Scholarship fundraiser honors Mike Shannon; Cultural Leadership at six

Columnist Lois Caplan

BY LOIS CAPLAN

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN MIKE SHANNON played third base for the St. Louis Cardinals?  Probably not because some of you weren’t born yet. He retired from the team for health reasons in 1970 after a successful eight year stint with the Cards which included two World Series.  Shannon joined the Cardinals promotional staff in 1971, and a year later moved to the team’s radio booth where he was paired for almost three decades with the late Jack Buck doing color commentary.  Following Buck’s death he was named the team’s lead radio voice and we have been listening to him ever since.

A born, bred and educated St. Louisan, Mike Shannon is an integral part of our community. Lots of Mike’s fans tune in to his post-home Cardinal games broadcast from his popular downtown restaurant just a block north of Busch Stadium. He is a great communicator

Appropriately the Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis is honoring Shannon at their 2010 Media Person of the Year Scholarship Dinner and Program. The 40-plus years of his life in the media industry will be celebrated at a dinner on Wednesday, September 29 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency (formerly the Adam’s Mark) in the Arch Ballroom.  Reservations at $150 per person ($125 for Press Club members) or $1,500 for a table of 10 may be made by calling 636-230-1973 or online at [email protected] Checks can be made payable to The Press Club of Metropolitan St. Louis Charitable Fund, PO Box 410522, St. Louis, Mo., 63141.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Press Club’s journalism/communications scholarships, internships, and enterprise journalism fellowships.  I think that there is an affinity for Jews and journalism, as former presidents of the Press Club include the late Al Fleishman and David Lipman, our own Robert A. Cohn (twice) and Alice Handelman.  Richard Weiss is the current president.  Ellen Futterman, my own editor and one of the evening’s co-chairs, is taking the time from her busy life to promote the event, which will add significant bucks to the scholarship funds. Like most journalists, Ellen believes fervently in the best quality possible for the media, and that can be achieved by educating our young would-be writers and broadcasters and making sure quality stories are reported and published in local media outlets.

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In addition to helping to enhance the quality of journalism on September 29 you can expect an entertaining evening.  Emceed by Mike Claiborne of KTRS, the program will feature video and audio highlight’s from Mike’s career and toasts by some of his best friends and admirers, including Joe Buck, Tony LaRussa and Bob Costas.

CULTURAL LEADERSHIP was founded in 2004 by Karen Kalish to promote justice and equality in the St. Louis region. This unique organization is celebrating “The Faces Of Cultural Leadership: Six Years of Mutual Understanding” on Saturday, August 28 from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Soulard Preservation Hall, 1921 South Ninth Street. Cocktails and dinner (brisket and BBQ, yum, yum) will be followed by entertainment from poet Aaron Levy Samuels and the Gene Dobbs Bradford Jazz Trio.  Reservations at $125 per person may be made online at www.culturalleadership.org.

Each year Cultural Leadership educates and inspires a diverse group of high school students to recognize injustice, discrimination and inequality and gives them the tools to become social justice activists and, according to Karen, “troublemakers of the best kind.” During the yearlong program Cultural Leadership teaches teenagers to stand up, speak out and take action against injustice.  To be a part of the solution and to help our young people change the world, meet The Faces of Cultural Leadership at its fundraiser on August 28.

IT IS KINDERMUSIK SCHOLARSHIP time again and its Director, Jan Fishman, is especially concerned about children of parents who have lost their jobs. With the bad economy in mind, Jan tells me that Kindermusik Academy is offering scholarships to once-a-week music classes for babies and children up to six years old whose parent or parents have lost full time employment.  To apply for a scholarship call 314-434-9496 or on line at [email protected]

Kindermusik Academy has been providing music and movement programs for 16 years in Chesterfield, Des Peres and Richmond Heights. It is based on the belief that every child thrives and grows through musical endeavors, and that participating with a parent will enhance the bond between them. The curriculum (remember, this is for babies six months through kids of seven years) includes dance, singing, games, stories, imaginative play and percussion instrument play.  To register contact Miss Jan – that’s what the kids call her – at the numbers above.

DANCE ST.LOUIS is creating a new ad campaign for the 2010-2011 season that will feature ordinary St. Louisans dancing up a storm to showcase their love of dance. Dance St. Louis is holding auditions on Saturday, August 14 from 10 a.m. to noon at Centene Center for Arts and Education, 3547 Olive in Grand Center. The auditions are for people who will go all out to show how much they love to dance by doing their own creative dances in the campaign’s television commercials.  No experience is necessary – you don’t have to be Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers – and you may be any age, shape or type, just be able to dance for 30 seconds to music that will be provided by Dance St. Louis. There’s no pre-registration. Just show up.