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the

happiness issue

HAPPINESS, COMPASSION Celebrating Commitment to the Community

& OTHER VIRTUES •

SpiritofOmaha.com

• apr 2014


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features / dePaRtMents

metroMAGAZINE • The Spirit of Omaha

features

events

39

feature stoRy

12

12

departments

OTJOY ican conference and workplace happiness

v

SCENE: recent charity & cultural events

communityconnection

metrosPiRit

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MULBERRY LANE embracing imperfection

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DEFINING HAPPINESS ican q&a

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MARY E. VANDENACK saying “yes” with impact

36 “HE SAID/SHE SAID” mike & mary from KMTV’s morning blend

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LOOK WHO’S SHELTERING nebraska humane society

58 non PRofits Making a difference

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SAVE THE DATE 120 YEARS nebraska children’s home society

GRAVITAS gravity center

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A BIG BLACK BOARD of compassion: compassion omaha

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HALL OF FAME 2014 omaha greater chamber of commerce

51 28

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metroMagazine • aPR 2014

SHOOTING THE COVER WITH ©LAURIE AN D CHARLES MODELS: M ILLA & GRAH AM


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from the PublisheR

I CHOOSE happiness.

I have had an “on again/off again” relationship with happiness my entire life. For most of that time it seemed to be more “off” than “on”— unhappiness vs. happiness.

Money, my weight, and my work schedule have typically been my leading causes of unhappiness. I kept operating from a belief that if I had more money, less weight and more free time, then I would be happy. But something happened at this time a year ago… I woke up one day realizing that I didn’t want to go on feeling this way, and though I had said something like this many times before, something was different this time. I knew I did not want to die feeling this way and I did not want to live feeling this way.

andRea l. hoig ahoig@spiritofomaha.com

I realized that I had to start making different choices in my life. One of those choices was to be in a mindset of happiness and joy no matter how much money I had in the bank, how much I weighed or how much I was working. Those outside circumstances were not going to define my happiness, nor were they going to change overnight.

alh

Something very “magical” happened inside… by stepping into this new commitment of a happy mindset and truly embracing it my life started to change and it started changing quickly. Money started flowing into my business and my life, I had more energy to exercise my body each day and I started creating more space for myself where every day was not filled with work. All of this happened because I decided to make a different choice and take a different approach towards happiness. Now don’t get me wrong, I still deal with challenges but they don’t take up the kind of energy or produce the kind of drama that they did before. Life is good and I make sure of that each day with the thoughts I think and the actions I take. “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” ~Abraham Lincoln

P u b l i c a t i o n s

LOOK FOR THE ! Notice in our Save the Date section (p. 58) that many of the events have the icon above next to them. Learn much more about these organizations, their events, mission and needs in The Event Book 2014! Order your copy at SpiritofOmaha.com and we’ll mail it to your door.

WHAT NEXT?

COMING IN 2014 11

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feature STORY

ON THE JOB fulfillment

otjoy

research indicates happy employees are more engaged, productive and innovative, resulting in an upward trajectory of the bottom line. ~ MARY PREFONTAINE ICAN PRESIDENT & CEO

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STORY BY LEO ADAM BIGA | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ICAN

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

ican women's leadership conference is forging bonds with social and business leaders, both locally and internationally, who believe in the concept on-the-job can and should be about creatively generating genuine personal fulfillment and enjoyment at work.

Applying Happiness to Business As organizations get ever leaner-meaner trying to maximize profits, happiness may seem a strange value to cultivate in the workplace. But experts like Shawn Achor, whose consulting firm GOOD THINK INC. applies positive psychology findings to help clients achieve happier, more effective work experiences, say their research shows the happy quotient is a lead indicator of business performance and employee satisfaction. Happiness may just be the antidote for the lagging productivity and job dissatisfaction plaguing America. Lack of happiness may explain why so many workers rely on controlled substances to relieve stress, enhance mood and boost energy. Philosophers and artists have waxed about happiness as a desired state of being for centuries in treatises, songs, poems. It’s even written into the U.S. Declaration of Independence as an unalienable right to be pursued.

professionals, taking stock of what really matters and putting into practice habits that promote happiness as a pathway to success. All this is of deep interest to Mary Prefontaine, whose journey for enlightenment and fulfillment aligns with the work she has done as president and CEO of the Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN). The Omaha-based nonprofit is all about “inspiring leaders and transforming organizations,” so she pays attention to what’s affecting businesses. Noting that studies of happiness were trending up, she and her team made Happiness, Bending the Bottom Line, the theme of this year’s ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference.

“We plan the conference around what is relevant to our work, in business, in people’s hearts and there’s a social conversation going on about happiness and what it means,” she says. “The work of ICAN is built around that holistic model of self-examination of body, mind, spirit, emotions. So what if we are Achor’s study of belief systems and attitudes has led him to develop a kind of accountable to all of that and the choices we make? Does that make us more happiness index that equates its attainment with realizing human potential. happy? And how do we define that? How do we distill our lives to get clear His easily digestible analysis has made him a best selling author and popular enough to understand what it means to be happy at the most fundamental level? How do I shed my attachments to things in order to get there?” TED talks presenter. His “The Happiness Advantage” lecture, which airs on PBS, is much in demand. “Some research shows that people who are givers are happier.” The April 9 all-day event at the CenturyLink Center is presenting speakers and a panel to He’s hardly alone today in framing happiness. Books, films, seminars and synthesize the latest thinking on happiness and to perhaps answer questions classes try unlocking its metrics. This hunger for bliss is part of a growing about this ephemeral, elusive thing. self-reflective movement that finds many folks, including business

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ON THE JOB fulfillment

feature STORY

celebrities

EXEMPLARY

practices

norah o’donnell

ICAN Is A PROUD PARtNeR wIth LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP – AN exAmPle Of A COmPANy whO Is INvestINg IN the shAReD PRemIse thAt hAPPy emPlOyees CAN helP beND the bOttOm lINe. the best employees love their jobs – they consistently give all they can, have good relationships with co-workers, find their work meaningful and leave at the end of each day with a sense of accomplishment. But those employees are in the distinct minority. In fact, only one in five workers feels this way. More of them feel stressed, doubtful about job security and less invested in their companies and careers than in personal growth. In short, they’re not happy. The Lincoln Financial Group Whitepaper: “Happiness and the Bottom Line: The Happy Worker Prescription,” outlines the connection between well-being and employee performance: Employees with low well-being were seven times more likely to be absent from work, twice as likely to give themselves low performance ratings and seven times as likely to look for a new job. the gOOD News: employers have the power to reverse these trends and increase levels of employee happiness. the key tenets of the “happy worker prescription” include:

• Invest in employees’ relationships with managers. • Celebrate strengths. • build a culture of positivity. these 10 tIPs CAN helP bRIDge the gAP AND ReAlIze the beNefIts Of A hAPPIeR wORkfORCe: INCReAseD eNgAgemeNt AND hIgheR PROfIts . help managers understand employee happiness affects productivity and helps keep your work force fully engaged and productive. hire happy people. The strongest absence-management program is one that emphasizes the importance of hiring the right people and then investing in them to help them be their best at work. Invest in managers’ emotional intelligence. Develop workplace training to help managers identify and assess emotions and create a positive environment for employees. Help your managers learn to identify and maximize individual and team strengths. Provide recognition in the way the employee values most. Some workers appreciate public acknowledgement; others don’t. It is surprising how seldom managers consider that distinction. Provide opportunities for employees to socialize, and encourage it. While too much socializing can interfere with productivity, if there is none at all, your employees are missing a key ingredient for workplace happiness. Encourage face-to-face communication. Nonverbal cues can be a critical component of a conversation. Provide benefits that are important to your employees and enhance their financial security—and emphasize the value of those benefits. Outline the features and significance of insurance programs and other services. Employees who understand their benefits feel appreciated and secure, minimizing stress and improving productivity. Address performance issues directly, starting with the positive. Always discuss what went well first. If you must give corrective feedback, avoid the word “but,” which has the effect of negating all that came before it. If an individual or the team is showing signs of stress, listen without judgment. Use referrals to services to help them manage personal issues or stress. If you have done something wrong, apologize. Companies can inadvertently encourage negativity with the impression that “I’m sorry” creates liability. Accepting accountability and settling disputes through direct communication is almost always the best approach. express interest in staff wellbeing, including when an employee misses work. You don’t have to ask about private health information in order to say, “How can we support you?” Workers who feel valued are less likely to be afraid to return to work and more likely to return to work sooner and more energized.

Co-host, Cbs this morning Cbs News Chief white house Correspondent Norah O'Donnell is the Chief White House Correspondent for CBS News, co-host of CBS This Morning, substitute anchor for Face the Nation and contributor for the award-winning 60 Minutes. Washingtonian magazine has included O’Donnell in its Washington’s 100 most powerful women. The magazine also called O’Donnell one of Washington’s most trusted anchors. She has also been named to the Irish American magazine 2000 “Top 100 Irish Americans” list. A native of San Antonio, Texas, O’Donnell is a graduate of Georgetown University and received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. O’Donnell is married to Geoff Tracy, a restaurateur, in Washington, D.C. They have three children and have co-authored the New York Times best seller “Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler” for parents who want to feed their little ones easy-to-make, cost-effective, completely nutritious and delicious meals.

global economist

sherry cooper

Dr. Sherry Cooper is a sought-after speaker, writer and advisor renowned for her ability to simplify and de-mystify the complex issues of economics and finance. She received the 2010 Lawrence Klein Award for U.S. forecasting accuracy, beating out a panel of 50 leading economists. She was a member of the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association and gives more than 70 speeches and presentations each year. Currently a Professor of Financial Economics at DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and Chief Economic Counsel at MDC Partners, Inc., she has successfully contributed to a number of large global companies.

rosalind hudnell

• •

vP, employee Communications and external Affairs, Intel Corporation

Based on Lincoln Financial Group’s white paper, “Happiness and the Bottom Line: The Happy Worker Prescription,” which discusses components of happiness, and the links between employee happiness, productivity and employee success.

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Rosalind leads professionals around the world who drive Intel’s communications functions and builds Intel’s workplace brand as an employer of choice. During her tenure as director of diversity, Intel received awards for leadership in workforce diversity. A frequent speaker on communications, diversity and leadership, she serves on the board of directors for the Center for Talent Innovation. She co-wrote the “Battle for Female Talent in Asia” report published in Harvard Business Review and was named a “Women Changing the World of STEM” by Forbes. She led the STAY WITH IT™ Initiative for the President’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness focused on getting students to complete engineering and computer science degrees.

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metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

otjoy Getting happy In setting the conference agenda Prefontaine says she and her team asked, “Is happiness a glib thing or a real thing? Is this just a made-up human condition that isn’t even actually plausible? What does it really mean and how do we actually know we have it?” The consensus holds happiness is not something that happens to us, rather it’s something we manifest as an intention or choice or attitude that informs how we apprehend the world and act in it.

be happy. Here in the West many of us have stable shelter, food, employment. In other parts of the world that would make many people happy. Yet in this nation of plenty we’re increasingly dependent on pharmaceuticals to treat depression.”

Spreading happiness Prefontaine says the conference is a vehicle for holding a forum about happiness and its ability to bend the bottom line. She’s excited by the prospect of 2,100 expected attendees who can potentially make their work environments more attuned to individual and collective well-being.

“Looking at happiness as a choice rather than just happenstance intrigued us. We began to look at it from the perspective of self first and then the “The research is saying happy employees are more impact it might have on everything around you. engaged, productive and innovative, resulting in We’re interested in raising human consciousness an upward trajectory to the bottom line. In that and self awareness. That’s what the work of ICAN case, how do you as an employee affect it, and as is all about. At this year’s conference we’re an employer what’s your accountability? examining this idea that happiness is a choice. How accountable and aware are companies regarding this idea? I think it’s about a company “One of the great points of intersection to decide being aware that health – good diet, exercise and on this theme was looking at Shawn Achor’s sleep – makes for a much healthier, happier life meta analysis of happiness as it relates to the in general and correlates to a more satisfied, workplace, and the life of a business and the productive employee.” human talent associated with that business. That took us into how does having happy She says some mavericks are taking the lead. employees with a sense of well-being affect productivity, innovation, teamwork and the “Certain business leaders today are paying bottom-line. Well, the research shows it has a attention to the well-being, happiness and huge impact in a positive way.” engagement level of their employees, so much so that they are allowing for such things as rest, It seems happiness has little to do with the mindful meditation, sleep and wellness. things in our lives. Encouraging actual nurturing practices that “What’s interesting and what I’m most excited address needs at the core of our being helps about is that in most instances research says employees deliver more to the company.” those who have encountered the most adversity in their lives are also some of the happiest Breakout sessions will feature individuals.” speakers exploring specific themes: • shawn Achor She’s seen this phenomenon on trips to Kenya, “The Happiness Advantage at Home and Work” Tanzania, Singapore, Thailand and China. • stacey flower “I see a lot of happy people with nothing. We have much to learn from them. In Buddhism you’re actually invited to stand in a place of suffering, without attachments, and come to peace with what really is. But we’re not living in a society that thinks that’s a good idea. We place no value on that. Some research states if you have certain things in place you’re more likely to

otjoy

“Maximizing Opportunities: One Person, One Moment”

• Amy Dorn kopelan “Your Life is Always an Interview”

• ICAN faculty karen baldwin, Dawn gelderloos, laura Roccaforte will conduct a “Live Your Voice: Values-Based Leadership” session.

