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Every year, LN salutes local nonprofits commemorating milestone anniversaries. Whether distributing and planting trees, providing a safe home for children in need or supporting those touched by cancer, these organizations continue to make a difference in St. Louis. To celebrate, we’ve shared a few of their histories and goals for the future.
My friend and colleague, Dr. Bob Bergamini, has given many talks and shared much information about safety in the cyber-world for kids and teens. So I asked Dr. Bob to share some thoughts about this important topic for this month’s column.
Jay Leno says that there are few things he loves more than a stupid criminal. Unfortunately, there also are smart criminals. Our parents and grandparents couldn’t even dream of the cons we are susceptible to in the age of connectedness.
Let’s refresh: A great elevator speech should:
MISSION: The goal is clear: The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) works to better the lives of young cancer patients and their families by providing immediate assistance. “We are not going to duplicate the services of other national nonprofits, which mostly deal with research,” says president and CEO Mark Stolze. “Our focus is to help children who need assistance now.”
The birth of a baby is one of the happiest days in parents’ lives. But if the child’s mother and father are not married, it can cloud the situation legally. In the case of married parents, the husband automatically is considered to be the father of a child born during the marriage. However, children of unmarried parents have no legal father unless paternity is established.
Nothing about the discussion of obesity is simple, according to Katie Thompson, a primary therapist with Castlewood Treatment Center for Eating Disorders. And the American Medical Association’s (AMA) recent decision to recognize obesity as a disease—not just a condition that causes disease—complicates matters even more.
The Outstanding/Older Women’s League (OWL) has announced its 23rd annual Woman of Worth honorees. This year’s list includes NANCI BOBROW, RONNIE BROCKMAN, RUBY CHRISTIAN, LAURA CANNON, DEBRA HOLLINGSWORTH, PHYLLIS LANGSDORF, SUSAN NALL, GWEN PACKNETT, CHERYL POLK, LINDA SHER and CAROL VOSS. The 2013 Lifetime Achievement awardees are HENRIETTA FREEDMAN and LENORE PEPPER. The honorees, who are being recognized for their longtime service to the community, will be celebrated during an Oct. 24 dinner at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac.
ROBERT BUTLER has joined Starkloff Disability Institute’s board of directors. Butler is executive VP at Smith McGehee Insurance Solutions in Clayton. Also, LORI BECKER has joined as director of development and communications.
On the day of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light the Night walk last year, the Giunta family was having a particularly difficult time. Luke, who had recently turned 10, was less than two months into treatment for lymphoma. It was a treatment day at the hospital, so he was feeling sick from the chemotherapy and didn’t feel up to the walk. “We had people coming in from all over the Midwest, so I told him, Just go and say hello, and I’ll take you home whenever you want to go,” says mom Becky Giunta. “But adrenaline is a marvelous thing! They had a break at the first mile, where everyone was thinking that might be enough—but he was saying, Let’s keep going! What it did that day was amazing—the transformation was pretty cool.”
Anyone can drive up in a truck and say they will fix your creaky stairs, leaky pipe or questionable electrical wiring. But hire the wrong handyman, and that new paint job in your family room might turn into more trouble—and a bigger mess—than you bargained for. We turned to local handymen Dave Dothage of Aspen Home Maintenance and Greg Filley of Kirkwood Handyman for recommendations on the best questions to ask before your job is started, to make sure it gets done right.
Assistance League of St. Louis has elected VICKI KEARNEY as its new president. Kearney previously served as VP of fund development for the organization, which donates school uniforms, care packages and other community services to the needy.
Elizabeth Broughton & Bryan Hartbeck
In addition to the physical and emotional toll, facing a cancer diagnosis can be financially overwhelming. That’s why the American Cancer Society's St. Louis office offers Hope Lodge, a 45-suite residence open to any cancer patient traveling to St. Louis for treatment. The free accommodations provide a respite for patients, who can take advantage of support from staff and volunteers, and interact with others also undergoing treatment.
For those with a need for speed, a sports car is the perfect solution for your compulsion. Offering looks, performance and fun, a sports car is a viable option for anyone who enjoys driving.
Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, Life is a journey, not a destination. But did he imagine life as a journey fraught with airport lines, flight delays and crowded conditions only to reach a destination where exotic disease and tainted foods can ruin even the most carefully planned trip?
Northwestern Mutual’s mission is quite a lofty goal: To make the communities they serve the most financially secure in the world. “Given our success here in St. Louis, we’re trying to serve the community from both a client perspective and a charitable perspective,” says Gerard Hempstead, managing partner at the company’s St. Louis network office. His office has a goal of giving at least $500,000 in monetary donations and 5,000 hours of community service before 2015. “It’s actually stated in our vision and we track it,” he says.
Dr. Steven Couch is opening up a whole new world to patients. The Washington University oculofacial plastic surgeon at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital performs upper and lower eyelid surgeries, correcting droopiness to expand patients’ field of vision and improve the appearance of the eyes.
Retasha Smith arrived at The Haven of Grace’s doorstep alone, pregnant and confused. But the organization quickly came to her rescue. A dependable support system and resources to become independent led her to a productive family life.
On Saturday morning, June 15, Susie Knopf will join tens of thousands of friends, family, survivors and community members in downtown St. Louis for the 15th annual Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. A long-term breast cancer survivor, Knopf will be walking in a sea of pink to raise funds and bring attention to the quest to cure breast cancer, the No. 2 killer of women after heart disease. “We are all one for those few hours and each shares a passion to end this dreaded disease,” she says. “Although we have come a long way, breast cancer is still a killer and 40,000 people in the U.S. will die of the disease this year.”
Communication is one of the very first skills we learn in order to navigate the world. As infants, we are quick to begin communicating our needs and respond to those around us. However, babies who are born with hearing disorders and children who lose their sense of hearing face a very different communication landscape—one that now involves technology and strategies to help them to communicate with the wider world.
When Annie Seal’s daughter was 15, she was diagnosed with an eating disorder. After intensive, comprehensive treatment, she has fully recovered, and is now a junior in college. But there is not always a happy ending for those with this complex illness. For 20 percent of them, it’s a fatal disease, Seal says.
The Gatesworth is getting ready to break out the silver, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this fall. That kind of longevity doesn’t come easily, and it has been earned with a commitment to providing the highest possible level of service, says director of operations Bob Leonard. “We do quality, not quantity,” he says. “We’re not trying to run 30 senior living facilities—we have one at each level of care. We decided to do one thing, and do it right.”
The next time you think you’re too smart to be scammed out of money, consider the Ladue businessman who recently lost $3 million in a Jamaican lottery scam.
As the executive director of Nurses for Newborns, Melinda Ohlemiller sees the struggles families face first-hand. “The families that we serve are in need in ways many of us could not imagine,” she says, recalling a recent home visit where a 4-year-old sibling sat on her lap and asked if she had a pencil. “She was so grateful; she had nothing to write with. We take a pencil for granted, and we take diapers for granted.” But despite the lack of basic necessities, “we also see incredible resiliency,” Ohlemiller notes. “Some of these families are beaten down, but they stand up, pick themselves up and move on. We want to be part of the solution. That’s our mission, to support them.”