Group picture of members

About Us – Gateway History

On Saturday, May 3, 1986, twenty-nine ladies from the East and West banks of the Mississippi River in a city known as the “Gateway to the West” ended one and one-half years of service geared towards “Improving the Quality of Life” and epitomizing “Friendship, Service and Leadership” in their communities. They were dissolving the interest group MELIG (Metro-East Links Interest Group) to join the sisterhood of a greater cause. The 29 erudite ladies of professional acclaim waited with bated breath, at the Park Terrace Hilton Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, for their induction into the August body of women of the Links, Incorporated.

Under the leadership of Dr. Lillian Adams Parks, the Gateway (IL) Chapter was chartered and became the second chapter located in the Greater St. Louis Metropolitan Area and the only (original) Bistate Chapter. Linked in Friendship and Connected in Service, the chapter provides services to persons of African descent located in St. Louis, Missouri; East St. Louis, Illinois; and contiguous communities within a 50-mile radius of St. Louis City and East St. Louis.

Moreover, The Gateway (IL) Chapter supports relationships which “link” talents with needed services and abilities with resources to fulfill hopes and ambitions. The Chapter has collaborated with, among others, the Arts Council of East St. Louis and St. Clair County; Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis; Katherine Dunham Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis History Museum, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center; Girls, Inc.; Vaughn Cultural Center; St. Mary’s Hospital, St. Louis Public Library; East St. Louis Library; Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club; HOME (House of Miles East St. Louis); East St. Louis City Hall; Dr. Katie Harper Wright Elementary School; St. Louis Public Schools; Innovative Concept Academy; Regions Bank of East St. Louis; Haven of Grace; Knollwood Retirement Center; Harris Stowe State University (HSSU); Southern Illinois University Early Childhood Center, Opera Theatre Saint Louis; and St. Louis Artworks.

Women who become Links form a chain of friendship with a singular purpose of serving community needs for the improvement of life and the pursuit of excellence in the areas of Services to Youth, The Arts, Health and Human Services and National and International Trends and Service.