The FHM announced the program for this year's "To Life" gala at the Mahaffey Theater, Thursday, February 27, 2014. "To Life: To Children" will honor Survivors of the Kindertransport (Children's Transport) on the 75th Anniversary of the effort that saved the lives of approximately 10,000 children during the Holocaust.
Following the violent pogrom staged by Nazi authorities against German Jews in November of 1938 (also known as Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass), the British government allowed for the temporary admission of unaccompanied minors from Germany and German-annexed territories, to England. It was assumed that the children would return to their parents when the "crisis" was over. Yet, most would never see their parents again.
Two Survivors of the Kindertransport, Marietta Drucker and Lisl Schick, are serving as Honorary Co-Chairs of this year's event.
The program features Grammy® nominated American concert pianist, radio host and recording artist Mona Golabek performing excerpts from her award winning stage show based on the book The Children of Willesden Lane, written by Golabek and Lee Cohen. Chosen among the top ten shows for 2013 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Sun Times, it tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish pianist who dreams of a concert debut at the storied Musikverein concert hall. When Lisa is swept up in the Kindertransport to protect her from the Nazi regime, everything about her life is upended except her love of music and her pursuit of that dream. Golabek, Jura's daughter, performs some of the world's most beloved piano music in this poignant tribute to her remarkable mother.
Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor will also be presented with the prestigious Loebenberg Humanitarian Award. A 29-year veteran of the Tampa Police Department, Castor has served the community in nearly every capacity. She helped lead the Homeland Security's Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative, serves on the boards of numerous local organizations and mentors at risk children as a Big Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
Chief Castor is working with the FHM to provide her force with a program similar to the "Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust" training available at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM). The history of the Holocaust and its implications for law enforcement today are examined with a focus on choice, individual responsibility and maintaining core values. Following discussions with USHMM and the Anti-Defamation League, it was decided that the FHM would be the first Museum outside of Washington DC to offer the program to local law enforcement agencies. Under Castor's direction, the entire Tampa Police Department, from command to new recruits will take part in the program.
"We are proud to be able to offer this new initiative to the community and are grateful for Chief Castor's vision in understanding the importance of this training in modern society," said Elizabeth Gelman, FHM Executive Director. "This program directly resonates with our core focus to use the lessons of the past to create a better future for all."
Individual tickets for the To Life benefit are $200 and sponsorships are available. For more info, call 727.820.0100, ext. 251 or email firstname.lastname@example.org