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The Spirit of Omaha • december 2010

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha




cover STORY



features / DEPARTMENTS

READY 2 SERVE non-profit & YP profiles

REV. TOM FANGMAN open invitation


YP Q&A • YOUNG PROFESSIONALS “old and new holiday traditions”






making spirits “brite” • brite ideas

special SECTION



FAITH IN ACTION salem radio stations of omaha • open door mission • mission for all nations • the salvation army kroc center

articles | columns




LOVINGKINDNESS with mary e. vandenack


THE SOUL’S JOURNEY with dixie clark



the metroSCENE

with the nebraska humane society




with sue moon



honoring local prodigiesour

ARTFULLY SPEAKING with keith allerton

The Sp irit of O girl scouts art maventure h a

on the


Reverend Tom Fangman

COVER PHOTOGRAPHY by ©Laurie and Charles 6

metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

metro The Spirit of Omaha

DEC 2010 VOL. 22 NO. 12 Press releases and other editorial information may be sent to: P.O. BOX 241611, OMAHA, NE 68124 or e-mailed to: Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Staff Photographers

Andrea L. Hoig

Daniel Flanigan Cindy Grady Caroline Hurley Jim Lamb Linda Shepard Dave Stock Lionel Tay

Editor/Creative Director

Robert P. Killmer Sales Manager

Ryan Lally Sales Associates

Katie Cook Chuck Pauly

Staff Writers


Francesca Peterson Web Content Manager

Megan Olson Events Editor | Layout

Krystal Bottcher

Leo Adam Biga Molly Garriott Susan Kuhlmann Dave Link Holly McAtee Donald Rashid Distribution

Loni Craft Interns

Jaime Roe Jason Rumbaugh Erin Sarmiento

metro MAGAZINE is wholly owned and operated by the publisher and is not affiliated with any other publication, operating solely on subscription and advertising revenues and the good will of the agencies and charities we support; all of which are very important to the continuing growth and quality of this publication. Thank you to all who support this endeavor. OFFICE/SALES

402-333-7499 ________________ MISSION STATEMENT The mission of ALH Publications is to recognize the ongoing efforts of Omaha-area businesses, organizations and individuals to better the community through their support of charitable and civic causes. ALH Publications also encourages people’s desire to give something back to the community through volunteerism and philanthropy. Contents of this magazine are copyrighted by ALH Publications, Inc. in their entirety. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise - without the prior consent of the publisher. ©Copyright 2010 ALH Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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metro The Spirit of Omaha


AS IF BY DESIGN, when rev. tom fangman arrived as pastor at sacred heart catholic church in 1998, the northeast omaha parish was already known for its humanitarian embrace. at that time no one there could have imagined what a perfect fit the marriage of priest and parish was destined to become.

this hometown cleric with a gentle, jovial demeanor has broadened and deepened the caring community he guides at Sacred Heart by continually reaching out to others. Gladly receiving all, he asks people to give, aware that service to others heeds our better angels. “I’ve always been a people-person,” Fangman said from the cozy living room of the rectory he resides in behind the church. “I find so much joy being around people. I’ve just been blessed with good people in my life. Before I came here, Sacred Heart was known as a very welcoming community, a place where people of all different backgrounds could go and feel a part of, a place where they feel they belonged. I am most proud that we’ve carried on in that same spirit. I know it’s a community, I know it’s a community that cares. We’ve maintained that charism.” He continued, “We’ve also been a parish that has always had a strong



conviction towards social justice and serving the needs of others and providing for the poor. We are that place and we are a place that I know for certain impacts the community. We’re helping lots of young people. I’m really proud of what what we’ve maintained in continuing to do for kids.” On a frigid Saturday morning in November, there was Fr. Tom doling out donuts, muffins and thank-yous to delivery drivers picking up Thanksgiving gift pouches for the parish’s twice-annual holiday food distribution. A record 330plus families in need received a turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving. The operation, which runs with friendly, relaxed precision out of the parish’s Heart Ministry Center (HMC), is repeated for Christmas.

metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha For the frigid weekend, the affable padre stood outside, bundled from head to foot, meeting and greeting volunteers an easy conviviality and respect between the priest and his flock. Typically, he downplays his part, instead praising the large team that makes this compassionate response a reality. “Being the pastor here is just kind of like orchestrating,” he said. “It’s recognizing people’s goodness and gifts and inviting them to offer themselves. If people are offered an invitation, they’re going to go with it. The things that happen here are because there are lots of really good people. They’re willing to get involved and to give of themselves." “There are lots of things I love about being a priest but one of the most exciting is when people become aware of God’s presence in their life, and no two stories are ever the same. Every person has their own journey and own ways that are revealed to them.” He said he’s come to view his ministry as inviting people to give, whether it is their time, talent or treasure, in order to be of service to others. He said he’s often teased that he has a


in-kind contributions necessary for the building to undergo a $3.3 million restoration in 2009. He announced the capital campaign to fund the project in 2008. After making the case, folks responded, and within a year all pledges were secured. More than a picture-postcard Old World edifice made new again, the church is a well-attended gathering place that draws worshippers, just as Sacred Heart counts parishioners, from all over the metro. The hospitality there is evident in the way newcomers are greeted. The Sunday 10:30 a.m. Mass is famous for its spirited celebration, complete with a rousing gospel choir and band. The animated “sign of peace” ritual includes hand shakes, salutations, hugs, and kisses as many folks circulate from pew to pew engaging each other. The fellowship resumes after Mass ends. As a parish priest, Fangman is more than a spiritual figurehead. He’s a fleshand-blood confessor, advisor, counselor, confidante, friend, leader, fundraiser and CEO. He serves his flock in macro and micro ways. He’s there at the most public and private, joyous and sad occasions.

He feels good about a lot of things that go on at Sacred Heart. “I feel like we have a really great thing to sell, and I’m sold. I believe in what we’re doing and I’ll talk to anybody about that,” he said. A shining example he never tires of touting is Sacred Heart Elementary School, a K-8 institution serving a predominantly African-American, nonCatholic student population. The school’s financial sustainability and operations are supported by the nonprofit CUES or Christian Urban Education Service, comprised of an “established board” of Omaha movers and shakers. Fangman is its executive director. He said students at the small private school consistently test above average and faculty and staff rigorously prepare students to succeed, adding that 98 percent graduate high school within four years. Mentors are assigned every student, all of whom receive work and life skills training. Whether it’s the school, the church, or the center, he said, Sacred Heart is concerned with “addressing the whole person -- body, mind and spirit.”


invitation way about him that makes it impossible for anyone to say no. “Well, there are people who have said no to me, but I’ve just kind of learned that shouldn’t stop you,” he said. “You go to the next place, you find the next person. I believe in the goodness of people. I also have high expectations of what people can do, and sometimes they really need that invitation to show that.” Located at 2218 Binney Street, Sacred Heart serves the most poverty stricken area of the city through three nonprofit arms Fangman oversees. The most visible of these is the church, which originally opened at another site back in 1890. The present stone, late-Gothic Revival church that stands today opened in 1902. Through Fangman’s leadership the parish was able to find the funds and

Hundreds of photographs of people in his life adorn every smooth surface in his kitchen, a reflection of how many he impacts and how many touch him. “Being a parish priest lets you be involved in lots of peoples lives, from womb to tomb,” he said. “People say to me, ‘How can you be around so much sadness and death?’ I don’t know how to answer that but one thing I do know is that holiness is there in the midst of it, because that’s where love is.” He fills multiple roles in the course of any given week: saying several Masses; hearing confessions; presiding, on average, over at least one wedding or funeral; visiting the sick; preparing couples for marriage; attending board meetings; calling on donors; and crafting his homilies.

Nothing satisfies him more than seeing the results come-full-circle in an each one, teach one way. “I get to see the goodness of people who want to make a difference, and then I get to see who receives from that goodness, and then what they do with that. Ultimately our goal is to give people opportunities. Sacred Heart is about opportunities.” He said, “This young lady came up to me to say she grew up down the street from Sacred Heart, attended school here nine years, went to Duchesne Academy, then St. Louis University. She worked at First National Bank and she wanted to be a mentor here. That spoke to me [about what we’re able to do for kids to help them] discover what they have to offer. I want to see that continue on. I want to see [those things] always given.” continued

cover STORY T O M



open invitation The parish responds to social service/ human needs through Heart Ministry Center, home to the area’s only self-select pantry. Thousands receive free food, clothing, health care and other services from HMC each year. In 2002 Fangman consolidated its services on campus, raising $650,000 to build a new building. Sacred Heart’s mission requires big money. The center operates on a $360,000 budget. The school budget is $1.3 million. Running the church/parish costs $500,000. “That’s $2 million you have to somehow come up with,” said Fangman, adding that to secure that kind of commitment requires reaching into all areas of Omaha. Three major fundraisers are held yearly. Holy Smokes is a pre-Labor Day bash benefiting HMC. It features barbecue, refreshments and live music. The Gathering is a sit-down dinner in support of the school. The Sacred Heart Open is a croquet tournament, battle-ofthe-bands and barbecue to assist the church/parish. Two of the events began under Fangman’s watch and all three, he said, are well supported. Over 13 years into his post, Fangman’s overdue for a transfer, but he doesn’t sense his work at Sacred Heart is finished yet. “If I felt like we had done everything we were supposed to do, then I would feel like it’s probably time to try something new and different, but I feel like we’re on the verge of some really vital things happening.” Whatever happens, he says, “I want to feel like I know I tried to make this a better place. I want to continue trying to get the right people in the right spots.” To do the right thing. m

