Public Safety Director's Spotlight - Project Blitz 2013

A variety of fun, educational activities on tap in St. Louis City neighborhoods.

February 28, 2013 | 5 min reading time
Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Photo by Cathy Smentkowski Title: Portrait of Charlene Deeken, Director of Public Safety
Source: Cathy Smentkowski


Gearing Up for Project Blitz 2013

I want to begin this week’s Spotlight by passing along some information from Brightside St. Louis. Brightside’s Project Blitz will kick off the weekend of April 6-7. This is a fantastic opportunity for you to join your neighbors in making your neighborhood better. It’s your chance to help clean up the area streets, alleys and vacant lots. It’s your chance to team up to clean up St. Louis. Brightside will also have flowers available for planting on public property, but flowers must be requested by the Brightside Captain on your block. If you don’t have a Captain on your block, call (314) 772-4646 to learn how you can sign up or email


Upcoming Events

March 1 & 2 – Downtown St. Louis Idiotarod

The Fourth Annual Downtown St. Louis Idiotarod will take place this Friday and Saturday at Old Post Office Plaza, 8th and Locust. This fun and whimsical event will pay homage to the Alaskan Iditarod except in St. Louis the dog sleds will be replaced with shopping carts and people. Corporate teams will compete from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and the open competition will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Proceeds will benefit Operation Food Search. Questions? Call Lindsay Van Quaethem at (314) 436-6500 ext. 237 or visit the web site.

March 1 – First Friday, Grand Center, 5 p.m.

Make a night of it this Friday. Every first Friday of the month, museums and galleries in St. Louis’ Grand Center are free and open until 9 p.m. Discover this neighborhood’s remarkable array of visual arts at eight venues that are all within walking distance of each other. Come for the art and stay for dinner in this premier arts district that has something for everyone. For more information, visit the web site.

March 1 – 31 – Women’s History Month 2013 Exhibit and Scavenger Hunt, Gateway Arch, 9 a.m.

During the month of March, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial will present an exhibit in the Musuem of Westward Expansion under the Gateway Arch entitled, “Do You Know Any Women Like These?” The exhibit in celebration of Women’s History Month will show how 19th century women of the American frontier embodied similar characteristics to women today. Also, visitors to the exhibit will be able to engage in a scavenger hunt by searching out answers about women in the west while exploring the Museum. Need more information? Call (314) 655-1614.


March 2 – House History 101, Missouri History Museum Library & Research Center, 9:30 a.m.

Would you like to learn about the former residents of the home where you currently live? This Saturday, Missouri History Museum Associate Archivist Dennis Northcott will show you how to explore the history of your house during his House History 101 workshop. The cost is $10 per person. Reservations are required. The session will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Museum’s Library and Research Center, located at 225 S. Skinker Boulevard. If you plan to attend, call (314) 361-9017.

March 2 – Rosenball, St. Louis German Cultural Society, 6 p.m.

The St. Louis German Cultural Society will hold its annual Rosenball this Saturday at its hall located at 3652 S. Jefferson at Winnebago. This will be an elegant evening with musical performances and the crowning of the 2013 Rosenball King & Queen. Admission is $10. Dinners will be available for $10 beginning at 6 p.m. Beverages will be available for a separate cost. For tickets, call (636) 751-4581.

March 2 – Seed Swap 2013, The Word at Shaw, Noon

The Third Annual Seed Swap will take place this Saturday from Noon to 3 p.m. in the basement of The Word at Shaw, located at 4265 Shaw Avenue. The swap is free, but does require advance registration. In addition to swapping seeds, the guest speaker will discuss how to upcycle common objects for reuse in the garden. If you plan to attend, call (314) 494-4931.

March 7 – Citizen’s Emergency Preparedness Program, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park, 1 p.m.

Do you know how to keep your family safe during a disaster until emergency personnel arrive on the scene?  St. Louis Community College at Forest Park will offer the Citizen’s Emergency Preparedness Program from 1 – 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 7. The session will provide a step-by-step approach to help you and your family function in the initial stages of a disaster. Attendees will learn about identifying hazards, developing a supply kit, disaster-recovery measures and more. The session is free, but call (314) 984-7777 to register.

March 9 – Seventh Annual Martie J. Aboussie Jr. Memorial Trivia Night, CBC High School, 7 p.m.

Christian Brothers College will proudly host the Seventh Annual Martie J. Aboussie Jr. Memorial Trivia Night on Saturday, March 9 at CBC High School, Ross Hall, located at 1850 De La Salle Drive. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and Trivia will begin at 7 p.m. The cost is $200 per table ($25 per person). All of the proceeds will benefit the Martie J. Aboussie Jr. Scholarship Fund at CBC. The scholarship fund provides financial assistance to young men that otherwise would not be able to afford and experience a CBC education. For any questions, please contact Steve Heck at (314) 749-0045 or email

March 9 – Peregrine Society Trivia Night

The St. Louis Peregrine Society will host its Fifth Annual Trivia Night on Saturday, March 9 at the Electrical Workers Hall, located at 5850 Elizabeth. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. and Trivia will begin at 7 p.m. All proceeds will benefit service programs to area cancer patients. The cost is $25 per person/ $200 for a table of 8 and includes beer, wine, soda and snacks. To reserve your table, call Shari Cunningham at (314) 781-6775 or email   

 Save the Date

March 7 – 10 – Missouri Valley NCAA Tournament, Scottrade Center, times vary

March 8 – Unfish Fry, First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, 5:30 p.m.

March 9 – 4th Annual Off White Indie Wedding Show, Mad Art Gallery, 6 p.m.

March 9 – 200th Anniversary of Forming of St. Louis Company of Volunteer Artillerists, Gateway Arch, 10 a.m.

March 10 – Lenten Concert, Second Presbyterian Church, 4 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 on the home page. The listing is free. I encourage you to take advantage of this free way to promote your event.


Youth Violence Prevention Conference

Mark your calendar now for the Youth Violence Prevention Conference that will be held on Thursday, April 11 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the J.C. Penney Conference Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Sponsored by UMSL’s Dept. of Criminonlogy & Criminal Justice, College of Arts & Sciences, School of Professional & Continuing Studies and the Des Lee Collaborative Vision at UMSL, speakers at the conference will discuss Prevention and Intervention Strategies to Respond to Youth Violence in St. Louis. The registration fee of $35 will include breakfast and lunch. To register, call Mattie Lewis at (3134) 516-5655.


Charlene Deeken
Director of Public Safety
City of St. Louis


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