Glenn returns to sidelines

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

sports120116By Gary Curreri

The Deerfield Beach High School football team is whole again as head coach Jevon Glenn returned to practice this week after being hospitalized last week after missing his team’s 28-21 victory over visiting Atlantic in the Region 3-8A final on Friday night.

Jakari Norwood took a screen pass from Nick Holm and went 44 yards for the winning score with 2:20 remaining to send the Bucks (10-2) to the state semi-final game for the first time since 2006 when it lost a heartbreaker to the eventual state champion Miami Northwestern.

An emotional Norwood said after the game that he and his team rallied around Glenn, who had been hospitalized two days earlier and missed the game. Former Piper High coach Matthew Lewis, the team’s running back coach, filled in as head coach for the game. Deerfield Beach will host Miami Southridge (10-2) in the state semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

This was hard, but we did it for him (Glenn),” said Norwood, a 5-10, 175-pound junior running back who also scored on a 7-yard run earlier in the game to give the Bucks a 14-7 lead. “We prayed hard and we came through. This is very big. We are trying to do something we have never done. We want to beat Southridge and go to state.”

My number was called and I just did what I do,” Norwood said. He had 57 yards rushing and another 51 yards receiving.

I saw the end zone and I just took advantage of it.”

I am feeling much better,” Glenn said on Wednesday morning. He was released from the hospital on Sunday and back at practice on Monday. “I am back in the saddle.”

I’m good now,” said Glenn, who was diagnosed with ‘some digestive issues.’

I am most definitely proud of the team, and the staff, and what they accomplished Friday,” he continued.

The last time Deerfield Beach played in a regional final before Friday night was in 2008 when they lost to Miramar. A victory Friday would send the Bucks to the state championship game for only the second time in school history. Deerfield reached the state final in 2005 losing to Palm Beach Gardens.

Deerfield Beach lost to the eventual state champion Flanagan in the regional semifinals last season, while Atlantic lost to Flanagan in the regional final.

The Bucks opened the scoring with 6:41 remaining in the first quarter when senior defensive end Deslin Alexandre blocked Brian Litang’s punt and Bucks senior Jerry Jeudy scooped up the loose ball and raced 31 yards for the 7-0 lead.

Atlantic tied the game at 7-7 on a 3-yard scoring run by Lamar Brewster with 7:46 remaining in the half. The score capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

Holm, who finished the game 18 of 26 for 262 yards, also threw a 42-yard pass to Daewood Davis to give the Bucks a 21-7 halftime lead before the Eagles started to mount a comeback.

The teams traded turnovers to start the third quarter and the Eagles cashed in with 7:42 left in the period on a 17-yard run up the middle by Marquis Waters. The extra point failed and the Bucks led 21-13.

Atlantic pulled to within 21-20 on a quarterback sneak by Thompson from a 1-yard out with 11:10 left to cap a 67-yard, 12 play drive. The big play in the drive was a 29 yard toss from Thompson to Corey Gammage to the Bucks’ 1. Thompson and Gammage teamed up for the 2-point conversion on a slant play to tie the game at 21-21 setting up Norwood’s late game heroics.

Lewis said the team only has a state championship in mind. Lewis was the head coach for Piper in 2008-09 and finished 6-4.

This is just another step,” Lewis said. “Deerfield Beach has been to the playoffs and deep into the playoffs and amongst all of the school with the winningest records in the state of Florida and we are the only one that has not captured a state championship. Until we get that, we are not done. We are not finished.”

Lewis said Glenn was brought in for a stomach virus and was hospitalized for the game, but the team rallied around him Friday and got him the victory.

Before the game, we made sure we laid it on the line for our leader,” Lewis said. “Coach Glenn has turned this program around and the kids fought hard for him tonight.”

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FLICKS: Arrival

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

When I cover the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, the first movie I try to see is the film with the best word of mouth. When I hosted the documentary, Conversations with Alan Ladd Jr., director Stanley Isaac expressed his admiration for Arrival, saying, “It’s always about the story.” The toughest critic I know is my big brother, who looked forward to seeing Arrival. The film lived up to his high expectation and we have been talking about this film throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.

