- The Washington Times - Monday, June 18, 2001

Instead of accepting clothes, watches or books for bar mitzvah gifts yesterday, 13-year-old Josh Starr asked that his family members instead contribute to a breast cancer research fund named after his deceased mother.
Joshs bar mitzvah, a coming-of-age event in Jewish tradition, was held Saturday at a local synagogue, but the reception was held at Washington Hospital Centers Cancer Institute yesterday morning. The ceremony also dedicated the institutes auditorium to his mother, Sherril Ann Siegel, who died of breast cancer in 1989.
About 130 guests listened to presentations by Joshs father, Dr. Neil Starr, his older brother, Sam, and Josh before they watched a video that highlighted Mrs. Siegels life.
On Fathers Day, Dr. Starr spoke about mothers to a teary-eyed crowd. He thanked his second wife, Lilly, for "being there for Josh" and taking care of Josh after Mrs. Siegels death.
Josh received a standing ovation and a round of applause when Brian McCagh, executive director of the Cancer Institute, awarded him a plaque for his generosity. He encouraged the crowd to practice harmony and togetherness.
"It was a big, moving and emotional event," said So Young Pak, a hospital communication specialist.
Through the fund, the family has found some comfort in their loss.
"Weve tried to make something positive out of something truly devastating to our family," Dr. Starr said.

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