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha



UP ties



MISSION STATEMENT: To attract, develop and retain emerging professionals at Union Pacific Railroad through engagement in the company and community. HOW TO GET INVOLVED: We encourage employees to visit UP Ties’ website, attend one of its upcoming events and join. UP Ties holds an annual membership drive at the beginning of each year; however, Union Pacific employees are welcome to join at any time. QUALIFICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP, WHO IS THE IDEAL MEMBER: UP Ties membership is open to any Union Pacific employee who feels an affinity toward the group’s mission. ACTIVITIES/EVENTS THAT THE GROUP HAS PARTICIPATED IN: UP Ties members participate in a number of events specific to Union Pacific Railroad and the Omaha community, including co-hosting a special pancake breakfast raising more than $1,000 for United Way; discussion panels featuring company executives; various downtown park clean ups and Earth Day events; Omaha’s Young Professionals Summit; an annual golf scramble benefitting a designated charity, and networking sessions with other Omaha-area businesses. WEBSITE:

PROGRAM OVERVIEW: The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: Locally,Young Professionals can take up the fight against cancer by joining the Passport to the Cure Committee. This annual event will be held in August of 2011.The American Cancer Society is currently looking for Young Professionals to join the planning committee, help raise funds and spread the word about the lifesaving programs and services offered to cancer survivors in our community. For more information on the Passport to the Cure Young Professionals Event and Committee or the American Cancer Society, please see our website:


gerard wellman WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ARE YOU INVOLVED IN? Young Professionals Council (Transportation Committee), UNO Sustainability Task Force (Sustainable Transportation Committee), UNO Student Government (Graduate School Senator), Open Door Mission (Volunteer). WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GET INVOLVED WITH THESE ORGANIZATIONS? While still new to the Omaha area, I became involved with the YPC in the fall of 2008 because it offered an opportunity to be a part of advocacy for something I’m passionate about - public transportation. Through the YP Transportation Committee, I have been involved with


doctoral candidate/instructor • 29 UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA - OMAHA

the 2009 Bus Challenge and 2010 Livable Omaha speaker series. My decision to get involved was fueled by the belief that I am responsible for doing my part to make Omaha a better place. The YPC was a perfect fit for my interests and presented great opportunities for involvement. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BEING INVOLVED? Through the YPC, I found many opportunities to impact policy, help foster change, meet with policymakers, and put my interests to work. The YPC has been invaluable at providing me an outlet for my interests, connecting me to my peers, and truly enabling me to be a part of changing Omaha for better. After my first Transportation Committee meeting, I was hooked - partially because I found people who share my passions but mostly because I found people who actually cared enough to give their time and energy to a policy area. Being a part of something larger than myself, and accomplishing things I can’t do on my own, has been an extremely rewarding experience.

metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

holidaytraditions haveyoucarriedon orstarted alena furlong onyourown?


metroMagazine •

development director • 30 OMAHA COMMUNITY PLAYHOUSE

A TRADITION MY HUSBAND AND I STARTED SINCE GETTING MARRIED is hosting Thanksgiving each year for both of our sides of the family. It’s been wonderful to have a time each year for ALL of our family members to get together and catch up. It’s great our families get along so well and can help us all enjoy a celebration of the past year and our many blessings. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of how inclusive it can be with time spent with both families and friends… and of course, because of all the spectacular food!

brent shanholtz commercial loan specialist assets analyst • 25 AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MY ENTIRE FAMILY HAS ATTENDED CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER AT MY GRANDPA’S HOUSE IN SOUTH OMAHA. I am one of 22 grandchildren; so needless to say, it is a packed house. My mother, her two sisters, and her two brothers always prepare a delicious meal and make sure no one leaves hungry. Christmas Eve at Grandpa’s always includes dumplings and sour kraut, as we are of Czech descent. After dinner, all the grand kids open Christmas presents while Grandpa watches. He is 92 years old now, but he still loves to see all his grandchildren and great-grandchildren together for the holidays. I look forward to these get-togethers as it gives me a chance to see all of my cousins and find out what is going on in their lives. This is a tradition that has been a part of every holiday season in my life so far, and I hope it continues for many years to come.

rachel jacobsen director • 28 FILM STREAMS AT THE RUTH SOKOLOF THEATER MY FRIENDS AND I HAVE BEEN GOING TO HOLIDAY BOWL at Kelley’s Hilltop Lanes for like a decade (?!) now on both Thanksgiving and Christmas. When I lived in New York, it was so great to know where to go to see tons of happy, overstuffed friends. In the five years since I’ve been back in Omaha I’ve loved seeing folks who have moved away when they’re home for the holidays. I rarely actually bowl because there’s too many fun people to talk to. My sister and I always look forward to it once we’re done doing dishes and singing Beatles songs with our parents and brothers.


lindsay johnson assistant director of admission • 30 SCHOOL OF PHARMACY AND HEALTH PROFESSIONS CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY MY MOM IS AN ONLY CHILD and my grandfather died when I was young, so my grandma has spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our house for as long as I can remember. When I was a child she always made her Sour Cream Roll recipe for us to enjoy while opening packages on Christmas morning the same way my mom did when she was growing up. Both my sister and I have now moved out of our parent’s house but we still return for Christmas morning and Grandma’s Sour Cream Rolls. Last year, I assumed responsibility for making the rolls so that my grandma (who turned 90 this year) would not have to. Taking on a family tradition was a true joy for me and I enjoyed making an extra batch to take to my husband’s parent’s house so we could share my family tradition with his family.

katy eledge corporate education liaison • 28 UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX COMING FROM A VERY LARGE, FUNLOVING GREEK FAMILY, the holidays aren’t the holidays if we aren’t all jampacked into my grandmother’s house, surrounded by an overwhelming amount of Christmas gifts and the smell of all our traditional Greek food favorites. For years, the entire family has slept over at my grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. Each aunt, uncle and every cousin is present. There’s not an empty bed or patch of carpet in the whole place and it’s not an easy task to accomplish, packing us all in to her home, but we do it and we LOVE it. We play games, eat the food and catch up on the events of the year. The main event is sitting around the table for dinner on Christmas. You can bet homemade Greek bread, soup, ham, turkey, salad, pie, and cookies will be on that table- there’s no better spread than the one my grandmother puts together every year for Christmas. When I have a family someday, there’s no doubt we’ll be over at my mom and dad’s doing the very same thing.

metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

making spirits ‘brite’ B R I T E





metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

feature STORY travis freeman teamed up with the salvation army and its kettle campaign to shine a light on hunger in omaha

SOMETIME between studying American history and chemistry in high school, Travis Freeman had a bright idea. It was to expand the typical offerings of a landscape company to include hanging holiday lights for customers. Freeman developed this dream, starting small and locally with a truck, a handful of employees and few strings of lights. Now, 20 years later, he is the owner of a still local business, only it has a national reach with over 40 employees, 375 franchises, and a factory in China. Apparently, his business Brite Ideas is aptly named. A home’s interior décor conveys much about the homeowners’ personality and interests, whether they are formal or relaxed, prefer subdued colors or bold statements, tend toward fuss or minimalism. Freeman believes this same principle holds for a home’s exterior. “The lights on a house are an outward expression of who [the homeowner] is,” he says. Matching a customer’s personality and style with a display is one of his favorite aspects of his job. He loves developing new design ideas and finds gratification in doing something different for each customer. His artistic eye and the ability to execute his innovative plans has landed him countless metro projects as well as national contracts in California, North Dakota, and most recently a 300,000 light Christmas drive in Arkansas. It is the combined love of design challenges and serving others that drew Freeman to the Salvation Army’s Tree of Lights campaign. Omaha businessman and philanthropist Mike Simmons became a partner of Freeman’s for a brief time, and Simmons introduced Freeman to the holiday campaign. At the time, the Tree of Lights was just relocating from the Douglas County Court House lawn to the south parking lot of Crossroads Mall. It was a live tree, donated by a private citizen. Freeman’s job was to select the appropriate tree and decorate it. The Tree of Light’s gradual migration west continued five years ago to its current location at 90th and Dodge Streets. Freeman oversaw the construction of a 50 foot steel frame tree illuminated by

650 LED starbursts. A permanent concrete base had to be poured to support the impressive structure. “I am amazed at the number of people who come together to make this happen,” says Freeman. Ten Brite Ideas employees and 20 iron workers donate their time the Saturday before Halloween to erect the tree. That is just the beginning. Hundreds of volunteers ring bells outside various locations through the holiday season to raise money to feed hungry citizens of the metropolitan area as part of the Kettle Campaign. The Salvation Army has set a $3.1 million goal this year to fund over 20 programs and help 3,700 families who have registered with the Salvation Army for holiday assistance. Freeman likes surrounding himself with quality people like those involved with the Salvation Army. Exposure to goodness in others fosters goodness in us, he maintains. “I couldn’t think of not doing it,” he explains of his involvement. What the Salvation Army does for the families here in Omaha inspires him to action. The business partnership between Freeman and Simmons was of short duration, but the impression Simmons left on Freeman has lasted a life time. In Simmons, Freeman had a business partner and mentor. “He taught me what it means to pay it forward and give back to the community. He is a great friend.” In addition to the Salvation Army’s campaign against hunger, Freeman also donates lights to military families and specific organizations like the Hope Center. Giving back, be it through food drives, family-to-family gift drives, year-end donations to charitable organizations, or simply cookies delivered to a housebound neighbor, is so tightly woven into the holiday fabric that it is second nature. But giving throughout the year takes a conscious effort. Freeman is willing to take the chance on workers most business owners would be skeptical to employ. He helps those with disabilities, hiring people from Community Alliance. From the Arch House, he employs those who have conquered drug addiction. “They are great employees,” he asserts. Perhaps he relates to their struggles. He and Brite Ideas have faced their own.

