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The Spirit of Omaha • march 2011


metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

features cover STORY



features / DEPARTMENTS


59 74


tyler owen

metro anniversaryCELEBRATION


YOUNG GUNS 20 years of young professionals







omaha fashion week spring fashion preview


TOULA comfortable • classy • stylish


FASHION PROFILE suzanne singer • queen ak-sar-ben CXIV




SPRUNG! at last! it’s spring!


45TH ANNUAL home & garden expo






AHIMSA: NON-VIOLENCE with mary e. vandenack


THE SOUL’S JOURNEY with dixie clark

gardening with a purpose in 2011

articles | columns

14 32

48 49




46 47

HOROSCOPES with sue moon



54 25

your guide to the spirit of omaha:




LOOK WHO’S SHELTERING nebraska humane society

“what is the community’s greatest asset?”

introducing! your passport to greater omaha:

ARTFULLY SPEAKING with keith allerton

non-profit & YP profiles


KNOWING NON-PROFITS catholic charities the ARTery

DESTINATION: midtown crossing

honoring our local

NEW YORK STATE OF MIND blue barn theater



OPTIMAL LIVING with aristotle group

51 23

A DAY OF SKY with roger fransecky

with swartzbaugh-farber & associates



The Sp irit

of Omah a

on the

cover Tyler Owen COVER PHOTOGRAPHY by ©Laurie and Charles


2 3 play “out takes” with us at Find the “out takes” that didn’t make it into print. (Find #3* and win a chance to attend an upcoming photo shoot!)

*Hint: Think “young.”

from the PUBLISHER



Thus far it has been a great start to the New Year! We are finally settled into our new home, we received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback on our 20th anniversary issue and we are now getting into the swing of the spring social season. Lots of exciting things happening at ALH Publications, Inc. and metroMAGAZINE. This month we’re pleased to feature Tyler Owen on our cover. Owen is one of the founders of the MAHA Music Festival as well as juggling the roles of business leader, husband and father of four. (He’s also a terrific young professional with a great sense of having fun with life.) We hope you enjoyed the out takes from the cover shoot at the studio of photographers Laurie and Charles on page 7. Now go online and have some fun playing “out takes” at Find the 3 shots we left out of the print edition and win a chance to attend an upcoming photo shoot. Last month we introduced two new writers: Roger Fransecky and Gordon Parry. Both of these gentlemen offer a look at life in new and interesting ways … very thought provoking. We believe you’ll value their words of “working wisdom” each month. I am proud to announce the 2nd annual FACES– Omaha’s Model Search in partnership with 89 Talent Management. We are once again in search of the Greater Omaha area’s next “Top Model.” What makes this model search unique is that we are looking for someone who exudes outwardly, that which reflects an inner inspiration and beauty. Our 2010 FACES winners, Stephanie Finklea and Amy Wieczorek, certainly fit that mold, and will fill important inspirational and practical roles in this year’s model search. The deadline to submit an application is May 31st. We are once again taking nominations for The Big Event Awards Celebration. Once again you can nominate your favorite charity events for our 5th annual edition of Omaha’s star studded evening of celebration (a la The Academy Awards.) Nominations will be accepted through June 30th for events held June 1, 2010 – May 31, 2011. The top 5 nominees in each category will be announced in late July when voting will commence! To nominate your favorites visit our website at We are also pleased to announce that we have introduced a new weekly segment on KMTV’s Morning Blend every Tuesday called metroMAGAZINE’s WeeklyInsider. We’ll give you the inside scoop & spotlight on events coming up for the weekend, including photos from those that took place over the past weekend, while also highlighting up-to-the-moment fashion, dining and design trends. I would also like to encourage you to listen every Wednesday at 4:00 on KCRO 660am to what we refer to as spiritRADIO: our Spirit of Omaha Radio Show. Here we highlight area non profits and their upcoming events as well as community leaders, businesses and individuals making a difference in our community. Please be our guest as we extend an invitation, along with our efforts, to inform, educate, inspire.


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Srea!tive IE D O c t O s o F our m DINING OUT about y



experience at an Omaha restaurant! vote at!


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metro The Spirit of Omaha

MARCH 2011 VOL. 23 NO. 3 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



Francesca Peterson Web Content Manager

Megan Olson Events Editor | Layout

Krystal Bottcher Distribution

Leo Adam Biga Molly Garriott Ashley Griffith Susan Kuhlmann Dave Link Donald Rashid Anne Thompson Maureen Tierney David Williams

Loni Craft Interns:

Michael Neisius | Jaime Roe Jason Rumbaugh | Erin Sarmiento | Suzanne Singer

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 1990 – 2011 ALH Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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metro The Spirit of Omaha


tyler owen hails from an omaha legacy family that's made a fortune in the steel industry and that spreads their wealth around. the owen foundation funds higher education, cultural programs, social agencies and the henry doorly zoo. while he may not have a big red “S” printed across his chest, this fourth generation homegrown entrepreneur/philanthropist has already staked his claim as (okay, not METROPOLIS’ but MAHA’s) “man of steel”.

tyler owen

AS A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL, Tyler Owen carries on his family’s legacy of giving back. He’s also staked out his own territory as a volunteer with various creative and community endeavors close to his heart. BREAKING THE MOLD He doesn’t fit the mold of a steel executive. For starters, he’s a one-time actor and a lifelong rocker. Growing up, the Westside High graduate spent far more time practicing the piano and playing the guitar than he did grooming to be a titan of industry. He fronted his own garage band, THE BOTTOM LINE. After graduating from the University of Colorado he pursued acting and music careers on the west coast. He parlayed his good looks, easy charm and modest talent into screen extra gigs– his credits include a minor speaking part in a MURDER SHE WROTE– and releases of original recordings with his group, THE EYE. He headed his own small record label. Along the way he wrote an unpublished novel and learned to fly. Throughout this period of finding himself his family encouraged him.



“My parents were incredibly supportive,” he said. “They were like, ‘You’ve gotta go do whatever you want to do and you’ve got to come back to this (the family business) on your terms– not stay here on our terms.’ It’s great because I don’t have a single ounce of resentment about being in the business. If anything, it was worth leaving and maturing to the point where I accepted it, rather than being thrust [into] it.”



metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha UP FROM THE ROOTS TYLER AND HIS WIFE LISA returned to Omaha for good in 2001 to start a family. Following tradition, he began at the bottom of Paxton & Vierling Steel, a steel processor, in order to learn the operation from the ground up. Today, the 38 year-old is the fourth generation of his family at Owen Industries, of which the Carter Lake, Iowa-based P & V is one of several divisions. He heads day to day operations at Lincoln Structural Solutions, a Lincoln, Neb. supplier of nuclear grade construction materials. Playing to his creative strengths, he handles marketing and branding for Owen Industries. P & V’s “iron is in our blood” tag is his. As businessman, husband and father of four, Owen’s not so much abandoned his free-spirited ways as settled down to focus on a few key passions. In 2009 he helped found the local MAHA MUSIC FESTIVAL, a one-day phantasmagorical immersion in rock. The free, nonprofit event takes place at the Lewis & Clark Landing on the downtown riverfront. The fest’s


