Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Inhalant Abuse Prevention

Weekly newsletter of safety tips and information on upcoming events in St. Louis City.

March 13, 2015 | 6 min reading time


Inhalant Abuse Prevention

Next week the Alliance for Consumer Education will be promoting National Inhalants & Poisons Awareness Week (March 15 through March 21)  .Inhalant abuse is a serious problem.  Here are some stunning facts:

* More than 2.6 million children, aged 12 –17, use an inhalant each year to get high.

* 1 in 4 students in America have intentionally abused a common household product to get high.

* Inhalants tend to be the drug that is tried first by children.

* 59% of kids at age 12 are aware of their friends huffing (inhaling fumes from a chemically soaked rag)

* Children can die anytime they abuse an inhalant – including the first time.

Studies have shown that a child is 50% less likely to try an inhalant if an adult has spoken to them about the dangers of inhalant abuse.  I encourage you to use this week to arm the young people in your family with the information they need to understand the dangers and serious consequences on inhalant abuse.  To learn more, visit the web site.

Upcoming Events

Mar. 13 – In Celebration of Black History, Washington Tabernacle M. B. Church, 5 to 8 p.m.

Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church will present "An Evening with Our Elders" this Friday in celebration of Black History.  Special guests will be Civil Rights Attorney Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq. and Sister Mary Antona Ebo, Catholic Nun and Civil Rights Activist.  The reception will begin at 5 p.m.  The discussion will run from 6 to 8 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. The Church is located at 3200 Washington Boulevard.  Please call (314) 533-8763 for more information.

Mar. 13 – Movie Night in the Pool, O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex, 8 to 10 p.m.

Grab your swimsuit for a dive-in movie this Friday from 8 to 10 p.m. at the O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex, 4343 West Florissant in the O'Fallon neighborhood.  The movie "Night at the Museum:  Battle of the Smithsonian" will be screened.  The cost will be $3 per person or $5 for families of 5 or less, each additional person, $1.  Invite your family and friends to join you for a fun recreational evening.  Questions?  Call (314) 932-1423.

Mar. 13 – Fish Fry Friday

A number of churches and organizations are holding Fish Fries on the Fridays during Lent.  This week I want to spotlight:

Holy Trinity Serbian Church, 1910 Serbian Drive, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.  The menu includes fried tilapia and catfish, baked salmon, shrimp in scampi, and rotating sides each week.  Desserts include baklava and Serbian crepes.  Guests may dine in the spacious banquet hall or carry out.  Cost is $10 per adult plate and $5 for children's plate.

Mar. 14 – 37th Annual Michelob ULTRA St. Patrick's Day Parade Run, Broadway & Market, 9 a.m.

Running enthusiasts will take to the streets of exciting Downtown St. Louis this Saturday for the 37th Annual Michelob ULTRA St. Patrick's Day Parade Run.  The five-mile run will precede St. Louis' 2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade.  The run will step off at 9 a.m. from Broadway at Walnut, proceed south to Chouteau, west to Tucker, north to Market, west to Garrison, north to Laclede, east to Ewing, north to Olive, east to Tucker, south to Market and east to the finish line at 8th Street.  For more details, visit the web site.

March 14 – Honoring the Women of the Tillie's Corner Historical Project, Kranzberg Arts Center, 11 a.m. to Noon

The St. Louis Story Stitcher's Teen Council will present "Honoring the Women of the Tillie's Corner Historical Project" this Saturday from 11 a.m. to Noon in the Studio Theater at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand at Olive.  Mrs. Lillie Velma Pearson, 1915-2006, also known as "Miss Tillie," was a legendary figure in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood whose inspirational story speaks of determination and leadership in family life, community and small business.  Her granddaughter, Mrs. Carla Alexander, and Carla's husband, Miguel, work today to strengthen the neighborhood and keep Miss Tillie's memory alive.  The event will feature a live performance of Tillie's Corner RAP by musician and composer K.P. Dennis.

