Helen Zientek’s passing her love of reading onto the next generation.
Zientek started volunteering at the Palm Beach Gardens High School in 2010 and went on to create “April is for Authors,” according to a news release from the Palm Beach County School District. The book festival is meant to give children of all ages a passion for reading.
The daylong festival at a high school features panel discussions, individual author presentations, book sales and book signings. In its fifth year, 1,300 students, community members, teachers and authors attended. Authors visited 46 public and private schools, according to a news release.
The Palm Beach County School District lauded Zientek as the “Outstanding Senior Volunteer.” The Palm Beach Gardens resident retired as a media specialist from Bak Middle School of the Arts in 2008.
Contact Debi Elfen, volunteer program coordinator, at 561-357-1114 to learn about volunteering with the district.
If your teen’s New Year’s Resolution includes pursuing his or her acting dreams, this event might be a step in the right direction.
The Eissey Campus Theatre, 11501 Campus Dr. in Palm Beach Gardens, will host a free auditionworkshop from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 4. It’s geared for students ages 12 – 18. Students are permitted to prepare a monologue to get feedback.
Beverly Blanchette, retired dean of theatre at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, will give students advice about preparing for auditions for arts schools, theater, colleges and conservatories, television and film. She will also cover the Dreyfoos and Bak School of Arts audition processes.
For additional information, call college’s Education Office at 561-207-5910.
NASA said, “No, thanks” on testing the device Palm Beach State College students made to chip asteroids, but it’s unlikely that’s the last you’ll see of them.
Students at the college’s Eissey campus from a variety of engineering disciplines took on the monumental task of creating the rock chipper in a few weeks for NASA’s Micro-g NExT challenge. They were competing with colleges and universities from across the country to score an invite to test the device at the Johnson Space Center this summer.
They found out Wednesday the didn’t make the cut. But the experience gave them the opportunity to learn to work as a team and collaborate with local aerospace professionals.
The tool they designed is an attachment to an air chisel that an astronaut in space could use to chip and contain dime-sized samples from asteroids.
Reviewers provided feedback on the six-person team’s proposal and encouraged them to submit a proposal next year.
The Bernese Mountain Dog spent two weeks in the veterinary hospital and endured multiple procedures, but he survived the ordeal in 2012. Out of the near-tragedy, his family launched The Bailey Project. The non-profit organization provides money to families who have exhausted all other means to get their pets emergency veterinary care.
The Bailey Project will be the beneficiary of a Shop and Share fundraiser at the Lilly Pulitzer at The Gardens Mall Sunday. Ten percent of sales from noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 13 will be donated to the organization, according to Executive Director Barbara Smoliak.
Germany’s been in the news a lot lately for it’s open door policy for refugees, but it’s a local company that’s helping the government with verifying their identities.
The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees purchased more than 1,000 of Crossmatch’s Guardian fingerprint scanners, according to a news release. The Palm Beach Gardens company supplies identity verification devices.
The scanners are deployed at more than 36 field offices where refugees are fingerprinted and asylum applications are processed. Since many of the immigrants arrive without a valid form of ID, the fingerprinting reduces fraud and helps prevent terrorists from entering the country under false pretenses, according to the release.
Refugees’ fingerprints are checked against the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees’ database to verify identities, improve tracking and ensure accurate disbursement of benefits, the release states.
Crossmatch CEO Richard Agostinelli said the European refugee crisis and Paris attacks highlight the need to validate identities of people crossing countries’ borders.
“At Crossmatch, we have a long history of delivering reliable, rapid capture enrollment and authentication solutions…” he said.
RAW JUCE, which sells juices, elixirs, salads and other treats, held its grand opening in Palm Beach Gardens this week. The juice bar in the PGA Plaza, 2616 PGA Blvd., hosts yoga and cleansing classes, according to its Facebook page.
All of its offerings have clever names. Take, for example, the square root (with beets) pressed juice or the Bee Green elixir (garnished with bee pollen).
