Flyers’ Tough Guy to Accept Sports Writers’ ‘Team of the Year’ Award

Ian Laperriere, PSWA's Team of the Year

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Even in the National Hockey League, they don’t come much tougher than Ian Laperriere.

The Philadelphia Flyers’ forward is sidelined indefinitely with “post concussion syndrome.” To keep “Lappy” off the ice … well, it’s just not easy.

In the first round of last year’s NHL playoffs, Laperriere through himself in front of a shot and took the puck square in his face. He suffered a concussion and a brain contusion, to go along with a broken nose. He required almost 70 stitches in his face, and was expected to miss the rest of the playoffs.

But for one of the toughest men to ever lace ‘em up in the NHL, missing the Flyers’ inspired playoff run was not an option. He returned to action in the Conference Finals against Montreal.

Laperriere isn’t on the ice right now, but he will be on the dais for the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 107th annual Awards Dinner, 6:30 p.m. Monday, January 31, 2011. For tickets, visit www.pswa.org.

Lee — Always in the cards — thanks to wife’s PR knowledge

Cliff Lee flashes the No. 1 finger as he poses with his No. 33 Phillies jersey after his news conference Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Below is an excerpt of David Hale’s story in the Dec. 16, 2010 “Courier-Post.”

In it, Cliff Lee’s wife, Kristin, made use of a popular strategic communication tactic depended on by many strategic communicators: The “Force Field (Conflict) Analysis” – (see it in Chapter 15 of “The Public Relations Practitioner’s Playbook). If it weren’t for that “Force Field,” there is a good chance Lee would be a Ranger – or worse – a dreaded Yankee.

Here is the excerpt [Scroll down below picture].

For Hale’s full story, go to the “Courier-Post” website. It carries the full story of Lee’s return to Philadelphia.

http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20101216/SPORTS01/12160329/ALWAYS-IN-THE-CARDS. [Scroll down below picture]

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PHILADELPHIA — There’s a scrap of paper sitting on the kitchen counter in Cliff and Kristin Lee’s house in Arkansas, a scrap that Kristin nearly threw away before leaving for Philadelphia, where her husband was officially announced as the newest member of the Phillies’ starting rotation Wednesday.

Before the paper reached the trash, however, Kristin realized just how important the words on it were. She knew that piece of paper might have been the turning point that led her husband to come back to Philadelphia, to come back to a place they both longed to call home once again.

Of course, that scrap of paper is just part of the story — and the twisted tale of Cliff Lee’s return to the Phillies was filled with more than its share of twists and turns.

Still, it took that scrap of paper to provide the final push.

The night before, when the negotiations still looked bleak, Kristin Lee had trouble sleeping. She knew she wanted Cliff to sign with the Phillies, but she also knew the money wasn’t close to what the Yankees or Rangers had offered.

So when she woke up, she grabbed a piece of paper and began to write. She drew out three columns — one each for reasons to sign with the Phillies, the Yankees and the Rangers. By the time she was done writing, the Phillies’ column dwarfed the other two.

“That morning I was thinking of all those things that were so great about this place, so when we’re trying to figure out what to do I wanted to be able to say, “Hey Cliff, we can’t forget these things,’ ” she said.

Once the deal was done, it didn’t take long before the Lees were reminded all over again of how much they loved Philadelphia.

Flying into the airport, the city was lit up and Kristin Lee was thrilled to be home. At the airport and at dinner, fans came and congratulated the couple on returning to Philadelphia.

It was a most unlikely outcome, but it was the perfect ending for Lee.

“It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for me, and it’s been a fun ride,” Lee said.

“This offseason has been full of unknowns, but it feels great to land back here in Philadelphia.”

Again, full story: http://www.courierpostonline.com/article/20101216/SPORTS01/12160329/ALWAYS-IN-THE-CARDS

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Phillies’ Pitcher Roy Halladay Named ‘Pro Athlete of the Year’ by Philadelphia Sports Writers Association

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Phillies Cy Young Award-winner Roy Halladay, the only pitcher ever to throw a perfect game and no-hitter in the same season, has been named the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s Pro Athlete of the Year, it was announced by PSWA president Rich Westcott.

