How may I help you?

A favorite image of our magnolia tree: Glorious for three days a year, a pain in the ass the other 362. We treasure those three.

More than 30 years as a journalist. More than 20 as an adjunct professor at Washington University.  A second career in media relations.

My toolbox is ample.

Continue reading “How may I help you?”

Mercy Kids in Schools: a labor of love

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For the past two months, I’ve been working at Catholic Health World, a newspaper published twice a month for members of the Catholic Health Association.

The publication highlights the people, events and outreach programs that shape health care at the member hospitals and health systems.  My favorite story so far is about a program based here in St. Louis, a collaboration between Mercy and the Archdiocese of St. Louis called Mercy Kids in Schools. The program is in place at three grade schools run by the Archdiocese and uses a licensed clinical social worker from Mercy named Kim Harrelson.

Continue reading “Mercy Kids in Schools: a labor of love”

Two weeks to the Musials: Here’s another fave story

With two weeks until the Musial Awards are celebrated, Dec. 5 at Peabody Opera House, it’s time to share the story of another honoree, Keaton Hamin. The best night on the St. Louis sports calendar, someday this will be recognized as the best sports night in America. 

Alyx Delaloye, left, and Keaton Hamin

When Alyx Delaloye was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2014, her mom, Jody, had a vague idea of the bad times that lay ahead for her daughter: chemo treatments, sometimes daily; trips to the hospital in Winnipeg, 2½ hours from home, sometimes more than once a week; hair loss, nausea, time away from school.

She had no idea of the good.

The first bit of good news came when Alyx, 7, won tickets to a Winnipeg Jets game last February. She brought with her a sign to show her devotion to the team:

“Chemo by Day, Jets by Night!”

A cameraman in the stands saw the sign, and Alyx ended up on the jumbotron. Fans gave her a standing ovation, and players for the Jets and Dallas Stars paid their ultimate tribute, tapping their sticks on the ice.

Keaton Hamin, 9, was watching at home.

Continue reading “Two weeks to the Musials: Here’s another fave story”

Musial Awards: Pitcher Jason Boulais earns the save of a lifetime

Jason Boulais

My favorite assignment of the year at the Post was to profile of one the winners of what are now known as the Musial Awards. Formerly known as the National Sportsmanship Awards, the honor is bestowed annually by the St. Louis Sports Commission on six to ten people or groups who show extraordinary class, selflessness, dignity or character on the playing field. The traits were personified in Stan Musial, hence the name change.

This year, the Sports Commission asked if I would tell the stories of each of the winners. I was honored, humbled and just a little intimidated. Not only do these people perform athletic feats that are beyond my capabilities, they show extraordinary class. As they tell me their stories, I ask myself, “Would I do the same?” I can hope so.

The awards are scheduled for December 5 at the Peabody Opera House. I urge you to attend, because my words do not do justice to their character, integrity and selflessness. I’d like to share the story of one of the honorees, Jason Boulais. You can read the rest of the stories here.

As a pitcher at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, Jason Boulais seldom got the call to save a game. Instead, he got the call to save a life.

Walking across campus one day last fall, Jason stopped at a tent manned by a group called Be the Match, a bone marrow donor registry program. One of the volunteers asked to swab his cheek and add him to the registry to see if he was a match.

“I said, ‘Of course.’ They said I’d most likely never get called back,” Jason said. “But I had a feeling.”

He was right. Continue reading “Musial Awards: Pitcher Jason Boulais earns the save of a lifetime”