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Winter 2019 - 2020

Christmas Traditions


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St. Charles County Municipality Mayors Dan Borgmeyer, Saint Charles 636-949-3268 dan@danborgmeyerformayor.com dan.borgmeyer@stcharlescitymo.gov Len Pagano, Saint Peters 636-278-2244, ext. 1233 LPagano@stpetersmo.net Bill Hennessy, O’Fallon 636-379-5500 bhennessy@ofallon.mo.us Nick Guccione, Wentzville Nick.Guccione@wentzvillemo.org 636-639-0354 Kathy Schweikert, Lake St. Louis 636-561-4366 kathyschweikert@yahoo.com

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Jim Hennessey, Cottleville 636-498-6565 Ext. 100 jim.hennessey@cityofcottleville.com Donald D. Licklider, Weldon spring 636-441-2110 ext. 101 dlicklider@weldonspring.org

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5th Street Pub 5205 5th Street, Cottleville, MO 63304 636-928-5455 focusOn Magazine | 3


TABLE OF CONTENTS Volume 4 - Issue 4 Winter 2019 FocusOn Magazine 5377 State Hwy N Cottleville, Missouri 63304

www.FocusOnMagazine.ONLINE 636-566-0004 contact@FocusOnMag.com Advertising Information Patty@FocusOnMag.com © 2017 OpenBeast, LLC

Distribution Cottleville • O’Fallon Lake St. Louis • Dardenne Prairie Weldon Spring • Wentzville St. Peters • St. Charles New Town

St. Charles County Municipality Mayors.....................page 3 Advertiser Directory..................................................page 4 Publisher’s Note | Meet the Team.............................page 5 Up Coming Events....................................................page 6 Time Traveler - Christmas Traditions..........................page 12 Family Christmas Traditions.....................................page 14 New Year Traditions................................................page15 Tapped - 12 Beers of Christmas...............................page 16 The Sory Behind the Sond “Sane Auld Lang Syne”.....page 18 The Kaspar Project - Cyber Bullying..........................page 22 Stand Out in a Crowd............................................page 25 LBB Brrrr Bash 2019...............................................page 26 First Responder - Capt. Brian Gettemeier...................page 32 Medical Corner with Doug Bouldin..........................page 36 Stop Starting Over on Your Weight Loss........................page 40 TOP BITES with Kelly Gardner.................................page 42 Chasing the Dragon - Trama....................................page 44 New Business Listing..............................................page 49 Movie Review - The Joker (2019).............................page 50

Advertiser Directory

1798 BBQ................................. page 43 Alzheimer’s Association............... page 51 AmFam Insurance....................... page 31 Ample Storage........................... page 24 Angie Harness Realty.................. page 46 Bemo’s ...................................... page 52 Cat’s Garden.............................. page 48 Cookies and Cream.................... page 43 Crown Luxury Resale................... page 28 Eagle Exteriors............................ page 24 Farmer’s Insurance........................ page 9 Get Connected........................... page 49 GLO Beauty & Tan........................ page 9 Hairy Elephant.............................. page 3 J. Confections............................. page 43 Jo’s 5th Street Pub......................... page 3 Judy Bateman - Realty.................. page 21 KFAV Hot Country....................... page 34 Kristy Flood Reakty...................... page 39 Lavander, Lace & Bling.................. page 9 LBB - Who We Are...................... page 25 4 | focusOn Magazine

Lily & Day.................................. page 30 Lime Light Events......................... page 29 Main Street Diner........................ page 39 Mud Jacking................................. page 3 Mushroom Group, The................. page 30 Navagation Counseling Services....... page 46 Photography by DeClue............... page 34 Piazza Messina.......................... page 22 Plank Road Pizza........................ page 43 Print Shop, The........................... page 11 Quick Hit Fitness Lab..................... page 2 Rock & Roll Bingo....................... page 24 Screens Onsite............................ page 48 Sherry Ruyle - Realty.................... page 30 Show Me Care Bags................... page 28 Spectrum Glass........................... page 21 State Farm Insurance..................... page 9 Tap House.................................. page 39 Turtle Creek Pub & Grill .............. page 10 USA Mortgage........................... page 30 White Hare, The......................... page 30 ZyKan eXteriors.......................... page 38


Let me start with a huge thanks to our sponsors and participants at our community showcase event, “Last Call Street Party”. Funds raised were donated to Alzheimer’s Association and Cottleville Firefighters Outreach. We are super excited about this winter edition. Yes, it’s the holiday season; then again it’s our anniversary term too. That’s closely why Top Bites (page 42) by Kelly Gardner is “St. Louis Road Trip”! Christmas Traditions by Dorris sets the tone for the season (page 12). Yet my favorite is “Sometimes Christmas Just Had to Happen on Another Day” (page 32). As many of you are aware, we are involved with the Kaspar Project, and for details check out page 22, “Together we can make a difference”. As always we have more exciting content and celebration. Many thanks for your continued support for FocusOn Magazine if you are joining us again - and if this is your first time to pick up our issue, cheers and welcome. Your feedback and ideas are our heartbeat. FocusOn team wishes our readers a merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Stephen Thompson, Ph.D. Publisher/Owner

shopping | dining | entertainment | news

Steve Naugher

Print Coordinator/Owner

Katy Kruze

Music & Special Events

Jeff Bateman FocusOnTV

Kelly Gardner Top Bites

Doug Bouldin Medical Corner

Debbie DeClue Photographer

Darlene Fischer Chasing the Dragon

Skip Stephens First Responder

Dorris Keeven-Franke Historian

Pat Callihan Sports Zone

Patty Taylor

Director of Ad Sales

Kaylee Adams Social Media

focusOn Magazine | 5


O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake Saint Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow DECEMBER Nov. 29th - Dec 24th St. Charles Christmas Traditions Main Street, St. Charles Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays Welcome to a place where Christmas past and present become one, where storybook characters come to life before your very eyes, and where the typical hustle and bustle of the holiday season melts away, allowing you to enjoy the yuletide sights, sounds, and magic of yesteryear. This annual month long festival celebrates the best of the holiday season. From the boisterous cheer of our legendary Christmas figures and joyful singing of our harmonious carolers, to the unique shopping and dining opportunities found along the beautifully decorated brick lined streets, Christmas Traditions offers something special for everyone. And with over 40 years of your favorite holiday tradition, there has never been more to experience!

Nov. 29th - Dec 29th Holiday Night Lights

Rotary Park 968 Meyer Road, Wentzville The annual Wentzville Holiday Night Lights display at Rotary Park opens on Friday, Nov. 29, for the holiday season. Enjoy a one-mile light display that features large illuminated

10 6 | focusOn Magazine

commercial scenes and tunnels of twinkling lights. This holiday display is a great way to experience the magic and joy of a winter wonderland close to home. The drive-thru light display is open Thursday through Sunday Nov. 29th – Dec. 8th. The light display will open nightly Dec. 12th–28th. Closed on Christmas Day. Drive-thru admission is $8 for vehicles holding up to six passengers; $1 per additonal person after the sixth.

Nov. 29th - Dec 30th Celebration of Lights Fort Zumwalt State Park

A holiday light display held at Fort Zumwalt Park. Each scene is designed and funded by local organizations, churches, and businesses. Started in 1991, the event attracts more than 12,000 vehicles each year and more than 10,000 individuals during the Old-Fashioned Holiday Stroll.

6th and 13th 37th Annual Candlelight Walk Augusta 5:00 pm - 10:0 pm

Over 1,000 Luminaries greet visitors as Santa Claus awaits at the Edelweiss Guest House and horse-drawn carriage trot around the town square. Warm yourself by the bon-fire or shop the night away.

6th, 7th and 8th Journey to Bethlehem

Harvester Christian Church2950 Kings Xing, St. Charles Fri: 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Sat & Sun: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Journey To Bethlehem is a FREE event for the entire family. It is a live, outdoor telling of the Christmas story complete with the sights and sounds of the first century. You’ll be immersed in the story and celebrate the birth of Jesus as you encounter shepherds, angels, Roman soldiers, and Magi on your way to Bethlehem. Finish the night with complimentary hot cocoa and cookies!

7th Santa at The Station

Central County Fire & Rescue 511 Willott Road, St. Peters 10:00 am - 2:00 om Everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for our Gifts For Kids toy drive.

Francis Howell Marching Band Craft and Book Fair

Franics Howell Middle School 825 O’Fallon Road 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Over 100 booths offering a wide variety of items includ ing jewelry, accessories, housewares, cosmetics, hol iday items, food, and more. Free parking and admission. Kids can meet Santa & Mrs. Claus for a free photo, crafts and cookies

12th Dinner with Santa and His Elves Mellow Mushroom 4716 Mid Rivers Mall Drive Cottleville 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Santa and his elves will travel all the way from the North Pole to visit the Mellow Mushroom! Come enjoy a delicious dinner and be greeted by Santa during your dinner. Bring a new, unwrapped, unopened toy and get your photo taken with Santa! Toys donated to Toys for Tots.

13th Christmas Candlelight Walks Historic Daniel Boone Home 1868 Hwy F, Defiance 6:00 pm - 10:30 pm Step back in time to witness Christmas traditions of the past. The candlelit village comes alive as guests experience the practices of different cultures and how the holiday was celebrated on the frontier in the early 1800s. Visit with Daniel Boone himself as he reminisces of winters past. Enjoy hot apple cider, listen to traditional carols, and hear holiday tales both familiar and new as you make your way through the historic park, with thousands of candles. Tickets are limited and registration is highly recommended. For more information, call 636-798-2005.


O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow 13th Tree Trimming at the Police Department

St. Peters Justice Center 1020 Grand Teton Drive 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Make your own ornaments, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies, and help the St. Peters Police Department trim their tree. This event is FREE. Recommended for ages 3-12. No reservations needed.

