Gardens couple gives $1M donation to Palm Beach State College

Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, of Palm Beach Gardens, were honored for their $1 million gift to Palm Beach State College.
Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, of Palm Beach Gardens, were honored for their $1 million gift to Palm Beach State College.

Palm Beach State College President Ava Parker had a big announcement to make during the ceremony officially installing her as the college’s leader.

A Palm Beach Gardens couple, Jan Winkler and Hermine Drezner, made a $1 million donation to the college, according to a news release. Parker announced their gift to a crowd of more than 500 people gathered in the Duncan Theatre on the college’s Lake Worth campus.

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The couple was surprised by a two-minute video before they were brought to the stage, teary-eyed, and presented with flowers, according to the news release. Palm Beach State College Foundation’s Charitable Gift Annuity Program has been renamed in their honor.

The married couple of 24 years also started a program in which students are awarded college scholarships in the third and fifth grades, according to the news release. They first got acquainted with Palm Beach State College bringing children to the Duncan Theatre.

“We believe in this place,” Winkler said in the news release. “We think it’s a wonderful opportunity for young people who have little prospects to suddenly have great prospects. That’s why we’re involved, and that’s why we’ll continue to be involved.

Up in the air on Friday night plans? How about an acrobat show?

Peking Acrobats, a group of gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists and tumblers from China,  will perform March 24.
Peking Acrobats, a group of gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists and tumblers from China, have also performed at the Kravis Center.

The Peking Acrobats deliver more than just a spectacular gymnastics show.

They’re often accompanied by high-tech special effects and live musicians playing traditional Chinese instruments, and they’re coming to the Eissey Campus Theatre of Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens this weekend. The acrobats perform their maneuvers atop a pagoda of chairs and are experts at trick cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting and gymnastics, according to their management company.

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The show is described as “an exuberant entertainment event featuring all the excitement and festive pageantry of a Chinese Carnival.” The Peking Acrobats have been around for 30 years. They’ve been featured on Nickelodeon, an Ellen DeGeneres special and NBC’s New Year’s Eve Special, according to IAI Presentations.

Tickets for the show 8 p.m. March 3 are $40 for the orchestra and $30 for the balcony. They’re available by calling the Eissey Campus Theatre Ticket Office at 561-207-5900. The office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Other March shows at the theater include the rescheduled “Jim Witter: I Write the Songs the music of Barry Manilow,” The Drifters, and Broadway Music on Tour. Visit http://www.palmbeachstate.edu/theatre/eissey-campus-theatre to view the full season of shows.

Florida-themed holiday concert benefits school music programs

Students from Lake Shore Middle School in Belle Glade received instruments from the symphonic band at its last concert in October. Photo courtesy of the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches.
Students from Lake Shore Middle School in Belle Glade received instruments from the symphonic band at its last concert in October. Photo courtesy of the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches.

The Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches has a holiday concert that will put you in the mood for the season, even if it doesn’t feel like a northerly winter.

The band’s 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 “Holiday Fun in the Sun” performance at the Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens featuring classics and songs with a South Florida twist benefits the music programs in Title I schools in Palm Beach County. The proceeds also provide scholarships and instruments to students who can’t afford them in public programs.

This year’s show features Marija Zupic, an accomplished clarinetist from Croatia who joined the band while staying in South Florida for six months. Her extended family includes almost 70 musically-involved relatives, according to a biography from the symphonic band.

Croatian clarinetist Marija Zupic will join the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches for its Dec. 3 concert.
Croatian clarinetist Marija Zupic will join the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches for its Dec. 3 concert.

Saturday’s performance and one next week at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College’s Lake Worth campus are the last two opportunities to hear Zupic before she returns to the Music School Elly Basic in Croatia, where she’s a professor of clarinet and chamber music, according to the symphonic band.

The concert will feature a Florida-themed version of “The Night Before Christmas,” an Afro-Cuban arrangement of “Night in the Tropics,” a latin-jazz version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Israel-Shalom,” “A Rhapsody on Christmas Carols” and more.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased via phone at 561-832-3115 or online at http://www.symphonicband.org.

Expect road closures for Biden visit to Palm Beach State College

Vice President Joe Biden campaigned with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy at a Tallahassee restaurant.
Vice President Joe Biden campaigned with Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy at a Tallahassee restaurant.

