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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, March 30, 2023


March 14, 2004 – The "Concert for KidsCope" benefit coming up Saturday at the Harbor Club in Port of Sale Mall is one of those events that it seems was just meant to be.
It started with an open-ended offer by a stateside artist that was passed along to some local community activists who surveyed the scene, settled on what they considered the most worthy cause to be the beneficiary and secured the support of another artist as well.
And so: Texas contemporary folksinger-songwriter Sara Hickman, whose long list of causes won her the Humana Women Helping Women award, will headline Saturday's event. And the Felice Pomeranz Jazz Quartet, a Boston-based classical-jazz harp ensemble, also will perform. And Chef Jude Mouton, who's been cooking up a Cajun/creole storm at Harbor Club for the last few months and counts a number of celebrities among his catering clients on the mainland, will be preparing appetizers.
Hickman grew up in Houston, graduated from the University of North Texas in 1986, moved to Dallas, and for the last decade has called Austin home. She has been involved in a variety of causes, among them raising money for Dallas Dance for Life; delivering clothing and supplies to orphans in Romania; taking part in art and music therapies for children, AIDS patients and stroke victims.
Her album "Spiritual Appliances," released in 2000, "explores 13 different emotions and how we deal with them," according to her Web site biography.
After the birth of her first child, in 1996, she became a certified parenting course instructor. At a teacher, she was struck by the number of parents "unsure how to be spontaneous, creative or musical with their children," her Web site biography states. So, in 2000, when her second child was born, she released the CD "Newborn," to help parents sing to their babies; the album raised tens of thousands of dollars for a safe haven for abused and neglected children in Texas. She followed that release with "Toddler," a collection of 31 one-minute songs and stories for little ones.
Hickman received the Humana Women Helping Women Award for her contributions to such entities as Safe Place, Habitat for Humanity, House for the Homeless, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Race for the Cure and other human and animal rights groups.
She serves on the board of the Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin, is an honorary member of the National Association of Music Therapy, has served on the board of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (which presents the Grammys), and was invited to be this year's honorary chair of the Austin Race for the Cure.
She also records commercials for corporate clients including Wal-Mart, Southwest Airlines and Fannie Mae. If you'd like to know more, visit the Sara Hickman Web site.
Pomeranz, a harpist, is the sister of St. Thomas dentist Donald Pomeranz and a regular visitor to St. Thomas. As luck would have it, she was already planning to be on island at this time. The other musicians in her quartet are Matt Marvuglio on flute, Barry Smith on acoustic bass and Denis Dionne on percussion. The group's latest CD is "Tomorrow's Dream."
Hickman and Pomeranz are waiving their artistic fees for their performances.
KidsCope is a St. Thomas-based not-for-profit agency providing services to abused and neglected children, including counseling and assistance in preparing youngsters to testify in court cases. It was founded eight years ago by Dilsa Capdeville, a social worker who had already spent a quarter-century working in the field with the Human Services Department and Family Resource Center.
The Concert for KidsCope is being produced by an ad hoc group that has taken the name Concerned Citizens Helping Abused Kids. Another St. Thomas dentist, Henry Karlin, is the chair; the other founding members include his wife, Debbie, an advanced practice registered nurse; Carolyn Smith, owner of Caribbean Pier Imports; and Douglas Dick, the assistant attorney general in charges of prosecuting child abuse cases.
The event came about as a result of Hickman's 2003 visit to St. Thomas to sing at the wedding of island resident Janis French, her former college roommate, Dick relates. "I have played Sara's music on my radio show, and we had e-mail communications," he said, speaking in his persona as host of the "Doug Lewis Show" on WVGN-FM. "When she came last year, it was for a very brief trip, but we discussed the possibility of raising money for a children's charity if she ever came back. In January, she e-mailed me and said she was interested in coming down and was willing to do a fund-raiser."
Karlin continues the story: "When Doug told me Sara Hickman had offered to do a benefit, we [the committee] wanted to maximize our donation to KidsCope."
He describes his wife and Smith as "fund-raisers extraordinaire," and his own credentials include training the dealers for the Montessori School's annual "Las Vegas Night," a stint directing the Atlantic Blue Marlin/Boy Scouts Tournament, and having served last year as president of Rotary Club of St. Thomas. "And I had just sort of produced a Tom Rush concert," he adds, referring to the impromptu performance the folksinger was persuaded to do last November — as a Rotary benefit — while vacationing in the territory.
Karlin also gained a local following as a performer, himself — playing guitar in the Public Nuisance rock band.
He talked to another musician who knew Hickman's work, and "he said people really want to hear her." So the the committee began eyeing options for an intimate setting. The Karlins' older daughter, Alexis, was home from college in Boston at the time, waiting tables at Harbor Club, where Mouton had recently begun presiding over the kitchen. One thing led to another, and soon the restaurant and the chef were on board.
"As we went through the planning process, we solicited all the food and drinks, and the response has been tremendous," Karlin adds.
The plan for the evening, he says, is for the quartet to play inside the restaurant and for Hickman to perform in the adjacent courtyard. He says he expects Mouton, whose catering clients have included Halle Berry, Gregory Hines, Jesse Jackson and Jon Voigt, "will be out there schmoozing the crowd in his whites."
The goal is to raise as much money as possible "exclusively through the event," Karlin says, "but we've also been soliciting Economic Development Program beneficiaries and other interested parties to get sponsorship."
Recognizing that "it's important to supporters to know where the money is going to go," he says the funds are intended specifically "to being a full-time counselor on board and to implement a play therapy program for abused kids."
He adds that it's been the group's intent "to make this the kind of event you can reproduce the next year, with the same format" — like Las Vegas Night, for example.
Hickman, Karlin and Capdeville will be Addie Ottley's guests Wednesday evening on "Face to Face" at 8 p.m. on WTJX/Channel 12.
Tickets, etc.
The Concert for KidsCope is Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Harbor Club in Port of Sale Mall. In addition to the music and appetizers there will be champagne and fine wines, specialty drinks and a number of door prizes.
Tickets are $125, with all proceeds going to KidsCope. They're available at Cosmopolitan on the Charlotte Amalie waterfront, Caribbean Pier Imports in Havensight and Hemingway's Book Shop in Red Hook, and by calling Dr. Karlin's office at 775-9110.

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