Don’t leave home without it…local gal Sarah Thompson (marketing whiz at Twist St. Louis) recently returned from a vacation in Kenya, where, among other things, she found time to relax with a copy of LN! During her stay, Thompson visited Nairobi, Mombasa and Diani Beach.

Take heart…The 2008 St. Louis National Women's Heart Day Health Fair is Feb. 15 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at West County Center. The free event offers health screenings by St. John’s Mercy Heart Hospital, free demonstrations and give-aways.

Looking for a good reason to skip the rush-hour traffic? Stop by The Black Rep, 3610 Grandel Square, Feb. 1 for its Rush Hour Nights program, which will offer discounted tickets to Othello and a pre-show reception with complimentary cocktails!

Bravo…Opera America, a nonprofit arts organization, has honored Sally Levy with a National Trustee Recognition Award for her longtime commitment to Opera Theatre St. Louis. The award recognizes excellence in governance and was given to only four operas from around the country. Levy has been an active supporter of OTSL since its founding in 1976.

In other opera news, New Opera Saint Louis, under the direction of Gina Galati, will stage its premier performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto Feb. 15 and 17 at St. Ambrose Church on The Hill, where Galati was raised. She graduated from Washington University before going on to pursue a master’s degree in opera from the University of Kansas. She also earned an Artists Diploma from the Academia Verdiana in Bussetto, Italy. She is the daughter of Giovanni and Jackie Galati, owners of Dominic's on The Hill and Dominic's Trattoria in Clayton.

Kudos to Alice Handelman, who was recently fêted by The Mid-East Area Agency on Aging Foundation at the home of its VP, Liz Rice-Sosne. Handelman is the chair-emeritus of the organization and was recognized for her 10 years of outstanding service to the elderly through this organization. Joining in the fun were her husband Howard, her daughters Patty Bloom and Karen Handelman, and others.

Fund-raising, disco-style…The American Liver Foundation’s annual fund-raiser will feature a live performance by Gloria Gaynor and The Village People. The event is Feb. 15 at Ameristar Casino in St. Charles. VIP Tickets are $200 and include a pre-show dinner and silent auction. General admission tickets (for the concert only) are available for $50. For more information, visit

Congrats to Tom Kaiman of Walton Construction, who was recently named to Building Design+Construction’s ‘40 under 40.’ Kaiman is operations manager at Walton and currently supervises a 40-person team working on 11 projects in three states with a total construction value of more than $100 million.