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June's Star

Approaching 100, magician gets star on Walk of Fame.

Click on video link below (WZZM 13)                                 

June Horowitz's decades-long career as a magician has featured its share of firsts.
She broke several gender barriers, resulting in most of her public introductions following the script, "June Horowitz, the first female …"
For example, in 1987, she was named the first female president of International Brotherhood of Magicians.
Another in her accomplishments of firsts came Thursday, when she became the first woman to earn a star in Colon's Magicians Walk of Fame.
Longtime friends and her peers in the world of magic gathered Thursday at FAB Magic Co. to help Horowitz celebrate her 100th birthday, although it's still about a month away.
Horowitz, who has attended all 76 Abbot's Magic Get-Together events in Colon, was overwhelmed with the attention and humble in her words.
"I don't really feel I deserve all this, but I do like it; it's wonderful," she said. "When it comes down to it, the
only thing I really contributed to my 100th birthday was that I kept on breathing."
A collection of 100 cupcakes, arranged to form the digit "100," was on hand for participants. Several party-goers knelt and had their picture taken next to the centenarian-to-be.
Jim Parkes, a Grand Rapids magician, said he has followed Horowitz's magic since he was 13. He said her signature illusion involved matrix coins.
"As a kid and even a young adult, after I had gotten into the field, I was amazed at the tricks June did," Parkes said.
Randy Vander Wal, also from Grand Rapids, said her rope and card tricks at close-up events always left the audience befuddled. More than a terrific illusionist, Vander Wal said Horowitz is probably better known for her humble and friendly demeanor.
"She was a high school math teacher for many years and she was so well-liked by her peers and her students," Vander Wal said. "Her dad and her husband were both magicians, so it's something that's been a part of her for her entire life."
Carole Ryal, a friend of Horowitz for about a decade, said contributions to purchase Horowitz's star for the Walk of Fame came from around the country. Literally, she said, from New York to Hawaii.
"The response was amazing," Ryal said. "We were getting contributions from people we hadn't even heard of and people we didn't even send letters of solicitation to."
Horowitz is still an active member of the Grand Rapids IBM Ring 211, named the June Horowitz and John DeVries Magic Club.
She lives on her own, with a caretaker, and always looks forward to Abbott's Magic Get-Together.
Horowitz recalled how the world of magic was dominated by men and her acceptance as a peer took years. In her early days at shows in which she was performing, her title was "musician" instead of "magician." Horowitz at first thought the misprint was a legitimate typo, but realized she still hadn't earned the respect of her peers when programs at other shows still "erroneously" referred to her as musician instead of magician.
"It was a boy's club for many, many years," she said.
Horowitz’s star will be in place on the north side of State Street within the next month. Other 2013 stars include  The Amazing Conklins, Percy Abbott, Bill Watson, Wilma Rench and Harry Blackstone Sr.

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