Arrival is a classic science fiction about a problem on planet Earth. It uses the scientific method that used to be taught in middle-school science acknowledge the problem, study the problem, create a hypothesis and then proceed to apply a solution. Unlike Star Trek or Star Wars fantasy, Arrival is grounded by physical science fiction along the lines of The Day the Earth Stood Still and Contact. Fans of authors H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft and Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five will appreciate the Easter eggs related to the theory of time. Brush up on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity also.

We are introduced to Professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and her daughter. Within five minutes of screen time, we learn that the daughter dies of a rare form of Cancer and the mother grieves. Dr. Banks, a linguist expert, is then summoned by the military with the arrival of aliens from outer space. While the threat appears to be benign, the world reaction grows increasingly tense.

With the help of theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner), Dr. Banks overcomes the language barrier and communicates with heptapods – seven limbed star creatures that look like giant squids. As the aliens and humans become more intimate with each other, Dr. Banks subconscious becomes affected in which her dreams, nightmares and reality intersect.

Arrival is a thinking person’s motion picture. To director Denis Villeneuve’s credit, he clearly expresses Arrival’s simple narrative, despite multiple character details filled with dreamlike imagery. This film demands rapt attention and it is a film best seen in the afternoon to grasp all the film’s nuances.

It is Amy Adams’ performance that acts as a conduit between academic theory and human emotion. Her grief is real, as is her initial fear of the seven limbed heptapods, who they nickname Abbott & Costello. Her growth is real and one appreciates Louise Banks’ good days when she smiles later in the picture.

In the next couple of weeks, there will be plenty of science fiction movies that will be used to sell toys, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Star Wars Rogue One) Arrival is a special film that will appeal to one’s head as well as their heart.

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CLERGY CORNER: Getting dirty

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

I want to tell you a story about a little boy and a summersault.

When Sholom was 10 years old he was given a new suit that he was very proud of, especially its beautiful gold buttons. It wasn’t very easy to come by a new suit in 1930s Moscow, and certainly not one as nice as this one. Sholom wore his suit for the Jewish High Holidays that year and was extra careful to keep it nice and clean.

The climax of the High Holidays is on Simchat Torah when our joy knows no bounds. What was Simchas Torah like in Moscow during the height of Stalinist terror? If you would imagine that it was quiet and solemn, that would be an intelligent guess, but you’d be forgetting about Yonah.

That Simchas Torah Yonah had drank plenty in honor of the holidays and he was out in the streets dancing. He even grabbed a strangers to dance and drink with him. I’m not sure that we can even fathom the audacity and chutzpah!

To see Yonah make merry in the streets, you would never know that it was a Jewish community living under the state-run terror campaign and that arrest and even execution were a regular part of life. It was the Jewish Holidays and Yonah was in another world, a world in which Stalin and his secret police simply didn’t exist!

Then, Yonah took his joy to new levels and starting doing somersaults in the streets! A crowd gathered around him and Yonah got all the community Jews to do the same – somersaults in the streets.

Yonah noticed a 10-year-old boy standing cautiously off to the side. The boy was dressed in an obviously brand new suit with shiny gold buttons. There were no dry cleaners in 1930 Moscow. One tumble in the muddy street and that beautiful suit would never be the same. Yonah, the master educator and mentor knew exactly what the boy was thinking and also knew exactly what had to be done. You also know, yes?

This was what we call now days “a teachable moment.” You cannot plan for a “teachable moment;” you cannot engineer it. It is just an opportunity that arises where a teacher suddenly has a perfect, fleeting chance to endow the student with a lesson he or she will never forget. The teachable moment must be seized by the teacher or lost forever. Yonah knew what the suit meant to the boy, but Yonah also knew what the boy would need to learn in order to survive and thrive as a person living in dark times. Wanting to keep your suit nice and clean is the normal thing for a boy that age to want, but there are times when a person just has to do the abnormal thing – a somersault in the muddy streets even if it ruins your suit would be a great way to break free from the chains of communism.

