When the decision was made to focus the LEF's Spring Gala on physical education and sports programs in the district, the 2018-19 school year had just begun, and no one knew how many championships Ladue Schools teams would win this year. Ladue Horton Watkins High School saw its football team and Girls' Swim/Dive Team win state championships (the first time in 43 years), in addition to a Class 3 Wrestling state championship by Jake Mann (the first time in 53 years). 

In addition, the LHWHS Boys' Basketball Team went to the Final Four for the first time in school history, ultimately taking third place in the state finals. In fact, the keynote speaker for Innovation Celebration, Ben Newman ('97) worked with the basketball team in preparation for their tournament. "I am so proud of this team," Ben said. "This is such a great, great group of kids and their hearts are so big...they inspire me!" Ben is a highly regarded Performance Coach, International Speaker and Best-Selling Author, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies and professional athletes in the NFL, PGA, NBA, MLB, UFC and NCAA. Ben is looking forward to speaking at the LEF gala, commenting, "I love the opportunity to give back to Ladue."

As farsighted as the LEF's choice of theme for Innovation Celebration may seem, the foundation's decision to focus on athletics was simply a testament to the excellence of physical education and sports programs in the district. These teachers, coaches and programs have been consistently supporting Ladue Schools students for years. Physical education is offered five days a week in all Ladue School District elementary schools. As medical research continues to demonstrate the importance of physical activity on both healthy growth and academic performance, the LEF is proud to shine a light on the excellent programs in the district.

We hope you'll join us on April 12!


Friday, April 12, 2019, 6:30-11 p.m.
Jewish Community Center Sports Arena
2 Millstone Campus Dr., Creve Coeur, MO 63146


  • Cocktails and Dinner

  • Games and Entertainment, featuring the LHWHS Pep Band and the Laduettes

  • Nutritious Smoothie Tasting with the LHWHS Catering Club

  • Pop-up Shop with State Championship Football and Just ’Due It Gear

  • Silent Auction

  • Live Auction, Assisted by Ladue Schools Athletes

Dress Code: Cocktail or Creative Sports Attire (anything from dresses to jerseys!)

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