13th and 14th Winter Wonderland on Ice St. Peters Rec-Plex 5200 Mexico Rd, St. Peters 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Celebrate the holidays as the Rec-Plex North Rink comes to life and turns into an enchant ed Winter Wonderland on Ice. The best Rec-Plex solo skaters and synchronized skating teams will dazzle audiences with the beauty and skill of their original programs. Beloved holiday characters join in the festivi ties to make this a delightful event for the whole family. Rec-Plex passholders--$8.50/ adults, $6.50/child (12 and under) and $6.50/seniors (55 and up) General Public--$9.50/adult, $7.50/child and $7.50/ seniors

14th Pet Photos with The Grinch The Yuppy Puppy Pet Spa 2301 Technology Dr., Ste 101 Winghaven 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Come get your pet’s photo taken with the Grinch! The cost is $5 for a 4x6 photo. All money raised will support our rescue.

BrrrBASH 2019 to benefit Toys for Tots

Hosted by Little Black Book Women in Business Foundry Art Centre 520 N Main Cntr, St. Charles 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm Celebrate the collaborative effort of the community as we gather to hand our collected toys over to the US Marines. The contribution from the BrrrBASH accounts for 20% of the total distribution the US Marines handle in 13 counties in the Greater St. Louis area. The money raised will benefit the 2019 LBB charity of choice, We Love St. Charles. Tickets $100 www.BrrrBASH.com • Open bar courtesy of Friendship Brewing Company • Boneless short rib dinner, courtesy of Sugarfire • Live music by Boogie Chyld • Raffle baskets • Photo booth • Pictures with U.S. Marines and a surprise or two!

Breakfast with Santa The Meadows at Lake St. Louis, Ste 404, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm $5 (ages 2-10) $7 (ages 11- up) 2 and under are FREE You will get: • Pancakes & sausage with orange juice and milk • FREE PHOTO with Santa! Bring your own camera - No printers on site • Crafts for kiddos • AND More! We will also have baked goods straight out of Mrs. Claus' kitchen for sale!

St. Charles West High School Craft Fair

3601 Droste Rd, St. Charles 9:00 am - 3:00 pm Over 198 vendors booked! There will also be a cookie booth with homemade Christmas cookies!

Pizza with Santa

Krekel Civic Center 305 Civic Park Dr., O’Fallon 11:45 am - 1:15 pm Santa needs a break from cookies and milk. Join us for, games, crafts, pizza and beverages for all registrants. Parents and grandparents, please be sure to register as well if you’d like to eat with your child, and don’t forget to bring your camera for that special shot with Santa. Register by December 6.

Santa and Live Reindeer “Jingles” Country Club Express Car Wash 1744 Wentzville Parkway 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Santa and his reindeer are coming to town and stopping by Country Club Carwash! Come join us for fun, Christmas characters, and treats for the kids.

Lunch with Santa

Syberg’s - St. Peters 5856 Suemandy Drive 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Take your picture with Santa when you get here and your picture will be ready to take home when you’re done with lunch! Kids will receive a stocking and there will be art & crafts.

Adopt-A-Family

St. Charles Community College 4601 Mid Rivers Mall Drive 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Remember the excitement and anticipation you felt as a child when writing your Christmas list? You can feel that excitement and anticipation once again while helping at the 2019 Adopt-A-Family program by helping fill the Christmas wish lists of over 500 needy families. For more information, call 636-441-1302 ext 300, email dtobin@jacares.org, or message us on Facebook. Volunteers do not need to signup prior to the event.

15th Breakfast with Santa at Gettemeiers Breakfast 8:00 am -1:00 pm Lunch menu at 11:00 am • Santa: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm • Hot cocoa bar for the kids • Bloody Mary bar for the adults • Kids crafts and coloring • Kids are encouraged to wear Christmas jammies

18th Ornament Decoration Toys For Tots Mellow Mushroom, Cottleville 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Bring a new, unwrapped toy and join us in supporting this great cause. With each toy or $5 donation, you will be given an ornament and supplies to decorate your own ornament for the holiday season!

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O’Fallon: Green Cottleville: Red Lake St. Louis: Pink St. Peters: Blue Dardenne Prairie: Orange St. Charles: Purple Wentzville: Aqua Augusta: Yellow 19th Meet a Jedi and The Dark One!

31st New Year’s Eve Party at Piazza Messina

New Year’s Eve at Chandler Hill

Mid Rivers Mall - Center Court

Cottleville

Chandler Hill Vineyards Defiance

5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

7:00 pm - 12:30 am

7:30 pm - 12:30 am

Enjoy activities including caricatures, a balloon artist, activities from the St. Charles City County Library, and more!

Join us for Russo's NY Escape at Piazza Messina featuring live music by The Great Escape, Food & Desserts Stations and Premium Full Open Bar.

We’re pulling out all the stops for our New Year’s Eve celebration with sparkling wine, live music, plentiful eats, fireworks and more. Ring in the New Year at Chandler Hill and enjoy the following all night long.

21st and 22nd Meet Santa’s Reindeer

$85 / person

St. Charles Main Street 3:00 pm You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen - now get the chance to meet some of their antlered brethren up close. They won't be playing reindeer games, but you won't want to miss the chance to visit with and have your photo taken with these beautiful animals. This event is free and in conjunction with St. Charles Christmas Traditions.

21st Dessert with the Snow Sisters (from Frozen) NOT Jaded Boutique and Tea Room 2 West Main St., Wentzville 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The Quarry Wine Garden New Year’s Eve Party 3960 Hwy Z, New Melle New Year's Eve dinner menu served 5:00 - 9:00 pm. Complimentary champagne at midnight, party favors and more! Live music by The Coyote Band 8:00 pm - 12:15 am. Reservations required.

New Year’s Eve at The Christy 9000 Veterans Mem Parkway O’Fallon • • • • •

Open bar with bottled beer Fabulous buffet dinner D.J. Party favors Champagne at midnight

As we know, the Snow Sisters $50.00 a person. share a love for chocolate. Each guest will receive a chocReservations Required. olate covered strawberry, a (636) 240-7772 chocolate cupcake, a white email at ron@thechristy.com chocolate dipped marshmallow, and chocolate ice cream, paired New Year’s Eve at with Olaf's summertime lemonTurtle Creek Pub &Grill ade. Reservations required. 128 Triad Center West $32 for 2 guests. O’Fallon For reservations, call 636-751-0079. 8:00 pm - 1:30 am

Martina McBride: The Joy of Christmas 2019 Lindenwood University J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm For tickets, (636) 949-4433 scheidegger@lindenwood.edu

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This night of fun begins with a salad & appetizer spread. Music from DJ Dave "Beast" Fuchs, and Comedian Richard Cason. $50 per person in advance or $60 after Decemer 29th.

$195 per couple (event only) $335 per couple (event, shuttle & hotel) • Hotel accommodation at Hyatt Place Chesterfield plus shuttle to and from hotel. For reservations call Megan at 636-798-CORK (2675).

New Year’s Eve Lock-In

JANUARY 4th Eagle Ice Festival 2020 The Audubon Center at Riverlands, West Alton 10:00 am - 2:00 pm Enjoy fun learning activities about eagles and nature, complete the “Eagle Loop Trail”, view eagles and Trumpeter Swans with the center's viewing scopes, and take a shuttle ride to look for eagles. Shuttle tours are $5 per person. Warm up and roast s'mores by the fire pits for a sweet ending to a fun day!

11th January Thaw Craft and Vendor Event

St. Peters Rec-Plex

4341 Veterans Mem Parkway St. Peters

7:00 pm - 7:00 am

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Minimum age: 8 years Maximum age: 13 years

The holidays are over, but we are still here to share our treasures on a cold winters evening! Think SPRING and shop our vendors and creative crafters! Admission is FREE.

Who says New Year's Eve is only for adults? Under adult supervision, children can have the time of their lives swimming, ice skating, and participating in other activities. Participants can purchase items from the food court during the evening. Each child must be registered in advance. On December 31, late registrations will be taken until 4:00 pm, if space is available, and will be subject to a late charge of $15.00. NO REGISTRATIONS WILL BE TAKEN AT THE DOOR.

FEBRUARY 22nd The 7th Annual Princess Dance Old Hickory Golf Club St. Peters 5:00 pm - 7:30 pm Dads and daughters will experience an enchanting evening with knights, princesses, hors d'oeuvres, cupcakes, other surprises and memories together that will last a lifetime. This evening will also give Dad an opportunity to point his earthly princess to their heavenly King through a promise ceremony. Dress is royal attire. Proceeds benefit The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home. $115/daddy-daughter couple + $15 per additional daughter


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*customer supplied artwork 50% down when order is placed focusOn Magazine | 11