expressed aim is “community building.” THE OF OMAHA MAHA 2011 is set for Aug. 13. “There seems to be an overwhelming sense of giving back in this He served two terms on the CITY OF community and of our being greater OMAHA’S HUMAN RIGHTS AND than the sum of our parts. There’s RELATIONS BOARD. His tenure this kind of bonding together into coincided with the public flap over the making something bigger,” Owen police auditor office. He fought hard said. “I think that comes back to an to retain the auditor but in the end the Omaha thing. I don’t think people in post was eliminated by the city. Omaha suffer a lot of grandiose, inflated egos, so there is this spirit The self-described “bibliophile” is in his of– let’s actually create something, fifth year on the OMAHA PUBLIC rather than bluster about something.” LIBRARY FOUNDATION BOARD, a period that’s included the resignation The Omaha work ethic of getting of library director RIVKAH SASS, the things done is one his family’s hiring of her successor, GARY WASDIN, exemplified. Now that he’s in a and staving off budget cuts. position to lead, he finds few things as satisfying as giving back. Owen’s steeped in the local philanthropic community through “I think any time you serve something his and his family’s long involvement outside of yourself it’s a satisfying in Ak-Sar-Ben, which he calls “a great experience.” organization.” He and Lisa have also helped organize major fundraisers for People may quibble with where the OMAHA BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB. donor dollars go, but in the end, he said, “it’s not important how you give, The example of being a good steward it’s only important that you give.” has always been there as expectation and obligation. Whether donating An advantage Omaha offers, he said, time or money, he learned it’s the is that it’s still small enough for an right thing to do. individual or an organization or a



cover STORY


metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

tyler owen MAN OF MAHA small group of philanthropists to make a big difference. “One person can change the world from here,” he said. Social media is only helping Owen (and others like him who want to make a difference) in their efforts to communicate and collaborate. “People are more connected and more aware of what other people are doing,” he said, “and so that offers more opportunities for overlap.” THE SOCIAL NETWORK MAHA’S an example of a few kindred spirits joining forces to launch an event that depends on social media for its traction. Owen, together with TRE BRASHEAR, MIKE APP and MIKE TOOHEY, made MAHA happen after years of kicking around the idea.

Owen’s smart enough to pull in some veteran live music promoters, including JEFF DAVIS the first two years (and now MARC LEIBOWITZ) to lend their expertise. “I’m surrounded by incredibly bright guys,” he said. A team of volunteers stages and manages the event, with sponsors underwriting and promoting it. All that help and experience, he said, has helped MAHA go off without any major hitches. Attendance grew from year one to year two. The goal is to evolve it into a multi-day fest with various arts offerings. Festival planning goes on all year. MULTI-DIMENSIONAL For Owen, there’s no conflict jumping from his music thing (he still writes, plays and

releases his own music and he’s reunited with his band from high school) to his corporate thing. “I’m pretty balanced between left and right brain, so I have this ability to switch back and forth. I don’t really see them separately.” Whether rocking in his basement or strategizing a P & V campaign or designing MAHA T-shirts or playing with his kids, he’s feeding that same seeking spirit that drives him. “Life is about taking advantage of opportunity,” he said. Tyler Owen may not follow his old mantra of “you’ve got to try everything once,” but he’s still burning to make his mark on the world. m






Omaha, like many of her sister cities with populations well below one million, faced a number of challenging dilemmas. Large cities, with their lively arts and entertainment scene, diverse populations, extensive parks and recreation centers, and accessible public transportation systems, are alluring to younger populations. Over the past two decades, moderately sized cities have experienced a brain drain– the exodus of young talent from a city’s work force– as young professionals have answered the siren’s call of larger, urban environments. Omaha would have succumbed to this trend long ago had local business executives and city officials not issued a well-constructed preemptive strike of their own to combat such a drain of the city’s population. THE GREATER OMAHA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS OF THE GREATER OMAHA CHAMBER was established in 2003 as “a task force dedicated to improving Omaha for the greater young professional community and to attract, retain, and engage this age group,” explains SARAH JOHNSON, Omaha’s Young Professional Council manager. So successful in retaining young talent in Omaha, it has become a model for other cities wishing to create a Young Professional Council of their own. “I field phone calls from Chicago, Milwaukee, Fort Worth, asking for advice on how to establish YP Councils,” says Johnson.

MISSION: CATALYST The Greater Omaha Young Professionals’ mission is to “serve as a catalyst organization to retain and attract young professionals to the Greater Omaha area through engagement, opportunity, and advocacy.” Though there is not an established age limit, the general parameters are 20 to 40 years old. The council is open to any young professional in the greater Omaha area; individuals do not have to be employed by a Chamber member company to serve as a volunteer, but they do if they serve on the YP Council Board of Directors. Membership is free. Its focus is different from other Young Professional Councils in that it is more than just a networking vehicle. Community development ranks just as important, if not more so, than expanding personal, social and business contacts. OMAHA MINDED In fact, the YP Council Summit 2011 is entitled “Changing the Conversation from ‘I’ to “We’.” Commitment to the Omaha community is central to the YP Council’s mission. Through their collective efforts with local business leaders, local government officials, state senators, and community neighborhood associations, the Young Professionals hopes to ensure that Omaha is a vibrant, creative, economically viable, and inclusive city. In essence: “a place where young people want to live,” says Johnson. continued

during the past 20 years the omaha metro has fostered the evolution of a young professionals culture that is becoming a model for other mid-sized cities

young guns



metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011


metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha



20 years of omaha “yps”


young guns

What attracts young professionals to a city? A vibrant arts and music scene, plentiful urban living opportunities, a strong business community, transportation options, and an inclusive, welcoming environment.

that building a stronger public transportation system should be a priority of the Young Professionals Council, believing it to be a viable option, though not necessarily exclusively, to personal transportation.

THE TRANSPORTATION THING Studies have proven that “cities with more transportation options are more appealing” to younger generations, states Johnson. Omaha is lacking in this department. It remains a driving city. In recent years, however, city leaders have expressed interest in light rail and street car systems. Biking has been promoted through the expansion of city trails and dialogue between cyclists and drivers on street sharing. And though still a component of a driving culture, the WEST DODGE EXPRESSWAY has cleared traffic congestion along the Dodge Street corridor. Creating additional transportation options and strengthening existing ones is a primary focus of the YP Council. To this end, the Young Professionals Council sponsored its first YOUNG PROFESSIONALS BUS CHALLENGE in 2009. The challenge invited young professionals and community members to use the MAT system and then offer feedback about their experience to assess the strength and weaknesses of the current system in order to affect improvements of public transportation. A group of 174 participated, making up 54 teams. At the end of the three week challenge, 92 percent of those participating felt

THE NEXT GREAT CITY Despite this deficit, “Omaha is a place young people want to live,” Johnson asserts. “It’s the next up and coming city.” The city boasts great downtown, urban living, with restaurants, bars, live music venues, museums, art galleries, and sporting events in easy walking distance. Omaha’s “art scene is incredible,” enthuses Johnson. Artists offer plenty of opportunities to explore the arts, and Omahans take full advantages of these opportunities. This winter, nearly 100 local artists held a show, the Science Fair, at Urban Storage that drew over 800 in attendance. Also appealing to young people is live music. Big names, like THE WHO, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and U2 now come to Omaha. In the pre-Qwest Center days, fans would have to drive to Kansas City, Denver, Chicago, or Minneapolis to catch their favorite bands live. For smaller names or more local acts, Sokol Auditorium and the Ranch Bowl used to be the primary venues. The Ranch Bowl is no longer, but its void has been filled– and then some– with the SADDLE CREEK RECORDS complex, the SLOWDOWN. The Slowdown draws national and international bands to sell-out crowds. The atmosphere is intimate; the acoustics, pitch perfect.

