Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Remembering the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Eagle Days, Ice Carnival, free performances and more to enjoy!

January 16, 2015 | 6 min reading time


Free Tax Preparation Assistance

Gateway EITC Community Coalition (GECC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preparing tax returns free of charge for families with incomes less than $53,000.  Since 2002, GECC has prepared more than 41,500 federal returns at no charge for its clients and brought more than $49 million in refunds to the community.  To learn more about the program, visit the web site.

Upcoming Events

Jan. 16 – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Celebration, Saint Louis Art Museum, 7 p.m.

The Saint Louis Art Museum will host "The Dream Marches On" program this Friday from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in The Farrell Auditorium.  The program will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march that ultimately led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  Keynote speaker Sam Walker, will share his personal stories as a civil rights activist including his participation in the first Selma to Montgomery march on Bloody Sunday in 1965 at age 11.  Tickets are free, but seating is limited.  Please call (314) 655-5444 for ticket information.

Jan. 16 – Wintry Mix Exhibition, Atrium Gallery, 10 a.m.

Atrium Gallery invites you to its first exhibition of the New Year, "Wintry Mix."  The exhibition will open this Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will continue through March 7.  The show features work evoking the stillness, elegance, and mood of the winter season.  The exhibition will include a variety of pieces including paintings, drawings, photography, and sculpture.  The Gallery is located at 4814 Washington Avenue in the Central West End neighborhood.  Need more information?  Visit the web site.

Jan. 17 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Health Fair and Luncheon, St. Louis Union Station DoubleTree by Hilton, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The American Stroke Association, a division of the American Heart Association, will celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Saturday by holding a Health Fair and Luncheon.  The Health Fair will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.  The Luncheon program will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m.  Seating for the luncheon will be on a first come first seated basis.  Questions?  Call (314) 692-5642.

Jan. 17 – 2015 Winter Concert, Center for Advanced Medicine, 4 p.m.

The Department of Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine and The Arts + Healthcare Program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital will present "The 2015 Winter Concert" this Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Lobby of the Center for Advanced Medicine (SW corner of Euclid and Forest Park Avenues, entrance at 4921 Parkview Place).  The concert will feature musical performances by faculty, staff and students of the Washington University Medical Center community.  Soloists and ensembles, including vocalists and instrumentalists, of different musical genres will perform.  The event is free and open to the public.  It's a great opportunity to enjoy music, then mingle at the reception afterwards.  For more information, call (314) 362-0306.

Jan. 17 – MLK Family Celebration, Missouri History Museum, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by the Missouri History Museum this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to learn about and celebrate the achievements of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the MLK Family Celebration. The first 200 children to arrive at the Museum will receive an MLK storybook to take home  .For more details, visit the web site.

Jan. 17 – Snowman Softball Tournament, Central Ballfields in Forest Park, 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.

The Snowman Softball Tournament, one of our region's premier winter softball tournaments, will return for its fifth year to Central Fields in Forest Park this weekend.  Co-ed plays Saturday and Men play Sunday.  Both divisions start on their respective days at 7:30 a.m. promptly.  The Tournament benefits the Police Athletic League.  What can be better than softball in January with Mardi Gras beads and for a good cause?  It's free to watch; $150 entry fee per team.  Contact (314) 771-5110 to register.

Jan. 17 – 10th Annual Delmar Loop Ice Carnival, Delmar Loop Business District, 10 a.m. –6 p.m.

Make plans now to stop by the 10th Annual Delmar Loop Ice Carnival this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors will be able to enjoy ice sculptures, ice carving demonstrations, human dog sled races, penguins, stilt walkers, jugglers, hot chocolate, s'mores roast and more.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Jan. 17 &18 – Eagle Days, Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Great Rivers Greenway, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources have teamed up to celebrate Eagle Days at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge this Saturday and Sunday.  Discover our national bird up close and in the wild at this free eagle viewing festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both days.  Trained volunteers will help visitors view the eagles through spotting scopes.  There will also be educational programs by the World Bird Sanctuary, a hands-on local bird exhibit presented by St. Louis Audubon, a full-size replica of an eagle's nest, along with children's activities and a warming tent courtesy of the Green Center.  For more information, visit the web site.