Christmas Traditions By: Dorris Keeven-Franke

Though St. Charles County was first settled by French-Canadian fur traders while we were a Spanish Territory, it was the German emigrants that made their impact when it came to celebrating Christmas. When Gottfried Duden’s book “A Report on a Journey” shared the lives of our early settlers the Boone, Cottle and Zumwalt families in Germany in 1829, over 40,000 Germans immigrated to Missouri in the following decade. From the Old World came the customs such as the Christmas tree, Advent calendars and stockings to be hung, carefully unpacked, to be treasured and continued here in America. Today over 46 Million Americans consider German to be their ethnic heritage yet may not realize the age-old traditions originally brought here by their ancestors. Advent The religious time of Advent has customs celebrated by a wreath and with a Calendar. The Advent calendar or Adventskalender is a German invention that was originally designed to involve children in the festivities leading up to Christmas. The calendars are usually made of cardboard and have 24 small windows or flaps, one of which is opened on each day leading up to Christmas. Behind each window is a Christmas scene or motif. Nowadays, calendars may contain chocolate or candy behind each window, and sometimes even small toys. The first hand-crafted Advent calendars were produced in the mid-19th century; the first printed calendar appeared in Munich in 1903. Eventually the custom was exported all over the world. The Advent wreath or Adventskranz is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The first Advent wreath, which appeared in the mid-19th century, had 4 larger candles and 19 smaller ones. The tradition of a ring of light existed among the Germanic tribes many centuries before the religious celebration of Advent. St. Nick St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th in Germany. On the evening before the 6th, children place their newly cleaned shoes in front of the door in the hope that Nicholas might fill them with nuts, fruits, chocolate, and sweets. If the children have behaved well, their wishes will be fulfilled. Later the custom became stockings hung by the mantle instead. Children who have caused mischief will receive only a switch, which, which symbolizes punishment for their bad 12 | focusOn Magazine


deeds. The real St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century and was the bishop of a region located in present-day Turkey. Through stories and legends associated with him, he became known as the protector of children and the anonymous bestower of gifts upon them. Over the centuries, the life and deeds of St. Nicholas were celebrated on the saint’s appointed day, the 6th of December. By the Middle Ages, the observance had already become a celebration of children and a day on which they received gifts. It was the German Martin Luther who sought to sever the connection between the saint and the gift-giving celebration for children, because in his Reformation theology, there was no place for the glorification of saints. Rather than abolishing the custom outright, Luther replaced the persona of Nicholas with that of the Christ child; in his Protestant teachings, not Nicholas but rather now the baby Jesus was attributed with bringing the children gifts, and not on the saint’s day but rather at Christmas. Today in many regions of Germany, not Saint Nick or Santa Claus, but rather the Christ child, Christkindl leaves Christmas gifts for children on December 24th. The Christmas Tree Perhaps the most widely adopted German custom of all is the Christmas Tree or the Tannenbaum. Some say the custom arrived on America’s shores with the Hessian soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Another legend is associated with Karl Follen, whose younger brother Paul Follenius later settled in Dutzow. Born in 1796, Karl Follen grew up in Hesse-Darmstadt, one of the scores of principalities that made up the Germany of that day. It was there that, as a boy, he experienced each year the magic of the brilliantly-lit Christmas tree. In 1813 Follen began law studies at Giessen University, but soon interrupted his studies to enlist with his older brother in the Hessian volunteers fighting Napoleon. He was caught up in revolutionary activities, and fearing for his life, he fled from Giessen to Jena, then to Switzerland, and finally to Paris. There he met the Marquis de Lafayette, who urged him to go to America. So in 1824, at age twenty-eight, Follen began his career in America. During his first year he taught German and gymnastics at the Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts. 1830 was a banner year for Follen, as he became a U.S. citizen, and was appointed to a full-time chair in German language and literature at Harvard, and their first child was born: Charles Christopher Follen. They called him ”little Charley.” Follen wanted his son to experience the same magic of the lighted Christmas tree that had enchanted him as a boy in Germany. When Charley turned five, the Follens set up a tree in their home and invited little Charley’s friends and their families to a party, at which the unveiling of the tree would be a special surprise—doubly so, because up to this time Christmas trees were unheard of in Puritan New England. They also invited a distinguished guest for this occasion, Harriet Martineau, a widely-read British author who was traveling in America. She was in on the surprise, and came early to help with the preparations. She also took careful note of the event as it unfolded in the Follen household that evening, and subsequently published her account. “I was present,” she wrote, “at the introduction into the new country of the spectacle of the German Christmas tree.” Round out your holiday with music such as Silent Night or Stille Nacht, some hand-blown glass ornaments, and delicious cookies such as Springerle or Lebkuchen, and you have a traditional German Christmas just as our ancestors would have celebrated. Traditions and family customs enhance our childhood memories, and bring the true story to life as we celebrate the holidays. May your family be blessed with peace, love and happiness this Christmas.

focusOn Magazine | 13


We have always had stockings first thing Christmas day and don’t start unwrapping presents until we have all had breakfast and gotten dressed and ready for the day. Still do Christmas stockings for my kids now that they are grown. I just change the kind of things Santa puts in them. My mother always hung all our stockings on a big wooden drying rack and when all of my siblings and I would get up very early and that rack would be full to overflowing. It was so exciting and we entertained ourselves with that until my parents got up. I have followed those same traditions with my kids. Though I put my kids stockings in front of our fireplace, but I only have 3 kids instead of 6 like my mother did. Many Christmas eves my mother would be just going to bed an hour or so before we all started waking up and I did the same with my kids. - Barbara Reeves My Christmas traditions are with my momma. Since I can remember me and mom would always get up at the crack of dawn, eat breakfast, most of the time cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk, wear matching PJs, unwrap gifts from one another and hang together all morning before interacting with the other parts of family. It seems so simple as to why that’s so major. 10 years ago my mom got dignosed with Parkinson’s. She now lives in a nursing home and I make it a point to keep that tradition alive and go to her every Christmas morning. I play Christmas music in her room, bring breakfast, open gifts and typically do a project or activity. It’s one of my moms favorite things. I will always keep this going. To see her smile and share that joy warms my heart. Our bond is very special as it’s always been me and her. She went from taking care of me, to me taking care of her and providing the best life for her. Above are a few pictures. Smiles come few and far between as Parkinson’s takes emotion away from you. I enjoy this time so much. - Miranda Malone

Each year our family picks a fun theme for our Christmas tree. I love making homemade ornaments with the kids to fit our theme. Some we’ve done are rustic, peacocks, super heros, and Disney. Disney was my favorite because we gave them Disney World tickets inside suitcases. I’ll never forget it! This year our theme is “Coastal Christmas” and will have sea glass, shells, and a starfish tree topper! - Megan Dyer

Every Christmas Eve my children and I bake cookies for our local police station. We always drop them off on our way home from our Christmas Eve celebrations to bring a little cheer to any police officers who have to work overnight on Christmas Eve. I do not have any pictures but we have done it for almost 10 years! My family is bicultural and includes the tradition of the 3 Kings Day as well. On January 6th, children leave out a pair of shoes to help the 3 Kings (or 3 Wise Men) as they travel on their journeys. They also leave out grass and water for the camels. The 3 Kings then leave a gift for each giver. :) - Eliza Rivas 14 | focusOn Magazine


New Year’s Traditions

Source: History.com In many countries, New Year’s celebrations begin on the evening of December 31st - New Year’s Eve - and continue into the early hours of January 1st.

Revelers often enjoy meals and snacks thought to bestow good luck for the coming year. In Spain and several other Spanish-speaking countries, people bolt down a dozen grapes-symbolizing their hopes for the months aheadright before midnight. In many parts of the world, traditional New Year’s dishes feature legumes, which are thought to resemble coins and herald future financial success; examples include lentils in Italy and black-eyed peas in the southern United States. Because pigs represent progress and prosperity in some cultures, pork appears on the New Year’s Eve table in Cuba, Austria, Hungary, Portugal and other countries. Ring-shaped cakes and pastries, a sign that the year has come full circle, round out the feast in the Netherlands, Mexico, Greece and elsewhere. In Sweden and Norway, meanwhile, rice pudding with an almond hidden inside is served on New Year’s Eve; it is said that whoever finds the nut can expect 12 months of good fortune. Other customs that are common worldwide include watching fireworks and singing songs to welcome the new year, including the ever-popular “Auld Lang Syne” in many English-speaking countries. The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians, who made promises in order to earn the favor of the gods and start the year off on the right foot. (They would reportedly vow to pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.) In the United States, the most iconic New Year’s tradition is the dropping of a giant ball in New York City’s Times Square at the stroke of midnight. Millions of people around the world watch the event, which has taken place almost every year since 1907. Over time, the ball itself has ballooned from a 700-pound iron-and-wood orb to a brightly patterned sphere 12 feet in diameter and weighing in at nearly 12,000 pounds. Various towns and cities across America have developed their own versions of the Times Square ritual, organizing public drops of items ranging from pickles (Dillsburg, Pennsylvania) to possums (Tallapoosa, Georgia) at midnight on New Year’s Eve. focusOn Magazine | 15


St. Charles County is...

TAPPED

craftbeer.com By: Don Russell

CRAFT BEER PUBS & BREWERIES

from around the USA Whatever you think about Christmas, you’ve got to agree that it’s among mankind’s greatest, most enduring tradition. Yes, it’s over-commercialized, and most of the world doesn’t even celebrate it, but, you’ve gotta give props to any institution that’s been around for 2,000 years—especially one that comes with so much good craft beer. Now, some will protest: “Ah, Christmas beer—a blatant commercialization of a sacred, family tradition just to sell more suds.” Indeed, for years after Prohibition, breweries were generally prohibited from using Christmas, especially jolly, old St. Nicholas, to advertise their brands. In 2006, the state of Maine grumbled “Bah, humbug!” to a brand whose label depicted Santa Claus, and declared it “undignified and improper.” But in fact, beer has always been a part of Christmas. Before Prohibition, German immigrants brewed special, dark lagers for the holiday. Before that, the English served homemade wassail (spiced ale) to Dickensian carolers singing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” In the Middle Ages, observant monks brewed their finest, strongest beer to mark the birth of Christ. Around 900 AD, as Norwegians converted to Christianity, they brought along their smoky Viking Jul (Yule) ale. At the risk of finding coal in my stocking, I’d argue that Christmas beer is older than Christmas itself. 16 | focusOn Magazine

Whether the date is divine or not, the traditions surrounding the holidays—gift giving, feasting and, yes, beer drinking—has evolved into the celebrations of Christmas. Which is why I say Christmas beer is not a style, it’s a tradition. It needn’t be spicy or strong, sweet or dark; it need only be special, a gift to be shared in the spirit of the holiday with family and friends. Everyone has a favorite craft beer of the season. Here are the 12 beers of Christmas that are jingling my bells this year. 1. Christmas Ale | Bell’s Brewery Kalamazoo, MI The 2017 version of Bell’s Christmas Ale is a scotch ale, which brings your senses rich, warm, malty notes along with smooth caramel. The brewery says Christmas Ale has a shelf life of six months, so if you see a sixer even after you’re taken down the tree, grab yourself one — you’ll be able to carry the holiday spirit right into spring. 2. Mad Elf | Tröegs Brewing Co. Hershey, PA Mad Elf is an East Coast cult favorite, that annually sells out, and at 11 percent alcohol content, gives everyone a nice, shiny red nose. But it’s not all about strength. This flavorful Belgian-style ale is flavored with cherries and honey, and its distinctive yeast strain provides a tingly snap to the palate.