• mark watson will lead a session on “Mindfulness and Meditation, Simple Ways to Manage Your Stress.”

In addition to Achor, two other keynoters will share their spin on becoming empowered in uncertain times: CBS news personality Norah O’Donnell and global economist Sherry Cooper. A panel including Rosalind Hudnell will discuss the STEM gap that finds more women in the workplace than ever before but females lagging far behind males in science, technology, engineering and math studies and careers. Whatever your path to bliss and success, Prefontaine says the conference has it covered. Setting the tone the day before is a special public screening of the documentary Happy, which explores notions of happiness around the world. It shows at 6:30 p.m. on April 8 in the CenturyLink Grand Ballroom. Admission to the film is $9 and all screening proceeds benefit the ICAN Education Scholarship Fund. Prefontaine says the conference offers a full immersion in the power of leadership and positive thinking. “I think I’m most excited about bringing a conversation to our community about happiness being a choice.” for the conference schedule and registration details, visit www.icanglobal.net.

oh happy day! Omaha Day of happiness – April 9, 2014 will be proclaimed by the mayor’s office as the first-ever Omaha Day of Happiness in conjunction with March 20, 2014, the 3rd annual International Day of Happiness as proclaimed by the United Nations.

• Jo miller “Take Charge of Your Career Trajectory”

• Ishita gupta “Get the Confidence to Be Yourself”

ICAN is bringing this to Omaha, igniting a conversation on happiness in our community. Mayor Stothert is supporting this effort and will be in attendance, providing opening remarks at the Happy movie community event on April 8 and will be in attendance at the ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference on April 9.

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RESETTING THE HAPPINESS FORMULA shawn achor ICAN conference keynote speaker Shawn Achor, a leading positive psychologist, has become a happiness guru after years immersing himself in what makes people tick. “I studied Christian and Buddhist ethics at Harvard Divinity School to explore how our beliefs change our actions,” he says. “This is exactly what I do in positive psychology now. Since then I’ve traveled to over 50 countries researching and speaking at over a third of the Fortune 100 companies and with schools worldwide. I became fascinated by the idea we are not just our genes and our environment, but that we can choose happiness.” As a teacher he repeatedly saw students fall short of happiness when they expected it as a birthright or reward. “In my 12 years at Harvard I saw students who thought the success of getting into a good college would make them happy, but 80 percent report work debilitating depression at some point over the next four years. I saw the same things out at companies. Even as success rose, happiness flatlined. It turns out we had the formula wrong. Success is a moving target. As soon as we hit a goal our brain changes the goalpost of what success looks like. If you hit your sales target, we raise your sales target. If you make more money, you’re surrounded by others who make even more money. “But flip around the formula and it actually works. Raising optimism and deepening social connection raises every business and educational outcome. My TED talk has over 6 million views, which feels surreal, but is yet another indication that we are living through the beginning of a revolution where people recognize that the greatest competitive advantage in the modern economy is a positive and engaged brain.” he found happiness to be an internal construct we build as we grow. “In my work we define happiness as the joy you feel striving toward your potential. This changed the way I pursued happiness. Many researchers try to separate which is better a happy life or a meaningful one. That is impossible. happiness cannot be sustained without meaning. Pleasure is short-lived, but joy is something you can experience in the ups and downs of life.

keynote speaker shawn achor

in my work we define happiness as the joy you feel striving toward your potential. ~ SHAWN ACHOR, GOOD THINK INC. And we only feel it on the way to our potential, so growth as a human being is crucial.” He says most of us have been programmed by societal tenets to follow the wrong formula for happiness and success.

When all is said and done, he says some simple but profound differences separate happy people from unhappy people.

“We think if we work harder we’ll be more successful and happier. It’s a broken formula. The human brain is actually designed to work better when it is positive, rather than negative, neutral or stressed.”

“The happiest people can delay pleasure but they do not delay happiness. And they realize happiness requires a work ethic. Only by creating positive habits like writing down gratitudes, journaling about positive experiences, meditation and writing positive emails to people in our social support group can we create sustained and quantifiable positive change.”

Nurturing ourselves and our passions, combined with serving the needs of others, are surer ways to bliss than slavishly working to get ahead.

Achor’s keynote talk is at 9:15 a.m. he will lead a breakout session at 10 a.m.

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WHAT

NEXT?

COMING IN 2014


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feature STORY

otjoy

WATCH the film

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

Exploring the Secrets to Happiness HAPPY, the most recent film from Academy Award® nominated director Roko Belic, takes us on a compelling global journey in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explore the secrets behind our most valued emotion. What are the building blocks of a life that's not just free of illness, but one that flourishes with a deep and genuine happiness? Recently, modern science has begun to examine how happiness works. Experts appearing in HAPPY including Sonja Lyubomirsky, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ed Diener, and Richard Davidson provide fascinating insights into the research and how it applies to our daily lives. HAPPY further engages us to examine preconceived notions about the causes and sources of happiness. A rickshaw driver in the slums of Kolkata living in a hut made of plastic bags is found to be as happy as the average American. A woman who is disfigured and disabled from a car accident is happier than she was before the accident. Through these and other inspiring stories, HAPPY leads us toward a deeper understanding of how our sense of well-being and happiness can be cultivated and shared regardless of circumstance and external conditions. There are things each of us can do on a regular basis to become happier, HAPPY provides a captivating look at those components that enhance happiness. While happiness can’t be purchased or won, it is a skill that can be learned. HAPPY is narrated by Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Happy for No Reason and Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul. In 2005, director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Patch Adams, Bruce Almighty) handed Roko Belic a New York Times article entitled, “A New Measure of Well-Being From a Happy Little Kingdom.”The article ranked the United States 23rd on its list of happiest countries. Shadyac, himself dissatisfied with his luxurious Beverly Hills lifestyle, asked Belic to make a documentary investigation into the origins of human happiness–and why the U.S. ranks so low. This simple inquiry led to a global inquiry that spanned over several years across 5 continents.

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there’s a social conversation going on about happiness and what it means. ~ MARY PREFONTAINE

ICAN’S WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE PROMOTES WORKKPLACE FULFILLMENT

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HOW DO YOU DEFINE happiness?

community CONNECTIONS

q&a katrina booker

adam langdon

Take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, close your eyes, smile.

claudia bohn

Creativity, Collaboration, Innovation – that's what makes me most happy. It's building and growing. It's relationships. It's making new connections internally and externally. The external is the people you engage with.

now let feelings of awe, love, gratitude and joy overwhelm you. Repeat.

Happiness to me

especially the breathing part.

is seeing our children evolve into the pretty awesome teenagers they have become.

The images I see in my head are the smiles of family and friends.

I love watching them grow and blossom into their own unique personalities. I love seeing them use the talents they have been blessed with – whether that’s on the court, on the field or in the classroom, while also being compassionate towards others.

kATRInA BookeR Is The mAnAgIng dIRecToR, coRPoRATe communIcATIons, PuBLIc AffAIRs & evenTs foR Td AmeRITRAde she Is ALso The cuRRenT chAIR of The IcAn BoARd of dIRecToRs

cLAudIA Bohn Is communIcATIons/PR mAnAgeR meThodIsT heALTh sysTem

The internal is how you personally interpret the feedback.

diane kortus To me, happiness is a way of doing things. Rather than a condition that comes and goes, happiness is a constant perspective that comes from within. happiness is a state of “being”... Being with my team at work when we are focused on making a difference and finding the right ways to make that happen. Being a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a daughter-in –law, a friend and a neighbor. Being there to help someone figure out what their next steps should be. Being accountable for what I say I will do and really stretching myself to accomplish things I have never done before. happiness is appreciating every step, every breath, every moment. It’s the price of admission; the very foundation upon which we build our life experiences.

Remember, everyone is better than you at something - so figure out what that is - and build on it!

dIAne koRTus Is mAnAgeR of dIveRsITy And IncLusIon wITh conAgRA foods

AdAm LAngdon Is dIRecToR, nATIonAL smALL BusIness BAnkIng muTuAL of omAhA BAnk

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?

metroMAGAZINE • The Spirit of Omaha

roxann rogers meyer edie pignotti

As I grow older and wiser, I value the positive impact I can have on other people, my contribution to make their lives better.

terry l. lee Happiness to me is having the opportunity provide for my family, give back to the community and being thankful for what I have. I find that if these things are always in motion, life is good and I am at my best self. when I am at my best self I can make the best use of my god given talents at home, in the community and in the workplace.

Happiness is always celebrating the ‘things that are reminiscent of spring’ in your life. The types of things that make you look at life with a refreshed view, the things that awaken after the due. Things that feels good like the first warm day and the energy of running out to play!

TeRRy L. Lee Is sR. PeRfoRmAnce deveLoPmenT consuLTAnT, woodmen of The woRLd LIfe InsuRAnce socIeTy

Living an authentic life surrounded by family, friends and co-workers, realizing there is something bigger than myself.

I think spring is such a special time of the year, the excitement for things we hold dear! edIe PIgnoTTI Is vP, soLuTIon TRAnsITIon And suPPoRT, csg InTeRnATIonAL

stacey buechler Happiness is discovering your passion and finding a way to incorporate that passion into your everyday life.

As a leader, I believe a happy team creates a healthy and productive culture and that shines through as the team strives to live the company mission. I find it rewarding to be of service to others and it is often the simple things in life that create happiness. RoxAnn RogeRs meyeR Is vP of mARkeTIng And communIcATIons, ImmAnueL communITIes

sTAcey BuechLeR Is senIoR mAnAgeR, mAnAgemenT & LeAdeRshIP deveLoPmenT fIRsT nATIonAL BAnk


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cover STORY

gravity: A CENTER FOR CONTEMPLATIVE ACTIVISM

after serving the poorest of the poor, an omaha couple now helps heal fellow healers. grounded in faith, spirituality and social justice, chris and phileena heuertz are anchoring this healing vision in the heart of omaha, at gravity: a center for contemplative activism.

CHRISTOPHER AND PHILEENA HEUERTZ

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STORY BY LEO ADAM BIGA | PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE STOCK

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

t

WE WANT TO OFFER THESE LITTLE GLIMPSES OF HOPE AND TOOLS OF NOURISHMENT FOR THE ACTIVIST SOUL TO KEEP GOING, TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR A BETTER WORLD AND NOT GIVE UP. ~ CHRISTOPHER HEUERTZ

gravitas gravity:

A CENTER FOR CONTEMPLATIVE ACTIVISM

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gravity: A CENTER FOR CONTEMPLATIVE ACTIVISM

Omaha is a world away from the slums of Calcutta, the killing fields of Sierra Leone or the red light districts of South America. But the human pain found there is never far from the hearts and minds of a spiritually enlightened local couple who worked among the suffering in these and similarly challenged places for nearly two decades. Christopher and Phileena Heuertz are 40something-year-olds who’ve devoted much of their adult lives to social justice activism with the poorest of the poor, all the while led by the scriptural admonition “faith without works is dead.” Growing up – he’s from Omaha and she’s from Indianapolis – each had powerful do-the-right-thing examples of radical hospitality in their own lives. His parents took in foster care kids in crisis and adopted two at-risk children. Later, his folks founded and ran a local agency to help resettle Sudanese refugees. Her father is a Protestant pastor and the senior chaplain for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. By the time the couple met at a small liberal arts Christian college in Kentucky Chris had already done service work on a Navajo reservation, in Cabrini Green Chicago and in South India and Southeast Asia. In love with him and their shared commitment to serve others, Phileena joined him overseas. The many hard things they witnessed brought them to a crucible of faith that now has them dedicated to nurturing the spirits of people whose human service vocations align with their own.

a new path In 2012 they founded the Omaha-based Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism. Officed in the Mastercraft Building in North Downtown, where kindred spirit creatives, entrepreneurs and social justice warriors (at Siena/Francis House) are their neighbors, the center is the arm for their new outreach focus. The couple’s new mission finds them leading prayer sits, retreats, pilgrimages and spiritual direction in support of people like themselves committed to humanitarian work.

The Heuertzes know first-hand how draining that work can be and therefore how vital it is to have a discipline or method or sanctuary in order to get refreshed. Chris says, “We’re trying to create this sort of pit stop for the activist soul to catch their breath, to be refueled, to find practices that will help sustain their vocations and journeys.” Many of the practices are contemplative in nature, meaning they emphasize silent prayer, meditation and reflection which nurture self-awareness or consciousness. Centering prayer is one such practice. Gravity does some of this work right at its spacious office, such as the weekly prayer sits and spiritual direction and holds retreats at the St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Neb. and around the country. The husband and wife team leads pilgrimages to historic sacred spots around the world (Assisi, Italy) and to iconic social justice locales domestically – they did “21st Century Freedom Rides” to civil rights sites in the South – and abroad (Rawanda). The couple also does workshops and makes presentations for communities, churches and universities across the nation.

