Save the date…Comedian CONAN O’BRIEN has been confirmed as the opening act for the 23rd annual Bob Costas benefit for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, to be held April 2 at the Fox Theatre. O’Brien, whose new late-night talk show debuts on TBS next month, will share the stage with headliner FAITH HILL.

    St. Louis-based EMERSON has donated $2.5 million to support the neonatal intensive care unit at St. John’s Mercy Children’s Hospital. The newly christened Emerson Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is the state’s largest Level III facility for infants facing life-threatening health issues—the highest classification in neonatal care.

    A $100,000 pledge to the American Red Cross from ENTERPRISE HOLDINGS FOUNDATION will make its way to Pakistan to aid flood relief efforts there. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of the company that operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental. Monsoon rains this summer resulted in massive flooding of approximately 20 percent of Pakistan, leaving many destitute.

    We salute our own LN staff photographer JASON MUELLER, who recently was promoted to lieutenant in the Lake Saint Louis Fire Protection District. Jason has been a volunteer firefighter with the district for three years. Congratu lations, Jason!

    Saint Louis Zoo’s JEFFREY BONNER has been elected as board chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Bonner, who will serve alongside three other officers, will be involved in every aspect of the organization that advances conservation, education, science and recreation efforts at zoos and aquariums across the country.

    Congrats to Chef Joe Mueller of Racquet Club Ladue, who was named 2010 Culinary Federation-St. Louis Chef of the Year last week! The panel of judges, all out-of-town chefs, based their findings on a blind tasting. Chef Joe’s entry, which had to be completed within one hour, was Veal Cynthia, named for his wife. 

    Happy Birthday to the GATEWAY ARCH, which was officially completed when its last section was put into place 45 years ago on Oct. 28, 1965! The Jefferson National Parks Association is celebrating with a ‘Meet the Builders’ event Oct. 30, when builders will share their firsthand recollections, private memorabilia and photos from the construction of the country’s tallest national monument.

    Attention, shoppers! PLAZA FRONTENAC is teaming up with the DONALD DANFORTH PLANT SCIENCE CENTER to commemorate World Food Day. On Oct. 2, shoppers and diners can learn about World Food Day and participate in demonstrations at Center Court. They also can meet and sample offerings from Busch’s Grove, and view ‘What the World Eats,’ a photo exhibition depicting the way people live and eat around the world.

     Renowned handbag designer NANCY GONZALEZ is making a St. Louis appearance at Neiman Marcus next week. The Oct. 7 event includes a preview of her fall collection and a champagne reception.

    New York Times bestselling author SENA JETER NASLUND will be in town Oct. 5 to promote Adam and Eve, her latest adventure thriller. Her Oct. 5 appearance will be at St. Louis County Library Head quarters.