St. Louisan TIM BURKE is on a mission: Next month, he plans to complete a 146-mile ultramarathon in California’s Death Valley to raise money for a new school for SouthSide Early Childhood Center (SSECC). Burke, who describes himself as ‘an average runner,’ is the secretary of SSECC’s board of directors and works as a principal in the Insurance Marketing division of Edward Jones. He’s hoping to raise $140,000—or $1,000 for each of the 140 children the Center serves every year—through pledges. For more information, or to find out how you can help, visit

If you’re not ready to tackle Death Valley, here’s a closer, more doable run: FAIR SAINT LOUIS, in partnership with the St. Louis Sports Commission, is hosting two Independence Day runs on July 4. Both runs start and end at Soldiers Memorial, with the Freedom 4 Miler run beginning at 7 a.m., and the 1-mile Family Fun Run kicking off at 8:30 a.m. The fun part? Participants will run a segment of the Veiled Prophet Parade route! For registration information, visit

Foxy! It was quite a Mother’s Day weekend at the ENDANGERED WOLF CENTER: Three kits—one male and two females—were born to a breeding trio of swift foxes. The kits are the first litter born at the Center in a dozen years. Using a trail camera in the foxes’ enclosure, staffers recorded the firstever photos of swift fox breeding behavior—an important tool in understanding and protecting the critical species. The litter is now available for viewing. Visit for more information.

New York Times bestselling author EMILY GIFFIN will debut her latest book in St. Louis to help raise funds for HavenHouse. Giffin’s book, Where We Belong, tells the story of two very different women (one is a successful TV producer in New York; the other, a high school senior in St. Louis) who are brought together by a single secret. Giffin’s Aug. 3 appearance takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. at Saks Fifth Avenue. For a suggested donation of $15, guests will be treated to cocktails and appetizers, as well as a Q&A with the author. Saks also will donate 10 percent of sales that evening to HavenHouse.

The Consulate General of Finland in New York has inaugurated a new Honorary Consulate in St. Louis. PETER MACKEITH, associate dean and associate professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University, is the new honorary consul. Mackeith is a 1989 recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Finland, and has worked to deepen Finnish-U.S. cultural and educational relations. Mackeith, who was officially inaugurated June 22 by Finnish Consul General, Ambassador RITVA JOLKKONEN, is among 29 honorary consuls in the U.S.

Next week, St. Louisan and acclaimed suspense author RIDLEY PEARSON will appear for a book-signing and discussion of his latest thriller, The Risk Agent, at St. Louis County Library headquarters. His July 2 appearance begins at 7 p.m.

Congratulations to Whitfield School student SAM PEPOSE, the recent recipient of the prestigious Bausch + Lomb Math & Science Award from the University of Rochester. The award recognizes top math and science students across the country who have completed their junior year of high school. Sam is the son of DR. JAY PEPOSE of the Pepose Vision Institute and UMSL economics professor SUSAN FEIGENBAUM.