3. Christmas Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co. Cleveland, OH

9. Feest Noel | 3 Taverns Craft Beers Atlanta, GA

The Midwest version of Mad Elf, this honey ale draws raves from similarly impassioned fans who count down the days till its annual release. Though it’s considerably lighter (7.5 percent ABV) than the Elf, it has a nice, spicy kick thanks to the addition of fresh ginger and cinnamon.

3 Taverns’ Feest Noel is a Belgian-style quadrupel with Belgian dark candy sugar and spices. This spiced Christmas ale comes in at a solid 10 percent ABV, helping ease the stress of holiday shopping or awkward holiday parties.

4. Celebration | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Chico, CA This beer continues to dazzle the hophead in me, even in an age of double and triple IPAs. The aroma of its Cascade and Centennial hops just explodes from a billowing head above its copper-colored body. It’s as bright and fresh as a decorated tree on Christmas Eve. 5. Jewbelation | He’Brew The Chosen Beer Clifton Park, NY Jewbelation is brewed yearly to celebrate the brewery’s anniversary. The 2017 iteration, Jewbelation 21, is a 12.1% ABV Dark American Strong Ale brewed with 10 malts and 11 hop varieties. 6. St. Nikolaus Bock Bier | Penn Brewery Pittsburgh, PA A 2011 GABF medalist, this doppelbock has a full, luscious body. Though named after the fourth-century patron saint of Christmas, that’s actually American illustrator Thomas Nast’s 19th-century portrait of Santa Claus on the label.

10. 8 Maids-a-Milking | The Bruery Orange County, CA The Bruery would “be udderly crazy to release anything but a milk stout. So we made an imperial milk stout to stand up to whatever Old Man Winter throws our way from now through 2019. 11. Santa’s Private Reserve | Rogue Ales Newport, OR This always strikes me as an unusual ale for the holidays, and not just because it’s so distinctively hoppy. It’s the label’s raised clenched fist that throws me – a very un-Santa-like pose. 12. Winter Solstice | Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Boonville, CA A nod to the true roots of the holiday season, though I highly doubt the Druids of 200 B.C. were enjoying ales flavored with vanilla. This is an exceptionally creamy winter warmer.

7. 2XMAS | Southern Tier Brewing Co. Lakewood, NY Southern Tier’s new holiday ale for 2012 was made in the tradition of Sweden glögg. Though it’s brewed with figs, orange peel and spices, it’s not one of those over-bearing Red Zinger-like tea mixes. Its body is rich and creamy, not unlike the brewery’s highly-regarded autumn seasonal, Pumking. Find a Craft Brewery 8. Santa’s Little Helper | Port Brewing Co. San Marcos, CA At 10 percent alcohol, this rich, chocolate-like Russian imperial stout seems like it oughta be dessert– on draft, however, it’s easy-drinking. Sometimes it’s fun being a little bit naughty. focusOn Magazine | 17


The Story Behind the Song...

“Same Old Lang Syne” Dan Fogelberg 1951 - 2007

Contibutor: Trish Gazall Story by: Phil Luciano

So there I was minding my business…….and the phone rang in the studio. I answer phone calls when songs are playing. Sometimes it’s people asking me to play a song, people asking about a contest they won or someone just calling to say they listen. I love those calls! Last week I answered and this guy, Cory Q, went on to tell me that the song “Same Old Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg was a true story. That Dan really did run out to a convenience store on Christmas Eve and he really did run into an ex-girlfriend. They really did sit in his car for two hours, drink a 6-pack and reminisce. Then the guy said the woman lived in St. Louis. I kinda forgot about it until today. I was playing the song again and decided to look it up on Wikipedia. Cause if it’s on the internet, it must be true! Haha! Well most of the story was exactly how the guy told me, but it said the woman lived in Chicago. So I told the story on the radio after the song played, flippantly throwing it out there that she MIGHT live in St. Louis. And then I got this email……. Hi Trish,

Trish Gazall weekdays 10am - 3pm 102.5 KEZK

Loved hearing you comment about Dan Fogelberg’s song this morning. Here are the facts! Yes, Jill lives in the St. Louis area, we moved here from Chicago in 1983, and the story is true. I am married to Jill! The story broke in 2007 shortly after Dan passed away. Up until then Dan and Jill had kept it a secret. Jill still refuses interview requests saying it is Dan’s song and she wants to keep it at that. Jill did one interview with Phil Luciano of the Peoria Journal Star in December 2007, that is much better than wikipedia, that can be found. I love the Christmas music on KEZK. I look forward to it every year! Regards, Jim G

WOW! What a cool story and what a neat memory for Jill to have. Read the interview, it’s a great story!! Thanks for sharing Jim and Jill! 18 | focusOn Magazine


At Woodruff High School, Jill Anderson had a typical teen romance: on-again/off-again with the same boy over several years. He’d write a lot of poetry and share his insights with Jill. But as they went to separate colleges, things cooled off. They tried to stay in touch, but he moved out west and she headed to Chicago. That might’ve been the sum of a sweet memory, if not for a chance reunion one Christmas Eve at a Peoria convenience story - one music fans know well. Further, though she and Fogelberg only rarely had communicated over the past quarter-century, she feared that her talking about the song somehow might cause trouble in his marriage. But in the aftermath of his death - he passed away of prostate cancer Sunday at age 56 - she has been sharing her secret with old friends in Peoria. “I don’t want this to overshadow Dan,” Jill says. “When I heard the news that he died, I was very sad.” She and Fogelberg were part of the Woodruff Class of ’69. They would date for long stretches, break up, then get back together. Often, they would head to Grandview Drive, take in the vistas and listen to the likes of Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Fogelberg often would pen poetry, some of which he gave to Jill. “I still have some of those in a drawer at home,” she says. After high school, Fogelberg went to the University of Illinois in Urbana to study theater, while Jill attended Western Illinois University to major in elementary education. They stayed in touch, even continuing to date for a while. But the romance ended for good when he left the U of I early to head to Colorado and pursue his music career. After graduating college, Jill relocated to the Chicago area, where she worked as an elementary teacher and flight attendant. Not long after college, she married a man from that area, and her connection to Fogelberg faded to memories. But on Christmas Eve 1975, Jill and her husband visited her parents, who still lived in the Woodruff district. Also at the home were some friends of the family. During the gathering, Jill’s mother asked her to run out for egg nog. Jill drove off in search of an open store. Meanwhile, a few blocks away, a similar scenario was playing out at the Fogelberg home, where Dan Fogelberg was visiting family for the holiday. They needed whipping cream to make Irish coffees, so Fogelberg volunteered to go search for some. By happenstance and because almost every other business on the East Bluff was closed, Jill and Fogelberg both ended up at the Convenient store at the top of Abington Hill, at Frye Avenue and Prospect Road. She got there first, and Fogelberg noticed her shortly after arriving. They bought a six pack, sipped beer in her car and gabbed away. “We had some laughs,” Jill recalls As two hours flew by, Jill’s family and friends grew worried. “We were like, ‘Where is she?’” says a laughing Eileen Couri of Peoria, one of the friends at the gathering that night. When Jill returned, she simply explained that she had run into Fogelberg, and the two had caught up with each other. No big deal.

Jill’s old boyfriend was Dan Fogelberg, who memorialized their convenience-store encounter in “Same Old Lang Syne.” Since the song’s release in 1980, Peoria - as well as the rest of his fans worldwide - has wondered about the “old lover” referenced in the song. Fogelberg never would say, and only a handful of people knew the ex-girlfriend’s identify. Jill, now Jill Greulich of Missouri, feels she can finally share the story. “It’s a memory that I cherish,” she says. She says she had kept publicly mum because Fogelberg was such a private person. “It wasn’t about me. It was about Dan. It was Dan’s song,” Jill says. Five years later, Jill was driving to work in Chicago. She had on the radio, and a new song popped on. First, she thought, “That sounds like Dan.” Then she listened to the lyrics, about two former lovers who have a chance encounter at a store. “Oh my gosh!” she told herself. “That really happened!” They would not discuss “Same Old Lang Syne” until years later, during a conversation backstage at a Fogelberg concert. Two parts of the song are inaccurate. Blame Fogelberg’s poetic license. Jill does not have blue eyes, but green. In fact, when they dated, Fogelberg called her “Sweet Jilleen Green Eyes” - a combination of her full first name and his twisting of a song title by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Fogelberg explained that he took the easy way out for “Same Old Lang Syne.” As he told Jill, “Blue is easier to rhyme than green.” Also, her then-husband was not an architect but a physical-education teacher. Jill doubts Fogelberg knew what her husband did for a living. She thinks Fogelberg probably just thought “architect” sounded right for the song. But those are minor details. The heart of the song hangs on its most chilling line: “She would have liked to say she loved the man, but she didn’t like to lie.” Still, even decades later, she declines to discuss that line of the tune. “I think that’s probably too personal,” she says. But the song had no impact on her marriage. By the time of its release, she had divorced. “Somebody said he waited until I was divorced to release the song, but I don’t know if that’s true,” Jill says. In 1980, the same year of the song’s release, Jill married Chicago-area native Jim Greulich. Eventually, they would move to a St. Louis suburb, where she now teaches second grade. A few of her school associates have known her secret about the song. So has Fogelberg’s mother, who still lives in Peoria and exchanges Christmas cards with Jill. This week, Jill sent e-mails to a few old pals in Peoria, lifting the lid off the “Same Old Lang Syne” mystery. One of the e-mail recipients was Wendy Blickenstaff, a Woodruff classmate of Jill’s and Fogelberg’s. “I had a big suspicion” it was Jill, says Blickenstaff, now the head 3829 counselor at the school. “I’m happy for her. It’s really cool. Veterans Memorial Pwky. ... That’s a memory that she treasures.”

