[ {"id":"40020a40-0023-58c1-9b8b-b37d7674125d","type":"article","starttime":"1484244000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-12T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Knowing the Score","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_40020a40-0023-58c1-9b8b-b37d7674125d.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/knowing-the-score/article_40020a40-0023-58c1-9b8b-b37d7674125d.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/knowing-the-score/article_40020a40-0023-58c1-9b8b-b37d7674125d.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"The St. Louis chapter of a nationwide nonprofit extant for five-plus decades helps small businesses to assess \u2026 well \u2026 everything.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["score","service corps of retired executives","gary deeken"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3","description":"Pat Mathias, left, and Tina O'Toole, right","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1706,"hiresheight":1215,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/4d/d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3/5877af8b2d496.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"541","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/4d/d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3/5877af8b21990.image.jpg?resize=760%2C541"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/4d/d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3/5877af8b21990.image.jpg?resize=100%2C71"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"214","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/4d/d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3/5877af8b21990.image.jpg?resize=300%2C214"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"729","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/4d/d4dfb3b1-d7fb-5b9f-afb9-71290413fda3/5877af8b21990.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C729"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"40020a40-0023-58c1-9b8b-b37d7674125d","body":"

Pat Mathias, left, and Tina O'Toole, right

Even before the so-called Great Recession trounced the economy, grave uncertainty and even fear could cloud opening and operating small businesses, but SCORE strives to bring blue skies to such businesses.

Gary Deeken chairs the St. Louis chapter of SCORE and expounds quite readily on it.

Initially, Deeken explains the meaning of the nonprofit\u2019s name, which only looks like an acronym. \u201cSCORE is our brand name,\u201d he says. \u201cThe organization was originally founded as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, but since many of our volunteer mentors are actively employed today in executive consulting, business leadership and other professional roles, this name is no longer relevant.\u201d

He also sketches the history of the nonprofit\u2019s presence here.

\u201cThe St. Louis SCORE chapter, one of the oldest in the United States, was started in 1964,\u201d says Deeken. \u201cSCORE was originally established under the Small Business Administration, but exists today as a separate stand-alone entity, serving today as a resource partner to the SBA.\u201d

The SBA itself had launched only 11 years earlier, in 1953, \u201clargely as a response to the pressures of the Great Depression and World War II,\u201d according to its website.

Mention of that global conflict recurs on the website of another relevant organization, the National Bureau of Economic Research \u2013 which the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls \u201cthe official arbiter of U.S. recessions\u201d and which dates the national economic crisis mentioned previously from December 2007 to June 2009, making it \u201cthe longest of any recession since World War II.\u201d

Even though that crisis lasted a mere 18 months and ended the better part of a decade ago, it still gives the willies to many businesspeople, which makes SCORE\u2019s available expertise all the more valuable.

Serving the local chapter, Deeken relates, are one part-time administrative staffer and 71 volunteer members. \u201cThe volunteers must have executive-level management experience and typically have worked in small, medium and large organizations that operate in the St. Louis area,\u201d he says.

\u201cOur volunteer mentors have come from some of the major corporations in St. Louis, such as Monsanto, Boeing, Anheuser-Busch and AT&T, to name a few, or they have been business owners and CEOs in small to medium-size businesses in our area. We also have volunteer members who have specific expertise in such disciplines as accounting, legal, technology, marketing and social media.\u201d

Nationally, SCORE \u2013 which is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, and lays claim to more than 300 chapters and 11,000 volunteer members \u2013 perforce sets strictures for the St. Louis chapter, which Deeken describes.

\u201cAs a chapter of SCORE national, we operate under the rules, processes and established procedures spelled out in the SCORE Operating Manual,\u201d he says. \u201cAll SCORE volunteers must complete code-of-ethics training and adhere to the organization\u2019s ethical standards that include guidelines on confidentiality and professional conduct. Volunteers may not financially benefit as a result of their SCORE membership.

\u201cSCORE national provides its chapters access to a data management system that helps to train the volunteers, schedule meetings, provide performance feedback and maintain client and meeting records, just to name a few of the many functions it will do.

\u201cThe SCORE national budget represents a very small line item in the federal budget, and some of those funds make their way to the individual chapters, helping to cover some operating expenses. We are budgeted to receive approximately $11,500 for [fiscal year 2017], which will only cover a portion of the costs associated with employing our part-time clerical staff person. The remainder of the funds required to operate the St. Louis chapter are provided by corporate sponsorships, grants and donations, member donations and workshop income.

\u201cWe also receive in-kind support from the SBA, PNC Bank, St. Charles Economic Development Corp., Commerce Bank, E3 Consulting and Fontbonne University, who provide us with office and/or classroom space, at no cost, to meet with our clients and present workshops.\u201d

Deeken likewise relates telling metrics about the local chapter\u2019s service.

\u201cSCORE volunteers help people who may have a business or product concept and want to discuss its viability, people who are in the process of starting a business and others who seek to grow their existing business,\u201d he says. \u201c[In fiscal 2016,] the St. Louis chapter helped 3,779 people who came from one of those groups. The year before, that number was 3,474. [In fiscal 2015,] we saw 44 percent of our clients more than once, and 40 percent of our clients were already in business.\u201d

That said, he balks at summarizing the average SCORE assignment in St. Louis.

\u201cThere is no average SCORE assignment,\u201d says Deeken. \u201cEvery client is unique and special to us. There is, however, one standard axiom that we apply to each encounter through a process that all volunteers are annually trained to apply. It\u2019s referred to by the acronym SLATE.

\u201cIt stands for S \u2013 stop and suspend judgment; L \u2013 listen and learn; A \u2013 assess and analyze; T \u2013 test idea and teach with tools; E \u2013 expectation-setting and encouraging the dream.

\u201cSCORE national surveys clients after the first and fourth encounter to determine their level of satisfaction with their mentor and the process. Each member and chapter is measured on how they perform on these surveys.\u201d

Ethical considerations also prevent Deeken from sharing, even anecdotally, specifics about assignments to illustrate how SCORE\u2019s making a difference for St. Louis companies. He does, however, tighten the focus somewhat.

\u201cSome of our mentoring sessions with clients in the startup or concept mode may involve helping them to develop a business plan and understanding all the factors involved in dealing with banks, the SBA, their industry and potential customers,\u201d says Deeken. \u201cMentoring our clients who own their existing businesses typically entails issues such as profitability, sales and marketing, personnel management, strategic planning and succession planning, just to name a few.\u201d

He otherwise helpfully cites St. Louis-chapter success stories previously published elsewhere with client permission, hyperlinked on the chapter\u2019s website.

Certain of those success stories involved a SCORE subset called Business Scan, \u201cprovided to companies that are large enough and have a sufficient structure to benefit from the experience,\u201d says Deeken.

\u201cThe Business Scan process uses teams of Scan-qualified SCORE mentors who are assigned to each Scan based on the needs of the client. Each Scan team reviews everything about their client companies, including financials, sales and marketing, operations, human resources, competition, and in many cases interviews members of the management team and key employees.

\u201cThe purpose is to learn as much about the client\u2019s business, market and industry as possible. The Scan team then prepares and presents a report that contains their findings and provides recommendations for how the client can improve and grow their business.

\u201cOftentimes, one of the Scan team members will then maintain an ongoing mentoring relationship with the business owner, to help implement the recommendations.\u201d

Regarding long-term benefits enjoyed by companies seeking SCORE\u2019s aid, Deeken alludes to heightened adaptability.

\u201cWhether it is with a startup client or an existing business owner, the challenges they face change and evolve,\u201d he says. \u201cMost have found it helpful to have a mentoring resource that may have faced similar challenges, to discuss their options and to get independent opinions on possible solutions.\u201d

To aid clients, he continues, SCORE relies on a corps of mentors, in whom it seeks specific qualities.

\u201cFirst and foremost, we look for people whose motivation is genuinely centered around helping their SCORE clients,\u201d says Deeken. \u201cGiven the qualification requirements, we know that our members have the necessary skills and experience, but they must also be willing to follow the processes and procedures established by SCORE, be able to communicate effectively and professionally, and be patient with people who may be facing a daunting challenge.

\u201cIt takes a lot of courage to accept the risk involved with starting a business, expanding into new markets or dealing with certain personnel issues. It is necessary that we have empathy for our clients and understand both the business and emotional effects of starting or owning a business.\u201d

He also sketches how SCORE pairs mentors here with given small businesses.

\u201cOne of the advantages of being a client of a large chapter is that we have mentors who have faced or have experience with many challenges faced by most businesses,\u201d Deeken relates. \u201cThough some mentors may be chosen by the clients according to their business profile and qualifications, others may connect because of availability or location. However the initial client/mentor relationship is established, there is always the option of co-mentoring with another SCORE member who has expertise in a particular discipline.\u201d

Finally, given that SCORE operates a free service, Deeken addresses what rewards St. Louis SCORE staff members enjoy from serving local small businesses.

\u201cSCORE\u2019s mission is to \u2018foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education,\u2019\u201d he says. \u201cThe St. Louis community has been very supportive in providing opportunities to our members as they grew in their business careers, and our members want to give back by providing the same opportunities to present and/or future business owners.