In 2005, a fire destroyed Freeman’s business, forcing him to rebuild literally from the ground up. “Going through something like that gives you the feeling that there is nothing you can’t handle,” believes Freeman. Obviously, Christmas is his busiest season, but Freeman has witnessed a new contender for outdoor décor and lighting Halloween. He notes that when he first began Brite Ideas, Halloween was a very minor holiday where lights were concerned. Now it has become a big season, second only to Christmas, he says. Weddings and other holidays round out the year. For Valentine’s Day, there are illuminated hearts and cupids. Emerald shamrocks herald St. Patrick’s Day and patriotic images lend summer’s Memorial and Independence Days a festive air. Customers can mark Thanksgiving Day with a turkey of the inedible kind or a pilgrim couple. Whether it’s a group of carolers, a jaunty Jack ‘o lantern, Old Glory or the Tree of Lights, Freeman derives great satisfaction from creating a signature look unique to Brite Ideas. Nothing gives him more pleasure than having people comment, “Those are Brite Ideas lights” when they drive by one of his displays. That some of these displays give back to the community only compounds his fulfillment.

For more information about Brite Ideas, visit To volunteer with the Salvation Army, visit make a donation, visit Google Brite Ideas, Salvation Army, Kettle Campaign, Tree of Lights, holiday lighting.



metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

faith IF YOU








are anything like me, learning the hard way is what it takes to truly learn a life lesson. When I was ten years old, I told my parents I wanted “lots of presents for Christmas.” My mom responded by telling me that they would be fair between me and my brother. I argued I should get more presents than my brother because I deserved it. I was ten years old, and it showed. My mom obliged and said I would be surprised. Over the days leading up to Christmas I was excited to see the number of presents with my name increase each day under the Christmas tree. Eventually I had 25 presents. My brother had two. It looked fair to me. Christmas came and it was time to open the presents. I dove in. The first box was a watch. That was good. My brother received a watch just like mine. My next present was one sock. My brother got a present with twelve pairs of socks. My next present was a matching sock. You get the idea. Every present left was one sock. My mom was right. She did oblige and I was surprised. My parents, in giving me the socks, did more than the act of keeping my feet comfortable and warm; they taught me a life lesson that has stayed with me every day since then. I will never forget the Christmas my mom told me about a time my grandpa went to the grocery store and bought six oranges. One for her, and one for each of her five siblings. That was Christmas and it was a sacrifice. Christmas is not about the gifts we receive. It is about the birth and true gift of Jesus Christ. The sacrifice He made in being born among us to save us. My mom and dad sacrificed their time to teach me a lesson I would not forget. My grandpa sacrificed in a way that had meaning and created a memory for his children. Use this season to teach your children the same. I can’t wait for my 13-year-old son to ask for more presents than we give his sister.



metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010



the basic physical needs of the hungry and homeless, Open Door Mission’s Day Facility Services provide free transportation from the downtown area to Open Door Mission and Lydia House. Open Door Mission offers life-changing programs for those recovering from life-altering addictions and abuse to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Did you know that homeless children suffer more physically with their health than children with permanent housing? Without access to adequate healthcare and nutrition, homeless children must attend school when they do not feel well which, unfortunately, can be much of the time. Homeless children have very high rates of acute illness, with half suffering from two or more symptoms during a single month (The Better Homes Fund). Homeless children have twice as many ear infections, five times more diarrhea and stomach problems, and six times as many speech and stammering problems (The Better Homes Fund). Homelessness definitely has an effect on how homeless children

perform in school. Poor nutrition contributes to homeless children’s poor health causing increased rates of stunted growth and anemia. 25% of children in Nebraska do not know where they will get their next meal. 33% of low income children do not get 3 nutritious meals daily. Open Door Mission offers a piece to the puzzle that provides a solution to hunger with the Kids Café Program. This program is an extension of the Children and Youth Department and provides free meals and snacks to hungry and homeless low income children. In addition to the hot, nutritious meal – the Kids Café Program offers a safe place, supervision of trustworthy staff, educational, recreational and social activities. This directly benefits children in our community, right here and right now. Kids Cafe is a great volunteer opportunity for you, your family, church or group. Open Door Mission has been preparing for the cold and hard winter and is expecting to serve more than, 107,000 holiday meals. More than 5,000 Turkey ‘N’ Fixins boxes to low income families, empowering

them to have Thanksgiving dinner in their own homes. Project Santa will provide 6,000 children with gifts under the tree, and Adopt A Family will provide more than 600 homeless men, women, and children with Christmas. Please visit for more Holiday Opportunities – because no matter your age, YOU can make a different – your Time Changes Lives.

the open door O P E N






“I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO FIND FULL TIME WORK,” says Rachel, clearly disappointed. It has been very difficult for this single mom of three girls - Lilly, Lydia and Minna - to survive on her parttime income. As a result, there was no way she could provide Christmas

gifts for her daughters. That is where Mission For All Nations comes in. They are a faith based non-profit that serves the working poor in the Omaha Metropolitan community. Last year their food pantry provided a week supply of food to nearly 40,000 low income people and nearly 30,000 people received clothing and household items. In addition, they distributed over 12,000 sack lunches. Their dedication to helping people in need is evident in that 97 percent of all donations go directly to client services. The holiday season can be especially difficult for families in need. Every year, Mission For All Nations assists families at Christmas time by providing toys for children along with a turkey or a ham for the families holiday meal. Toys are distributed at a Christmas party where there are activities the family can do together. One of the favorite activities is the family photo. Each family receives one photo to take home with them. For many, this is the only family photo they have for the year. In addition, there are activities like face painting or clowns making balloons for the children. A meal is

provided along with cookies. Each family receives a large bag full of toys along with one or two rolls of wrapping paper and tape. This allows the parents to wrap the gifts for their children so they can take part in preparing the Christmas presents. This year, Mission For All Nations anticipates providing toys to over 500 low income families in the Omaha Metropolitan area. “It’s nice to know there is something that the kids can do that’s positive,” Rachel said. Her children enjoyed all the activities and food at the Christmas party and Rachel was thrilled she had presents to give to her children on Christmas Day. This event would not be possible without the generosity of the community. Volunteers hold toy drives, sort gifts, help families register for Christmas assistance, and plan activities. Churches, businesses, and individuals pull together to make sure there are enough toys, food, and resources to make Christmas special for low income families. Your gift of $25 can make Christmas memorable for children like Lilly, Lydia, and Minna.

mission critical MISSION






“The Kroc Center has a fabulous were kids once too, and just like their own kids, fitness area and aquatics center but we offer even more,” said Major Todd they love exploring the Kroc Center Thielke, Senior Kroc Center Officer. because they find fun, fitness, “Our 122,000 square foot multilearning and personal growth all in faceted facility also provides one place. Adults can get fit while education, recreation, creative arts using the latest cardiovascular and and most importantly, a place where weight equipment, swimming laps or individuals and families feel welcome taking fitness classes. The kids will and supported in physical, love the recreation pool, which intellectual and spiritual includes a water slide and lazy river. development.” Children can play in the game room, Anyone can come to the Kroc use the computer lab or shoot hoops Center and use all of the facilities for in the gymnasium. The whole family just a $5 guest fee. In addition, a can also enjoy events such as movie variety of membership types are nights in the aquatics center. And all offered at reasonable rates. Businesses, this is just the tip of the iceberg groups and individuals can rent the because once you experience the Kroc Center spaces for traditional Kroc Center, you’ll see how much meetings, retreats, team building, and there is to do, including sports employee outings. Groups are finding leagues, Camp Kroc summer day the Kroc Center is the perfect spot for camp, pottery, dance, swim lessons local and regional special events. and more. Along with the beautiful facilities, Omaha's Kroc Center is one of the there are delicious menus that are first to open nationwide. The Kroc created by the Kroc Center's in-house Centers were made possible by a $1.5 executive chef and prepared in our billion donation to The Salvation Army large commercial kitchen. from the late Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. In addition, Omaha organizations and philanthropists raised $15 million of the total $75 million local investment to make the Omaha Kroc Center a reality.


wow “ ”





Additional highlights include: • Expansive Aquatics Center with a six lane Competition Pool and a Recreation Pool featuring a lazy stream and water slide • Fabulous Fitness Center with advanced equipment, a variety of classes and expert trainers • Gymnasium Complex with three full-size basketball courts and bleacher seating • The Joyce Mammel Assembly Hall with 525 seats and performance acoustics • A total of 16 classrooms in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Education Center are for education, performing arts and creative arts classes • The Dr. Stanley and Dorothy Truhlsen Learning Center has 40 computers • The 400-seat Fellowship Hall and the Ricketts Family Chapel • Outdoor Sports Fields Complex and Festival Plaza with approximately 390,000 square feet of green space • 500 free parking spaces The late Joan Kroc was once quoted as saying, “We can help bring our city together by declaring our love to all of its children and showing them the faith we have in their future.” That’s a “WOW” factor that is available to everyone every day at the Omaha Kroc Center.