After years working in the trenches with the destitute, the desperate and the dying they took a sabbatical in 2007. For part of their time away from the fray they made a famed pilgrimage in Spain, the Camino de Santiago, that saw them walk almost 800 kilometers (500 miles) across southern France and northern Spain on a 33-day trek. There, under the stars, unplugged from modem life, they discovered some essential truths. “Every night on the Camino we’d stop at a convent or monastery or pilgrim house,” says Chris. “For 1,100 years these folks have practiced hospitality. You’re so exhausted after walking 25 or 30 kilometers, carrying everything in your pack, and then these folks welcome you in, saying, ‘Here’s a hot meal, here’s the shower, you can wash your clothes, we’ll make you breakfast in the morning and send you on your way.’ And it just always refreshed our spirits, our souls, our bodies, and that’s what we want to do through the center. We want to offer these little glimpses of hope and tools of nourishment for the activist soul to keep going, to keep fighting for a better world and not give up.”

“Gravity is for people who care about their spirituality and want to make the world a better place,” says Phileena, who will During that same sabbatical period the complete her certification as a spiritual Heuertzes received a fellowship from the director this summer. “Since Gravity opened Center for Reconciliation at Duke Divinity its doors we’re finding that people from all School in Durham, North Carolina. different walks of life are coming. Even if they’re not in formal social justice work many “They hosted us,” says Chris,”and we found it of these people want to make the world a such a great place for reflecting deeply on better place and they’re doing that in their very difficult things in the world with a very way through their unique vocation.” diverse group of people.” The couple came to start Gravity after reaching a point where they needed their own reset. They intentionally took time off to minister to themselves, along the way finding some spiritual practices they found beneficial for their own peace of mind and spiritual growth and that they now share with others.

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These experiences of taking time out for solitude, reflection, community and rejuvenation set this always searching couple on a new path, this time not directly tending to the suffering but to those who serve the suffering. Thus, their new mission is healing the healers.

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taking stock Phileena says the burden of it all came to a In all the time Phileena and Chris served the oppressed, the exploited, the hungry, the sick head for her one day. and the dying, surrounded by a sea of want “Back home a friend asked me after listening and hopelessness, they saw many of their to what we had experienced, ‘Do you ever colleagues lose their bearings. doubt the goodness of God?’ Immediately it “We worked all over the world and saw pretty was like a dam broke loose and the emotions took over and I just wept and wept and said, messed up stuff and we saw a lot of great ‘Yes, I doubt the goodness of God.’ What I people burn out and walk away from their realize now is that in all my work in social beliefs or faith or communities or vocations,” justice work up until that point I was says Chris. operating in terms of finding someone to blame, someone who’s responsible for the The couple came close to their own personal state of the world and the suffering and breaking points. injustice that is there.“And certainly some of Says Chris, “What we experienced in 19 years us are responsible and we need to take of really grassroots, gritty, on-the-streets, in- responsibility for our actions. But in Freetown, Sierra Leone everywhere I looked I found the the-neighborhoods difficult work was that person to blame was also victimized and so we gave a lot of ourselves. We saw lots and then I had nowhere to turn except to blame lots of terrible things that started to weigh on us. The work that we did impacted us and God for the state of the world and for the condition of my friends. we absorbed a lot of that. What we saw in our own lives, in our own health and bodies, “I was in a crisis of faith.” in our marriage were things that were hurt, that were wounded. Just when things seemed bleakest a ray of “It did take some emotional, spiritual, physical hope shone through in the person of Father Thomas Keating, a Cistercian monk and priest toll on us.” who is a leading proponent of the Christian However, while they were still wrapped up in contemplative prayer movement. that work, it was hard for them to see that damage. Only after being back home – Chris “Keating came to Omaha to speak at Creighton University and he introduced us to headed the North American office of the contemplative tradition and centering Word Made Flesh from here – could they prayer,” says Phileena. “That was really a grasp just how much trauma they’d stuffed. lifesaver for me. It was immediate grace. There were the tragic figures at the Mother There was a way for me to just be with the Teresa-founded House for the Dying, the terrible suffering and trauma of the world, maimed victims of the Blood Diamonds War, the Latina and Asian women recovering from the human brutality, the questions, the doubts. There’s a way for me to be with my being trafficked in the sex trade.

gravity:

anger towards God and my questions and doubts about my faith. There’s a way to live faith without having all the answers. “The answers I grew up with in church in midAmerica were not connecting with the real problems of the world. Keating was just so helpful in providing a way for me to stay connected to faith, to God in a way that would allow me to deepen and grow.” It should be no surprise then that Keating, the author of several books and the founder of the St. Benedict’s monastery in Snowmass, Colo., where he resides and teaches, is a founding board member of Gravity. Keating’s oft-professed lesson that a test of faith is an opportunity for growth resonated with the couple. “Keating teaches that if we stay on the spiritual journey long enough we’ll come to the point where the practices that have sustained us in our faith journey fall short, they no longer nourish us, and when that happens it can be completely disorienting,” says Phileena, who went through this dark night of the soul herself. “A lot of people walk away from their faith at that point but Keating says it’s actually an invitation to go deeper.” She and Chris chose to plunge the depths.

the contemplative way “What we found is there’s a real difference between faith and certainty,” she says. ”Faith is being able find yourself being held by something bigger and greater than you and not having all these answers.

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Doubt can be contained within our faith. Certainty is the opposite of faith. I think a lot of spiritual or religious people put a lot of bank in our certainty, but that’s actually a barrier to faith. It’s thinking we have all the answers and we can figure it all out and can figure God out. But faith is something that carries us. It’s a grace that helps us to be a part of the mystery of life and God and any goodness that is in us and that can flow through us to heal and transform the world. “It really gave us an understanding for what we had witnessed in Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in South India. Mother never talked about this but we saw in her this pure model of contemplative activism, where people were dying at her doorstep and she was disciplined to see that they were taken care of but also to see that she and the Missionaries of Charity would take regular time out to meditate and pray. They had these regular rhythms of withdrawal and engagement and getting connected to a source that is greater than them.” Reflecting on their own and others’ service experiences, Chris says he and Phileena concluded that many “folks in social justice actually take better care of someone else than they do themselves,” adding, “Where’s the integrity in that? If we don’t really know how to love ourselves how well can we really love someone else? We also saw folks who had really beautiful compelling vocations were sometimes being very unpleasant, grumpy people. We did see a lot of people burn out and a lot of people perpetually teetering on the edge of burn out.”

paying it forward They’re guided in their new mission by the wisdom and example of figures as diverse as Keating, Father Richard Rohr and Thomas Merton, Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Phileena says the monastic teachings of Keating, Rohr and Merton “have done a lot to bring contemplative spirituality out from the monastery and into the secular world. We’re a part of the next generation who are making it even more accessible and demystifying it. I think a big part of what we’re offering is accessibility to mysticism or contemplative spirituality. At the retreats the demystifying comes by practicing together and talking about our experiences.”

Gravity is a resource center whose programs, activities, books and videos help fulfill the mission statement tagline: “…do good better.” Both Chris and Phileena are published authors on matters of faith and spirituality. The spiritual experiences that led them to Gravity, including all the insights gleaned from their teachers, colleagues, friends and role models, is their way of carrying the message. Visit http://gravitycenter.com for a schedule of upcoming retreats and programs and links to materials.

THERE’S A WAY TO LIVE FAITH WITHOUT HAVING ALL THE ANSWERS. ~ PHILEENA HEUERTZ

Visit gravitycenter.com for a schedule of upcoming retreats and programs, links to materials and to partner financially. Join in each week on Wednesdays at 4pm for the contemplative prayer sit/meditation group.

He says he and his wife resolved they and their fellow social justice workers “don’t have to do this at our expense, we don’t have to do this in a way that ends poorly for us or that ends with people walking away from their work, their faith, their beliefs, their community.” That’s where Gravity comes in. “The idea is we want to accompany or journey with folks in this formation of helping ground our social engagement in a deep contemplative spirituality.”

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compassion omaha: IMAGINING A BETTER CITY

A BIG BLACK board OF last april, compassion omaha created a week-long event, five days of compassion, to encourage more compassionate living across the city. they were overwhelmed by the positive response from omahans and people around the world. they hope this year’s event will go “viral.”

WE GOT ALL THESE EMAILS AND CALLS FROM PEOPLE ASKING, ‘DO YOU HAVE TO BE IN OMAHA TO DO THIS?’. ~ ROXANNE WACH COMPASSION OMAHA

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STORY BY RYAN PENDELL | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF COMPASSION OMAHA

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

compassion Compassion Is a Human Thing

Omaha-based Five days OF COmpassiOn has birthed a mOvement. the lOCal OrganizatiOn enCOurages everyOne tO make a lOng term big impaCt On the COmmunity by being willing tO start small. the blaCk bOard at Omaha’s Om Center very muCh symbOlizes this visiOn. Organizers envisiOn a mOre peaCeFul, COmpassiOnate City, mOdeled in part by this nOnpartisan, seCtarian OrganizatiOn prOmOting universal kindness, beginning in Our Own baCkyard. imagine a better Omaha–what does it look like? are the citizens more compassionate and kind to strangers? are there stories of forgiveness in the newspaper? are people committed to treating others as they would wish to be treated, regardless of political or religious affiliation? although we can imagine it, we might think it is impossible to make such a big difference. but what if it was easy? what if everyone in Omaha changed their behavior in small, ordinary ways? those little changes might become the catalyst for a new city, even a new world. that’s the inspiration behind Compassion Omaha, a nonprofit group formed to promote universal compassion that transcends political and religious affiliation. this year they are organizing their second annual Five days of Compassion from april 15-19. they hope to encourage everyone in Omaha to act more compassionately in their daily lives by choosing a practical activity to participate in, based on daily suggestions from their posters, website and social media.

Compassion Omaha began officially as a nonprofit in 2012. but its core members have been active in promoting compassion in Omaha for decades. they have been inspired in part by a group of tibetan monks who have regularly visited Omaha for the past 20 years. the monks that visit have been handpicked by the dalai lama to bring their message and culture to the united states. their lives center on praying for peace and healing for the world. “all of their rituals are aimed toward that,” said roxanne wach, a founding member and executive director of Compassion Omaha. “it does kind of rub off.” although the forgiveness and compassion embodied by these monks has inspired them, Compassion Omaha is not religiously or politically affiliated. “when we founded Compassion Omaha, we wanted to make it an organization that is outside of political or religious views,” said dan wach, another founding member and treasurer. “what we really want to get at is the core of how people treat each other and how we think about each other. and that’s a human thing.” they hope to inspire people to become more conscious of their ordinary lives, to make small changes in behavior, and to reflect on what a more compassionate world would look like. “there are lots of organizations that have compassionate action by virtue of what they do, but that’s still not their main focus,” said roxanne. “we decided that if we could get people to think about the little things they do every day, it would spur them toward more practical, active compassion. that’s something nobody else was really doing. practical compassion is really our big thing – simple things anybody can do that matter and make a difference.”

Five Days & A World of Difference last april, Compassion Omaha organized its first event, Five days of Compassion. they invited the public to participate in small acts of compassion throughout the week. On the first day, “Omaha vision,” they invited participants to answer on a post-it note the following question: “how can Omaha be more compassionate?” the participants included school children from across the city. even mayor suttle filled out a post-it note. by the end of the five days, they had collected over 600 notes. the responses were then distributed to artists across the city, as inspiration for creative works of art. some artists incorporated the post-it notes into the works themselves. the artwork was displayed at the Om Center in Omaha, inspiring further conversation about what compassion means. roxanne was overwhelmed by the positive response to the Five days of Compassion, which included people around the world who discovered the event on Facebook.

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“i was surprised at how many responses we got from people outside of Omaha— Florida, new york, south america, india,” said roxanne. “we got all these emails and calls from people asking, ‘do you have to be in Omaha to do this?’”

Learning about Omaha (and Compassion, too) karen davis-stone, a 3rd grade teacher at Field Club elementary school, found out about the Five days of Compassion on Facebook. every student learns about the city of Omaha during their third grade year. “the event fit right into our curriculum,” said davis-stone. she asked her students what they would do to make Omaha better. “it was real interesting,” said davis-stone. “the kids came up with things like, ‘more places for the homeless people to go,’‘Free electric bills for people who can’t afford it,’ ‘taking care of all the dogs and cats who are stray.’ their ideas were not all that farfetched.” according to davis-stone, children today often focus on what they want for themselves. it was exciting for her to see students thinking hard about how to care about others.

IMAGINING A BETTER CITY her class also did a clothing drive for the donation box in their school’s parking lot. the donated clothes went to refugees in the neighborhood. “Our school has a very diverse population,” said davis-stone. “we have a lot of refugees from sudan and somalia.” the project led to lots of great conversations about who refugees are and why they need help with clothes. davisstone plans to involve her class again this year. she encourages other teachers to get involved as well. this year roxanne has formulated Five days of Compassion for kids, which includes ways to incorporate the event into the classroom. interested teachers who are looking for curriculum ideas are invited to contact roxanne via Facebook or at compassionomaha.org.

Envisioning a More Compassionate City this year, Five days of Compassion will run from april 15-19. Compassion Omaha invites everyone in the city to participate in whatever way they wish. people are encouraged to post their actions on the Compassion Omaha page on Facebook. “i would love for Five days of Compassion to go viral,” said roxanne. “i would love for it to be something other cities celebrate. i would like it if what we do influences people enough that Omaha just becomes the kind of place where people treat each other better, where i turn on the news and it’s about the great things people do for each other in the community and not about crime and violence.”