\u201cAdditionally, though some may have retired from their respective careers, our member volunteers still have expertise and experience that are valuable and useful, and still seek the challenge to experience the personal rewards associated with being successful and purposeful.

\u201cWe spent our whole lives working and striving to succeed in our careers. Being a SCORE mentor offers mentors an opportunity to maintain our skills and abilities, and share those with our clients based on a time commitment we chose, without the pressures involved with owning or running a business.

\u201cAfter all,\u201d Deeken impishly concludes, \u201cyou can only play so much golf.\u201d

SCORE, 1222 Spruce St., Suite 10.103, St. Louis, 314-539-6602, stlouis.score.org

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Joan and Roger Ball, Tristan and Isolde

For the first time in many years, Joan Ball and her husband, Roger, were without a cat or dog. Their cat of 17 years had passed away in August, and coming home to a house without pets felt empty.

Over the past 30 years, the Town and Country couple had adopted cats and dogs from rescue organizations, especially the Humane Society of Missouri. So, when they found themselves seeking a four-legged companion or two, the Humane Society was the first place they looked.

When their children were home for Thanksgiving, the four of them went to look for a new pet. That\u2019s when a 4-month-old kitten named Tristan caught their hearts.

\u201cHe was just so cute, running around and playing,\u201d Joan Ball says. \u201cHe was and is so sociable.\u201d

After they fell in love with Tristan, the Balls wanted him to have a friend, so they adopted Isolde the same day.

\u201cShe\u2019s just this tiny, sweet little thing,\u201d Joan Ball says.

At the time LN talked to Joan Ball, the family had had the kittens for only about a week.

\u201cWe\u2019re getting used to having kittens again,\u201d she says. \u201cI forgot how much they get into everything.\u201d

She worried about having a house full of people for the holidays with such tiny new family members, but she says Tristan and Isolde were \u201cso good.\u201d

\u201cThey wandered around and ended up in everyone\u2019s laps. It was very cute,\u201d she says.

Initially, the Balls tried to ban the kittens from a part of the house with a child gate. That plan failed almost immediately.

\u201cIt took about three minutes for them to figure out how to climb up over it,\u201d Joan Ball says. \u201cNow they have free reign of the house.\u201d

Overall, Ball says the kittens just make her smile. They leap and play and curl up in her lap. She says she loves watching them chase after jingly ball toys. Both kitties love watching the birds in the bird feeders outside, especially the cardinals.

\u201cI have a fur collar now named Tristan,\u201d she notes with a laugh. \u201cHe purrs at 6 a.m. to wake me up. They\u2019re settling in just fine.\u201d

The Christmas decorations were a big hit with the kittens, and Joan Ball says she would regularly find the kittens in the boxes. She notes that they also love hiding in houseplants.

\u201cHopefully they won\u2019t eat my chives!\u201d she jokes.


Humane Society of Missouri

1201 Macklind Ave. Headquarters

314-647-8800, hsmo.org


Tristan and Isolde

Proudly sponsored by Carol House Furniture

With their belief that bigger things can come out of selling furniture, Carol House and the Dubmans proudly donate a portion of each sale to local charities. One of the organizations the company supports is its very own Carol House QUICK FIX Pet Clinic, which spays and neuters pets for low-income families. For more information, call 314-771-PETS or visit CarolHousePetClinic.org.

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Grain Bowl

A new year marks a time for rebirth and renewal. In January, inevitably, we seek to refresh our lives with the usual resolutions about healthy eating and more exercise. In that light, one of the most-asked questions I fielded as a former health coach was \u201cHow do I eat healthy without spending a ton of time in the kitchen?\u201d My answer: grain bowls.

Grain bowls make an awesome way to pack your plate full of nutrient-dense foods. They\u2019re versatile and vibrant, and because \ufb02avor combinations are so easy to mix and match, you could eat one each day for lunch and never tire of them. The best part of grain bowls is that they don\u2019t require you to follow a strict recipe \u2013 you really only need to cook grains, roast vegetables and whip up a vibrant sauce or dressing.

This hearty bowl incorporates sorghum, one of my favorite gluten-free grains. If you\u2019ve never worked with sorghum before, it cooks like rice. You can \ufb01nd sorghum at most grocery stores and in bulk sections at specialty food stores; brown rice or farro also work beautifully in this recipe. Roasted root vegetables and marinated beans, for a touch of plant-based protein, form the toppings, and parsley oil is drizzled on top for a boost of \ufb02avor. I prefer to keep mine entirely vegan, which lends itself to a clean and detoxifying meal for this time of year.

Hearty Grain Bowls With Root Vegetables, Beans and Parsley Oil

Serves | 2 |

Parsley Oil (Yields \u00bc cup)

Grain Bowl

| Preparation \u2013 Parsley Oil | In a small bowl or jar, whisk all ingredients to combine. Set aside.

| Preparation \u2013 Grain Bowl | Preheat oven to 425\u00baF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss carrots, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower in 1 tablespoon oil. Spread evenly onto prepared baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and roast in oven for 25 minutes or until tender and golden.

In a large bowl, combine cooked beans with remaining oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Divide cooked sorghum into two bowls and top with roasted vegetables. Add beans and drizzle with parsley oil. Serve warm.

Sherrie Castellano is a health coach, photographer and private chef based in St. Louis. She writes and photographs the seasonally inspired vegetarian and gluten-free blog With Food + Love. She has contributed work to\u00a0Driftless Magazine,\u00a0Vegetarian Times,\u00a0Go Gluten-Free Magazine, Food52 and Urban Outfitters, among others. You can find her hanging with her aviation-enthusiast husband, sipping Earl Grey tea, green juice and/or bourbon.

"}, {"id":"c2faeeb8-b02c-5fbd-84ee-74b144764612","type":"article","starttime":"1484244000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-12T12:00:00-06:00","priority":29,"sections":[{"promotions":"promotions"},{"promotions":"the-daily/promotions"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Washington University Physicians Facial Plastic Surgery: Look Your Best in 2017","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/article_c2faeeb8-b02c-5fbd-84ee-74b144764612.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/washington-university-physicians-facial-plastic-surgery-look-your-best-in/article_c2faeeb8-b02c-5fbd-84ee-74b144764612.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/washington-university-physicians-facial-plastic-surgery-look-your-best-in/article_c2faeeb8-b02c-5fbd-84ee-74b144764612.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Robyn Dexter","prologue":"Helping people look their best in the new year are Dr. Gregory Branham and Dr. John Chi of Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["washington university physicians facial plastic surgery","dr. gregory branham","dr. john chi"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe","description":"","byline":"Photo by Mark Gilliland","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7e/17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe/5877ba5388440.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7e/17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe/5877ba538678d.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7e/17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe/5877ba538678d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C150"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7e/17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe/5877ba538678d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/7e/17eabacb-844f-5961-b2a8-2d346f1805fe/5877ba538678d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"c2faeeb8-b02c-5fbd-84ee-74b144764612","body":"
wash u facial plastic surgery

In January each year, the phrase \u201cnew year, new me,\u201d is on many people\u2019s minds. Helping people look their best in the new year are Dr. Gregory Branham and Dr. John Chi of Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center.

At their office in Creve Coeur, the duo offers a variety of services focused on the head, neck and face. These include rhinoplasty, scar revision, brow lifts and eyelid surgery, along with nonsurgical procedures like Botox\u00ae, laser resurfacing, facial peels and lip augmentation.

\u201cWe offer both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for aesthetic and reconstructive services,\u201d Chi says. \u201cWe\u2019re here to help you get your skin in shape.\u201d

Branham says winter is the best time of the year to take advantage of their services, since people\u2019s schedules generally aren\u2019t as busy and there\u2019s not the worry of sun exposure.

\u201cIt\u2019s a great time for treatments that might have downtime associated with them,\u201d he says. \u201cOur laser resurfacing service\u2014which smooths lines and wrinkles and evens discoloration from acne scars and sun-damaged skin\u2014requires only two to three days of downtime.\u201d

At Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center, the patient comes first.

\u201cIt\u2019s important to have a specific conversation with us about what you want to achieve and how much time you\u2019re able to give to the process,\u201d Branham says. \u201cWe offer services for all skin types and aging patterns and will guide you in the right direction.\u201d

To learn more about Washington University Facial Plastic Surgery Center, call 314-996-3880 or visit facialplasticsurgery.wustl.edu.

1020 N. Mason Rd., Ste. 205, Creve Coeur, 314-996-3880, FacialPlasticSurgery.wustl.edu

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we rock the spectrum 2

Although We Rock the Spectrum Kid\u2019s Gym might sound a bit too childishly exuberant for the average adult, the Fenton venture fills a signally earnest function: serving youngsters afflicted with autism and related conditions \u2013 as well as many, many more.

Tom and Cynthia Tipton, who own and operate the gym, opened it in a spirit of inclusiveness borne of a deep familial commitment, according to the local We Rock the Spectrum website.

That commitment goes by the name of Noland, whom the couple (with daughters Sophie and Cat) welcomed into their family as a 15-month-old adoptee almost a decade ago.

