Attention, bargain hunters! Gift shops from area attractions will gather all their close-out and clearance merchandise for the ST. LOUIS MUSEUM STORES GARAGE SALE  March 21 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in The Living World at the Saint Louis Zoo. Souvenirs, toys, books, clothing, artwork and more will be available at discounted prices from local venues, including The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, City Museum, Humane Society of Missouri and Saint Louis Zoo.

     Landmark appointment…ALICE CONWAY was recently elected board chairwoman of ST. LOUIS SOCIETY FOR THE BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED. Conway is the first person who is blind to hold that post in the organization’s 97 years.

    Congrats to the distinguished communicators who will receive this year’s VIRGINIA BETTS WHITE QUEST AWARDS from the National Federation of Press Women: SUZANNE CORBETT, food writer and consultant; BILL FRONCZAK, public relations director for Mathews-Dickey Boys’ and Girls’ Club; MARGARET GILLERMAN, columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; DAN MARTIN, cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch; KAY QUINN, news anchor at KSDK-Ch. 5; ART SILVERBLATT, Ph.D, communications professor and editor at Webster University; and MARY ANN WAGNER, public relations director for Suburban Journals. A special Lifetime Achievement award will be presented to AVIS MEYER, Ph.D., former longtime copy editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and professor at Saint Louis University. The awards will be presented April 18 at Ces & Judy’s in Le Chateau Village. Proceeds from the luncheon support scholarships for journalism and communication students.

    A tasty tour…St. Charles resident ANN HAZELWOOD recently published 100 Unique Eats and Eateries in Missouri, which highlights signature dishes gathered from places ranging from roadside dives to four-star gems around Missouri. The book is available at bookstores and online.

    Eating for a cause? We love it! ST. LOUIS EFFORT FOR AIDS will again spearhead our city’s ‘Dining Out For Life’ event April 30. Now in its 19th year, the fund-raiser invites restaurants to donate a portion of their proceeds to a local AIDS service organization. This year more than 50 cities and 3,500 restaurants will participate. All money raised here stays in St. Louis. For information on which local restaurants are participating, visit Make your reservations today!     

    Kudos to St. Louis student BROOKE MILLER, who recently won the JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT/DELOITTE ”Excellence through Ethics” essay contest. The contest asks high school seniors to provide a solution to a hypothetical ethical dilemma and is intended to highlight critical thinking and decision-making skills. Miller will receive a $5,000 scholarship for  winning. Miller’s ethical ‘dilemma’ was: What should someone do if they caddy for a prominent person who has promised to write a college recommendation for them, and they witness him move his ball, thereby winning by 1 stroke.

        For the third year in a row, ST. LUKE’S HOSPITAL is the only one in Missouri ranked among HEALTHGRADES AMERICA’S 50 BEST HOSPITALS. The designation is based solely on clinical outcomes (mortality and complication rates). Only one percent of all hospitals earned this distinction from HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization.

    So long…after 72 years in business, HAMILTON JEWELERS, INC. is closing its doors. Opened in 1937 by Robert Wehmueller and Louis Hamilton, ROBERT BEUMER has helmed the business for the past 22 years and plans to retire.

    Feeling generous? Throughout the month of March, DIERBERGS shoppers can donate any amount to STRAY RESCUE simply by alerting the cashier at the time of checkout. The donation and amount will appear on the receipt for the customer’s record, and 100 percent of the pledged amount will benefit the animal rescue organization.

    Play ball! Congratulations to Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club VP of PR and Special Events BARBARA WASHINGTON, who will be the first woman inducted into the GREATER ST. LOUIS AMATEUR BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. Washington will be honored for her many years of raising funds and awareness for the game. The induction ceremony is March 21 at the Sheraton Westport Chalet.

    Going green…BEST TRANSPORTATION of St. Louis is the first area limousine company to offer luxury hybrids in its fleet, including the Lexus RX400H.

    Bravo! THE REPERTORY THEATRE OF ST. LOUIS has received a $25,000 grant from the MONSANTO FUND to support its Imaginary Theatre Company, a touring program that visits schools, libraries and community centers to introduce young audiences to the magic of live theater.

    Jackpot! When the 2009 U.S. Chess Championship is held at the CHESS CLUB & SCHOLASTIC CENTER OF SAINT LOUIS in the CWE, a $64,000 bonus prize will be awarded to any player who scores a 9-0 sweep. The prize is in memory of the late chess champion Bobby Fischer, who died at age 64 and who won the U.S. Championship in 1964, scoring the only perfect score in the event’s history. The prize is in addition to the $5,000 awarded for first place.