The Ambassadors of Lake Saint Louis is a community service organization that truly cares about the City of Lake Saint Louis and its people. Our not-for-profit club is dedicated to promoting civic, cultural, and educational growth of our city; and we strive to make it a better place to live, work, and play. Membership is open to all individuals who want to see Lake Saint Louis prosper, want to learn more about our community, and want to stay in the mainstream of local happenings. The Ambassadors meet every Friday morning from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Community Association Clubhouse. Please join us for breakfast and a pertinent presentation on a topic of community interest. To support the club's activities, quarterly dues of $75 are received. The Ambassadors take part in numerous activities designed to provide support for community organizations and local charities. Many of these activities are described on other pages of our website. If you care about Lake Saint Louis, you need to be an Ambassador!
Most Recent Speakers
Chabad Jewish Center--St. Charles County On May21st, Rabbi Chaim Landa spoke to the LSL Ambassadors about the Jewish community in St Charles County. Rabbi Chaim and his wife, Bassy, are co-directors of the new Chabad Center for St Charles County which is planned to be the community center of Jewish life in St Charles county. The Chabad is a branch of the Chabad in St Louis which was established in and follows the influence and spiritual leadership of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. The establishment of the Chabad is intended to provide a space for every Jew in St Charles county to feel at home and to eventually grow into a spiritual and educational center for the St Charles county Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim was born and raised in the St Louis area and after high school studied in Toronto, New York, LA and Israel. Bassy was born in LA and hater high school she attended Machon Shoshanat Seminary in Jerusalem, Israel, where she completed her early childhood and teacher training. For more info, see www.JewishStCharles.org. Today there are approximately 4,000 Jews in St Charles County and about 60,000 in the St Louis area. The Rabbi left us with a small ark and a message from Rabbi Schneerson to carry forward, “Small acts of kindness can not only change the lives of those around us but change the world for good.” The Rabbi asked us to fill our arks and 1) Choose a charity, 2) Give every day and 3) Give even just a penny!
Karen Cooper, Special Needs Advocate On May 14th Karen Cooper, a F.A.C.T. volunteer, spoke to the Ambassadors. F.A.C.T. is a Family Advocacy and Community Training non-profit organization that provides services to families who have adults or children with disabilities and has operated in St Charles County since 1988. F.A.C.T.’s Parent Support Partners, who are parents of children with disabilities, provide guidance to families using a peer mentoring approach. They focus on helping families navigate systems, understand their child’s diagnosis, and access community resources. The program goals are to keep children and youth at home, in school and in the community. Another goal is to keep children free from law enforcement involvement and to support them in educational pursuits. When are these services needed? Whenever a child is struggling in school, when a family has concerns about their child and don’t know how to address it, when a family doesn’t know what services are available or how to get them. The family or child must be a resident of St. Charles, Lincoln, or Franklin Counties and must have a mental or behavior health diagnosis. This support party must have a documented developmental disability and family members must be eligible for St Louis Regional Center Services. F.A.C.T. personnel will assist eligible families through the Regional Center application process. More information is available at www.factmo.org.
LSL Ambassadors 2020 Annual Report On May 7, Treasurer Don Hammond gave us an update on the Ambassadors activities, membership, service to the community, speakers and the fireworks funding for the 2021 July 4th celebration. In 2020, we had planned to support 14 civic events but due to Covid-19, only three of these were held which severely curtailed our activities. We held speaker series meeting 31 times and lost 16 opportunities due to suspended meetings. We had 16 cancelled meetings which saved expenses we would normally have. As a result, we donated the $2300 saved to charities, organizations, and individuals impacted by Covid-19. In 2020, we cancelled the July 4th fireworks and put a plan in place to contract for a BIGGER and BETTER show in 2021. It is now on contract. We are planning an energetic fund raising effort to raise the money to cover these costs. We gave out two scholarships to local students in 2020 and in 2021. Planning is under way to add a third scholarship, with an emphasis on trade or technical education. Overall, Ambassadors sought out community areas where we could be of service and hope to never see a year like 2020 again!
St. Charles County Boys and Girls Club On April 30th, 2021, Jacquelynne McClelland of the St Charles Girls and Boys Club visited the LSL Ambassadors. She is the Director of Resources and Development in St Charles County. The Club serves youth primarily through sports programs and after school programs. Sports areas now include soccer and basketball primarily with a big concentration on swimming in the summer. There are a lot of young people in St Charles County who don’t know how to swim and basic instruction in swim in needed. After school programs include tutoring in several subjects, computer access, help with homework and use of electronic games. This support is available to children for only $25 per year. The facility is available after school until 6:30 or 7:00 PM each day. Some STEM classes and competitive teams are also available. Currently two facilities serve St Charles County, but the goal is to expand into West St Charles County, primarily in the Wentzville area. The current focus is on character development, academics, and health. A Power House reading program is used and Buffalo Wild Wings sponsors sports teams. The STEM group made face shields for First Responders during the pandemic. In June 2020, it was the first youth organization to bring children back into summer programs. Currently they have a $113 Million budget and rely on 4 major fundraising events and community grants to support these programs.