factor K R O C



C T R .

artfully speaking My Gift to Procrastinators Shop the arts for last minute, unusual stocking stuffers. Looking for just one or two more things? There are lots of fun items and activities to be found in the metro. A gift of performance, whether it be a Broadway musical, symphony concert, a play or a special event featuring dance or jazz can be a special treat. Tuck a ticket or two to some upcoming presentation in your stockings! Want suggestions? How about tickets to Patti Austin’s tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with the Omaha Symphony (Mar. 11,12,13) or Opera Omaha’s Jun Kaneko production of Madama Butterfly (April 15 and 17)? Consider a Broadway show! Omaha Performing Arts presents the national tour of Mary Poppins Jan. 27 through Feb. 13. Take the family to this show. Nothing beats going to the Orpheum Theatre for a special occasion! Better yet, buy tickets for several upcoming musicals. There’s something for everyone on the bill with Young Frankenstein, Mamma Mia!, Les Miserables and Wicked. And there’s great theatre right here in the metro with high quality productions at the Omaha Community Playhouse, the Blue Barn, UNO and Creighton University. Check out SNAP! And Shelterbelt productions, as well as fun community theatre at Chanticleer in Council Bluffs and the Bellevue Little Theatre. All the above offer multiple productions at very affordable prices. If you’re looking for truly unusual and one-of-a-kind items, try shopping at the gift shops of Joslyn Art Museum, the Durham Western Heritage Museum and the Holland Center for the Performing Arts. I guarantee you will find unique, conversation-piece items. I always seem to find something at the Holland Center every time I am there, including a truly different line of greeting cards. Check it out! Check out art galleries for exclusive pieces of jewelry or objets d’art. A favorite of mine is The Blue Pomegranate at 6570 Maple St. You’re sure to find something in this whimsical shop filled with beautiful, colorful fused glass wall and table art, plus jewelry and lots more. Speaking of fused glass in the Benson area, pay a visit to one of Omaha’s best-kept secrets, Adventure in Art at 6001 Maple St. Owner/artist/author Kristi Pederson creates magical glass pieces. Shop her gift area for wall art, coasters, ornaments, etc. Better yet, create your own fused glass gift at one of Kristi’s art classes. Kristi specializes in group art classes, nights of “fun first-art second.” Give your friends and family a night of creativity and enjoyment. (402-556-4278) While you are there, purchase Kristi’s new book of short stories, An Extraordinary Life…once you take out all the boring crap. As she states, “Most (of the stories) are humorous, some are touching and others are just the rants and raves of a woman gone mad.” Finally, I wrote about this last month, but Camille Metoyer Moten’s CD, A Simpler Christmas, is an appropriate remembrance of the holiday and would make a great stocking stuffer. Available at the Bookworm, Omahans Camille and pianist/arranger David Murphy have packaged the perfect present. Happy Holidays! 27

metroMagazine • DeC 2010


metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha





by mary e. vandenack


IN CONSIDERING MY TOPIC for this month, I started thinking about the holidays. Specifically, I started to consider what types of nonmaterial gifts I would like to see given this year. I began “noticing” interactions or actions on my path each day. As a result, my list has evolved and grown rather rapidly. The start of my list looks something like this: • I ask for kindness toward the store clerk who has no control over what the store keeps in inventory. (I was at Starbucks on an unusually crowded day and observed a lady go off on the barista because they had run out of a certain type of syrup.) • It would be interesting to see a longer time between lights turning green and people honking. • It would be beautiful to see those who have been drinking to refrain from getting behind the wheel. (I am writing this shortly after listening to the news about more fatalities from drunk driving.) • My list includes the thought that perhaps there could be less texting and talking while driving and a realization that it isn’t just the other guy who gets distracted by the activity. • I’d like to see fast food restaurants offer fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as healthy options. I do note that Omaha has recently developed a few options, for which I am grateful. Blue Planet at 63rd and Center doesn’t have a drive through but does offer curb-side pick up if you call ahead or order online. Greenbelly at 123rd and West Center offers New York style “build your own” salads. Both restaurants have owners who are committed to serving good food healthfully. (If you know of other options, please e-mail me at • I would love to see an election where those running for political office focus on the issues while abandoning emotional rhetoric and personal attacks on opponents. As I write this, we are just through our fall 2010 elections. One day prior to the election, I received an email that started with big bold red letters that read: “Other candidate is a liar.” The candidate from whom I received the e-mail lost all credibility with me. An attack on someone else is an attack on everyone that supports that person and has a negative chain reaction. • What if there were more families adopting families than there were families to adopt? • What if every child went to bed feeling loved this holiday season? • I wish that all my friends would feel loved and supported.

• I wish that all who serve in the armed forces would feel supported, even by those who don’t agree with all the actions our country is engaged in. • I made a list of everyone I know who will be going through the holidays for the first time after the loss of a loved one. I plan to be in touch. • I hope that all who celebrate the holidays differently from us, or choose not to celebrate them at all, shall feel free to pursue their choice. • While we are busy shopping and running on adrenaline, it is easy to look past those in wheelchairs or on crutches. I’m hoping people will look behind them as they go through doors and slow down and help upon occasion. • I would like to re-connect with old friends. As I reviewed my list, I noted a very simple theme running through it- a theme of loving kindness and compassion. This year, my wish for the holiday season is that my home city be a place that could achieve worldwide attention for the loving kindness practiced here.

WHAT IS LOVING KINDNESS? Sometimes, we see others in the world as inconvenient hassles who are “in our way.” We may think what we need, what we think, or where we are going is more important than anything that is going on for anyone else. The goal of loving kindness is to look at every being with the realization that all beings are important and relevant. I found definition of “loving kindness” in Wikipedia. Loving kindness is defined as: • friendliness • benevolence • amity • good will • kindness • love • sympathy • close mental union • active interest in others Loving kindness is ultimately unconditional, totally inclusive love. It is not dependent on whether love is “deserved” or not. There are no expectations of anything in return.

kindness cannot be projected outward. In relation to self love, the expectation is not that of instant magical transformation of ourselves into someone that we want to be but rather to find love for ourselves as we are. Once loving kindness has been successfully cultivated toward oneself, the practice progresses. The next practice is to cultivate loving kindness towards someone for whom you have respect and appreciation already. Then, you practice cultivating loving kindness towards loved ones and close friends. Next, you would practice with respect to someone that you know but about whom your feelings are neutral. Then, you seek to practice loving kindness toward those that are hostile toward you. Finally, loving kindness is directed at all beings.

THE MEDITATION To practice the meditation, sit comfortably in quiet space. Breathe in and out deeply. Focus on the heart center as you breathe. Say or think the following: “May I be happy. May I be safe. May I be healthy. May I be well.” Repeat the meditation directing it at a loved one. Repeat again directing it toward someone for whom your feelings are neutral. Repeat further with direction of the words toward someone whom is hostile toward you (or toward whom you feel hostile). Finish with the following: “May all beings be happy. May all beings be safe. May all beings be healthy. May all beings be well.” After completing the loving kindness meditation, take some time to begin the rest of your day. As you move through the day, seek to cherish all the people that you meet or come into contact with. Keep the thought, “This person is important. This person’s happiness matters.”

Happy Holidays. May you be blessed by loving and kind actions this season.

CULTIVATING LOVING KINDNESS The practice of loving kindness comes from a variety of traditions. Sometimes, the terminology is different. In this article, I am going to describe a meditational practice used in Buddhism to develop loving kindness. The meditation is thought to result in the characteristics of friendliness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity. While the ultimate goal of loving kindness is to see all beings as relevant, the first practice is to cultivate loving kindness toward oneself. Without true self love, loving


metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010



the soul’s journey • with dixie clark SERVING & GIVING, GATEWAYS TO HIGHER CONSCIOUSNESS


You are unique. Think about that. Out of billions of people, there is no one else exactly like you in all the world. There is neither one who does life exactly like you, nor is a better you than you. Your experiences, perceptions, talents, and beliefs are yours alone. Before you came into this world you chose a unique combination of family, gender, culture, birth order and other factors to help your soul’s learning in this lifetime. These factors form a one of a kind design of the vehicle that carries your soul energy on this level. When we embrace who we are and what we have to offer, we have enthusiasm, joy, and a willingness to take risks. When we believe we are not enough as we are or not allowed to make mistakes, we hold back parts of ourselves. We develop a very limited definition of who we are and what’s acceptable. We learn to deny or cut off the essence within which then blocks our soul energy. We can spend so much time protecting our weaknesses and defending our strengths that we lose our authenticity. In the pretending and the hiding, we shut down that vibrant dynamic energy that we are.

There is such beauty, richness, and depth inside every one of us. We have amazing capacities to embrace life, to open up to ourselves and others. But often we go through life merely staying on the surface, trying to not make waves. Going to the deepest parts of ourselves, understanding who we are, and accepting ourselves on all levels takes courage. It causes us to expand the definition we have of ourselves. We become real. We become soulful.

