This year’s Dancing with the St. Louis Stars, to take place Jan. 24 at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, will feature a cocktail hour, dinner and a short program before the main event: dance performances by Mark Trudeau, Benjamin Akande, Norma McGehee, Tishaura Jones and Tim Jacobs.
Senator Claire McCaskill recently selected Michelle Wright as this year’s Angels in Adoption award recipient. In addition to adopting both of her daughters internationally, Wright also advocates for all children who require special-education services and programs.
Just in time for the cooler weather, Jewish Family & Children’s Services recently concluded its annual Feed the Pantry—Feed the Soul fundraiser with a trip to Eckert’s Farms. The food drive collected more than $107,000, as well as barrels of non-perishable food and apples picked by participants at Eckert’s. The donations will benefit the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry.
When Covenant House Missouri hosted its first ‘Sleep Out’ three years ago, the executives and civic leaders who signed up for the fundraiser experienced for the first time what it’s like to be homeless—a reality faced by some 2,000 St. Louis youth every night. “I’ve been a social worker for more than 30 years now,” says Sue Wagener, executive director of the nonprofit that works to get homeless youth off the streets. “I’ve been in some really poor areas, and I’ve seen a lot. But I really was not ready when I slept out the first year. It’s dark and it’s 2 a.m., and there’s silence—you can only hear the night noises. It struck me that I didn’t realize the advantage of cardboard—my feet would drop off the cardboard and start freezing. Then, in the distance, I heard a gunshot.”
Parkway School District's fundraiser for American Heart Association
The 2014 Ladue News Show House at 34 Briarcliff will help give a voice to young patients across the region. Proceeds from the fourth annual home tour will benefit Autism Speaks and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. Here, learn more about the impact of these worthy organizations.
We Climb Because They Climbed—that’s the tagline for the recent Clayton 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, which invites participants to climb 110 flights of stairs (the same number as in the World Trade Center Buildings) to raise money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. This year’s climb raised more than $55,000, honoring the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. Firefighters and paramedics completed the trek in full gear, wearing a picture of a firefighter who died in the attack. Monarch firefighter Nick Smith was this year’s top individual fundraiser. Pictured: Monarch firefighters team
To kick off the Saint Louis Art Museum’s new exhibit, Atua: Sacred Gods from Polynesia, George Nuku led a ceremony in the museum’s East Wing to prepare the space for the sacred objects that will be on display. Atua are a concept embedded in ancient Polynesian culture, and these sacred artworks are believed to be deities and the spirits of ancestors.
Some people are blessed to work in a field they love for their entire lives, while others find that their calling changes as they advance in their professional life. And still there are those who find fulfillment in their hobbies, which can take center stage once the responsibilities of work have given way to retirement. We spoke with two women who found their calling only after many successful years in another profession.
When Annie Seal’s oldest daughter was in high school, she was diagnosed with an eating disorder. Although the teen wasn’t showing signs of extreme weight loss that are typically associated with such disorders, Seal had noticed unexplainable extreme mood swings. “For a long time, I thought my daughter was just a teenager,” Seal says. “She was just not herself. My sweet girl was gone, and in her place was someone I didn’t recognize who was emotional, moody and always unhappy. It was beyond the normal adolescent; but she was my oldest, so I thought maybe this is really how adolescents behave.”
A sluggish economy has hurt nonprofits since the recession—with cutbacks in government funding, a decrease in giving from both small and large donors, and increased demand, especially for nonprofits in the social services.
No matter the size of a donation, when someone gives money to charity, they have some level of confidence that it will be used for a specific purpose. And that expectation only grows with the size of the gift, particularly if there’s a donor agreement in place. The book, Abusing Donor Intent: The Robertson Family’s Epic Lawsuit Against Princeton University, was written by Doug White, director for the Master of Science in Fundraising Management program at Columbia University. In it, he digs into a high-profile case where the donors accused the university of misusing their charitable gift. We asked the author about the case, its implications, and steps donors should take before giving their hard-earned funds—no matter how noble the cause.
Last spring, life changed in an instant for the Duncan family of southern Illinois. At 23-weeks-pregnant, Jessica Duncan suffered injuries from a car collision that led to the need for an emergency C-section. Her son, Aiden, was born weighing just 1 pound, 3 ounces.
Friends of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis recently celebrated the Whitney M. Young Society at a fundraiser at the Top of the Met. The Society, which honors outstanding donors and volunteers, is named after the National Urban League president who served during the Civil Rights Movement. Todd Schnuck and Lou and Jackie Brock co-chaired the event. Pictured: Robert Griffin, Richard Miles, Michael McMillan, Todd Schnuck, Lou Brock, Vanessa Foster-Cooksey, Frankie Muse Freeman, Emily Pitt and Jacqueline Brock
Grown-ups can be kids again at St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s inaugural nontraditional gala, Play Date. Guests are invited to forgo the usual cocktail attire and don colorful, creative and comfortable wear for the interactive evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 22 at St. Louis Union Station. “It’s an adult night out inspired by kids,” explains Annie Geile, event chair and board member of Friends of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “It ties back to the whole goal of Children’s—which is to let kids be kids.”
Ten years ago, a nurse at Camp Pendleton gathered a small group of Marine spouses (she was one herself) to find ways to provide lifetime support to post-9/11 service members wounded during deployment. Their efforts led to the creation of the Semper Fi Fund, which has since raised more than $95 million to help more than 12,300 troops and their families.
Cody, a Miriam School graduate, is a hard-working kid who never gives up, says his mom, Molly S. Cody has dyslexia, she says, and while the school he attended for kindergarten through third grade tried to help him, the large classes and lack of understanding of learning disabilities were frustrating to him, as well as to his parents.
Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis
Giddy up, city slickers, and prepare to wet your whistle at the hoedown! For the second year in a row, the American Cancer Society is bringing its signature Cattle Baron’s Ball to St. Louis in an effort to raise support and awareness through a distinct and memorable evening—lassos not required.