Vice President Joe Biden will host a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Palm Beach State College‘s Palm Beach Gardens campus this afternoon, and with that comes road closures.

Palm Beach Gardens Police Department spokesman Major Paul Rogers said he couldn’t disclose which roads will be closed at what times, but there might be temporary closures in “areas to and around the college,” when the vice president’s motorcade arrives and departs. The college is at 3160 PGA Blvd.

Admission for the rally at the amphitheater began at 12:30 p.m. The program doesn’t begin until 2:30 p.m.

Roads around the college include PGA Boulevard, Campus Drive, RCA Boulevard and Prosperity Farms Road. Those headed to early voting at the Gardens Branch of the Palm Beach County Library across Campus Drive from the college should also be aware that the same roads could be affected.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is also in Florida today for rallies in Miami, Orlando and Pensacola.

Bargain book lovers, your day is coming

Palm Beach State College is hosting a book sale at the Palm Beach Gardens campus Monday.

Clear off your bookshelf, because it’s time to go shopping.

Palm Beach State College will host an annual book sale 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 11 in the Rubenstein Pavilion at the Palm Beach Gardens campus, 3160 PGA Blvd. Prices start at 50 cents. The selection includes bestsellers, textbooks and cookbooks, in addition to DVDs, according to a news release.

The yearly event was previously only at the Lake Worth campus, but organizers expanded it to provide access to more students. The sale at the Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Ave., will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 11 to 13.

The book sale is co-sponsored by the Palm Beach State College chapter of the Association of Florida Colleges and the Library Resource Center as part of National Library Week April 10 to 16. Proceeds provide scholarships to the college for AFC members and their immediate family. The association of 28 public institutions includes their retirees, employees, associates and boards.

For more information about the book sale, call 561-868-4161.

Islamophobia panel to promote peace at Gardens college campus

An Interfaith Rally Against Extremism and Terrorism was held at the Palm Beach County Vista Center in West Palm Beach Thursday, January 21, 2016, featuring a panel discussion. Here, Wilfredo Ruiz  speaks as Ghazala Salam, President, American Muslim Democratic Caucus of Florida; Rev. Gerald Kisner, pastor, Tabernacle Baptist Church; and Rabbi Mark Winer, president of FAITH, the Foundation to Advance Interfaith & Harmony) listen. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Wilfredo Ruiz speaks at an Interfaith Rally Against Extremism and Terrorism at the Palm Beach County Vista Center in West Palm Beach Thursday, Jan. 21. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

Local Muslim leaders want people to know the true teachings of their faith and dispel the stigma people with Middle Eastern cultural backgrounds sometimes experience.

To that end, they’re participating in a “Islamophobia: Voices from the Muslim Community” panel discussion from 2 to 3 p.m. March 30 in the Meldon Lecture Hall at the Palm Beach Gardens campus of Palm Beach State College, 3160 PGA Blvd. It’s free and open to the public.

Last year, leaders of the Islamic Center of Palm Beach in North Palm invited the community for an open house at the mosque at Castlewood Drive. Police in December said Joshua Warren Killets broke the windows of the mosque and left it in disarray as a hate crime.

Panelists at the panel next week include:

-Imam Abdul Hakim, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Community of Palm Beach County

-Maha A. Elkolalli, a family law and civil rights attorney; Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director and former civil rights legal counsel for the Council on American-Islamic Relations

-Dr. Bassem Alhalabi, a professor of computer engineering at Florida Atlantic University and adviser of the Muslim Student Association

-Deema Gichi, a library assistant at PBSC and FAU engineering student

NASA passes on Palm Beach Gardens’ students asteroid chipper

The Palm Beach State College Astrocats describe their rock chip sampling device, which they dubbed the Panther Claw, in the BioScience Technology Complex at their Palm Beach Gardens campus Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. They find out Wednesday if they’ll be invited to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to test it. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)
The Palm Beach State College Astrocats describe their rock chip sampling device, which they dubbed the Panther Claw, in the BioScience Technology Complex at their Palm Beach Gardens campus Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. (Sarah Peters/The Palm Beach Post)

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.

Read more about their efforts here.