We are giving the gift of ourselves when: • • • • •

We’re fully present in the moment When we participate 100% in life When we come from a place of our heart being open When we believe we’re enough as we are When we know we have something of value to share with the world • When we are real with ourselves and others • When we’re able to speak our truth and honor our feelings in a loving way


THEMountain INVITATION by Oriah Dreamer by Oriah Mountain Drea mer “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a “It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mineinterest or yourme own, without moving to hide ityour or fade it, orI want fix know if you have It doesn’t what planets are squaring moon. touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal you can source your own life from its presence. and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty, every day, edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” and if you can source your own life from its presence. It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

Being real. Being in our loving. No need to be better than. No need to

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

shrink back. That’s an invitation for our soul energy to flow through. The following is one of my absolute favorites, and speaks to this:

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”

May this holiday season be the time when we open up to embrace the value of who we are and have the courage to share it with others. m Dixie Clark, MS, MSS, LPC is Director and co-founder of Morning Star Center, a holistic wellness center. A licensed counselor and ordained minister, she holds a masters’ degree in both counseling and spiritual science and is currently obtaining her doctorate in spiritual science. With over 26 years experience in mind/body therapies, she combines psychology and spirituality to help people release emotional blocks, heal past trauma and change limiting beliefs to open to soul awareness.

dixie clark, ms, mss, lpc |


metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

*Winner will also receive $

$5,000 thanks for the Dining table Remember sitting around the dining room table with the family for Sunday dinner? Or enjoying a holiday feast with Mom, Dad & your extended family? Perhaps a romantic dinner in the dining room of your first home? Remember Bob Hope singing “Thanks for the Memories”?

metroMAGAZINE & Zongkers invite you to share the “dining room table” memories you’re thankful for.

$1,000 donation to be given to the charity of their choice. how it works •metroMAGAZINE & Zongkers are both celebrating 20 years; in celebration of our anniversaries we’ll be selecting 20 finalists.


•A panel of judges including community business leaders, local celebrities and representatives from metroMAGAZINE and Zongkers will select the 20 finalists based on the memories submitted.


•Entries to be submitted beginning November 12th through January 31st.

how to win! GO TO

•Finalists will be announced in the March issue of metroMAGAZINE & their entries will be published on where voting will be open to the public through the month of March. •The WINNER will be announced in the May issue of metroMAGAZINE. The Custom Table will be presented to winner in August.

•metroMAGAZINE/Zongkers will document the design, production and delivery phases. Photos/video will be published in metroMAGAZINE and on

READ THE TERMS and accept the entry restrictions


Winner will also receive $1,000 donation to be given to the charity of their choice.

REGISTER TO WIN by filling out the form on our Giveaway Page

Winner receives a custom made dining table from Zongkers Custom Furniture.

guidelines, restrictions, etc. •All entries must be submitted through; must be 400 words or less; photos are optional but encouraged as well as videos (no longer than 2 minutes in length.) •Dining room table is retail valued at $5,000 including delivery and sales tax. Table to be custom designed specifically for the winner with design approval prior to fabrication. For custom work & design in excess of the total value, the winner will be responsible for all additional charges above and beyond $5,000. •Winner must live within a 100 miles radius of Omaha.

Signed and dated by Dan and Dennis Zongker

Whether it be funny, sentimental, romantic or just a good story (that no one would believe) We want to hear from you! *

Sponsored by Sponsored by metroMAGAZINE and Zongkers Custom Furniture, Inc.

Employees and family members of employees of metroMAGAZINE and Zongkers Custom Furniture, Inc. are not eligible.

Mayor Jim Suttle, Chuck Pauly, Katie Cook, and Deb Suttle

Mary and Hal Daub with Andy Hoig Photos by Dan Flanig an and Linda Shepard






exciting • philanthropic • inspiring • fun

Steph Finklea, Michael Scott, and Amy Wieczorek ge on next page

continued covera

ty ge of chari ra e v o c to o and ph metro area e Highlights th in ts n eve and social

Katie Cook, Francesca Peterson, Chuck Pauly, Andy Hoig, Rob Killmer, and Ryan Lally

Shawna Forsberg, Christi Janssen, and Lori Beck

Krystal Breuer, Tara Stark, and Gina Tielebein

Marnie Amdor, Nichole Beran, Heather Bullock, and Nikki Huffman 33

metroMagazine • DEC 2010

Sean Olsen and Maggie Kotlarz

Betty Cernech, Rilla Eaton, and James Summerfield

Beth Pusic, Donna Foley, and Anne Jetter Photos b y Dan Fla nigan and Lind a Shepa rd





Kiley Kiser and Amanda Morton

METROmagazine the big event 2010


Angela Altamore and Chriss Lilleskov

November 30th, metroMAGAZINE held its 4th annual The BIG Event at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo’s IMAX Theater. The BIG Event is an awards ceremony held to put a spotlight on the efforts of the event chairmen, committee members and volunteers each year who design and coordinate the events that benefit so many worthy organizations dedicated to serving those in our region. Special recognition goes to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo; Catering Creations; Florals Etcetera; AAA Rents; Dog & Pony Productions, Inc.; Macrae Productions; City Glass Company; Roadrunner Staging; Center Trophy; Mike Klug; Printco Graphics; Camille Metoyer Moten and David Murphy. Event Sponsors included Midlands Business Journal, Jimy Johns, Data Media Solutions, PVW Law and Heimes Resources. Heartland Chapter MPI, Greater Omaha Chapter of National Association of Catering Executives, Counterparts and Best Buy Signs were event partners. Nominations will begin for 2011’s BIG Event in March and the top five nominees will be announced in July. Voting will then begin! For more information visit

Dennis and Margaret Hein

Taryn Krug, Jackie Brown, and Kelsie Sis

Melissa Marvin and Cheryl Wild

Christie Heimes, Theresa Williams, Jim and Deb Suttle, Heidi Wilke, and Cindy Lembke

Rochelle Wolfe and Kerry Kasper

Megan O’Connell and Mackenzie Parker 34

metroMagazine • DEC 2010

Paulette Rourke and Beth Klug

Wendy Zikas and Chad Hancock

congratul a ti o ns! BEST EVENT: 1st or 2nd Year Hope Center for Kids Expressions of Hope Gala


Nebraska Children’s Home Society Sand in the City

Bret and Ingra Anderson, Michelle and Ben Simpson

BEST EVENT: Education

Theresa Williams, Cindy Lembke

Brownell-Talbot School 2010 Golden Gala - Buried Treasure

BEST EVENT: Fashion Child Saving Institute Power of the Purse

BEST EVENT: Food & Wine All Our Kids vinNebraska Wine Event

Andy Hoig and Dan Zonker

Katie Cook and Brenda Helget

Brigette Young, Lisa Ketcham, and Angie Kros

Lutheran Family Services Wicker & Wine Boutique Basket Auction

BEST EVENT: Guest Speaker

The Salvation Army DJ’s Hero Awards Luncheon featuring Kurt Warner


Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 13th Annual JDRF Gala - A Mother’s Wish...A Cure!

Latavia Adams, Kaitlin O’Hara, and Lori Lundholm

Lex Poppens, Betsye Paragas, and Mike Klug

BEST EVENT: Over 1,000 in Attendance Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo Zoofari 2009 - Call of the Wild

BEST EVENT: Over 500 in Attendance Nebraska Humane Society Black Tie & Tails 2010


The Durham Museum Sentimental Journey - Miracle on 10th Street

Michelle Fogle, Tammy Evans Morris, and Brenda Block

BEST EVENT: Under 500 in Attendance Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska Blue Jean Ball

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! Nominations for 2011’s BIG Event begin in March!

Stephen Zubrod, Brenda Helget, Teresa Milner, and Sarah Knispel 35

metroMagazine • DEC 2010

Liz Clausen, and Danelle Schlegelmilch

Bob and Mary Jo Langdon, Erin McNeal Pogge, Ally Slobotski Parker, and Sandy and Dave Parker Photos by Dan Flanigan



Mary Kerr, CEO Natalia Peart, Amy Deardorff, and Melanie Clark

YW partners guild tgif!


YW Partners Guild hosted its first-ever TGIF gala on November 12th. The gala raised at least $70,000 for the YWCA Omaha. The funds raised will support the organization’s mission of helping local women and their families build lives of strength, growth and stability.  The western-themed event was held at the Holiday Inn Convention Center, drew 250 attendees. The event included a BBQ dinner, an area with games and a silent and oral auction. During the program, a local woman shared her story about dating violence. Event co-chairs were Erin McNeil Pogge and Allyson Crossman Slobotski. Honorary chairs were Sandy and Dave Parker and Mary Jo and Bob Langdon.

Mike and Tara Sands with Eric Wells


Emerald and Caryn Porter

Gina McDevitt,Grace University GOLF4GRACE Regan Mackintosh, and Leigh Forney

Paul Troupe and Wally Armstrong, with Tom, Rob, and Doug Troupe Scot Bonnesen, James Peters, and Cathy Bonnese

For more information on YWCA Omaha or YW Partners, visit

David Moline, Rich Johnson, Jason Felker, Rick Montague, and Mike Ryan

Natalia Peart, and Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle

Amanda Brewer and Erin Swanson

Scott and Wendi Kroeger


reflectionof kindness

Linda Head and Leanne Sotak

Chuck and Marlo Monico, Deidre and Mike Henton, and Katie and Jimmy Paladino

midlands community foundation 2010 reflection ball


On November 6th at the Embassy Suites La Vista, Midlands Community Foundation held its 2010 Reflection Ball which raised more than $140,000.