St. Peters, MO 63376 636-442-1333 agrees. Yet her memories of Dan Fogelberg

Jill stretch far beyond “Same Oldstory Lang by: Syne.” “I’ll always have a place in my Katy Kruze heart for Dan,” photos she says. ” ... Dan would be a very special courtesy of: Kemberly Perkins person to me, even without the song.” focusOn Magazine | 19


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By: Katy Kruze

“Together we can make a difference”

When I was asked to write a story for this issue about the ‘Bullying Crisis’ in our nation, based around a new Anti-Bullying initiative called ‘The Kaspar Project’, I was all in, after all, we see the headlines all too often, another precious life taken, a young person pushed to the brink, because of bullying. ‘The Kaspar Project’ is the namesake of Steve Kaspar of Kaspar Broadcasting, with who I am very familiar. Steve was the first person to give me an actual paying radio job as a DJ on KFAV back in 1990, more incentive to write this, I’ve known Steve for decades, surely it would be an easy interview, well, as easy as the topic we would be discussing would allow. When I called Steve for the interview, his first words to me were, “Katy, have you seen the video?”. Uhhhhhh, NO, although I knew there was a music video being used to spearhead the anti-bullying campaign, I had not viewed it. Steve’s request for me, before we continue talking, watch the video and then call me right back. A request I was happy to oblige, but I assure you, that is where the “happy” ended. I went straight to the link and watched…admittedly, it took me a couple of minutes to compose myself, wipe away the tears and get Steve back on the phone. The music video is called ‘I Took My Life Today’ (I’d Give Anything). The pro quality of the production was apparent immediately, as was the powerful imagery of a beautiful young woman singing with an angelic voice, but quickly you are drawn in by the depth and heaviness of the song itself. Two years in the making, the message and basic structure of ‘I Took My Life Today’ was penned by Steve in his backyard in a moment of deep thought and the personal trauma of dealing with the bully22 | focusOn Magazine

ing related suicide of a young, beautiful, vibrant young girl in his community. Steve had the foundation and a vision to create something that might have a chance at saving lives, now he needed to bring it to life. Enter Jayna Marlene (Panhorst), a former Miss KFAV and Graduate of Troy Buchannon High School and artist/producer Andrew Whittington, who both shared the same “want” to “do something” in an attempt to reach teens and young adults in crisis, with the hopes of saving even 1 life. Jayna is the young woman featured in the video and the vocalist on the song. The undeniably talented 24 year old teamed up with Steve and the video’s producer, Andrew Whittington. As a newly formed Team, together they completed and recorded the song, then created the powerful music video at the helm of ‘The Kaspar Project’. All three are co-writers of the completed amazing song. Why we need this now! The statistics are as sobering as they are heart wrenching. One of the latest surveys has found that between 20 and 30 percent of teens today admit to being bullied in some form. Did you know that more teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.


According to a study conducted by Yale University, victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide that non-victims. As Steve puts it “Bullies are self-esteem Vampires” “They feed themselves by taking other, perhaps weaker, peoples self-esteem away.” He is also noticeably frustrated by the lack of action taken with regard to the Bullies themselves, and in many cases, he’s right. How many headlines have you seen where the Bullies have been held accountable for their actions, if action is taken at all? Even more cringe worthy is the fact that there have been many cases where it’s the victims, who finally stand up for themselves and take action, are the ones punished. Steve also goes on to say that the reality for teens who are being Bullied today is, Social Media becomes the gasoline, the fuel that feeds the inferno and engulfs its victims in depression and creates a world where those effected start to believe that ending their life is the only way out. This is what ‘The Kaspar Project’ is trying to combat. ‘I Took My Life Today’ is the story of a Teen, who turns to suicide as the solution, however as the video unfolds, that same Teen is singing from, shall we say, ‘The Other Side’, revealing that only in death, she has the realization that this was not the answer. If only she had held on, things would be better. The ultimate message and mission for ‘The Kaspar Project’, is to resonate out there, that no matter how “beat up” you are, you will make it through! As bad as things are, it is temporary, and a meaningful, joyful life awaits you! For in reality, it is not the Bully, but you are, right now, the one of strength! Please take the time watch this important video and share with family and friends. Go to Stopbullyngmusic.com, because if we care, and we share, then maybe, just maybe, lives can be saved.

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By Darlene Willman, FCA, CPPC

Top 3 Ways to Stand Out in a Crowd and Become... Irresistible to Your Prospects, Customers & Clients Picture this, you’re walking through a trade show and there is a separate row of realtors, of insurance agents, mortgage bankers, accountants and so on. You imagine you’ll be seeing the same type of generic business at each table. Typically, the person at the booth is sitting behind their table with a few brochures and business cards scattered around. Oh, and there’s the fishbowl for you to drop your card in so you get on their mailing list. Everyone is fighting for your attention.

The competition is fierce.

If you can’t stand out, you can’t win.

Here are the top 3 ways you can change all that. 1. Stop being vanilla! If your competitors are sitting behind their table, stand in front of yours. Don’t be afraid to make your booth feel cozy. Bring a rug, a floor lamp, a bouquet of flowers, add some music or burn a candle. My favorite is having a couple of really comfy chairs and a small table. Let’s face it, those trade shows can be exhausting so invite people to sit for a spell. If it’s hot, have a fan and some bottled water. If it’s cold, have some coffee prepared for them. Make your guests feel so welcome that they naturally gravitate to you instead chasing them down. 2. Engage in meaningful conversation. It’s way too easy to tell the passers-by to throw their business card into your bowl and enter to win a prize that they probably don’t want anyway. Taking time to master the art of connecting with someone is a little harder but much more effective. Get to know their true needs, wants and desires. Find out where they are now and where they would like to be. Be prepared to ask a few specific questions that will address what’s important to them. 3. Embrace your natural difference. It doesn’t matter whether you are introverted or extroverted. What matters is that you know exactly when you are working in your zone of genius. You bring your “A Game” and nothing can compete with that. If you’re a person that listens intently, don’t try to be a talker. Take it all in. If you’re passionate about relationships, shake hands, give hugs or even high fives if that’s appropriate. If you’re full of ideas, offer a few for free and give them a taste of what you can do for them. Knowing what makes you unique will separate you from everyone else that is trying to fit in. Stand up for what makes you different. When you captivate someone, they become completely focused on YOU. They lean in a little closer, they follow you online, they can’t get enough of you. Research shows that when you fascinate a potential client, you build their trust easily which makes them like and respect you. If you would like to know how to STAND OUT and become so FASCINATING that prospects can’t resist you, let’s talk. As a Fascinate® Certified Advisor, I can help identify and zero in on all those traits you possess and strengthen what you do best. No need to fake it until you make it, or rehearse anything, you got this. Darlene Willman is an Award-Winning Business Coach, Speaker and Author of “Maximize Your Brilliance”. She is a certified money, marketing & soul business coach, certified positive psychology coach, and a Fascinate® Certified Advisor. She has been featured in five books, published over 100 articles and has been seen on ABC, NBC, FOX & CBS. To learn more about how Darlene can help you with your business or to book Darlene as a guest speaker for your group, please visit www.DarleneWillman.com. focusOn Magazine | 25


Established by Angel Magasano, Founder of Little Black Book: Women in Business in 2013, BrrrBASH was recently recognized by the St Louis Post Dispatch as one of the top five events in all of St. Charles County. BrrrBASH is a large scale collaborative toy and donation collection to benefit Toys for Tots and the Little Black Book (LBB)’s charity of choice. LBB is a membership based community of female professionals committed to professional and personal development in a collaborative, non-competitive environment with over 250 members. The 2019 LBB BrrrBASH to Benefit Toys for Tots kicked off its seventh annual toy drive on November 1st when collection boxes were put into the market and will conclude December 26 | focusOn Magazine

14th with a collection celebration from 6-11 pm at Foundry Art Centre in historic St. Charles. Little Black Book partners with over 80 local businesses spread throughout four counties, the cities of; Wentzville, Lake St. Louis, O’Fallon and St. Peters, numerous Fire Protection Districts in St. Charles County and the St. Charles County Ambulance District to actively collect toys for the charity. Over the past six years, Little Black Book has donated over 22,000 toys and $40,000. All of the toys donated will be distributed in the Greater St. Louis area. For the past several years, the LBB BrrrBASH to Benefit Toys for Tots has accounted for 20% of the total number of toys distributed by the US Marines to happy children for Christmas. As the BrrrBASH continues to serve the needs of less fortunate children in our area by collecting toys for donations, it will also


continue to serve local charities. In 2018, $7,500 was donated to local charities, all of which have members represented within the Little Black Book sisterhood. The monies raised by this year’s campaign will be donated to We Love St. Charles. Executive Director, Nancy Strebe, is a member of the Little Black Book organization. We Love St. Charles is dedicated to mentoring impoverished families, individuals, and at-risk youth through family support and intervention, homelessness prevention, and job training. The public is invited to drop off a new, unwrapped toy at any of the participating locations until December 11. Help LBB bring Christmas to children in need! For a listing of collection sites please visit: BrrrBASH.com

Event Details DECEMBER 14, 2019 6-11PM FOUNDRY ART CENTRE 520 N. MAIN CENTER ST. CHARLES, MO 63301

The BrrrBASH is a production of the LBB GIVE Foundation

focusOn Magazine | 27


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The First Responder Police • Fire • EMS By: Carissa Figgins Community Strong

