Save the date…It’s that time of the year, and we invite you to officially welcome summer with us. Elegant Entertaining Made Easy, LN design editor ALAN E. BRAINERD’s annual daytime soirée at NEIMAN MARCUS, takes place Thursday, June 9, at 10:30 a.m. Learn the art of preparing sophisticated and creative table settings, whether you’re entertaining formally or poolside, and enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres from BUTLER’S PANTRY. The event will be held at Neiman Marcus Gift Galleries, Level One. There is no admission fee, but reservations are required. Call Jamie Thurston at 994-5022 to reserve your space.

    Next week, Whitfield freshman EMILY ESTHER will receive the Congressional Award Silver Medal, established by Congress to recognize initiative, achievement and service in young people. Emily’s award is the second-highest in a multi-level program, which involves setting goals in volunteer public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.

    OPERA THEATRE OF SAINT LOUIS has announced its 2012 season, opening with the debut of St. Louis’ own KENDALL GLADEN in Georges Bizet’s Carmen. The season continues with Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and concluding with the American premiere of Unsuk Chin and David Henry Hwang’s Alice in Wonderland. 

    In celebration of its 20th anniversary, the HARVEY KORNBLUM JEWISH FOOD PANTRY is planning ‘Circus with a Purpose,’ in conjunction with CIRCUS FLORA. Admission to the June 12 fundraiser is a bag of groceries and a donation of any amount, along with your tickets to Vagabond Adventures. Reserve seats also are available. For more info, call 993-1000.  

    All-Star batting leader and Cardinals left fielder MATT HOLLIDAY is lending his star power to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation-St. Louis Chapter. He’ll be appearing June 4 at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton to introduce his new 2007 Napa Valley Red wine and sign autographs. Proceeds from the private label, from Hill Family Estate in Napa, will support the foundation’s mission to grant wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses. Admission to the event includes wine-tasting and hors d’oeuvres from Mojo Tapas Restaurant. For reservations, call 727-8788.

    On the shelves…Landing in the Executive Chair: How to Excel in the Hot Seat, the latest book from Chesterfield-based executive consultant LINDA HENMAN. In it, Henman lays out a CEO roadmap for navigating today’s sluggish economy.

    The latest U.S. News & World Report’s listing of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals names ST. LOUIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL to its honor roll. Children’s is one of only 11 pediatric hospitals in the U.S. to make the list by ranking in all 10 specialties evaluated. LN