John and Lynn Muller

Jackie Simmons, Amy Chisholm, Colleen Roth, Amy West, and Suzanne Haney

More than 450 guests attended the gala. Proceeds from the event were donated to Project Harmony, a non-profit agency whose mission is to protect and support children, collaborate with professionals and engage the community to end child abuse and neglect, one child at a time. The Reflection Award was presented to Lorenze and Janice Roloff for their dedication to public service and support of people and projects in Sarpy and Cass Counties. Heading the event were honorary chairs Bob and Bindy Frederick, Chair Carrie Krist and co-chair Jackie Boryca. For more information visit

Shannon Walkup, Heidi Lefler, and Christa Otto

Bellevue University and Bellevue University Foundation

an Flanigan Photos by D

Carrie Krist, Lorenze and Janice Roloff, and Tonee Gay

Reflections Ball Committee

Melanie Mueller with Ron and Tina Hanson



angel s heardon

angels among us an evening among angels


Corey Schaecher, Jane Pohlman, Christine Behlen, and Katie Manganaro

David Morar and Angie Kubicek

November 5th, Angels Among Us held its fifth annual Fall Festivity fundraiser, “An Evening Among Angels” at Tiburon Golf Club. Funds raised at the event will be used to financially assist families who have a child battling cancer who are living in Nebraska or being treated in Nebraska. The event, which raised $50,000, was co-chaired by Christine Behlen, Erin O’Mara, Jennifer Mytty and Katie Manganaro. Honorary chairs were Jay and Sara Pohlad and Richie and Sue Pohlad. During the cocktail hour, guests had the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. Dinner was served, by Tiburon, to 230 guests. After dinner, Kevin O’Mara, board chairman, introduced board members and sponsors. Oehms Auction then auctioned off live auction items, including pottery painted by children that have been helped by Angels Among Us. Dean Wysocki, former Omaha meteorologist, emceed the event.  After dinner, guests were able to dance the night away to the music of The Wise Guys.

Mary Ellen and Dave Greenwood

Chip and Lori Duden with Randy and Sheri Leaders

Shawn and Kristen Phillips

For more information about Angels Among Us , visit

Kyle Johnson and Taylor Swan

Dawn Marie and Corey Buck

Roberta and Jason Tonjes Photos by Dan Flaniga n

Cathy Bollinger, Debbie Gradowski, Jane Pohlman, and Sandy Parker


wi n e til 9

Tim and Sue Schnack with Lynn and Dr. Kevin Crowley Lora Ullerich, Brooke Studt, and Andrea Milton


October 21st, Wine ‘Til Nine was held at the Omaha Marriott to benefit the Nebraska Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. More than 200 people attended the event. The Chris Saub Trio played at this event which raised $26,000 for the Arthritis Foundation. Dignitaries at this year’s event included Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and his wife, Deb; former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey; and former Nebraska Cornhusker quarterback, Tommie Frazier. Proceeds will help further research and provide education and programs to help find a cure for arthritis.  The Arthritis Foundation is the only nationwide, non-profit organization helping people take control of arthritis by leading efforts to prevent, control and cure arthritis and related conditions.

Matthew and Gabrielle Mormino with Melissa and Scott McMullen Photos by Dan Flanigan

the Arthritis Foundation Wine ‘Til Nine

For more information, visit

Jacqueline Lorince and David Stara

Laura Wilson, Kevin Penrod, and Alec Gorynski


Jessica Clem and Jessie Bowman


Jodi Teal and Bobbie Kierstead

Cities of Service Omaha Serves


September 29th, the city of Omaha celebrated community service with Omaha Serves. Omaha Serves promotes “Impact Volunteering,” or strategies that target community needs, use best practices and set clear goals to measure progress. Omaha Serves is a part of Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of the mayors of large and small cities from across the country who will work together to engage citizens to address civic challenges. Founded in New York City on September 10th, 2009, the coalition and its member cities are responding to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers to help solve pressing local challenges.

Kathy Byrnes, Michelle Moyes Dill, and Jerry Byers

Raeanna Kuzma and Deborah Neary

Brittany Hanson, Calvin Smothers, and Christian Gray

Paul Bryant, Steve Oltmans, and Michael Scott

For more information about Omaha Serves, including background, visit

n Photos by Dan Flaniga



Destination Midtown & Kent Bellows Ribbon Cutting Ceremony


Carol and Jerry Martinez

Jennifer Reilly, Skyler Little, Cameo Gillum, and JaVohn Rollins

October 6th, The Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts and Destination Midtown held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the renovation of the late Kent Bellows’ art studio. Over 100 guests attended the event.     Bellows’ family that attended were Phyllis Bellows, Robin and Jim Griess and Doug and Debra Wesselmann. The studio’s mission is to strive to ignite the creative spark in individuals, encouraging them to reach their highest potential through self-expression in the visual arts. 

Randy and Kim Brown

Deb and Doug Wesselmann, Robin Bellows Griess, Jim Griess, Weston Thomson, Anne Meysenburg, and Phyllis Bellows

For more information about the Kent Bellows Studio, visit

Photos by Dan Flanigan

Marie Meysenburg, Megan Hill, and Anne Meysenburg

Rob Gilmer, Shelly Bartek, and Jean Mason 41

metroMagazine • DEC 2010

Amy Chittenden and Dennis McGuire

Nicky Clark and Jacqueline McLane

Angie Remington and Jessica Jones

Sharon Schwarz, Carol Russell, Kathy Bynes, and Doug Smith

Donna Naimoli and Laura Castro de Cortes


together forever Christine Johnson and Michelle Mayes Dill

Rev. David Paul, Karma Blongewicz, Judy Bohlkan, and Rev. Jon Sloan Photos by Dan Flaniga n

Together, inc. Benefit Luncheon

Jeremy and Erin Stoll with Fr. Ryan Lewis

Anne Meysenburg, Norita Matt, Theresa McMorrow, and Yvonne Pitts


October 15th, Together, Inc. of Metropolitan Omaha held its second annual benefit luncheon at the Omaha Hilton. 120 guests helped raise over $15,000 for the local human service non profit that has been in existence since 1975. Together, Inc.’s mission is: “Bringing Together our community to assist those in need with hope, dignity, and compassion.” Last year, Together, Inc. provided more than 35,000 services to those in need through our food bank, pantry, free store and financial services. For more information about Together, Inc., visit


celebratetheholidays Clarkson Service League Holiday Boutique


Mary Wahl, Erin Murnan, Lori Bucholz, Diane Nelson, Nessie Swedlund, and Kitty O’Neil

November 2nd and 3rd, Santa’s Preview, sponsored by the Clarkson Service League was held at The Nebraska Medical Center. The two-day event titled “Celebrate the Holidays,” included shopping, a holiday brunch and style show. The chair for this year’s Santa’s Preview was Lisa Sekundiak; the brunch chairman was Casey Fehringer. The 2010 President of the Clarkson Service League is Lori Bucholz. Emeritus members of the Clarkson Service League were the Honorary Chairs for the event this year. Clarkson Service League donates more than $200,000 a year to special projects for The Nebraska Medical Center. Proceeds from this event will help renovate the Clarkson College library and fund Clarkson College scholarships, as well as the James T. Canedy endowed scholarship.

Beth Brown and Sandy Draper

Lisa Sekundiak, Lori Bucholz, and Kim Reeves Honorary Chairs Trish and Tom Weekly


For more information about the Clarskon Service League, visit

Paul Troupe and Wally Armstrong, with Tom, Rob, and Doug Troupe Theresa Franco and Deb Istas

Photos by Dan Flanigan

Deb Perry, Jenny and Jon Strako, Beth and Dr. Steve Koukol, and John Gentry

Author Jon Jefferson

Grace and Earl Leinart, Genelle and Dennis Rosenbaum, and Robin Purchas Photos by Dan Flanigan


Dr. Jim Reilly and Dr. D.R. Owen

Sharon McArdle with Dr. Pat and Marilyn O’Gara


Methodist Volunteers Diagnosis Dinner


October 15th, the Diagnosis Dinner was held by the Methodist Volunteers in Partnership to benefit Methodist Hospital’s new Pathology Center.

Over 300 people attended the casual event at the Scott Conference Center.

Dr. Tom Williams, Sandy and Dr. Greg Smith, Dr. Khalid and Alexis Awad

Approximately $68,000 was raised for the Pathology Center, which will open in February of 2011. Honorary Chairwoman was Connie Ryan. For more information about the Methodist Health System, visit




Women’s Fund of Omaha Annual Luncheon

Colleen Powers, Pat Polland, Tricia Rubens,and Anna Sanderson

Barb Bauer, Gail McGovern, and Pat Carnie


October 28th, more than 800 people attended the Women’s Fund of Omaha’s annual fall luncheon. The luncheon was held at CoCo Key Water Resort, Hotel and Convention Center. The event focused on the positive changes theWomen’s Fund has led on behalf of Omaha’s women and girls, as well as how change can benefit participants’ personally. In honor of its platinum anniversary, the Women’s Fund awarded $20,000 grants to three nonprofit organizations that provide exemplary services for women in key focus areas reflecting its historic priorities. Excellence and Woman Spirit grants also were awarded, bringing the total to $125,000. Grant recipients recognized at the luncheon were Family Housing Advisory Services, Catholic Charities, YWCA Omaha, Salvation Army and Lutheran Family Service. For more information, visit

Thomasina Skipper and Sandy Callahan

Gaye Lynn Schaffart, Elisha Novak, Mary Raynovich, Teresa Hunter, Natalia Peart, and Debbie Fraser

Renee Black, Barb Bauer, and Sarah Lukas Photos by Dan Flanigan

Colleen Etheridge, Thomasina Skipper, and Teresa Hunter

Judy Beasley, Carey Hamilton, and Rita Sanders

Deanna Rhoten, Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, and Carl Rhoten

Patty and Chris Kircher with Kathy Beck Photos by Dan Flanigan


Shawn and Kristi Sanger with Craig Page

Lise Sasson and Sonja Kinney M.D.