Jan. 18 – I May Not Get There with You:  A Multimedia MLK Commemoration, Missouri History Museum, 3 p.m.

The final run of "I May Not Get There with You," a multimedia production focusing on speeches and moments in the last year of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life, will take place this Sunday at 3 p.m. in Lee Auditorium at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.  Musical and poetic performances provide context for those moments as an actor gives voice to Dr. King's most prophetic speeches.  For more information, visit the web site.

Jan. 19 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Reading, Christ Church Cathedral-Episcopal, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Christ Church Cathedral will be hosting the Seventh Annual "Let Freedom Ring" event – a daylong community reading of his writings, sermons and speeches on Monday, Jan. 19 from the very pulpit where Dr. King preached in 1964.  The nave of the Cathedral (13th Street between Olive and Locust, next to the Central Library) will be open from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. for the reading.  The public is invited both to come and listen and also to take part in the reading.  There is no admission charge.

Jan. 19 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, International Institute, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The International Institute of St. Louis will be moving to its new location in Tower Grove East (Arsenal and Louisiana) the weekend of Jan. 17.  They are looking for volunteers to help them with moving light furniture, organizing, and cleaning during the day on Monday, Jan. 19.  If you are free that day and looking for a community event for which to volunteer, this would be a great one.  Volunteer shifts will be from 9 a.m. to Noon and from Noon to 4 p.m.  To sign up for volunteering, please RSVP to Emily Ratchford at (314) 773-9090.

Jan. 19 – 47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, Old Courthouse / Harris-Stowe State University, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Committee, founded by the Honorable Norman R. Seay, will celebrate its 47th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance on the holiday, Monday, Jan. 19.  The Civic Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in the Rotunda of the Old Courthouse, located at 4th and Market in beautiful Downtown St. Louis.  Immediately following the ceremony (approximately 11 a.m.), the attendees will be invited to begin The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial March of Celebration (to the Interfaith Service).  The Interfaith Service will begin at 12:30 p.m. at Harris-Stowe State University, 3026 Laclede.  For further information, contact Merdean Gales, (314) 458-6906.

Jan. 19 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Lecture, Eric P. Newman Education Center, 4 p.m.

Ambassador Charles Stith, former Ambassador to Tanzania and Director of the African Presidential Archives and Research Center at Boston University will present "From Selma to Ferguson:  On Being Faithful to the Moment" on Monday, Jan. 19 at 4 p.m. at the Eric P. Newman Education Center, 320 South Euclid Avenue in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  For more information and to RSVP, please call (314) 362-6854.

Save the Date

Jan. 22 – 25 – 2015 St. Louis Auto Show, America's Center, Noon

Jan. 24 – Family Winter Carnival, Soulard Market Park, Noon to 4 p.m.

Jan. 25 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Church Celebration Essay Contest, St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Catholic Church, 3 p.m.

Promoting Your Neighborhood Activities

Is there a neighborhood event on the schedule that you would like noted in the Spotlight?  If so, you may email the information about it to me at or to Cathy Smentkowski at for consideration.  You may also post it on the City's Calendar of Events on the City's web site:  The link to submit an event is at the very bottom of the home page.  The listing is free.  I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.

Registration Now Open for St. Louis Community Garden Summit

The Sixth Annual St. Louis Community Garden Summit will bring together more than 200 people and provide the opportunity for them to hear from national experts on community gardening, horticulture and community development.  Attendees will have the chance to participate in networking with other gardeners and people working in sustainable practices across the region.  The Summit will take place on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Louis University High School, 4970 Oakland Avenue.  Online registration price runs $12.00 for community gardeners and $22.00 for members of the general public (non-community gardeners).  Registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 6.  To learn more and to register, go to .

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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