So, what did you do on Spring Break? John Burroughs sophomore FARAZ AHMAD surely will have a story to tell: He’ll be traveling to Doha, Qatar, next month to participate in an international film festival. His film, Battles with Food, has been nominated for Best Story, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Editing in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Qatar Northwestern Film Festival, which serves as a platform for students around the world to highlight local or global issues. Faraz’s 8-minute film explores the struggles people have with food, and features conversations with girls afflicted with eating disorders, as well as interviews with health and other wellness professionals. He says his interest in the topic stems from his own personal battle with food at a younger age.

CAROLINE KENNEDY will be in town next Wednesday, April 3, for the ninth annual Family Read Night at St. Louis County Library headquarters. She’ll be discussing her new book, Poems to Learn by Heart, the companion to her best-seller, A Family of Poems. The program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the program to begin at 7 p.m.

Save the date: ST. LOUIS CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL’s annual spring event, Table Tops, is in its 10th year. The one-of-a-kind luncheon, to be held Thursday, April 18, at The Ritz-Carlton, features elaborate designer tabletops and local boutique vendors. All proceeds from the event benefit the hospital’s fund for Camp Rhythm, a summer camp for children with heart conditions. For more information, visit

ST. LOUIS CLASSICAL GUITAR SOCIETY has announced that its 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner on June 9 will feature legendary American classical guitarist CHRISTOPHER PARKENING. Parkening, who announced his retirement from performing last year, is serving as the event’s honorary committee chair. For more details about the gala, which will be held at Missouri Athletic Club, visit

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2014 ST. LOUIS ARTS AWARDS. The awards honor individuals for their contributions to the local arts community. To nominate someone, visit Award recipients will be honored at a Jan. 20, 2014 reception at The Chase Park Plaza. Proceeds from the event benefit the Arts and Education Council.

More kudos to MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY, which was recently recognized as the only university in the country to receive the NCAA Division II President’s Award for Academic Success with a 100-percent, four-year graduation rate for its student athletes. Late last year, Maryville was ranked the No. 1 Over-Performing University by U.S. News & World Report.

Movie night: The PRESS CLUB OF METROPOLITAN ST. LOUIS is hosting its first-ever ‘Movie and a Cocktail Night’ for a good cause. On-screen will be Absence of Malice, the acclaimed 1981 drama about a reporter facing defamation charges, stars Paul Newman and Sally Field. The Tuesday, April 23, event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Galleria 6 Cinemas. Proceeds from the event will benefit journalism and communications scholarships for area college students. For more information, visit

IVY HILL in Ladue is now officially open. The shop at 8835 Ladue Road is the second location for boutique owner HILLARY DUTCHER.

Look for new salon CHEVEUX to open in Brentwood in mid-April. The salon at 2514 S. Brentwood Blvd. will be overseen by longtime stylist JERRY DIAL (of Façade and Green Door fame).