By the time Noland reached kindergarten, various behavioral tendencies led to his being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the neurodevelopmental affliction commonly known as ADHD \u2013 and that diagnosis ultimately led the Tiptons to launch the Fenton venture.

Tom Tipton details the background on the local branch of We Rock the Spectrum, whose name references autism spectrum disorder \u2013 the ADHD-related congeries of afflictions on which the American Psychiatric Association cast considerable light in the 14-years-in-the-making fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published in 2013.

\u201cWe have become more and more active in the autism community since our son\u2019s diagnosis in 2011,\u201d Tipton says. \u201cWhen we discovered the We Rock the Spectrum franchise in California last year and met with owner Dina Kimmel, we saw a way to give back and meet the needs of other St. Louis parents and guardians with children on the spectrum or with special needs.

\u201cThe gym tagline is \u2018Finally, a place where you never have to say you\u2019re sorry.\u2019 This really resonated with us, as we have had to apologize many times on playgrounds and while at swimming pools for our son\u2019s behavior. With our gym, we are providing safe indoor play for all kids.\u201d

When asked how he believes the gym has benefited his son, Tipton replies with paternal puckishness.

\u201cWe think Noland enjoys having his own personal zip line whenever he wants!\u201d Tipton says, referring to equipment at We Rock the Spectrum that targets stress release and promotes joint and body relaxation.

\u201cHe knows the gym is a safe place where he can play and make friends without judgment,\u201d Tipton p\u00e8re continues more seriously. \u201cHe also knows as he gets older, he can have a job here if he is not active elsewhere.\u201d

Beyond his son\u2019s experience, Tipton dwells on the ways We Rock the Spectrum benefits community children in specific and families in general.

\u201cWe are trying to make a difference every day,\u201d he says, \u201cwhether it\u2019s giving an autistic parent a chance to see [his or her] child playing safely or providing sensory-typical kids a fun playground where parents don\u2019t have to hover or worry about kids wandering away.\u201d

Parenthetically, although no valid brief characterization exists, children with sensory-processing issues \u2013 \u201csensory\u201d for short, in contrast to \u201csensory-typical kids\u201d \u2013 might respond too much or too little to stimuli as simple as loud noises or discomforting clothes tags, according to We Rock the Spectrum.

\u201cPromoting socialization opportunities in play is positive for us and for the community,\u201d Tipton continues. \u201cEverybody plays here and is welcome, including both sensory and sensory-typical kids, and their interactions help make later socialization easier. And you don\u2019t need to have a special-needs child to want a great place for your kids to play.

\u201cParents love that if their child has a meltdown or if their nonverbal child screams and makes loud noises, there will be no dirty looks or stares. Everyone and every behavior is accepted here. We even provide a \u2018quiet room\u2019 for kids who need a moment on their own to settle down before joining back in the fun.\u201d

In return, it appears the community has responded with incredible warmth to We Rock the Spectrum.

\u201cMr. Tom is absolutely amazing!\u201d a mother of four youngsters posted in mid-November to the gym\u2019s Facebook page. \u201cHe genuinely cares for each of his guests, and it amazes me how he knows everyone\u2019s name [who] comes through his door.\u201d

we rock the spectrum 1

A month prior to that, another visitor posted: \u201cWe love this place! Our son is 5 and on the spectrum, and he adores coming here. \u2026 It\u2019s so nice to be able to bring him here and just relax and let him play. We\u2019re always here for no less than two hours.\u201d

Even a cursory review of We Rock the Spectrum\u2019s website suggests why a child could pass two or more hours there with ease \u2013 specifically, 10 pieces of equipment tailored for children with sensory-processing disorders. Crash mats and crash pillows, for instance, provide \u201cmotor planning and strength\u201d; a trampoline, meanwhile, helps children in \u201cbuilding leg and core strength.\u201d

Using terms like vestibular (generally involving the sense of balance) and proprioceptive (generally involving bodily positioning and movement), Tipton enlarges on the website\u2019s explanations of how the gym\u2019s various stations specifically benefit children in sensory capacities.

\u201cThis equipment is often used in an occupational-therapy setting,\u201d he says. \u201cThe equipment provides vestibular and/or proprioceptive input, as well as enhances motor planning, tactile input, balance and muscle strength.

\u201cFor example, the trampoline works with the proprioceptive sense of movement in the body as communicated through ligaments, joints and muscles. Most of our swings utilize swivel rotators to give a variety of direction for children to enjoy swinging or spinning and work on the vestibular part of the brain.\u201d

Beyond that, given the earlier comment about his own son\u2019s preferences at the gym, Tipton\u2019s confession about the most popular of the 10 pieces of equipment tailored for children with sensory-processing disorders should come as no surprise, but he similarly enlarges on that confession with a utilitarian assessment.

\u201cBy far, the most popular piece of equipment is the 40-foot zip line,\u201d says Tipton. \u201cThe zip line provides a great way for kids to build upper-extremity strength, muscle endurance and the ability to integrate and tolerate movement.

\u201cIt also gives self-confidence, as children challenge themselves to hold on long enough to make it to the other end and crash into our crash pit. They also love to watch themselves in our wall mirrors as they sail down the zip line.\u201d

Despite the venture\u2019s name, by the way, Tipton prefers to characterize We Rock the Spectrum not as a gym but as an indoor playground because its services (for children from infancy through age 13, according to a blog entry on We Rock the Spectrum\u2019s website) extend far beyond providing weight training for junior mesomorphs pumping iron.

\u201c\u2018Open play\u2019 is available most every day, when parents/guardians can bring kids and playmates and spend the day playing,\u201d he notes. \u201cOpen play has no set time limit. We just say open play lasts until \u2018The parents get tired, the kids get tired or we close! Whichever happens first!\u2019

\u201cWe also offer We Rock Care break time and camps. During We Rock Care, we take care of the kids, and the parents can go to appointments, run errands or even take a nap. Our We Rock Care camps are offered during the summer, winter break and spring break. Finally, we also host field trips, private play dates and birthday parties.\u201d

Yet another potential benefit of We Rock the Spectrum hinges on its blog, which features instructive posts with such titles as \u201cHow to Handle Sensory Issues and Halloween Costumes\u201d and \u201cBuilding a Relationship With Your Autistic Child\u2019s Teachers.\u201d

Despite We Rock the Spectrum\u2019s other felicities, Tipton returns to familial and community involvement when discussing the gym\u2019s staff and their credentials.

\u201cAlthough our gym utilizes many pieces of occupational-therapy equipment, our background is just being autism parents,\u201d he says. \u201cIn addition to us, our staff includes individuals who are active in the special-needs/autism community. We also invite volunteers who need hours with children, including special-needs kids, from local universities and high schools.

\u201cThe most important things we look for in staff and volunteers is a love of children and acceptance of children with special needs. We try really hard to never say \u2018no\u2019 at our gym since our kids hear it way too often, unless it is a safety issue. We love watching how kids explore new ways of using our equipment!\u201d

In the final analysis, Tipton attributes his and his wife\u2019s success with the gym and otherwise to being proactive as parents.

\u201cWe believe the best approach to proactive parenting for a child on the spectrum is a team approach,\u201d says Tipton. \u201cWe work closely with our son\u2019s behavior therapist and his school to ensure he continues to succeed in meeting his goals. We try to get ahead of issues and put together a plan with our team to help him be successful.

\u201cParents often ask us for advice, and in addition to sharing with them what has worked for us, we refer them to resources in the St. Louis area that will benefit them and their children.

\u201cIt takes a village!\u201d

Finally, for those who might view a commute to Fenton from Ladue or elsewhere as inconvenient, Tipton provides tentative but heartening tidings.

His family\u2019s success in Fenton, he notes, almost perforce has sparked thoughts of expansion, with the Tiptons\u2019 website mentioning a potential total of three gyms here in the St. Louis metro area \u2013 eventually.

\u201cWe have plans to open additional locations but have not announced timing,\u201d Tipton says. \u201cSt. Louis has been a tremendously supportive community, and we want to serve all kids across the area.\u201d

We Rock the Spectrum Kid\u2019s Gym, 2075 Bentley Plaza Drive, Fenton, 636-529-8282, werockthespectrumfentonmo.com

"}, {"id":"0e75451f-3b95-5d9b-be65-4de519355084","type":"article","starttime":"1483639200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-05T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Game ON: Thoughts on Sports and Life","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_0e75451f-3b95-5d9b-be65-4de519355084.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/game-on-thoughts-on-sports-and-life/article_0e75451f-3b95-5d9b-be65-4de519355084.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/game-on-thoughts-on-sports-and-life/article_0e75451f-3b95-5d9b-be65-4de519355084.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Frank Cusumano","prologue":"Here are almost a dozen thoughts on sports and life as we go into the new year.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["game on","frank cusumano"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"443","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=443%2C300%2C0%2C88&resize=443%2C300&order=crop%2Cresize"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"134","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/56fec6d81e533.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"221","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=441%2C325%2C1%2C63&resize=300%2C221&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"755","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/46/2466a2f3-7d60-5ca3-afd8-5d23497a60eb/57c86038cb3d1.image.jpg?crop=441%2C325%2C1%2C63"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"0e75451f-3b95-5d9b-be65-4de519355084","body":"
Frank Cusumano headshot

Here are almost a dozen thoughts on sports and life as we go into the new year:

1.\u2002It\u2019s hard to believe the best football player in the NFL went to John Burroughs. However, at least this season, Ezekial Elliott is as good as it gets in the NFL. Being the best player on arguably the best team in the NFC is serious business.

