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Saturday, April 24, 2021

11 a.m. Virtual Presentation

Featuring Author

Alyson Richman

Assistance League is pleased to feature international best-selling author of historical novels, Alyson Richman, at our 16th annual “Virtual” Authors Brunch at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 24. Some of Richman’s best-known novels include The Lost Wife, The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, The Last Van Gogh, The Rhythm of Memory and The Mask Carver's Son. Her books have been published in more than 20 languages and have received national and international acclaim.AlysonRichman

Richman is best known for The Lost Wife, a tale of a husband and wife who are separated during World War II and reunited 60 years later at their grandchildren's wedding. Her most recent novel, The Secret of Clouds, is a touching and emotionally charged story about a deep connection between a student and his teacher. Richman describes it as “a love letter to teachers everywhere.” (Meet our author on YouTube by clicking on her photo, right.)

The event will be virtual with no charge to view, but a $50 donation will help to fund essential Assistance League programs, and donors will receive a free signed copy of The Lost Wife. Individual donations can be mailed to Assistance League Headquarters and will ensure a reserved copy of the book for each donor.

The Lost Wife and The Secret of Clouds will also be on sale soon for $16. Watch for more information coming soon!

 

ImagineChairsThe only thing virtual about Imagine!, Assistance League of St. Louis' largest annual fundraiser on November 7, was that for the first time, it was live-streamed and held virtually. The reality is that an entire year of preparation and hundreds of member volunteer hours made it happen. The anticipation, excitement and enthusiasm were real. An incredibly talented, tireless team made this virtual fundraising event a reality. Every detail was selflessly executed by Assistance League members, always goal-oriented, intent on success.

Co-Chairs Mary Price and Maureen Swingle (pictured above) hosted and presented the lively, fast-paced one-hour event with wit and charm, creating their own reality show.
GiveSmart handled cell phone bidding for all fundraising activities, which included the Live and Silent Auctions, Ring the Bell, Wine Pull and Buy It Now. Bidding was made available five days before Imagine! The Live Auction was preview only. "Cell phone but no evening wear required" was a new, relaxed and welcome change this year.

Professionally filmed by TSV Sound and Vision, video guest speakers Dr. Art McCoy, Superintendent of Jennings School District and Jeffrey Rhone, Director of the Office of Family & Community Engagement for the St. Louis Public Schools, provided personal testimonials. KSDK Ch. 5's Rene Knott returned to MC "Ring The Bell."

Imagine! exceeding all expectations, "A Gift of Love" raised $208,800. This incredible gift received by Assistance League of St. Louis will become "A Gift of Love" given back through our programs to the St. Louis community.

B NphotoBarnes & Noble West County Store has generously chosen Assistance League of St. Louis as their non-proft to benefit from a Book Drive to take place now through December 12.

When you make a purchase, at checkout you will be asked if you want to donate a new children's book to benefit AL's Books from Friends program. So far they have collected 820 new books for Assistance League!

Regular in-store shopping hours are from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday.  Directions to the store available here.  

Shop by phone by calling (314) 835-9980. Free curbside pickup is available. 

WHY? Your purchases will help Books From Friends provide books to our aspiring readers and promote literacy in our St. Louis community! 

Imagine save the date

This year's Imagine! A Gift of Love will be brought to you "virtually" from 7-8 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, and the excitement is building! All are welcome to participate in this free, fun event to benefit Assistance League's philanthropic programs!

On November 7 at 7 p.m., you can view the event live on Assistance League of St. Louis' YouTube site or, for Facebook users, our Facebook page (Just click on either of the underlined links to view.) 

We will offer Silent Auction baskets, a Live Auction, Ring the Bell, First Choice ticket sales, a Wine Pull, and Buy It Now restaurant gift cards using the GiveSmart application. There will also be an opportunity to make a monetary "gift of love."  View a video which describes how the bidding /donation process will work through GiveSmart.

On or after November 2 at 9:30 a.m., you can register your credit card with GiveSmart at imagine20.givesmart.com so that you can immediately begin to view/bid on all the Silent Auction items and purchase First Choice tickets, Wine Pull and Buy It Now Restaurant gift cards! Don't delay...give yourself plenty of time to get set up and start shopping!

Live Auction items will also be shown in advance on GiveSmart so that the First Choice ticket buyers can view themFirst Choice tickets will be sold for $100 each and the winner will be able to choose from ANY of the Live Auction prizes. Only 75 tickets will be sold, and the winner will be randomly selected and notified by phone on Saturday, November 7 at 3 p.m. If you purchase a First Choice ticket, please be near your phone at 3 p.m. so you can choose your package. That chosen package will be removed from the Live Auction which begins at 7 p.m. on Saturday night. The Live Auction and Ring the Bell events will take place between 7 and 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.

