Every time we turn on the TV or click on an Internet news and entertainment page we are bombarded by half-dressed, bizarrely costumed male and female singers and performers who sing (or lip-sync) inaudible lyrics to love songs and causes. They constantly proclaim their undying love for each other, their intention to live together forever and their commitment to be involved in some highly visible cause to save the world, or whales, elephants, polar bears, snapping turtles and sometimes even people. If any of this sounds familiar, it is. It’s American pop culture at its best and most consistent. Most of our pseudo pop heroes and beautiful people never make it to the altar and if they do, we all get to be involved in every finger-pointing detail of their divorce three months later.
As far as whales and other causes go, we seldom get accurate updates on their status, and if we do, it’s usually confusing or flip-flopped and we discover what our pop icons were trying to save are no longer in trouble but have actually overpopulated and need to be harvested.
In today’s world it’s getting harder and harder to find people with their clothes on and their heads screwed on right who can truly serve as role models for all of us.
The really ‘beautiful people’ aren’t the overnight creation of some Hollywood music mogul, television producer or public relations hack, but instead are the hard-working people who lead simple, productive lives that lead to successes that are then shared with others.
And we’ve got two beautiful people right here in Beachwood: Beachwood residents Iris and Mort November. If you don’t know about them or have never met them, then you should go out of your way to do so. If nothing else, you should pick up a copy of their new book at the Beachwood Library or your closest book store. Their book is not some high-energy romantic novel filled with the fantasies of Beachwood’s desperate housewives or some expose about one of Ohio’s recent governors, but instead its about a subject we all should know about and practice, The Fine Art Of Schnorring: The A to Z’s of Fund Raising and Philanthropy (Windjammer Adventure Publishing, 2011).
The word schnorring is Yiddish for ‘begging’ but has been refined and updated by the Novembers to incorporate fundraising and philanthropy techniques that have helped them generate funds or products for the benefit of others.
These wonderful, dynamic, generous, high-energy "beautiful people" have enriched the lives of tens of thousands of children and families with their philanthropy. To date, their generosity has helped complete 16 major projects in Northeast Ohio, with more projects in the planning stages.
They are truly my "pop idols," and they live right here in Beachwood.