MACH A KULAH” (do a summersault) Yonah shouted at the boy. All eyes were now on him “ DO A SOMERSAULT” they all shouted with joy. There was no way out of this. The suit was about to get ruined. Ten-year-old Sholom took a plunge. It was a silly, crazy, defiant act, and it was very necessary – the defining moment of a young man’s education. Everyone cheered as Sholom tumbled head over heels in the muddy street!

Sholom survived the war, started a family and became a Rabbi and business man always teaching and inspiring along the way.

Sholom is my grandfather. He would eventually marry Yonah’s niece — my grandmother, Pesia. Incidentally, Yonah and his wife never had children. He eventually was caught by the KGB and passed away while in prison.

My grandfather, Rabbi Sholom, passed away this week at 89 years old in New York. He was surrounded by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who are all proud Jews, and we are living the life he got dirty for. That “teachable moment” will forever be passed on through his family, most of whom are Rabbis and teachers across the globe.

You see getting dirty never felt so good! When you know getting dirty will help defy the challenges we face in this world so that we can be a free charitable and loving people, then getting dirty is just a pleasure.

MAY HIS MEMORY BE A BLESSING!

Rabbi Tzvi Dechter is the director of Chabad of North Broward Beaches, located in the Venetain Isle Shopping Center at 2025 E. Sample Rd. in Lighthouse Point. For all upcoming events, please visit www.JewishLHP.com.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Good will towards man

Posted on 01 December 2016 by LeslieM

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Peace on earth. Good will towards man,” is probably the most favorite saying spoken or quoted during the Christmas holiday season. Even, it is said, the most liberal secularists who reject Biblical Christianity love to use this phrase and claim it as their own.

The “peace on earth” part, hopeful denial of reality that it is, is an eternal prayer that has yet to be answered. Certainly it is an aspirational “good,” and, though it may remain unanswered in all of our lifetimes, there is no more worthy goal for humankind despite that as individuals, it is a condition beyond our control.

So I have concerned myself with that which is within our control as individuals: “Good will towards man.”

Has there ever been a time when “good will towards man” is as far from the ‘collective consciousness’ as it is today? Well, probably historically, there has been, but I want to stay with the now. The residual “spill” from our recent past national trauma lingers in all the wrong places — in the hearts of those stuck in a mindset of righteousness, in people who sneer at the concept of being non-judgmental in a world filled with human beings who are more than one dimensional.

Many of us have difficulty with the concept that another person can have a belief system in total opposition to our own, with equal sincerity and purity of heart, and that such a person can indeed perform acts of kindness and can make positive contributions to their community.

This is what makes “good will towards man”such a challenge.

I am aware of how this past election cycle has torn families and friendships apart, and has caused serious rifts in some marital relationships. And, despite the innate wisdom of the mantra “Let’s agree to disagree,” the issues and circumstances for many of us were so deep-gutted as to have been symbolic of the very core of our beings. And disagreements along political lines can be perceived as rejections of who we are in the “I am what I believe” modality.

Somehow, we can more easily disagree about sports teams, movies, books, art, taste in clothes or home furnishings, or even, in the abstract philosophy than we can about politics, without impugning the basic character of another person.

So, in this relatively short–lived seasonal spread of overt loving and good cheer, I am “putting out” the hope that we can extend good will to the folks who voted whichever other way from your vote, that they did. And a reminder: This doesn’t make them bad people.

So, ho, ho, ho — it’s time for some levity. Here’s to a wonderful Christmas, Chanukah and whatever else you celebrate this month, and here’s to some serious “good will towards man.”

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Bucks prevail; host Atlantic on Friday

Posted on 23 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports112416By Gary Curreri

The Bucks haven’t stopped yet.

Deerfield Beach continued its march to a Class 8A state championship by taking down the defending state champs, Flanagan, 10-7 last Friday night. The victory avenged a 17-0 loss to Flanagan last year in the same round.

The Bucks (9-2) won the Region 3-8A semifinal by jumping out to a 10-0 advantage and then held off the last charge from the Falcons (9-3) to advance to this Friday’s regional final against visiting Delray Beach Atlantic at 7:30 p.m.