INCLUSIVE/DIVERSE/BUILDING Young professionals tend toward cities that are diverse and inclusive. The YP Council seeks to “include the interests and voices of diverse stakeholders in the Greater Omaha community, “says Johnson. It has an INCLUSION COMMITTEE to watch over city developments and lend its voice to issues of inclusion. An example is the issue of gay and lesbian civil rights. Last year’s City Council vote on whether or not to extend anti-discrimination rights to gay and lesbian citizens held great interest to the Young Professional Council which supported the measure to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Another draw is the business community. Omaha is home to FIVE FORTUNE 500 companies, FOUR FORTUNE 1000 companies, the largest privately owned bank in the United States, and THREE OF THE TOP 30 ARCHITECTURAL FIRMS in the U.S. The Young Professional Council has established close relationships with corporate and government leaders, educating them on the importance of attracting and retaining young professionals to the city. Because of its efforts and the foresight of business leaders, Omaha has not suffered the “yp” exodus that other communities have. Consistency and corporate continuity result. As younger professionals age, they bring with them their expertise, business experience, and understanding of the importance the next generations of young professionals offer to the board rooms and backdrops of Omaha. m

strength in service O M A H A




metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

feature STORY omaha has joined over 100 other u.s. cities as a city of service. omaha serves calls on citizens to volunteer their time and talents to make the city a vibrant community for all its inhabitants. to serve meals at the Siena-Francis House as a young adult. My schedule now doesn’t accommodate breaking away at dinner, but I can collect much needed coffee, condiments and about selfless people for whom other supplies so others can. volunteering is a way of life. They are “Volunteerism doesn’t care about mentors and soup kitchen volunteers. ‘societal trappings’ like educational They raise money and awareness for level and bank account balances,” African children orphaned by HIV. says Kirsten Case-Penrod, Chief They sign up for Fun Runs and are Service Officer of the City of Omaha. the first to say yes when their “Everyone has something to give, and workplace United Way captain asks you don’t have to belong to an for a donation. I wonder where they organization to do it.” get the time and energy to champion Case-Penrod oversees the so many worthwhile causes when I implementation of Omaha Serves. It is have difficulty chauffeuring kids to a new program designed to mobilize and from soccer practice and making and channel Omaha’s rich history of sure my family has clean (and volunteerism and service, explains matching) socks each day. Case-Penrod. In September of 2009, But then I remember that service mayors from 17 cities across the comes in all shapes and sizes and my country founded a bi-partisan ability to serve others varies with the coalition to expand volunteerism in stage of life in which I find myself. their communities. The Cities of That’s the beauty of volunteerism. It’s Service Coalition was in part a flexible and adaptive to my changing response to President Obama’s Serve schedule and interests, and involved American Act. as I want it to be. As a child, my It also seeks to address the rising family visited the elderly at area needs of health and human service nursing homes. I call on the example organizations within communities. my parents established when my There is an ever-expanding gulf children and I take Christmas treats to the Poor Clare and Servant of Mary between citizenry needs and community agencies’ ability to meet nuns over our Christmas break. these needs. The Cities of Service We go just once a year, but the joy Coalition advocates grass roots brought by handmade cards and cookies is significant. I was privileged initiatives to call citizens to share


their talents and time to bridge this gap. To date, over 100 mayors, including Mayor Jim Suttle, have joined the coalition. Participating cities within the coalition decide what their particular priorities are. Mayor Suttle’s focus is three-fold: employment, education, and enforcement. During Omaha Serve’s development, it became evident that two areasneighborhoods and youth- were so intertwined with these three goals, that addressing them would in turn help perpetuate employment, education, and enforcement. The plan is an extensive one, but in a nutshell, Omaha Serves will help Omahans connect to service opportunities while creating volunteer opportunities targeting the city’s most urgent needs. It will offer support to existing non-profit organizations and public agencies to facilitate a more efficient use of volunteers as well as assessing the effectiveness of its programs. So what does this mean exactly? Omaha Serves is pairing up with the United Way, challenging Omaha citizens to commit to service. Case-Penrod likens this to health challenges that call on participants to make small changes- take the stairs instead of the elevator, eat one additional fruit a day, go to bed 30 BUILDING A STRONGER CITY THROUGH VOLUNTEERISM PHOTOS COURTESY OF OMAHA SERVES HABITAT WOMEN’S BUILD FACING PAGE: TOP LEFT ASSISTANCE LEAGUE FACING PAGE: BOTTOM LEFT BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS FACING PAGE: TOP RIGHT HERTA IMMEDIATE LEFT KELLER WILLIAMS RED DAY HANSCOM PARK CLEANUP FOLLOWING PAGE


for more information about volunteer opportunities in our community, visit google cities of service, omaha serves, serve america act, rockefeller foundation, mayor jim suttle, kirsten casepenrod, my community, our children, mentoring, lemonade days, volunteerism, neighborhood revitalization minutes earlier- that reap huge collective benefits. Likewise, the service challenge asks citizens to consider small ways they can change the landscape of their neighborhoods. Small acts requiring little or no time are easy to incorporate into busy lives. Area shelters are always in need of coffee, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. When you are doing your weekly shopping, pick up an extra container of coffee, bottle of bleach, or package of razors. Keep a little stock pile in your basement and then deliver your donation to an area mission. Invite your friends to do the same. Or simply check in with an elderly neighbor to see if she needs anything at the store before you go, suggests Case-Penrod. You can affect change without donating large sums of money or investing large blocks of time. If you are looking for a more formal method of volunteering, consult the United Way’s website. It offers an online matching tool that pairs volunteers’ interests and availability with area service opportunities. In addition to connecting volunteers with existing programs, Omaha Serves is launching three new volunteer opportunities: My Community, Our Children; Lemonade Days; and Neighborhood Revitalization.

My Community, Our Children is a mentoring program which seeks to recruit 500 new, diverse mentors for area youth. Case-Penrod says the typical mentor is a middle-aged, white woman with a college education. My Community, Our Children hopes to expand the mentor profile to include more men and different age and economic backgrounds. It also will provide more short-term mentoring opportunities that could then develop into long-term relationships. Case-Penrod says people often shy away from becoming a mentor, fearing the time commitment. But there are many short-term projects - Lemonade Days being a prime example -that are available for those who like working with young people but may not have an extended period of time to commit. Lastly, My Community, Our Children works to strengthen existing mentoring programs through ongoing support like mentor recruitment, background checks, and training. “Lemonade Days is a national program that capitalizes on the power of engaging kids in building a business plan,” says Case-Penrod. It pairs an adult mentor with a child to plan and implement a kid-friendly business- the lemonade stand. The two develop business strategies

and carry out their plan on the first Saturday in May. “Angel Investors” provide all the necessary materials, thus removing any economic barriers that might prevent a child from participating. Financial literacy is woven in; participants save a third of their earnings, return a third to the community with a charitable donation, and keep a third for their own discretionary spending. Strong neighborhoods are the backbone of a strong city. Omaha Serves partners with neighborhood associations in the Listening Project to identify neighborhoods’ specific needs and then develop strong service projects accordingly. Because volunteers who serve the community in which they live have an intimate connection to their neighborhoods, our goal is to have half of the volunteers come from the neighborhoods to transform the neighborhoods, Case-Penrod explains. And that is the crux of volunteerism: engaging in service you care about. “Omaha already has a strong call to service,” Case-Penrod says. It is why the city was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation grant which funds Omaha Serves. This initiative hopes to mobilize the community in a way it has not in the past. “Nobody is immune from needing help right now,” asserts Case-Penrod. “And everybody has something to give.” We are all busy, so why add one more thing to our endless “To-Do” lists? Because volunteering enhances the quality of a community, and studies have shown that giving of ones self improves a person’s overall health. It’s a win-win situation. But then again, most volunteers know that they receive much more than they give. So participate in one of the many opportunities to give back to your community this holiday season. Then continue seeking ways, no matter how small, to make a difference throughout the coming year. You’ll be glad you did. m

unique. C aptivating. inspiring. 2011

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metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha



destination midtown

omaha community playhouse



ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW: The mission of Destination Midtown is to create a premier urban environment where people want to live, work, shop and play. Its vision is to establish a nationally-known, vibrant and distinct urban environment that promotes economic development activities, advances neighborhood goals and forges unique partnerships. Destination Midtown wants the community to realize its full potential and help in its stages of achieving that potential.