Get ready for a wonderful evening to enjoy in the comfort of your home, and watch as we work toward our fundraising goal of $250,000! We can do it with your help!

Authors Brunch August 8 2020 Debbie McConnell and ALSTL President Dawn ThomasCROPPEDAssistance League of St. Louis President Dawn Thomas (right) and Debbie McConnell, who chaired Assistance League’s 15th annual, first-ever "virtual" Authors Brunch, show off novels written by the event’s featured author, Melanie Benjamin. The books were on sale at the August 8 event---one of two major fundraisers for Assistance League.

The 2020 Authors Brunch attracted interested readers who heard a lively and informative virtual discussion with the author. Those who joined the event also participated in drawings for beautiful opportunity baskets filled with restaurant gift cards, jewelry, cooking tools, designer accessories, personal pampering goodies and the ever-popular money tree. View a recording of the entire event!

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USAToday bestselling historical novels, the Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator’s Wife about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her novels have been translated in over 15 languages, featured in national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People, and Entertainment Weekly, and optioned for film.

MelaniePageCropped

View a recording of 2020 Authors Brunch held on Saturday, August 8     

Hear Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction

* Here is the link to view the entire hour of discussion and fun! This virtual event was produced by HEC Media. 

* Hear who won each of the amazing Opportunity Baskets!

* Melanie Benjamin’s books are still for sale and available with an authentic signature  label at Assistance League's office or contact Debbie McConnell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

* Paperbacks (Aviator’s Wife and Swans of Fifth Avenue) are $16 and the hardback (Mistress of the Ritz) is $28.

Virtual Presentation by:

HEClogo

UrbanLeaguebooksAssistance League of St. Louis volunteers on April 24 packed a truck carrying 1,500 new books for pre-Kindergarten to 8th graders. The books will be distributed by the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, when the Urban League hands out more free meals. Urban League has been hosting drive-through giveaways at locations in the city of St. Louis and Metro East since early April, giving out food and cleaning supplies to thousands of families.

Along with the books, Assistance League included in the Urban League toys donated by Barnes and Nobel of West County, 100 hygiene kits and professional clothing for women and men entering the job market. This contribution follows Assistance League’s October 2019 delivery of 42 women’s suits, infant and toddler clothing, 6 bags of canned goods for the Urban League food pantry plus formal wear for proms.

Later this summer, Urban League will be conducting a version of its annual Back to School Expo, where Assistance League will be supplying over 3,000 books for the deserving children who attend.

“Collaborations like these demonstrate the willingness of the strong non-profit community in St. Louis to work together to continue serving our most vulnerable residents during these trying times,” said Assistance League President Jane Harbron.

ALSTL Mary Reinagel of Ballwin and John Malvin of Collinsville 800x689ALSTL member Mary Reinagel of Ballwin (left) watches as a student learns about playing the trombone from John Malvin (right) of Collinsville, Il., was among 13 St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Association Members at Assistance League of St. Louis' third uniform fitting on Thursday, August 29. The SLSO volunteers demonstrated how to play orchestra instruments to 60 Kindergarten through fifth-grade students from Woerner Elementary School in South St. Louis, while the children waited to be fitted for uniforms.

On August 27, Assistance League member volunteers began fitting children from 33 schools. Fittings are scheduled over 60 dressing days and end in late January. School children are coming for fittings from the school districts of Ferguson-Florissant, Hazelwood, Jennings, Normandy and St. Louis City. Each year, through its Operation School Bell® program, Assistance League volunteers contribute 5,700 hours to the program.

Donna Pundmann of Creve Coeur Chamber of Commerce Members Connie Curran Chesterfield Marilyn Panter Ballwin Instagram JPG 800x533More than a dozen Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber of Commerce members checked out the Assistance League of St. Louis’ upscale resale shop to celebrate the Aug. 9-11 Fifteenth Anniversary of the shop.  Pictured here are (left to right): Donna Pundmann, Creve Coeur-Olivette Chamber staff member, and ALSL members Connie Curran and Marilyn Panter.

At Fantastic Finds, shoppers find great bargains on high quality clothing, accessories, furniture, housewares and seasonal items. The anniversary event included a drawing for gift certificates and refreshments—plus great buys.  Named a 2019 St. Louis Magazine A-List resale shop, Fantastic Finds supports ALSL’s nine philanthropic programs that provide everything from new school uniforms to shoes and socks to deserving students to personal care items for crisis shelter clients—touching the lives of 50,000 St. Louisans each year.