Bucks kicker Ledin Rivera connected on a 35-yard field goal late in the first quarter for a 3-0 that held up until senior wide receiver, and Alabama commit, Jerry Jeudy intercepted his second pass in as many playoff games and returned it 41 yards for the Bucks’ lone touchdown early in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 10-0.

It is a good feeling making a big time play,” said Jeudy, who started playing defensive back in the playoffs. “We needed it and I got it…It’s a great chance to get to play both sides of the ball.”

Flanagan senior quarterback Stanford Samuels concluded a short drive with a 1-yard plunge that trimmed the lead to 10-7, and Flanagan got another chance with 4:50 to play, but a fourth down and long pass by Samuels was incomplete.

It’s an honor to play in a game like this with the best talent in South Florida,” Deerfield Beach coach Jevon Glenn said after the game. “It was an awesome experience and an awesome night to play a hard-fought game. You have two of the best coaching staffs in South Florida…I want my team to come out here and chase history and that’s what we are doing.”

Deerfield Beach senior defensive back Kobe Green intercepted two passes, the second coming with nine seconds remaining in the contest to seal the win.

I knew I had to make a play for my team and I did,” Green said. “It is the best feeling ever. It feels wonderful.”

The Bucks defense forced four turnovers and held Flanagan to 74 total yards. Deerfield Beach sophomore linebacker Gemon Eaford recorded a pair of sacks. The Bucks’ offense could only muster 80 total yards in a winning effort.

Nagy steps down

Pompano Beach High School football coach Rick Nagy has stepped down.

I was blessed to have the opportunity to coach at this school and to get to know the many people that help promote the sport,” Nagy said in a statement.

Nagy finished 20-20 during his 4-year stint as coach of the Golden Tornadoes. He won conference titles in 2014 and 2015 in the Southeastern Football Conference American Division and was also named the SFC American Division Coach of the Year in 2015.

Pompano Beach moved to the Gold Coast Conference this season and finished 2-8, including 2-7 in conference play.

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FLICKS: Moana, Inner Workings & FLIFF wraps

Posted on 23 November 2016 by LeslieM

flicks112416By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Moana kicks off the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend. Based on a Polynesian myth, Moana is an entertaining movie that the whole family can see together without any embarrassing moments for grandparents and grandchildren.

The legend of Maui (voiced by Dwayne Johnson) is revealed early in the movie. Maui was tasked with bringing the heart of Te Fiti gem to Mother Earth. When Maui bumbles the job, the balance of nature is upset for one thousand years.

The ocean summons young Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) to rescue Maui and return the gem. Through a series of adventures and battles with coconut pirates and giant fire monsters, Moana finds Maui and learns important life lessons.

While the musical numbers lack the strength of Frozen and other Disney Classics, Moana features a good story with a satisfying climax. The verdant visuals make Moana a good flick for holiday viewing.

Inner Workings is a delightful six-minute short subject that screens before Moana. The film introduces a protagonist who goes to work in a mundane job. When he listens to his heart, the hero changes himself and changes his world.

The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival wrapped Sunday night and The Boy By the Sea remains the best seven minutes of festival celluloid. The India-Australia flick Lion won the best of the fest and features Nicole Kidman and David Wenham as an Australian couple who help a lost Indian boy.

Also in the fest was Stanley Isaac’s It’s about the Story – Conversations with Alan Ladd Jr., a 40-minute documentary about contemporary motion picture history. The son of a movie star, Ladd Jr. worked behind the scenes of Hollywood and green lit movies like Young Frankenstein and Star Wars. Ladd’s box office track record is amazing and, hopefully, in the next couple of weeks we will see some motion pictures that will rival Alan Ladd Jr.’s resume.

[These were just a few of the films available for viewing. Did you miss the fest? There is always next year. Plus, their headquarters at Savor Cinema in Ft. Lauderdale has movies scheduled all year long. Find out more information at www.fliff.com.]

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CLERGY CORNER: Count your blessings!

Posted on 23 November 2016 by LeslieM

This is the season to be grateful for the things, the people, and the experiences that make life enjoyable. A comfortable home, friends and family, and a well-earned accomplishment are examples of what cause many of us to be thankful. But what of the challenges and stresses that wear away at our patience and resolve? Gratitude is not the first thing that comes to our mind or our will when facing them. Discouragement, distress, helplessness, frustration and anger are probably among the first inclinations we will have in times of difficulty.