MISSION STATEMENT: The Omaha Community Playhouse’s mission is to enrich the community through great theatre. HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Those who are interested are encouraged to call (402) 553-4890 ext. 110 or e-mail for more details or to join. “YP” CONNECTION AND QUALIFICATIONS: The Playhouse has an exclusive Rising Star subscription package for young adults between the ages of 21 and 35. These subscribers enroll for $25 per season and then enjoy up to two tickets for each regular season production for only $10 each.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: Project teams consist of a small group of subject-matter experts who volunteer their time to assist with a specific project. Destination Midtown's current program of work involves efforts in business district planning and implementation, large and small-scale economic development, business outreach and infrastructure improvements. For more information about volunteer opportunities, visit

ACTIVITIES/EVENTS THAT THE GROUP IS INVOLVED IN: Rising Stars are invited to a pre-show Curtain Club Party during each production. It is only $5 to attend and includes unlimited drinks and hors d’oeuvres. The Rising Star subscription package is available throughout the entire season online and at the box office. WEBSITE:


justine petsch UPON BEGINNING MY CAREER WITH MUTUAL OF OMAHA BANK AND MOVING TO OMAHA, I wanted to continue my involvement with various service organizations. I felt becoming directly active in the Omaha community would help me integrate and develop new ties, along with gaining a better understanding of unique characteristics and resources that the area has to offer. I have always been passionate about Kiwanis and that has continued through my move to the Omaha community. Kiwanis is a service organization that focuses on helping children through service leadership programs, the back-pack program and other initiatives, such as Kids-Against-Hunger. I have enjoyed working with high school


community banker MUTUAL OF OMAHA BANK kids from the greater Omaha area through Key Leader–a leadership development experience. My favorite Kiwanis initiative is Kids Against Hunger, a campaign to diminish childhood poverty. KAH is an opportunity to use your hands in service–creating nutritional meal bags for families in need. In addition to Kiwanis, I am also actively involved in Teammates Mentoring, Leadership Nebraska, Greater Omaha Chamber, Greater Omaha Young Professionals and Team In Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Volunteer service work is an important part of my career and professional development, as well as a personal passion. The main benefits I derived from volunteer service work are helping others, developing my skills and connections to take on greater leadership roles in the future and what I learn from working with a diverse group of other professionals that have similar interests and concerns.

metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

metroMagazine •

community’s greatestasset?

what is the

jill pietrocini interior designer • 36 FLUFF YOUR STUFF INTERIOR REDESIGN MY HUSBAND AND I TRANSPLANTED HERE FROM CLEVELAND, OHIO, within the last year and have quickly come to love Omaha. Although we live in West Omaha, we have ventured to all parts of the city and coming from Cleveland, venturing to all parts of the city takes no time at all! We love that! I believe the greatest asset is not the shopping, and yet, I have done some serious damage as a new home owner and an interior designer. Maybe it is the shopping! The greatest asset is not the restaurants, and yet, our list of restaurants we have not yet tried is dwindling quickly. Maybe it is the restaurants! The greatest asset is not the entertainment, and yet, we are on most theatres "upcoming events" list and have brought our kids to all of the museums.....not to mention the best zoo on earth. Maybe it is the entertainment! No, the greatest asset of this community is the warm, welcoming personality of its people. Call it midwest hospitality, call it southern charm, call it northern appeal-whatever you call it, my family and I have come to love Omaha and, more importantly, its people.

tom worthington shareholder • 31 MCGRATH NORTH MULLIN & KRATZ, PC LLO ONE OF OMAHA’S GREATEST ASSETS IS THE WILLINGNESS AND ABILITY OF OUR COMMUNITY TO COLLABORATE to achieve otherwise unattainable accomplishments. Many professionals such as myself choose to live in Omaha because it provides similar opportunities that beckon some of our colleagues to Chicago, Denver and beyond, yet still allows us to live and raise our families in Omaha’s “small town” environment. A great deal of these outstanding opportunities are a result of remarkable acts of community collaboration. Consider the successes resulting from Omaha’s publicprivate partnerships over the last decade. These collaborative partnerships have created breakthrough facilities such as the Holland Performing Arts Center, Qwest Center Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park. In addition to the economic development benefits that these venues facilitate, there is no denying that Omaha is a more attractive place to call home as a result of the programs and events that these facilities offer. From an employment perspective, Omaha’s collaborative nature provides opportunities to quickly develop expertise by working side-by-side with our community’s most gifted and recognized professionals. From our Fortune 500 companies to our vibrant start-up scene, Omaha’s savvy group of established business leaders are generous with their time to ensure that their talents and experiences are shared with the community.

stephanie sharp manager • 30 ALEGENT HEALTH THE CITIZENS OF OMAHA ARE ITS GREATEST ASSET. In very few places will you find a greater proportion of the residents taking an active interest and involvement in their community. Omahans feel a sense of connectedness to each other and to the City, which is unique. As many have said, Omaha is a big small town, which proves that the connectedness people feel as residents is tangible. Community engagement and connectedness go hand-in-hand and allow residents of Omaha to flourish in all aspects of their lives. This engagement is the foundation for creating positive social change in any community. Omahans bring their own perspective and expertise to issues in the community, and this expertise contributes a great deal toward the quality of decisions we make. Omaha is poised for prosperity and growth for this reason. In addition, Omaha has provided a foundation that allows for and encourages community engagement. Organizations such as the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals Council are providing a platform for Omaha’s future leaders to voice their opinions on important community issues. By encouraging the involvement of this segment of the population, Omaha is making an investment in its future and ensuring that there will be motivated leaders to guide the City in years to come.

shinnice guydon sales support specialist • 24 TD AMERITRADE I BELIEVE OUR COMMUNITY'S GREATEST ASSET WOULD BE THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THIS STATE A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE. The people here animate through the phrase of truly having "good 'ole Midwestern values." There is a nice mix of different nationalities, good schools and several universities in the area. The education and culture is here, including an active arts community. The best thing about the people is they lean towards being honest, friendly, welcoming and caring. Omaha is consistently ranked the "nicest city in America.” That ranking goes beyond character and shows the respect that we carry for one another. Respect is an ideal that should be sought after for just that reason. In our community the value is there, and you can find it in the workplace, events or even just walking down the street. I think it literally translates to all aspects of life; how we are treated by employers, friends, family, corporations. Those traits make it a no-brainer why companies choose to invest resources and time to build a presence here. The people and these corporations that help better our community is what really exemplifies our greatest asset as a community.

Suffice it to say, Omaha’s willingness and ability to collaborate has created an abundance of opportunities, and likely holds the key to our continued growth and success.


metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

Look Who’s Sheltering Shelter Pets!

Save the Date!