Mar. 14 – 46th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade, 18th & Market, Noon

Elaborate floats, marching bands, marching units, dance groups, animal units, novelty units, motorized units, and giant cartoon character helium-filled balloons will fill the historic streets of Downtown St. Louis this Saturday for the 46th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.  The parade will step off at Noon from 18th and Market Street, proceed east on Market Street and conclude at Kiener Plaza (Broadway &Market), the site of the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark Irish Village, where visitors will be able to enjoy food, fun, and entertainment all day long.  For all the details, visit the web site.

Mar. 14 – Landlord Training, North Newstead Association, 10 a.m. to Noon

The North Newstead Association will be sponsoring Landlord Training this Saturday from 10 a.m. to Noon at 4601 Pope. This training event will cover topics related to Tenant Selection and Best Practices as it relates to writing and executing a lease.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more details, visit the web site or call the office at (314) 385-4343.

Mar. 14 – 18th Annual Youth Symposium, O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The ladies of the Zeta Sigma Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., will be hosting the 18th Annual Youth Symposium this Saturday for male and female youth ages 12 –17.  The Chapter has partnered with the YMCA to provide education, pertinent information, and training for our youth in leadership and to encourage them to be more engaged in their communities.  The Symposium will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex, 4343 West Florissant Avenue in the O'Fallon neighborhood.  For more information, call (314) 269-4139.

Mar. 14 – Tenth Life Trivia Night 2015, IBEW Hall, 6 p.m.

The Fifth Annual Tenth Life Trivia Night will take place this Saturday at the IBEW Hall, 5850 Elizabeth Avenue on The Hill.  Doors will open at 6 p.m. and trivia questions will begin promptly at 7 p.m.  Feel free to bring snacks and goodies for your table to enjoy, but no outside alcohol will be permitted  .A standard table up to 8 seats costs $200 and a VIP table up to 8 seats costs $320.  More information is available at the web site.

Mar. 14 – St. Patrick's Day Dinner, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, Noon to 7 p.m.

Lafayette Park United Methodist Church will be hosting its St. Patrick's Day Dinner this Saturday from Noon to 7 p.m. at 2300 Lafayette Avenue.  Diners will have a choice of corned beef or roast pork.  Tickets for children under 12 will be $2.50 and for adults, $8.  Carry-outs will also be available.  Need more information?  Call (314) 771-9214

Mar. 15 – Free Concert, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 to 5 p.m.

The Greenville Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Wilson, will perform this Sunday at 4 p.m. at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place in the trendy Central West End neighborhood.  The program is free and open to the public.  For more information, call (314) 367-0367.

Mar. 17 – 32nd Annual Ancient Order of Hibernians' Dogtown St. Patrick's Day Parade, Tamm & Oakland, 12:30 p.m.

The 32nd Annual Ancient Order of Hibernians' Dogtown St. Patrick's Day Parade will take place on Tuesday, March 17.  Parade-goers will enjoy marching bands, floats, family clans and more.  The parade will step off at 12:30 p.m. from Tamm at Oakland Avenue and will end at Tamm & Manchester.  For all the particulars, visit the web site.

Save the Date

March 20 – Downtown Chili Cook Off, Christ Church Cathedral, 5 to 10 p.m.

March 20 – 21 – NCAA Wrestling Championships – Session 2, Scottrade Center, times vary

March 20 – 22 – LEGO KidsFest, America's Center, 10 a.m.

March 21 – Confluence Trash Bash, various locations, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

March 21 – Color DASH, The Grove, 4 p.m.

March 21 – Spaghetti Dinner, Union United Methodist Church, 5 to 7 p.m.

March21 -- The Best Trivia Night in St. Louis, German Cultural Society Hall, 6 p.m.

March 22 – Family Fun Day, Scott Joplin House, 2 to 4 p.m.

March 26 – Spring Bling Party, Moulin, 6 to 9 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.

E-waste / Shredmania Collection Drive

The Saint Louis University 2015 E-waste / Shredmania Collection Drive will take place on Thursday, March 26 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fred Weber parking lot adjacent to Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Avenue.  Start your spring cleaning by recycling unused electronics, appliances and paper.  Volunteers will be available to help unload your donations.  For more information or questions, visit and click on RecycleMania.

Col. Richard Gray

Director of Public Safety

City of St. Louis

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