The Flagler County Sheriff's Office honored Borish with a drive by, complete with lights, happy birthday over a loudspeaker, and motorcycle figure eights.
by: Marylynne Newmark
It was a glorious day for Blanche Borish, one of Palm Coast’s first residents, as she celebrated her 100th birthday outdoors with friends and neighbors.
Not only was Borish a pioneer in Palm Coast, but she and her husband, Harold, had been recruited by ITT back in the 1970s to sell raw land and housing from their home in Stoney Brook, New York. At that time, ITT was marketing heavily for Palm Coast on TV and in the New York Times, using celebrities like Eric Estrada and golfer Nancy Lopez as their spokespersons.
Even at 100, Borish is bright, witty, very fashionable, and has a smile that you can’t resist. In Haverstraw and Stoney Brook, New York, she owned upscale boutiques under the name of Band Box Fashions and Band Box Millinery. “Fashion was always my passion,” she says.
Retiring and moving to Palm Coast did not stop this human dynamo. She plunged into all types of civic action and volunteer work. She and Harold were early benefactor/founders of the Flagler County library and Temple Beth Shalom, to both of which Borish devoted thousands of volunteer hours, creating fun events to raise funds and bring culture to a community in its infancy.
She laughed with delight as she remembered the annual Night in Tel Aviv that she coordinated at Temple Beth Shalom, during which the husbands, dressed in tuxedos, were the waiters and their formally-dressed wives would give their orders and tease them with comedy and fun. “They loved it,” she said, “and could hardly wait for the next year when they could develop some comebacks.”
Borish also was a member of the Election Board and whatever civic activities she could pitch in to help a growing community, which she felt was her family. She was a founding member of the Nifty Niners, the women’s golf group that set the pace and opened doors back then for tournaments for gals on the local links.
For her 100th birthday, Borish's primary caregiver, Lori O’Hara, planned a fun-packed birthday drive-by on Friday, April 23. On this sunny but cool day, and as friends and neighbors gathered, O'Hara placed a throne-like flower-and-balloon-decorated chair right up front in Borish's driveway. Friends brought gifts and signs, and at noon, a full regalia of Sheriff's Office vehicles blared their horns and activated their lights from several blocks away, and as they passed Borish on her ‘throne,’ through their loudspeaker blared, "Happy Birthday, Blanche.” The highlight was the two deputy motorcyclists who performed figure eights (an infinity sign, for sure) right in front of her while sitting on her throne!
Borish was lit up, clapping and beaming — a delight to behold!
Rabbi Rose Eberle of Temple Beth Shalom gave Borish a very special blessing, and Robert Arkin, president of the Temple, presented Borish with a proclamation written by vice president Steve Tollin that included all the whereas statements that illustrated her life and activities, and declaring April 24, 2021 as Blanche Borish Day.
At the conclusion, a representative of the Flagler County Senior Services Department served all the guests a generous portion of the large sheet cake that the department had sent to help celebrate Borish.
As is the Jewish tradition, Temple members all blessed her to live to 120, which was the age at which Moses is said to have passed in the Torah, and blew kisses as they left.
It was a glorious day to celebrate a very special lifetime achievement.