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Spotlight on St. Louis Area Neighborhood Activities - Updated February 10, 2013

Hardee's Crew and Fred Bird Helps Heat-Up St. Louis Hit Record High of $125,000
St. Louis Cardinals Fred Bird joined more than 525 volunteers serving as "celebrity greeters" at participating Hardee's restaurants to help the 13th Annual Hardee's Rise 'N Shine for Heat raise a record-breaking $125,000.00 to date.
Hardee's Crew and Fred Bird Helps Heat-Up St. Louis Hit Record High of $125,000
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 10, 2013 - The 13th Annual Hardee's Rise 'N Shine for Heat, annual fundraiser benefitting Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc. has raised a record-breaking $125,000.00, to date.

The money raised, so far is an 39% increase over last year's efforts of $90,000.00. However, Hardee's is continuing its canister collection only through the weekend.

More than 525 volunteers served as "celebrity greeters" at more than 60 participating Hardee's restaurants in the greater metropolitan area of Missouri and Illinois. The St. Louis Rams Football Club, NFL, and Home State Health also made donations to the Rise and Shine efforts.

"Being without a heating source has become a regional health and safety issue," said Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., board chair emeritus. "The media pounded away, the public gave-a-way, and Hardee's baked away, so we're indebted for everyone's generosity."

Heat-Up St. Louis encourages the general public to also use its secured website, at for additional on-line donations, or send tax-deductible donations to Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, and St. Louis, MO 63188.

92.3 WIL personalities Bo Matthews and Derrick Keith braved the Midwestern cold this past Saturday, Februaru 2, at the 10th Annual Polar Plunge, where 335 people anted up a minimum of $75 to "plunge" into frigid Lake St. Louis, to support Special Olympics of Missouri.

Tinker Bell
Rachel Sexson, from St. Peters, dressed as Tinkerball, emerges from the frigid Lake St. Louis, during the Annual Polar Plunge, to support Special Olympics of Missouri.

'Reason for Freezin' Annual Polar Plunge Raises Over $85,200 for Special Olympics Missouri
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 7, 2013 - The 10th Annual Polar Plunge on February 2 at Lake Saint Louis was a splashing success, raising $85,239.34 to date.

A total of 335 brave men and women from around the area donned costumes and swimwear to take a chilly dip into Lake Saint Louis. Their Reason for Freezin'... the athletes of Special Olympics Missouri.

Top fundraisers included the following:

Law Enforcement Agency - Team O'Fallon - $7,221
School - Fort Zumwalt West Middle Wildcats - $3,970
Team - 4Terry - $4,575
Individual 1st Place - Jeff Chapple - $3,710
Individual 2nd Place - David Hurst - $3,601
Individual 3rd Place - John Hihn - $2,593

Competition for the Golden Plunger was steep this year. Participants are encouraged to come in costume and compete for the chance to take home the "golden plunger." The golden plungers were awarded to the following:

Law Enforcement 1st Place - Team O'Fallon - Clowns
Team 1st Place - Polar Bears
Individual 1st Place - Hot Mess
Individual 2nd Place - Gooseman
Individual 3rd Place - Kathy Schweikert - Ariel with dog dressed as a shark

Special recognition goes out to Sara Lewis, Special Olympics Missouri athlete, who dressed up and plunged as a pirate with the WCHS Super Heroes.

Online fundraising is still ongoing. Organizers of the plunge still hope to raise an additional $28,160.66 to reach the goal of $113,400. Donations can be made at

This year's event was held in conjunction with Lake St. Louis PD, O'Fallon PD, Wentzville PD and St. Charles County Sheriff's Department.

Gov. Nixon Announces $1.3 Million in Innovation High School Grants
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 7, 2013 - Gov. Jay Nixon has announced nearly $1.3 million in grants to establish Innovation High Schools at several public schools in the St. Louis area. In partnership with St. Louis Community College (STLCC) and local businesses, Innovation High Schools will allow participating students to earn college credit and gain hands-on experience in high-demand fields such as advanced manufacturing, skilled trades, health sciences, information technology.

"My administration has focused on helping prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, as well as giving them the skills businesses need today." Gov. Nixon said. "Through dual-credit programs and internships with local businesses, Innovation High Schools will allow eligible high schools students to get on a fast track to earning an affordable degree in a high-demand field. That means they can acquire more skills - and, as a result, have better job prospects - in less time, at a lower cost. Strategic investments like these will help Missourians find jobs today and strengthen our economy in the future - because education is the best economic development tool there is."

The Community Development Block Grants funds, administered by the Department of Economic Development (DED), have been awarded to three St. Louis-area projects which are part of the Pathways to Prosperity pilot. Pathways to Prosperity, initiated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, is focused on helping schools create pathways that combine rigorous academics with strong technical education and lead to success after high school. Missouri is one of six states chosen by Harvard University and Jobs for the Future to participate in the pilot.

St. Louis Innovation High School - $499,196

The St. Louis Innovation High School's main goal is to assist low-income high school students gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in high-demand jobs in the fields of health science and information technology. Through an onsite, dual-credit program provided by STLCC, the project will accelerate the process for earning an associate degree in these two fields, with participating students able to earn 21 dual-credit hours during their junior and senior years. Through semester-long workplace internships in local businesses, students will have opportunities to apply the skills they learn in the classroom.

Pattonville School District - $500,000

The Pattonville School District and the Economic Council of St. Louis County will create and support three career pathways in Advanced Manufacturing, Health/Medical professions and Information Technology in collaboration with STLCC and local businesses. STLCC will offer both onsite and satellite campus Associate Degree level courses, creating an opportunity for students to earn both high school and college credit. Students will also be provided work-study and internship opportunities with cooperating area businesses, creating real-world learning experiences.