Author George Mikes relates the following story in one of his books: In Budapest, a man goes to the rabbi and complains, “Life is unbearable. There are nine of us living in one room. What can I do?”

The rabbi answers, “Take your goat into the room with you.”

The man in incredulous, but the rabbi insists, saying, “Do as I say and come back in a week.”

A week later the man comes back looking more distraught than before.

We cannot stand it,” he tells the rabbi. “The goat is filthy.”

The rabbi then tells him, “Go home and let the goat out and come back in a week.”

A radiant man returns to the rabbi a week later, exclaiming, “Life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it now that there’s no goat — only the nine of us.”

The church in Thessalonica was facing persecution but the believers were standing firm in their faith. They were commended by the apostle Paul, in his first letter to them, along with praise for being examples to believers in Macedonia and Achaia. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul writes this: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” He did not mean to suggest that every bad experience was God’s will for the believer, but that believers can find a reason to be grateful in both success and adversity, as well as anything in between.

Life could always be worse, as the illustration of the goat in the room reveals. Let me ask you, hasn’t God been good even in your bad times? Can you not find a reason to be full of appreciation even in the difficult seasons of your life? Is there no one on the planet whose state of existence is worse than yours? You may have a lot to complain about, and may long for something better, but does that mean you can’t be grateful for something right now? Allow me to strongly suggest that you have many reasons to be thankful. An old hymn of the church encourages us to take stock of God’s goodness when times are bad: When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed, when you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. The last verse instructs, So, amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be discouraged, God is over all; count your many blessings, angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

This Thanksgiving, enjoy your time with family and friends. Spend time with God and thank Him for the many blessings in your life. Participate in some of the numerous opportunities to be a blessing to others during this time of year. Serve a hot meal, donate a turkey, wrap a gift, volunteer your time. Count your blessings and be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!

Bishop Patrick L. Kelly is the pastor of Cathedral Church of God, 365 S. Dixie Hwy., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. 954-427-0302.

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Ranse Jones event: a success

Posted on 17 November 2016 by LeslieM

sports111716By Gary Curreri

Kaitlyn Smith was one of more than 200 players that recently took part in the seventh annual Ranse Jones Classic beach volleyball tournament in Deerfield Beach.

Smith, 20, grew up playing beach volleyball in Deerfield and played a year at nearby Florida Atlantic University last year, but said her engineering studies curtailed her college career.

Still, the 2015 Highlands Christian Academy graduate finds her way out to the sand that is just minutes away from her Deerfield Beach home.

It is great how they celebrate it in a positive way and bring the whole beach (volleyball) family together,” Smith said. “A lot of us are local, but a lot of people come from out of state and that’s awesome. I play here all of the time and I think it is great to see people out here doing the same thing and supporting a great cause … having fun, and the positive energy is great.”

The tournament is staged each year to celebrate the life of the volleyball player and Flagler County firefighter after whom the tournament is named. The tournament generally raises between $20-$30,000 on an annual basis for Ranse Jones Stroke Awareness Fund at the Broward Health North Stroke Center.

In April 2010, Jones suffered a brain aneurysm while playing in the semifinals of the Panama City AVP Young Guns tournament. He died that November. Jones had played in 21 AVP tournaments since 2000. He also spent time on the Extreme Volleyball Professionals tour and competed in the Men’s Open Division of the 2009 U.S. Open of Beach Volleyball.

Fort Lauderdale’s Juanita Mendoza, 29, said the tournament was huge.

There are a lot of people that play in this from a lot of different states,” Mendoza said. “(It is very competitive) as well as people who are here to honor the cause.”

Jensen Beach High School junior Jillienne Cangelosi, 16, made the drive from her home in Stuart to play in the tournament.

It is a really big event,” Cangelosi said. “It is really great because people aren’t only here to compete. They are here to have a good time.”

When we had the bagpipes in the morning, you could just feel everybody thinking about him,” she continued. “And the moment of silence, even though there were other noises obviously, it was amazing to think about him and that his memory was still here.”

