CN: December 9, 2020

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December 9, 2020

Seeking a new vision

Around Town

COMMUNITY VOICES By Tasmyn Scarl Front. Pg. 3 Fun socks to be distributed at select transit centers Dec. 21. Pg. 4

Special Section Senior Living. Pg. 5

School Hazelwood Board of Education fills vacant board position. Pg. 7

Features Since 2004, Eye Thrive has provided over 20,000 pairs of free eyeglasses and is operated by one full-time and one part-time optometrist, six other full-time employees and three additional part-time employees.

Submitted photo

The nonprofit Eye Thrive provides free eye exams and glasses to children in need in the St. Louis region By Charlotte Beard Eye Thrive has held a mission to improve the futures of pre-K through 12th grade children through eyesight since its founding in 2004 as Eye Care Charity of Mid-America (ECCOMA). The nonprofit was founded by its board president, William “Bill” Jehling who was the president of one of the largest St. Louis eye care practices, according to Kate McKearn, Executive Director of Eye Thrive. “He definitely knew the signs of vision trouble,” stated McKearn. “When he met a boy, who said he had never had his eyes examined, Bill took him to a clinic and paid for an exam. He ended up buying the kid two pairs of glasses. The boy had never seen before…the first time he put the pair

of glasses on. It was magical – the difference a pair of glasses made. So, inspired by that (experience) he created Eye Care Charity of Mid-America.” In June 2019 ECCOMA officially became Eye Thrive. Since 2004, Eye Thrive has provided over 20,000 pairs of free eyeglasses and is operated by one full-time and one part-time optometrist, six other full-time employees and three additional part-time employees. “We’re able to make a really big impact within the community with the help of many volunteers who help us throughout the course of the year (with things such as) receiving donated inventory, or helping us prepare for our big fundraisers,” stated

McKearn. The funding for the free pre-K through 12th grade free programs is made possible by individual donations as well as charitable foundations and corporate sponsorships. McKearn explained the programs as they were provided pre-COVID-19. “We have three different programs,” stated McKearn. “The first is our screening program. The first step is to go into the schools – that identifies who needs a full comprehensive exam (which) leads into our second program – our Mobile Vision Clinic program. This (program) brings our Mobile Vision Clinic directly to schools or community See ‘VISION’ page 2

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Around Town

December 9, 2020 • Community News – St. Louis County •

‘VISION’ from cover centers. On board that 38-foot vehicle we have a pre-testing area, two full exam wings, and a dispensary for kids to pick their frame. (Additionally, we have) a finishing lab – where we make those glasses right there on the spot. The children come on board, they receive a full comprehensive eye exam, they get to pick out their very own brand new designer frames, and then we’re able to make those glasses with that prescription lens right there on the spot – that is all in about 30 minutes at absolutely no cost to them. We see a lot of kids come on board that have never had a pair of glasses be-

fore, never had a prescription or maybe they had never gone to see an optometrist. When they see clearly for the first time through the phoropter during the exam, it is really a wonderful moment. So, we want to make sure that child (can) leave with the glasses that day; we do not want them to have to wait weeks or a month for the glasses. We want to be able to immediately provide them with that tool to walk right back into the classroom (to) learn, read, and see friends and teachers in a whole new way.” McKearn also shared that Eye Thrive provides an additional pair of glasses for children who have an extremely high prescription or has special needs. She states that they feel very strongly about these children having an additional pair on hand (perhaps one pair they wear while the other remains at home) in case of an accident. Eye Thrive’s third program for students – replacement prescription glasses – includes shipment of glasses directly to a child’s home with no questions asked. Criteria includes lost or broken glasses and a current valid prescription. Requests are made via Eye Thrive’s website, mail request, email, phone, or text (find details at https:// Prior to COVID-19 glasses were shipped directly to the child’s school. “We quickly realized that COVID was not only having a huge impact on our low income families in our community but also for many new families that may be facing adversity for the first time,” stated McKearn. “We very quickly pivoted, and we remained open. We were one of the very first regional nonprofits to remain open and quickly adapt those service models to ensure that our kids are still taken care of. So, within weeks we modified an expanded our replacement program. Prior to March 2020 we were only providing replacements to children that we had seen on board our vehicle. In March we expanded our replacement program to include glasses for any child with a prescription – if a child had gone to another provider, as long as they had a

valid prescription we honored that and we made those replacement glasses.” In addition to McKearn sharing changes the nonprofit has made to accommodate students who may have left glasses in a school prior to closings in March or other reasons, she also shared that they made necessary changes to accommodate safety while providing necessary one-on-one service via the Mobile Vision Clinic in lieu of the services that would normally take place in the schools or community centers. “We got back out on the road at Saint Louis County Libraries during the summer providing on-site vision screenings, eye exams and glasses,” stated McKearn. Eye Thrive requires everyone over the age of two to wear a mask during the Mobile Vision Clinic visits; masks are provided for children. Staff also conduct COVID-19 screenings prior to eye exams (which children must pass). Social distancing is always required, and the clinic’s capacity prohibits family members being on board the clinic. Recently, Eye Thrive scheduled visits in the Hazelwood School District. In January, Eye Thrive plans to be on the road serving students in Cahokia, Illinois before moving on to East Saint Louis. The clinic is in the process of planning its summer 2021. According to McKearn, each year they examine their existing 35-plus district and community center partnerships and any new partnerships to prioritize their schedules based on need/poverty level. The wait-list for Eye Thrive’s services is “pretty long.” McKearn stated, “COVID has definitely not slowed us down; it’s made us realize why our mission is so important and why we are here doing this important work. We know there is a bigger need than ever before, and we are just doing whatever we can to continue to provide those services while prioritizing the safety of our stops and the families that we see.” Eye Thrive welcomes donations to assist them with their efforts of providing exams and glasses to students. Any donations up to $50,000 received to-

Submitted photos Since 2004, Eye Thrive has provided over 20,000 pairs of free eyeglasses and is operated by one full-time and one part-time optometrist, six other full-time employees and three additional part-time employees.

wards their Dec. 8 Eye Need You campaign via https://charidy. com/eyethrive, will be matched dollar for dollar. The campaign was launched to help off-set the increase in costs to Eye Thrive due to accommodating services amid COVID-19. The following donors have agreed to help the nonprofit raise $100,000:

Gerald and Judith Jehling, Midland Optical, William and Karen Jehling, Eureka Lions Club, Clarkson Eyecare, David and Emily Fingerhut of Financial Legacy, and Kyle and Kelly Wiethuchter. For more information about Eye Thrive visit • Community News – St. Louis County • December 9, 2020


