A packed house of family, friends and fans celebrated new Cardinals manager MIKE MATHENY at a lively party last week at Mike Shannon’s downtown. Matheny addressed the crowd, saying that he’s fortunate to have the “best job on the planet,” but that it all “hasn’t sunk in yet.” As Matheny wrapped up his speech, host MIKE SHANNON whispered into his ear, reminding him to thank the most important person in the room: Mrs. Matheny. The new manager immediately acknowledged his oversight, sheepishly telling the crowd. “Mike Shannon just taught me lesson No. 1.”

Congratulations to the 2012 Enshrinement Class of the MISSOURI SPORTS HALL OF FAME. The 15 honorees include former superstar athletes like Cardinals All-Star JIM EDMONDS and Missouri guard JON SUNDVOLD, as well as local standouts REX SINQUEFIELD, cited for his efforts to make St. Louis ‘the Chess Capital of the World,’ amateur golfer ELLEN PORT and DR. RICHARD LEHMAN of the U.S. Center for Sports Medicine in St. Louis and personal physician of many professional athletes. The enshrinement ceremony takes place Jan. 29 in Springfield, Mo.

The New York Times bestselling author JEFFREY ZASLOW, who most recently penned Gabrielle Giffords’ and Mark Kelly’s Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope, will be in town as part of the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Zaslow will appear at Plaza Frontenac to discuss his book, The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters, a collection of stories from a small-town bridal shop. His Jan. 22 appearance is at 1:30 p.m., and the admission price ($15) includes gift bags, treats and more.

Actress LYNN WHITFIELD (The Josephine Baker Story) will be the keynote speaker for St. Louis County Library’s Black History Month celebration. Her Jan. 27 appearance at library headquarters begins at 7 p.m., and is free and open to the public. A star of stage, TV and film, Whitfield stars in the upcoming movie, Mama I Want to Sing, with PATTI LABELLE.

Good—and bad—weather played a big factor in 2011 attendance numbers at the SAINT LOUIS ZOO. The Zoo announced it topped the 3-million mark in a comefrom- behind effort, attracting some 80,000 visitors between Dec. 20 and Dec. 31, days which were unseasonably warm. The grand total for 2011 was 3,019,597. Until the final weeks of December, zoo attendance was down due to an extremely hot summer that gave St. Louis 14 days of 100-degree temperatures. The Zoo’s all-time record attendance came in 2009, with 3,101,830 visitors.

THE MUNY’s Café One Project has received a $1 million donation from the David B. Lichtenstein Foundation, boosting efforts to completely redo a popular concession and performance area at the venue. The money will be used to enhance the concession area and pre-show performance space located on the hightraffic, eastern side of The Muny. The first-ever V-DAY BOOT CAMP Ladies’ Night to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) will be held Thursday, Jan. 26, at Byrd Style Lounge in Clayton. Admission is $20, and includes wine, cocktails, gourmet treats, live music and more.