Best Geezer

Ann Chance

You might take it for granted, but St. Louis hosted numerous events in recent years that took months of planning and preparation: the All-Star Game, Marine Week, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. And there was just one person responsible for making sure each went off without a hitch. That person is Ann Chance, the unsung hero behind the scenes of city hall. As the Department of Public Safety's special-events-program executive, Chance interfaces between event sponsors and city personnel — the parks division, building division, streets department, fire department, you name it. "She's pretty much everybody's favorite person in city hall," says a staffer. Chance, whose indefatigable energy level belies her 70 years of age, is also in charge of every single block party and church parade within city limits. She has no intention of slowing down. "My job is to introduce people to St. Louis so they fall in love with it," she says. Our advice to visitors: Leave it to Chance!

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