Bush as he opened the George W. Bush Presidential Library. On April 25th, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter stood together for an historic picture in front of the new library. Shapell Manuscript Foundation displays the image, as well as a discussion of this historic day.

The library officially opens to the public today, on May 1st. It is the 13th Presidential Library that is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The museum shows the critical events and issues that George W. Bush dealt with during his presidency and it has many of the domestic and foreign Presidential gifts that President Bush received.

For those who are interested in doing research, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum will be the perfect location. Anyone can use the Research Room as long as they are 14 years old and have viewed the orientation presentation. As it explains on the official site for the library,

The Museum at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum tells the story of the United States in an extraordinary time. Using artifacts, documents, photographs, and videos from the Library’s extensive collection, the 14,000 square foot Museum includes features, such as a full-sized Oval Office and a Texas Rose Garden. Interactive features in the permanent exhibition include a Decision Points Theater designed to take the visitor “inside” the decision-making process and policies developed during the Administration of President George W. Bush.”

“50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus” to Debut on Holocaust Remembrance Day

Journalist Steven Pressman will debut his first film on HBO on April 8th, Holocaust Remembrance Day, in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Shapell Manuscript Foundation has hundreds of Holocaust-related documents, including manuscripts, letters and journals from countries across Europe. Pressman’s documentary, called “50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus”, is based on a hidden, unpublished manuscript of a woman who fought for the lives of children during the Holocaust.

Pressman first learned of the unsung Philadelphian heroes Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus when his wife, their granddaughter, discovered Eleanor’s manuscript. The text explained the Kraus’s mission: to rescue Jewish children before the outbreak of World War II. Pressman traveled through Europe, and later to archives in Jerusalem and Washington D.C., to learn more about the Kraus’s efforts. He began collecting footage in 2010, and has finally gathered enough information to reveal the full story.

The film was written, directed and produced by Steven Pressman. Mamie Gummer is the voice of Eleanor Kraus, and Alan Alda narrates. The work includes archival footage and photographs, while nine of the rescued children share their experiences with the audience first hand.

Angelina Jolie Funds New Afghanistan School with New Jewelery Line

style of jolieE! News has revealed that Angelina Jolie plans to fund several schools for girls in Afghanistan with the help of a new jewelery line. According to the report, Jolie has opened a girls-only primary school in a high refugee population outside of Kabul. As a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Jolie has funded numerous efforts to improve education and quality of life for women in Afghanistan. The new school educates around 300 girls. Jolie’s first girls’ school was opened in east Afghanistan in 2010.

The new ‘Style of Jolie’ jewelery line was created by Jolie and jewelery maker Robert Procop. Jolie’s engagement ring was designed by Procop in 2012.

E! News quotes the actress: “Beyond enjoying the artistic satisfaction of designing these jewels, we are inspired by knowing our work is also serving the mutual goal of providing for children in need.”

Procop’s website supports her statement, saying: “the first funds from our collaboration together have been dedicated the Education Partnership for Children in Conflict (Jolie’s organization) to build a school in Afghanistan.”

In an interview, Procop added that it was “an honor to have the opportunity to be part of creating this line with Angie, as we both believe every child has right to an education.”

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.”

Frank Storch Helps Hurricane Sandy Victims in Baltimore and Beyond

While overseas Frank Storch, Baltimore community leader, heard that a hurricane was approaching his hometown of Baltimore.

Baltimore Braces for Hurricane Sandy

“I got a call on Thursday saying there was a big storm happening. I said to myself, ‘I have to be back in Baltimore,’” said Storch.

Despite having to spend an extra $2,000 to change his flight plans, Storch and his wife returned to the US on Sunday, ready to chip in however necessary to help his neighbors and friends in Baltimore.

“I got back,” he said, “and I spent the next several hours going to every Home Depot and drug store to get batteries and flashlights.”

From his home Storch distributed the flashlights and batteries to about 500 people who came to his door on Sunday night, and several hundred more on Monday night, until there were no more remaining.

Luckily the Baltimore community was not hit as hard by Sandy as other parts of the East Coast like New Jersey and New York.  Realizing that he could help people in dire need in the New York area, Storch sprang into action. On Wednesday evening, after hearing that there were still many people in the New York area without electricity, water and other basics, Storch tracked down five truckloads of supplies including 120 generators, and drove them to Far Rockaway, an area devastated by the violent storm. In coordination with the community rescue group Hatzalah of Far Rockaway,  Storch arrived in the Queens neighborhood and began distribution of supplies.

“You get there and you do it. You just get the job done,” Storch said.

“It is really a heartwarming story,” he said, noting the reaction of the residents when he arrived who would be able to have at least some relief from the pressures inflicted on them by Sandy. “It was just so beautiful.”

Storch also had to coordinate his actions with the Community Emergency Response Team, CERT. Without their permission Storch and his crew would not have been able to enter the area. Even with their caravan of trucks and van, they were only allowed to enter because Far Rockaway was considered “bad, but not dangerous.” Thanks to Frank Storch’s initiative and the help of all those he recruited to help him, the effects of Hurricane Sandy were to some extent mitigated.