Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…and Julie Andrews! The NATIONAL CHILDREN’S CANCER SOCIETY is celebrating its 25th anniversary in a big way: Academy Awardwinning actress and entertainer JULIE ANDREWS will headline the organization’s Chase Park Plaza gala on Sept. 29. The evening’s proceeds will provide direct financial assistance to young cancer patients and their families. For more information, visit children-cancer.org.

Breakthrough stem cell research to repair heart damage will be front and center when renowned cardiologist DR. JAMES WILLERSON comes to town next week. Willerson, president and medical director of Texas Heart Institute, led the largest-ever study that found a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells can potentially be used to treat severe heart failure. His May 24 presentation at The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center begins with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and is open to the public. Proceeds from the event benefit the nonprofit Missouri Cures Education Foundation, which leads efforts to inform Missourians about the importance of medical research. For tickets, call 993-1900.

Best-selling author and acclaimed actress CARRIE FISHER has been announced as the keynote speaker for this year’s 34th annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival. Fisher will open the festival on Nov. 4. Other authors scheduled to appear include Chef GIULIANO HAZAN, A.J. JACOBS and ELLEN ABRAMSON. Series tickets go on sale in August, with individual author program tickets available in September. For more information, call 442-3299 or visit stljewishbookfestival.org.

The ST. LOUIS BLUES’ new ownership group says it’s 100 percent committed to St. Louis and is counting on community support to help make the team stable and sustainable for generations to come. The all-local group, led by Summit Distributing’s TOM STILLMAN, also includes JERALD KENT, DONN LUX, JAMES COOPER, JO ANN KINDLE, W. STEPHEN MARITZ, EDWARD POTTER, MR. and MRS. ANDREW TAYLOR, DAVID STEWARD, JAMES KAVANAUGH, JOHN DANFORTH, CHRISTOPHER DANFORTH, JAMES JOHNSON, SCOTT MCCUAIG, JOHN ROSS JR. and TOM SCHLAFLY.

Next month, the SHELDON ART GALLERIES will host the 2012 Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour, featuring three of the best examples of modernist and mid-century design in St. Louis. The homes—designed by Paul Rudolph, William Bernoudy and Isadore Shank—are located in Warson Woods, Town & Country and Ladue. Reservations are required for the June 3 event and can be obtained by calling 534-1111 or visiting thesheldon.org. Proceeds benefit the Sheldon Art Galleries.

A reception will be held to officially honor HAROLD DIELMANN, who retired as Creve Coeur mayor last month after 28 years of serving the community. The event is free and open to the public, and will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 9 at the Skip Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Preparatory School. Call 872-2511 to RSVP.

Mark your calendars…Internationally acclaimed pianist CAROL WONG and nine world-class artists from OPERA THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS are teaming up for one performance only for the annual Sing for Siteman concert to benefit the Director’s Discovery Fund at Siteman Cancer Center. The June 4 event at Washington University’s Whitaker Hall begins at 7 p.m., with a ‘Meet the Artists’ reception following the concert. Keep an eye out for LN’s May 25 issue, which features an exclusive interview with Wong, who co-founded the Sing for Siteman event.