February 26th, 2014

We are set to make our third of three contributions to the Booker High School Visual and Performing Arts program.  The first two donations centered on new guitars, computers and software for the students so this installment will focus on awarding students the opportunity to study at off campus sites this summer for either film or guitar.  How great for so many of the students who have not been able to travel or certainly to study at a prestigious organization such as the Berkeley School of Music, New York Film Academy, National Guitar Workshop or Full Sail University to be able to build their resume in this fashion.  We will be posting the students’ names and the programs they select in May 2014.

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Booker VPA Student Testimonials

August 7th, 2013

Guitar Perspective: An email received from Kourtney Gillespie

We took a trip to Columbus, Georgia and were exposed to so many inspirational guitarists. We were even able to play in an ensemble with these prestigious guitarists as well. It was one of the most exciting and educational trips I have ever had in my whole high school experience, Read the rest of this entry »

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Booker High School

August 5th, 2013

VPA-Mac-LabOn May 23, 2013, we visited the campus of Booker High in Sarasota for the unveiling of the new John H. Lamensdorf Digital Motion and Design studio in the Visual and Performing Arts Department.  So many gorgeous new computers to support the students with the very latest in the software so critical to young (and I suppose not so young!) filmmakers today.  The unveiling received great local press and many inquiries about the trust’s efforts.  The Booker VPA students are, to a student, warm, engaging, appreciative, humble and TALENTED.

We were serenaded by the Guitar students – playing their new air guitars compliments of the trust – with a fabulous visual production accompanying them.  Tears were flowing.

VPA-Mac-Lab-2We look forward to making our third contribution in 2014 which will focus on awarding scholarship opportunities to the students.

Click here to read Booker VPA student testimonials.

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4TH Anniversary

August 5th, 2013

We were once again blessed to have Jennie accompany us while marking John’s 4th anniversary on May 28, 2013.  We devoted the day to John (even more than we usually do), explored one of his favorite places and embarked on some of his favorite activities. It is heartbreaking and challenging, but necessary.  How lucky John was to have, in his words, “the perfect sister.”  The days would just not be as bearable without her.

Enormous thanks to those who continue to support us all year long, especially as we mark John’s anniversary.  We received so many generous contributions AGAIN and simply marvel at the sensitivity of so many. We are so very appreciative.

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April 3rd, 2013

It is hard to believe that we haven’t posted anything in almost 6 months!  We have, however,  been super busy with Trust activities and working hard to discover new outlets for our mission of supporting students interested in fimmaking, music and the literary arts in particular.

We are preparing to make our third of three contribtuions to Booker High School’s film and Guitar programs.  We will soon be posting new photos and music performances of the Booker students directly affected (blessed) by the Trust’s donations.  And, we just received the fabulous project results from the 2012 AMOA-Arthouse’s Advanced Young Artists’s program to which the Trust has committed contributions over 5 years.  We will be presenting the finished works any day now. 

Our recent main focus has been the creation of a Safety in Filmmaking program.  It is an arduous process (we are creating an app with the help of very talented people) but we expect its finalization by year’s end.  Then, the really hard work of convincing film programs, students, parents and insurance companies of the necessity (not nicety) of this program.    

We have  narrowed our selection for a “home” for the John H. Lamensdorf Memorial Scholarship (for excellence in production) to two organizations and will make our final selection over the summer.  The first annual scholarship will then be awarded in 2014.  

We are delighted to report that we have sold all but 31 tee shirts!!!!  A friend of John’s is mulling over the idea of creating a limited edition piece of artwork – she is trying to decide exactly what to create as a fundraising activity.  Lori  is an amazingly talented artist so we are very excited about this prospect.

More very soon on other gratifying activities in honor of John.

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September 21st, 2012

We recently received a most gracious and lovely thank you from Kayleigh who was awarded the 2012 John H. Lamensdorf Memorial Scholarship at the New York Film Academy.  Here is a smidgen of Kayleigh’s thank you note:

“I cannot express to you how honored I am to be able to accept this grant.  My family and I were in awe of what you are bringing to my life with the NYFA. I have always been an indiividual who is open to exploring many new things, but I’ve come to sort of an agreement with myself that film is my true calling out of my other hobbies and talents.  There is something about the idea of producing such vivid and poetic ideas along with a clear aesthetic that really catches my attention.  To be able to continue my film education at such a terrific place in NYC is one adventure I am both looking forward to and am sure – scratch that – positive – I will never forget.  Aside from the experience itself, I will surely never forget what your family has done for me.

I am deeply saddened  by the story of your son John’s passing.  The thing I found most special about him was the success he found within himself at such young ages.  I am glad to see that he could pursue his aspirations from such early points of his adolescence and truly go for what he wanted in life through the arts.  I really hope I can take some of that positive and ambitious vibe with me to the film academy.  One last time, I want to really thank you with all I can.  I appreciate your family beyond the seas for granting me such a  prestigious opportunity.”

A fantastic feeling to know we may have a hand in changing a young person’s life through John’s legacy.

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So Many To Thank

July 6th, 2012

Just completed our formal thank yous to all of the donors who contributed in honor of John’s recent anniversary.  A hearty and heartfelt thank you to all!  We can just see John, tossing back his hair and saying, “Really?  All those people remembered me???”  Yes, John, they did.

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July 3rd, 2012

The 2012 John H. Lamensdorf Memorial Scholarships to the New York Film Academy (NYFA) and National Guitar Workshop (NGW) have been awarded!

Kayleigh Myer has been selected for the 2012 NYFA scholarship and will be attending the four week program in NYC.  Kayleigh is a high school student hailing from Mt. Marion, NY and seems to be quite similar to John in her all-consuming interest in film. 

Kerrie Budin is the recipient of the 2012 NGW scholarship.  Kerrie’s application essay easily won us over!  Living in Connecticut, Kerrie will not have to travel far to the NGW’s headquarters in Connecticut.  

Congrats to Kayleigh and Kerrie!  We know they will both have life-changing experiences at their programs – just like John did.

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July 3rd, 2012

We were once again able to mark John’s anniversary by leaving Sarasota so as to be less distracted in our thoughts and prayers.  We were blessed to have Jennie join us again and to help us reflect on John’s life and legacy. Much time was spent discussing ideas for future contributions and relationships. We make a contribution to a new entity on John’s anniversary and on his birthday (November 17TH) each year.  To mark John’s 3RD anniversary, we will be making our first of five annual donations to Video Renaissance, a unique and extremely well-curated film rental store in Sarasota.  John spent hours perusing (and renting!) their selections throughout his life and so respected and enjoyed the staff.  It is an important part of any serious film lover’s life  in Sarasota.

To mark what would have been John’s 26TH birthday this year, we will make the first of five donations to Film Forum, a NYC independent movie house offering American Independent films and Foreign Art films as well as an impressive array of Classic Films. It is located at 209 West Houston Street and afforded John countless hours of enjoyment during his time in NYC.  Look for John’s name on the back of one of the seats!

John was a huge fan of both of these organizations and we are thrilled to support them in John’s honor.

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May 9th, 2012

We were excited to make a 2012 donation to Lunar Energy, a fabulously creative theatre group in NYC.  John very much respected Theo Salter, the executive producer of Lunar Energy, which makes the donations especially satisfying.  The group’s production of Christopher Marlowe’s “chloroform dreams” in August of 2011 met with rave reviews.  They are currently working on an ambitious re-telling of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters.”  To learn more about Lunar Energy, visit their website at

We are set to make a donation to both Video Renaissance and Film Forum – more on these great institutions soon.

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