Halladay will be honored at the PSWA’s 107th annual Sports Awards Dinner on Monday, January 31, 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, on Route 70 in Cherry Hill, N.J. Tickets are available to the public.

Halladay threw a perfect game in Florida on May 29, then tossed a no-hitter against Cincinnati on Oct. 6 in the opener of the National League Division Series. It was only the second post-season no-hitter in history.

Halladay, who also won a Cy Young with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003, joined Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Gaylord Perry as the only pitchers to earn the awards in both the National and American Leagues.

Halladay led the Phillies to the best regular season record in major league baseball in 2010 by going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and 219 strikeouts. He led the National League in wins and topped the major leagues in innings pitched (250 2/3), shutouts (4) and complete games (9).

The Philadelphia Flyers, the 2010 Stanley Cup runner-ups, will be honored as the Team of the Year at the dinner. Other prestigious awards, including Outstanding Professional and Amateur Athlete, Living Legend, Native Son, Humanitarian of the Year, and Good Guy Athlete, among others, will be announced in coming weeks. The most coveted award—Most Courageous—is kept secret until the night of the dinner.

Tickets for the dinner at $95 apiece and can be purchased by clicking here.

Fans can also friend PSWA on Facebook.

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12 holiday $$$ mistakes to avoid — from AP

This story has run in newspapers all over the United States and online via Associated Press. It may be excessive of fair use — but its importance does not. Enjoy it and take heed. Happy holidays!

By DAVE CARPENTER

AP Personal Finance Writer

Nov 27, 2010

CHICAGO — The holiday season is full of pitfalls that can drain your bank account.

If you’re not careful, you can end up taking a year to pay for all the spending. More than 13 million shoppers are still paying off last year’s holiday debts, according to Consumer Reports.

It’s fine to cut back on gifts if your finances are stretched thin. But if you plan to join the holiday shop-a-palooza, remember that it’s not going against the holiday spirit to keep your bottom line in mind.

“You have to be smart,” says Gail Cunningham of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Know how much you can spend in advance and don’t get caught up in the holiday moment.”

Regardless of the size of your bank account, you’ll save plenty if you can avoid common holiday traps. Some are laid by retailers hungry for cash while others are simply a result of poor planning.

Here’s a look at 12 holiday money mistakes to avoid:

1. Discount fixation.

Retailers advertise deep discounts to get you to bite. But don’t take them at their word without comparing prices. A store’s sale price may reflect a markdown from the regular price, but there’s no guarantee the manufacturer’s suggested retail price isn’t actually lower. Think more about the item you’re buying.

“The stupidest thing people do is focus more on price than on quality,” says Dan de Grandpre, editor-in-chief of Dealnews.com. “Especially on Black Friday. You see really low prices because in many cases it’s cheap stuff.”

Avoid unfamiliar brands, be wary of the cheap version of name brands and don’t go crazy for bogus bargains on footwear, apparel, power tools or anything else, cautions Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst at the NPD Group.

2. No budget.

Skipping a holiday spending budget is a surefire way to overspend. Make a list that includes amounts for each person you want to buy a gift for and stick to it. Be sure to create an overall budget that factors in other holiday-related expenses. Without a plan, you’ll get caught up in the hype and go for the feel-good purchase.

The American Financial Services Association Education Foundation offers an online worksheet to help you create a holiday spending plan; visit www.afsaef.org/HolidaySpending.cfm. Besides planning your gift list, it helps you track spending on decorations, cards, travel and entertaining.

3. Debit dangers.

Debit cards carry the advantage of taking money from your account and not saddling you with future payments. But using them on big items is risky because they don’t offer the purchase protections that credit cards do. For instance, if you fail to report any misuse of your bank account within two days, you may be liable for the first $500 billed to your debit card instead of the first $50.