By Tasmyn Scarl Front

My Supernova Award

I was recently honored to be the keynote speaker at the Greater St. Louis Boy Scouts Supernova Awards Event. Even though the event was virtual, I had the opportunity to learn about what goes into earning one of these awards and hear about the impact this accomplishment has the potential of providing to the Scouts that earn this prestigious award. As I was preparing for the presentation, I learned about the many engaging programs and opportunities for Scouts to learn new skills and explore different careers in STEM, which is similar to the Challenger Learning Center’s focus. The other similarity I noticed between the Boy Scouts and the Challenger Learning Center is that they both seek to instill a strong sense of teamwork, perseverance and creative problem solving. And although it takes work and dedication to obtain skills and knowledge, it is the soft skills that are more difficult to master, and ultimately can make the difference between success and failure. The Supernova Awards presentation also gave me an opportunity to reflect on the significance of a Scout earning such an award. In astronomical terms, a supernova is a huge explosion that takes place when there is a change in the core of a star – in other words, the change comes from within. This is something that I certainly did not embrace when I was a Scout. Although I do not recall there being an equivalent of a supernova award when I was a Girl Scout, I do remember there were many different badges we could earn, and I was very driven to get as many as possible. It wasn’t that I was necessarily interested in what the badges were about or what I might learn. In fact, I can’t say that I have any particular memory about earning any of them. I just wanted to have the embroidered patch to put on my sash. You see, I believed that the badges were how I would earn validation – and the more real estate my badges took up, the more proof I had that I was worthy of praise and recognition. What I did not understand back then was that the badges could not provide a sense of meaning if I did not gain something internal. That did not happen until recently, when I earned my own type of Supernova Award. As a long-distance runner, I had hoped to one day run the Boston Marathon – the Holy Grail of all marathons, at least in my book. Once I set my sights on running this prestigious race, I worked very hard for many years, running thousands of miles in all types of conditions to train, race and repeat, facing hope, determination and a drive to keep trying, even after one year when I qualified, but failed to earn a spot by a mere 21 seconds. And after many years, I finally qualified and was accepted into the 2020 Boston Marathon. Unfortunately, the pandemic forced a cancellation. It was rescheduled for this past fall, but was once again cancelled, so it became a virtual marathon that anyone who was supposed to run the real deal could legitimately run and be considered a finisher by completing a marathon distance anywhere in the world. I completed this race in St. Louis

with a handful of others who were also scheduled to run the real thing. A few weeks after completing the virtual race, I received my Boston finishers medal, which to me is more meaningful than any other I have received. I keep this one on my desk, and whenever I look at it, I am reminded of the long journey it took to get there, and how much it means to have finally earned it. Something else about supernovas – they need another star in order to take place. They can’t do it by themselves. And I would bet that any meaningful accomplishment could not have happened without the support of or guidance from someone else. And during these times, in particular, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge those around you that have helped, and continue to help you be successful. If you are a student, it is very likely that you had a teacher that helped you out in some way. And for those students who have – or had a teacher who helped to inspire you to love STEM or to pursue a career in a STEM field, you can let them know by nominating them for an Inspiring Teacher Award from the Challenger Learning Center. Each year, in memory and honor of the seven astronauts we lost in the Challenger space shuttle accident, we select seven teachers who are nominated by a current or former student to receive one of these awards. The awards ceremony, which normally is held in person, will take place virtually on Jan. 28, 2021. The third notable characteristic of a supernova is the impact of their massive explosion. These events have an impact on the entire universe by distributing elements throughout its entirety and travel on to form new stars, planets and everything else in the universe. So, by having accomplished something that results in a change from within, recognizing and appreciating those around you that have contributed to your success, you have the potential to have a positive impact on everything and everyone you interact with and to make the world a better place. The final message I gave to the award winners was to find and pursue the things in life that excite you, be open to new experiences, recognize those who have played a role in your accomplishments, see failure as a challenge and never forget that you have the potential to change the world around you. For more infoabout the Challenger Learning Center, or to nominate someone for an Inspiring Teacher Award, please visit Tasmyn Scarl Front is the Executive Director of the Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis and has over 25 years of experience in informal science education. Tasmyn serves on the board of directors for New City School, Challenger Center for Space Science Education, and the Jewish Community Relations Council, and as a steering committee member of the St. Louis STEM Ecosystem. She is a marathon runner and leads a local running group, the Missouri Running Club. Tasmyn graduated from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana with a degree in Industrial Design.

Around Town


Hazelwood School Board looks to fill three empty positions The Hazelwood School District Board of Education will have two open three-year seats and one open two-year seat in the April 6, 2021 election. Filing opens at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 15 and closes Jan. 19, 2021 at 5 p.m. The qualifications for the Board are as follows: • Missouri law requires a person to be a U.S. citizen. • At least 24 years of age. • A resident taxpayer of the Hazelwood School District and to have resided in the state of Missouri for one year immediately preceding the election. • Board members do not receive pay for their service. Qualified applicants must make an appointment to file in person during business hours at the Hazelwood School District Administration Building, 15955 New Halls Ferry Road, Florissant, MO 63031. To schedule an appointment to file for board candidacy, please contact Kristina Allen at 314-953-5012 or


Aound Town

December 9, 2020 • Community News – St. Louis County •

Fun socks to be distributed at select transit centers Dec. 21

Candidates announced for St. Louis County Extension Council

To help commuters stay toasty on transit this winter – while sharing a little holiday cheer – Citizens for Modern Transit, Metro Transit, St. Clair County Transit District, Bureau of Transit Police, Metro Transit Public Safety, AARP in St. Louis and University of Missouri – St. Louis (UMSL), will be handing out fun socks, hats and candy canes to riders at select transit locations on Dec. 21 (the first day of winter). This appreciation event will also kick off a winter-long effort aimed at providing hats, scarves, gloves and other new winter gear items to transit riders as needs are identified on the regional public transit system. The socks and hats, featuring a winter hat, hot cocoa, cookies and the words “Stay Toasty on Transit,” will be distributed from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the North Hanley Transit Center, Fairview Heights Transit Center, Belleville Transit Center, Central West End Transit Center, Shrewsbury-Lansdowne I-44 Transit Center and Riverview Transit Center. All extras will be added to a selection of other new winter gear items that MetroLink Police Officers and Metro Transit Public Safety will hand out to transit riders in need throughout the remainder of the winter months. “Transit is a viable transportation option in the St. Louis region, especially in the winter months and during inclement weather,” commented Kimberly Cella, executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit. “We thought this effort would be a fun way to celebrate the first day of winter, while also helping to keep riders warm and reinforcing the benefits of public transit.” “This is a wonderful opportunity to thank our riders, have some fun and help share some holiday cheer,” said Taulby Roach, president and chief executive officer of Bi-State Development. “This has been a challenging year for everyone in our region, and we welcome any chance to show our appreciation and support for everyone who chooses Metro Transit.” Chair of the St. Clair County Board of Trustees Herb Simmons adds, “These simple gestures go a long way towards demonstrating our appreciation to riders and helping them see that police officers and public safety officials are here and available to help assist them.” This event provides a valuable opportunity for the partnering organizations to interact with riders, strengthen relationships and reinforce their collective commitment to a safe, world-class, customer-focused transit experience. To learn more about transit community engagement events like “Stay Toasty on Transit,” visit, or

