Art can save lives. Just ask Marianne Lods, executive director of the Millville Development Corp. and its Glasstown Arts District.

Her mother, Suzanne Duchesne, used her artistic skills to forge identity papers for American and British pilots shot down over Belgium during World War II.

Duchesne was a textile designer who was a member of the Belgian Resistance, Lods said.

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"It was her main task because she was an artist," she said.

Duchesne was a converted Jew whose first husband, Maurice Morgen, was killed in Auschwitz, Lods said. Duchesne met Lods' father, a U.S. serviceman, during the war and married him after it was over.

Now Lods has written a historical novel about her parents' romance titled "It's Been a Long, Long Time."

"They both left behind a treasure trove of documents and letters," Lods said. It took her father, Jack Kaplan, a year to get back to Belgium after the war, so the couple communicated through 300 letters.

Their writings show what was going on in postwar Europe and in the U.S., Lods said, especially the fear that the threat of communism would spark another conflagration.

She said writing the book was her life's goal, and she is now working on two more novels. The paperback is available for $12 at the Millville Army Airfield Museum and at Bogart's Books in Millville; and the ebook on Amazon for $5.99.

Stockton represented

Alisa Hogan, associate director of Admissions Marketing and Communications at Richard Stockton College, is president-elect of the 1,200-member New Jersey Association of College Admissions Counselors.

The position makes her a delegate and voting member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, which oversees policies and procedures of the college admissions process.

Youth Leadership Awards

Georgianna Gentile and Gina DiBuono, rising juniors at Pinelands Regional High School in Tuckerton, participated this summer in Rotary District 7500 Youth Leadership Awards at Monmouth University, a Pinelands spokesperson said.

Sierra Giasullo, a 2013 Pinelands graduate, was a support counselor at the four-day conference on developing leadership qualities. All three were members of the Pinelands Regional Interact Club, Rotary International's service club for youth. The Rotary Club of Great Bay funded the students' participation, the spokesperson said.


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