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.
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, $125 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 can also be purchased at Left Bank Books or Straub’s with a $2 surcharge. $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.
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.