People with a sweet tooth can still be healthy, too. The solid food menu includes raw peppermint patties and almond squares for dessert.
The original RAW JUCE is in Boca Raton, where another location had a grand opening last month.
A development on Palm Beach Gardens’ western edge that’s been years in the making may be approaching the finish line in the approval process.
The planning, zoning & appeals board will consider the proposed Avenir development on the former Vavrus Ranch north of Northlake Boulevard 6 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers, 10500 N. Military Trail.
Representatives of the Northern Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Council of Palm Beach County spoke in favor of the plans at a workshop in October. Residents of neighboring communities and North County Neighborhood Coalition President Sal Faso, however, said plans for additional development in the Northlake Boulevard corridor will only worsen traffic congestion.
Now she’s the CEO of the Contemporary Living furniture store at Downtown at the Gardens. She’s using her business to help other people who find themselves in the same situation she did so many years ago.
The shop will host a holiday open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 11. Heathcoe is asking people to bring one unwrapped household item to benefit The Lord’s Place supportive housing residents.
“When you are homeless, you lose sight of who you are,” Heathcoe said in a news release. “I want to surround people going through this with things that will make them feel more human.”
Suggested items include accent pillows, kitchen supplies, linens or anything that would make a transitional living space feel more like home. Everyone who donates an item will receive a Contemporary Living Showroom Gift Card, according to the news release.
The tragedies in a North Palm Beach teen’s life have only fanned the flame of her desire to help others.
Alexis Kauchick, 17, started the Eternal Essence Candle Company in 2012. After her half-brother and best friend both died from mental illness, she decided to use the profit from the sale of her soy candles to raise awareness.
PEOPLE magazine featured Kauchick, a senior at The Benjamin School, and her efforts in a story Thursday. Her late half-brother, Todd, is the one who taught her his candle-making tips during camping trips in the Smoky Mountains, the magazine reports.
She used his hand-written notes and equipment to get started.
Todd Kauchick fought alcoholism and died of an aortic aneurysm in 2011. It wasn’t until much later that Alexis realized his addiction was likely caused by a mental health problem, PEOPLE reported. In 2014, her close friend who had bipolar disorder killed himself.
That’s when everything changed for Kauchick.
“When Asher took his own life, people talked about him like he died. But he didn’t die, he killed himself,” she told the magazine. “And that’s when it hit me. We need to have a conversation about mental illness, because people don’t understand what it is.”
She’s made more than $70,000 and last month gave $30,000 to the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, PEOPLE reported.
A month after Corey Jones was laid to rest, his death continues to galvanize calls from the community for greater police accountability.
Derrick McCray, owner of McCray’s Backyard BBQ, has been part of meetings between city leaders and local clergy. He also helped organize a rally along PGA Boulevard outside the Gardens Mall in November.
For instance, they want to know who was supervising Raja the night he shot and killed Jones, a 31-year-old drummer and property manager for the Delray Beach Housing Authority. That’s what they hope to find out during the 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall, 10500 N. Military Trail, he said.
“We at least need some explanation on who else was accountable…” McCray said.
Jones car broke down on the way home from a gig and he was waiting for a tow truck on the exit ramp of I-95 southbound at PGA Boulevard in the early morning hours of Oct. 18, police have said.
Raja, who was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked van, came upon what he said he thought was an abandoned vehicle. He eventually fired at Jones six times, killing him with three gunshots, the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has said. Palm Beach Gardens police have said Raja fired after he saw Jones had a legally-purchased gun.
McCray emphasized city officials have been very hospitable, meeting with he and local clergy to discuss possible changes to the department, such as diversity training and body cameras. Their input will help with crafting the language for a proposed law in Jones’ name, he said.
“We can’t live in a lawless society. We’re not against the police, but we just feel that some reforms need to be made in order for another Corey Jones situation not to take place,” McCray said.