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One way to build a more compassionate city, according to dan and roxanne, is to begin to celebrate Omaha’s diversity. “Omaha is an incredibly diverse city,” said dan. “when we worked with mayor suttle when we first started, he talked about there being 93 different languages spoken in Omaha schools. people have this view of Omaha as sort of a midwestern, white bread city. there’s so much more here.” according to dan and roxanne, celebrating our diversity helps us better see our unity. “as humans we’re more alike than we are different,” said roxanne. “understanding that creates a bridge to overcome the things that might divide us.” Compassion Omaha hopes that they can inspire people to make a difference in small, thoughtful acts. “everything i do ripples out,” said roxanne. “and maybe they’re just little ripples, but eventually they reach somebody else. i would much rather those ripples be meaningful.”

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business coRneR

BY RYAN PENDELL | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF GREATER OMAHA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

louis blumkin

irvin blumkin

ronald blumkin

president nebraska furniture mart

ceo nebraska furniture mart

president and coo nebraska furniture mart

Louis BLumkin served as President of Nebraska Furniture Mart for 40 years, turning it into the largest home furnishing store in the US. He was known as a brilliant businessman and a generous philanthropist. He was a supporter of the Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, Creighton University, Mahoney State Park, and the Ronald McDonald House, among many others. He is also a member of the American Furniture Hall of Fame. His mother, Rose Blumkin, was inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame in 1993, as part of its first class. Louis died in 2013.

irvin BLumkin, son of Louis, is CEO of Nebraska Furniture Mart. He was instrumental in rebuilding the NFE facilities after a major tornado destroyed the business. Under his leadership the Omaha campus has grown into a 77 acre, state-of-the-art distribution warehouse. He has guided expansions into Iowa, Kansas, and Texas.

ronaLd BLumkin, Irvin’s brother, is President and COO of Nebraska Furniture Mart. He works alongside Irvin to provide strategic direction for the company.

LOUIS BLUMKIN

IRVIN BLUMKIN

RONALD BLUMKIN

On April 23rd the Greater Omaha Chamber will induct six local business leaders into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame. The distinguished inductees will join such famous Omahans as Warren Buffett, John Lauritzen, and Eugene Eppley. Each businessman will be recognized for the historic role he has played in Omaha’s development. The Omaha Business Hall of Fame was created in 1993 as part of the Omaha centennial celebration. Inductees are selected based on their leadership in business and economic development. There are currently 125 members in the Omaha Business Hall of Fame. Their names and accomplishments are on permanent display at The Durham Museum. This year’s inductees showcase the very best of Omaha’s world-class business and community leaders.

chamber inducts six business leaders into business hall of fame

saluting six 32

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chamber of commerce hall of fame john boyer

paul aldo jessen (posthumous) tesi

partner fraser stryker p.c. l.l.o.

chairman and co-founder koley jessen, p.c. l.l.o.

chairman and ceo election systems and software

john Boyer is an attorney and partner at Fraser Stryker P.C. L.L.O. He has worked with many Omaha businesses, including MidAmerican Energy and Children’s Hospital. He is president of the Omaha Zoological Society and the Omaha Zoo Foundation. He is on the board of directors for the Omaha Storm Chasers. Boyer was also Executive Producer for an IMAX film on Lewis and Clark.

PauL jessen was chairman and co-founder of Koley Jessen, P.C. L.L.O. As a business attorney, he believed that his firm should be civically involved and give back to the community. He was recognized by Woodward/White Inc. as one of the Best Lawyers in America and by Chamber USA as one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He served on the board of many well-known Omaha institutions, including the College World Series and the River City Rodeo. Jessen passed away in 2012.

aLdo Tesi the current Chairman and CEO of Election Systems and Software. ES&S provides electronic voting machines to local and state governments worldwide. Under his leadership, the company has grown into the industry leader in overall market share. Prior to his roles at ES&S, he served 11 years as president of First Data Resources. He is actively involved in the Omaha community.

JOHN BOYER

PAUL JESSEN

ALDO TESI

The inductees will be officially welcomed into the Hall of Fame during a gala presentation and ceremony at the Holland Performing Arts Center on April 23.Tickets are $250 per person, and reservations can be made online at OmahaChamber.org/HOF by April 16. Ticket proceeds will be used to support the Omaha Business Hall of Fame exhibit at The Durham Museum. metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

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MARY E. VANDENACK

“MULBERRY LANE”

RENEW YOUR VITALITY

EMBRACING

celebrating spring

perfect imperfection

AFTER A LONG COLD WINTER, SPRING WILL FINALLY ARRIVE.

WE ALL KNOW THESE WOMEN.

“May youISalways be pleasedAwith both inside and outside of • SPRING HISTORICALLY TIMEfreedom, OF RENEWAL. RENEWAL yourself!” ENCOMPASSES THE BODY, THE MIND, AND THE SPIRIT. should consider day in lostTerms on which we have not danced at least once.” • “We Spring Cleanses For every the Body of Food An often used approach for renewal of the body is a spring cleanse related to foods. My views on food “When you fall in love with yourself, you begin to feel the positive • have changed dramatically over the primary belief is that you self-esteem that comes when weyears. don’tMy deflate ourselves.” should listen to your own body. Develop awareness of how your body Barbara Holstein Gatewaysavoid to Happiness” responds to what ~you put in. Becker Unless you have afrom food“Four intolerance, excluding any food entirely. Also avoid eating anything all the time. Take the time and develop strategies to develop awareness about the best foods for you. I compiled several recommended spring cleanses and looked for the commonalities among them. All of those that I reviewed included lightening up on what is going into the body and making some different choices about what we consume. Suggested foods for cleanses include alkaline foods, green tea, lemon, apples and lots of waters. Foods to avoid include anything processed, sugar, foods that contain more than five ingredients, and foods containing ingredients that you have to google. Most cleanses suggest avoiding meat and dairy but that should really be a matter of whether that is the right choice for your health. If you struggle with anemia, you should talk to a professional before dropping red meat.

Woman A: When you step in her house, nothing is out of place and the toys miraculously never migrate from their allotted space. The smell of fresh linen fills the air and although you really like her, the voice in the back of your head says, “Why can’t my house ever look like this?” Woman B: She’s got that innate sense of style, always looking perfectly on trend. When you meet her for lunch your thoughts go like this, “I haven’t picked up a fashion magazine since my first child was born.” Woman C: She brings homemade treats to birthdays and is the first to volunteer for the class parties. When you see her, your thoughts scold, “My kids will grow up thinking cookies come with a Hy-vee sticker.” Woman D: Her hubby surprises her with spa trips or she surprises him with a hot air balloon ride for their anniversary. That sarcastic voice in your mind says, “Yeah right. If I surprised my hubby with a hot air balloon ride, he’d tell me to take one of the kids instead.” After comparing yourself to these 4 women, you end up feeling you’re doing everything wrong. You are. You’re caught in the comparison cafeteria. You pick the best talents of all these different women, put them on your tray, and end up feeling like left overs. No one can do everything well all the time. You may be blessed with an organizing gene, a spot-on mothering instinct, or business acumen. Celebrate what you do well and quit comparing your shortcomings with the most gifted in that category (and just maybe their “perfection” is an illusion anyway). Learn to embrace “imperfection” and own it. And don’t just do it for yourself, do it for other women.

Spring Cleanses for the Mind While changing dietary habits cleanses the body, at the end of winter, it is also helpful to release mental baggage. Mindfulness, in the form of yoga, meditation or hikes can help create balance and provide opportunities to clear the mind. Massage, hot baths, exercise, time off, adding a new activity, or eliminating commitments can also help. If you are experiencing serious mental challenges resulting from traumas or significant life stressors, consider professional help and support groups. There are a variety of specific and effective techniques that can help get life back on track when trauma or chronic stress has derailed you.

Spring Cleanses For The Soul When the fresh air of spring arrives, take the time to breathe some of it in. Breathe in the fresh air as often as possible. There is a better way to live than being breathlessly controlled by electronic devices, anxiety, and a schedule too packed to notice that the robins have reappeared in your back yard. Our culture is not supportive of slowing down, connecting, and breathing deeply. You have to decide that it matters to you. Choose to reconnect to your inner self, your spirit, your breath BEFORE life gives you a wake-up call. Set your iphone alarm for twice a day for the purpose of stopping you to take a breath and simply notice something in the moment. Make the time to read one of the books sitting unfinished because you don’t have the time to read. Make the time to engage in an activity that is meaningful to you. Live in a way that at the end of the day, you will have lived, laughed, and loved.

If I walk into your house, and there are piles of papers and piles of laundry, I will be your friend forever. You have just given me permission to embrace my own domestic imperfections. And we can remind each other that we’re good at other things. If you look great 90% of the time, I will love you for the 10% you show up in sweats or even pajamas. And I will tell you I admire your style. And if we embrace who we are honestly without pretense or illusion, we give others the power to do the same. Instead of apologizing for not making the party dish from scratch, remind yourself that the time spent reading to your toddler was worth the trade off. If you are ever hanging out with women who comment snidely about so-andso’s badly behaved kids, or how so-and-so’s really let herself go, don’t get caught up in the perfection game. Give them permission to relax and truly embrace themselves by saying, “But have you read her amazing blog?” or, “I would be exhausted if I had to oversee that transition – everyone at the office loves her.” And if you hear gossip about the hockey net in my living room, the puck marks on the walls, and that I burn hard-boiled eggs, please remind them I can write a song. Sisters, we don’t have to be the same. Let’s celebrate our strengths and give each other permission to do the same! Sisters Rachel, Bo, and Allie are singer/songwriters who host a syndicated music, arts, and lifestyle talk radio show. The Mulberry Lane Show airs in Omaha on Saturdays, The Mighty 1290 KOIL, 10am – noon. The show is sponsored by Elisa Ilana Jewelry. For more information visit www.mulberrylane.com.

Mary Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified and ACE certified. 34

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MARY E. VANDENACK

Mary Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified and ACE certified.

SAYING “YES” WITH impact AND “NO” MORE FREQUENTLY MOST OF US ARE VERY BUSY MUCH OF THE TIME. WE TEND TO TREAT THE ABILITY TO MULTI-TASK AND JUGGLE AS A VALUABLE SKILL SET. WE MAY NOT BE TAKING THE TIME TO REALLY EVALUATE ALL THAT WE ARE DOING AND MAKING GOOD DECISIONS ABOUT OUR CHOICES.

Life Phases Pass Quickly. At different moments in our lives, we are driven by different things. We might be in the midst of raising children, pursuing a “May you always be pleased with freedom, both inside and outside of career, caring for a parent, trying to save enough for retirement, or dealing yourself!” with a life trauma. Whatever life phase we are in, the phase is often “We should consider day lost on which notitdanced consuming. When weevery are busy dealing with awe lifehave phase, is easy at to least simplyonce.” be engaged in the While children, we might be trying to juggle a “When you falljuggle. in love withraising yourself, you begin to feel the positive career, and maintain relationships with family and friends. It is very difficult self-esteem that comes when we don’t deflate ourselves.” to do it all well and very important to find some time to evaluate what we are ~ Barbara Becker Holstein from “Four Gateways to Happiness” doing so that the life phase doesn’t blow past and we wake up one day feeling as though we woke from a long sleep.

• • •

Make Conscious Decisions About Your Life Phase. In pursuing a career, we might be concerned with being present in the community . In an effort to make a presence, some new professionals, or those changing careers, join every organization, serve on multiple non-profits, participate in everything they are asked to do. One day, we will wake up and realize that we are ten, twenty or more years into our career. If we are fortunate, we did make conscious and intentional decisions. For many of us however, we find that we said “yes” to whatever came our way, rarely said no and just got so busy that years blew past nearly unnoticed.

The same may be true for raising children. We simply get busy. Whatever life phase you are currently engaged in, take some time out to evaluate what you are saying yes to and where you can say no. Consider where you want to be in ten years and make choices now that will get you there. Consider what you might like your obituary to say. Say “No” to Requests That Drain You. We really are busy enough. Why do we ever agree to do things that drain the energy that we need? Consider adopting a policy of saying no to activities that have a negative effect on your energy. If you serve on a non-profit board but dread going to the meetings, resign. Too often, we agree to do something that really doesn’t add value to our lives. Say “Yes” to Activities That Allow Your Life To Have Impact. Serving on a board, a non-profit or in a political capacity in a way that has meaning to you matters. Serving on ten boards so you can list them on your resume does not. Say yes to those things that energize you because you can make a difference in a way that matters to you. Say yes to family and friends. Say yes to your health. Say yes to paving a life path that will make you proud when you turn to look back at it.

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KMTV MORNING BLEND’S

community CONNECTION

mike & mary How do you define Happiness? How close do you consider yourself to being there? What's still in the way?

~ Mike DiGiacomo His...

Hers... ~ Mary Nelson As a child, getting a new toy would make me happy, so would getting my way, as would eating spaghetti. The reality is: Things haven’t changed entirely.

Some people spend their entire lives searching to achieve happiness. But, it can be as elusive as a North American Sasquatch. I have friends and family members who confuse pleasure with happiness. Sure, they may experience those enjoyable moments, like shopping or partying, but that’s not what happiness is all about.

