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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.

Intersection of Forest Park Parkway and Kingshighway is open

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

A stretch of Forest Park Parkway from DeBaliviere to Kingshighway reopened to traffic this afternoon following 9 months of construction. The construction included abandonment of the former underpass running beneath Kingshighway and the creation of a traditional at-grade intersection at Kingshighway and Forest Park Parkway, as well as improvements to Forest Park Avenue east to Euclid Avenue.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the occasion.

Mayor Lyda Krewson, above, commented that this was one of the easier tasks she’s had on her schedule for a while and was delighted to be there. Shown with Mayor Krewson are Rich Liekweg, President of BJC Healthcare, middle, and Paul Scheel, CEO, WU Physicians.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

From left, above, June Fowler, BJC senior vice president communications, marketing and public affairs, Rich Liekweg, Mayor Krewson, Rich Bradley, President of the Board of Public Service, and Paul Scheel.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn   “This project, a partnership among BJC HealthCare, Washington University School of Medicine and the City of St. Louis, modernizes a major city artery while creating a beautiful new front door to the Central West End and medical center from the west,” said June Fowler, (above), with Mayor Krewson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

The project was funded by BJC and Washington University School of Medicine. A federal grant paid for the replacement of the bridge over the MetroLink tracks. The mayor thanked Forest Park Forever’s Lesley Horvath (not photographed) for the organization’s cooperation and assistance during construction.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

The photo above shows 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn with 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro. In her opening remarks, Mayor Krewson credited Alderman Cohn with the idea of creating a bike tunnel under the new bridge, see photo below. Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

A view to the east.Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park Services  Rich Liekweg Rich Bradley President of Board of Public Service Paul Scheel Mayor Lyda Krewson Lesley Horvath June Fowler Forest Park Forever CEO WU Physicians BJC Campus Renewal Project 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn

Beautification of the intersection will continue with additional trees and shrubbery that will be planted over the next several weeks. Rich Liekwig  also mentioned that several dead trees will be replaced.

It will be interesting to see if traffic patterns change on Lindell Blvd. with the reopening of the parkway. One neighbor I spoke with this afternoon said the opening will make his life easier, in that he can now avoid Lindell Blvd. and its onerous 25 mph speed limit.

A tunnel runs through it

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

When construction is completed later this summer, there will be a handsome new pedestrian tunnel under the elevated Forest Park Parkway where it meets Kingshighway at a 4-way intersection.

Here is a progress report on completion from the BJC websiteForest Park Ave. lanes east of Kingshighway will open in July. Forest Park Parkway west of Kingshighway will open in August.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

The new tunnel will connect the beautiful and underutilized eastern edge of the park from Lindell south to Hwy 64/40. Presumably, this area will become more accessible and popular.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Forest Park  St. Louis Forest Park BJC Campus Renewal Project

The photo above shows a section of that bucolic area where a “desire path”* exists, most likely created by BJC/WU personnel heading to and from their cars parked in Forest Park.

*A desire path is a route traversed by humans or animals as more efficient way to get from Point A to Point B. Visit the 99percentinvisible website to see examples of desire paths around the world.