The St. Louis County Extension Council has announced the seven candidates for its upcoming election. Three of the current 18-member board have completed their terms. One member is up for reelection. The council can have a maximum of twenty members over the age of 18 and five non-voting members between the ages of 15 and 18. Council members can serve two consecutive two-year terms before having to sit out for a year. The St. Louis County residents seeking election to the board are as follows: • Beth von Behren - von Behren currently serves on the Ferguson Farmers’ Market Commission and is active with the Kirkwood-Des Peres Chamber and resides in Ferguson. • Sylvester Bolden – Bolden has been a volunteer with University of Missouri Extension in St. Louis County for 16 years, previously served on the Council and lives in St. John. • Nathan Brandt – Brandt is a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones Investments, previously served as the Horticulture Specialist for MU Extension and lives in Affton. • Karen Jamerson – Jamerson is the Family

Self-Sufficiency Coordinator for the St. Louis Housing Authority, just completed her first term on the Council and lives in Jennings. • Jim Kolve – Kolve is the Missouri AFL-CIO Coordinator and a General Board Member for the Northeast Missouri Workforce Investment Board and lives in Maryland Heights. • Angela Pinex - Pinex currently serves as the Executive Director of the Spanish Lake Community Development Corporation (CDC) and lives in Olivette. • Shavanna Spratt - Spratt is owner of Da Hood Doula, LLC and resides in Ferguson. She is a graduate of Neighborhood Leadership Fellows and Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Elections will take place between Jan. 17 and 31. You will be able to vote online, as well as at the St. Louis County Extension office. Current St. Louis County residents, 18 years of age or older, are eligible to vote. Information about the University of Missouri Extension of St. Louis County, as well as where to cast your ballot in this election, can be found on the web at http://extension.missouri. edu/stlouis/.

Lawyer group does not let a pandemic stop 30-plus year Motion for Kids program The 31st annual Motion for Kids (MFK) holiday gift-giving project for approximately 1,500 metropolitan St. Louis area children who are in the foster care system, or children whose lives have been severely impacted by the criminal justice system, continues in 2020 with a different format. The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL)

and the St. Louis Bar Foundation have partnered this year with the St. Louis Cardinals Care Program, the Isaac Bruce Foundation, the Missouri Bar, the St. Louis Fire Department, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the St. Louis legal community. A yearly holiday party usually is held at Chaifetz Arena to provide cheer to area children who otherwise would not experience the joy of the holiday season. This year, the event was revised to become a drivethrough event at the St. Louis Fire Department headquarters and training tower facility. However, COVID-related restrictions cancelled both plans for an in-person event, but the Motion for Kids Committee was determined to ensure the children still receive their gifts. The committee worked tirelessly to make sure that happens before the holidays. Local children’s support organizations and agencies identify the children who receive the gifts. Those children are matched up with sponsors from the St. Louis legal community (lawyers, judges, para-

legals, office administrators, law students, legal secretaries and their families). Each sponsor is asked to purchase and wrap gifts chosen specifically from each child’s wish list. Instead of a random gift, children receive gifts they truly want. This year, BAMSL volunteers are delivering the gifts directly to the agencies, who will help distribute the gifts to each child. BAMSL members Christina Lewis Abate, vice president of underwriting for The Bar Plan, and Cardina Johnson, associate general counsel of the Illinois Education Association, are cochairs of this year’s Motion for Kids, with significant assistance from an active committee, BAMSL staff and hundreds of volunteers. With more than 6,500 members in the St. Louis region, including attorneys, judges, paralegals and law firm administrators, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) is the oldest and most respected voluntary bar association in the area. BAMSL exists to benefit its members as well as to serve the legal profession and the public at large. • Community News – St. Louis County • December 9, 2020

Senior Living


Seniors: get your flu shot – it’s important! Getting vaccinated for the flu is more important than ever. Not only will a flu shot help keep you and your family healthy, it can help reduce the strain on the healthcare system and keep hospital beds and other medical resources available for people with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This is no ordinary flu season; it’s a flu season amid a pandemic. With two dangerous viruses going around at once, it’s time for people to protect their communities by getting the vaccine already available: the flu vaccine. And people with Medicare are at greater risk for serious complications from flu. A flu shot is an important preventive tool for individuals with asthma, diabetes, and heart and lung disease – chronic conditions that can increase the risk for serious flu-related health complications or even death. It’s the best protection from getting and spreading this flu virus, and it’s covered by Medicare at no cost. Medicare Part B covers one flu shot per flu season per beneficiary. You pay nothing for a flu shot if your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider accepts Medicare payment for giving the shot. A flu shot won’t protect you against COVID-19, but it has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there’s no evidence that a flu vaccination increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19. Those at high risk for flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older,

and people with certain chronic health conditions. Anyone who is six months old or older should get a yearly flu vaccine. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated in September or October, but a flu shot anytime during the flu season can help protect you. Flu season in North America rarely begins before early October and usually lasts from December to March. In the past two years, the peak activity has occurred around mid-to-late February. Your body needs two weeks after a shot to develop a protective response to the influenza virus, so your best bet is to get vaccinated before the flu rate begins to climb. Workplaces and other settings that usually provide flu shots may not do so this season because of the challenges of maintaining social distancing. For more information on where you can get a flu vaccine, visit www. When going to get a flu shot, please practice everyday preventive actions and follow the CDC’s recommendations for running essential errands. Ask your doctor, pharmacist, or health department if they are following CDC’s vaccination pandemic guidance. Any vaccination location following CDC’s guidance should be a safe place for you to get a flu vaccine. If you have a child over six months old who qualifies for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), you may also qualify for a flu vaccination at no cost to you.

Logan University, St. Louis County Public Health partner for integrated chiropractic care Logan University has announced an agreement with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to help advance the health of those living in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. Beginning in January 2021, Logan Doctors of Chiropractic will work closely with the center’s team of health care providers to deliver chiropractic care to patients at the county’s John C. Murphy Health Center located at 6121 N. Hanley Road in Berkeley. The partnership is made possible from the expansion of the Gateway to Better Health Program through the leadership of the Regional Health Commission. “The County Department of Public Health and Logan share a mission of providing accessible and affordable health care to St. Louis residents,” said Patrick Battaglia, DC, DACBR, Director of Community Health and Hospital Partnerships and Health Policy. “We look forward to being a vital component of their health care system and making a difference in the lives of the patients we treat.” Logan has a history of providing quality integrated chiropractic care to community-based organizations and currently maintains strong partnerships with Affinia Healthcare, CareSTL Health, and the Mercy JFK clinic. Battaglia said not only do these partnerships permit broader access to chiropractic care for patients, but they also provide an enriching training environment for students interested in integrated health care. “Under the supervision of trained doctors of chiropractic, students apply their knowledge and

fine tune their clinical and communication skills while serving the health care needs of the community,” he said. “Furthermore, students rotating through this health center can enhance their educational experience through on-site collaboration with a multitude of health care disciplines.” Additionally, the partnership allows Logan to create an integrated health care residency, under the direct supervision of experienced Logan clinicians, which will begin in January. Emily Doucette, MD MSPH, Chief Medical Officer for the St. Louis County Department of Public Health said the Department of Public Health is thrilled about the opportunity to partner with Logan University and the Regional Health Commission to add chiropractic care and occupational therapy services. “The addition of physician function services will further support our integrated primary care delivery model, providing holistic and person-centered care to improve quality of life, especially for our patients with chronic pain diagnoses,” she said. Attending clinicians overseeing care at these sites include Patrick Battaglia, DC, DACBR, director of health policy and interdisciplinary care; Kelsey Lewis, DC; and Daniel Haun, DC, DACBR, director of resident and fellow education. Additionally, occupational therapist Bernadette Sheffield, MSOT, will provide services that complement chiropractic, such as reducing pain and improving function and quality of life for patients with spinal and musculoskeletal conditions.

