A Holocaust memoir helped Margate's Kathy Tabasso, 57, give up the prescription painkillers to which she'd become "hopelessly addicted" while trying to escape the pain of fibromyalgia, she said.

She was in a detox center when a counselor gave her a copy of Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning."

"It talked about, no matter what the circumstance is, you can find meaning in life, even in the midst of extreme suffering," she said. "It gave me hope that maybe I could do life with enduring pain and without opiates."

That was eight years ago. She has been free since from medications, she said, with the ongoing support of husband Tony, Margate's fire chief.

Tabasso plans to become a Holocaust educator and is working on her master of arts in holocaust and genocide studies at Richard Stockton College.

She is presenting a paper, "The Power of Story in Remembering for the Future," at the 44th annual Scholars Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches, March 8-11 in Los Angeles.

A senior library assistant at the Atlantic County Library's Ventnor branch, she made news last month by using CPR to help revive a 17-month-old girl who had stopped breathing in the library.

She and Tony have four children, Anthony, 31, of Egg Harbor Township; Jenna, 28, of Northfield; Laura, 22, of Margate; and Rocco, 21, of Margate.

Stockton students Lillian Hussong, of Absecon; and Charles Weisbecker, of Egg Harbor City, also are presenting papers at the conference. For more visit

A.C. food art heads West

Food illustrations by Atlantic City artist Linda Wexler, author and illustrator of "The Sleepy Animal ABCzzzz," have been chosen to decorate the Bruin Plate campus restaurant at the University of California at Los Angeles.

More information is online at


Atlantic Cape Community College athlete honored

Atlantic Cape Community College volleyball and softball player Jessica Solorzano, 19, who is a Pleasantville native, was named a Woman of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Girls and Women in Sports.

One recipient from each New Jersey college or university was honored at a Feb. 9 luncheon at Seton Hall University.

Solorzano, a graduate of the Atlantic County Institute of Technology, is a student at Atlantic Cape's Academy of Culinary Arts.

She was nominated by her softball coach, Sean Thomas, who praised her leadership and volunteerism.