A sad farewell…noted philanthropist and civic leader E. DESMOND ‘DES’ LEE has passed away at age 92. Lee gifted more than $70 million to St. Louis over the years, much of it to help children. His charitable endeavors have graced the pages of Ladue News for decades and they include his own Des Lee Collaborative Vision, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, the YMCA, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden, Variety the Children’s Charity, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center and others. Lee, a native of Sikeston, Mo., lived in Ladue with his wife MARY ANN LEE. The family requests that any memorial donations be made to one of Lee’s favorite charities.  

    FERN DE GREEFF, the benefactor behind St. Anthony’s Hospice House, has died at the age of 100. She and husband RUSSELL DE GREEFF, who passed away in 1998, established the Fern & Russell de Greeff Hospice House to provide quality end-of-life care to patients. Since opening in 1999, the House has received national and international recognition. Until her death, de Greeff was Roosevelt High School’s oldest living graduate and one of the first and largest donors to the school’s scholarship program.

    There’s a new teaching scholarship at MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY, courtesy of the KWAME BUILDING GROUP. The St. Louis-based construction management firm has donated $50,000 to establish the scholarship for students with an associate’s degree from an area community college who want to go on to earn teacher certification. The scholarship will go to qualified applicants from underrepresented populations who need financial help. 

    The DANFORTH PLANT SCIENCE CENTER is taking the lead in advanced biofuels research. The Center received a $44 million award from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. As many as 15 jobs will be immediately created in St. Louis as a result of the project, and there is potential for hundreds of thousands of new jobs across the country as the industry grows.

    Do your part to help homeless and abused animals by tuning in to the first-ever Humane Society of Missouri telethon. Former TV news anchor DEANNE LANE is hosting the Jan. 27 special on KDNL. The primetime show will feature touching rescue stories as well as plenty of chances to donate to the cause. 

    Make plans to dine—and wine—in Clayton next week and support a worthy cause. The first annual CLAYTON RESTAURANT WEEK takes place Jan. 25 to 31, with 17 fine dining establishments offering a special three-course dinner for only $25 per person. In addition, patrons can add ‘extra credit’ donations to their bill to benefit KidSmart, an organization that provides free school supplies to local students in need. Participating eateries include Alexander’s, Araka, Barcelona, Bar Napoli, J. Bucks, Jimmy’s on the Park, John P. Fields, Luciano’s, Mazara, Miso, Molly Darcy’s, Oceano, Portabella, Remy’s, Ruth’s Chris, The Crossing and The Ritz-Carlton Grill.

    Attention, bargain-loving fashionistas…It’s time for the third annual WINTER CASH & CARRY BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE. The cash-only event at The Boulevard (across from The Galleria) features items from local boutiques such as Wish, Susan Lynn’s, Ivy Hill, Jule, Pink Magnolia, Laurie Solet, Pulse, Essential Elements and Mister Guy at 50 to 90 percent off retail price. There is a $10 fee for VIP night, Jan. 29, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and admission is $5 on Jan. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrance proceeds benefit St. John’s Mercy Foundation.

    University City’s HOUSE OF INDIA recently invited 250 loyal patrons for dinner to celebrate the restaurant’s 15th anniversary. The big buffet party featured favorites such as tandoori chicken, as well as dishes not regularly available on the menu. Owner SATISH KUMAR says the best part of the evening was watching his customers enjoy the food. “It was like having dinner with 250 family members!” he says.