2.\u2002Speaking of St. Louis kids thriving on the national stage, watch out for Brad Beal from Chaminade. He is proving he\u2019s worth that $127 million contract. Beal, when healthy, could be the best shooter not named Steph Curry in the NBA.

3.\u2002I love the Dexter Fowler signing. He does two things really well. First, he\u2019s an on-base machine. Imagine what it will be like to have speed and a really impressive on-base percentage to lead off for the Cardinals. I also love Fowler\u2019s leadership and charisma. The clubhouse wasn\u2019t bad, but it needed an infusion of energy. Fowler will provide just that.

4.\u2002The Cardinals are still not better than the Cubs. However, let\u2019s say John Lackey and Jon Lester get old one day (which they will). And let\u2019s say Carlos Martinez and Alex Reyes become genuine stars (which I think they will). Who knows what can happen?

5.\u2002I love the Cardinals\u2019 off-season so far. I would love it more if they signed Edwin Encarnaci\u00f3n. Can you imagine having 40 homers, 120 RBIs and .350 on base batting fourth? A pipe dream maybe. However, the Cardinals can afford it. John Mozeliak is a pretty smart guy. Mozeliak doesn\u2019t have to have Encarnaci\u00f3n, but if he\u2019s still available really late, who knows? Not my money, but $50 million for two years? Yes, I\u2019d do it. (Amazing how generous I am with other people\u2019s money!)

6.\u2002Did you hear Jeff Fisher said he wanted a chance to coach against the Rams? Imagine how afraid they\u2019d be facing a Fisher offense \u2013 which was dead last in points over the last two years. Those 5-yard screen passes would put fear in the heart of any opposition.

7.\u2002The guy who has the job security of a Supreme Court Justice is Kevin Demoff. He\u2019s the worst executive in professional sports, and he sold our city down the river. Yet he\u2019s going to hire the next coach of the Rams. Demoff and Kroenke \u2013 I don\u2019t think we have much to worry about in St. Louis. They\u2019ll be losing for years to come in LA.

8.\u2002The most important athlete in St. Louis sports in the winter, spring and hopefully early summer is Jake Allen. There are times I believe he\u2019ll be a star. There are times when I don\u2019t think that way. He\u2019s athletic, passionate and well coached. He has to be great. There are not many other options this late.

9.\u2002Why is it that hockey players are the nicest professional athletes? I don\u2019t know why that\u2019s the case. The theory is, they come from humble roots and appreciate what they have more than others. The Blues alumni are really a special group also.

10.\u2002What a season of local college basketball! Mizzou is losing to North Carolina Central and Eastern Illinois, and SLU almost lost to Chicago State. All I can say is, the Billikens and Travis Ford have great players coming. They won\u2019t be losing to Samford any more. As for Mizzou, well, I hope for the best for Kim Anderson. He\u2019s a good man who inherited a bad situation.

11.\u2002I realize there are many St. Louis people who are scarred by the Rams. There are many who don\u2019t want a single penny of public money thrown at a soccer stadium. However, the SC STL group is just bunch of prominent St. Louis guys who are not trying to get rich. They\u2019re trying to enrich our city with another professional sports league. They won\u2019t make a dime for a decade. They are funding about two-thirds of the $350 million investment, and that\u2019s likely the largest private investment in an MLS team. We have a chance to rebrand our city.

Frank Cusumano is a 17-time Emmy Award-winner on KSDK-TV; he also hosts The Pressbox on The All New 590 the Fan from 10 a.m. to noon each weekday and contributes to The Dave Glover Show on FM NewsTalk 97.1. Follow him on Twitter @frank_cusumano.

"}, {"id":"fef175c2-499d-5c70-aae3-7f30a24383af","type":"article","starttime":"1483639200","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-05T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Kids MD: Teen Drivers","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_fef175c2-499d-5c70-aae3-7f30a24383af.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/kids-md-teen-drivers/article_fef175c2-499d-5c70-aae3-7f30a24383af.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/kids-md-teen-drivers/article_fef175c2-499d-5c70-aae3-7f30a24383af.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Joseph Kahn","prologue":"In 2014, approximately 2,270 of those aged 16 to 19 died in motor-vehicle accidents.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/da/2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15/5862ce235fef4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/da/2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15/5862ce235e2f3.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/da/2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15/5862ce235e2f3.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/da/2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15/5862ce235e2f3.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/da/2da3ae0d-d7a7-5d1c-b617-32ac5a588e15/5862ce235e2f3.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"fef175c2-499d-5c70-aae3-7f30a24383af","body":"

In 2014, approximately 2,270 of those aged 16 to 19 died in motor-vehicle accidents. Although this number is down from more than 8,000 in 1975, it still indicates more than 2,000 deaths that were preventable.

In light of that tragic statistic, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests parents create a young-driver agreement with their teens, components of which include:

\u2022 Initially, disallow your teen driver from transporting other teens as passengers. Crash risk doubles with just one teen passenger and further increases with each additional passenger. Drivers aged 16 to 17 with three or more passengers run more than four times as great a risk of an accident. Sometimes socializing can be deadly.

\u2022 Restrict your teen\u2019s night driving. Most crashes occur after dark, when visibility\u2019s limited, teens grow tired and drinkers hit the road.

\u2022 Watch the forecast and initially allow your inexperienced teen driver out only during good weather because accidents increase in bad weather. Gradually increase time in increasingly bad weather.

\u2022 Limit your teen\u2019s driving to lower-speed local roads at first, and gradually allow driving at higher speeds as skills progress. Why? Simple. Less than 10 percent of fatal crashes occur when driving at speeds below 25 mph, while more than 50 percent occur at speeds above 55 mph. Speed kills!

\u2022 Similarly, limit driving until your teen has the experience, skill and judgment to drive farther and faster, as well as for longer times and with friends. Inexperience and the judgmentally immature adolescent brain remain the most important risk factors for teen accidents and deaths. Teen drivers improve their skills and judgment with experience behind the wheel and with miles driven.

Parents and other caregivers, please review youngdriverparenting.org for additional information, advice and tips.

Dr. Joseph Kahn is president of Mercy Kids (mercykids.org), an expansive network of pediatric care dedicated to meeting the needs of every child, every day.

"}, {"id":"88d14d5c-5eee-59aa-9a8e-c42a2e678349","type":"article","starttime":"1483034400","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-29T12:00:00-06:00","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Healthy New Year","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_88d14d5c-5eee-59aa-9a8e-c42a2e678349.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/healthy-new-year/article_88d14d5c-5eee-59aa-9a8e-c42a2e678349.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/healthy-new-year/article_88d14d5c-5eee-59aa-9a8e-c42a2e678349.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Connie Mitchell","prologue":"Dr. Gena Gardiner of Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Chesterfield Valley shares 10 clean eating and lifestyle tips for a healthful 2017.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["healthy","new year","dr. gena gardiner","mercy clinic family medicine"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09","description":"","byline":"Photo by Chris Ryan","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1175,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09/5862c7191b10b.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09/5862c7191932d.image.jpg?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09/5862c7191932d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09/5862c7191932d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/dd/8ddea36b-f5c9-5709-b8a3-b823bb9f5b09/5862c7191932d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"88d14d5c-5eee-59aa-9a8e-c42a2e678349","body":"
gena gardiner

When it comes to resolutions for any given new year, introducing healthy habits often tops the list. Even with a renewed goal, it can seem overwhelming to overhaul your diet. Dr. Gena Gardiner, a physician with Mercy Clinic Family Medicine in Chesterfield Valley, understands.

Here, she offers 10 healthy eating tips, and whether you adopt one or all of them, each can help make a positive difference to your health in 2017.

1. Gardiner starts with a resolution to limit processed foods, and she backs that up with a few simple guidelines for spotting heavily processed items: Read labels and choose products that contain no more than five ingredients, making sure you can pronounce all of them. \u201cEat food generally in a form that is as close to what occurs in nature as possible,\u201d she says. If you\u2019re short on time, frozen vegetables can be convenient. She adds, \u201cI cook several chicken breasts at a time and use them for a variety of dishes such as quick enchiladas, sandwiches, salads and soups.\u201d

2. \u201cEat more fiber in the form of whole foods,\u201d Gardiner says. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran are among the best sources of dietary fiber. In addition to promoting bowel regularity, soluble fiber might help lower cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and decrease inflammation. \u201cSoluble fiber, such as psyllium and oat products, can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke, while insoluble fibers, such as wheat bran and some fruits and vegetables, have been recommended to treat digestive problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids and chronic diarrhea,\u201d she says.