What’s the difference between flu and COVID-19? Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. It is possible to have flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be. While it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, the CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. The CDC has developed a test that will check for Aand B-type seasonal flu viruses and SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test will be used by U.S. public health laboratories. Testing for these viruses at the same time will give public health officials important information about how flu and COVID-19 are spreading and what preventive steps should be taken.



December 9, 2020 • Community News – St. Louis County •

Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders support St. Louis job development Bank of America announced a $400,000 investment in support of nonprofit leadership and sustainability through its annual Neighborhood Builders program. The two awardees from the St. Louis region are organizations leading the charge to address tough issues related to economic mobility — primarily workforce readiness. These two organizations are Ranken Technical College and STL Youth Jobs. Each will receive a grant of $200,000. Both organizations plan to utilize the grant funds to expand programs to boost skills training and job opportunities for individuals across the greater St. Louis area. “Neighborhood Builders is a demonstration of Bank of America’s commitment to advancing economic mobility, with particular focus on underserved communities,” said Marilyn Bush, St. Louis Market President for Bank of America. “STL Youth Jobs and Ranken Technical College are great examples of organizations that help disadvantaged individuals gain

the necessary skills and training to obtain a living wage, realizing a lifetime of success.” This funding will allow STL Youth Jobs to increase youth access to quality work experiences, build job readiness skills, and improve youth’s professional networks and employability. STL Youth Jobs will be able to serve more individuals as a result of Bank of America’s investment, in addition to the hundreds of individuals the organization already serves annually. Bank of America has partnered with STL Youth Jobs on multiple projects since 2014 and has hosted a professional development luncheon last spring for STL Youth Jobs participants interested in learning more about careers in the financial services sector. “Support from Bank of America has been crucial in meeting the growing needs of our community and will allow us to advance our mission to expand access to meaningful job opportunities,” said Hillary Frey, executive director, STL Youth Jobs. “It is vital now more than ever that STL Youth Jobs is preparing youth in our communities for the future workforce.” Ranken Technical College plans to utilize these grant funds to expand the reach and extent of the Early College initiative. This dual enrollment program opened an accelerated educational/career path for many students in the greater St. Louis area and will soon be expanded to Ranken-West, a training facility under construction in Troy in cooperation with the Lincoln County R-III School District.

This grant will impact even more students in addition to 30 current Early College dual enrollees, connecting them with high paying jobs in various skilled technical professions - Ranken graduates have a job placement rate of 98 percent. Bank of America has been a generous supporter of Ranken Technical College since 2007, funding student scholarships and equipment upgrades such as the recent installation of two Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at the St. Louis campus. “Ranken Technical College understands that educational access is key to unlocking future opportunity for any individual,” said Crystal Herron, VP for Diversity and Student Success. “Our partnership with Bank America will allow us to expand our programs to more members of the community, creating impacts for generations to come.” Neighborhood Builders is Bank of America’s signature philanthropic program that advances economic mobility and nonprofit leadership. It creates more sustainable communities by providing nonprofits with the tools to develop stronger strategic plans, chart a succession plan, and enhance funding opportunities. Since Neighborhood Builders started in 2004, Bank of America has invested more than $260 million in 50 communities, partnering with more than 1,300 nonprofits and helping more than 2,600 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills through this program. Locally, Bank of America has partnered with 27 nonprofits in St. Louis, investing $5.4 million to provide financial education and economic mobility opportunities.

Retiring Jennings School District Superintendent spearheads workforce development initiative The Regional Business Council (RBC) Board of Directors announced Dec. 2 that retiring Jennings School District Superintendent Art McCoy, Ph.D., will spearhead its program, an RBC workforce development initiative that supports St. Louisans in receiving skilled jobs and educational training programs. While serving as superintendent of the Jennings School District since 2016, McCoy has partnered with RBC and its corporate, educational and nonprofit partners to support STL. works, which uses collaboration and online tools to empower people to start a career or change one to be gainfully employed and impact the community. Now, he will lead this effort and still help students, parents, and other adults in the region. “Dr. McCoy is a premier educator who has the respect of educators and the community and we are delighted that he will be working on this collaborative venture,” says Kathy Osborn, President and CEO of RBC, which represents regional employers interested in transforming the St. Louis business, civic and philanthropic community. “Dr. McCoy has been a leader in making sure that by the time students graduate they have many options available to them whether that is college, a job, the military or skills training. His expertise makes him the perfect leader and will

help grow.” For over two decades, education and workforce development have been two of McCoy’s primary focus areas. He has successfully instituted career pathways at the elementary to high school level in numerous districts’ schools and served on over 30 college and corporate boards. “It is humbling to build bridges and supply a superhighway for career pathways and high-demand skilled workers,” says McCoy. “Since its inception, has been a critical component of the talent and success of St. Louis and Missouri. Together, we can move at the speed of the need for collective impact.” Workforce development is a key focus are for RBC. Its goals are to increase the pipeline of candidates into high-demand, skilled positions in healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and the trades and to ensure every student is fully aware of the full spectrum of educational and career pathways available to them upon high school graduation. Together, with more than 60 partners, such as St. Louis Community College, the Civic Pride Foundation, BJC Healthcare, McCarthy, World Wide Technology, AT&T St. Louis, and SSM Health, RBC created to make sure job seekers know the opportunities available in skilled careers. • Community News – St. Louis County • December 9, 2020

Northwest Views:

Learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

By Dr. Keith A. Marty Over the past year, there certainly have been many negative, depressing and difficult aspects of COVID-19, particularly its impact on children and adolescents. As adults, we all need to give attention to our children and young adults. Even in the depths of disasters and turmoil, there are lessons being taught. Let me suggest some lessons and perhaps opportunities the pandemic has and will continue to teach us. 1. Building resiliency in youth over the last several decades. There have been growing concerns over the resiliency (including the lack of resiliency) of our young people. We could say as an entire society we are less resilient than those who lived during the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II. Given changes and disappointments, we may be more resilient, particularly our youth following COVID-19. 2. Setting the priorities of what is most important. Many of us have had the opportunity to spend much more time with family, and from that we realize how vital and precious our loved ones are. Some families have suffered the loss of loved ones through the pandemic. Family and loved ones have never been so needed and loved. 3. Embracing technology. Students of all ages, and educators, have had no choice but to more fully realize the potential and power of technology. Distance learning as practiced today would not have been possible if a pandemic had occurred around 15 to 20 years ago. Undoubtedly, many of the aspects now provided and used daily will stay with us beyond this pandemic. 4. Service and caring for others. Nationwide, over 50 million people relied on food banks and community food sources for nutrition during Thanksgiving. In our own Parkway School District, over 500 families rely on the Parkway Food