However, the toys are bigger and pricier. Instead of dolls, I get more pumped up about a new power tool! If you were to ask my husband, he might say that I’m happiest when I get my way. He’s hardly alone. I’ve heard many a husband say, “Happy wife, happy life!”

It seems money is also very often confused as a key to happiness. With more money, one could cut back on work hours, could drive a more reliable car, and could go on more vacations. The list goes on and on. In reality, I’ve met many people with loads of money, who also have tons of problems. I’ve met others who have very little yet let happiness overcome them.

And, I still can’t refuse spaghetti! Though, my perspective has evolved. As a 30-something, I see happiness as an extension of gratitude. Instant gratification reads as happiness, but it’s not the deep-down-irreplaceable-nothing-canshake-you-kind-of-happiness. The way I see it, that’s where love comes in! When you know love, you know happiness.

Listen, I’m not a psychologist or a philosopher, but I feel happiness is a state of mind, it’s a choice! I decide to be happy despite whatever daily challenges I’m presented with. My family’s health and the relationships I’ve built sure do factor in to all of that. Setting out on the path to happiness starts by simply trying, making it a goal and practicing some gratitude.

Not everyone likes a happy person. I’ve had viewers complain about my laugh, or question why I’m happy – asking, “Haven’t you ever had a bad day?!” Sure, I’ve had bad days – even bad years. But where love and gratitude meet, there’s happiness. It creates a kind of force field, which can’t be easily penetrated by negativity.

While writing this article I learned about psychologist William James who said, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

Pharrell Williams had a hit song with “Happy.” It’s very catchy. In it, he refers to happiness as “the truth.” Despite how I’ve described it, his definition might be the best, and most succinct.

For many people happiness is right in front of them. Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” says it best, “ Clap along if you know what happiness is to you, because I’m happy”.

How close do I consider myself to being happy? As the kids say, “I’m so there.” 36

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Look Who’s Sheltering Shelter Pets

Train with Us and Have Fun with Fido! Our commitment to you and your pets doesn’t end once you adopt. In fact, NHS offers all sorts of training classes to help you and your pet live happily ever after. Best of all, as you work with your pet, the proceeds stay at the shelter to help support homeless animals. • Basic Obedience--what every dog and pup should know. • Owly Growly-- for dogs who don’t like others. • Drop-In Classes --Can’t commit to a full session? Drop in when you can! • Fun with Fido--Classes include going “Out on the Town” to work through distractions, learning Tricks, Exercising with your dog, honing obedience through Games and having good old fashioned fun with your dog! • In Home Training--Our trainers come to you, on your schedule, to help get you through pet problems that crop up. You can find all classes and information at www.nehumanesociety.org/training

A great cause Katelyn, Paul, Dawn with Sassy, and Kristen Gonzales

Dawn and Paul Gonzales Sassy Gonzales loves her family so much, that she hates it when they leave. She doesn’t hate kenneling, she just hates kenneling when it means she’ll be alone. “She likes to disappear when we’re getting ready to leave,” explains Dawn, ”Usually that involves her patrolling the house and then wedging into the smallest space she can possibly find.” To say that Dawn, Paul, and the girls love Sassy back is an understatement. “She’s been awesome,” says Paul. ”We were looking for a younger dog for our girls to grow up with. She has been the perfect choice.” Dawn and Paul adopted Sassy 10 years ago, soon after attending the shelter’s biennial gala, Black Tie and Tails. Since then, Dawn has been active in the Friends Forever Guild and its Board of Directors. Sassy is a small maltese mix with a big personality. She dances for treats, waits for permission before hopping up on the couch for cuddling, and she is a very expressive talker. When Dawn was sidelined with some health issues, Sassy didn’t leave her side. “Looking back, I think she knew I was sick before I did. She was right.” Thankfully all the Gonzaleses are now happy, healthy and enjoying life… which is just the way Sassy likes it!

www.nehumanesociety.org gives you all the info!

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for your business to support! Save the date for Black Tie and Tails, the Nebraska Humane Society’s biggest biennial event to benefit homeless animals. The Nebraska Humane Society’s Friends Forever Guild puts on this gala and it’s truly the most heartwarming in town. This year’s theme “Forever Home” showcases success stories of truly amazing animals. The evening starts with a patron party and a chance to win a diamond in your champagne! Then it’s on to the silent auction, dinner, oral auction and even an “after party” for those who don’t want the night to end. The entire evening is doggone fun with plenty of opportunities to see, and help our four legged friends. For information go to www.nehumanesociety.org or call Gordon at 402-905 3483.


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event galleRies • VIEW & PURCHASE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF THESE EVENTS now! AT SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE EVENT BOOK 2014!

LUTHERAN FAMILY SERVICES FANDANGO

VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATION ART & SOUP

MARIAN HIGH SCHOOL MARIANFEST

THE ROSE THEATER ROCKIN’ ROSIE 2014

JDRF PROMISE GALA

HEARTLAND FAMILY SERVICE CARNIVAL OF LOVE

SPECIAL OLYMPICS NEBRASKA POLAR PLUNGE

FASHION INSTITUTE MIDWEST OMAHA FASHION WEEK

Purchase photos from these events online or from your smartphone, and metroMAGAZINE will donate 10% back to that organization. Join us in giving back! Enter the code “GIVE10” on the checkout page of your shopping cart. • please remember to trade with our advertisers, whose support helps make our promotion of these important events possible

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event GALLERIES

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Heart

OF THE MATTER Heartland Family Service Carnival of Love

DONNA KUSH AND JEFF KAVICH

CONNIE KINNEAR, KAREN JACOBI, WENDY AXON, SALLY STALNAKER AND BRENDA LANGENBERG

KAREN BURKLEY, ANNE JETTER, JOHN OAKEY, WITH CONNIE KINNEAR AND KIM BANAT

HONORARY CHAIRS DIANA FULLER AND JIM O'CONNOR, CONNIE KINNEAR, BRENDA LANGENBERG, JOHN JEANETTA, KATHY O'CONNOR AND CHRIS OLSON

SHERIF AND MARTHA SEDKY WITH RUDYARD COOPER

The award-winning Heartland Family Service Friends Guild “Carnival of Love” Gala went high-tech on February 15th in raising over $200,000 at the Embassy Suites – La Vista. The innovative electronic service from 501 Auctions had the more than 500 guests involved in bidding wars on their smart phones and tablets all the way through dinner at the casual-attire event, which was voted the Best Event Over 500 People in metroMAGAZINE’s 2013 presentation of The BIG Event! The silent auction, featuring 250 items, began as guests were entertained with interactive carnival games, including the ever-popular Wine Toss, while they sipped cocktails and munched on appetizers of popcorn and mini-hotdogs. Master of ceremonies and KETV morning anchor John Oakey kicked off the evening’s program with the Heads or Tails Game. More than half of the room participated in this new competition, placing a token on their heads or their “tails” before a coin was flipped until only Kim Daniels remained standing and won a $500 Nebraska Furniture Mart gift card.

BRENDA AND DAVID LANGENBERG WITH DONNA AND LARRY DOSTAL

Guests then viewed a heartfelt video featuring Heartland Family Service clients Jack and Kassie created by Omahabased Delinea Design that set the tone for the live auction. As Heartland Family Service’s largest fundraiser of the year, the Gala helps create the path to a better tomorrow for the over 50,000 individuals the agency serves each year from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. Among the more than 50 programs that will receive financial support from the Gala proceeds are the concealed Safe Haven emergency shelter for abused women and children, the Family Works residential treatment facility for women with infants and children and the Senior Center.

AMANDA REINERT, ALLISON TIETJEN, ALEAH PETERS, TOSHA SKINNER, ALYSSA HOWELL AND KIMBERLY BRENNAN

CHRIS OLSON, LINDSAY WATKINS, LAURA OLSON AND JUSTIN WATKINS

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For more information visit HeartlandFamilyService.org.

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Photography by Dan Flanigan

WHOLE LOTTA

Love!

PAUL AND NANCY VACANTI WITH COURTNEY VACANTI BIRNSTIHL AND JASON BIRNSTIHL

CHRIS RICHARDSON, LOUIS AND KATHI ROTELLA, JR. WITH JILL AND LOUIS ROTELLA, III

BLAKE ADAMSON & FRIENDS

JDRF Promise Gala

JDRF raised nearly $720,000 for research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) at their 17th Annual JDRF Promise Gala – “That’s Amore. Love & Passion for a Cure.” On Saturday, February 22nd more than 650 guests enjoyed a night of fun and excitement with Honorary Chairs, Kathi and Louis Rotella, Jr. and Event Chairs, Jill and Louis Rotella, III at the Embassy Suites Omaha – La Vista. The Gala paid tribute to the Rotella family’s Italian heritage, passion for a cure, and their family motto “love one another.” The evening began with a silent auction featuring several unique and exciting packages. The Italian themed program was kicked off by radio personality, Nikki Boulay, who served as the Evening Host. After the silent auction, guests moved into the ballroom and enjoyed an Italian meal complete with Rotella’s Italian Bakery bread rolls, antipasto platter, Caprese salad, chicken parmigiana, and amaretto cheesecake. Bidding was intense for the evening’s live auction, including a trip to Italy which sold for $7,500. Following the live auction, the Fund A Cure video presentation featured the Priest and Lewis family, as they shared their personal story. Sisters, Jen Priest and Anne Lewis, have three children who were diagnosed with T1D within three years of each other. There had been no history of T1D in their family. Their compelling story helped to raise nearly $400,000 in Fund A Cure* alone.

ANGELA CUTLER AND KERI TARANTINO

KATE AND BRAD GRABILL

SCOTT AND ANN VIGAL, KAREN AND JOHN LEIFERMAN, WITH ANGELIA AND JAY FROSCHEISER

JDRF BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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Following the Program, guests enjoyed an after party featuring Finest Hour band. "This year’s JDRF Promise Gala represents a major milestone for us as we raised $720,000. For the past 17 years the Omaha and Council Bluffs community has turned out in impressive numbers to help raise money that gives hope to those suffering from T1D. Our organization is very fortunate to have a community that is so thoughtful and generous toward furthering research to find a cure for T1D” stated JDRF Board President, Chris Richardson. Tenaska was a corporate sponsor for the 17th Annual Promise Gala. For more information visit www.jdrf.org.

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event GALLERIES

SOUP DUJour

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Visiting Nurse Association Art & Soup

Over one thousand tickets were sold to the 17th annual Art & Soup event, held on Sunday, Feb. 23rd at the Embassy Suites – La Vista Hotel and Conference Center. The annual event benefits VNA’s shelter nurse program, providing care to homeless individuals and families in Omaha and Council Bluffs’ homeless and domestic violence shelters, as well as youth living on the streets. This year’s record-breaking event exceeded VNA’s fundraising goal – $240,000 gross was earned to help support these critically needed services. A patron party was held from 1 – 2 pm, honoring cochairs Howard and Rhonda Hawks of The Hawks Foundation. Those attending the patron party were first to taste the delicious soups and specialty treats while previewing the silent auction, and had first access to original artwork on sale from some of the area’s most sought after artists.

BRIELLE ABBOUD AND JOSIE ABBOUD

HONORARY CHAIRS HOWARD AND RHONDA HAWKS WITH PRESIDENT AND CEO JAMES SUMMERFELT

ERIC AND FAWN BOTTOLFSON WITH LAURA CLARKE AND JULIE TITUS

MIKE AND KRISTEN FULTON WITH LISA AND LARRY MURRAY

Guests enjoyed live entertainment from Karly Jurgensen. This year, Art & Soup featured original artwork from 47 area artists. In addition to ticket sale proceeds, the artists donate a minimum of 50 percent of their proceeds to VNA. Artwork included paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more. Additionally, 27 of Omaha and Council Bluffs’ finest restaurants created an original soup recipe to sample at the event. Next year’s Art & Soup will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015.

LEROY VON GLAN

KARLY JURGENSEN

Thanks to Art & Soup, VNA is able to ensure homeless men, women and children have access to health care, social services and community resources. VNA shelter nursing services include: To learn more about VNA’s unique commitment to quality in-home care and the services provided, visit www.theVNAcares.org or call 402-342-5566.

CATERING CREATIONS JEFF SNOW, BRIAN DETERMAN, DAVID ROONEY AND NICOLE JOHNSON

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KRISTI PEDERSEN

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KEEPING THE

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Energy!

Lutheran Family Services Fandango Magic was in the air at Fandango 2014. Maybe it was the thought of playing golf when the thermometer is hovering in the single digits. Maybe it was the beautiful new location or the excitement of bidding on a framed five-dollar bill signed by Warren Buffett. Or maybe it was just the awesome retro apparel of honorary chairs, Roger and Karen Thompson. But whatever it was – something kept energy zinging through the room from beginning to end. Nearly 300 people attended Fandango, which was held at Indian Creek Golf Course this year. The new location meant the silent auction and cocktail reception were included in the same room as the live auction and dinner. The golf theme was everywhere – from the $5 putting greens to the golf vacations in the live auction. The centerpieces looked like flags on the green, and even the cupcake desserts had a tee on top.

