In commemoration of its 90th anniversary, the ANIMAL PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION OF MISSOURI (APA) has commissioned renowned local sculptor HARRY WEBER to create a ‘litter’ of cats and dogs for its ‘Harry & Hanley’ community art project. The project featuring larger-than-life animal sculptures—10 dogs and 10 cats—are named after the APA’s mascot (Hanley) and the artist (Harry). Each piece weighs 450 pounds and stands 6-feet tall, and will be custom-designed by some of St. Louis’ local artists. The completed statues, which will be unveiled June 22 at Busch Stadium during the ‘Purina Pooches in the Ballpark’ event, will be displayed throughout the area this summer and will be auctioned off at the APA’s anniversary bash Sept. 14.

Ladue News is proud to announce the 2013 CHARITY AWARDS finalists. Fifteen organizations have been chosen in five different categories and they are as follows: Animal Protective Association of Missouri, Endangered Wolf Center and Fieldstone Farm Foundation (Animal Advocacy); The Angel Band Project, Gateway Children’s Charity and EarthDance (Best New Charity); Pony Bird Incorporated, Bethany Place and St. Louis NORC (Health and Well-Being); Immigrant & Refugee Women’s Program, Aim High St. Louis and ACCESS Academies (Educational and Cultural Awareness); and The Haven of Grace, Wyman Center and Caring Solutions (Human Services).

In the following weeks, each of the 15 organizations will be profiled, with the top winners in each category officially announced in LN’s June 13 issue. The Charity Award winners were selected with help from THE PRESS CLUB OF METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS board of directors, who acted as an advisory panel in this year’s judging.

The St. Louis City NAACP is celebrating its Centennial Gala in a big way. The June 7 event at The Chase Park Plaza will feature Congresswoman (and St. Louis native) MAXINE WATERS as gala host and entertainment from The Temptation Review led by St. Louisan and former Temptation DENNIS EDWARDS. The evening also will highlight tributes to a host of honorees, including a Lifetime Achievement Award to members of the original 1961 Freedom Riders. The event’s campaign chairs are CAROL and TOM VOSS, and gala chair is HATTIE JACKSON.

On a related note, the St. Louis County NAACP also is celebrating a milestone: Its June 4 Freedom Fund Dinner at The Ritz-Carlton will mark the organization’s 75th year. At the dinner, JAMES BUFORD, retiring Urban League president and CEO, will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

National Endowment of the Arts chairman ROCCO LANDESMAN is the latest inductee to the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Landesman, who was born and raised in St. Louis, is a Broadway producer who developed and produced the Tony Award-winning musical Big River. Landesman’s induction ceremony takes place in the Delmar Loop Tuesday, June 11, at 5:30 p.m.

A native St. Louis artist is now making waves in London. We’re told REBECCA HENDIN has created what is now one of London’s largest and most visible pieces of public art. Her painting, All Paths Lead to Foyles, was selected as the winner in a design competition and will be prominently displayed as a mural at the flagship location of the country’s fabled bookseller, Foyles. Hendin, who currently resides in London, is a Parkway Central grad (2006). She is a freelance illustrator, painter, designer and aspiring animator; and her work has been featured in the Economist, The Guardian and The Telegraph.