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Don’t miss the Central West End Association’s Gala

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Forest Park  West End Word The McPherson St. Louis Shriner's Hospital for Children Russo's Ralph Butler Band Pickleball courts Paul and Amy Mittelstadt MO Mittelstadt Max Montgomery KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos Dwight Davis Tennis Center Central West End Association Gala Central West End Alexis Zotos

Lest you think I’m confusing topics here—the upcoming Central West End Association’s Gala—with news about recently-installed Pickleball courts at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center in Forest Park, let me explain.

Among the many silent auction items offered at the 2nd annual gala, Friday, December 1 at The McPherson, is a 2-hour Pickleball party for 16 at the Dwight Davis Tennis Center. The package includes sandwiches & chips, beverages (beer, etc.), and a Pickleball membership for one.Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Forest Park  West End Word The McPherson St. Louis Shriner's Hospital for Children Russo's Ralph Butler Band Pickleball courts Paul and Amy Mittelstadt MO Mittelstadt Max Montgomery KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos Dwight Davis Tennis Center Central West End Association Gala Central West End Alexis Zotos

 

For many months, the gala committee has been working tirelessly to make this event one you won’t want to miss.  The 2017 committee includes Chair Kate Walter, Kelly Waters, president of the CWEA, board members Sandy Lehrer and KMOV’s Alexis Zotos. Waters and Lehrer are in charge of sponsorships,  Zotos has recruited donors for the silent auction. In addition to the Pickleball package, there are offerings from the St Louis Cardinals, the Chase Park Plaza, and the Cheshire Inn. A boat cruise on Kentucky Lake is also on the auction block.

The gala committee, along with Executive Director Jess Batchelor, and Philip Boschert, manager of recently-opened event venue The McPherson, 4715 McPherson, have been hammering out details to make this the party of the year. Catered by Russo’s under the direction of Kathy Costello,  there will be plentiful food and drink options set up at stations including a martini bar, appetizer table, salads, carving selection and desserts. Music will be provided by a St. Louis-favorite, the Ralph Butler Band.

The CWEA is extremely grateful to Shriner’s Hospital for Children, the primary sponsor of the December 1st event. One of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation of the CWEA’s Renaissance* and Polk** Awards.  Shriner’s Max Montgomery will present the  Renaissance Award* to The Royal Vagabonds. Information about the contributions this fraternal organization, located at 4315 Westminster (Fullerton Place), has made to the St. Louis community can be found here.

The Gamlin brothers, Derek and Lucas of Gamlin Restaurant Group, will be presented with the Polk Award** by Dr. Eliza Dunn, a great niece of the late Julius Polk, for whom the award is named.

Other generous sponsors include Amy & Paul Mittelstadt and the West End Word, Scape American Bistro, and Innovative Construction & Roofing.

If you are new to the neighborhood, this party would be a great opportunity to meet other CWEnders.  And if you’ve been around for a while, visiting with friends and neighbors out of the normal setting—the gym, the sidewalk, or the grocery store—is much more festive, and proceeds assist the Central West End Association in continuing its work on behalf of the neighborhood.

Tickets, $100 for CWEA members, $120 for non-members, can be purchased online, or by phone (314) 884-1440. Members may purchase an unlimited number of tickets at the member price. Non-member tickets, $127, can also be purchased at Left Bank Books or Straub’s. $75 of the ticket price is tax-deductible.

*The Renaissance Award recognizes groups/corporations/associations that have made a huge positive economic impact or social impact on the survival or comeback of the CWE. The Renaissance Award was named initially to honor Leon Strauss, who was well known for his revitalization efforts throughout the City of St. Louis. He was largely chosen for the Award because of the miraculous transformation he orchestrated on Pershing Avenue and its adjoining streets between Union and DeBaliviere.

**The Polk Award recognizes the contributions of an individual who has consistently contributed leadership by example and contributions to the neighborhood. The Polk award was named in honor of Julius Polk who, over the course of his lifetime, was devoted to the betterment of the Central West End. In 1991, the board established this annual award to be given to an individual who over the course of many many years has emulated the values of Julius Polk in working to make the Central West End the preeminent neighborhood of the City of St. Louis.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Forest Park  West End Word The McPherson St. Louis Shriner's Hospital for Children Russo's Ralph Butler Band Pickleball courts Paul and Amy Mittelstadt MO Mittelstadt Max Montgomery KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos Dwight Davis Tennis Center Central West End Association Gala Central West End Alexis Zotos

Back to Pickleball: The game, which 2 or 4 people can play at a cost of $3 per person, is a cross between badminton, tennis, and ping pong, and has become the rage all across the country. Recently, 4 Pickleball courts were installed on the site of the exhibition courts at the tennis center in Forest Park.

Pickleball has become so popular in St. Louis that there is a Facebook page and a Google Calendar listing the location of Pickleball courts in the area, and times available. Here, for example, is the 11/27 listing for the Dwight Davis courts.

Hope to see you at the gala on December 1.

Many dogs, a cat, and 1 lizard

Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Many creatures great and small attended a blessing of the pets  at Trinity Church on Saturday, October 28. Whether pets need a blessing is debatable, but my hunch is that Pastor Jon Stratton (shown below with his young family) engages the community in whatever clever ways he can. Witness the well-attended blessing of the bicycles (look here) last summer.

The smallest creature to receive a blessing was also the most exotic, an Uromastyk lizard from Mali, above. The lizard also had the distinction of possessing the most fearsome tail—ouch!Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Father Jon Stratton with his wife Susie and their children, Alice and Frank.

Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Approximately 20 dogs were ushered onto the church pews where they seemed perfectly at home, above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles   Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

More pets with their owners in attendance at the morning service, above.

And last but not least among them, blessed be the lone feline tucked as far back in its carrier as it could get. No photographs please.Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Socializing and refreshments followed the service, above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide CWE Pets Events, Sightings  Trinity Episcopal Churchl St. Louis MO Father Jon Stratton Central West End Blessing of the Pets Blessing of the Bicycles

Trinity Church, 600 N. Euclid, (314) 361-4655.

2017 Halloween Adult Costume Contest: The winners

Other top 10 finalists were:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  St. Louis MO Halloween 2017 DJ Agile One Central West End Adult Costume Contest

The Borg Queen from Star Trek, who caused quite a stir when she appeared on stage.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  St. Louis MO Halloween 2017 DJ Agile One Central West End Adult Costume Contest

And The Mask, who was moving too fast to capture in a photograph.

There were so many imaginative costumes that it took the judges quite a while to finally choose the top three prize winners. Here they are:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  St. Louis MO Halloween 2017 DJ Agile One Central West End Adult Costume Contest   1st place and a $2500 prize: The Gotham Geezers

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  St. Louis MO Halloween 2017 DJ Agile One Central West End Adult Costume Contest

2nd place and $1000 prize: The Queen of Hearts

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings  St. Louis MO Halloween 2017 DJ Agile One Central West End Adult Costume Contest

3rd place and $500 prize:  Viola, The Good Fairy Witch. The witch, Rick Decker, is a florist who told emcee Jeremy Corray it took him 6 years to make his gorgeous costume.

4th through 10th place winners won $250 in CWE Bucks. (more…)