The RADIO ARTS FOUNDATION-ST. LOUIS (RAF-STL) will hold its inaugural concert gala at The Sheldon featuring a trio of acclaimed musicians: Violinist GIL SHAHAM, pianist ORLI SHAHAM and St. Louis Symphony music director DAVID ROBERTSON will perform together on stage on Wednesday, March 19. Proceeds from ‘A Celebration of the Sound of Art’ will benefit the Radio Arts Foundation and its mission to support classical music programming, the arts and cultural institutions within the St. Louis community. Gala co-chairs are PEGGY RITTER and MARSHA RUSNACK. For more information and ticket and sponsorship packages, call Oather Kelly at 881-3523 or email

A new robotic Mars rover exhibit is coming to the SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER, thanks to an $815,000 grant from NASA. Bridging Earth and Mars (BEAM): Engineering Robots to Explore the Red Planet will open in the summer of 2015 at the Science Center, only one of 10 venues across the country to share $7.7 million in grants from a NASA program that funds informal STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning experiences. The exhibit will allow visitors to simulate what NASA engineers experience when they send instructions to a robotic rover more than 35,000,000 miles away on Mars. The Science Center’s unique layout will be utilized to represent the distance between Earth and Mars: Visitors will program a robotic rover in its main building, then cross the Skybridge to view the rovers at work in the James S. McDonnell Planetarium.

EPWORTH CHILDREN’S SERVICES has issued an urgent call for winter-weather items to help the children and families it serves. The organization is in need of hats, scarves, gloves, coats, backpacks, etc. Each year, Epworth serves more than 5,300 local children and their families by offering an emergency shelter, foster care, residential treatment and other programs designed to keep families together and prevent abuse and neglect. The organization is marking its 150th anniversary this year. To donate, contact 961-5718 or visit

VARIETY THE CHILDREN’S CHARITY has announced The Little Mermaid will be performed by Variety Children’s Theatre this fall. The company, which casts children of all abilities, as well as professional local actors, will be in its sixth annual season. The Little Mermaid will be presented Oct. 24-26 at The Touhill. Variety’s 2013 performances of Peter Pan sold out.

Congratulations to rescued dog TROOPER, who celebrated the holidays in his new home. Following weeks of interviewing numerous potential adoptive families, the HUMANE SOCIETY OF MISSOURI (HSMO) placed Trooper with ‘Greg W.,’ a St. Louis area man who recently lost his pitbull after years of companionship. Trooper’s new owner works from a home office and will be able to spend lots of quality time with him. Trooper, who received critical injuries following a dragging incident last year, will receive ongoing medical care from Humane Society veterinarians, with vet fees covered by HSMO.

Look for a different offering from restaurateurs FRANK and CARMELO GABRIELE at Ladue’s Colonial Marketplace in the coming weeks. The brothers’ fast-casual Italian eatery, Cini, is no more. But soon, they will debut Giovanni’s Kitchen in its place. The menu offerings at the new restaurant are being described as Tuscan-style and a small bar will be added. Look for an early spring opening.