Camp Kindness Sign up begins March 14th Kids who love animals shouldn’t miss Camp Kindness. These summer day camps run in week-long sessions June through July at the Nebraska Humane Society. Children get a behind-the-scenes look at our surgical suite, talk to dog trainers and learn about wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in a fun and heartwarming atmosphere. Sessions fill up fast, so sign up hassle free on line at

Plants for Pooches April 28th & 29th We’re offering our annual plant sale on Thursday and Friday this year-, so you can purchase your plants and then use the weekend to get them in the ground! Join us on our front walkway for this fun garden party. We’ll have beautiful hanging baskets, tropicals and bedding plants grown especially for the Nebraska Humane Society by Canoyer Garden Center. Check our website for more details

Dining with Dogs April 30th

Ibby and John Hancock with Wylie and Daphne

Ibby and John Hancock Ring the door bell at Ibby and John Hancock’s house and you are greeted by excited scrabbling inside. Daphne is in the house! This 5-year-old Wheaton terrier is the newest family member in a long line of shelter dogs. “Daphne is perfect,” says Ibby, “she came to us beautifully trained after being given up by her family who could no longer keep her.” Daphne greets all visitors with unbridled enthusiasm. “She has never met a stranger,” says John, “and her tail never stops.” Daphne joins 16-year-old Wylie, a basenji mix who was a tiny three-legged pup when Ibby saw him at the old shelter. “He had just had his leg removed and he was having difficulty on the slick floor. I couldn’t leave him there! He came home with me and has been a family member ever since.” This is no surprise. Ibby and John have had a soft spot for animals and supported NHS for years. Although Wylie has slowed down, he still holds his own with Daphne, even when she’s encouraging him to play. “He gets this martyred look of patience on his face, and then he’ll just settle down and ignore her.” It’s obvious that these two dogs are living the good life, adore their owners and know they are indispensable to Ibby and John. gives you all the info!

This event was so successful the first year we did it, that we’ve gotta do it again! It’s a dinner that goes to the dogs--literally. You and Fido are invited to yappie hour and dinner at Coco Key Resort in their convention center ballrooms. Three Dog Bakery provides the finest yappy-tizers and mutt-inis for Fido and then it’s on to dinner and night of fun. Get a table of friends together and enjoy a doggone great time. More details on line at

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

THE summer showcase of local designers and a huge supporting cast


that has become OMAHA FASHION WEEK has already stamped itself a must-see for anyone wanting to be plugged-in with Omaha culture. For the second consecutive year OFW’s holding a SPRING PREVIEW RUNWAY SHOW.

On March 19 at Nomad 14 area designers will show their distinct lines, ranging from street to formal wear. Some designers are familiar names with followings in the community and previous appearances at Fashion Week. Others are just emerging, looking to make their first splash. Omaha young professional couple NICK AND BROOK HUDSON are two members of the team that make OFW go.

Unlike the sprawling grand finale of the summer Fashion Week, when thousands watch the outdoor extravaganza, the Spring Preview is a smaller, more exclusive indoor event at Nomad, 1013 Jones Street. “It has a different flavor from the show in the fall-summer,” said Hudson, owner of Nomad and one of the event’s founders. “It’s a more intimate, upscale show.” The featured designers were selected from more than 50 entrants. Each designer brings an aesthetic with an individual point of view. when launched four years ago out of nomad lounge in the old market, omaha fashion week struck some as an oxymoron or a joke. “fashion week in omaha? c’mon.” no one’s laughing now.

“This spring show is like a private, VIP preview of that talent,” he said, “to see what’s coming out of the winter and what the latest ideas and trends are from the design community.”

spring fling



metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha THE INTIMATE SETTING invites

interaction between designers and viewers. “Absolutely, it is a great opportunity for the public to talk to designers,” said Hudson. “All in all it becomes a great networking event for those most interested in style in town.” Hudson’s no stranger to the fashion scene. He has an international track record as a masstige beauty development consultant and marketer. The entrepreneur is also co-founder, with Creighton University, of Halo Institute, a business incubator that fits the nurturing model he’s taken with Fashion Week, which he and the creative team have made a resource for the fashion design community. THE FORMER BROOK MATTHEWS, a one-time MISS NEBRASKA, is a

fashionista in her own right. She’s marketing director for Creighton’s College of Business and founder of La Fleur Academy, a new finishing school in Omaha. Her role with Fashion Week is to help brand the event and give it legs for the future.

“I think it’s really looking at building relationships in the community that will help sustain Omaha Fashion Week long term,” she said. “It’s working with educational institutions to provide the education our designers need to move their businesses to the next level so that their participation in Omaha Fashion Week is not only sustainable for the community but for the designers themselves.” She and Nick would also like Fashion Week to continue cultivating the deep talent pool discovered here since the event debuted in 2008. “It’s just amazing how the talent keeps growing and expanding and we keep learning better ways of working with the talent, helping the talent, supporting them in their business and marketing efforts,” said Nick Hudson. “A big priority this year is going to be building on that and doing what we can to nurture skills and access to materials.” The couple said many promising designers coming into focus here reside in inner city North or South Omaha. A new segment emerging is rural Nebraska residents whose fabric-design experience comes through 4H programs. THE SPRING PREVIEW gives OFW an

added footprint and artists another opportunity to work their magic on the runway. As OFW matures, said Hudson, “we’re getting more and more attention because people are starting to recognize that Omaha Fashion Week is this incubator of different types of creative talent. It’s not just fashion, it links into all these other areas -- art, music, performance, hair, makeup styling, modeling, photography. I love how it encompasses all these different forms of creativity.”

Week is transitioning to 501(c)3 nonprofit status. This move is in line with a desire to become more of a resource to support creativity and design through everything from education to materials. Nick Hudson confirmed that OFW will continue to have charitable partners throughout the year, including the WOMEN’S FUND. SPRING PREVIEW SCHEDULE: 9 P.M. Fashionista Party, Hair & Makeup

Art Show kicks things off March 18. Tickets are $5. 6 P.M. VIP cocktail party precedes the 8

p.m. Spring Runway Show on the 19th. Tickets for the show/party are: $75 for front-row seating and $500 for cabana seating (up to 10). Complementary drinks included. GENERAL ADMISSION to the show

He said just as some local designers have made waves outside Omaha, more local models are landiing national contracts, adding, “That’s very exciting.”

is $25. Tickets are limited.

OFW depends on local sponsors and designates a local charitable partner each year. In fact, Omaha Fashion

To learn more about this year’s

To purchase tickets, visit


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metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

IN S TY LE Noting Kate Spade as one of her latest favorite fashion designers, Suzanne’s style and fashion sense truly are the perfect blend of elegant and modern. Timeless influences make their way into her every day wardrobe as a student at Notre Dame and also into the various social commitments bestowed upon this gracious 114th Queen Ak-Sar-Ben. But of all things that ring true– and come through during an interview– Suzanne is dedicated to the mission of her role as Queen and to the responsibility of creating a legacy. Suzanne is deeply committed to the philanthropic spirit of Omaha. And so the fashion story goes– done right, classic clothes lend an air of timelessness to their wearer without overwhelming her personality. And this personality shines through– and likely will continue to shine in the years to come, as she adds to the foundation for future Queen’s through the Queen’s Legacy Fund. From the selection of a princess ball gown to who has influenced, and what currently influences her style, Suzanne shared some time with us while on winter break. We asked her to describe her individual style and what she is most looking forward to accomplishing this year as Queen.

Q. Describe your style. A. Class and convenience. College life in Indiana is freezing cold. My staple is a cute big jacket and I love to have fun with lots of colorful scarves. I always aim for polished and for staying nice and warm! I’ve had the opportunity to attend various Ak-Sar-Ben events and have found my style to be very traditional and classical. I gravitate toward and love to wear dresses. Kate Spade is a favorite– with her signature pretty prints and simple lines. Q. Who has influenced your style? A. My grandmother. She has impeccable style that is classic and timeless.

ALL THINGS CULTURE: Magazines. I am a first glance page turner, taking in the fashion first and foremost. I go through magazines incredibly fast– to quickly take it all in. Then go back through to see what most inspires me. Traveling. I love to travel and see fashion– New York and Los Angeles recently. Really just seeing what people are wearing inspires me. T&E. Good old fashioned trial and error often influences my style. I like to be experimental.

