Saint Louis, MO, December 12, 2008 -- A good time was had by nearly 400 guests and more than $50,000 was raised to benefit the St. Vincent Home for Children at the second annual St. Vincent Home for Children Benefit Christmas Party.
The event, which was held Thursday, December 11, at the Chase-Park Plaza Hotel was hosted by Missouri-focused philanthropists Rex Sinquefield and his wife, Dr. Jeanne Sinquefield, Travis Brown and Rachel Keller Brown of Pelopidas, LLC, an advocacy management company and Laura Slay, president of Slay & Associates, Inc., a marketing and public relations firm.
Rex Sinquefield has had close ties to the organization since he and his brother Jerry lived at St. Vincent's in the 1950's, after their family fell on hard financial times, following the passing of their father. St. Vincent's, at that time, was a home for orphaned children.
During the evening's program, Rex spoke of the fond memories of his experiences, "The love, attention and good guidance that we received from the sisters who ran St. Vincent's and from our basketball coach Ron Holtman, made an indelible and very positive impression on us. Our teachers and coach Holtman, provided us with all the tools that we needed succeed as students, win the 1958 basketball championship and become successful adults."
Guests at the $50-per-person celebration were greeted with lavender colored Cosmopolitans, feasted on a vast selection of appetizers from Missouri-focused food stations and danced to music by Motown-sound band, Arvell & Company. Special recognition was given to three student residents of St. Vincent's, now a 24-hour care and treatment center for youth with behavior disorders and other special needs. The students created Christmas-related artwork, which was used in the event invitation and displayed at the event.
Those in attendance included Mayor of the City of Saint. Louis, Francis G. Slay; former Saint Louis Rams football defensive stalwart Pastor Aeneas Williams and his wife, Tracy; KSDK's Rene Knott and his wife Marla; Kevin Short of Clayton Capital Partners and his wife Patty; Bobby Kersee, Olympic gold-medalist trainer (representing Jackie-Joyner Kersee who was keynote speaker at a track conference in Las Vegas); St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley; John and Alison Ferring; Ellen Harschman, St. Louis University John Cook School of Business; Keith Kirk, Pelopidas; Nancy Rice; Robbyn Wahby of Mayor Slay's office; John Chickey, board chairman St. Vincent Home for Children; Lee Ann Taylor, executive director of the organization; Larry LeGrand of Plancorp and his wife Dot; Alderman Lyda Krewson; incoming State Representative Tishaura Jones, Show-Me Institute's executive vice president, Joe Haslag; Vince Mannino of RG Ross and his wife Patty; Jack Naudi, Slay and Associates; Earl Simms, Children's Education Alliance of Missouri; and Tony Rich, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.
"The holiday season reminds us of how important community charity is to our most vulnerable, especially in challenging economic times. We are honored to host so many advocates that want to give something back," said Travis Brown.
*High-Res Image from the event can be downloaded at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32255694@N05/3102682735/ (Left to Right: President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed, Shameem Hubbard, Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield and Rep. Rodney Hubbard)