A presidential honor…STEVE SCHANKMAN and THE FABULOUS MOTOWN REVUE performed at the Presidential Inauguration! Schankman’s orchestra performed alongside Missouri native SHERYL CROW at the MIDWESTERN BALL, one of 10 official Inaugural Balls hosted by the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

    Clayton H.S. alum (’98) SARAH WEINER was busy at the inauguration, too, organizing $500-a-plate fund-raising dinners in D.C. as part of the festivities. Working with food guru Alice Waters, Sarah enlisted VIP chefs like Daniel Boulud, Rick Bayless, Tom Colicchio, Lidia Bastianich, Joan Nathan and native son Danny Meyer to cook meals at host homes in the D.C. area as part of President Obama’s call for a day of service. Chefs donated their time and resources, and all proceeds went to Washington D.C. foodbanks. The dinners were held in private homes graciously offered for the occasion, including those of Bob Woodward and New York Times magnate Cathy Sulzberger. Among the dinner guests were Michael Chabon, Ruth Reichl, Calvin Trillin, Natalie Portman, Al Franken, Teri Gross and Jackson Browne.

    Love and marriage…Kudos to FRED and MARY KAY WISEHAN, president and VP, respectively, of MARI DE VILLA RETIREMENT COMMUNITY, who celebrated 26 years as partners in business (and marriage) recently.

    Congrats to CULTURAL LEADERSHIP, a local educational program that teaches high school students how to fight discrimination and advocate for social justice. The program recently received a $50,000 grant for 2009 from the W.K. KELLOGG FOUNDATION. This year, 32 students from 22 high schools will culminate their studies with a three-week long summer journey that takes them to sites of civil rights significance in New York, Washington, D.C., and throughout the South.

    Attention, shoppers! The CASH & CARRY BOUTIQUE WAREHOUSE SALE is back! On Jan. 31, 15 local boutiques will again pool their wares for one huge clearance sale to offer thousands of items marked down 50 to 90 percent.  The sale takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a vacant space next to Crate & Barrel at The Boulevard St. Louis. Shoppers wanting to sneak a peek at the goods can attend a preview night Jan. 30 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission on Friday night is $10, Saturday is free. Participating stores include Blush, Codi, Daisy Clover, Essential Elements, Jule, Laurie Solet, Mr. Guy, Vie, Susan Lynn’s, Wish and others.

    Did you know that LEFT BANK BOOKS has a new location? The beloved independent bookstore in the Central West End recently opened a second, larger location downtown at 321 N. 10th St., near City Grocers. Like its original location, the downtown store also will host readings and signings; including one with former President Jimmy Carter on Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. Tickets are required. For more info, call 367-6731.

    Shopping for a cause…Popular resale shops MY FRIEND’S WARDROBE and UPSCALE RESALE have become part of a nonprofit. Now, proceeds from sales at each store will benefit WILLOW’S WAY, an organization that works with the developmentally disabled.

    Jump! Legendary musical sensation THE POINTER SISTERS come to St. Louis Feb. 13 as part of American Liver Foundation’s second annual Boogie Ball. The concert takes place at Ameristar Casino. VIP tickets, which include a pre-show dinner, open bar, auction and the concert, are $200. For more information, visit liverfoundation.org.

    For the person who has everything…Stumped on the perfect Valentine’s gift? Consider adopting a Grevy’s zebra from the SAINT LOUIS ZOO. For $40, the Zoo will deliver a zebra adoption package to that special someone, complete with a plush zebra, a personalized adoption certificate, a color photo and a Valentine card. Proceeds from the adoptions go directly to the care and feeding of animals.

    Winning words…congrats to local writer W.E. ‘BILL’ MUELLER, who recently won top honors in The Writer magazine’s mystery short story contest. Mueller’s story, ‘Working The Crossword,’ is a private-eye mystery set in the 1940s. Chosen from more than 100 entries, the story earned Mueller a $1,000 first place prize. He is a veteran of the St. Louis advertising industry, where he founded Drone & Mueller and Associates.

    Sweet ride…Thanks to generous donations to THE KEMP FOUNDATION, THE KEMP AUTO MUSEUM has acquired five additional Mercedes-Benzs, three of which are rare or limited-edition models: a 1955 300Sc (one of only five built in 1955), a 1963 220SE Coupe and a 1965 220SE Cabriolet.