SARAH AND ANTHONY ANDERSON WITH KENNY AND APRIL ROCKER

HONORARY CHAIRS KAREN AND ROGER THOMPSON

ANDY AND ANN MASSEY WITH KEVIN AND ELLEN DASHER

RUTH HENRICHS WITH CHARLIE AND DANA PAYNE

Amid all of the fun of the evening was the serious business of raising money for the children’s programs of Lutheran Family Services (LFS). Of the three LFS core competencies, Children Services is the one that relies most on donor funding to continue important programs, like RSafe® therapy for child sexual abuse. Mike’l Severe of “The Bottom Line” was the emcee for the evening. During the program, honorary chair Roger Thompson made an impassioned plea for everyone to be a “cheerful giver.” As partner at Seim Johnson, Thompson has been the lead auditor for LFS for many years. He reassured the crowd that every donation was important and that every dollar would be managed well. The program video highlighted LFS’s programs for early intervention and prevention, children’s behavioral health and permanency and well-being.

TARA AND MARK WRIGHT WITH LONNIE AND CARLA MAHRT

BRUCE AND BARBARA FAJEN WITH SHARON AND MARK ELLERBECK

At press time, final accounting was still underway, but the event raised at least $118,000. For more information visit LFSneb.org.

TARA KNUDSON CARL AND CINDY MUNCHRATH

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JACKIE PUEPPKE, HOPE SHOTBOLT AND NANCY K. JOHNSON

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Photography courtesy of Marian High school

event GALLERIES

CHEE-BURGER!

Chee-Burger!

Marian High School MarianFEST

ROB AND DEDE SALERNO, MIKE AND MARY KAY MANGUS LEATHERMAN, BRIAN AND SUSIE WARD SHOEMAKER, SUSAN RUSSELL TOOHEY, JOAN KALHORN HAHN AND JERRY HAHN, WITH SARA SHEEREN MCKEON AND TOM MCKEON

More than 550 friends of Marian spent their Saturday evening sharing hearty laughs, tasting delicious food and donating generously to support the 32nd annual MarianFEST (Funding Education in the Servite Tradition), Marian’s largest fundraising event of the year. This year’s event raised nearly $300,000, which will support tuition assistance for Marian students. The theme for the Feb. 22 benefit dinner was “Live From Marian, It’s Saturday Night!” Marian’s Quad and gymnasiums were completely transformed into the set of Saturday Night Live inside Studio 8H at Rockefeller Center. Guests were greeted by a registration table resembling SNL’s famous “Weekend Update” desk.

ANDREW DELEONARDIS AND CONNIE CAVEL

MIKE PALLESEN, ANGIE ANDERSON QUINN, HEATHER EFAW AND HOLLY PENDLEY

TOM BAKER AND KATHY JANATA

GARY GROTE

JEFF MOBERG, RICK BETTGER AND BILL GERBER

During the cocktail hour, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres of roasted beets wrapped inside a sweet Gorgonzola arancini with fried sage and a walnut pesto, in addition to a lavender grilled pork tenderloin crostini with a Gochujang spread and apricot kimchee. Marian students, costumed as stage directors with white blouses, black slacks and mock headsets, served the guests while they mingled and scoured the sprawling silent auction tables. Marian Head of School Dr. Susan Russell Toohey ’82 began the formal program and kicked off the night’s entertainment. “Each parent, alumna and friend of Marian gathered here tonight has played a tremendous role in ensuring Marian remains dedicated to providing the finest education for young women, empowering them to succeed as confident, independent, thinking leaders,” she said. “It is only because of their compassion and generosity that Marian is able to offer nearly half of its student body with some form of tuition assistance, totaling more than $900,000 this year.” The laughs continued as teachers and students recreated some of the most popular SNL sketches–all with a Marian twist! In true SNL fashion, a duo of student saxophonists provided transition music between the acts. Executive chairs for MarianFEST 2014 were Jerry and Joan Kalhorn Hahn ’78, Mike and Mary Kay Mangus Leatherman ’81, Tom and Sara Sheeren McKeon ’81, Rob and Dede Salerno and Brian and Susie Ward Shoemaker ’81.

SHELLY GROTE WITH PAT AND CINDY REGAN AND JILL AND GEORGE MORRISSEY

REV. TOM FANGMAN, EDITH CARLISLE, LIZ NEARY AND SUSAN RUSSELL TOOHEY

CAPTIONS

CAPTIONS 44

For more information visit www.marianhighschool.net.

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Photography by Roger Humphries

ROCKIN’ &

Roarin’

The Rose Theater Rockin’ Rosie 2014

KELLI AND ROBERT STEIDLE

CHRIS BLUMKIN AND MELANIE WOLFF

More than $183,000 was raised for The Rose Theater at Rockin’ Rosie on February 15, 2014 at the Hilton Downtown. The theme was Rosie Rocks the Roaring 20’s, with a Prohibition themed experience for all in attendance. Nearly 340 guests were to treated to period appropriate cocktails, silent and live auctions, a Italian inspired dinner, and dancing to the Omaha Big Band Ltd.

LESLIE MAYO AND MEGHAN LEWIS

RON AND CHRIS BLUMKIN

The event was presented by The Rose Theater Guild, a volunteer guild dedicated to supporting the mission of The Rose Theater, to enrich the lives of young people and their families through live theater and arts education. Walter and Samantha Shatley emceed the event and Shayne Fili and Mark Beacom were the auctioneers. Chris L. and Ron Blumkin represented the Blumkin Family for the evening and served as Honorary Chairs. Matthew Gutschick, The Rose’s Artistic Director, was also in attendance.

RAOUL AND ELIZABETH BARTON, LORI AND PHIL MCLAUGHLIN WITH KELLIE AND SCOTT BAKER

CHECK-IN

“I am humbled to serve an organization treasured and supported by a community, in the truest sense of the word,” said Gutschick. “It’s sometimes easy to feel that way in the presence of our audiences at The Rose, but at Rockin’ Rosie, I realized just how many of us in this city are charged with enthusiastically taking care of this precious institution.” In addition to Chris L. and Ron Blumkin, co-chairwomen of Rockin’ Rosie 2014 were Chris M. Blumkin and Melanie Wolff. Guild President is Courtney Hellman. For more information on how to support the Rose Theater visit www.rosetheater.org.

AUCTION

JERRY AND JENNY GROSS

CAPTIONS 45

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event GALLERIES

BROTHA THAT’S

Photography courtesy of special Olympics ne

Coldddddd!

Special Olympics Nebraska Polar Plunge

• Special Guest Plunger: Zach Potter, former Husker football players and current tight-end for the Houston Texans. Zach took the polar plunge with friends and family.

DOUGLAS COUNTY CORRECTIONS TEAM

• When It Happened: February 15, 2014 • Where It Happened: Lake Cunningham • Why/How It Happened: The Polar Plunge is an annual fundraiser by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Nebraska. • Your Mission: The mission of Special Olympics Nebraska is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. This gives them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships, with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and their communities.

US BANK EMPLOYEES DRESSED AS MINIONS FROM DESPICABLE ME

• Sponsors: Rotella’s Italian Bakery, the Loose Moose Bar and Grill, Fraternal Order of Police #8, US Bank and the Law Enforcement Torch Run. • Attendance: 1,100

DOWN SYNDROME ALLIANCE

TD AMERITRADE EMPLOYEES

• Funds Raised: $120,000 • About your organization: Special Olympics Nebraska is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1972. We serve over 5,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities across the state of Nebraska, providing vital opportunities for sports, health and wellness initiatives and education programs in schools and communities. • For more information visit www.sone.org HUNTER THE DOG WATCHES FROM THE SIDELINES

YUTAN DIVE TEAM CUTTING 16 INCHES OF ICE

Go to: www.spiritofomaha.com/Metro-Magazine/Community/Calendar/ CAPTIONS 46

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Photography by Dan Flanigan

MOVIN’ DOWN THETracks!

Restore Omaha Opening Reception

LEO A DALY ARCHITECT SHEILA IRELAND

KETV 7’S ARIEL ROBLIN WITH KRISTINE GERBER

More than 250 people gathered at the Durham Museum on February 28 for the opening reception of the ninth annual Restore Omaha Conference. While attendees enjoyed the grandeur of the former Union Station, many were focused on another railroad building just across the tracks: the Burlington Station. At the event, Ariel Roblin, KETV-7 president and general manager, explained the story behind the decision to preserve the Burlington and make it their new home.

DENNY BUSCH, CRAIG FIELDING, JEFF HICKS AND BRETT BARRINGTON

ANDY AND TIFFANY WILLIAMS WITH DAVID LAWRENCE

JAVIER TUMA, NORITA MATT, DENISE AND DAVID LEVY

FRED AND CAROL RICHART WITH JULIE AND BOB BAKER

A short film gave attendees a peak at the building, the progress made so far, and the engineering challenges that lie ahead. Despite the building’s dilapidated condition, the six-inches of pigeon feathers on the floor of the grand hall, and the mixture of snow and rain that greeted her on arrival, Roblin said the Burlington conveyed “an energy that doesn’t live in any new building.” She imagined the “millions of stories that happened on track level” and began to see the possibilities. Restore Omaha committee chair Nicole Malone said the Durham was a great location to celebrate Restore Omaha and its mission–to preserve and restore older homes and buildings. She noted how the museum, considered a local treasure, was saved from demolition in the 1970s. Malone said it was “extremely exciting” to hear Roblin’s story of KETV’s decision to save the Burlington from the wrecking ball and make it into an entirely new station. Before and after the presentation, preservationists mingled and dined on fare prepared by My Personal Chef Catering owner John Ford. Cornhusker Beverage served white wine, beer and a special tea drink called the Red Caboose. Restore Omaha is produced by Restoration Exchange Omaha, with major support from Lund-Ross Constructors, Metropolitan Community College and AIA Omaha.

MELISSA AND AARON CASS WITH REBECCA BREI

VANESSA MARIE, ROZELY PENZKOWSKI AND LISA BARRETT

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eVenT

spotlight metroMagazine

fashion institute midwest

CANCER SURVIVORS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN FLANIGAN

strutting their stuff

JUST THE FACTS: On March 5th Omaha Fashion Week is hosted its third annual Cancer Survivor show presented by Methodist Hospital. The show included over 90 cancer survivors modeling looks from the following local boutiques; All About Me, Bliss Boutique, CJ Banks, Chico’s at One Pacific Place, Christopher Banks, Coldwater Creek, Garment District, Katina’s, Maurice’s, McLovin, Mesh, Paperdoll, Post & Nickel, Skyz and Younkers. metroMAGAZINE Publisher Andrea “Andee” Hoig served as Mistress of Ceremonies.

KAHNA GORDON, TANYA PATRY, JENNI STOLL, REGAN, CLAUDIA BOHN AND STEPHEN ZUBROD

Brook Hudson, OFW producer said, “This is always one of our most anticipated events! The energy, emotion and support at the event is electrifying! It is all about making these men and women survivors feel beautiful and it is our community that comes together to make that happen!’

look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE EVENT BOOK 2014!

BROOK AND NICK HUDSON WITH EMCEE ANDEE HOIG 48

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| omaha fashion week

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

• VIEW & PURCHASE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF THESE EVENTS now! AT SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

KEELY ANDAND VICKIERIC YOUNG GAYLE YOUNG CALEWELL PHILLIPS

KATHI GERINGER, CHERYL JAROSZ, JENNY HARE, LORI WHITE AND LISA WOLTER

MEGAN DAMBROSIA, CHARISSA WOOD, RITA KALKOWSKI AND MARY KEITEL

AMANDA AND TIM TROESTER

RITA KELLER AND BRENDA KELLER WITH RYAN AND KARLA LERIGER

LAUREN MAKOVICKA, MICAELA TERRY, CALLIE SMITH AND COURTNEY SMITH

DENISE POLLARD AND DEBBIE TORCZON

LAUREL MARSHALL, KAREN MCCUBBIN, FRANCES MCCOY AND JOAN FREDRICKSON

MEGAN SHEPHERD, CHRIS BOTTIERI AND CARLY FRICKE

MARY SCHWERY AND MARY LU COURTNEY WITH CALEB, NANCY AND MIKE COURTNEY

BARB KASTRICK, AMANDA GRIER, KATRINA REGAN AND MICHAELA KANOSKI


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Photography courtesy of Heat the streets Run & Walk for Warmth

STREETHeat

Heat the Streets

Run and Walk for Warmth

Omaha’s brave and hardy runners set out on a timed 5-K run to raise money to help less fortunate neighbors pay utility bills.

MUD MASCOT THIRSTIN AND MISS METRO KIMBERLY BENNEN

OPPD CEO GARY GATES AND MASCOT BUDDY

Joining 139 runners were teams from Omaha corporations and organizations who started at 9:30am to Walk for Warmth, a 1-mile fundraiser for area energy assistance programs. There were 184 walkers. All participants ended at the Marcus Midtown Theater for awards, popcorn and hot chocolate. Race Director Sandy Bikus of SwimBikusRun mapped a run route that will took participants through four city parks, the historic Midtown and Field Club neighborhoods, past the Gerald Ford Birthplace, up steps and over bricks. This event is scheduled in the winter to call attention to the needs of our neighbors who, because of a crisis or illness, may not be able to pay their energy bills. For more information about Heat the Streets Run and Walk for Warmth visit www.heatthestreetsomaha.org.

RUNNERS TAKING OFF

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BLAZIN’Green!