Bucks in action Friday

Deerfield Beach High School is hoping for redemption this Friday as it visits Flanagan in the Class 8A regional semifinals at 7:30 p.m.

The Bucks (8-2) did its part as it coasted to a 27-13 regional quarterfinal victory over Western as quarterback Nick Holm passed for 230 yards and two touchdowns and added a scoring run to boot. Deerfield Beach is ranked 5th in the state in the AP Football rankings.

We have been on a collision course for a whole year now,” said Bucks coach Jevon Glenn. “Let the two big dogs go at it and give the people what they want to see. There is a lot of respect for both teams.”

The defending 8A state champion Falcons (9-2) topped down Piper, 21-7, last week to set up a rematch of the same round last year where Flanagan, currently ranked third in the state in the AP Football rankings, won 17-0 en route to Orlando.

Tigers close season on winning note

Stanley Bolden caught two touchdown passes, the second from 27-yards out in overtime, to give Blanche Ely a 13-7 upset victory over Dillard recently in the 47th annual Soul Bowl at Lockhart Stadium.

After Dillard’s George Golden scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to put the Panthers ahead 7-0, the Tigers (3-6) tied the game on a 60-yard pass play from senior quarterback Karinzo Ward to Bolden.

Blanche Ely, which missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012, won the rivalry game for the 7th time in the past eight meetings and led the series 25-20-2. Dillard led (6-4), which won the District 15-6A title in a three-team tiebreaker, went on to lose to Miami Carol City, 47-8, in the regional quarterfinals.

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FLICKS: FLIFF – respecting the past & honoring the future

Posted on 17 November 2016 by LeslieM

flicks111716By “Cinema Dave”

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Thus far, the best seven minutes of sustained entertainment from the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) has been viewing The Boy By The Sea, a short subject from Latvia, directed by Vasily Chuprina. The premise is simple: an old, lighthouse keeper watches a boy skimming stones in the water. The sad boy tells his story and forms a new friendship with the old man. With minimal dialog (in Danish with English subtitles), The Boy By The Sea sustains its narrative, introduces interesting characters and provides visual symbolism that promotes heartfelt discussion. What Doctor Strange does with a $165 million production budget in two hours, The Boy By The Sea does in seven minutes. Kudos to Vasily Chuprina!

FLIFF wraps up this weekend, with the grand finale being held at Bailey Hall in Davie Sunday night. After an afternoon screening of Ed Wood, Best Supporting Oscar Winner Martin Landau will attend the screening of The Red Maple Leaf, a Canadian film directed by Frank D’Angelo, who also wrote the screenplay. Co-Sponsored by Steve Savor, Dr. Lucy Marrero, Janet Leavy Schwartz and Irwin Levenstein, Martin Landau will accept his Lifetime Achievement Award. On this night, the festival awards for best picture, best documentary, best short subject and other categories will be announced.

At 31 years, FLIFF has become the champion film festival of our community and has done so by respecting history, but with an eye on new trends and talent. This was never so evident than last Friday afternoon, Veteran’s Day, in which Palm Beach resident Arlene Dahl received her Lifetime Achievement Award and Ft. Lauderdale’s own Bailee Madison screened Anabelle Hooper and the Ghosts of Nantucket, the 17-year-old actress’ first producer credit.

A veteran of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Arlene Dahl shared how her leading men were too serious (John Payne) and villainous character actors (Ted de Corsia) had a wonderful sense of humor. From her Norwegian mother, Dahl learned the value of hard work and to live a simple life. While being interviewed by Brooklyn college film professor Foster Hirsch, Dahl shared her first meeting with Clark Gable at a prestigious MGM gala. Intimidated at first by meeting this popular box office star, the two shared a wonderful evening discussing fly fishing. To see Dahl’s full interview, visit my YouTube Channel, www.YouTube.com/CinemaDave.