If you have a problem with a purchase you made on a debit card, you may eventually get your money back. But it will be much more trouble and take longer than if a credit card had been used, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

4. Return policy missteps.

Tossing away receipts can be costly. Their obvious value is for exchanges or returns, but there’s another plus too: If the price is lowered after you buy an item, a receipt should enable you to get a credit for the difference. Be aware that return policies are changing, however, and retailers are increasingly refusing some returns or giving gift cards for the amount in question. Certain stores are particularly diligent about tracking returns. If your credit card shows you return items too often, you may be stuck, according to de Grandpre. Also make sure you understand a website’s return policy if you’re shopping online.

5. Being low-tech.

Smart phones are changing how we shop. Scores of consumers are following their favorite brands and retailers on social networking sites likes Twitter and Facebook, and retailers are taking full advantage. It’s much easier for businesses to launch and retract deals online where matching inventory with demand is less of a challenge. Coupons and last-minute offers can arrive as e-mail alerts or through social network accounts. Smart phone apps like Coupon Sherpa also provide in-the-moment help. It enables iPhone users to search coupons by category or store name, and find the nearest location. According to Deloitte Research, nearly one in five shoppers plans to use a cell phone during the shopping process.

6. Extended warranties.

Here’s when to buy an extended warranty, says Greg Daugherty, executive editor of Consumer Reports: “Basically never.” The manufacturer’s warranty should protect you against any defect for up to a year, and the cost of protection beyond that generally isn’t worth it. Instead of wasting anywhere from tens to hundreds of dollars on an extended warranty, put some extra cash in your emergency fund to help cover possible repairs or replacements.

7. Black Friday blunders.

Black Friday can be a shopper’s dream. But long lines and overzealous crowds can really wear you down and make it harder to spend wisely. So map out a plan in advance and read the fine print on early-morning doorbuster deals. At 5 a.m., you may have a slim chance of landing the lone 45-inch flat-screen TV offered at one store and much better odds for the less spectacular bargain down the road. Planning is important throughout the shopping season. Check the website of each store you plan to visit for the latest bargains, and make a list of what you want to buy from each store.

8. Gift card gaps.

Give gift cards another look if you’ve spurned buying them because of fees and other issues. Thanks to recent rule changes, this is the first holiday season in which any gift card purchased cannot expire for at least five years. What’s more, inactivity and other fees are banned in the first year. Still, you should beware of buying gift cards through online auction sites or classified ads. They may be counterfeit and could have been obtained illegally.

9. Shipping costs.

Free shipping is easier than ever to find. Giant retailers are dangling it as an inducement to spend. Wal-Mart, Target and J.C. Penney are among the retailers promoting free shipping programs. More than 1,000 merchants also are participating in Free Shipping Day (www.freeshippingday.com) on Dec. 17. Even if you don’t get free shipping, don’t wait too long or you’ll blow your budget to ship to out-of-town friends and family.

10. Store credit cards.

Saving 20 percent on a single large purchase might sound worth it. But remember that retailers promote their store cards because they come out ahead on interest and late fees. Interest rates of more than 20 percent are quite common. That’s what you’ll find at the Gap and Macy’s, among many others. Signing up for a store’s credit card and then canceling after a short period, even if you pay it off on time, can harm your credit score. If you apply, be very selective.

11. Exposing your ID.

Grab deals from the comfort of your living room but take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, which costs U.S. consumers more than $50 billion a year. Only do business with websites that are properly secure. A common indictor that it’s OK to enter confidential information is the presence of a padlock in the address bar on the checkout page. This means that the data you input will be properly encrypted for your protection.

12. Fear of negotiating.

Prices frequently are negotiable in electronics, jewelry and department stores. Consumer Reports surveys on haggling have found that shoppers are successful more often than not when they ask for a better price. Just make the negotiations friendly. Daugherty suggests saying something like: “I’d like to buy this but the price is over my budget. Can you do any better?” Often the manager can if the clerk cannot. “You’re not going to embarrass yourself,” he says. “They’ve heard it before.” Along the same lines, ask the cashier if there’s a discount on your big item even if you don’t have a current coupon.

Special Thanksgiving Edition – Important safety tips if you plan on frying your turkey

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This advisory message came from has been issued by the Runnemede (N.J.) Fire Department. It’s for those of us who have always craved a fried turkey on this special day.