Q. What is your most favorite item in your closet? A. I have a pair of black suede booties that I wear almost every night. They are incredibly versatile– I can wear them with jeans or leggings. My staples are simple tops and jeans and my booties. They are great in the snow and I can dress them up or down. Q. Define Ak-Sar-Ben style. A. Classical and traditional. I think of my ball gown when I think of AkSar-Ben style– when choosing my dress we looked at old pictures and took pieces from every dress we could. I really tried to tie classical and professional together. Most importantly I knew I was representing my family, who I am, and all that I hope to accomplish. Q. What are you most looking forward to as the Queen? A. Representing the future. I am hoping to develop a Queen’s Legacy Fund, that will focus on the Queen’s philanthropic interest and mission– a project driven by the Ak-Sar-Ben Queen each year. My goal is to start the foundation for the queen to work on a project they care and are passionate about. I look forward to beginning the future. I’d like to take this opportunity and use it for good in both Omaha and with the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben. Classic style is definable, and so too is Suzanne’s mission for this coming year as Queen Ak-Sar-Ben.

suzanne singer Omaha’s 114th Queen Ak-Sar-Ben



metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

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restoring H I S T O R Y


metroMAGAZINE • MAY 2010


TURNER PARK, in the 80s and 90s (like a once-polished gentleman who had fallen on rough times, with frayed collars and perpetual five o’clock shadow) had seen better days. There were the odd Mutual of Omaha employees enjoying alfresco, brown bag lunches, rubbing proverbial, not literal, elbows with everyone from the homeless and itinerant workers currently unemployed, to drug dealers pushing their goods, to young mothers pushing strollers. Dining options along Farnam Street were limited to Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Chicago Bar. The “modern” Twin Towers and a number of red brick, pre-war apartment complexes along Dodge and circling Dewey Park provided the area’s living accommodations. Retail, other than the fabulous Frank’s Antiques, was non-existent. Turner Park was ripe for renovation. At least that is what Midtown’s neighborhood associations, businesses, residents, and city leaders thought. When these Destination Midtown representatives met at Mutual of Omaha in 2002, it marked the beginning of the MIDTOWN CROSSING project.

Mutual of Omaha, at the same time, was considering alternative uses for its surplus land directly east of its headquarters. DAN NEARY, MUTUAL CHAIRMAN AND CEO, says, “We wouldn’t be doing our duty as a corporate citizen if we didn’t explore the maximum potential for this property. As a leader in Destination Midtown, we know our neighborhood is primed for revitalization.” And revitalized it was. Construction on the million-square-foot retail and residential space and reincarnated Turner Park began in September 2007. The years of discussion and feasibility studies, breaking ground and hauling dirt, erecting seven buildings and filling them with tenants drew to a close when Marcus Midtown Cinema became the first business in MIDTOWN CROSSING. The flood gates were open. New tenants continue to fill vacant store fronts; those looking for an upscale, urban living experience have already filled Midtown Crossing’s apartments, and condo sales have been brisk.

“A big component of Midtown Crossing is The project conducted an extensive our residential living,” says Skold. study of the neighborhood, seeking “NEARLY 100 PERCENT OF ways to both stabilize and revitalize APARTMENTS ARE LEASED; the area, says MOLLY SKOLD, we currently have a waiting list.” DIRECTOR OF MARKETING FOR MIDTOWN CROSSING. The study Condo sales exceeded 2010 goals. revealed that there was a strong In fact, the condos in Midtown Crossing market for the development of a “are the fastest selling condo product in mixed-use neighborhood incorporating Omaha history,” Skold states. Sales are living, retail, dining, entertainment, currently limited to Phase One, Building and service outlets all within walking 4,the main middle unit of Midtown distance of one another. Crossing, with approximately 97 condos. continued




metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

ha a m o r e t rea g o t t r o p your pass

midtown crossing is a wonderful marriage of old favorites… combined with exciting, first-to-market chains…. that mixture is what makes us unique. ~ MOLLY SKOLD,


a visionary group of citizens and developers have collaborated to reincarnate the turner park area as a central residential and commercial “hub” that’s the envy of other cities, and deserving of its title


destination: MIDTOWN CROSSING continued

Close to 30 percent of the units in Phase One have been sold. THOSE CALLING MIDTOWN CROSSING HOME primarily belong to two demographics: young professionals, mid-twenties through early thirties, with a little more discretionary income; and empty nesters, early fifties to early seventies. But those seeking the retail and entertainment options Midtown Crossing cross all demographic groupings. Families spread out their picnic blankets and enjoy an outdoor dinner while taking in live music during JAZZ ON THE GREEN. Foodies of all ages make the most of Nebraska’s growing season with trips to the weekend FARMER’S MARKET. There’s young spring salads in May, the first crop of beans in June, fresh honeydew in July, sweet corn in August, the perfect, vine-ripened tomato in September, and an assortment of fall’s root vegetables come September. High school and college students from all over the city flock to the Marcus theatre for 11:00 shows, long after their exhausted parents have retired to bed. MC’S restaurants draw guests from western Iowa, Omaha’s suburbs, and eastern Nebraska. It may be a cliché, but as with most clichés, it’s rooted in truth: there is something for everyone at Midtown Crossing. To date, approximately 80 percent of the 220,000 square feet of rental space has been leased. With anchors Marcus Midtown Theatre and Prairie Life Fitness Center, the development’s entertainment component is full. So are its restaurants and bars, many of which are new to the Omaha Market. Skold says management is looking to add soft goods opportunities, such as a barber shop, gift shops, and apparel stores, to round out the last 20 percent of vacancies. Developers conducted extensive marketing studies to determine what goods and services are needed for a diverse work, play, and living environment, says Skold. Results yielded the needed for an established, local grocery store to serve residents and visitors alike. The management team

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

approached Wohlner’s Grocery Store to inquire if the family owned and operated business would be interested in opening a second location in Midtown Crossing. The answer was an enthusiastic, “Yes,” and Wohlner’s opened its doors to the public in November 2010. Now residents can keep their car keys in their purses and pockets, walk to the market, and pick up ingredients for their evening meal. Don’t feel like cooking? Enjoy take-out from Wohlner’s extensive deli or eat in at the dining area. “Midtown Crossing is a wonderful marriage of old favorites like Delice bakery and Wohlner’s combined with exciting, first-to-market restaurant chains like Cantina Laredo from Dallas and Minneapolis’ Crave,” Skold states. “That mixture is what makes us unique.” Though the initial goal of developing the land adjacent to the Mutual of Omaha headquarters was to build up the midtown area and in doing so, to set in motion a ripple effect of further development of the city’s eastern neighborhoods, SUSTAINABILITY was also an important premise of Midtown Crossing. Developers wanted to create a green community, one where residents could walk to entertainment and services. Mission accomplished. Downtown Omaha Inc. awarded Midtown Crossing its Visionary Award for its sustainable practices. The country’s greenest restaurant (with interiors using reclaimed wood from old barns), the Grey Plume, calls the development home. It’s an urban village with an eye toward conservation, not consumption. Mutual of Omaha saw an opportunity to affect some much-needed change in its neighborhood. It made a promise to the community and made good on it. Despite a struggling economy in which construction ground to a halt throughout the country, the Midtown Crossing project “went full steam ahead,” asserts Skold, resulting in a “vibrant group effort to bring this area alive.” They’ve succeeded. AND THEN SOME. m

spring calendar: MIDTOWN CROSSING













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how it works: • metroMAGAZINE & Zongkers are both celebrating 20 years; in celebration of our anniversaries we’ve selected 10 finalists for our Table Giveaway Celebration. • A panel of judges including community business leaders, local celebrities and representatives from metroMAGAZINE and Zongkers have selected the 10 finalists based on the memories submitted. • Entries were submitted beginning November 12th through January 31st. • Finalists’ entries are now published at where voting is now 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 the winner in August. • metroMAGAZINE/Zongkers will document the design, production and delivery phases. Photos/video will be published in metroMAGAZINE and on All votes must be submitted through • 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.

