When…former Senate majority leader George Mitchell was the featured speaker in the Maryville University Speakers Series at Powell Symphony Hall? Mitchell, also a former U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland, was recently appointed U.S. envoy to the Middle East. Pictured: Maryville VP of Institutional Advancement Tom Eschen, Mitchell and Maryville University president Dr. Mark Lombardi.

When…Jewish Family & Children’s Service held its annual Tree of Life Society Party? Philanthropist Judith Garfinkel was honored for her support of JF&CS programs and services, which assist children and families in need. Pictured in front: co-chair Karen Suroff, Garfinkel, event co-chair Jan Abrams and host Sue Gallop. In back: executive director Lou Albert, president Cathy Steele, co-chair Judy Kaplan and director of development Barbara Barnholtz.

When…Friends of St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf (SJID) gathered for a glitzy gala featuring a student performance of ‘A Chocolate Christmas,’ a variation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Guests enjoyed the play over dinner and afterward were presented with giving opportunities in ‘Wonka Land.’ Pictured: SJID students.

When…Stray Rescue of St. Louis held its most important fund-raiser of the year, the 11th annual ‘Hope for the Holidays’ gala? Held at Third Degree Glass Gallery, the pet-friendly gala featured food from more than 25 of the area’s best restaurants, live entertainment, a silent auction and candle-lit blessing of dog attendees. Pictured: Kathleen England of KSDK, Randy Grim of Stray Rescue, John Garcia, Sherry Woodard and Jeff Popowich of National Geographic’s TV Show Dogtown, and Gustava.