UMSL was singing a happy tune recently. Its department of music paid tribute to JOHN DONALD ROBB’s legacy as a musician and educator by performing his work in a concert recently. The Uni versity also announced it established the PRISCILLA ROBB MCDONNELL MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP after Robb’s daughter, who received a standing ovation upon the announcement. The scholarship will be funded by an endowment of $50,000 donated by McDonnell’s husband Sandy, former chairman and CEO of McDonnell Douglas Corp.

    Congratulations to MARY STRAUSS, who was named 2008 ‘Champion for Kids’ by VARIETY THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY OF ST. LOUIS. Since 1981, Variety has presented the award to individuals recognized for their contributions to children in our community. Strauss, best known in St. Louis as the woman (along with her late husband Leon) who saved Fox Theatre, also has won three Tony Awards for her work on the national theater scene. She will be honored at a luncheon at the Chase Park Plaza where the organization will present $900,000 in grants to 85 local partner agencies.

    Words of wisdom…Local writer DIANA LOSCIALE has edited A Pink Prayer Book, a new book for breast cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones. For more information, visit

    Congrats to BILL DAUES, WHITFIELD director of athletics and head boys’ soccer coach, who was named the recipient of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association Coach Merit Award. He is being recognized for exemplifying the highest standards of coaching ethics and will be presented at the National Soccer Coaches Association Convention at an awards breakfast in St. Louis in January.

    A double whammy…As the author of The Perils of the Peanut Butter Kid, CYNTHIA KAGAN FROHLICHSTEIN has donated a portion of the proceeds from every book sold to THE WELLNESS COMMUNITY, her way of giving back in appreciation of her now 33-year survival after breast cancer surgery. Now Frohlichstein has a new mission, feeding St. Louis’ hungry. She is reaching out to audiences at book signings, talks and readings to donate peanut butter and jelly to local food pantries. She’s hosting one such reading Nov. 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the University City Public Library. All participants are asked to bring peanut butter, jelly and bread to donate to OPERATION FOOD SEARCH. On Nov. 22, the Borders bookstore at 15335 Manchester Road also will be accepting peanut butter donations between 2 and 4 p.m.  

    Congratulations to W. DUDLEY MCCARTER, who along with PEGGY and JERRY RITTER, was honored recently by the ST. LOUIS BAR FOUNDATION. McCarter, a partner at BEHR, MCCARTER & POTTER, was awarded The Foundation Award. The Ritters were presented the Community Leaders Award for their outstanding contributions to the St. Louis community.

    A head game…JASON SELK, director of sports psychology for the St. Louis Cardinals, has recently published 10-MINUTE TOUGHNESS, a book that gives athletes and executives alike a detailed step-by-step program for developing mental toughness.

    A face-lift for the zoo… thanks to a $2.5 million gift from THE WACHOVIA FOUNDATION, the south entrance to the Saint Louis Zoo will get a dramatic transformation. The changes will shift vehicle traffic and improve the safety of pedestrians and the overall aesthetic experience as zoo visitors arrive. The Wachovia gift, along with $5 million of federal appropriation secured by Sen. Kit Bond, will make the transformation possible. The project will be completed in 2009.

    Seen on the scene…A few lucky St. Louisans were invited to celebrate the finer things in life with LAURIE HALE of MARQUIS JET recently. Hale hosted a private night of sampling Graycliff cigars and sipping on a variety of fine scotch in the cigar room of The Ritz-Carlton. Enjoying the fun was JEFF ORBIN (Monarch restaurant), JAMES DIMONEKAS (Marquis Jet), CHERESSE PENTELLA, VINCE GARONE (Graycliff Cigars) and LAURIE HALE.