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march 2011


Contents Home & Garden expo!


45th Home & Garden Expo Omaha Lawn Flower & Patio Show

GardeninG witH a pUrpose


Top 10 Gardening Trends for 2011


metrohome • MAR 2011



acres of home and garden ideas


await those who visit the 45th annual omaha home & garden expo by david williams

rom sod to stone and from scents to seedlings, the 45th Annual Omaha Home & Garden Expo offers a staggeringly “everything-but-the-kitchen-sink” array of all that you can imagine when it comes to innovative home and garden solutions, services and products. Wait a minute, though… there are also plenty of sinks to be found throughout the sprawling 200,000 square feet of space when 600 exhibitors greet you at the event (which has been an Omaha institution since 1967). And that’s just the short list, one that doesn’t even require us to stray beyond ‘s’ in the alphabet. Now combined with the Omaha Lawn, Flower & Patio Show, this traditional harbinger of spring (fingers crossed for a deep thaw) runs March 3 – 6 at Qwest Center-Omaha. Beautifully landscaped gardens complete with water features will be surrounded by oceans of “oohs” and acres of “aahs” that will stir the imagination as you strategize for both indoor and outdoor spring projects. Add to that non-stop entertainment, great food and big-name celebrity guests and The Expo signals an annual rite of passage when thoughts turn to the percussive pings of nail guns and the aroma of freshly turned soil. Special celebrity guests include Michael Moloney, the star of ABC’s smash hit “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Moloney will be bringing his eclectic, Emmy Award-winning sensibilities that have attracted such clients as Goldie Hawn, Candace Bergin and Rachel Hunter. And his impeccable fashion credentials have recently found him working with Joan Rivers on the TV Guide Channel’s “Fashion Wrap.” Here’s your red carpet chance to chat it up with the man who, week after week, delivers extreme dreams through extreme makeovers for people in need. Moloney appears Saturday at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Thinking of what to do with the kids? Bring them along all weekend, but especially for this one. DeCarlo is also the familiar voice of the hapless Hugh Neutron on the Nickelodeon series “Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius.” DeCarlo appears Thursday at 7 p.m. and again on Friday at both 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Also on hand will be some of Omaha’s most recognized faces participating in the 2011 Celebrity Design Room Showcase, the expo’s opportunity to honor home-town contributions to the community. Raising awareness on special causes, Dr. Lee Simmons of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Omaha Zoo Foundation will be joined by 2010 Mrs. Nebraska Courtney Vacanti-Birnstihl, actor John Beasley (Hollywood’s Rudy and television’s “Everwood”), founder of the John Beasley Theater and Workshop, and Anne Boyle of the Nebraska Public Service Commission. Designers participating in the Showcase include LaDonna Eriksen of Interiors by Design, Rich Anderson of Niche in the Old Market, Gloria Groves of Gloria’s Elegant Interiors and Consulting, and Lori Anderson of Anderson Interiors in Rockbrook. With any number of surveys showing that gardening is America’s #1 leisure time activity, the Omaha Home & Garden Expo welcomes back Justin Hancock, Better Homes and Gardens’ editor of Also getting his hands dirty will be Pat Stone, co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul” and former “CBS This Morning” garden correspondent, whose talks have been described as “hilarious one minute, inspirational the next.” Other garden highlights include seminars on container gardening, projects for kids, getting started and avoiding mistakes. The Omaha Home & Garden Expo is hosted by Mid-America Expositions, the family-owned business that is now entering its sixth decade of managing door-busting events. “As with all of our efforts,” said Mid-America President Mike Mancuso, “we’re proud of the rich traditions of this Expo. People enjoy browsing products that everyone needs with ideas to improve and maintain our homes. It is important because the home is our largest investment and it’s where we spend so much time with family.”

Joining him is Mark DeCarlo, the popular host of the Travel Channel’s “Taste of America” and author of “A Fork on the Road: 400 Cities 1 Stomach.” For four seasons, DeCarlo rode the road less traveled in uncovering the sort of The emphasis is always on the new and innovative at the stories that celebrated how down-home recipes triumph over Omaha Home & Garden Expo, but it’s not the place to think mass produced mush in the great American melting pot of “new” in terms of your choice of footwear. Grab the most culinary delights. comfortable pair you have for this pedometer-spinning workout.


metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011






metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha



SHOW OPENING WITH MAYOR ED ZORINSKI WITH GUY & RALNA OF THE LAWRENCE WELK TELEVISION SHOW, PERFORMERS AT THE 1975 SHOW Picture the final scene of the first film in the “Indiana Jones” franchise (the one that has the Arc of the Covenant being wheeled through a cavernous warehouse) and you’ll get the mind-bending immensity of what awaits at the Expo. The 45th Annual Omaha Home & Garden Expo Thursday, March 3rd through Sunday, March 6th Qwest Center-Omaha Adults $7, Kids 12 and under $3.50, Free for 5 and under m

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha



top 10 trends: gardening with a purpose takes root


ut on your garden gloves and join in the fun because “gardening with a purpose” is taking root. The purpose may be to grow your own food or create urban sanctuaries, but planting for a greener good is changing neighborhoods and communities - one garden at a time. According to the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, homeowners are growing more of their own food more herbs, vegetables and fruit trees - both in dedicated vegetable gardens and mixed in the garden among flowers and shrubs. But it’s not just food production that’s driving today’s gardener. As backyard conservationists, gardeners are transforming yards, gardens, rooftops and even urban alleys into green and productive spaces. Here’s a glimpse of what Susan McCoy, garden trend spotter, sees for 2011. gardening with a purpose Nine out of 10 households want to manage their lawns and gardens in an environmentally friendly way, according to the National Gardening Association. “Gardens continue to reflect awareness of how our landscapes enhance and improve the environment around us,” Patricia St. John, president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, says of this trend. Since healthy plants start with healthy soil, people are looking for sustainable and organic soils like OMRI-listed, compost-based, premium-blend potting soil from Organic Mechanics Soil Company. This all-purpose premier blend is good for all your plants and good for the earth.

sustainable containers For small space gardens, growing food in containers makes sense. Blended containers with herbs and veggies provide a onetwo combo for freshness and convenience. And, containers blooming with natives, re-bloomers and ornamental grasses beautify spaces and benefit the environment.

succulents Dry gardening using less water is bubbling across the nation. Attractive and low-maintenance succulents have showy flowers and thick, fleshy foliage that stores water like a camel’s hump. Drought-tolerant and able to thrive in a variety of conditions, succulents look great in small gardens and large landscapes. Get ideas from Costa Farms on varieties that you can mix with perennials, containers and standalone or in roof gardens.

indoor gardening From “steampunk” Victorian hipster decor rocking among young urbanites to upscale suburban homes, decorating with houseplants like orchids, ferns and palms is hot. Chic and easy to grow, orchids add a lavish touch to any room. Plus these hardworking beauties clean indoor air of volatile organic compounds and provide oxygen. Phalaenopsis (moth) orchids as well as other varieties are perfect choices for affordable, colorful plants that look as comfortable in 21st century homes as they did in Victorian days. To learn more about the health benefits of indoor houseplants, check out

growing up with vertical gardening “Vertical gardens are becoming increasingly popular and will grow far beyond anything we can envision,” says Joe Zazzera, with Plant Solutions, Inc. and Green Plants for Green Buildings ( “Businesses are seeing the productivity, environmental quality and return on investment that indoor plantings and vertical living walls are bringing to their projects.” From containers with climbing vines, flowers and veggies to vertical walls blooming with edibles, plants are growing up.