St. Charles County Parks Director Ryan Graham has been Director of the County Parks since 2017. He has a Bachelor’s degree and has a Masters in History so he is well placed here in St Charles with our many historic sites and structures. Earlier in his career he worked for National Parks and was at Gettysburg. The St Charles County Parks department began in 1997 with the goal of stopping the loss of green space that was rapidly being gobbled up by new developments. St Charles County passed a use tax that was to be spent on acquiring and maintaining park space. Today we have 20 parks, 17 of which are open and 3 are in reserve, i.e. not in use yet. One is in “life use” meaning that the family from which it is being acquired is still living on the property. The most recent acquisition is the Missouri Bluffs Golf Course and its surrounding area. The largest park is Indian Camp Creek which is 603 acres located on the Lincoln County line. The smallest is The Heritage Museum located just off Hwy 364 near the Heritage subdivision. This year Broemmelsiek Park, the second largest, will get a new playground; Matson Hill will get new trails to connect to the Daniel Boone Hays home; Klondike Park is getting a new boat dock, added cabins and other amenities; Lindenwood Park (Daniel Boone Home) has new programs and 4 staff members have won national awards; and MO Bluffs Park has group camping, new trails and a connection to the Katy Trail. The annual attendance figures show how well used the Parks are: 2015- 1.5 Million attendance, 2016 – 1.4 M, 2017 – 1.48 M, 2018 – 1.6 M, 2019 -2.525 M and in 2020 - 4.5 M.
USO of Missouri On April 16th David Henroid of the USO visited the Lake St Louis ambassadors. He has been a volunteer with the USO since 1989. He got out of the army in 1972 after serving in Korea and in West Germany. In 1989 he observed the troop exodus when the soldiers left Fort Leonard Wood for Christmas They needed a place to wait for travel connections at Lambert Field. The USO at Lambert Airport that had been funded by J S McDonnell using space provided rent-free by the City of Saint Louis provides just such a space. This follows a long tradition of USO operations which began in 1941. It set up by FDR when he asked an organization of volunteers to bridge the gap between the soldiers and the civilians left at home. The group of volunteers set up their own organization and received no funding. So in 1941 to 1945 they had organizations primarily in train stations to send off and receive the soldiers when they came home from the war. There were 15 to 20 cities around the country that also had satellite locations in areas of the city where they held dances. The main one in Saint Louis was at the Soldiers Memorial. In 1981 the modern era USO re-opened and now serves families and soldiers. The average age of the volunteers is 62 years old. Some have active military service but most do not. There are 10 specialized staff that actually run the business operations of the USO. In 2007 terminal two area was added .Today's military are approximately 25 to 30% women so the facility serves everyone men, women and families year-round. Missouri USO also opened an area at Fort Leonard Wood which serves about 20,000 soldiers per month. Also at Fort Leonard Wood, they have a food truck service which goes to the various areas of the base such as the rifle range or other places soldiers have to spend extended periods of time. An Open House is held before Christmas, with an annual thank you for families. USO and Boeing provide about 2,800 dinners, gift certificates from local stores, and a Santa Express. Last March 2020 the USO had to close. Five months ago they opened up five days a week; from 7 am to 5 pm. Scott AFB and Fort Leonard Wood USOs are now open from 7 am to 10 pm. There's also a mobile USO facility that serves the Mo National Guard and Whiteman Air Force Base. For more info see www.usomissouri.org.
Interested in Joining?
It is easy to join our club. Contact a club officer or one of our members to learn more about the club, or just show up for a Friday morning meeting at the Lake Saint Louis Community Association Clubhouse at 7 am. Breakfast is catered by Bob Evans Restaurant. A schedule of speakers at our Friday meetings can be found below.
Follow us on Facebook to keep up on the latest information about our club.
June 11 Louis Wray, Vine Wealth Management
June 18 LT Austin Hulsey, US Navy Pilot
June 25 Steve Ehlmann, St. Charles County Executive
July 2 (No Meeting) Independence Day
July 9 Jeff Sandcork, Prosecutor
July 16 Kurt Bahr, Election Commissioner
July 23 David Tognoni, Missouri Botanical Garden
July 30 Patrick Glynn, Admissions Counselor for Ranken Technical College