3. Limit sugar and carbohydrates. \u201cThis keeps insulin production and blood glucose more level, leading to less highs and lows that may stimulate overeating,\u201d Gardiner says. Added sugar is found in many processed foods and beverages, so check labels. \u201cThe use of artificial sweeteners has not been shown to be effective in weight loss,\u201d she adds. \u201cHowever, if a person is consuming high calories in soft drinks or sweetened tea, changing to an artificially sweetened beverage may help in the weight loss, but changing to water would be ideal.\u201d

4. Tempted to start your new year\u2019s diet with a cleanse? No need, Gardiner says. \u201cThe body is able to detox on its own through the kidneys and the liver,\u201d she explains. If you want to jump-start a weight-loss plan, Gardiner suggests a five-day cabbage soup-type plan, as long as you don\u2019t have underlying health issues. \u201cUsually, the cabbage soup is made with minimal fat, lots of veggies and not too much salt,\u201d she says. \u201cIf this is too extreme or difficult, you could do a similar weight-loss jump-start by adding lean chicken in the recipe.\u201d

5. To help maintain a healthy diet, a little planning can help a lot. Think about your meals in advance, and plan out a menu. Gardiner\u2019s favorite diets are the Mediterranean diet and low-carbohydrate diets, but she advises patients who have high blood pressure to follow the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) plan, which is available online at dashdiet.org. \u201cIf you get sidetracked, it\u2019s important to know that you have the tools and the capability to get back on your plan,\u201d she adds. \u201cYou\u2019re in it for the long haul.\u201d

6. As you embark on a healthier diet, keeping a journal or log of your food intake can be helpful, Gardiner says. A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who keep a food diary lost more weight than those who did not. Researchers think that writing down everything you eat increases awareness and helps identify areas for improvement.

7. Eat a variety of foods, and be selective at the store. \u201cOrganic and non-GMO [genetically modified organism] foods do not guarantee a better quality of food, and that\u2019s an extensive topic in and of itself,\u201d Gardiner says. \u201cIn general, buy the freshest foods available. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly with a dish brush, but do not use detergents or soaps. Trim fat from meat and skin from poultry.\u201d

8. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, then be smart about calorie needs. \u201cThe guideline of a 3,500 calorie restriction a week, resulting in 1 pound lost in a week, is general and does not take into account other factors,\u201d Gardiner says. \u201cThe National Institutes of Health\u2019s Body Weight Planner can help predict weight loss more accurately.\u201d The online tool (supertracker.usda.gov/bwp/index.html) considers current weight, height, sex, age and activity level.

9. Don\u2019t just rely on diet for overall health and wellness. Clean eating is crucial, but exercise is another important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. \u201cAlthough it\u2019s difficult to lose weight with exercise alone, exercise appears to be beneficial for body fat and can augment a weight-loss plan,\u201d Gardiner says. \u201cExercise also has many cardiovascular and mental health benefits.\u201d Gardiner recommends planning exercise on your calendar and striving for at least 30 minutes on most days. \u201cI like wearing my activity tracker because I\u2019ve realized how little I do over 24 hours,\u201d she says. \u201cI try to move more throughout the day and walk my dog regularly now.\u201d

10. Finally, if you\u2019ve taken all these steps to heart or adopted only a few but found them beneficial, reward yourself. \u201cPositive reinforcement can go a long way to changing our habits,\u201d Gardiner notes. Treat yourself to a nonfood reward to celebrate your successes. For example, Gardiner suggests giving yourself a set amount of money for each day you eat healthfully and exercise. All those successful days will add up, not only to a lot of cash but also to healthier years to come.

"}, {"id":"527110b8-c1bb-57bb-b30e-83b85022a008","type":"article","starttime":"1483034400","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-29T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"The C Suite Business Notes: \u2018If I\u2019 Versus \u2018When I\u2019","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_527110b8-c1bb-57bb-b30e-83b85022a008.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/the-c-suite-business-notes-if-i-versus-when-i/article_527110b8-c1bb-57bb-b30e-83b85022a008.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/the-c-suite-business-notes-if-i-versus-when-i/article_527110b8-c1bb-57bb-b30e-83b85022a008.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Charlotte VM Ottley","prologue":"The holiday season and the new year prompt friends, fellow employees and families to reminisce, dream about the future and banter back and forth on the ifs and whens.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"464","height":"640","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg?resize=464%2C640"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"137","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/560d485784dc2.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"414","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg?resize=300%2C414"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1412","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/8f/18f532db-eaac-5eba-8097-6a41ba013060/57b5d0bc103c8.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"527110b8-c1bb-57bb-b30e-83b85022a008","body":"
Charlotte Ottley Headshot New

\u201cThe moment the words \u2018if I\u2019 come out of your month, a thought in your mind or something you write, you have just made a commitment to probability. As an alternative, \u2018when I\u2019 is a commitment to determination in reaching a desired outcome. You get to make the choice. Now\u2019s the time to turn \u2018if\u2019 into \u2018when.\u2019 Although the outcome may be the same, you\u2019ll have given it your best without excuses built on \u2018if.\u2019\u201d \u2013An Ottley-ism

The holiday season and the new year prompt friends, fellow employees and families to reminisce, dream about the future and banter back and forth on the ifs and whens. The fact of the matter is that given the same set of circumstances, we probably would do the same things yesterday that we regret today. On the other hand, no matter how much we are challenged, we\u2019ll firmly hold onto dreams we think will lead to our \u201chappily ever after.\u201d But take care \u2013 you just might get what you seek and inadvertently repeat what you thought was left behind. Consider a pair of thoughts:

Thought: \u201cIf I\u201d received a promotion at work or had my own business, all my problems would go away.

Not necessarily. Either starting point could offer temporary satisfaction, but ultimately could mean more work, less support and sometimes only a bit more money. If there is more money, the concurrent heightened expectations could be extremely stressful, but hopefully validating.

It might be better to explore what\u2019s causing your problems and determine whether a promotion\u2019s really what you need. Often it\u2019s not a matter of whether you have what it takes to make your problems vanish. Are your interpersonal skills strong enough to make an effective change with your peers, family and staff? Is your understanding of what\u2019s expected clear? Can you delegate without fear of someone upstaging you? Can you criticize for growth, rather than to humiliate? If money \u2013 not fulfillment \u2013 is your only motivation, you may want to explore other ways to supplement your income, rather than expecting one thing to address all of your needs.

Thought: \u201cIf I\u201d had a different network or friends, I\u2019d be further ahead.

Not necessarily, if you don\u2019t know the terms of their endearment. Friends are an asset in life. Some people have many; others, only a very small circle that stay with them throughout life. When you have friends, treat them the way you expect to be treated. Sometimes it may feel as if you\u2019re giving more, but nothing\u2019s constant. True friends don\u2019t have to talk every day or be in each other\u2019s company constantly \u2013 they need only be there when it counts. Friends can come in the form of mentors, coaches, co-workers, business associates or merely someone you admire who\u2019s generous enough to give you the time you need.

Just remember, \u201cif I\u201d is a perception of doubt and uncertainty, whereas \u201cwhen I\u201d is a perception of determination with an understanding that the inevitable is not in our control alone. To quote songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, \u201cWhat will be, will be.\u201d

Charlotte VM Ottley is a market-development strategist, a \u201creal-time\u201d coach in professional development, an Emmy Award-winning TV producer and an author. She is available for seminars, interviews and speaking engagements. Contact her at cottley@cottleystl.com.

"}, {"id":"9acbeda2-967c-5e5b-a59e-6b8f042af61b","type":"article","starttime":"1483034400","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-29T12:00:00-06:00","priority":35,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Hyken\u2019s Homework: Kids and Resolutions","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_9acbeda2-967c-5e5b-a59e-6b8f042af61b.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/hyken-s-homework-kids-and-resolutions/article_9acbeda2-967c-5e5b-a59e-6b8f042af61b.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/hyken-s-homework-kids-and-resolutions/article_9acbeda2-967c-5e5b-a59e-6b8f042af61b.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Russell Hyken","prologue":"The tradition of making New Year\u2019s resolutions dates back to the ancient Romans.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1763,"hiresheight":1176,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e98997a2.hires.png","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/png","width":"760","height":"507","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=760%2C507"},"100": {"type":"image/png","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/56d85e999b1f0.preview-100.png"},"300": {"type":"image/png","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/png","width":"1024","height":"683","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/b/39/b39152e1-ef88-5987-964d-0009ab3830dd/57978e715f227.image.png?resize=1024%2C683"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"9acbeda2-967c-5e5b-a59e-6b8f042af61b","body":"

The tradition of making New Year\u2019s resolutions dates back to the ancient Romans. For thousands of years, many have made New Year\u2019s resolutions, and for thousands of years, many have failed to keep them. In fact, recent research indicates that approximately 50 percent of Americans set yearly goals, and by the end of the first month, most make major missteps because they don\u2019t have realistic objectives.

So, is it fair to ask our kids to do something that most adults can\u2019t accomplish? Of course it is! Teaching kids about resolutions is an excellent way to educate about personal responsibility and self-improvement. Encouraging kids to reflect on the past and create positive goals for the future is a worthy endeavor, and the new year makes the perfect time to introduce our children to this idea.