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Catholic Charities Irish Fest

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha welcomed guests of its annual benefit gala at the CenturyLink Center Omaha on Saturday, March 1, 2014. This year’s theme, “Blazin’ Shamrocks” celebrated the traditional Irish spirit with a new twist of dueling pianos. Honorary chairs for the event were Molly and Toby Schropp and event chairs were Jean and Jim Ambrose and Theresa and Bob Gunia.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR JOHN GRIFFITH, CHAIRS JIM AND JEAN AMBROSE WITH HONORARY CHAIRS TOBY AND MOLLY SCHROPP, CHAIRS THERESA AND BOB GUNIA

Nearly 660 attendees enjoyed silent and live auctions, a raffle, performances by Omaha Pipes and Drums and The Craoi na Tire Irish Dancers, and live interactive entertainment from The Blazin’ Pianos. John Knicely served as the master of ceremonies for the event, which raised more than $465,000 to support programs and services that help 75,000 individuals and families in need throughout the Archdiocese.

AMY AND TODD FELTZ, WITH JULIE AND TERRY FROLIO, AND KARI AND JERRY PETERS

ARCHBISHOP GEORGE LUCAS, CALLISTA AMBROSE AND JOHN GRIFFITH

“We are grateful to everyone who made this year’s Irish Fest possible, from the honorary chairs and event chairs to the employees, volunteers, sponsors, donors and attendees,” said John Griffith, executive director. “It is only through your support that we’re able to continue the work of serving our most vulnerable neighbors.” About Catholic Charities Catholic Charities ministers to the greatest and most fundamental needs of our community. People affected by domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse, unplanned pregnancy and other emergency situations can find sanctuary in times of overwhelming hardship, while opening doors for promising futures. Catholic Charities has a rich tradition of serving and advocating for more than 75,000 voiceless, hungry, addicted, abused and forgotten individuals and families annually throughout the Archdiocese of Omaha.

JOHN AND CARRIE JENKINS WITH PATRICK AND MELISSA DUFFY

DAN AND MICHELLE KORALESKI WITH STEPHANIE AND JACK KORALESKI

For more information visit www.ccomaha.org.

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SUSANNE SHORE WITH SHAWN AND SARAH DUNSMORE

FR. TOM NIETZKE, LENLI CORBETT, DANA MEYER, FR. TOM FANGMAN AND JEN BETTGER

WHAT NEXT?

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Wingin’ IT!

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Strategic Air & Space Museum Swing Under the Wings

• Emcee: Chris Chapman with Star 104.5 • Band: Gooch & His Las Vegas Big Band • When It Happened: February 14, 2014

DEBORAH AND TY DOKE

TIM AND JONNA HOLLAND WITH KEVIN HENDRIX

• Where It Happened: Strategic Air & Space Museum • Why/How It Happened: This is a night of live big band music, socializing, and dancing. The 2014 Hangar Dance Swing Under the Wings was held on February 14. Swing Under the Wings is a 1940s USO party complete with a full 17-piece big band. Guests were encouraged to dress in their best vintage clothing or costumes to relive memories of a bygone era where music and dance provided a welcome distraction to the stresses of World War II.

GOOCH & HIS LAS VEGAS BIG BAND

MIKE AND SANDY MCCARTHY WITH SHELLY AND TOM REEDER

• Catered by: Catering Creations • Your Mission: To Ignite The Thrill Of Innovation And Discovery In Each Of Our Guests. • Attendance: 260+ people attended • About the organization: One of the nation's premier aviation and space museums, located 15 minutes from Omaha on Interstate-80, features over 40 military aircraft and spacecraft. Artifacts from the Cold War celebrate the contributions of the Strategic Air Command to our nation's security and prosperity. Traveling exhibits, permanent exhibits, and a variety of special events provide additional unique experiences for the museum’s members and guests.

KATY ADAMS WITH BERT AND TAMMIE AAGESEN

ANN AND DAN MURPHY, VAL AND AL PALIMENIO, DORA AND JOHN BRIGHT, MARY AND JERRY MURPHY

• For more information: www.sasmuseum.com

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Hot PEPPERS!

St. Vincent DePaul Society Chili Cookoff

ABBY AND CHARLOTTE ANDRESS

WINNERS CHRIS ANDRESS AND IAN SEVERES

CO-CHAIRS DIANE MEAD AND DAVE EGAN

JOHNNY RAY GOMEZ

TOM EVERSON AND SUSAN GELL-HORTON

JOY EGAN AND MOLLY EGAN

• Special Guest: Johnny Ray Gomez, MC • When It Happened: Saturday, February 15th • Where It Happened: Creighton Prep High School, Omaha • Why/How It Happened: Raise funds for the Omaha Society St. Vincent de Paul "Keep the Heat On" fund • Catered by: 14 volunteer Chefs, Runza (171 and Maple St.) Patricia's Catering, Bellevue, NE • Mission: Inspired by Gospel values, we serve one person at a time, providing help with basic human necessities. We strive to serve in hope and without judgment. • Honorary Chairs: Diane Mead, Dave Egan • Attendance: 400 • Sponsors/Hosts: Bag N’ Save, 144th and Center Baker’s, 156th & W. Dodge Rd. | Berkey Family Bozell | Brase Electric - John Jadlowski | Carol Atherton | Cookie Company, Westroad Mall Coreen Miller | Costco Creighton Prep, Kevin Flint & Crew Dr. James Pietro, D.D.S. | Egan Family Eileen’s Cookies | Gell Family HyVee Store, 50th and Center Joan Baillon and Vern Wood | Mead Family McGillick Family | Patricia’s Catering of Bellevue Quality Brands of Omaha Runza, 171st and West Maple | Sam’s St. Bernadette SVdP Conference St. James SVdP Conference Village Inn, 2525 So. 180th Village Inn, 2935 N. Broadway, Council Bluffs Village Inn, 3333 N. 90th Street Village Inn, 7837 Dodge | White family • For more information: svdpomaha@hotmail.com

look for the KELLY AND BRIAN BULL

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JERRY GLENN AND GEORGE HEASTON

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Last days to reserve Your Space! An Insider’s Guide to great shopping, fabulous food, fun things to do, and living well in the Greater Metro Area

DISTRIBUTES LATER THIS MONTH! 101Things2Love.com 56

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UNMASKING

Photography by Dan Flanigan

Success

Metro Omaha Women’s Business Center Masquerade Ball

Event: Third Annual Start-up Assistance Grant Masquerade Ball & Auction:

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR DIVA MEJIAS WITH MOWBC PRESIDENT, BC CLARK

JANE ONKEN, MARIAN HOLDEN AND MARLENE HANSEN-KAPLAN

Mistress of Ceremonies: Amy Peck Keynote Speaker: Deborah Keating When: March 1, 2014 at Regency Marriott Ballroom Purpose: to award Start-up Assistance Grants to emerging women entrepreneurs. Three $500.00 grants were awarded. Additionally, proceeds will help fund educational opportunities such as workshops and seminars throughout the coming year. Mission: To empower women to become economically self-sufficient by providing targeted education, workshops, job skills, strong relationships, and resources that provide business, professional and personal growth. We help educate, embrace and empower.

CAPTIONS GENIECE BROWN, BETH OSTDIEK SMITH, AND KAREN A. EDWARDS

BC CLARK WITH MISS METRO KIMBERLY BENNEN

Silver Sponsor: US Bank Attendance: 120 For more information: info@mowbcf.org or 402-201-2334

KACIE ANKENBAUER AND DEBORAH KEATING

SHAYNE FILI AND MARK BEACOM 57

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April 1

April 2

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AUTHOR LUNCHEON | Completely KIDS | Hilton Omaha | 1001 Cass Street | Omaha The 2014 Completely KIDS Author Luncheon, sponsored by the Completely KIDS Guild, will feature New York Times best-selling author Rosalind Wiseman, most famously known for her book, Queen Bees and Wannabes, which was the basis for the movie Mean Girls. Her latest book, Masterminds and Wingmen, focuses on the feelings and struggles of boys, who are less likely to seek help. Presented by First National Bank. Patron, $75; Individual, $50 (402) 397-5809 | http://completelykids.org

April 3 “SOCK IT TO ME” | Omaha Press Club Show Spoofs News in Name of Scholarships SPRING STYLE SHOW

The 1970’s sketch comedy show “Laugh-In” will be loosely revisited Thursday, April 3, in the annual Omaha Press Club Show at the Holland Performing Arts Center. The show, titled “Sock It to Me,” promises to be a “verrry interesting” sendup of local headlines and the newsmakers behind them. Proceeds from the show and the raffle benefit the OPC Scholarship Fund managed by the OPC Foundation. Tables are $5,000; $2,500 and $1,200. Individual ticket prices range from $125 (35 and younger) to $250. Seating is limited, however. So reserve your tickets today. Visit www.opcshow.org for a downloadable order form or contact reservations chair Jill Bydelek, 402-384-9316.

April 5 BIG BASKETBALL BASH | Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands

Assistance League of Omaha | DC Center | Omaha | alo@alo.omhcoxmail.com

Enjoy the NCAA men’s college basketball semi-final games at a one-of-a kind viewing party to support Big Brothers Big sisters of the Midlands. You will dine on snacks & a variety of hearty appetizers, beer from Lucky Bucket and a signature drink from Cut Spike Distillery. Takes place at Champions Run 13800 Eagle Run Drive Doors open at 4:30 First game tipping off at 5:15. Tickets in advanced $45.00 at the door $55.00. 402-905-3346 | email ehansen@bbbsomaha.org

April 5 OMAHA COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE ANNUAL FUNDRAISER Omaha Community Playhouse | Omaha Community Playhouse | 6pm – 10pm The much-anticipated annual fundraiser of the Omaha Community Playhouse will be April 5. This fun-filled event generates significant funds to aid in fulfilling our mission of providing the greater Omaha community with high-quality entertainment and educational opportunities. (402) 553-4890 ext. 127 | www.omahaplayhouse.com

April 1

April 5 OMAHA SYMPHONY GALA FEATURING CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE Omaha Symphony Holland Performing Art Center | 5:30pm cocktails, 6:30pm dinner, 8:00pm concert (no intermission) $500 for Gala dinner and concert, $25-85 for concert only The Omaha Symphony Gala is one of Omaha’s most prestigious social events, where leaders of Omaha’s corporate and civic community celebrate the symphony’s role as a vital center of culture and education. Gala honorees David and Martha Slosburg will be presented the Richard and Mary Holland Leadership Award. Funds raised support the symphony’s education programs that serve nearly 30,000 children annually. The Gala concert features acrobatic marvel Cirque de la Symphonie performing aerial feats. (402) 342-3836 | www.omahasymphony.org

ANNUAL STEP INTO SPRING LUNCHEON

April 5 BLUE JEANS AND DREAMS HETRA | Five Star Stables | 23203 Dutch Hall Road | Bennington | 5:30 PM – 11:00 PM The Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) is excited to announce the 13th annual Blue Jeans and Dreams Benefit dinner and auction on Saturday, April 5, 2014. The event benefiting HETRA student sponsorships will be held at Five Star Stables, 23203 Dutch Hall Road, Bennington. An evening of entertainment country style! Social hour and silent auction at 5:30pm with a special presentation at 8pm. 402-359-8830 | www.HETRA.org

Santa Monica | 11am – 2pm | (402) 558-7088 | www.santamonicahouse.org

April 5 NSBA BARRISTERS’ BALL | Nebraska Lawyers Foundation Embassy Suites Conference Center | La Vista The 2014 Barrister Ball’s proceeds will support the general projects of VLP. Through pro bono representation, and the clinics, VLP has served close to 3,000 individuals in the first 8 months of 2013. $100/ticket or $75 for young lawyers. $100 for a young lawyer and a guest. 402-475-7091 58

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NHMTofROmaha metroMagazine • The*Spirit @R

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On the Road TO T H E C L U B

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April 5

6 : 0 0 P M - 10 : 3 0 P M

CATHEDRAL COMEDY AND CUISINE Saint Cecilia Cathedral Grade School | 701 N. 40th Street | Omaha Guests will enjoy cocktails, an exquisite dinner by Abraham Catering, as well as silent and live auctions. Cocktails and silent auction start at 5:30 p.m. The theme for the event is “Educating our Stars of Tomorrow”. Make your reservations early by calling 401-551-2313. Tickets $100 ($55 tax deductible) 402-551-2313 | www.stcecilia.omaha.org

Pa t r o n Pa r t y a t 5 : 3 0

PM

H A P P Y H O L LO W C L U B 17 01 S O U T H 10 5 T H S T R E E T C A D DY S H A C K AT T I R E

April 5 FIRST ANNUAL ALLY MENTORING Founder’s Day Race/Walk 5k Drag Race: 9:00 | Zorinsky Lake at the “Boat Ramp Entrance” 1 mile Rainbow Family Walk: 9:15. Registration: Begins at 8 am. Donation: $30 for adults and $15 dollars for kids (12 and under). All participants will receive a shirt! 402-505-3022

April 5 HUNT FOR SIGHT | Outlook Nebraska, Inc. | Council Bluffs Country Club | 4500 Piute Street

T I C K E T S A R E $ 15 0 E A C H PAT R O N PA R T Y T I C K E T S $ 2 0 0 E A C H 20

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4 0 2 . 3 4 2 . 16 0 0 O N T H E R O A D . B G CO M A H A . O R G

Hosted by Dr. Everett (Buzz) Madson, an ophthalmologist, he has hunted in the United States and around the world. Ken Reimers, a wild life photographer, will show you how to capture an image in your back yard or out of your car window and how to set up a tripod for a perfect shot. Enjoy complimentary domestic beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres before dinner. Dine on: yak, buffalo, llama, pheasant, quail, duck, and goose. Each event ticket is $75. Outlook Nebraska, Inc., an Omaha-based nonprofit dedicated to enhancing the lives of the blind and visually impaired. www.outlooknebraska.org.