Shonessi Tracy, Babs Tracy, Susie Wagner, and Anne Nelson

Pamela Jones, Phyllis Nsiah-Kum, and Billy Colburn

mil iondollarnight UNMC Eppley Cancer CEnter Ambassador of Hope Gala


October 26th, the Ambassador of Hope Gala for the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center was held at the Qwest Center Omaha.

More than 800 people attended and raised a total of $1 million for cancer research. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Ph.D., was the honoree. The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center -- a distinction held by only 66 centers in the country. The UNMC Eppley Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated center in the state of Nebraska. Â For more information about UNMC, visit



wi c ker and lutheran family services wicker & wine


November 4th, “Wicker and Wine Basket Auction” was held to benefit children in Pottawattamie County. Doug and Deb Goodman were the honorary chairs of the event, which was held at the Mid-America Center. Lutheran Family Services is a community based organization which impacts over 35,000 individuals annually, from 32 offices in 18 cities in the areas of behavioral health, children services and community services.

Tracy Madden and Ruth Henricks

Ruth Henneman, Doug and Deb Goodman, and Merrilee Faubel

Jeannette Johnson, Cindy Bunten, and Ammy McKay

Christine Loehr, Alyssa Sells, Sherri Reliford, and Michelle Troxclair

Jean Stothert, Beth Kramer, Maureen Moseman, and Stu Dorman

Jim Olsted and Denise Strange

Darren and Jenn Osten with Robin Matthes

Amy and Jeff Richardson

Photos by Dan Flanigan

Photos by Dan Flanigan


worl dofhealth

oneworld community health centers milagro dinner

Gabby Puckett and Sonja Russell

Jeanell Austin, Stefanie Torres, and Shelley Wedergren


November 4th, OneWorld Community Health Centers held their annual Milagro Dinner at the Livestock Exchange Building. More than 350 guests attended. The evening included a social hour, silent auction, and dinner. The keynote speaker of the Milagro Dinner was Ms. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. In addition, the dinner recognized the significance of contributions made by volunteers and partnering organizations. Recipients included: Senator Kathy Campbell; David Filipi, M.D.; Caron Jo Gray, M.D.; Midwest Gastrointestinal Associates; and The Urology Center.

Haley Armstrong and Lori Bechtold

Maria Santiago, Ana Barrios, Ruben Gonzalez, and Patricia Castro

CEO Andrea Skolkin, Dr. Kristine McVea, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, and Jean Flott

Fred Edegbele, Lawrence Jones, Billy House, Eric Payne, Liz Campbell, Pat Brown, Richard Gregory, President Julieta Clarke, and Karina Clarke 47

OneWorld Community Health Centers, in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. OneWorld is a federally qualified community health center and provides comprehensive primary health care, dental, and mental health/ substance abuse services to persons in all stages of the life cycle. For more information about OneWorld Community Health Centers, visit

metroMagazine • DEC 2010


children first

Sally Hanley, Gary Perkins, and Bill Hanley

Kim Shehan, Kenny Rogers, and Cindy Hanley

Children’s hospital & Medical center 2010 gala


November 20th, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center held its annual Gala which hit record attendance of more than 900 attendees. Estimated proceeds from the event are $400,000. The funds raised benefits the Children’s Specialty Pediatric Center. The highlight of the evening was Grammy Awardwinning artist Kenny Rogers performing many of his hits.

Cindy, Bill and Sally Hanley

Kim Hord and Heather Schneider

Sandra Fossum, Mickey Marvin, Jenny Rich, Nicole Hardin, and Julie Gallagher

Karen Seda, Michelle and Phil Higgins, Laura Roccaforte, and Joe Seda Photos by Dan Flanigan and courtesy of Children’s Hospital

“The children we serve truly will benefit from the generosity shown by our Gala patrons,” said Roger Lewis, executive director of the Children’s Foundation. “We were proud to host an enjoyable and successful evening.” Jasper Stone Partners and John and Lynne Boyer were the premier sponsors of the 2010 Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala. Honorary chairpersons were Bill and Sally Hanley. Gala co-chairpersons were Cindy Hanley and Kim Shehan.

Todd and Kristin Richardson with Beth Ann Placek

Look Who’s Sheltering Shelter Pets!

New Satellite Location for NHS NHS has opened a holiday store and adoption center on the lower level of Westroads Shopping Mall. Animal Outfitters carries the latest in pet supplies and also has pets available for adoption during limited hours. So as you holiday shop you can outfit your pet, pet lovers on your list, or even adopt a new family member. • Stylish Leashes and Collars • Interactive Toys for Cats and Dogs • Fun Healthy Pet Treats • Pre packaged Gift Baskets • Gift Items for Pet Lovers All proceeds go right back to help animals at the shelter, so holiday shop with us and give a gift that gives back! *Animal Outfitters is open during regular mall hours.

In Home Training Does your pooch need a little help learning basic house rules, but you don’t think classes are the answer? Start 2011 on the right paw and contact our in-home training team. Our qualified trainers will come right to your home when it’s convenient for you. We use positive reinforcement techniques to reward good behavior so your dog has fun while learning! Visit our website for details at or call 444-7800 ext 702 and get started today.

Mary and Fritz Sampson with Grace and Jake

Mary and Fritz Sampson Grace and Jake Sampson are living life to its fullest after a rough start. Jake ended up at the shelter after repeatedly escaping from his former home. Grace arrived so overweight she had difficulty walking and had to be lifted into the car. Both are now happy, healthy, spoiled members of the Sampson clan. “Dogs are pack animals,” says Mary. “They need to be a part of the family.” They certainly are with Mary and Fritz. These dogs have never been kenneled. Mary and Fritz opt for house sitters when the dogs absolutely have to be left behind, which isn’t often. “When I take them out to the farm they have the run of the place--and they love it,” explains Fritz. Adds Mary, “We can’t reach for our keys without them getting excited and expecting to go.” Mary and Fritz have always had rescue pets. They adopted Grace after a call from the shelter. Even though Fritz and Mary had adopted Jake after they lost their prior rescue pet and canine companion Klaus, they took Grace in. The pairing was beneficial to both. After Jake joyfully accepted his new pal, his playful energy helped Grace get active and lose weight. We call that a win-win situation. gives you all the info!

All proceeds stay at the shelter to benefit homeless animals so as you take care of your dog you also provide for those still waiting for loving homes. Call 571-2273 for appointments or log on to

For more information go to “Programs and Events” on the NHS Website at, or call 444-7800 ext 273

savethe date savethedate dec feb 52 52

December 27 DEBUTANTE BALL Omaha Symphony Holiday Inn Central – Omaha – 5:00 P.M.

jan January 22 DANCING WITH THE OMAHA STARS Benefiting Ronald McDonald House of Omaha Watch local business owners, beauty queens, radio and television hosts dance swing, tango, quickstep, waltz, and more with professional instructors as they compete to be this year’s winner. The show also includes appetizers, cash bar, silent auction and fashion show. Champions Run Pavilion – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Call 290-4869.

January 27

February 12

GIRLS NITE OUT Benefiting Girls Inc. Enjoy cocktails, shopping, dinner and lots of laughs with special guest, ventriloquist and comedienne Lynn Trefzger. Seating at this popular event is limited, so get your reservations in early! Mutual of Omaha Dome – Omaha – 5:30 P.M. Call 457-4676 or visit

ROCKIN’ ROSIE A benefit for The Rose Theater The Rose Theater Guild will host its 18th annual Rockin’ Rosie fundraiser, this year themed Rosie Rocks the Silver Screen. Sure to be a rockin’ good time, the event includes dinner, dancing, and both silent and oral auctions. Holiday Inn Central – Omaha

January 31 “AT EASE” LUNCHEON A benefit for Lutheran Family Services’ At Ease Program Former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey will serve as keynote speaker for this fundraising and awareness event. At Ease is a trauma treatment and therapeutic support program that serves active military, veterans and their loved ones. Qwest Center – Omaha Call 978-5646.

February 5 2011 OMAHA HEART BALL Benefiting the American Heart Association This black tie event offers an evening of gourmet dining, dancing, live and silent auctions, and outstanding entertainment. In 2011, the Heart Ball will celebrate its 23rd year as one of Omaha’s premier social events. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 5:30 P.M. Visit

February 12 FIESTA A LA MERCY A benefit for Mercy High School FIESTA (Friends in Earnest Supporting Tuition Assistance) directly supports negotiated tuition, the heart of Mercy High School’s mission. The evening consists of Mass, dinner, silent and live auctions and a $10,000 raffle drawing. Mercy High School – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Call 553-9424.

