I met dynamo Bridget Kelly*, above, for coffee at Pi to learn more about the "Passport to the CWE," a fundraiser that benefits the Children's Education Alliance of Missouri, and supports local businesses too. Bridget, Community Outreach Coordinator of CEAM, is definitely the woman you want in charge of a project such as this. No stranger to the television camera (see "up close" below), Bridget has made several appearances on local stations promoting the "Passport to the CWE" wearing, in one appearance, clothing from Libby's on McPherson, and carting along other goodies from local businesses participating in the event. These included a salad from Pi, wine from The Vino Gallery, brass candlesticks from Shelton Davis, and sandwiches from Pickles. There is a link to Bridget's recent appearance on Show Me St. Louis on CEAM's website.
The Children's Education Alliance of Missouri chose the Central West End to launch its first "Passport" fundraiser because it loves the idea of bringing the neighborhood together over this worthy cause, and because their offices are at 4742a McPherson, it was pretty easy to enlist the support of surrounding businesses. CEAM is launching a program that provides financial assistance for children with special needs and parent-training programs for their families in St. Louis City and County. The Passport is only one part of a development campaign targeted to raise $122,500 to get the program through its first year. So far, they have raised $30,000 toward this goal. There are 133,000 children with special needs in the State of Missouri. In the St. Louis area alone 20% of the students have been diagnosed with a special need. Frequently parents don't know where to turn to get information as they seek better educational opportunities for their children. The Children's Education Alliance of Missouri hopes to offer 15 to 30 students scholarships to a school of the families' choice starting this September.
For $25 your "Passport to the CWE" will take you to Herbie's for a tasting of Petite Beef Wellington, Shrimp Dumpling, & Missouri Trout Pancake, $5 instead of $9; to Coffee Cartel for a free scoop of ice cream; Borough Vintage for 25% off a regularly-priced item; Lemon Spalon for $20 off a haircut; Wolfgang's Pet Store for $10 off grooming (my cat is "kitty non grata" after she terrorized a groomer here); Jennifer Walker Jewelry for a free stamped initial charm (Update: I just picked mine up and it is about the most adorable charm you have ever seen!); Duff's for a free dessert with purchase of lunch or dinner; to Halbert's Rug Company for 20% off; to Brewington Art & Design for 15% off all accessories, and so many more wonderful discounts including 10% off a night's stay at the Chase. You can purchase your passport online and pick it up at The Vino Gallery, or purchase it directly from Vino at 4701 McPherson starting tomorrow, March 31. This Saturday, Vino is offering a special 10-wine tasting in addition to their 10% off wine purchase special for Passport holders. The Passport is valid from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 10.
How nice to know that a donation of $25 will support a worthwhile charity based right here and promote neighborhood businesses at the same time. Everyone's a winner with this one—so what are you waiting for?
Children's Education Alliance of Missouri, 4742 A McPherson, (314) 654-4544.
*Up close and personal: As Bridget said, "If your readers think they may know one of the Kellys, they probably do." Our great-grandfather, Joseph P. Kelly, was the contractor who built the Missouri History Museum; her grandfather, also Joseph P. Kelly, placed the Missouri seal over the statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Museum (he went on to become a chef). There are 11 Kelly children. Bridget and her identical twin Margaret, who develops recipes for Bissinger's, are the youngest. Another sister, Colleen Starkloff, runs the Starkloff Disability Institute. Colleen and her late husband Max founded Paraquad, which was based in the CWE for many years.
Bridget and Margaret were hosts of "Food Talk w/ the Kelly Twins," formerly on KTRS, and "Twicebaked," formerly on CCIN and currently on Blue Highways TV. You can also check out the talented sisters' entertaining bloopers made while filming "Twicebaked" on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/kellytwins .