As part of its ‘Images of America’ series, local publisher ARCADIA PUBLISHING has recently released Ste. Genevieve, a book full of archival photographs from the historic area. Written by RICHARD DEPOSKI, the book is available at local bookstores.

    Edible art…LYDIA’S HOUSE, PLAZA FRONTENAC and L’ECOLE CULINAIRE are teaming up to present a juried gingerbread house contest. The houses were created by chefs around town, each of whom were given the theme ‘Holiday Movie Moments’ to interpret. Their creations will be on display and available for auction Dec. 7 to 12 at Plaza Frontenac, with proceeds to benefit Lydia’s House. The transitional housing program provides comprehensive support services for women and children who have experienced domestic violence.

    Congrats to local EXPLORERS CLUB member GRETCHEN FREUND, who was recently selected as a Fellow by the organization. Fellowship status is reserved for those who have distinguished themselves by contributing to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration. Freund’s interest is orca whales, and she is a principal researcher for Punta Norte Orca Research. She has witnessed and recorded what few people have seen: the rare hunting process through which orca whales stalk and kill sea lions and elephant seals, behavior she has documented over the course of a decade. Freund is an accomplished nature photographer.

     High-tech giving…THE JEWISH FEDERATION has launched JCF, an easy-to-navigate, on-line reference about planned giving and endowments. Visitors can see personal donation stories, photos and explore ways to give.

    The SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM and CHESTERFIELD ARTS recently announced the placement of a new public art piece by British abstract sculptor HENRY MOORE. Standing Figure will be installed at the ST. LOUIS COUNTY LIBRARY branch in Chesterfield.

    Kudos to JOSEPH LOGAN, who recently became the second recipient of the MARY RANKEN JORDAN SERVICE TO CHILDREN AWARD in honor of his long- standing commitment. Logan served for more than 30 years as president of Ranken Jordan’s board and is a partner with Thompson Coburn, LLP.

    Do unto others…SUNRISE ASSISTED LIVING is partnering with PARKWAY WEST HIGH SCHOOL to help housebound seniors. The ‘Christmas Day Meals Project’ offers a hot meal and gifts to seniors served by the Mid-East Area Agency on Aging. Donations for the gifts, including individually packed cereals, oatmeal, white athletic socks, lotions, soaps or small stuffed animals, are being accepted at four Sunrise communities through Dec. 18. For more information, call 646-7600.

    Three local women have produced their first documentary, The Stem Cell Divide, which premiered recently at the St. Louis International Film Festival. BARBARA LANG SAM SHUMAN and JILL MIROWITZ MOGIL are Ladue natives, and their partner, SHARON HARRIS  POLLACK, has called St. Louis home for 20 years. The movie chronicles Missouri’s debate over the embroyonic stem cell issue and features commentary from Sen. John Danforth, Dr. William Danforth, John Dubinsky, Pam Fichter, Phyllis Schlafly, Sen. Claire McCaskill and former senator Jim Talent.

    Happy one-year anniversary to SAINT LOUIS CELLARS! The Maplewood wine store also has a private event space. Through the end of December, its sister business, SAINT LOUIS CLOSET COMPANY, is accepting donations of unused art supplies and stuffed animals for FRIENDS OF WINGS, the pediatric hospice program at BJC Hospice.

    Mark your calendars! St. Louis native SHIRA LISSEK, soprano opera singer, returns to her hometown for a solo performance at 7:30 p.m Dec. 6 at CONGREGATION B’NAI AMOONA to benefit its Sisterhood program. After graduating from Parkway North High School, Lissek, daughter of the synagogue’s former cantor, Leon Lissek, went on to graduate from MANHATTAN SCHOOL OF MUSIC and INDIANA UNIVERSITY. For more information about the performance, call 576-9990.

    Looking for love? After more than 30 years of counseling patients in matters of the heart, DR. PHIL DEMBO, a local psychologist and relationship counselor, has launched the matchmaking service 1ST DATE STL. Dembo will match people based on their ‘true personal world view’ (a term Dembo coined to describe a person’s outlook and how they treat others) instead of basic demographics and likes and dislikes.

    Congratulations to RACHEL LOZANO, a St. Louis native and three-time cancer survivor recently named Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year! Lozano was honored during an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York. She was among five finalists chosen from thousands of submissions by Glamour editors based on philanthropy, bravery, courage and heroism. Readers voted for the winner on the magazine’s Web site. In her teens, Lozano was given a zero percent chance of surviving a recurrence of Askin’s tumor, a rare form of cancer. Today, she’s newly married, in remission and studying to become an art therapist! She’s also a volunteer with the AMERICAN PAIN FOUNDATION and THE WELLNESS COMMUNITY. Lozano is featured in the magazine’s December issue, currently on newsstands.