February 19 THE CARNIVAL OF LOVE A benefit for Heartland Family Service Embassy Suites – La Vista – 6:00 P.M. Visit

February 20 FEATURE III Film Streams Ruth Sokolof Theater Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh will be the special guest for Feature III, for a conversation about his extraordinary career-in-progress. Following the interview will be a postparty celebration with drinks, food, music and dancing. Holland Performing Arts Center – Omaha – 6:30 P.M. Visit

February 26 JDRF GALA A benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation The theme for this fourteenth annual JDRF Gala is “Big Dreams, Big Hearts … Real Hope for a Cure.” A VIP reception will be held at 5:00 p.m. and the gala follows with a cocktail hour and silent auction. Dinner is followed by a live auction, Fund-A-Cure, and entertainment. Qwest Center – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Call 397-CURE (2873).

February 26 EASTER SEALS NEBRASKA’S WINE EVENT 2011 A benefit for Easter Seals Nebraska In addition to superb silent and live auctions and a Vintners Reception, this event includes the Vintners Formal Dinner, featuring some of the country’s most prestigious and knowledgeable vintners and their wines at a multi-course dinner. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 5:00 P.M. Visit



February 27 ART AND SOUP 2011 A benefit for Visiting Nurse Association Embassy Suites – La Vista

mar March 2 SPEAKING OF CHILDREN A benefit for Project Harmony This day inspires and informs the community in the fight against child abuse, and features luncheon speaker, Andrew Bridge, Fulbright Scholar, Harvard Law Graduate, author, children’s rights advocate and former foster child. Qwest Center – Omaha Visit

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Check out additional upcoming events on our Web Calendar!


March 3


April 16

2011 YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT From I to We: Changing the Conversation is the theme of the 2011 Greater Omaha Young Professionals Summit, the place for young professionals interested in contributing to business and the community to gather and get inspired. The event includes interesting speakers, breakout sessions and interactive discovery activities to get you thinking and engaged. Qwest Center – Omaha – 8:00 A.M. Visit

7TH ANNUAL BARRISTERS’ BALL A benefit for the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation This elegant affair features a silent and live auction followed by dinner and dancing. This year’s theme is Springtime in Paris, with funds supporting the VLP’s community outreach legal clinics. Embassy Suites – La Vista Call 402-475-7091.

March 4-5

April 9

RESTORE OMAHA CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION Hosted by Metropolitan Community College Now in its sixth year, Restore Omaha is an organization that teaches and motivates the public to restore and preserve older properties. MCC South Omaha Campus – Omaha Visit

NIGHT OF KNIGHTS A benefit for Mount Michael Benedictine School Theme for this year’s annual dinner and auction is Knights in Tuscany, and includes VIP cocktail hour, dinner, raffle, and live and silent auctions. Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey and School – Elkhorn Call 402-253-0964.

UNO WOMEN’S WALK FESTIVAL A benefit for UNO Women’s Athletic Program 2011 will begin a new era for the Women’s Walk. The Walk has become the anchor of the Women’s Walk Festival, a two day event featuring speakers, a wine tasting event, seminars, booths, and the Women’s Walk, with a special area just for runners. University of Nebraska at Omaha Call 554-2355.

March 26

April 14

May 3

CATHEDRAL COMEDY & CUISINE Benefiting Saint Cecilia Cathedral Grade School A main source of funding for Saint Cecilia Cathedral Grade School. The 14th annual event will this year recognize and honor the Sinsinawa Sisters who founded the school 103 years ago. Fr. Henry Sullivan Center at Creighton Prep Omaha – Call 551-2313.

6TH ANNUAL YOUTH ART SHOWCASE & AUCTION A benefit for The Neighborhood Center This community event supports The Neighborhood Center, providing quality programs and support in Sarpy, Douglas and Pottawattamie counties. Scott Conference Center – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Call 561-7581.

KIDS CAN LUNCHEON A benefit for Kids Can Community Center Keynote speaker at this year’s event is Gallup’s Barry Conchie, co-author of Strengths Based Leadership, and expert in executive assessment, team diagnostics and succession planning. Downtown Doubletree Hotel – Omaha Visit

April 9

BASH 2011 A benefit for Creighton Preparatory School This year’s event has a nautical, All Hands On Deck, theme, The evening begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner, live auction and raffle. Prep’s online auction, eBASH, runs from March 18 through April 8. The Heider Center at Creighton Prep – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Visit or call 548-3858.

April 29-30

change e



December’s theme is Mercury retrograde: you’ll need to slow down and watch the details. Hopefully you were able to get most of your Christmas shopping done in November because Mercury (communications/electronics) goes retrograde on December 10th. However, we will feel it earlier, as early as the first week in December. Get your electronics purchased before the retrograde! Another big event is on the 21st when we have a Total Lunar Eclipse at 29 degrees (karma) of Gemini (quick thinker). Rest is important this month- this eclipse could show some are exhausted from just too much thinking, planning, etc. All Eclipses highlight something that is leaving your life. Something you are done with. This could be an addiction, an attitude, a person, a house, a car - you get the drift. There will be many endings so a brighter future can emerge. Just after this eclipse on 12/26, the Sun (vital spirit) will be conjunct (on top of) Pluto (heavy/power/change) creating some pressure to change. Don’t argue with loved ones during the last week of December– way too much intensity floating around. On the 29th Mars (aggression) squares (friction) Saturn (unyielding) and this can become very annoying. A good way to use this energy is to fortify the new changes that are coming into your life. Christmas is smack dab in the middle of this but without the exact pressurized aspects, so breathe and be sure to take a nap on Christmas day to get ready for the last week of the year and on into 2011. You will need to be very organized before the year hits as there won’t be time after that - 2011 is a wild ride for sure!


Mar 21 - apr 19

Hopefully you won’t be taking a long journey this month as the Mercury retrograde will not be conducive to easy travel. If you do have to board that plane, take your luggage with you, otherwise it might get sent to Peru. You will have powerful energies in your Achievement sector and may be leaving one career for another.


apr 20 - MaY 20

Huge awakenings in your Higher Mind this month. Write it all down - it could be a book! Venus (love/desire) is transiting through your relationship house all month creating a desire for something better. This is a month of dying to the old (and meaning it this time) and opening up for a New You!


vibrations • with sue moon

nOV 22 - dec 21


jul 23 - auG 22

A jolt of energy in your Play Sector could cause you to be a little reckless this month. Use that energy to find better ways to express yourself and talents. Work could take on a new edge and you may find yourself looking for a job that pays more with less work to do. The Full Moon just before Christmas can create a little too much fun with friends and gatherings which will wear you out. Rest up before hand.



Begin the month with a new health regimeexercise/diet/vitamins. If you are in a creative field, this is a wonderful time to write, paint, or more, as you will draw deep from inside you to create. The rewards from that type of creating won’t show up till 2011, but don’t be discouraged - just keep tweaking it along. An old relationship may come to an end at the eclipse on the 21st. dec 22 - jan 19

auG 23 - sep 22

Your thoughts are pretty deep this month and may run in an amorous vein. Your home will be a huge focus at the beginning of December, use this time to dream of what you would rather have. Don’t argue with the folks you live with. Mars (aggression) is hanging around and loves a good fight! Instead, you should use that energy to move furniture around.


A great month to share time with friends - meaningful discussion and more! Your dreams will hold many messages for you. Keep a tablet and pen by the side of your bed. Be sure you explain yourself well as there may be misunderstandings with others due to the conjunction of Pluto/Mercury sitting on your personality.

MaY 21 - jun 20


Re-think your partnerships this month. You will have added help from Mercury (messages) and may be able to clear up some illusions that you have been holding onto way too long. The New Moon on the 5th will allow new beginnings by months end if your heart is true. The Eclipse (endings) on the 21st hits your personality/body-a make over is due.


jun 21 - jul 22

Start this month by visualizing what you would rather have for health and a better job. By month’s end you will find an old part of your life closing out. Rejoice in that - 2011 is going to be a powerful year for you. Communication with your partner will be under the scope with Mercury (missed communications or none at all) holding hands with Pluto (power and transformation). Walk softly.

jan 20 - feb 18

sep 23 - OcT 22


Usually the mediator, you will be speaking your mind this month! There is an opportunity for you to step out of stubborn ego patterns, but also the possibility of ego disputes-your choice. With Mercury slowed way down in your home this is the month to clean out closets and finish anything you have started in the home. That will just make the arrival of 2011 so much easier for you.

New friends may be coming into your life this month and they will be very jolly! Messages from beyond are asking you to listen and to learn more of your nature in this life. The Full Moon on the 21st could put a crimp in your party plans. Play nice and your turn will come.



OcT 23 - nOV 21

With Venus (beauty/allure) in Scorpio, you can attract anything you want this month. Your charisma is all over the place and you will be well rewarded for it all! Your mind has never been this sharp or intense, use it wisely. 12/21 will find you experiencing some deep emotions and really digging into ways to transform certain aspects of your life.

If you would like more from your career or the achievements you have attained in this life, start planting a few seeds for change early in the month. With Jupiter (expansion) in your Body sector, watch for over eating. Jupiter loves to expand but that might not be the best way to do it!

Sue Moon has been a student of astrology since 1972 and is an experienced journeyman and practitioner in a number of life enhancement disciplines. You can find her astrology materials and dailies at and on Facebook. She is locally based at Bright Spirit Center •


feb 19 - Mar 20

metroMAGAZINE • DEC 2010

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metroMAGAZINE's December 2010 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's December 2010 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...

metroMAGAZINE's December 2010 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's December 2010 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...