"Every year we say, ‘I don’t know how next year’s event could possibly
be any better,’ 
but somehow it seems that it always is."

Marriott St. Louis West was the scene of this year’s Assistance League of St. Louis (ALSTL) Authors Brunch, a major annual fundraiser to support ALSTL’s five community programs. The sold-out event featured author, Martha Hall Kelly (pictured above waving in the left rear of the audience), whose debut novel Lilac Girls was an instant New York Times bestseller the week it was published and went on to sell two million copies. Hall has since authored three additional best-selling works of historical fiction, including most recently The Golden Doves.

MarthaHallKelly ABOver 370 guests enjoyed an author meet and greet and book signing, a gourmet lunch, and opportunities to win luxury experiences and baskets. An event highlight was Hall’s in-depth keynote presentation entitled Celebrating Resilient Women.

ALSTL members and guests also shared touching mission moments of resilience, including words from Janie Burse, McKinney-Vento Social Worker in the Ferguson-Florissant School District, who recounted stories of how Assistance League is building resilience in the homes of students and families in her district. She said, “ It is hard to know where to begin to express the incredible impact this amazing organization has had on the students and families in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The Outreach Program has become a vital resource in serving our families in need.”

ALSTL president Denise McKibben said, “We are so grateful to all who attended the Authors Brunch to support our work in the community. Every year we say, ‘I don’t know how next year’s event could possibly be any better,’ but somehow it seems that it always is. This year’s event co-chairs Nancy Lynn and Jill Greulich led an amazing team of volunteers to plan this outstanding event!”

See more photos in Town & Style and on Assistance League of St. Louis' Facebook Page.