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Civil rights celebration, memorial blood drive and a ‘Shark Tank’ style retail competition

History 101

For those unfamiliar, Juneteenth is an annual observance to remember when Union soldiers enforced the Emancipation Proclamation and freed all remaining slaves in Texas — and more generally in the remote areas of former Confederate States — on June 19, 1865. The day provides an opportunity  for all Americans to celebrate freedom and equal rights in the United States.

Temple Emanuel is marking Juneteenth this year with a special musical celebration. The synagogue’s cantorial soloist since 1977, Malachi Owens Jr., also directs The Men of Galilee, a choir at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church, where he is an ordained associate minister and trustee.

At 7 p.m. Friday, June 21, The Men of Galilee will join members of Temple Emanuel to perform spiritual and gospel songs, under the direction of Owens. Expect to hear familiar freedom songs such as “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Oh Freedom” and “We Shall Overcome,” along with many others. 

The public is welcome to attend this special Shabbat service at Temple Emanuel, 12166 Conway Road. For more information, call 314-432-5877 or visit www.testl.org.

Do it for Ari

It’s not much of an overstatement to say no one would have been more excited about the St. Louis Blues playing in the Stanley Cup than Arianna “Ari” Dougan. 

The 11-year-old who passed away in 2017 from a form of childhood cancer had a special friendship with All-Star winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who she called “Vladi.” The two met at a Hockey Fights Cancer night, after which Tarasenko surprised Ari for her 11th birthday by having her accompany the Blues on a road trip.

In honor of Ari and her love of the Blues  — her motto, which she told players, was never stop fighting and smiling — the American Red Cross and the local Jewish community are hosting a blood drive in her memory from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 2 at Shaare Emeth Congregation, 11645 Ladue Road.

A blood drive in memory of Arianna Dougan will be held June 2 at Shaare Emeth.

Ari was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer that develops in the nerve cells, at the age of 3. She fought this cancer on and off for eight years and received more than 200 units of blood during her treatment. She believed in doing random acts of kindness, and her mother, Lori Zucker, encourages others to continue shining her light by doing the same. 

The Red Cross currently has a critical shortage of Type O blood. Right now, Type O blood is being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Type O donors and donors of all types are urged to give now to help ensure blood is on the shelves for patients who desperately need it.

In thanks, all those who donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross through June 10, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)  

Entrepreneurs unite

New York-based Cohen Equities is looking for the “next big thing” to set up shop — literally — at the Meadows at Lake St. Louis.

Cohen Equities, which owns the Meadows, has begun a “Shark Tank”-like competition called Retail Next, which hopes to find, mentor and launch one or more new retail concepts as soon as the 2019 holiday season. Those eligible to compete can be an existing brick-and-mortar retailer, online retailer or start-up already in business. The winner or winners will receive free rent for up to one year along with the support of several high-powered judges who will also serve as mentors. These folks include Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop; Norty Cohen, CEO of the branding/marketing firm Moosylvania; Susan Sherman, co-founder of the St. Louis Fashion Fund; Stacy Taubman, founder and CEO of RISE Collaborative Workspace; and Mark Zorensky, president of Hycel Properties Co.

After entrepreneurs and/or entrepreneurial teams submit their concepts, meets with judges and do a final 10-minute presentation, they will be voted on by the greater St. Louis community through social media. For more details and to enter, through Aug. 16, go to www.themeadowsatlstl.com/retailnext. Community judging will start Sept. 11 with an announcement of the winner(s) the week of Sept. 16.

News and Schmooze is a weekly column by Editor Ellen Futterman. Email Ellen at: efutterman@thejewishlight.com