Parents should start with a conversation. In fact, creating a tradition around yearly goal-setting is a prosperous way to engage the entire family in the resolution process. Over a special dinner or dessert, not only talk about future ideas, but also reflect on the past year\u2019s successes and missteps. The atmosphere should be light, supportive and fun.

With the kids excited about future possibilities, encourage your children to make manageable resolutions. Being the best player on the team, for example, is much less realistic than focusing on improving a specific skill. Further support your goal-maker by helping him or her break big tasks into small, tangible measures, such as seeing a teacher for extra assistance before the next big assignment\u2019s due.

To ensure resolutions are met, parents should frequently engage in regular family meetings where progress is acknowledged and pitfalls are discussed. It also can help to post goals on the family fridge; this creates a sense of internal obligation and makes it difficult to forget one\u2019s aspirations.

Mom and dad also should remember that goals are about personal fulfillment and growth. Your children should set their own goals rather than craft a plan to please parents. Internal desire builds intrinsic motivation, which is the key to keeping resolutions.

Last, remember that resolutions differ from dreams, and everyone should have dreams. Goals, however, are specific, measurable, attainable and realistic. Although resolutions are timely, it takes time to successfully implement life-changing behaviors. Happy New Year!

Prior to going into private practice as a psychotherapist and learning-disabilities specialist, Russell Hyken, Ph.D., Ed.S., M.A., LPC, NCC, worked for more than 15 years as an English teacher, school counselor and school administrator. Visit him online at ed-psy.com.

"}, {"id":"42d9c4ec-002a-5eab-b34c-cd9c1efdbb29","type":"article","starttime":"1483034400","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-29T12:00:00-06:00","priority":29,"sections":[{"promotions":"promotions"},{"promotions":"the-daily/promotions"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Cottages of Lake St. Louis: The Right Fit","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/article_42d9c4ec-002a-5eab-b34c-cd9c1efdbb29.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/cottages-of-lake-st-louis-the-right-fit/article_42d9c4ec-002a-5eab-b34c-cd9c1efdbb29.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/promotions/cottages-of-lake-st-louis-the-right-fit/article_42d9c4ec-002a-5eab-b34c-cd9c1efdbb29.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Robyn Dexter","prologue":"At Cottages of Lake St. Louis, elders enjoy fulfilling lives, quality care and positive relationships.\u00a0","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["cottages of lake st. louis"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1965,"hiresheight":1054,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b1/0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0/5862c7d027810.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"408","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b1/0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0/5862c7d0234f9.image.jpg?resize=760%2C408"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"54","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b1/0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0/5862c7d0234f9.image.jpg?resize=100%2C54"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"161","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b1/0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0/5862c7d0234f9.image.jpg?resize=300%2C161"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"549","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/b1/0b180eb6-70a8-55ab-9e39-70fdc6769ca0/5862c7d0234f9.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C549"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"42d9c4ec-002a-5eab-b34c-cd9c1efdbb29","body":"
cottages of lake st louis

At Cottages of Lake St. Louis, elders enjoy fulfilling lives, quality care and positive relationships. The community consists of small, 10-person households with state-of-the-art amenities, rehabilitation and consistent, friendly caretakers.

Christie Tutschulte, a member of the ownership team at Cottages of Lake St. Louis, says the community, which opens in mid-January, will be the first skilled nursing community in Missouri to be built on the Green House Project model. The Cottages of Lake St. Louis consists of six 10-person cottages, each designed to look like single-family homes in the surrounding neighborhood. The homes feature high ceilings, large windows for natural light and private bedrooms, each with a private bathroom.

\u201cThere\u2019s one kitchen table in each cottage, so everyone eats together,\u201d Tutschulte explains. \u201cEach cottage chooses what they want to eat, and its elders can spend meal time together.\u201d

One thing that\u2019s different from many other senior living communities is the skilled nursing staff. Staff members work in just one cottage, so they get to know their elders and what they\u2019re like. Meals are cooked and shared in the cottages, enjoying conversation and the smells and sounds of a busy kitchen.

The cottages feature lift track systems in each room that can take people from the bed to the shower and to the bathroom. Every room has its own bathroom, \u201cto give the elders the dignity and privacy they deserve,\u201d Tutschulte says.

The community also allows the elders to make their own decisions about their health care, so if an elder wants to eat at a certain time or take his or her medication at a certain time, that\u2019s respected. The staff members get to know the elders\u2019 preferences, allowing them to tailor their own schedules to suit individual lifestyles.

Cottages of Lake St. Louis is built around the values of a real home, empowered staff and a meaningful life. Just as the meals of the home are dictated by what the elders want, it\u2019s the same way with how the home works. State-of-the-art therapy, nursing and activity services are an integral part of the community\u2019s wellness plan, and elders can enjoy a relaxing spa amenity as well.

Since Cottages of Lake St. Louis is a skilled nursing community, a licensed physician supervises each patient\u2019s care, along with the nursing team that works 24 hours a day. In skilled nursing, services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and X-ray and laboratory work are available in-house, as are wound specialists and psychiatrists.

Tutschulte says the community will be \u201copening slowly\u201d and notes that the staff wants to \u201cdo it right and get to know each person.\u201d

To learn more about Cottages of Lake St. Louis, visit cottageslsl.com or call 636-614-3510.

2885 Technology Drive, Lake St. Louis, 636-614-3510, cottageslsl.com

"}, {"id":"49c4a417-e70d-5607-9680-9530f2510630","type":"article","starttime":"1482429600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-22T12:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1482431740","priority":45,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Seeing the Invisible People","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_49c4a417-e70d-5607-9680-9530f2510630.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/seeing-the-invisible-people/article_49c4a417-e70d-5607-9680-9530f2510630.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/seeing-the-invisible-people/article_49c4a417-e70d-5607-9680-9530f2510630.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Bryan A. Hollerbach","prologue":"Knapsack after knapsack, the charitable organization BACK@YOU strives to ease the plight of homeless St. Louisans.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["back@you","kathy acre","homeless"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1703,"hiresheight":1217,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/c5/2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061/585ac90667453.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"760","height":"543","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/c5/2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061/585ac90666686.image.jpg?resize=760%2C543"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"71","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/c5/2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061/585ac90666686.image.jpg?resize=100%2C71"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"214","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/c5/2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061/585ac90666686.image.jpg?resize=300%2C214"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"732","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/c5/2c53ace8-6df0-573a-96c6-669e169f1061/585ac90666686.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C732"}}},{"id":"3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd","description":"","byline":"Photo by Sarah Conroy","hireswidth":1214,"hiresheight":1706,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b7/3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd/585ac90601e90.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"541","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b7/3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd/585ac90600296.image.jpg?resize=541%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"141","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b7/3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd/585ac90600296.image.jpg?resize=100%2C141"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"422","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b7/3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd/585ac90600296.image.jpg?resize=300%2C422"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1439","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/b7/3b7ace4d-fdf1-5a6d-9a5b-1b634c8990bd/585ac90600296.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1439"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"49c4a417-e70d-5607-9680-9530f2510630","body":"
back at you 2

The man in the silk suit hurries by,\u201d the vocalist croons over piano delicacies. \u201cAs he catches the poor old ladies\u2019 eyes/Just for fun he says, \u2018Get a job.\u2019\u201d

Those subtly brutal lyrics come from Bruce Hornsby and the Range\u2019s \u201cThe Way It Is,\u201d from the album of the same title, which topped charts in 1986, three decades ago \u2013 yet the ongoing divide between the well-heeled and the downtrodden suggests the signal importance of local nonprofit BACK@YOU.

\u201cThe homeless matter,\u201d testifies that nonprofit\u2019s website, \u201cand they are not invisible.\u201d

back at you1

The inspiration for BACK@YOU struck founder Kathy Acre years ago, she relates. Acre previously served St. Louis Countians\u2019 needs under Section 8, the well-known lease-assistance program under the Housing Act of 1937, managed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

\u201cWorking so closely with people who were homeless or on the cusp of homelessness brought me face to face with how precarious our positions in life are,\u201d she says. \u201cWhen I no longer did that for a living, I still wanted to help.\u201d

As a result, Acre began volunteering at shelters and soup kitchens, in addition to gifting pocket change to panhandlers, whom many others, in one way or another, treated as invisible.

Acre also noted that many of the homeless had only flimsy plastic bags in which to store and transport their belongings.

And she resolved to take action.

Informally, before the foundation of BACK@YOU, that action began with something much more durable than the sort of free tissue-thin supermarket totes that can often burst and send a gallon of milk, let alone all of one\u2019s belongings, to burst on the sidewalk: 20 backpacks bought for $5 apiece. To those first 20 backpacks, Acre added socks and gloves against the depredations of winter, as well as hand-crocheted scarves for a personal touch. Word of mouth inspired others, including the proverbial \u201ctotal stranger,\u201d to contribute everything from fleece throws to personal-hygiene items to snacks.