Hazelwood Board of Education fills vacant board position

On Nov. 17, the Hazelwood Board of Education approved the appointment of Sparkl A. West-Pruitt to a vacant board position, effective immediately. “Mrs. West-Pruitt brings an impressive track record of advocacy for students to the board of education,” said Cheryl D. Latham, President of the Hazelwood Board of Education. “Her dynamic business experience Photo courtesy Hazelwood School District Photo from Bigstock and student-first focus is a welcomed addition to this body.” Prior to this appointment, West-Pruitt served as a Key CommuPantry as a weekly source of food and nutrition nicator for Hazelwood School District. She has also held several needs. As a community, it has been wonderful leadership roles with the Hazelwood PTA Council, including presto see how many individuals and businesses have stepped up in support of neighbors and the ident. West-Pruitt has been involved with HSD since 2012. West-Pruitt’s is an experienced business and entertainment larger community. management professional. In addition to that, she is a motivation5. Patience. Finally, perhaps the above changes al speaker in the areas of goal setting, business marketing, parentcan be summed up with the fact that we have ing, and diversity. West-Pruitt is a graduate of Georgia Technical all had to “slow down” a bit. Wearing face covInstitute. erings and keeping social distance reminds us of our responsibility to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe. Taking care of family and special individuals reminds us of what is truly important. Holiday activities and events, school and community traditions, and gatherings in large crowds remind us of what we used to take for granted. We now value these former “normal” evenings and activities more than ever, and will value them greatly when they return. I believe it is possible we will come out of the pandemic as a more patient, caring, resilient, flexible and loving community and society. We have learned much about ourselves and what is important to each of us. Keith A. Marty, Ed.D. is Superintendent of Parkway School District.

The opinions expressed in this column are the columnist’s alone and do not reflect the opinion of the owners or staff of Community News.


What’s Happening

December 9, 2020 • Community News – St. Louis County •

Send your event to and we'll print it!

Take notice . . .

The events listed in this section are the latest updates as of press time, please check with individual sites for the most up to date cancellations and reschedule info.

EVENTS RECURRING EVENTS Weekdays: Food pantry volunteers needed

The Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry is in need of ongoing adult volunteers to sort food, stock shelves and shop with clients. Two-to-four hour shifts are available, Monday-Friday 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m. To learn more or to join this fun group, contact Chelsey Banaskavich at 314-513-1674 or

Weekdays: Tax filing program volunteers

Seeking greeters, appointment schedulers, and tax preparers to assist older adults in the St. Louis County Tax Filing Program. Training and mileage reimbursement is provided. For more information and to start the volunteer application process, contact the County Older Resident Programs and ask for Mike Nickel at 314-615-4021.

Mondays: TOPS meeting

Come, join and take off those extra pounds. T.O.P.S.=Take Off Pounds Sensibly has meetings on Monday

nights at 7 p.m. (weigh in begins at 6:35 p.m.) 9135 Shelley Avenue, Overland, MO 63114. (Entrance is in the back on East Milton). TOPS is a very inexpensive way to lose weight. You may visit a meeting for free. Any questions please call Dan Agee at 314540-5223.

Mondays: Choral Arts Singers practice

Choral Arts Singers resume practice on Mondays, at 7 p.m. at Transfiguration Episcopal Church, 1860 Lake St. Louis Blvd. in Lake St. Louis. New singers are welcome. Auditions are not required. See

Mondays: City council meetings

City of Pine Lawn holds regular city council meetings at city hall at 6250 Steve Marre Ave. in Pine Lawn on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Mondays: Workshop meetings

City of Pine Lawn holds regular workshop meetings at city hall at 6250 Steve Marre Ave. in Pine Lawn on the fourth Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Mondays: A cappella singers

learn. They practice Tuesdays at Lady of the Pillar school at 401 S. Lindbergh from 7 – 9 p.m. They try to do public events monthly. Always looking for new members. Come by or call Charlie at 314-954-1121.

Tuesdays: Chair Zumba

Chair Zumba every Tuesday from 2:15 – 3 p.m. at The Bridge At Florissant at 1101 Garden Plaza Dr. (Parker @ Arlington). For more information call 314-831-0988.

Tuesdays: Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery Tuesday meetings take place at 6 p.m. with a Saturday Bible Study at 9 a.m. at LifePoint Church at 424 Graham Rd. in Florissant. For more information visit or call (men) Steve D. at 636-634-6582 or (women) Denise W. at 530-417-6151.

Tuesdays: Choir rehearsals

The St. Louis Chordinals, a women’s a cappella chorus, rehearse every Tuesday evening from 7 - 9:30 p.m. at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church at 12397 Natural Bridge Rd. in Bridgeton (next to the Bridgeton Government Center). For more information call Linda at 314-839-3495 or visit

All men who like to sing are invited to come sing with us, The Men of Harmony. We practice every Monday night at 7 p.m. at 5500 Parker Road which is the first house on Uthe Lane. We sing four-part harmony a capella (without accompaniment). We sing some traditional songs, as well as show tunes and more contemporary music. We do perform for the public at various functions. Persons interested can come right on in or for more information call Al at 314-993-6134.

Tuesdays: Vietnam Veterans Association meeting

Mondays: Korean War Veterans Association meeting

From 9:15 - 10:30 a.m. located at John F. Kennedy Center/Henry Koch Ctr., Howdershell Rd. at Charbonier Rd., Florissant. For more info contact Paul McConnell, 314-831-5476.

If you had military service in Korea between Sept. 3, 1945 and the present you are cordially invited to a meeting of Chapter 4, North County Korean War Veterans Association. Meetings take place at the VFW Post 4105 at 410 St. Francois in Florissant on the second Monday of the month, starting at 7 p.m. For more information contact Walter Kaiser at 314-9212132. For a limited period the Chapter will pay for one (1) year membership for new members.

Mondays-Thursdays: Volunteers needed Community Action Agency of St. Louis County is in need of volunteers to stock shelves, sort food shipments and pack bags for Food Pantry Clients Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Two to four hour shifts are available. If you are interested, please contact Cheryl Piece at 314-446-4440 or for additional information.

Tuesdays: A cappella singers

The Gentlemen of Sound are looking for men who like to sing or want to

Chapter 794 Vietnam Veterans Association meets on the third Tuesday of each month at VFW Post 4105 at 410 St. Francois in Florissant. Meetings start at 7 p.m. For more information contact Walter Kaiser at 314-9212132. Chapter will pay for one (1) year membership for new members.

Tuesdays: TOPS pounds sensibly)



2nd Tuesday Sept.-June: Showme Stitchers:

Show-me Stitchers is the local chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America. We meet on the second Tuesday, Sept.-June at 6:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 14088 Clayton Road, Chesterfield, MO. Learn needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch, and more.

Every 4th Tuesday of the month: Fort Bellefontaine Memorial American Legion Post 335 meeting

6:30pm, Fort Bellefontaine Memorial American Legion Post 335, at the Bellefontaine Neighbors Community Center at 9669 Bellefontaine Rd. Those interested in membership are invited to attend.

Every Tuesday: Bingo Evening at Florissant Elks Lodge #2316

Doors at 4:30 p.m., games begin at 6pm, Florissant Elks Lodge #2316, 16400 New Halls Ferry Rd. in Floris-

sant. For more information, call 314921-2316.