This is the start of what promises to be a wonderful holiday season. Keep that wine glass half full, rather than half empty. That’s what optimists do. Now, to your turkey frying tips:
Happy Thanksgiving! Please check www.runnemedefire.org for important safety tips if you plan on frying your turkey.

The Dos & Don’ts of Frying a Turkey

1.The first thing you should do is determine how much oil you need to heat up. To do this, place your turkey in the cold pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the turkey allow for it to cover 2 inch above the turkey. Take the turkey out. Mark where the water level is…..this is how much oil you will need. This is an important step because if you do not determine how much oil you need and just fill the pot with oil, heat the oil then place the bird in…..chances are you have too much oil and it will spill over the pot roll down the sides to the open flame and catch on fire.
2.Dry your turkey off completely.
3.Fill pot with oil to the determined level.
4.Heat your oil outside to 350°-375° F.

DON’TS

5.Do not set up Deep Fryer indoors, or under an overhang. Never place close to the house, allow to be about 15 feet away from any structures.
6.Do not leave hot oil unattended.
7.Do not allow children and pets to be around your hot oil.
8.Do not Place hot oil on any surface that is not flat.
9.Do not use olive oil.
10.Do not brine your turkey. Make sure your turkey is completely dry.
11.Do not stuff your turkey.
12.Do not forget to remove giblets in the cavity of your turkey.
13.Do not try to fry a frozen turkey, the turkey should be completely defrosted.

“Grow Your Business Through Networking”

On Friday, Nov. 19, Larry Litwin, APR, Fellow PRSA,  participated in the Chamber of Commerce of South Jersey networking workship. The full PowerPoint is available on www.larrylitwin.com under Workshops and PowerPoints. It is No. 15 (scroll down).

Here are accompanying notes. To comment: larry@larrylitwin.com

1.  How communication has evolved over the last few decades, including the importance of the human connection, face-to-face meetings, non-verbal communication and body language.

After slide with books…Open with PR is…read from “ PR Playbook.”

2.  Proper handshake – summarize…

PROPER HANDSHAKING –

The protocol for handshaking is simple: Walk up to the person you want to meet. Look into their eyes, smile and extend your hand. Offer a warm, firm, palm-to-palm handshake.

When you offer your hand to a stranger or a distant acquaintance, say, “My name is……( use both first and last names ).This way you eliminate the awkward moment of the forgotten name. The person being greeted is often relieved at being reminded, and will usually respond with their full name, which will in turn relieve you.

Delivering a proper handshake can make or break that first impression on a person. It certainly shouldn’t be limp and it should not be a crusher.

I recommend to my students and others to try shaking hands with a few friends.

3.  Eye Contact…[Technique 190…in “The ABCs of Strategic Communication.]

•  Eye contact. Once your hands have met, you should make eye contact and maintain it throughout the handshake.

4.  PR is slide…leading into Elevator Speech…

All of us should have 30 seconds [an elevator speech] about ourselvse to share with THAT important person.

Here’s an example using Rowan University as the  example…PR is

5.  Body language hints (Slide 8)

Also, for my students, when walking across campus or at a networking event, look up and smile — even say “hi.”

If at a networking event, work the room. Meeting prospectives is more important than eating.

6.  Back to eye contact for a moment…Upper third. It assures your are credible and believable. NO rolling the eyes.

So, grip – look – business card, being ready with an elevator speech and “I look forward to talking to you.”

8.  Show a favorite business card…Leave behind/Take away

9.  Etiqutte slide (make it quick) –

  • Defined –  conduct as established in a society or community.

10.  The Evolution of our profession

11.  Show Social Media video…then roll through slides…

12.  Slide 18 – MAC Triad which has added P and T…

13.  Slide 20 – Relationship management

14.  Shannon Weaver – Two way model

15.  Yes, as much as things change, they REMAIN the same.

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Traffic Light Cameras – Warnings must be posted near intersections

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Traffic light cameras have become the craze in Southern New Jersey. If you try to run a yellow light, “big brother” is going to get you. On Oct. 30, 2010, The “Courier-Post” ran

some common questions and answers to the red light cameras throughout South Jersey.

