The desert definitely has its charitable divas who have enriched the community in inspirational ways. This season it is Annette Bloch, a humanitarian and philanthropic powerhouse with a commitment to charitable causes that reverberates throughout the desert. The Palm Springs Walk of Stars honored Annette with its 351st Star on February 4. The “Star” was sponsored by her friends with a reception following at LuLu, a restaurant in downtown Palm Springs.
Bloch’s “Star” can be viewed at 110 North Palm Canyon Drive.
The name Annette Bloch may sound familiar to taxpayers as it was her late husband – Richard Bloch — who was the founder of H & R Bloch, America’s popular tax preparation expert. Need I say more with April 15 coming up soon?
Taxes, aside, the Blochs have touched the lives of countless cancer survivors with the establishment of small parks with a purpose. These parks now number 24 nationwide. “The 25th park will open in Boise, Idaho,” she said. In Rancho Mirage you can visit the Cancer Survivor’s Park at Hwy 111 and Frank Sinatra Dr. near City Hall. It was designed by Victor Salmones, a Mexican sculptor. The Blochs’ lifelong concern for coping with cancer continues with their charitable legacy.
Because of this noble endeavor, Annette Bloch has received many awards for her generosity in touching the lives of cancer patients in the desert. Last year she presented a check for $1,000,000 to establish the Annette Bloch Cancer Care Center for the Desert AIDS Project in Palm Springs. This year she was honored for this extraordinary gift at the Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala event on February 9 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The 100 Women Award was presented shortly before the performance of Queen Latifah with an audience of over 1,800 in attendance.
Behind her smiling face is a story Bloch has shared with others. I interviewed her in the Green Room before the event began. “My husband, Richard, was diagnosed with cancer at 52 years old and given two months to live,” she said. He was cured, and it was a message to me, that there is life after a diagnosis.”
Taking this success to a higher level, the Blochs swept into action, establishing the Richard and Annette Bloch Heart Rhythm Center, the Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion and the Richard and Annette Bloch Radiation Oncology Pavilion at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kansas.
As the Honorary co-chair of the annual “One Night Only” benefitting Jewish Family Services of the Desert and the recipient of the Athena Award from the Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Meritorious gold Palm Star for her “enduring and selfless contributions to charitable causes” she continues to help others tirelessly.
Bob Alexander, president of the Palm Springs Walk of Stars said of Annette, “we are very proud to honor her with a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.”
February was definitely the month in the desert to recognize Annette Bloch for her inspirational philanthropy. She is an example for us all.
A MODERNISM MOMENT
If you’re mesmerized by Modernism, visit the Backstreet Art District in Palm Springs in the shadow of the San Jacinto Mountains. That’s where Gideon Cohen’s I.M.A.G.E.S., a mesmerizing collection of paintings he calls Modern Love, by Master Artists Carrie Graber and Snake Jagger are on show through March 6.
These retro images of Sputnik-inspired chairs, tables and accessories beaming in Modernism’s signature colors of orange and chartreuse reach out to those of us who remember those retro landmarks. Cohen came to the desert 35 years ago by way of Israel and is working with the Palm Springs Preservation Foundation to bring back those nifty days and nights of the 1950s with an artistic twist.
JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES PRESENTS
Yes, it’s that time of year again when Michael Childer presents “One Night Only” benefiting Jewish Family Services of the Desert. This annual production stars The Best of Broadway and Hollywood performers at the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts on April 24.
Event chairs for this year’s theme, “Music of My Life,” are Barbara Fromm and Terri Ketover; honorary chairs are Annette Bloch, Helene Galen, Barbara Keller and Harold Matzner. Among the directors are Diane and Hal Gershowitz, Murial Myerson, Faye and Herman Sarkowsky, Shelly and Ron Tamkin and Marjorie Victor.
This year you’ll be entertained by Kaye Ballard, Ann Hampton, Danny Gurwin, Sam Harris, Michelle Lee and Pamela Myers with more to be announced.
Visit www.jfsdesert.org or call (760) 340-ARTS.
Pamela Price is the co author of Day Trips from Los Angeles (www.globepequot.com).