“Sometimes Christmas Just Had to Happen on Another Day” an interview with Skip Stephens Asst. Fire Chief, Cottlevile Fire Department This was the childhood reality of Skip Stephens as the son of a firefighter. Even though he didn’t always get to have his dad present at school or sports events Stephens says he didn’t mind because he realized the importance of his dad’s job. As a third-generation firefighter, Assistant Fire Chief Skip Stephens has been selected to serve as the next Fire Chief for the Cottleville Protection Fire District (CFPD). Stephens takes the helm as leader of the fire department following the retirement of Chief Dean Everett, who served for the last 4 years as fire chief. Stephens will be sworn in as chief on Monday, January 13, 2020 during the regular scheduled board meeting. Stephens recalls not spending a lot of time at his dad’s firehouse when he was a kid. In fact, it was a special treat to go see his dad at work. Stephens remembers being especially impacted by the other guys on his dad’s crew and they became the people he looked up to. Stephens says as he was finishing up high school, it was the influence of several firefighters that helped to determine his career path. After entering EMT school it was the required ride-on that sealed the deal for Stephens. “I can remember the ambulance literally busting out of the fire house, the lights flashing, the sirens screaming, hearing my dad on the radio talking with dispatch then taking that quick turn out to the main road. It gave me butterflies and that was all I needed to know that this was the right job for me.” Stephens has been a first responder for 25 years including 20 years with the Cottleville Fire District climbing through the fire department ranks of firefighter, Captain and then Assistant Chief since February 2016. During this tenure Stephens founded the Cottleville Firefighters Outreach (CFO) in 2008 and led the collaboration of firefighters and community volunteers for eight years as the CFO’s Executive Director where they developed new programs and completed projects that impacted 32 | focuson Magazine

countless people in the community. Stephens said this organization is one of his proudest moments. His efforts to unify firefighters in a mission to giving back to the community while engaging community volunteers and business leaders to help with the endeavor in finding new and creative ways to help people in need. Stephens, who will oversee 59 employees, states that effective and efficient communication will be crucial in the transition to his leadership of the fire district. He states he will make it a priority, during this time of change, for the employees of the fire district to continue to feel supported while setting clear expectations for his vision of the future of the fire district. Stephens makes it clear that in this new leadership role he views himself as the ultimate responsible party. “It is so important for the head of any organization to set the tone and to reinforce the mission, the values and the priorities. It is my job to make sure everyone understands the why not just of the organization, but the why of their role, and how those must be linked together. I believe this done through strong and clear communication.” Stephens’ vision for this next season of the Cottleville Fire District is focused on advocacy for firefighters’ health and wellness and remaining on the cutting edge of training and technology in order to provide superior customer service to the residents of the fire district. Stephens shares that he plans to continue bringing awareness to how the physical hardships of firefighting leads to the negative impact on firefighters’ mental wellness. “It is a sad fact that firefighters don’t live long lives. I am very concerned with the impact of PTSD and cumulative stress on our crews. Firefighter suicide is a problem just like in law enforcement and the military. We have got to stay focused on addressing the truth and reality of this so that we can take steps to forward change.”


In addition to advocating for the physical and mental wellbeing of local firefighters, Stephens also sees the need to continue progressive leadership in the area of training and technology. Changing technology, for example, in electric cars, solar power, and building construction provide unique challenges to firefighters. Stephens shared that how a fire burns now in structures is much different than what it was even ten years ago. “Now is not the time for us to rest on our laurels. We have to continue to be on the fore front, so we don’t get caught in dangerous situations. You can never be trained enough for job that can kill you. We have to be focused on that.” Furthermore, Stephens recognizes the need to provide up to date equipment to protect the residents of the area. “One of the greatest challenges we will have in the coming years is the age of our apparatus. Our pumpers are in their fifteenth year of service and already have 120,000 miles on them. We have a strong preventative maintenance program, but the fact of the matter is the maintenance cost are going up and up and we have to do something to address that.”

2016 and Board Member of the Year Award in 2018. He was also recently recognized as one of the Streetscape Magazine Beyond the Best recipients. Stephens dedicates his life to serving other people and has volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for abused or abandoned children, youth baseball coach, Program Director for Protégé, Vision Leadership’s professional mentorship program, for Community Living, Connections to Success and many other causes.

Stephens’ highest goal is to continue to provide top notch customer service and care to the residents of the Cottleville Fire District. Stephens related it is imperative that CFPD continue to be the best they can be for the tax payers and the residents of the district. “It is very important to me that we continue to be leaders is community engagement. I want our neighbors to know my door is always open to them. Feedback is very important to me. I want anyone to always feel like they can come to me with questions, concerns, and/or compliments for our crews. Stephens’ vision for the future of the fire district includes setting an example of how to be professional and respected with what they do to protect citizens through the services they provide. Stephens expressed it is also important to highlight that fact that the employees of the fire district are caring, compassionate, servant-oriented people on and off duty. “My dad instilled this priority of care and compassion during his service as a firefighter. My dad is universally loved, almost like everybody’s favorite uncle. It was an important part of the entire package that made my dad who he was as a firefighter, and as a man, and I want to make sure I continue that wherever I am.” Stephens makes sure he leads by example when it comes to service to others both inside and outside the fire district. He has been honored with the Elk’s Lodge Firefighter of the Year Award in 2009, the Cottleville Weldon Spring Rotary Club Vocational Award in 2012, Cottleville Firefighters Outreach Award in 2014, and from the Cottleville Weldon Spring Chamber of Commerce he received the Above and Beyond Award in

As Stephens steps into the role of Fire Chief for Cottleville Fire District in 2020 it is very clear his vision and focus in the coming years. Advocacy for firefighters and remaining innovative in the areas of training and technology in order to provide excellent customer service will be the driving force of his leadership. The positive influence of his father and many leaders involved in fire safety has impacted his life and helped shape the leader he is now. Stephens has this to say about the legacy he wants to leave behind for his own children. “It is my desire to leave a trail of love and kindness. Whomever I interact with, I want to leave them with a feeling of importance. Through my life, career, and service to others I want to leave my community with a collective sense of inspiration. I want to have a positive impact on everyone I encounter and lead people, organizations and my community to a better version of themselves.” focusOn Magazine | 33


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If you’ve experienced an injury or pain while performing a wintertime activity, you are not alone. Personal injury during winter is likely to occur from performing simple activities, especially if you aren’t prepared to prevent an incident. From your back, shoulder and neck to joints and knees, pain and injury in these areas are commonplace during the winter. Ouch.

you and your family safer: • Wear proper footwear made for icy and snowy conditions. • Keep your stride shorter and avoid long steps. • Slow things down — try not to rush or run outdoors. • Keep de-icer or sand on hand for when things get slippery around your house.

What Are the Most Common Winter Injuries? • Falling on ice and snow • Experiencing muscle strain from shoveling snow or scraping ice off the car • Driving and motor vehicle collisions • Accidents while playing winter sports and activities

In case of injury, always have your cell phone handy. If you must do outdoor chores, take your time.

Note: Not all incidents will cause severe injury, but some winter accidents can be quite serious, especially for certain age groups and for people suffering from previous injuries. SLIPPING AND FALLING ON ICE AND SNOW Slipping and falling on ice can be a scary experience. Ice can be difficult to see both at night and during the day. What looks like water pooled on the pavement can be a sheet of ice. When this happens, severe injury can occur if you fall to the ground. You may be able to recover and only skid briefly, but even if you don’t end up falling, you can wrench your back or experience another kind of injury in your attempt to recover. Anyone is in danger of injuring themselves by falling or slipping on ice or snow, but seniors are especially at risk. In fact, according to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury among older Americans, and winter weather conditions only exacerbate that concern. What Are the Most Common Injuries That Can Occur From Falls On Ice? • Bruises • Head or brain injuries, including concussions • Ankle strains and twists, and other kinds of muscle sprains and ligament strains • Broken bones, most commonly hip and wrist fractures • Back injuries, including spinal compression fractures • Injuries to the spinal cord Prevention is always the best method to avoid a slip or fall on icy days, and there are a few things you can try to keep 36| focusOn Magazine

Unfortunately, even with the best preventative measures, accidents happen. Skeletal and muscular issues arise every winter when people fall on ice or snow. If the fall is serious, you may need to call 9-1-1 or go to the ER immediately. Note: some people are unaware that they have a severe injury. This may be because they don’t feel the effects of the fall immediately, or they believe their pain and discomfort will pass with time. Symptoms like pain or swelling should not be ignored, and it’s important to seek the advice of a medical professional to assess your condition. If you experience an injury on the ice or snow, make an appointment with a specialist at OIP as soon as possible to determine if there is a serious injury. They will also be able to offer an effective treatment plan that meets your individual needs. SHOVELING SNOW One of the most back breaking winter jobs is shoveling the driveway and sidewalk. It can take a long time and require a lot of physical exertion. The low temperatures make the task of shoveling snow even more unpleasant. The repetitive actions of twisting and lifting while shoveling can cause severe strain on the body. It only takes one muscle to be pulled the wrong way for your back, neck or shoulders to seize up. Snow shoveling can be a potentially risky duty that can cause severe injury. A national study found that over the course of eleven years, there was an average of 11,500 emergency room visits due to snow shoveling injuries. The most common injuries reported were soft tissue injuries mostly to the lower back region. Among the remaining injury reports, lacerations and fractures were also reported, including injuries to the hands, arms and head. For back injury prevention, it is advised to stretch lightly at first, then move into a deeper stretch. If you are going to be


shoveling snow, then it’s important to stay well-hydrated and take frequent breaks so as not to exhaust your body and muscles. DRIVING AND COLLISIONS Most of us must continue to work and carry on with our normal, everyday activities even in snowy winter weather conditions. But if you aren’t prepared for winter driving conditions and don’t take the proper safety precautions, you can put yourself and others at risk. A study found that over a period of ten years, there were over 445,000 people injured as a result of weather-related vehicle collisions. The winter weather brings with it all kinds of potentially hazardous road conditions, such as: • Wet pavement • Sleet and slush • Full coverings of snow and ice In order to prevent motor vehicle collisions, follow these winter driving safety tips: • Have proper winter-grade tires installed on your car • Store an ice scraper in your car • Keep windshield washer fluid full • Have your vehicle inspected, especially breaks • Have a winter safety kit in your trunk, include a high-visibility safety vest, gloves & jumper cables • Keep a first aid kit in your car • Never drive without a cellphone • Limit the time spent driving in the dark FALLING OR COLLIDING DURING WINTER ACTIVITIES One of the most enjoyable parts of winter is the fun you and your family can have with all kinds of winter activities and sports. From ice hockey and skating to skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of ways to stay active and have fun in the winter. For kids especially, sledding and tobogganing are some of the best childhood memories of their winter seasons. These winter activities can be quite risky if you aren’t practicing safety. Falls and collisions in many winter activities can cause several forms of injury. Broken bones and stiff muscles and joints are some of the most frequently reported injuries when it comes to outdoor sports and activities. Running outdoors along the sidewalk or on trails can also pose safety risks if the pavement isn’t salted and the trails aren’t properly cleared.

