SAM FOX, the former U.S. ambassador to Belgium, is the recipient of one of that country’s highest honorific decorations, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown. The award was presented during a Washington reception in Fox’s honor by Belgian Ambassador Jan Matthysen. The Grand Cross was bestowed at the behest of KING ALBERT II in recognition of Fox’s meritorious service to the Belgian state when he was posted in Brussels from 2007 to 2009.

Congratulations to St. Louisan TERI GRIEGE, one of the first-ever recipients of the Sapphire Distinguished Service Award from the Colon Cancer Alliance. Griege, a multi-sport athlete, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer in 2009, but that didn’t stop her from training and becoming the only person to ever participate in the grueling Ford Ironman World Championship while undergoing bi-monthly chemotherapy treatment. The Alliance cited Griege’s “passionate message of prevention and screening” for saving her sister, whose cancer is in remission.

Busch Stadium VP of operations JOE ABERNATHY was featured recently during a White House event on sports and sustainability. The event, led by EPA administrator LISA JACKSON, celebrated industry successes in saving energy, reducing waste and adopting sustainable practices in professional sports venues across the country. Abernathy was honored for his efforts to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable stadium operations at Busch.

For the second year in a row, MOONRISE HOTEL has been named the Best Small Hotel in the Midwest by readers of AAA Midwest Traveler. The 125-room boutique hotel opened in 2009 in the heart of the Delmar Loop.

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY has received a $1.1 million gift to its Law School building project from the estate of JOHN PRUELLAGE, the former chair of its board of trustees. The donation will be used to transform the 100 N. Tucker Building downtown into a state-of-the-art educational facility. Pruellage, who passed away in May at age 71, was the longtime chairman of Lewis, Rice & Fingersh law firm.

Now on view at the SAINT LOUIS ZOO: a newborn colubus monkey. The yet-to-be-named black and white female was born at the Primate House on June 30. The baby monkey joins 13- month-old brother, Mosi, the first colubus to be born at the zoo in 11 years to parents Roberta and Kima. Colubus monkeys are found throughout central Africa.

Novelist JENNIE FIELDS, the author of the highly anticipated book on the life of American literary icon Edith Wharton, will be in St. Louis next month for a book-signing and discussion. The Age of Desire tells of the scandalous love affair that threatened Wharton’s closest friendship and weaves real letters and intimate diary entries throughout the book. Field’s appearance at St. Louis County Library headquarters is on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 7 p.m.

Check, please! Twenty of St. Louis city’s hottest dining establishments are joining forces for the eighth annual DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT WEEK, Aug. 20 to 26. Participating eateries include Cielo, Copia, Lucas Park Grille, Mike Shannon’s, Mosaic and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Each restaurant will be offering a special three-course dinner menu for a fixed price of $25 per person (plus tax and tip). Diners have the option of adding a $5 ‘extra helping’ donation to benefit Operation Food Search. Last year’s campaign drew more than 20,000 diners. For more information, including menu choices, visit