Then, with her husband and two friends, just before Thanksgiving 2014, Acre distributed those initial backpacks at The Bridge Outreach, the \u201clocal nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting emergency needs for the homeless and at-risk individuals in our community while working to end their homelessness,\u201d whose website sadly announced its shuttering this past June.

The grateful response to that distribution led Acre, with some family members and friends, to subsequently register BACK@YOU as a Missouri 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the most common type of U.S. tax-exempt nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Code.

As such, BACK@YOU\u2019s first official distribution, of 200 backpacks, took place in mid-October 2015.

\u201cThis year we distributed 400,\u201d Acre continues, \u201cwith 200 going to St. Louis Winter Outreach, Paraquad, Places for People and other shelters and outreach organizations, and 200 being distributed on Oct. 30, 2016, at \u2018City Hall West,\u2019 1520 Market St., in Downtown St. Louis.\u201d

BACK@YOU, its website notes, belongs to a looseknit coast-to-coast philanthropic initiative called Backpacks for the Homeless, although the St. Louis organization isn\u2019t affiliated with these groups. That initiative sprawls across 21 states and includes 32 other groups.

The website also relates three grim \u2013 even horrific \u2013 statistics: 14 percent of Americans go homeless at some time in their lives, military veterans constitute 26 percent of those suffering homelessness here, and children younger than 18 form a whopping 39 percent of homeless St. Louisans.

Beneath the rubric \u201cWhy We\u2019re Here,\u201d BACK@YOU\u2019s website otherwise presents this profoundly large-souled tagline: \u201cBecause Awareness, Compassion and Kindness Yield Open Understanding for the Homeless.\u201d

The site continues in a similarly philanthropic fashion with these four points:

\u201cAWARENESS\u2002Knowing who our homeless neighbors are and what factors contribute to homelessness reminds us that we are all people, we all have dignity and we all deserve respect.

\u201cCOMPASSION\u2002Knowing our homeless neighbors opens our eyes and hearts to their joys and sorrows. Caring for people is at the core of BACK@YOU. If we know them, we must also care about them.

\u201cKINDNESS\u2002Knowing and caring empower us to act to help make the lives of our homeless neighbors better. We do this through simple acts of kindness. We cannot do everything, but we can do something.

\u201cUNDERSTANDING\u2002If we know and care and act, we cannot help but understand. A home is not what makes you a person or earns you dignity. We\u2019re all in this life and world together. We\u2019re all neighbors.\u201d

Some folks, of course, might bridle at that last word, especially given the seemingly nonstop battles between St. Louis City Hall and the Rev. Larry Rice\u2019s New Life Evangelistic Center. Acre provides a humanistic assessment of that last word \u2013 neighbors \u2013 in particular.

\u201cBACK@YOU is a big proponent of the Housing First model,\u201d she says, referring to the National Alliance to End Homelessness \u201capproach that centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing services as needed,\u201d according to the alliance\u2019s website.

\u201cHousing First works,\u201d continues Acre. \u201cBut we can\u2019t house everyone at once, and there are not enough shelter beds for everyone currently living on the street. Larry Rice\u2019s \u2026 shelter performs a much-needed service by giving beds to those who don\u2019t have them, and they are the only area shelter that accepts men, women and children.

\u201cBut no services are available to help guests find permanent housing, [Rice\u2019s] building is old and not outfitted to accommodate so many people, and the fact is that shelters alone are a temporary solution. The people in the neighborhood that want to shut them down don\u2019t have any answers for where the guests should go \u2013 they just know they don\u2019t want to see them.

\u201cClosing [Rice\u2019s shelter] is not going to make our homeless neighbors suddenly disappear. We all have the same goal of getting those living on the streets into permanent housing, and we just need to keep that in mind as we try to find solutions.\u201d

BACK@YOU\u2019s solution, as noted, takes the form of backpacks that show their recipients \u201cthat someone cares,\u201d states the nonprofit\u2019s website. \u201cThey may be small gestures in the grand scheme of things, but they are filled with love.\u201d

Acre, with pardonable pride, raves about those \u201csmall gestures.\u201d

\u201cOur backpacks are different from almost any backpack you can buy anywhere \u2013 they\u2019re amazing!\u201d she says. \u201cCitypak Project is a nonprofit in Chicago that wanted to make life a little easier for those who were homeless in their city. They worked with the design team at High Sierra to make a backpack that addressed the special problems of those living on the streets.

\u201cEverything is waterproof, and they are much larger than normal backpacks. They have compartments and cinches and clasps that make sure nothing falls out. There is also a rain poncho in a securely Velcroed compartment on the bottom of the backpack that is attached and goes over the backpack and the person carrying it.

\u201cThe backpacks cost $30 apiece, but we pay only $15 each, and Citypak Project matches that.\u201d

Acre continues by reflecting on the reception to BACK@YOU during its (so far) brief existence.

\u201cThe biggest surprise was finding out how many people cared and were inspired by the idea,\u201d she says. \u201cIn the beginning, when I was putting together 20 backpacks, I thought of it as my passion project and really thought it wouldn\u2019t matter to anyone else.

\u201cI was wrong.

\u201cNot only did people care, but they embraced the idea of wanting to show kindness and compassion through the scarves that were handmade with love. Our board thought the scarves would be the most difficult thing to sustain. That has not been the case. We easily collected 400 handmade scarves this year, and we have a head start on next year.

\u201cWhile we\u2019ve received scarves from all over the country, the majority of them have come from local knitters and groups. One group meets at the Fenton library and donates 100 scarves at a time. Between groups like these and our individual donors, we\u2019re convinced that we\u2019ll always have enough scarves.\u201d

Despite BACK@YOU\u2019s early success, moreover, Acre still cannily encourages further donor support.

\u201cOver the last couple of years, we\u2019ve developed relationships with wholesalers, allowing us to buy our backpack items at remarkably low prices,\u201d she says. \u201cThis means monetary donations will allow us to buy more and higher-quality items for less than the average shopper. In other words, we can do more with your dollars than you can. It\u2019s easy to donate on our website.

\u201cAlso, in April, we do our annual Backpack Blues Benefit at BB\u2019s Jazz, Blues and Soups, and we need good silent-auction items donated. We raised over $5,000 last April, and much of that came from the silent auction. Hopefully, people will also show up to the benefit and hear some of the best blues bands from St. Louis and support us.\u201d

For sheerly logistical reasons, Acre foresees only slow, cautious growth on the part of the nonprofit.

\u201cI work a full-time, unrelated job, and no one on our board, including me, receives any salary or compensation,\u201d she relates. \u201cI realized this year that 400 is the maximum number I can do right now and still work full time, which I financially need to do. So for now, we will continue to serve 400 each year, with an eye to future opportunities to expand.

\u201cI would love to continue to supply backpacks that will make the lives of those living on the streets in St. Louis a little easier, but I would also like to expand and work with other organizations outside of the St. Louis area. Franklin County, Lincoln County and beyond are all in need. People often think of those experiencing homelessness to only be in the city, but that\u2019s not the case. That may be where you see a concentrated population, but it\u2019s not exclusive to the city.\u201d

In short, despite the comparative modesty of BACK@YOU\u2019s \u201csmall gestures,\u201d Acre\u2019s eye remains on the big picture.

\u201cThe current challenge is to make sure we\u2019re helping the most people and doing it in a way the city supports,\u201d she says. \u201cWe want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem for our city and our homeless neighbors.

\u201cThis year we were grateful to have had the support of Eddie Roth, director of human services in Mayor [Francis G.] Slay\u2019s office. Thanks to his efforts, our distribution went smoothly, and we were able to help the greatest number of people in the most respectful manner, showing all the guests in need that we cared and wanted to help them.\u201d

The term backpack, surprisingly, dates only from the second decade of the 20th century. Over time, backpacks have served the needs of students, sportsmen and soldiers.

Lately, through the efforts of Acre and her BACK@YOU team, they\u2019re also serving the needs of survivors on the streets of St. Louis, helping in part to alleviate the woes of hapless \u201cstreet people\u201d otherwise unseen from the average skyscraper.

BACK@YOU, 5010 Murdoch Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-9129, backatyou.org

"}, {"id":"da1d7b2d-e1df-550c-a3b0-400369504b23","type":"article","starttime":"1482429600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-22T12:00:00-06:00","priority":30,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Connect the Dots: My American Journey","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_da1d7b2d-e1df-550c-a3b0-400369504b23.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/connect-the-dots-my-american-journey/article_da1d7b2d-e1df-550c-a3b0-400369504b23.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/connect-the-dots-my-american-journey/article_da1d7b2d-e1df-550c-a3b0-400369504b23.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande","prologue":"Late one night in the 1960s, an older African-American woman\u2019s car broke down on an Alabama highway in the midst of a torrential downpour.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":1175,"hiresheight":1762,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/56d89acf70555.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"507","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=507%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"149","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/56d89acfb5383.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=300%2C450"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1536","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/0b/d0b16d94-855f-5bfa-a38c-cbddc0445bb6/5762f19436264.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1536"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"da1d7b2d-e1df-550c-a3b0-400369504b23","body":"
Akande Headshot

Late one night in the 1960s, an older African-American woman\u2019s car broke down on an Alabama highway in the midst of a torrential downpour. For what must have seemed an eternity, she tried in vain to flag down a motorist. Finally, a young white man stopped and drove the distressed and soaking wet woman to a taxi stand. She got his address before alighting from the car. Days later, the good Samaritan received a giant black-and-white TV in the mail from the woman. It was accompanied by a gracious note and signed, \u201cMrs. Nat King Cole.\u201d

My dad must have told me that story 100 times, and he repeated it to me the night before I departed for the United States in August 1979.

