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Marshall, Judy Gelfand Earn Walk of Stars Nod

Took active roles in promoting desert cities as arts, philanthropic leaders

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The Palm Springs Walk of Stars will honor Coachella Valley humanitarians Marshall and Judith Gelfand during the 349th star dedication ceremony at 11 a.m. Dec. 5 in front of the Palm Springs Art Museum, 100 Museum Drive.

The star is sponsored by Helene Galen, Bill Osterman and Harold Matzner.

Marshall M. Gelfand is a founding partner of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, LLP. Marshall received his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University in 1950, and graduated from New York University Law School in 1956. In 1983, Marshall was appointed to the Board of Trustees of Syracuse University.

Currently, the Palm Springs resident serves the university's Development Committee and the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees. He is also the current treasurer of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, and the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Tournament. He also finds time to be the budget and finance director of the Palm Springs Friends of the Philharmonic, a board member of the Palm Springs Art Endowment Fund, and the business manager for Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan.

Judith Jaffe Gelfand graduated from Forest Hills High School in New York and went on to the prestigious Julliard School of Music as a piano major, followed by graduation from Hofstra University with a bachelor's degree in music and embarked on a teaching career in New York City's public school system. The same year Judith and her family took residence in the Coachella Valley, Judy sought involvement in public education in Palm Springs.

Teaching melded with Judy's community service interests, and she joined the newly formed docent program at the then Palm Springs Desert Museum. For five years, she lectured as a docent using her unique teaching skills to inform and stimulate museum visitors about the arts and natural sciences. In 1979 she was appointed to the Board of Governors of the Desert Hospital Foundation. She was for many years co-chairman of the American Friends of Hebrew University, Palm Springs chapter, and in 1984 was awarded that institutions most prestigious Scopus Laureate award.

Judy joined the Women's Committee of the Palm Springs Desert Museum, chairing their first MAPS (Museum Auction of Palm Springs)  event in 1984. The first event and combined successive biennial MAPS events have netted more than $250,000 each for the Museum's benefit. That success was followed by Judy's chairmanship of the first annual MOOD (Museum Opening of the Desert) event, and in the 1989/1990 season she organized the first "Springtime" fashion show fundraiser for the Museum. In 1991, the Palm Springs Desert Museum honored Judy with its annual fundraising gala.

Judy died of Alzheimer's disease on July 13, 2004 after a nine-year struggle. In her memory and honor, her family established The Judy Fund, which to date has raised and granted close to $4.5 million for Alzheimer's research and advocacy in partnership with the national Alzheimer's Association.

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