Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The Jewish Pavilion Gala rock with the Glicksteins and Stones


Mark and Susie Stone

The Jewish Pavilion will honor two are very special couples-Marty and Emily Glickstein and Susie and Mark Stone-at their annual Gala on Sunday, Feb. 22 at The Westin Lake Mary at 5 p.m. The gala will include a silent auction, a gourmet meal, and the musical sounds of Paul Stenzler and his band.

"This year's gala invitation featured four special words: cherish, love, adore, and share. These carefully selected words highlight our commitment to the elder-care community, and are reflective of the kindness and compassion embodied by this year's gala honorees, Emily and Marty Glickstein and Mark and Susie Stone," said Nancy Ludin, Jewish Pavilion executive director. "These two extraordinary couples have shared their hearts with Pavilion seniors behind the scenes on our various boards, and as hands-on volunteers visiting with residents and participating in our programs. Each couple has gone out of their way to make a personal connection with our seniors, and to let them know that they are not all alone in this world."

Susie and Mark Stone have been making all the right noises with the Jewish Pavilion since 2011. The Longwood couple, who have been married for 42 years, got involved in the Pavilion's efforts when Mark's parents became residents of Westchester Assisted Living in Winter Park. Four years later Mark's 88-year-old mother, Sylvia, still comes to every program. Mark recalled an anecdote from one of their first High Holiday celebrations at Westchester, "There were holiday decorations including an assortment of plastic shofars on the tables. Susie brought her own shofar, which is extraordinarily long. The residents watched in disbelief as Susie blew that giant shofar as well as anyone." He continued, "My father cried, and then my mother cried as they cherished the beautiful and familiar sounds of a real shofar. Word got out about Susie's skills and now she blows the shofar in several homes in the area each High Holiday season."

Susie has devoted herself to volunteering with the Pavilion since retiring from a career in timeshare sales. She volunteers at several area elder facilities, and serves on both Pavilion boards.

"It's wonderful to have a bubbly, and energetic volunteer like Susie, who is equally comfortable sitting in on our meetings, and then sitting beside our seniors in the elder facilities," noted Ludin. Susie is a regular visitor at Westchester, Serenades, Atria, Life Care, Oakmonte, and Village on the Green. She stated, "I try to be there when I get a call from the program directors, Judy Procell and/or Emily Newman."

Mark joked that while Susie excels with the "shofar," he excels as a "chauffer" who drives Susie to Pavilion events (throughout the year) and stays to help. Susie clarified, "During this year's Chanukah celebration at Westchester, I brought a collection of menorahs, and made homemade candies, but it was Mark who engaged the crowd of seniors when he shared with the story of Chanukah." Mark stated, "I love seeing how happy the residents are during a Pavilion event, and to see them smile. Seniors who are usually sedentary are clapping and actively engaging and learning. Even people who aren't Jewish love taking in our celebrations." Both Mark and Susie are looking forward to taking part in the Pavilion's annual Purim Spiel this spring.

Mark believes in the business of giving, and has donated his time to the Pavilion in an extraordinary way. This year and last year he donated his astonishing talents as an "ESP entertainer and mind reader" as an auction item at the Pavilion Gala. For many years, Mark has been performing his demonstrations of "mental gymnastics" for corporate and social events. "Mark Stone Mentalist" is serious business, and he has appeared with Johnny Carson, Chevy Chase, Dick Cavett, Regis Philbin and Oprah (For more information visit mentalistmarkstone.com and watch his mind-blowing act on YouTube.).

In addition to the Pavilion, the Stones are devoted and longtime members of Congregation Ohev Shalom. Mark is a past president and trustee of the congregation, and is in charge of the thrice yearly blood drive. Susie is currently the co-president, as well as a past president of the sisterhood, and a frequent Torah reader. Among other things, Susie has performed in many theatrical productions for the JCC and COS. She also volunteers at Jewish Family Services and the Pearlman Pantry. The couple loves spending time with their two adult sons and daughters-in-law, Ryan and Sivonne, and Ari and LeighAnn; and their grandchildren, Ethan and Brielle.

Like their co-honorees, the Glicksteins found cover under the Pavilion when a parent entered a skilled-nursing facility. The Maitland couple made frequent visits to Emily's mother when she became ill and relocated to a nearby facility. "When I visited my mom during the week I would often find a calling card left by Pavilion volunteers who were spending time with her on the weekends. The card was always signed, 'Susan and Jessica,'" Emily shared. "I wanted to thank Susan and Jessica, and learned that they were the daughter and granddaughter of an old friend. Her volunteers were devoted to her, and she cherished her time with them. When my mom died they attended the service."

After Emily's mom passed, she wondered what she should do with her newly discovered bit of free time. Though her full-time job as a Regional Insurance Brokerage manager kept her busy, she was looking to add some additional meaning to her days. Emily thought about the happiness the Pavilion volunteers had brought to her mother, and took then steps to become a volunteer herself. She jumped at the opportunity when a Pavilion friend asked for someone to fill in for her at Adventist Care Center. It wasn't long before Emily became a "permanent" volunteer. She noted, "For the past year and a half I have been visiting two lovely ladies who are very much loved, but have no local family. Bea and Suzee are like family to me, and I do a lot of small things that leave them with a smile."

Marty Glickstein volunteers with the Pavilion in the boardroom, where he has served for the past five years.

"Marty's skills as a CPA have been invaluable to our finance committee," Ludin stated. "I am most impressed that Marty is just as comfortable around our seniors as he is during our monthly meetings."

Marty shares that he became a "nursing home regular" when he spent time visiting his own mother at River Gardens in Jacksonville. Marty and his brother, Paul, who lives in Atlanta, took turns making the drive to Jacksonville to spend time with their late mother, who passed away last year at the age of 95.

The couple, who have been together for more than two decades, combines their volunteer effort on a monthly basis at the Pavilion's Musical Sunday at Horizon Bay on Boston Avenue. On a recent Sunday, Emily and Marty clapped along to the music of Bob and Annetta, with as much enthusiasm as the residents. The pair guided elders to their seats, and then joined a cadre of volunteers in passing out and sharing brownies and ice cream sundaes. A frail resident approached Emily and asked her the reason for the musical celebration. Emily smiled and replied, "It's just Sunday." When the resident declined to stay for the program, Emily loaded up her walker with a plate of goodies. She stated, "I never walk past a senior without smiling or saying hello. So often they feel disregarded. An acknowledgement can make their day, and makes mine, as well."

Marty and Emily Glickstein

Additionally, the Glicksteins attend a Pavilion holiday celebration each season and fill in when asked. The Congregation of Reform Judaism (CRJ) is another local organization that is close to their hearts. Both Emily and Marty were raised as active participants in Reform synagogues. Marty has been a CRJ member for over 40 years and is a past president and trustee. When they have free moments, the Glicksteins adore spending time with Marty's son, David, and daughter, Rachel and her husband, Tobin Bossola. They cherish time spent with their three grandchildren in Jacksonville, ages seven, three, and almost one. Emily shared, "Marty excels at many things including homework and making rubber band bracelets with our granddaughter, Lily. Spending time with our grandkids keeps us young at heart."

"We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming gala when we honor these two special couples who adore their time with each other, as well as our mission to enhance the lives of our elders in long term care. The Pavilion needs your help to ensure that every senior housed in a facility has a shared moment when they feel cherished, valued, and loved," said Ludin.

Covert for the event is $118 per person. Register at http://www.jewishpavilion.org/special-events/2015-gala/ and for more information visit http://www.jewishpavilion.org/special-events/2015-gala/ or call 407-678-9363.


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