More than $5,000 in prizes awarded
(Palm Beach, Fla.) – For the sixth consecutive year, talented Palm Beach County students were honored for their outstanding performances of Shakespearean scenes at the Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance, hosted by Kids’ Dreams at the Kravis Center. The program, which was created by Kids’ Dreams in memory of its late co-founder Alan Lebow, supports high school students from Title I schools in their love of poetry, drama, film and literature. Grants totaling $5,000 were awarded to the following 2015 Lebow Award winners:
Top Winner: $1,500 each
- Jephthelee Jordonne, a sophomore at Boynton Beach High School
Second Place Winners: $1,000 each
- Elize Jadimene, a junior at Boynton Beach High School
- Kandyce Kennedy, a junior at Boynton Beach High School
Honorable Mention: $500 each
- Majesty Smith, a junior at Inlet Grove Community High School
- Brittany Gardner, a senior at Boynton Beach High School
Distinguished Participation: $250 each
- Jasmine Ellis, a senior at Royal Palm Beach High School
- Marina Gasparini, a senior at Royal Palm Beach High School
The students competed at the Kravis Center in December 2014 for the honor of receiving a Lebow award. Judges included Beverly Blanchette, Desmond Gallant and Karen Stephens. Each participant was required to recite from memory and act out a two-minute selection from a Shakespearean play.
Lebow’s daughter, Amanda Lebow, Director of Film Strategy for Bond Strategy & Influence in New York City and a former Town of Palm Beach resident, presented the awards at a recent ceremony held at the Kravis Center. She was joined by Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Commissioner Priscilla Taylor and Kravis Center CEO Judith Mitchell.
“We’re here tonight to honor two amazing men- My father, Alan Lebow, and William Shakespeare. On the surface, these two men couldn’t be more different. One was a giant of his time, celebrated for his incredible wit, impeccable wardrobe and dashing good looks. And the other was William Shakespeare. Truly though, the namesakes of tonight’s award surprisingly have a lot in common. Most importantly, I know that both men truly believed that: All the world’s a stage. Shakespeare – because, well, he said it. And my father, because he actually put that idea into practice.”
“[My father] would be so proud to see that his love of the Bard and passion for the stage is still being carried on today by all of you amazing students. Your hard work and dedication has proven Shakespeare and my father correct: All the word is a stage. Tonight you receive a very deserved ovation!”
Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star and Chairman of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, delivered the keynote presentation to the participating students.
The top five Lebow Award recipients performed Shakespearean excerpts for the more than 100 community leaders, Kids’ Dreams board members, and friends and family members in attendance. Performers were: Brittany Gardner, Majesty Smith, Kandyce Kennedy, Elize Jadimene and Jephthelee Jordonne.
For more information about Kids’ Dreams, Inc., visit www.kidsdreams.org.
About Kids’ Dreams
Kids’ Dreams was born in 2007 when Patricia Lebow and her late husband, Alan, asked friends to make donations to kids in need in lieu of a birthday gift for Patricia’s milestone birthday. Initially, the dream was to provide summer camp tuition. The response was so overwhelming, however, the couple decided to form an official 501(c)(3) public charity to support youth in need in a variety of ways. Since then, more than $200,000 has been used to support educational scholarships, as well as a variety of cultural experiences through partnerships with The Kravis Center, Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Palm Beach Zoo, South Florida Science Museum and other Palm Beach County organizations dedicated to helping fulfill the dreams of low-income students. A mentoring partnership with Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies provides at-risk youth with strong support and anti-drug, anti-gang, and anti-crime messages.