Ferguson-Florissant - $289,800

The Innovation Campus Middle Apprenticeship Program is a collaborative effort, under the leadership of the St Louis Small Business Empowerment Center, that will bring together the Ferguson-Florissant School District and the Special School District's North Technical High School in St. Louis County with the Cabinet Maker and Millwright Joint Apprenticeship Programs of the Carpenters Joint Apprenticeship Training Program and SLCC. The program will enable participating students from these high schools to participate in a registered apprenticeship program, and earn national certifications and college credits that will equip them to meet employer needs in the growing and targeted Advanced Manufacturing sector.

The West Gateway visual shows a redesigned Keiner Plaza, the Old Courthouse, proposed closing of Memorial Drive with a walkway over Highway 70 and entrance to the Arch grounds and museum. See related story: Arch Design Concept Projected to Shine an International Spotlight on St. Louis Region
Great Rivers Greenway Issues Call for Applications for CAR 2015 Citizen Advisory Committee
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 7, 2013 - Great Rivers Greenway has announced the latest opportunity for residents of the region to assist the district in making the St. Louis region a better place to live. The District, in cooperation with the CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, is extending an open invitation to the people of the region to participate in the CityArchRiver 2015 Project Citizen Advisory Committee.

The District has long welcomed resident participation on its projects, but hopes for wider regional participation on the Citizen Advisory Committee because of the far-reaching effects the CityArchRiver 2015 project will have on the St. Louis metropolitan area. The District has opened the application process to residents in seven counties on both sides of the Mississippi River and the City of St. Louis.

"Our focus is on improving the quality of life for the St. Louis region and the best way to do this is by working in partnership with residents," said Susan Trautman, Executive Director of Great Rivers Greenway. "Our success has always been dependent upon the input and feedback from the citizens and communities we serve. Every Great Rivers Greenway project involves people, involves input, and involves transcending political boundaries. The CityArchRiver 2015 project exemplifies a partnership of national significance but, at its core, is one park experience that improves the Arch grounds experience for everyone."

The CityArchRiver 2015 project will revitalize the Arch grounds and reconnect downtown St. Louis to the Mississippi River with the construction of a park over the recessed lanes of Interstate 70. The project will improve visitor experience, making it safer and ensuring access to the Arch grounds and riverfront for all. New bike and pedestrian pathways will make the St. Louis riverfront and Arch grounds fully accessible for all people, including those with limited mobility, families with strollers and the elderly. Another transformative project component is the work on the central riverfront, spearheaded by Great Rivers Greenway. The riverfront work includes the elevation of Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, which will reduce flooding on the central riverfront and allow the opportunity for more activities along Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard.

Great Rivers Greenway will lead the Citizen Advisory Committee in cooperation with CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation and other project partners. The 30-person committee will meet monthly to provide input on programs, activities, visitor experience, and the long-term preservation of the CityArchRiver 2015 project. "The members joining this committee have a unique opportunity to be a part of a historic project that will forever change the front door of the St. Louis region," said Maggie Hales, Executive Director of CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation.

All eligible residents interested in the project are encouraged to apply February 5 - 25, 2013. Forms and details can be found online at or calling the Great Rivers Greenway office at (314) 436-7009.

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Archived St. Louis Community News and Information:
 O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex Opens in North Saint Louis Community
 Missouri to Offer Refund Debit Cards for Taxpayers
 Great Rivers Greenway Approves Creation of CityArchRiver 2015 Citizen Committee
 CEO of Grace Hill Health Centers Named New Director of Department of Social Services
 Mayor Slay Signs Cell Phone Bill Into Law
 American Community Survey Details Changes in St. Louis Metro Area
 Governor Nixon Announces Health Care Coverage for Additional Estimated 300,000 Missourians
 Holiday Magic Train Concerts Are Back This Year
 Lafayette Square Named One of Nation's "Prettiest Painted Places"
 St. Vincent Trail Opens in the Heart of St. Louis City
 St. Louis Pushed To Form First Animal Cruelty Task Force
 Lafayette Square Competes for "Prettiest Painted Places"
 Mediation Program To Assist Homeowners Facing Foreclosure
 Clydesdales Make Special Guest Appearance at Veterans Festival
 Festival of Nations Attracts Huge Crowds to Tower Grove Park to Enjoy Food, Dancing and Shopping
 Youth Opportunities Program to Help Girls Incorporated of St. Louis
 "Food for Fines" Program Tops Last Year Total
 Arts & Education Council Invites Teachers to Apply for Grants
 Volunteers Needed for 9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance
 Cool Down Unveils "Keep On The Air" Project for Seniors and Disabled
 USPS Releases Plan to Preserve Post Offices in Rural America
 Four Missouri Schools Ranked Best High Schools in the Nation
 National Bike to Work Day Celebrated in Metropolitan St. Louis
 Urban Roots Volunteers Beautify Downtown St. Louis
 Cinco de Mayo Festivals in St. Louis
 Sesame Street's Elmo, Grace Hill and PNC Bank Introduce New Financial Education Program for Preschoolers
 Mayor Slay Signs Bike Parking Bill to Make City More Bike-Friendly
 MERS/Goodwill & The Cardinals Recycling Event Draws Big Crowd
 23rd Annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival at Forest Park
 Neighbors Work Together to Help Clean Up St. Louis
 550 Volunteers Braved the Cold to Raise $95,000 for Heat-Up STL
 2012 Governor's Joplin Habitat Challenge to Build 35 Homes
 Welcome Home Foundation Challenges Other Communities to Hold Parades
 Welcome Home Foundation Moves Forward with Challenge to Raise $7 Million in 7 Days for Vets
 St. Louis Public Library Earns Second-Place Ranking

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