This spring, sit and talk with two notable authors who dish out heartfelt stories, with a side of laughter. Amy Dickinson and Kevin Killeen headline the 13th annual Authors Brunch to benefit Assistance League of St. Louis.

“It’s a spectacular day [offering] relaxation, laughter and fun,” Suzanne Pratl, president of Assistance League, says. “We’ll host two authors and a fabulous brunch, with somewhere around 30 baskets being raffled off.”

Each prized basket is themed. Enjoy a presidential grab-bag, which offers an American flag and ornaments that were used at the White House; a Kate Spade arrangement, featuring a new, über-stylish handbag; and a Cardinals fan’s must-have, with six green seats, plus parking.

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The event’s real attractions, naturally, are the well-known authors, beginning with Amy Dickinson, a national sensation who has appeared as a social commentator on ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s The Today Show. “Amy Dickinson has a presence, not just in her ‘Ask Amy’ advice column, books or various television appearances,” Pratl comments. “She is genuine and funny.” Pratl is positive that Dickinson will dispense advice during her appearance. “That’s her trademark. She’s someone who can shed humor and good sense on living life in the 21st century.”

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Through his novels, longtime KMOX journalist Kevin Killeen takes a comedic twist on his experiences growing up Catholic in Webster Groves. “He is hilarious and so much a part of the fabric of our city,” Pratl details. “Both authors are available to sign books, as well as answer questions afterwards, giving our guests a nice opportunity to pick their brains.”

Area children know Assistance League best as volunteers who gift them with fresh uniforms, shoes and additional supplies through the programs Operation School Bell and Steps to Success. The all-volunteer nonprofit organization’s impact widens when one considers its other programs, which help families through traumatic experiences.

“Everything we do is from the heart,” Pratl shares. “We give smiles and hugs to the children. We [also] serve four shelters for women who come from abusive households and two agencies for those still living in difficult circumstances. We are hands-on, working in a concrete way to touch the lives of those we help.”

The St. Louis chapter includes 500 members, and together they logged more than 72,000 hours helping the community last year.

“The kind of people who volunteer with Assistance League are extremely kind and giving,” Pratl says. “We have a brilliant group of women, who work elbow-to-elbow. Through Assistance League, we’ve made lifetime friends while strengthening our community.”

Assistance League of St. Louis, 30 Henry Ave., Ellisville, 636-227-6200, alstl.org

13th Annual Authors Brunch

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 28,

Atrium at Edward Jones - Headquarters

Reservations are available at $70 each. Visit alstl.org for reservation details.

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