always have the proper protective equipment, like helmets, to prevent head and other serious injuries. If you have access to a gym or can use a treadmill at home, it will prevent any risk of slipping and falling while running outdoors during the winter. If you choose to run outdoors, go with a buddy and be sure one of you carries a cell phone to call for help in the event of an injury. Familiarize yourself with your running route ahead of time to ensure it’s an area that has been salted and cleared of ice and snow. TYPES OF WINTER INJURIES These incidents produce various types of injuries, which can range from mild and easily treatable to severe and longterm. Some of the resultant injuries from these winter accidents most commonly include: • Head injuries • Shoulder injuries • Back injuries • Neck pain and tension • Knee joint pain and soreness • Wrist sprains • Elbow fractures and dislocation • Ankle sprains and strains • Hip fracture and soreness WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUFFER A WINTER INJURY If you or a family member suffers a winter injury, it’s important to first assess the severity level. Sometimes muscle injuries can be treated with ibuprofen and by applying ice or a heating pad (whichever is more comfortable) or taking a warm bath. However, more severe injuries will need to be treated immediately by a professional. If you suspect broken or fractured bones or a head injury, report it to a physician right away, visit the emergency room or visit your orthopedic injury clinic. Educate yourself and your family about the potential incidents and accidents that can occur during the winter, and you’ll be much more prepared to prevent them. If a serious injury occurs that doesn’t require an emergency room visit, schedule an appointment with a medical doctor or a regenerative rehabilitation team (such as the Ozzie Smith IMAC Regenerative Center) who can treat you for your specific injuries. I encourage you to follow these winter injury prevention tips, so you and your loved ones can enjoy a happy and safe winter season!

Most businesses and shopping centers take precautions to salt their parking lots and sidewalks once winter hits. Even still, patches may be missed, or ice may have formed since the last salting. When rushing into stores and shopping centers, slow down and take your time to carefully walk across the parking lot. Look for areas that have been clearly salted or do not appear wet. Hold onto children and seniors to help stabilize them as you walk across the parking lot or driveway and indoors. When performing winter sports and activities, be sure to focusOn Magazine | 37


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by: Jessica Conley

“STOP STARTING OVER... ON YOU WEIGHT LOSS”

Do you feel like you are always “starting over?” Do you find yourself in a constant cycle of dieting, bingeing, and dieting again? If so, you are not alone! Many people find themselves in this cycle, particularly women. In all my years as a fitness coach, I have found the one thing that contributes to it most is what the person thinks of themselves. We get into our own heads, especially if we don’t know our worth. And it’s the exact same with your health and fitness. If you believe you deserve to be overweight and unhappy and unhealthy then it doesn’t matter what program you do, what shakes you buy, what diet you’re on... you are going to self-sabotage and you will make that a reality. I was talking to a woman interested in my program and she kept saying she was afraid of enrolling in the program and then failing. She talked about how she gets overwhelmed really easily and then shuts down. Over the course of a few days she said words and phrases like “scared”, “super overwhelmed”, “I’m so busy”, “super nervous”, “super scared to fail”, “terrified” a ton of times. She knew she needed a change though, so ultimately she did enroll. About 2 weeks or so into my program she started to talk about how she was in a rut and didn’t know how to get out, how she did good the first week but then stopped watching what she was eating and drinking, was behind on the program and feeling depressed, etc. She had a couple of personal and family things happen that derailed her and she couldn’t get back on track. 40 | focusOn Magazine

To be completely honest, I could have predicted that would happen. But during this conversation, I was honest with her and gave her some tough love. I told her she was self-sabotaging. I reminded her of all the times she said she was scared and terrified and worried about getting overwhelmed, and that ultimately she decided was going to be her story before she even signed up. And since she had a personal thing happen, it gave her an excuse – a way out. She had a reason she could fail, and still be able to say, “well I failed because XYZ happened”. We tend to feel better if we have an excuse to blame it on. She did what so many people do. She thought in her mind that she was going to fail anyway, so why not now? Why put in all the work and effort and energy, if it was just going to lead to failure? She grabbed onto that excuse, and she spiraled. So how do we change that? How do we break that cycle? First, you have to realize that you can’t keep focusing on what you DON’T want. If your energy is centered around fear…fear of failing, fear of staying the same, etc… you are going to stay in that place you don’t want to be. So often women who diet are just too focused on how fat they feel, or how gross or ugly they feel. They focus on how badly they don’t want to be fat and unhealthy anymore, and how they don’t want to fail again. But all of that is still negative energy. It’s focusing on the negative side of those things, or what you DON’T want. What happens is, those things you do NOT want


end up being exactly what happens. You aren’t truly connected to what you DO want. Your energy is not in the positive. You have to cast the vision. You have to decide where you truly want to go, and then think in the positive. How good it’s going to feel when you get there. How happy you are going to be, when you reach that goal. The sense of pride you are going to have. Focusing on the positives of the future vision is tip number one to ending this cycle of self-sabotage. My second tip is to start living AS IF. What do I mean by this? Once you have that vision of what you truly want, and who you want to be, you have to start living that way NOW. If that future you, that ideal person you want to be, is healthy and confident, then you imagine those feelings and you start living them NOW. Feel that feeling of success. See it in your head. And take the actions you know that person would take. Does that “future healthy you” also feed her kids wholesome and nutritious food? Then start transitioning them NOW. Does she start her day with a nutritious green smoothie, because she loves how healthy it makes her feel? Then do that NOW. Does she enjoy cooking healthy fresh whole foods? Then do more of that NOW, and do it joyfully. Does that future woman exercise every day, because she loves how lean it keeps her body? Then you do that NOW. Does she treat herself to getting her nails done more often, because it makes her feel good and “put together”? Then go make an appointment this weekend! Tip three is to figure out your identity. What is the story you have about your body, or your weight? Have you always identified as “the fat girl”? Or maybe you used to be thin and became overweight after babies. So maybe your identity has changed to “the mom” right? Mom life becomes your identity so you think you don’t have the time or the energy to be healthy, or lose weight, and that is the identity you keep telling yourself.

that went past my knees, because I didn’t want them showing. That become something I carried around in my subconscious, all because of something someone ELSE decided about me. Which leads into tip 4, which is to DECIDE what YOU want your identity to be, and create a plan of action to get you there. You have the power to change your story. If you don’t want to be the fat-girl identity you’ve been carrying around, or if you’re tired of the overweight-no-energy-mom identity, then change it. Stop believing those things about yourself. Instead, start telling yourself you DO have energy. You DO have the time. You DO make healthy choices. There’s a ton of research out there that proves that when we practice things like this, positive affirmations and intentions, there is literally a chemical change that happens in your brain. Your whole body reacts to those changes, down to your very cells! I know it sounds cheesy and cliché, but if you change your mindset, you really CAN change your life! Just to recap, the 4 tips I gave you today are: 1 – Stop focusing on what you DON’T want, and focus on what you DO want. The law of attraction states that what you focus on is what will happen. 2 – Start living AS IF you already are the best version of yourself. Living AS IF you have reached your health and weight loss goals. 3 – Figure out your identity. What is the identity you have been carrying around? 4 – Decide what you want your identity to be instead, and tell yourself that is the new you. You CAN do this. You can do ANYTHING. For real. The only thing that is getting in your way is YOU!

Or maybe someone ELSE has told you your identity, or has told you how to feel about your body. I dated a guy once who made a comment about my knees… I know, it sounds really silly, and I’m sure he didn’t actually mean anything by it, but he made a comment about how knobby my knees are. Literally from then on, I was really self-conscious about my knees! I would only wear capris, or skirts and dresses focusOn Magazine | 41


with kelly gardner

St. Louis Road Trip! For this edition, we travel outside of St. Charles to discuss two of my favorite restaurants and best bites in the St. Louis area. Annie Gunn’s, Chesterfield Valley Thom and Jane Sehnert have created a go to spot for steaks, chops, and seafood that is at the same time an upscale restaurant and a comfortable local Irish bar with a long, long list of regulars. It’s really hard to not find something you love at Annie’s and The Smokehouse Market next door. Some of my favorite bites at Annie Gunn’s are the jumbo smoked and maple glazed shrimp with Pennsylvania Dutch BBQ sauce, oysters Prussian style and of course the steaks. The shrimp are perfectly cooked and have a hint of smoke with meaty texture and a sweet, slightly spicy, bbq sauce for dipping. Oysters Prussian style takes the oyster of the day and pairs it with vodka, caviar and creme fraiche for a sharp, salty taste of the ocean in each bite. Chef Lou Rook knows his way around a grill and the steaks and chops at Annie Gunn’s are expertly cooked and presented. For the WOW factor, combined with an incredible tasty ribeye steak, order the Tomahawk Ribeye. This massive ribeye that can be between 34 to 40+ ounces is a carnivore lovers dream (but I would count on some help from a friend). The steak comes carved off the bone with the right amount of salt and pepper to enrich the natural beefiness of this exquisite steak. 42 | focusOn Magazine

Olive & Oak, Webster Groves If the food seems familiar, but different, than that from Annie Gunn’s, it might be because Chef Jesse Mendica spent 15 years in the kitchen at AG before taking flight at Olive & Oak. Given reign of the menu and the kitchen, she has crafted one of the consistently best dining experiences in St. Louis. The food is approachable, but also nuanced, it’s familiar, but with a twist, and the menu changes daily based on the best local ingredients available at the time. Luckily, there are some stalwarts that stay on the menu year around. The cheese curds and crab dip are two of the best appetizers in town. Two of the best kept secrets are one of St. Louis’s best burgers and one of the best Caesar salads anywhere, and the pot de creme dessert is a showstopper. The cheese curds, beloved in Wisconsin and the upper plains, have found a lighter, brighter future in Chef Mendica’s kitchen. They are impossibly crunchy on the outside with a gooey, squeaky cheese on the inside. The blue crab gratin is creamy and crabby and paired with a chili oil brushed pretzel bread that creates the perfect balance of sweet and spice. The key to the caesar is a garlic, crouton “crumble” that ensures you get a little extra texture and flavor in every bite. The dressing is tangy and bright and this salad is impossible to stop eating.


