She did it! Ladue mother-of-three CHRISTINA MURPHY says it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done: She completed the grueling Tough Mudder challenge, a hardcore 10- to 12-mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces. More than half a million participants have taken part in the challenge, raising more than $3 million for Wounded Warrior Project. Murphy completed the course last weekend in Poplar Bluff. 

Kudos to U.S. BANK, the recipient of the 2012 award for Outstanding Corporate Philanthropic Program. The award from the St. Louis Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals will be presented during a ceremony on Nov. 15, a date designated as National Philanthropy Day. U.S. Bank has provided approximately $2 million in local charitable contributions and more than 7,000 employee volunteer hours. In addition, the company has 40 executives serving on nonprofit boards in the community. This year, U.S. Bank also served as presenting sponsor of LN’s Charity Awards and as platinum sponsor of the 2012 William Bernoudy Ladue News Show House.

A $20 million gift from ANDREW and BARBARA TAYLOR and the CRAWFORD TAYLOR FOUNDATION will establish a center at Washington University School of Medicine to advance the science underlying the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illnesses. The Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research will focus on developing new and more effective therapies for psychiatric disorders. The gift announcement coincides with the launch of Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University, a historic effort to enhance the university’s leadership here and abroad.

The grand opening of the Max and Drew Erlich Center, the new home of the HARVEY KORNBLUM JEWISH FOOD PANTRY, takes place next Sunday, Oct. 21. The public is invited to take part by bringing in a bag or more of groceries to help serve more than 5,000 people each month. In addition to a ribbon-cutting, family-friendly activities, entertainment and food demos are planned from noon to 4 p.m. at the new building,10601 Baur Creve Coeur.

Anthonino’s Taverna on The Hill is the latest St. Louis establishment to make it on the national stage. Owned by brothers ANTHONY and ROSARIO SCARATO, Anthonino’s has been designated a bona fide GUY FIERI pick and will be featured on the celebrity chef’s Food Network show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. During his visit, Fieri sampled the hand-made toasted ravioli, house marinara and Greek dolmathes and tzatziki. The episode will air Oct. 22 at 9 p.m., and Anthonino’s will celebrate with a viewing party that is open to the public.

New York Times best-selling author RICHARD PAUL EVANS is returning to St. Louis to promote his new holiday novel, A Winter Dream. The book is said to be a modern retelling of the Old Testament story of Joseph and the coat of many colors. His Nov. 13 appearance at St. Louis County Library headquarters begins at 7 p.m.

St. Louis native LINDA JOFFE HULL is out with her debut novel, The Big Bang, a story that exposes the secrets of suburbia with a healthy dose of dark humor. She’ll be in town for a book-signing and discussion at 7 p.m. on Nov. 27 at Left Bank Books. Hull currently resides in Denver with her husband and three children.