12-year-old HENRY BAER of Town and Country is leaving for St. Petersburg, Russia, next month to defend his USA Gymnastics No. 1 ranking in synchronized trampoline. Henry and his synchro partner, NICK PIONTEK of Kansas City, will be part of a U.S. delegation to the World Games in Russia, where they’ll compete against athletes from 40 other countries. Henry’s mom, LAURA BAER, says her son has been training privately 12 hours a week. She’ll be accompanying him on the trip, departing Nov. 14. Henry is a seventh-grader at Whitfield School, where he also plays soccer and basketball, and maintains a 4.0 GPA!
Speaking of defying gravity, CIRCUS HARMONY’s advanced youth circus troupe, the ST. LOUIS ARCHES, is waiting to hear from America’s Got Talent producers following their audition in the Windy City two weeks ago. Artistic director JESSICA HENTOFF tells us that because the group was invited to try out for the popular talent show, the Arches were able to get on stage immediately, bypassing the thousands of hopefuls lined up to get their shot at stardom. We should hear in a couple of months whether the Arches made the cut.
SAINT LOUIS FASHION WEEK has awarded its first-ever Fashion Achievement Award to Washington University’s JEIGH SINGLETON, a legendary advocate of ‘all things fashion.’ For more than a decade, Singleton has designed, implemented and staffed the fashion design curriculum as associate professor at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and has successfully placed graduates in key design positions across the country. His design expertise includes unisex sportswear and theatrical and specialty apparel.
The ST. LOUIS JEWISH BOOK FESTIVAL begins this Sunday, and helping to kick off the festivities will be Oscar Award-winning actress HELEN HUNT. She’ll deliver the keynote presentation Nov. 1 at the Jewish Community Center and will also participate in a live, on-stage interview with KMOX’s CHARLIE BRENNAN. The festival’s star-studded lineup also includes STEVEN and COKIE ROBERTS, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s SUSIE ESSMAN, and actress ALICIA SILVERSTONE. Bookending the event will be PETER YARROW of Peter, Paul and Mary, who will perform and sign copies of his book, Day is Done, on Nov. 18. The St. Louis event, now in its 31st year, is the largest Jewish book festival in the country.
Two dozen of SUSIE WALLACH’s closest friends recently threw her a party at Cafe Napoli to celebrate a milestone birthday. The birthday girl will also be whisked away on a Hawaiian cruise by husband ALAN WALLACH and their grown children.
If you’ve always had a fascination with our town’s legendary beer barons and the breweries they built, check out St. Louis Brews: 200 Years of Brewing in St. Louis: 1809-2009. Pains takingly researched by historians DON ROUSSIN, KEVIN KIOUS and the late HENRY HERBST, the book chronicles everything from the first keg tapped in 1809 to the recent Anheuser-Busch-InBev merger. The book also contains hundreds of historical images and profiles of more than 125 local breweries. Cheers!
There’ll be a celebration at BRITH SHOLOM KNESETH ISRAEL (BSKI) this weekend to mark RABBI BENSON SKOFF’s 50 years of service. The beloved rabbi, who has officiated at thousands of weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs and other milestones, has deeply touched the lives of the members of his conservative Jewish congregation, but his influence has gone far beyond BSKI. He’s met with world luminaries such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Menachem Begin of Israel and was a St. Louis delegate for the Special Mission to Israel on Terrorism and Tourism. He also served as host for KMOV’s weekly Sunday morning program, ‘Confluence.’ Skoff is now rabbi emeritus at the Richmond Heights congregation, which celebrated its 100th anniversary last year.