April 6 OSCA GLOBAL GALA | Omaha Sister Cities Association German-American Society | 3717 South 120th St. | Omaha | 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM This event brings together international visitors and students, as well as local members of the cultures of each of our six sister cities (Shizuoka, Japan; Braunschweig, Germany; Siauliai, Lithuania; Naas, Ireland and Yantai, China. The annual membership event begins at 5:30 with a “meet and greet” reception followed by buffet dinner. A short business meeting will be held to elect new board members and council chairs. Entertainment will “rock your ribs”.... the Lincoln-based Kokyo Taiko drummers are incredible. Information and reservation form may be found on the OSCA web site. $50 402-490-7095 | http://omahasistercities.com

April 9 2014 ICAN WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ICAN (The Institute for Career Advancement Needs) | CenturyLink Center Omaha 9am – 4pm | Doors open at 7:30am | $289 per person $2,999 for a reserved table of 10 | $199 Men’s Forum The 2014 ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference presents ‘Happiness: Bending the Bottom Line,’ exploring the workplace performance connection to happiness -the idea happiness is a precursor to success at work, in life and within you. What makes you happy? How does your happiness make you not only a better person, but a better employee? How does happiness bend your bottom line? Norah O’Donnell, Shawn Achor and Dr. Sherry Cooper will keynote on the happiness advantage, in addition to dynamic breakout sessions, a special forum for men, an exhibitor ‘Shop-the-Show,’ and more. (402) 392-0746 | www.icanglobal.net

April 10 OMAHA CREATIVE INSTITUTE SPRING FLING Omaha Creative Institute | 1516 Cuming St. | 6 – 8 p.m. Celebrate your local creative community and try Omaha Creative Institute’s drop-in workshops. Learn ukulele from Mark Gutierrez, cartooning from Tom Kerr, and origami from Nancy Lepo while hearing Mary Carrick sing from her new album. Mingle with fellow arts supporters and enthusiasts while you enjoy great food, drinks, and artwork from 6-8 p.m. for just $50. rebecca@omahacreativeinstitute.org

April 10 4TH ANNUAL: TOAST TO FAIR HOUSING | Family Housing Advisory Services Metropolitan Community College Swanson Conference | Omaha Keynote Speaker is Susan Koenig, divorce attorney and executive coach. Join us for an evening of live music, dinner and a silent auction. Your support will help us in celebrating the contributions of individuals, families and the community over the past 45 years. You, your staff and your clients are invited to this wonderful event! $50.00 per ticket 59

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April 11

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9TH ANNUAL KICKS FOR A CURE DINNER | Kicks for a Cure, Inc. Double Tree Hotel | 1618 Dodge Street | Omaha | 5:30 pm – 9 pm Benefiting Liz’s Legacy, Kicks for a Cure is a charitable program that supports local cancer research, education and patient care at Creighton Univeristy’s Hereditary Cancer Center and The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Eppley Cancer Center. The dinner is casual and is held to honor the participating soccer teams and the sponsors of the program. The soccer tournament is held the next day at the Creighton Soccer complex. $100 per meal 402-934-8961 | www.kicksforacure.org

April 11 WINE, WOMEN & SHOES Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation | Happy Hollow Club | Omaha A benefit for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s Carolyn Scott Rainbow House. Guests will sip, savor and shop their way through an evening of fashion and compassion in support of the new Carolyn Scott Rainbow House currently under construction. Since 1983, Children’s Carolyn Scott Rainbow House has provided convenient lodging - and compassionate support - to thousands of families from across the region. There is no formal charge to stay at the Rainbow House, just a suggested donation of $10 per night. $75, $100, $150 402-955-6851 | www.ChildrensFoundationOmaha.org

April 11 TASTE AND TREASURES | The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Georgetowne Club | 2440 S. 141st Circle | Omaha | 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM Presented by The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Tastes & Treasures features a dinner and silent auction. The event supports many extras and essentials for metro area Salvation Army programs, such as campership fees for children, small household items for clients residing in Salvation Army programs, and socks, hats and gloves distributed through the Winter Night Watch program. Lee and Marie Simmons are this year’s honorary chairs. $75 402-397-7935

April 11 – 12 THE INTERNATIONAL OMAHA Omaha Equestrian Foundation | CenturyLink Center Omaha | 455 N. 10th Street | Omaha The International Omaha is a world-class equestrian show jumping experience, combining high-level, intense competition with educational activities designed to engage and entertain the whole family. Debuting in Omaha at the CenturyLink Center in 2012, it was ranked as the 14th best competition in all of North America by North American Riders Group. Features riders representing different countries and states who have competed in the Olympics, World Cup Championships and Pan Am games. Free daytime family expo, evening competition www.ticketmaster.com | http://www.internationalomaha.com

April 11 2014 ALL ABOUT OMAHA TORCHLIGHT BALL | SANE/SART The Torchlight Ball, benefiting SANE/SART (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner/Sexual Assault Response Team) will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 pm. Dinner will start at 7 pm, followed by special guest speakers such as Bridget Kelly, and dancing. Proceeds from the Torchlight Ball go directly to SANE/SART to assist in continuing to help sexual assault victims, training additional nurses, and expanding resources to assist victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. To purchase tickets, please go to All About Omaha’s Web site: www.allaboutomaha.org.

April 12 A NOVEL AFFAIRE: Celebrating Omaha Public Library | Omaha Public Library Foundation Milton R. Abrahams Branch | Omaha | 5111 N. 90th St. | Omaha | 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM Join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a presentation by bestselling author Margaret Atwood. $45 402-444-4589 | www.omahalibraryfoundation.org

April 12 9TH ANNUAL KICKS FOR A CURE SOCCER EVENT Kicks for a Cure, Inc. and First National Bank Morrison Stadium, Creighton University | Omaha | 10:30 PM – 9:30 PM This year’s event features four high school teams and four college teams. The high school games are at 11 am and 130 pm. The college games are at 430 pm and 7 pm. All games are at Creighton Morrison Stadium. Free admission for all games 402-934-8961 60

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April 12

April 25 – 26 | May 2 – 3

2014 KIDNEY CRUISE, A USO SALUTE TO AMERICA Nebraska Kidney Association | Champion’s Run | Omaha

BOWL FOR KIDS’ SAKE | Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands | Maplewood Lanes Our signature event fundraiser. Each spring, corporate and community fundraising bowling teams have fun and raise money by asking their family and friends for donations. After months of raising awareness and funds, Big Brothers Big Sisters hosts 90–minute celebratory bowling parties, with free pizza and free beverages, as a way to thank our bowling teams for their support and enthusiasm. 90 minute bowling sessions are available at 4pm, 6pm and 8pm based on availability. All participants are asked to fundraise a minimum of $100 to bowl. (402) 905-3346 | bbbsomaha.org

The evening includes both live and silent auctions featuring one-of-a-kind items that offer something for everyone; there will also be special dances, war-era performers, a multitude of red, white and blue decorations and guests dressed in USO attire. 100 percent of all proceeds will be used by the Nebraska Kidney Association to assist people with kidney disease or those waiting for a life-saving transplant. $100, sponsorships available 402-932-7200 | www.kidneyne.org

April 26

April 19

BUCKAROO BASH | Knights Of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation

KANEKO GALA | KANEKO

(402) 554-9600 | www.aksarben.org

KANEKO | 1111 Jones Street | Omaha | 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM | 402-341-3800 | www.thekaneko.org

April 21 2014 CITIZEN OF THE YEAR | Boy Scouts of America Scott Conference Center | 6450 Pine Street | Omaha | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM The Boy Scouts of America’s Annual Citizen of the Year Luncheon is to honor an individual and corporation partner. This years recipients are: 2014 Citizen of the Year: Lee G. Simmons, DVM; 2014 Corporate Partner of the Year: Gallup, Inc.

April 26 REBUILDING DAY | Rebuilding Together Omaha | 8 am – 5 pm Volunteers join together on Rebuilding Day to repair and restore houses, making a lasting impression on the low-income families and individuals who are helped. Every year, Rebuilding Together Omaha renovates 25 homes of low income elderly and disabled homeowners with the help of sponsors and community volunteers. $500.00 to 5,000.00 sponsor levels 402-965-9201 | http://rebuildingtogetheromaha.org

April 26

April 25 FEATHER OUR NEST | Fontenelle Forest | Livestock Exchange Building | 6pm Celebrate the past, take pleasure in the present, and plan for the future with Fontenelle Forest’s Guild’s fundraiser at the Livestock Exchange Building on Friday, April 25. The evening features a silent auction, cocktails, dinner, and a live auction. $150 (402) 731-3140 x1024 | fontenelleforest.org

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MARCH FOR BABIES March of Dimes Northeast Division | Lewis and Clark Landing | Omaha The March for Babies event offers participants an opportunity to walk the memorable, three mile long route; enjoy some delicious, complimentary foods and beverages; and participate in a bit of Family-friendly entertainment! Free (donations encouraged).

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save the date April 26

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May 1

BLACK TIE AND TAILS | Nebraska Humane Society | Ramada Plaza Omaha | Omaha

BREAKING THE CYCLE AUCTION AND DINNER | Open Door Mission

Black Tie and Tails is a biennial fundraiser that “puts on the dog” for animal lovers in the Omaha area. Hosted by fundraising guild Friends Forever, this gala benefits all the homeless animals at the Nebraska Humane Society. A Patron Party, followed by Cocktails and silent auction start the evening. And for those who don’t want the evening to end we’ll continue the fun with an after-party. The gala is a glittering night of elegance mixed with doggone fun! $150 per person 402-905-3483 | www.nehumanesociety.org

EmbassySuitesConferenceCenter- LaVista | 5:00-6:30pm – Silent Auction 6:30-8pm – Dinner Guests will bid on a large variety of items provided by area retailers such as gift certificates, event tickets, gift baskets, sporting goods, home and garden items, and much more! Following the Silent Auction, guests will enjoy a sit-down dinner and program highlighting stories of hope presented by participants of Open Door Mission’s New Life Recovery program. Free. Reservation is required.

April 26

(402) 422-1111 | www.opendoormission.org

BASH 2014 | THE GREAT OUTDOORS “AN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!” Creighton Preparatory School | Creighton Prep / Heider Center

May 1

5pm cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, live auction and raffle BASH plays a very important role in Prep’s ongoing commitment to deliver educational excellence to over 1,025 young men. The monies raised during BASH are a key component in our ability to keep tuition affordable for everyone, as well as to provide more than $1.82 million in financial assistance annually to approximately 45 percent of our students. 402.548.3858 | www.PrepBASH.com

April 27 ALS IN THE HEARTLAND COMMUNITY WALK ALS in the Heartland | Stinson Park at Aksarben Village | Omaha | 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM On-site registration and family friendly activities begin at noon. Walk begins at 1:00; Food will be served at 1:30. Donations are accepted. (402) 592-2374 | www.alsintheheartland.org

HIGH HEEL DASH | Junior League of Omaha AkSarBen Village | 2285 South 67th Street | Omaha | 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM Runners (and FUNdraisers) will gather at AkSarBen Village once again to raise money for the Junior League of Omaha’s community projects including A Book of My Own, Project Hope Pack, and the Career Development Series. Sport your favorite pair of high heels and race 50 yards down Mercy Road in the women’s, men’s, or 4-person relay Dash. Runners must be at least 19-years old. All heels must be at least 2” high. Questions and donations: highheeldash@jlomaha.org $40.00 (individual) 150.00 (4-person team) www.jlomaha.org/?nd=high_heel_dash

May 1 WOMEN’S POWER LUNCHEON | Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

April 28 TRIBUTE LUNCHEON | The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Happy Hollow Club | 1701 South 105th Street | Omaha | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM The honorees for the 12th Annual Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures Tribute Luncheon are Chancellor Harold M. and Beverly Maurer. Every year the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures salutes individuals from Nebraska who have made a difference in this world through their passionate support of medical research. $60 per ticket/$600 for a table of 10 402-390-2461 | www.nebraskacures.com

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Omaha Hilton | 1001 Cass Street | Omaha | 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM The Eigth Annual Women’s Power Luncheon provides a venue for powerful Habitat Omaha advocates to rally around the mission of the Women Build: to recruit, educate and inspire women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in our community. More than 400 women volunteers, generously give their time to make the Women Build house a reality. $50 General Ticket, $75 Patron Ticket 402-884-5957 | www.habitatomaha.org

metroMagazine • aPR 2013


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alh p u b l i C a t i O n S

inform • educate • inspire P.O. Box 241611 • Omaha, NE 68124

PrEsOrtEd staNdard U.s. POstagE

Paid Omaha, NE PErmit NO. 2013

metroMAGAZINE's April 2014 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's April 2014 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council Bl...

metroMAGAZINE's April 2014 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's April 2014 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council Bl...