Exercise for a cause! The 2009 CELEBRATE FITNESS to benefit SITEMAN CANCER CENTER will take place March 7 at the Washington University Athletic Complex. Now in its 11th year, the fitness event has generated $700,000 for Siteman. Participants can choose between aerobics/strength training, water aerobics, yoga, boot camp or a 5K run/walk. All workouts are led by fitness professionals. More than 1,500 participants are expected to ‘celebrate fitness’ this year! For more information, visit celebrate-fitness.org.

    Mark your calendars! Überchef RICK BAYLESS is coming to Plaza Frontenac on March 14 at 3 p.m. Owner of two popular Chicago restaurants, Frontera Grill and Topolobambo, author of several cookbooks on Mexican cuisine and host of Mexico, One Plate at a Time on KETC, Bayless is known as a guru on all things Mexican. He’ll be signing copies of his newest cookbook, Mexican Everyday, which will be available for purchase.

    Kudos to DONNA MARTIN, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for AMEREN CORPORATION. The UNITED WAY OF GREATER ST.LOUIS named her as the 2009 chair of its Women’s Leadership Giving  Initiative. Last year, the campaign raised more than $5.4 million.

    Music to our ears…The SAINT LOUIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA is  heading to Carnegie Hall next month to perform HK Gruber’s popular ‘Frankenstein,’ but before they do, they’ll stage a free preview performance of the piece on March 28 at the SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM. Tickets are limited to four per person and are available at the SLSO box office or by calling 534-1700.

    A fun run…THE COLON CANCER ALLIANCE’s first ever charity run has an interesting twist. The ‘St. Louis Undy 5000’ will take place March 28 at 9 a.m. in the upper Muny parking lot. Runners are expected to show up in anything from running gear to their favorite boxers, all in an effort to raise awareness and funds for the fight against colorectal cancer. For more information, visit undy5000.org.

    Speaking of underwear, the sophomore class at CARDINAL RITTER COLLEGE PREP will collect new underwear and undershirts for the homeless during its annual Underwear Drive. Donations are accepted through April 7 at the school’s campus in Grand Center.

    In other Grand Center news, the neighborhood is home to a new bed and breakfast, THE GRAND CENTER GUEST HOUSE. Located directly behind The Coronado Ballroom at 3717 Westminster Ave., the historic mansion was built in 1880 and recently purchased and restored by The Coronado. Guests are welcomed with champagne and treats upon arrival and breakfast the next morning, courtesy of Nadoz Euro Bakery Cafe and Steven Becker Fine Dining. For more information, visit


    Congrats to Chesterfield resident and Parkway Central High School student KRISTY YANG, who recently won a Siemens Award for Advanced Placement for her performance in Advanced Placement courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Yang will receive a $2,000 college scholarship.

    A giant statement…This fall, CHESTERFIELD ARTS will celebrate the addition of a new piece of public art by world-renowned sculptor J. SEWARD JOHNSON. The artist will recreate his iconic piece, ‘The Awakening,’ for placement in the Sach’s Properties’ Downtown Chesterfield sculpture garden. The work is 70 feet long and 17 feet high and weighs more than two tons. The original was created in 1980 and is found in the National Harbor just outside Washington, D.C.

    Congrats to NANCY LIEBERMAN, who was recently awarded the ‘Trailblazer Award’ by Women’s Running magazine. The award is presented to a woman who is a leader and pioneer in the sport of running. Lieberman is president and founder of GO! ST. LOUIS, a nonprofit that specializes in fitness events and programs around the region.