The griddled burger has two patty’s, except for the special single available during happy hour for $6. The keys to the burger, fresh beef, house-made pickles, white American cheese and a mayo butter brushed potato bun. All together it is juicy, tangy, melty greatness on a bun. Don’t forget dessert, the butterscotch pot de creme with oatmeal crumble and salted caramel is heavenly. It’s served in a glass jar where you want to dig your spoon all the way to

kelly’s Insider

the bottom to capture every layer of sweet, salty, creamy indulgence. If you plan on sharing you better be ready with your spoon, because I promise you it won’t last long.

Annie Gunn’s 6806 Chesterfield Airport Rd. Chesterfield, MO 63005 Phone: (636) 532-7684 Olive + Oak 102 W Lockwood Ave. Webster Groves, MO 63119 Phone: (314) 736-1370

Both places have some of the best bartenders in town and, given how popular they are, the bar is many times your best bet for dinner anyway. Get the espresso martini from Eve at AG or any of the specialty cocktails from Charlie and Morgaine at O+O. You’ll probably notice the heart motif at O+O, dedicated to Oliver Hinkle and Oakes Ortyl, the namesakes for the restaurant and two incredibly brave young boys that died at a young age from congenital heart diseases. Their memory lives on with incredible parents and siblings and the heart foundations they have built in their honor. Come for the food and drink, stay for the story and the love that flows through the building. Would you like to your restaurant featured in TopBites? Contact us to for details.

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by: Darlene Fischer

Chasing the Dragon: The Heroin Epidemic is Here!

“Hidden in Plain View” An initiative by Addiction is Real

Over the course of the past few years I can’t tell you how many parents have asked me, “where should we look to see if our child is hiding drugs or using anything?” The truth is, there are a plethora of places. In addition to their school locker, automobile or book bag, many signs are right in their own bedrooms! I recently attended an event hosted by the Creve Coeur Police Department, and now I finally have an answer to this question! A local non-profit, Addiction is Real, has developed a way to help parents and other caregivers with this very issue! Let me introduce you to Kelly Prunty, who just a few short years ago was surprised to find out that someone very dear to her had become addicted to heroin. Saddened, shocked and angry, she was determined to make a difference! She wanted to help protect other families from the anguish of addiction, and educate them in prevention in a way that no one else was currently providing. Kelly met and formed an alliance with Jude Hassan, local author of Suburban Junky: From Honor Roll to Heroin Addict, and together they sought to define their mission. They found that parents could have an enormous impact on whether or not their kids used, or continued to use, alcohol and drugs. In fact, research shows that youth whose parents talk to them early and often about the dangers of drugs are 50% less likely to use them! Kelly and Jude immediately started assembling an evidence-based prevention curriculum. In addition, they also wanted to teach parents to recognize the signs of substance use sooner, rather than later. It was when Kelly came across a police department in Ohio that had set up a mock bedroom for parents to search, that this interactive way of educating parents became the inspiration for AIR’s “Hidden in Plain View” exhibit. They then began implementing their own traveling exhibit to help to educate parents on the physical signs of substance use that are often right in front of them. 44 | focusOn Magazine

Along their journey they met Pam Greenberg. Pam had lost her son Justin to an accidental overdose in 2015 and was also searching for a way to educate parents and others about this widespread epidemic. AIR gave her that chance and she immediately got involved and eventually entered the role as President for the organization. Today AIR and their mobile mock bedroom travel all over Missouri and Illinois holding approximately 6 events each month. During their prevention presentation they educate caregivers on the importance of talking to their children about substance abuse, reasons why kids use drugs, warning signs of substance use, how the teenage brain develops and what happens when drugs are involved, vaping and many other topics. In addition to the presentation, they also set up a mock bedroom to demonstrate how and where signs of drug or alcohol abuse can be hidden in plain view. Parents everywhere can now be educated and made more aware of their family’s surroundings. In an effort to meet national demand for their program, AIR recently has developed an online virtual bedroom for those who can’t attend an event nearby. This interactive site teaches parents to recognize the many physical signs of substance use. To access this virtual bedroom please go to: www.addictionisreal.org/HIPV In closing, Addiction is Real wants parents and caregivers everywhere to know that the three most dangerous words they can personally say are, “not my child!” And that it is very important to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol because “it’s never too early and it’s never too late!” Addiction is Real is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Louis, Missouri. To book an event, or if you would like to volunteer or make a donation, please go to: addictionisreal. com or addictionisreal.org.


Pam Greenberg, conducting the presentation portion of the event. (Photo courtesy of Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Vice President Teri Douglas, demonstrating all the items in the room where things can be hidden. By author Jude Hassan

From left to right: Kelly Prunty, Capt. Tim Koncki Creve Coeur Police Dept. & Pam Greenberg. (Photo courtesy of Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

From left to right: Jude Hassan, Pam Greenberg, Kelly Prunty, and volunteers Katie Zilm & Lisa Holubowski. focusOn Magazine | 45


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PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD WHEN IT COMES TO SELLING YOUR HOME YOU MAY REAP HUGE REWARDS! Written by Angie Harness, PSA, SRES, SRS

There are three things that determine whether or not a qualified buyer will make a offer on your home. • CONDITION Go through your home as if you were seeing it for the first time as a prospective buyer. Making necessary repairs prior to listing could save you money in the long run. • Meet with a professional stager to get re-design advice. They should advise you on the exterior as well as interior. • Deep clean! • Show off all your hard work with professional photos & marketing!

• LOCATION Highlight all the advantages of living in your area. • PRICE Your agent should provide you with a comprehensive market analysis that will help determine a competitive list price. Hire an agent who is going to help you get the most out of your hard work and investment. Because I want the best for my clients; all of my seller clients get a FREE professional staging consultation, professional photos & more!

Harness your Dreams...Your Future 46 | focusOn Magazine

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focusOn Magazine | 47


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48 | focusOn Magazine

Keep up to date on plant availability and great grow tips. Join my mailing list by sending a text to Gardens, 42828. www.catsgardensnursery.com


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www.connection-exchange.com focusOn Magazine | 49


MOVIE REVIEW with Emily Strickland

The Joker (2019) Starring: Joaquin Phoenix Rated: R

Joker is a disturbing character study of perhaps one of the most notorious clown faced supervillains in comic history. The Joker starts out as a cast down man named Arthur Fleck, who was skillfully portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix. The role of the Joker can be a taxing mindset to achieve, as we witnessed the fate of the talented Heath Ledger. It can also be very rewarding when done right though and it is very clear that Phoenix gave a performance that won’t soon be forgotten. With all the hype about this movie, it was easy to form some doubts, especially for the diehard DC comic fans. When I first heard that Joker was going to be created by the same director (Todd Philips) and cinematographer (Lawrence Sher) as The Hangover, I became a little sceptical. Going from The Hangover to The Joker is quite a drastic genre change and that can be a difficult hurdle for a lot of movie makers. Another concern I had was about Joaquin Phoenix. While Phoenix is known for his extreme dedication as a method actor, in his past there are some movies in which he had a tendency to over act his screen appearances. However, it is safe to say that my doubts were proven inaccurate when I sat in the theater to witness this somber, artful, portrait of a madman’s descent into the hands of catastrophe. But just what is it about this particular superhero universe movie that sets it apart from the rest and brought it to get such a mass amount of media attention? One thing

that’s sure to leave an impact on you is the extreme color pallet and shots that Cinematographer, Lawrence Sher, uses to not only set the tone of the film, but to send you into the world of the Joker himself. With Sher’s continuous use of darker tones of blue, red, green and yellow, the audience is thrown into the eccentric, dismal life of Arthur Fleck, who is growing in ferocity as the movie progresses and the colors become more prevalent. Joker brought more to the table than it’s spectacular visual appeal and motifs. It also touched on some very real topics in the context of this fictional world. Perhaps the most important of which is that of mental illness. One of the key facts of the Joker’s lore is that he has spent some time in and out of Arkham Asylum. Throughout the movie, Arthur Fleck’s mental condition is seen to be treated as a burden to those around him, as well as the state government as a whole. Arthur is is constantly taken advantage of and cast aside for his condition. In a weird way, even with all the Joker has done, the movie does a really good job of making the audience feel a slight sympathy for the Joker’s situation without ever rooting for him or condoning his behavior at any point. This is very important for a film that focuses solely on the story of a complete and total psychotic villain. In conclusion, The Joker is a phenomenal movie to send this decade out with a bang. It is full action, art, madness, but most importantly, you walk away from this movie feeling something. This movie is certain to leave a mark on you. Joker is a tragically alluring piece of cinema and with that said, I formally praise it. This was an outstanding film. I give Joker...

Rating scale 50 | focusOn Magazine

EXCELLENT, A MUST SEE

Good, Wait for video release

Average, Wait for Netflix release

You’ve been screwed… do not waste your time or money


Profile for FocusON St. Charles County

FocusOn Magazine St. Charles County Winter 2019 - 20  

Christmas Traditions Issue

FocusOn Magazine St. Charles County Winter 2019 - 20  

Christmas Traditions Issue

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