Wednesdays: Bingo

Bingo takes place every Wednesday at American Legion Post 338 at 9655 Midland Blvd. in Overland. Doors open at 5 p.m. For more information contact Chairman Ed Hilleman at 314-660-1813.

Wednesdays: Bingo

Life Care Center of Bridgeton, at 12145 Bridgeton Square in Bridgeton, welcome all to Community Bingo every last Wednesday of the month at 2:30 p.m. Light refreshment will be served. Please RVSP at 314-298-7444 with the month you will attend and number of people attending.

Wednesdays: TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly)

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) meets from 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrews United Methodist Church at 3975 N. Hwy 67 in Florissant. For more information contact Norma at 314-306-4731.

Every Wednesday: Bingo Morning at Florissant Elks Lodge #2316

Florissant Elks Lodge #2316, 16400 New Halls Ferry Rd. in Florissant. Doors at 7:30 a.m., games begin at 9:30 a.m. For more information, call 314-921-2316.

Bridgeton Trails Library Branch Programs:

3455 McKelvey Rd., St. Louis, 314994-3300. Story Time: Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. 9 months to 2 yrs. Room 1 (Lap Time); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. Ages 3–5. Room 2; Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Ages 3–5. Room 1.

Florissant Senior Citizens’ Bingo Clubs: 314-839-7604. Every 1st Wednesday of the Month: Stroke Support Group 3-4 p.m., Center for Senior Renewal, Detrick Building 1st floor, 11133 Dunn Rd. For more information, contact Jamie Stevens at 314-653-5331.

Thursdays: Bingo

Community Bingo at the Bridge At Florissant, at 1101 Garden Plaza Drive (intersection of Parker and Arlington) takes place on the third Thursday of each month starts at 2 p.m. There will be snacks and prizes. For more information call 314-831-0988.

Thursdays: Quilting guild

Every third Thursday of the month the Flower Valley Quilting Guild meets at 7 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church at 123 Carson Road in Ferguson.

Thursdays: checks



Free blood pressure checks monthly at Life Care Center of Florissant at 1201 Garden Plaza Dr. (off Parker Rd.) in Florissant every third Thursday of the month. Call 831-3752 for more information. • Community News – St. Louis County • December 9, 2020 Thursdays: meeting



Every Thursday City Voices Chorus, a women’s chorus singing four-part a cappella harmony, meets at Church of the Good Shepherd at 1166 S. Mason Rd. in St. Louis. Members come from the entire bi-state region. Call Marcia at 636-274-0723 for more information or visit

Fridays: Fish fry

A fish fry takes place every Friday at American Legion Post 338 at 9655 Midland Blvd. in Overland from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information contact Chairman Ed Hilleman at 314-660-1813.

Every Friday: Our Lady of Fatima #4429 Knights of Columbus Bingo

6:45 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 1216 Teson Rd. in Hazelwood. For more information call 314-731-9330.

Every 3rd Friday of the month: Bingo 2 p.m., Life Care Center of Florissant, 1201 Garden Plaza Dr. For more information, call 314-831-3752.

Saturdays: Yoga

Yoga returns to Calvary UCC at 2501 Hartland Avenue, on Saturdays from 10:30-11:30. Masks and social distancing are required in the building and participants should bring hand sanitizer with them. For further information call Angela at 314-801-8594.

Saturdays: Toastmasters meeting

Everyone is welcome to attend Toastmasters Saturdays 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Normandy United Methodist Church at 8001 Natural Bridge Road (across from UMSL). For more info call 314402-7025.

Saturdays: Free walk-in clinic

Salam Clinic at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ at 1425 Stein Road at West Florissant in Ferguson is a free walk-in clinic open Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The clinic is jointly sponsored by the Muslim Community of St. Louis (MCSL) and St. Peter’s United Church of Christ to provide basic adult medical screening, treatment and referrals free of charge for the uninsured. For more information or if you would be interested in volunteering, please call 314-521-5694 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday or visit

Saturdays: Clothing sale

On the second Saturday of each month Bethany-Peace UCC at 11952 Bellefontaine Rd. in St. Louis County hosts a clothing sale from 9 - 11 a.m. For sale are used clothing and shoes, some household items, books and toys. Fill your bag for $1.

Saturdays: Grief support

On the fourth Saturday of each month, grief support meeting “A Way With Words Ministry” meets at 12:30 p.m. at Community Christ Fellowship, rear, at 121 Williams Blvd. in Hazelwood, 1/4 mile south of Hwy 270 off Florissant Rd. There are a

variety of topics monthly. You are not alone. Come help your heart heal with others. For more information call 314-605-3949.

Every Fourth Saturday’s Writer’s Workshop 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Baden Library, at 8448 Church Rd. For more information call 314-388-2400.

Sundays: Meat shoot

Come and enjoy the meat shoots at American Legion Post 4445 located on 17090 Old Jamestown Rd. between Sinks Rd. and Lindbergh starting noon Sept. 15 thru Nov. 17; and in the spring, Feb. 2 thru March 8 rain or shine. Great meat prizes awarded.

Sundays: AMVETS meat shoot

Sundays in September through April, AMVETS Post 55, located on 8842 Natural Bridge Rd. in Bel-Ridge will be hosting meat shoots with practice beginning at 11 a.m. and rounds starting at noon. Shooters must be 18 or older and will shoot #9’s with no bull barrels or scopes and 675 minimum chokes. The shooting area is indoors and food and drink are available in the club room. For more information, contact 314-630-2671 or 314-330-7269.

Sundays: meeting



The Jennings Do-Dads hold meetings every third Sunday of the month (except June which is the second Sunday and no meeting in December) at 1 p.m. at Classics Bar & Grill at 11601 West Florissant Avenue. Those interested in membership are invited to attend. For more information visit

CHURCH Tuesdays & Thursdays: Chapel of the Cross Lutheran Church GriefShare Support Group Tuesdays from 2 - 4pm and Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30pm, 11645 Benham Rd., 314-741-3737

HEALTH Every Mon. & Tues.: Healthy Meal Replacement (HMR) Program Orientation

Mondays: 6–7pm Tuesdays: Noon– 1pm SSM DePaul Wellness Center. Attend a free orientation to learn: the Five Success Variables needed to lose weight, different diet options available and how important physical activity really is. Please call to register at 1-877-477-6954.

1st Tuesday of Every Month: Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Group Meeting

Meeting to be held at Sarah Care of Bridgeton Adult Day Center 11977 St. Charles Rock Road, Suite 121-124, Bridgeton, MO 63044. Join our Support Group for Mutual, Emotional Support and Education. You are not alone. For information, contact Deborah Mabrie at 314-291-5210 or Ferd Fetsch at 314-291-3021 Email: ferdfetsch@

Every third Tuesday of every month: Grief Support Group sponsored by DePaul Hospital

11:30am-1pm, Maryland Hgts. Comm. Ctr., 2300 McKelvey Rd. For more information, call 314-344-6873.

Wednesdays: ACES Schizophrenia Support Group 6:30 - 7:30pm, 314-839-3171.