This story helped shape my initial impression of the United States as a nation of helpers, a place of courage, a country where people largely got along with one another.

My American journey began on August 24, 1979 \u2013 a rainy Thursday night.

Now, 37 years since my American journey began, I still have a few unanswered questions. For instance, why does the fat lady have to sing before it\u2019s over?

Luckily I have found more answers than questions. These answers have come over the years through popular culture, children\u2019s stories, trips around the country and interactions with some amazing people.

I consider the story of Humpty Dumpty one of the greatest tales ever told. It is a metaphor about risk, failure, and perseverance. Humpty was all about setting stretch goals and was very familiar with the reality called failure. But Humpty refused to allow failure to define it. Failure was an opportunity to regroup, reassess and try again until success was eventually achieved. The wall in this story is a metaphor about overcoming challenges. Climbing a wall is moving beyond where you are, overcoming adversity, challenging convention, pursuing goals that are not easily achievable and never giving up.

My American journey has taken me to 47 states. I have seen the beauty and awesome power of America. I also have seen a nation of contradictions, a nation still grappling with the power of and a reluctant appreciation for the greatest heritage it possesses \u2013 inclusive excellence.

My American journey has brought me in contact with St. Louis native and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, who taught me that one of the biggest gifts you can give people is immediacy.

My journey also introduced me to Sam Walton, one of the greatest entrepreneurs who ever lived. He taught me \u2013 and a few of my students who visited him at his office in Bentonville, Arkansas \u2013 to put people before profits.

I found powerful symbols of racial and ethnic harmony on Sesame Street, a world of kind friends, where everyone owns a piece of the street. The puppets represent the good in all of us.

America has taught me that the litmus test for success in this nation is not about how many times you succeed, but how quickly you get up when you fail.

America has taught me that anything is possible \u2013 putting the world on wheels, building driverless cars, creating the world\u2019s greatest higher education system, fostering an environment that nurtures and stimulates creativity in every endeavor and creating bountiful opportunities for all people irrespective of race, gender, creed or physical ability. These are just a few reasons why the United States is the wealthiest and most powerful nation in recorded history.

And as we near the third decade of this century, the task ahead of us is to sustain that greatness for generations to come. [LN dingbat]

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande is the 21st president of the 166-year-old Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He has a Ph.D. in economics and previously served as dean of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University.

"}, {"id":"a24a4c89-b75a-58dc-bade-6e2e947c546e","type":"article","starttime":"1482429600","starttime_iso8601":"2016-12-22T12:00:00-06:00","priority":30,"sections":[{"the-daily":"the-daily"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Communication Conversation: Thank You for the Thank-You","url":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/article_a24a4c89-b75a-58dc-bade-6e2e947c546e.html","permalink":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/communication-conversation-thank-you-for-the-thank-you/article_a24a4c89-b75a-58dc-bade-6e2e947c546e.html","canonical":"http://www.laduenews.com/the-daily/communication-conversation-thank-you-for-the-thank-you/article_a24a4c89-b75a-58dc-bade-6e2e947c546e.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Janis Murray","prologue":"Janis Murray\u00a0 In our social media, digital-driven world, we can become absorbed in virtual communication to the point that the joy of real connection is obscured. So sending a simple thank-you for a present or special occasion can be forgotten at a time when it is more important than ever. In today\u2019s world, a simple thank-you can make you stand out as that person who cared. Computers can\u2019t do that yet.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823","description":"Janis Murray\u00a0","byline":"","hireswidth":1024,"hiresheight":1522,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/5672ebf4a820e.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"511","height":"760","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=511%2C760"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"148","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/5672ebf4d6ff7.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"446","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=300%2C446"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1522","url":"http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/laduenews.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/e/49/e49a6cac-e9e2-584e-baa0-3133af3d3823/573a3ccf51730.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1522"}}}],"revision":4,"commentID":"a24a4c89-b75a-58dc-bade-6e2e947c546e","body":"

Janis Murray\u00a0

In our social media, digital-driven world, we can become absorbed in virtual communication to the point that the joy of real connection is obscured. So sending a simple thank-you for a present or special occasion can be forgotten at a time when it is more important than ever. In today\u2019s world, a simple thank-you can make you stand out as that person who cared. Computers can\u2019t do that yet.

Many years ago when visiting in-laws in Jupiter, Florida, I went to lunch with my mother-in-law at her club and overheard a conversation between two ladies at the next table. One was commiserating about her son\u2019s divorce just five years into a marriage. Bereaved and possibly seeking closure, she finally blurted out about her former daughter-in-law, \u201cWell, I guess good riddance. That woman never sent me a thank-you note in her life.\u201d

Shocked at her dismissive remark, I thought, \u201cGeez! I knew they were important, but that important to secretly hold a grudge and now use the feeling as the epitaph on a relationship?\u201d Instantly, I pledged that I would always write prompt thank-you notes \u2013 especially to my mother-in-law.

But there are tricky levels to thank-you notes. A thank-you note dashed off as an obligation betrays itself as such. For example, a thank-you note saying, \u201cThank you for the great party. We had a wonderful time\u201d is dull and impersonal. New brides also should beware of the simple \u201cThank you for the lovely gift.\u201d With just one more line of generic mumbo-jumbo and a signature, it\u2019s done, but ick! What a missed opportunity for you, the writer, to really show your appreciation and care.

No matter what method you choose, never underestimate the value of a handwritten note sent by snail mail. Personally, when I walk to the mailbox and see anything handwritten on an envelope in a sea of bills and fliers, it gets opened first. The anticipation is high, until the opening \u2013 and seeing just two sentences the person could have written to anyone.

So think about your thank-you notes this holiday season. Write at least three to five sentences that employ visual examples, details and positive feelings for the gift and the person. Parties are not just \u201cgreat,\u201d and gifts are not just \u201clovely.\u201d Tell us why, so we know you mean it. Being heartfelt is memorable, and always counts. [LN dingbat]

Janis Murray is president of Murray Prep LLC, providing communication training for individuals seeking college admission and career advancement. She works with students and professionals, creating successful strategies, r\u00e9sum\u00e9s, cover letters, essays, and image and interview/presentation performances. Contact her at jmurray@murrayprep.com.

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umb 122316

\u2019Tis the season to be giving, and local financial institutions can help with your philanthropic decisions.

Phil Klevorn, senior VP and regional manager of UMB Private Wealth Management \u2013 St. Louis, says choosing a nonprofit to donate funds to is a very unique and personal experience.

\u201cPhilanthropic giving is based on where people\u2019s passions lie,\u201d he says. \u201cIt\u2019s often based on their life experiences.\u201d

Donations should be interwoven with how your overall financial plan works, Klevorn notes, and UMB wealth advisors can help integrate giving into your plan.

\u201cDeciding what to gift is an important and strategic decision,\u201d he says. \u201cIt\u2019s based on how you work with your advisor. You may want to give cash, appreciated securities, fine art, real estate and other collectible items. The important thing is to work with an advisor and maximize the opportunity you have to fit it into your financial plan.\u201d

Many donors are keen that their donations stay local and in the community. Klevorn says St. Louis is a very giving community, and that year after year, many local fundraising efforts hit their goals.

\u201cIt\u2019s so rewarding, looking at the St. Louis giving community,\u201d he says. \u201cBut it comes down to knowing the organization and researching it. Get to know the leadership of the organization: the director, the members of the board.\u201d

This, he says, helps ensure that your dollars are going to causes just down the street that benefit you and impact the community every day. He also recommends talking to your wealth advisor to see if the advisor has ties to the organizations to help you get to know them directly.

Beyond regularly planned charitable donations, there are other times in an investor\u2019s life that he or she might want to consider making donations.

Klevorn recommends considering this option when you have an increase in personal income, like a bonus at work.

\u201cThat\u2019s an opportune time to think about changing your charitable giving situation for the year,\u201d he says. \u201cAnother circumstance is a loved one who has passed away. That\u2019s a good time to leave a legacy for them by engaging with a charity.\u201d

Other instances include simply being moved by something going on in the community.

\u201cStep up,\u201d Klevorn says. \u201cIf a particular charity you are moved by is doing a specific drive or have need for a new building, that\u2019s another reason to consider supporting more than just yearly.\u201d

Overall, it\u2019s important to meet with a wealth advisor when making big philanthropic giving decisions to ensure success.

\u201cIt\u2019s so important to work with an advisor so they can help research and help plan what\u2019s in line with your priorities, all done in a holistic approach in line with your financial situation,\u201d Klevorn says.

314-612-8048, umb.com/privatewealth

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