Question: How do I know if an intersection is being monitored?

Answer: Any municipality that authorizes the use of a red light camera, including the 22 in the state pilot program, by law must post a sign warning of the enforcement on each street leading to the intersection. Some South Jersey communities in the pilot program expect to add more cameras in the future, but for now, they have been authorized at the following intersections:

Cherry Hill: At Route 70 and Springdale Road

Deptford: At Route 41 and Deptford Center Road

Glassboro: At Route 47 and Dalton Drive

Gloucester Township: On Blackwood-Clementon Road (Route 534) at Cherrywood Drive, at Blenheim/Erial/New Brooklyn Road (Route 706), at Little Gloucester Road (Route 759), and at Millbridge Road

Monroe: On Route 322 at Route 612 and at Route 42/Route 536 Spur

Q: If I see the cameras flash, does that mean I’m going to get a ticket?

A: Not necessarily. Sensors in the road trigger the cameras after determining that a vehicle is traveling fast enough to potentially cross the white stop line when the light turns red. Each camera company operates differently, but usually the devices snap at least two photos showing the back of the vehicle at and in the intersection during a red light. Some companies also record a short digital video. Before any tickets are issued, the camera provider reviews the images and sends suspected violations to the local law enforcement agency. Police officers then determine whether to issue a citation. Tickets are mailed to the registered owner of the license plate, not necessarily the driver, and usually include copies of the photo evidence and a link to view more online. Drivers won’t know if they’ve been caught running a light until they receive a ticket in the mail.

Q: What if someone else is driving my car?

A: According to state statute, you will still be held liable for the fine unless you can show your car was used without your consent. In that case, you would be able to take the driver to court to recover the amount of the fine. That differs from Philadelphia’s program, which uses only still photos and exonerates the vehicle owner if he can prove he wasn’t driving, even if he knowingly let someone else take the wheel. In New Jersey, only rental car owners can get a ticket excused by providing the name and address of the person leasing the car at the time the ticket was issued. The law doesn’t say if the court then sends the violation to that driver.

Q: Will I get a ticket if I’m traveling through the intersection when a yellow light changes to red?

A: You shouldn’t. According to service providers, the cameras focus on vehicles crossing the white stop line painted on the road after the light turns red.

Q: What if I inch forward for a clear view to the left before making a right on red?

A: As long as you first come to a complete stop before the white line, local police say you shouldn’t get fined. Those who stop but overshoot the line, whether heading forward or into a turn, could still face a fine. Authorities will see from the series of pictures where the vehicle was when the light turned red and whether it continued progressing into the intersection just after that. It’s up to them to decide whether to ignore a violation if a vehicle has only nudged past the stop line.

Q: Will there be any forgiveness for special circumstances like emergencies or funeral processions?

A: Yes. If examiners can tell that an emergency vehicle or funeral procession ran the light, the violation would be dismissed, local police chiefs said. However, because the cameras capture only the backs of the vehicles, any other nonvisible circumstances would have to be raised in a court hearing.

Q: What if I believe I didn’t do anything wrong, regardless of what the video shows?

A: You can request a hearing to contest the ticket in municipal court. The ticket will include directions on how to set that up. Steve Carrellas, a state representative for the National Motorists Association, encourages drivers to request the latest available speed survey and yellow light timing for the intersection to use as evidence in court. With that information, he said, drivers can determine whether the yellow signal lasted long enough for them to come to a stop based on state regulations.

Philadelphia Sports Teams – Litwin gets some “ink” – in conjunction with the Sport Industry Research Center at Temple University

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Philly fans ranks Cowboys as greatest rival
Philadelphia Daily News
Larry Litwin, of Berlin, NJ, said the rivalry could have something to do with “that big star” the Cowboys wear. Litwin says that somehow his daughter Julie

 Fans rank Merrill Reese as Philly’s No. 1 play-by-play voice
Philadelphia Daily News
In a follow-up interview to the survey, Larry Litwin, of Berlin, NJ, said that “Merrill is not afraid to criticize when need be.

