Hope Happens, Voices for Children, Shakespeare Fest

HOPE HAPPENS is an organization whose mission is to bring hope to patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, stroke, brain and spinal cord injury by financially supporting cutting-edge research in diseases that share common underlying causes. Championing HOPE HAPPENS is the Hope Center for Neurological Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine, established by the university in 2005. Its director is Dr. Mark Goldberg, who will be honored at the Sixth Annual Evening of Hope fundraiser that helps support this costly research.

On Thursday, May 6, HOPE HAPPENS will host the Evening of Hope at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The event will begin with cocktails, followed by dinner, a cabaret performance with Grammy Award winner Sylvia McNair and an after-performance dessert reception with her. McNair, whose career includes opera, oratorio, cabaret and musical theatre, has selected songs from the Great American Songbook, which she has probably performed in such distinguished venues in New York as the Plaza, the Carlyle Hotel, the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel and Feinstein’s. She has also been guest soloist with nearly all of the major American and European orchestras and opera houses. For more information or to purchase tickets for the Evening of Hope contact Sandy Kaplan, Director of Development, at 314-725-3888 or online at [email protected]


VOICES FOR CHILDREN has helped more than 3,500 children during the 11 years of its existence – boys and girls in foster care in the city of St. Louis who were scared and confused victims of abuse and neglect.

Here’s an idea of how it works: Children are accompanied on their journey through the foster care system by a highly trained and passionate team of advocates composed of a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer and a child advocacy attorney who help ensure that they have a good and positive experience in foster care. Voices advocates communicate with the children, help them to find the necessary resources and services to begin to heal, and help them navigate the court and child welfare systems to be certain that their best interests are being heard and met.

The Fifth Annual Voices For Children Benefit will be held Thursday, April 29 at Windows on Washington, 1601 Washington Avenue. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are to be served at a 6:30 p.m. reception followed by food, fun and festivities at 7:30. There will be a live auction of private dinners, dinners around town and St. Louis pports packages, but the pi èce de resistance is a raffle ticket for a week’s stay in an apartment in the Ile de la Cite, next to Notre Dame in the heart of Paris.

Only 100 raffle tickets will be sold at $100 a ticket. Tickets can be purchased by calling 314-552-2454. For tickets to the Voices For Children Benefit starting at $200 per person, call 314-552-2454 or email [email protected]

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born on April 23, 1564 and some 450 years later a group of artistic and far-sighted St. Louisans founded Shakespeare Festival St. Louis – that wonderful annual presentation of a Shakespeare play in Forest Park. So on April 23, we will celebrate both the Bard’s birthday and the 10th anniversary of the Shakespeare Festival at The Tempest Ball, to be held at the Palladium, the stunningly rehabbed building that was formerly a part of the City Hospital complex at Park Avenue and Park Place near Lafayette Square. I am told the venue lends itself to a one-of-a-kind experience and offers expansive views of downtown St. Louis.

The Tempest Ball starts at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner at 8 p.m., followed by an awards presentation and theatrical surprises throughout the night. There will also be an opportunity to meet new Executive Director Rick Dildine. Individual tickets for The Tempest Ball start at $200 and may be obtained by calling Marilyn Spirt at 314-531-9800 ext 102 or [email protected] If the colorful invitation is any indication of what the ball will be like, I have to assume that it will be truly beautiful.

MY FRIEND CHRISTINE EISNER of Atlanta has written an interesting small book called “Comfort Living- A Back-to-Basics Guide to a More Balanced Lifestyle.” “Just as comfort foods do more than satisfy hunger, I point the way to surroundings that support your priorities and feed your soul,” Christine told me. The attractive book is filled with lovely photographs and suggestions about emulating the environments, if you wish to do so. It is available at $19.95 through Lifestyle Design.