Sundays: Alcoholics Anonymous Group 109

11th floor conference room at Christian Hospital, 10am, 11133 Dunn Road.

Diabetes Basics:

314-344-7024 for info or 314-344-7220 to enroll.

Crisis Nursery:

Committed to preventing child abuse and neglect, the Crisis Nursery provides short-term, safe havens to children, birth through age 12, whose families are faced with an emergency or crisis. Care is available year-round and serves families throughout the greater St. Charles region. 24-hour helpline:

What’s Happening

314-768-3201. Or 636-947-0600, www.

Center for Senior Renewal:

Day treatment programs for older adults dealing with anxiety, depression, grief, loss and early signs of dementia, 314-653-5123.

Nutrition Education:

SSM DePaul registered dieticians can help you make sure your diet is right for you, 314-344-6157.

Christian Center:



SUDOKU answers from page F-1


Outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment for adults, 314-9538100.

Volunteers Needed at Christian Hospital: Call 314-653-5032 Nicotine Anonymous

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12 Step Program, free and available to all seeking recovery from nicotine addiction based on principals of AA. Only requirement is a desire to stop using nicotine. Voluntary contributions are accepted. For further info call 314-822-2066 or visit CROSSWORD answers from page F-4



December 9, 2020 • Community News – St. Louis County •

Sports you see with Gary B... Ambush on board with new soccer schedule The St. Louis Ambush play in the Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) with home games at the Family Arena in St. Charles. The MASL, following a vote from its board of directors, has agreed to proceed with plans for a modified 2020-2021 regular season, with eleven teams choosing to participate in the campaign. The MASL regular season may start as early as Dec. 31, with a final regu-


lar season date of April 18, 2021. The MASL clubs who have decided to participate in the 2020-2021 season are: Baltimore, Dallas, Florida, Harrisburg, Kansas City, Ontario, Rochester, San Diego, St. Louis, Tacoma and Utica. These teams will play a regular season of between 12 and 24 matches in order to be considered eligible for playoff participation. A playoff format will be WWW.MYCNEWS.COM revealed at a later date. Local and state regulations will be a determining factor in start dates, capacity, and number of games played. Teams that are allowed arena capacity, and have dates will have the ability to schedule and fulfill games as allowed. Standings will be based on winning percentage, since teams will potentially play an unbalanced number of games. The league also continues to evaluate opportunities to play in regional competitions outside the framework of the regular season, such as the upcoming Central Cup, and will make future announcements as warranted. Go to for more ? CAN YOU GET details. * Best of the best

Pick up a

at all 35 Dierbergs & Schnucks stores in St. Charles County and North and Northwest St. Louis County


Cheerleading tryouts for indoor football The St. Louis Bandits are scheduled to take the field in early spring and will be a part of the American Arena Football league. Tryouts start Jan. 8 at the Performing Arts studio in O’Fallon. Go to www.StLouisFootballBandits. com for more details. * The Banshees will lead the crowd

EXPIRES: 12/28/2020

Lindenwood hockey club still looking for first win Lindenwood University’s women’s hockey team dropped a recent game to undefeated Robert Morris by a score of 4-0 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The opening period saw Lindenwood put the puck towards the net as they registered 26 shots, 10 of which were on goal. The Colonials withstood an early push from the Lions and battled back, earning a power-play opportunity, which they took advantage of, going on top at the 12:20 mark of the opening frame. The Lions created a few chances towards the end of the period, but the Colonials took a 1-0 lead into the locker room. Robert Morris opened the second period strong, adding two goals in a six second span. Lindenwood didn’t get much going offensively, until the Lions a penalty shot late in the frame, but Megan Wagner was stopped. The Colonials went on to add one more goal in the third period and picked up the 4-0 victory. Wagner led the scoring opportunities with five shots on goal. Jada Burke put two shots toward the net with Rachel Goff contributing three and all were blocked. Lindenwood will return home to face Robert Morris in a two-game series * The first one is the toughest

Gary Baute, a St. Louis native, may be educated in business but he lives and breathes sports. As a fan or an athlete, Gary is all sports all the time. He hosted a radio sports program on KFNS, emceed the River City Rascals’ inaugural season, among many other activities. I am currently hosting a Health show on 97.1 FM, ‘Prime Time Health’ www. It broadcasts Saturday nights at 8 and Sunday mornings at 9. • Community News • December 9, 2020




Add fruity flavor and fun to holiday desserts Watermelon and Blueberry Cheesecake


Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column and 3-by-3 box includes all the digits 1 through 9.

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board | Servings: 12 Ingredients: Cheesecake: Nonstick cooking spray 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (2 graham crackers) 24 ounces fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 1 cup white sugar 3/4 cup no-calorie sugar substitute 3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons lemon peel, finely grated 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute (equivalent of 6 eggs) Watermelon-Blueberry Sauce: 3 cups watermelon juice, with pulp 6 teaspoons cornstarch 6 tablespoons lemon juice 3 tablespoons sugar 3 tablespoons no-calorie sugar substitute 1-1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract 2 cups diced watermelon 3 cups blueberries

Directions: To make cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs in pan and tilt to spread evenly over bottom and sides, leaving extra crumbs on bottom. Using electric mixer, beat fat-free cream cheese, low-fat cream cheese, sugar and sugar substitute until creamy and well-blended. Slowly add halfand-half, lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla; continue beating. Add egg substitute until mixture is thoroughly blended and creamy. Pour into crumb-lined pan. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake

until firm, slightly golden and top is cracked, about 1 hour, 25 minutes. Remove springform pan from water and refrigerate, uncovered, until cold, about 3 hours or overnight. To make watermelon-blueberry sauce: In blender, whip watermelon juice, cornstarch, lemon juice, sugar and sugar substitute until smooth. Pour into small saucepan over mediumhigh heat and bring to gentle boil until topping begins to thicken. Remove from heat and place in refrigerator to cool. Just before serving, add lemon extract, diced watermelon and blueberries; stir to thoroughly blend. To serve, run knife around sides of cheesecake and remove springform pan sides. Top each slice with generous helping of watermelon-blueberry sauce. SEE ANSWERS ON PAGE 9

To find more holiday dessert solutions and other sweet recipe ideas, visit

Sequels to 1980’s hits ‘Coming to America,’ ‘Dirty Dancing’ on the way

Movie: By Steve Bryan

Born and raised in South St. Louis, Steve Bryan is now based in Anaheim, California, and has been allowed access to movie and television sets to see actors and directors at work. Though his writing has taken him far from St. Louis, Steve is, at heart, still the same wide-eyed kid who spent countless hours watching classic movies at neighborhood theaters.

