Surprise! That was the word of the day at Clay Elementary School in North St. Louis, the site of KIDSMART’s 11th birthday party. The organization, which equips underserved students and their classrooms with basic school items, surprised 200 students last week with backpacks filled with supplies, balloons, cupcakes, and appearances by Rampage the Ram and Louie of the St. Louis Blues.

Dine in style and support a worthy cause during the fourth annual CLAYTON RESTAURANT WEEK, Jan. 21 to Jan. 27. Seventeen of Clayton’s fine-dining establishments are offering three-course dinners for a fixed price of $25 per person. Patrons then have the option of adding a $5 ‘extra helping’ donation to benefit OPERATION FOOD SEARCH, which distributes more than 2 million pounds of food and other necessities across the region each month. Participating restaurants include Araka, Bar Napoli, Barcelona, Bocci Bar, Cardwell’s, Crushed Red, J. Buck’s, Oceano Bistro and Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar. For a complete list and menu choices, visit

Score! Whitfield senior STEPHANIE ANDERSON has done it: The basketball standout for the Warriors reached the 1,500 career point milestone in the team’s 53-38 win over Notre Dame earlier this month. Stephanie, who finished the game with 23 points, now holds the Whitfield girls basketball career scoring record.

Local author IRENE HANNON is getting some national buzz for her latest book, Vanished. It was recently named by as one of the ‘Best Books of the Month’ and a ‘Top Ten Romance’ for January. The suspense novel is set in St. Louis and includes a prominent scene at the Starbucks in Town & Country. Hannon, a former Anheuser-Busch executive, lives in Des Peres with her husband, business consultant TOM GOTTLIEB, who serves as deacon at Church of the Annunziata in Ladue.

Be a fairy godmother to an area teen by participating in the METRO ST. LOUIS CINDERELLA PROJECT, a prom dress donation drive to benefit students in need. The Project is teaming up with CBL Malls to collect gently worn prom and special occasion gowns for girls who are unable to purchase their own. Donations of all sizes are welcome, and will be accepted at several locations, including Chesterfield Mall and West County Center, through Feb. 28.

This is the final weekend to see what’s being hailed as the top ‘Old Master Show of the Year’ at the SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM. Federico Barocci: Renaissance Master closes on Sunday, Jan. 20. The exhibition, which was recently recognized by The Art Newspaper, will soon travel to London’s National Gallery. St. Louis was the sole North American venue for showcasing a range of the artist’s best works from European collections.

Ribbit! The SAINT LOUIS ZOO is looking for a few good ‘frog watchers’ to help stop amphibian decline. ‘Citizen-scientists’ are needed to monitor frogs and toads from their neighborhood for a few minutes a week. All it takes is an interest in amphibians, and the availability to attend a two-hour training session at the zoo. Saturday training sessions are scheduled as follows: Jan. 26, Feb. 23 and March 9, from 9 to 11 a.m. Call 646-4551 or visit to sign up.