Local orthopedic surgeon DR. KEITH ODEGARD is back in town after spending more than a week assisting with relief efforts in Haiti. Odegard, a surgeon with St. Louis Orthopedic Institute, served with a team of 13 medical personnel from across the country on a trip organized by The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod World Relief and Human Care organization. This is Odegard’s second medical mission in 12 months. He was in El Salvador last year to help provide primary care.

    The ST. LOUIS SPEAKERS SERIES is concluding its 2009-10 season at Powell Hall next month with renowned writers THOMAS FRIEDMAN (April 6) and GREG MORTENSON (April 20). St. Louisans can still see the last two speakers, at a prorated price ($82 for both). Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and columnist for The New York Times. Mortenson is the best-selling author of Three Cups of Tea and co-founder of Center Asia Institute, which builds schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. For more information, visit the Web site


    LADUE HIGH SCHOOL has just wrapped up its production of Bye Bye Birdie, the first time the musical has been performed there since 1963! In the audience were two of the leads from that production: Clayton attorney GENE FAHREN KROG (Ladue HS ’64), who played Conrad Birdie, and JIM OPPENHEIMER (Ladue HS ’65), who played Hugo Peabody. Oppenheimer even flew in from California for the show! One of Fahrenkrog’s main recollections of the original performance was that he drove a real motorcycle down the aisle of the theater during one of the scenes—something that was not repeated in the 2010 show!

    On a high note…University of Missouri-St. Louis music professor BARBARA HARBACH is this year’s winner of the Women in Music competition. Her score, ‘American Solstice,’ was chosen by the Ohio-based nonprofit from compositions submitted by women composers across the country. Musicians from the organization will perform Harbach’s score next month as part of a concert series in Columbus, Ohio. The concert precedes the release of Harbach’s new album, ‘Music of Barbara Harbach Vol. 6,’ due out in late spring.

    Happy 125th to the BOSTON POPS. In honor of its milestone year, the orchestra has announced a nationwide contest: a trip to Boston’s famed Fourth of July celebration for a family of four! The orchestra’s 2010 season under conductor KEITH LOCKHART begins May 4. For more information on the contest, visit bostonpops.org/125.

    Congratulations to MATHEWS-DICKEY BOYS’ & GIRLS’ CLUB on its 50th anniversary! The year-long celebration began with an Alumni Celebration & Awards Showcase, as the Club inducted 50 community leaders into its Hall of Fame. Awards were also handed out to more than 1,000 young adults for their athletic achievements. Founded in 1960 by MARTIN MATHEWS and the late HUBERT ‘DICKEY’ BALLANTINE to provide youth with educational, cultural, recreational and leadership training programs, the Club now serves more than 40,000 youngsters across St. Louis.

     LN columnist DR. BENJAMIN AKANDE was this year’s featured speaker at the annual Erik L. Bond Lecture at MICDS. The Nigerian-born Akande spoke of his American journey and the importance of perseverance and setting goals. The lecture, presented to commemorate Black History Month, is named in honor of ERIK BOND, the first African-American student to enter and graduate from Saint Louis Country Day School. 

    CLAYTON FARMERS MARKET and SOULARD FARMERS MARKET get their chance to shine in the latest cookbook from Southern Living magazine. Farmers Market Cookbook: A Fresh Look at Local Flavor hits stands nationwide on March 16. It features more than 200 recipes organized by season, information on fresh produce and a how-to guide for shopping locally.