After flying in from Toronto, where she is shooting The Good Witch for the Hallmark Channel, Bailee Madison accepted her Young Filmmaker’s Award at the Savor Cinema. While generously sharing the spotlight with her Annabelle Hooper cast and crew, Bailee acknowledged each individual who wanted to meet her, pose with her or get an autograph. Since her last appearance at FLIFF four years ago, Bailee acknowledged receiving more attention and flash photography, given her body of work on the big screen, cable and broadcast television. She acknowledges how good it is to return home to South Florida.

The box office juggernaut for the Harry Potter prequel kicks off this weekend with J.K.Rowling’s, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is likely to have a trailer for Kong: Skull Island. The next week, the holiday Disney animated movie Moana opens featuring the voice of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which is likely to have a trailer for Beauty and the Beast, which stars an adult Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies.

Given the recent election cycle, we have survived some “beastly” days. However let us take the time to enjoy the “beauty” of the upcoming holidays. As I learned from The Boy By The Sea, beauty is where you find it.

If you are looking for a few treasures for the holidays, then check out the FLIFF Silent Auction at www.32auctions.com/FLIFF2016.

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CLERGY CORNER

Posted on 17 November 2016 by LeslieM

Thanksgiving is a great time to recall the many blessings that surround us. If I were to write about every blessing that I have received, I am sure that there would not be enough ink and paper in the world. So I chose one in particular.

One of the blessings of my life, as well as the life of my family, is the blessing of being part of Southeastern Guide Dogs, which has its headquarters in Palmetto, FL. When our children were very small and I wanted to spend time with them and be visible in the community, my wife and I decided that this would be a great opportunity to accomplish both. As a pastor, I needed to find a new hobby or a new passion that was completely different than what I was doing in my career. So we started being “puppy raisers.”

Puppy raisers raise puppies and train them until they are old enough to return to Palmetto and complete their training to become Guide Dogs for the sight impaired. While many do not qualify for that very special job, most dogs take on another job such as arson dogs, classroom dogs to assist in reading, dogs that help people who suffer from seizures, etc. And, of course, some of them wind up as pets.

Some people told me that they thought it was cruel to subject children to the trauma of raising a puppy only to let them go. Then we, as a family, went to a graduation when the sight-impaired and their companion were venturing off into the world. My kids, at a very young age, realized that the rewards that came with this sacrifice far outweighed the heart-ache of saying goodbye.

Now, we have the privilege of being “breeder hosts.” We host a dog, Gizmo, who has given birth to three litters and will probably give birth to a total of four. We also hosted Bentley, who sired 82 puppies before he “retired.” Now he is our pet.

I share this because, through the experience my family and I have had with Southeastern Guide Dogs, we have seen God at work in a very profound way. We have a greater appreciation of our Creator because of the lives we have seen blessed by God’s creation.

This experience opened my eyes to the reality that God honors animals and created them to bless God’s people. I became keenly aware of the multiple times animals are mentioned in the Bible and the important roles that they have played throughout both the Hebrew and Greek Testaments.

From the beginning of humanity, God gave dominion to humans over the “fish of the sea, the birds of the air and every living thing that moves upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 NRSV) And, when humanity disappointed God, God went out of his way to protect his creation by assigning Noah the task of building an ark for two of every creature (Genesis 6:19-20) and seven pairs of every clean animal (Genesis 7:2).

Animals even get honored and mentioned in the 10th Commandment when God warned us not to covet our neighbor’s oxen or donkey.

I was struck by some of the details in Jonah 3 when even the animals wore sackcloth as a sign of repentance in the city of Nineveh. (Imagine your pet in sackcloth) And, ever the stickler on details, God even knows when a sparrow falls. (Matthew 10:29)

And even if we move from animals to people, what profession was most honored in the Bible? I think we know it is the shepherd.

I am grateful to be a part of Southeastern Guide Dogs. I am grateful for the unique bond we had as a family that learned a skill together, a skill that has blessed numerous people. I am grateful for having four different puppies go through our loving hands and into the loving hands of people who cannot see, children who struggle with reading, people who suffer from seizures, or veterans in therapy.

Happy Thanksgiving and embrace this holiday as a time to count your blessings. Happy counting.

Pastor Gross is a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, located at 959 SE 6 Ave., Deerfield Beach, FL 33441. For more information, contact 954-421-3146 or visit www.zion-lutheran.org.

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