When a movie does well critically and/or financially, at least one sequel is bound to follow. The success of the original “Back to the Future,” for instance, spawned two sequels that were shot back-to back. Doc and Marty’s time-travelling adventures even led to a short-lived 1991 Saturday morning cartoon series. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sequels were part of a planned storyline that started with 2008’s “Iron Man” and ended with the record-breaking “Avengers: Endgame” in 2019. Sometimes sequels take decades to be made. Eddie Murphy’s 1988 romantic comedy “Coming to America” was another box office hit for the “Saturday Night Live” star. The comedian played Prince Akeem Joffer, the crown prince of the African nation known as Zamunda. Instead of taking a bride that was chosen for him, Akeem travels with his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) to the United States to find a woman who loves him for himself. “Coming to America” was a crowd-pleaser and gave Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall

to Kellerman’s, a resort in the Catskill Mountains, for a summer vacation. While she’s there, she becomes romantically attached to Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), a dance instructor at the resort. Though respected critic Roger Ebert was not enamored of the film, “Dirty Dancing” became a breakout hit, wining both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song (“(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”). The film spawned the “Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert” music tour, a stage production and a 1988 television series that didn’t last very long. “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” arrived in theaters in 2004 and is considered a prequel to the 1987 film. As Johnny Castle said, nobody puts Baby in a corner because Jennifer Grey will finally be reprising her iconic role for “Dirty Dancing 2.” In an interview with “People,” Grey spoke about co-star Patrick Swayze, who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009. The actress said, “There is no replacing anyone who’s passed” and indicated that the sequel will “go for something different.” It’s hard to imagine a “Dirty Dancing” sequel without that Johnny/ Baby chemistry, though. “Coming 2 America” will arrive on March 5, 2021, on Amazon Prime

Photo courtesy Eddie Murphy Productions

the opportunity to play multiple characters. In 2021, the long-awaited sequel “Coming 2 America” will be coming to Amazon Prime. Murphy will reprise the role of Prince Akeem, who travels to the United States once again with Semmi to find the son he fathered. John Amos and James Earl Jones are expected to reprise their roles from the original film as well. “Dirty Dancing,” another standout 1980’s film, celebrated its 33rd birthday in 2020. Jennifer Grey, who gave a hilarious performance in 1986’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” took the lead role of Frances “Baby” Houseman, a physician’s daughter who has aspirations of joining the Peace Corps. She and her family travel




December 9, 2020 • Community News •




PRAYER TO ST. JUDE May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world, now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pray for us. St. Jude, Worker of Miracles, Pray for us. St. Jude, Helper of the Hopeless, Pray for us.


Say this prayer 9 times a day for 9 days, then publish. Your prayers will be answered. It has never been known to fail.

Thank you, St. Jude. R.H.


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December 9, 2020 • Community News •


John Hanna


‘Yeggs’ is a comic series about Robert and Bill, two rabbits who have opened their own egg franchise in the Midwest (St. Louis area). We follow their day to day lives, watching as they go about the hectic task of preparing for their one big day every year. Along the way they have adventures filled with fun, comic doings and pathos.

Moore On Life I took a dare last week and caught a flight to see my grandbabies. They live far away and if I want to see them I need to fly or drive. I guess I could always walk and lose some weight, but nowadays it’s a toss-up if I will survive any of those modes of transportation because of the dangerous air-borne cooties floating around. I decided to fly because I’d miss out on the free beverage and pretzel giveaway if I did the others. Flying is a bit different nowadays. Showing identification presents a problem. The security guard looked at my photo ID and then me and then again at my ID. “This doesn’t match up,” he said. “You look different.” I helped him out. “It’s probably because I have this safety mask on.” I pulled it down to give him a better look. He gasped, “Oh! Yes. Ugh. Well, you make sure you keep that thing on…tightly!” Rude! Just because I don’t wear make-up underneath; it rubs off all over the mask. I headed to my gate. We could only sit in certain marked seats to ensure a gap between people. But that took away places to sit. I went to the ladies room and found a nice roomy stall to sit in until my flight was ready. As we boarded, a stewardess handed me a sanitizing wipe. “Must be for my hands,” I thought, but not so. I soon saw passengers wiping down ev-

By Cindy Moore ery square inch of their square inch of assigned space. I did the same. I guess we’re in charge of cleaning the plane now. I settled into my aisle seat and discovered that the center seat would be vacant. Yes! No chatty seatmate or jumbo person oozing over into my space. That made up for my personal maid service. Soon we were given a safety reminder. In the event we crash landed, lost a wing or dropped an engine it wouldn’t be as bad as the penalty for not keeping our masks on at all times. At least I wouldn’t be scaring anymore people. I relaxed and awaited my complimentary beverage and snack—the flight highlight. But it was not to be. The entire drink/cookie-time thing has been COVID cancelled. I should have walked.

Crying while flying

Cindy Moore is the mother of three superlative kids, servant of two self-indulgent felines and wife to one nifty husband. Her ficticious occupation? Archeological Humorist: someone who unearths absurdity and hilarity in strange and unusual places including public restrooms, the lint filter, and church meetings. Most recently, she excavated a find in her neighbor’s bird feeder. The opinions expressed in this column are Cindy Moore’s alone and do not reflect the opinion of the owners or staff of Community News.

ACROSS 1. *Bambi and others like him 6. Nail a criminal 9. Use a paring knife 13. Cornucopia’s shape 14. Lawyers’ org. 15. Interior designer’s focus 16. *Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor’s draw 17. 1/100 of afghani 18. Tapestry 19. *Minnie Mouse’s full first name 21. *”Be Our Guest” performer 23. Kukui nut necklace 24. #22 Down competitor 25. Dojo pad 28. Pillow filler 30. Detected 35. Burden of proof 37. Ness’ domain 39. Vernacular 40. Poker amount 41. Divvy up 43. U.S. freshwater invader 44. Relating to nose 46. Golfer’s warning 47. “The Three Musketeers” dueling sword 48. Isaac of science fiction fame 50. *”The Princess Diaries” leading actress 52. Pigpen

53. Candle burner 55. Greek letters on campus 57. *Remy’s idol Auguste ____ 61. *Pongo’s mate 65. Radio sign 66. J. Edgar Hoover’s org. 68. Was dishonest with, two words 69. *Iago and Kevin 70. *Scar to Simba, e.g. 71. At the point of death, archaic 72. Command to Fido 73. Seed alternative, to a landscaper 74. Loses color DOWN 1. Fraud 2. Famous Amos 3. Before long, to Shakespeare 4. Alef and Bet follower 5. *Like a Haunted Mansion visitor 6. California valley 7. *Aladdin’s sidekick 8. What football and baseball have in common, pl. 9. “Frasier” actress Gilpin 10. Homesteader’s measure 11. *Shere Khan’s cry 12. Highland tongue

15. Woman in trouble? 20. Actress Davis 22. Package delivery service 24. Reveal the true nature 25. *”How Far I’ll Go” performer 26. *____ of Arendelle, pl. 27. Hutu’s opponents, 1994 29. *Raksha or Rama 31. Cote d’Azur locale 32. Ginger cookies 33. Kind of heron 34. *Beardless dwarf 36. Clothing line 38. Honker 42. It may be perfect 45. Moves down 49. Itinerary word 51. Cap attachment 54. Part of a sleeve, pl. 56. Organ swelling 57. Loads 58. Military group 59. Sarah, alt. sp. 60. Not a slob 61. ____ Piper 62. Object of worship 63. Tear, past tense 64. *”A Bug’s Life” characters 67. *Human child in Monstropolis SEE ANSWERS ON PAGE 9

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