 
Phillies color commentator Larry Andersen in the booth before a
Philadelphia Daily News
According to Larry Litwin, of Berlin, NJ, “the chemistry between Larry and Franzke gets better and better.” Litwin adds that “LA is as close as you could


A Weisman-Litwin-Altenberg family addition

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Our newest nephew Eytan Ziv Altenberg’s birth and bris were celebrated in Houston on August 13. During the ceremony, his proud father offered this remarks:

(Eytan’s Savta [grandmother] said, “We had a magnificent evening last night!  Eytan’s bris was spiritual and communal.  We had about 80 + people welcome him into our covenant. There was a real sense of love and community.

“Although you weren’t with us physically, we certainly felt your love!  I am forwarding Joaquin’s remarks so you can feel even a bit closer to Eytan.

Hugs and love SAVTA!!!”

Eileen Weisman

Joaquin’s remarks:

Thank you to everyone for coming and sharing this joyous occasion with us. We appreciate your support and contribution to our son’s life!

I would also like to give special thanks to those who have made this possible, our wonderful family members who are no longer with us. They include:

Mr. and Mrs. Eddie & Jean Litwin – Alison’s maternal grandparents

Mrs. Sophie Weisman – Alison’s paternal grandmother

Mr. and Mrs. Pequin & Maruja Perez – Joaquin’s paternal grandparents

Mr. Norman Altenberg – Joaquin’s maternal Grandfather

And Mrs. Marcella Altenberg – Joaquin’s mother

Without their love and support, we would not have been able to be here today.

For those with us and with whom we have the privilege to share our lives with, we would like to thank:

Eileen and Lenny Weisman – for being parents to us each day, for their constant support, love and guidance and for hosting this fantastic Bris. Also, we are glad to share with them their first grandchild.

To Alison’s Paternal Grandfather – Moses Weisman who we get to share each day and this honor of his first great grandchild.

To my grandmother – Delia Altenberg who could not be here but is here in spirit

To our sister and brother-in-law Jessica and Ernest Cambareri, and to Eytan’s adorable cousins Marcella and Julia for making the trek from New York to be here.

To our other brother and sister-in-law – Josh and Liz Weisman for making the trek from Dallas and putting aside other arrangements to be here for us, To Josh who is here in spirit and supporting us from Iraq and possibly here via Skype.

To Alison’s paternal aunt – Aunt Pearl Westrich coming from Delaware to be with us today

To Alison’s maternal aunt – Aunt Jan Barbell who came all the way from New Jersey to be with us.

To all our family, we thank you.

I would also like to thank Dr. Mintz for officiating the ceremony and for being the ever-delicate mohel to celebrate this with us.

We would also like to give a special thanks to Dr. Todd Ivey who delivered our son under tense circumstances and kept us calm, safe and took great care of Alison through it all.

Naming Ceremony:

We wanted to share with everyone the idea behind the name: Eytan Ziv Altenberg

The first name, EYTAN, is Hebrew meaning STRONG… and a name he is already living up to.  We loved the sound of the name and more specifically, we wanted a name that also enabled us to give respect to Alison’s dear Grandfather Eddie Litwin.  It is customary to use the same first initial, “E” in this case after the person being remembered.

Eddie or Poppy, as he liked to be called, is remembered for his larger than life personality.  A big hearted, loving family man who had a great sense of humor, charisma and solid work ethic to provide for his family and always wisdom to impart in a jovial way. We hope EYTAN reflects Poppy’s values and spirit and we are thrilled to share our son in his memory.

Ziv, the middle name is Hebrew for splendid or brilliant.  We chose this name because it reminded us of my mother Marcella Altenberg.  My mother was a radiant person. She shined with her smile and big heart. She always had a kind word or something to offer anyone who needed it.  We did not have much, growing up, but somehow she always had something to give. It was that radiant nature and quick to laughter that made her such a wonderful person to be around.  We hope our son shares this gift of brilliance to connect with the world out of kindness and love from his heart.  We also wanted to honor my mother for all that she gave to guide me here to this day.

Please feel free to practice his name, share it with others and we hope you find as much joy is saying it as we do! With love, Alison and Joaquin Altenberg