urban farming and csas In step with the move to reinvigorate communities, urban farming and Community Supported Agriculture farms (CSAs) are springing up nationwide. Urban farming “micro-farms” are converting small spaces in blighted areas into thriving farms that grow fresh produce for inner city communities. CSAs offer fresh produce and provide the chance to learn about varieties, maintaining plants and sharing experiences.

new urbanism Sustainable urban communities that offer spots to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle are on the rise. Planting water-wise plants, collecting rainwater, building walkable streets, and fostering diversity of shops, homes and apartments with less turf and more plants encourages better stewardship of the earth, and reconnects everyone as fellow stewards of resources and communities. “We had trouble wrapping our heads around saving the rain forests,” says McCoy, “But we clearly can wrap our arms around saving our own backyards. Digging and planting gardens brings awareness that we’re all earth’s caretakers.”

For a complete look at the Garden Media Group 2011 Garden Trends visit: Content for this article provided by ARA.


metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

non-violence ahimsa ahimsa:


“non-violence is simply organized love.” ~ Joan Baez

Every year, I set goals and devise strategies to help myself accomplish my goals. Historically, my goals were somewhat traditional in that they were, physical fitness achievements or financial achievements. In recent years, my goals have determined how I’ve set my objectives with regard to my yoga teacher training. Rather than trying to achieve a certain weight or a certain number of dollars in the bank, my goals have become about how I related with others and how I spend my time. The yamas and niyamas are the guiding principles for yoga. In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali identified five yamas (restraints) and five niyamas (observances). The yamas and niyamas are a form of moral imperative. The yamas and niyamas are relatively simple concepts. The yamas include non-violence (love), truthfulness, non-stealing, moderation and non-possessiveness. The niyamas include cleanliness, contentment, discipline, self-study and devotion to a higher power. The yama that I have chosen to focus on for in recent months is that that of ahimsa, non-violence. The practice of ahimsa develops love. Ahimsa is pure, cosmic love. It involves developing an attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is forgiveness and it is true strength. I am finding the path of truly achieving ahimsa, a challenging but rewarding path. The most significant change that I am finding as I pursue ahimsa is an improvement in relationships of all kinds.

ASK HOW YOU CAN BE A BETTER PARTICIPANT IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS Earlier this year, while flying home, I picked up a magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. The article I read suggested that we change our goals away from such goals as “How I can be better heard” to “How I can be a better participant in relationships.” The article suggested asking your spouse how you can be a better spouse, asking your employees how you can be a better boss, asking your children how you can be a better parent and asking your parent how you can be a better child. Admittedly, I found the thought of posing that question to friends, family and co-workers downright frightening. I came up with a less comprehensive approach than that suggested in the article. I chose a couple key relationships and asked, “If I were to do

One thing that would improve our relationship, what would that be?” By asking for one suggestion, the person being asked usually gave it some thought, rather than giving me a laundry list, and gave me one thing in a sincere way. I can work on one change in my behaviour rather easily and I find myself willing to do so. If I were given a long laundry list, I would likely make no effort and possibly give in to the sense of “nothing I do will ever be enough.” Surprisingly, the suggestions were not as difficult as I thought they might be. Usually, the person I approached reciprocated by asking the same question in return. Asking the question opened communication. Mutual effort has improved relationships.

FOCUS ON THE HERE AND NOW, SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS The only person that matters in this moment is the one you are with. The only moment that matters is now. Your future will be shaped by how you handle this moment in relation to the person you are with, even if you are simply with you. Consider who you hang out with. Are they friends or are they simply acquaintances? Are they people who have seen your dark side and love you anyway, or are they people who will jump ship if you lose your job or your spouse? Are they people who reciprocate affection and attention? Are you spending time with those who are available and really care about you, or are you spending energy pursuing those who are unavailable for whatever reason? When you are with one person, are you thinking about someone else? Focus on those who are available and those who are present. Life is truly very short.

LISTEN AT A DEEPER LEVEL A friend of mine is fairly new on a path of recovery from an addiction. One of my friends’ insights this year was to spend more time really listening and acknowledging what other people say. This seems patently obvious but it is amazing how rarely people really listen. My friend noted, “I only listened long enough to figure out what I wanted to say next. When I started to listen and acknowledge, I had real conversations.”

THANK THOSE WHO SERVE THE PUBLIC A few days before writing this article, I stopped at a Starbucks that I frequent regularly. For the four years I have been stopping there, my drink is ready and


with mary e. vandenack

perfect when I walk in. Almost all of the baristas know me by name. On the particular day I am mentioning here, the day was a holiday. The crew was double the usual size to serve the expected crowd. Despite the double crew, there was a line. Rather than waiting patiently on a busy day, one woman angrily berated the baristas, sought out the manager to complain and wrote a nasty comment card. One of the baristas was nearly in tears. I went over to the manager and made a point of letting him know how fabulous the service is there on a daily basis and how unfortunate that someone would complain on that particularly busy day. There are many people along our path each day who are making our day possible. Notice those who do. Say thank you more often. If the coffee isn’t quite right one day, leave a larger than usual tip knowing that those are the days the tip is most needed.

TEACHING NON-VIOLENCE TO OUR CHILDREN I am finishing this article shortly after the recent tragedy at Millard South. My family and many others were dramatically impacted by the events of January 5, 2011. In the weeks since the shooting, I have learned of many incidents of violence in our schools and among our children. Previously, I knew it was out there but I hadn’t been deeply touched by it. I now have and am dedicating a portion of my life to supporting the teaching of peaceful resolution of issues to our children. All of our actions and words are always teachers. When we engage in road rage or we are rude to a stranger, we are teaching and modeling violence. When we help someone who needs it or encourage someone who is struggling, we teach kindness. The one thing I am sure of is the deep need for love, kindness and compassion. Ahimsa, the practice of refraining from causing pain to others is a powerful force. Its practice develops love. “PRESENT YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH THEIR EULOGIES NOW - THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM AND APPRECIATE THEM FROM INSIDE THE COFFIN.”

metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

self yourauthenticself

the soul’s JOURNEY

“The authentic self is the soul made visible. An authentic life is the most personal form of worship. Everyday life has become my prayer.” ~ Sarah ban Breathnach Living in your authentic self is bringing the soul energy forward and

with dixie clark

Here are some questions to help you assess your Authentic Self status. Keep in mind there is no right or wrong answer. We tend to step in and out of our true self. It is our nature to continue to evolve and to open up to this energy. In other words, we can’t not get there. These questions can serve to help you identify areas you may want to strengthen.

holding the highest vision of who you are. It means going beyond the roles we play, what we do and our past conditioning, and really moving into our truth. Even if our life seems ordinary, there is nothing ordinary about the essence of who we are. We are multi-dimensional beings learning on many levels in this lifetime. With each situation, our soul gains experience as we continue to open to our own Divinity. Living in our authentic self is providing the vehicle for our soul’s expression. It is knowing that all of who we are is sacred. When we are being authentic, we have a self-awareness of who we are beyond what we do. We are connected with our feelings and beliefs and are able to express them without fear. We believe we have the right to make our own decisions, based on our own inner guidance. We accept all parts of ourselves and where we’re at, and also know that we’ve only touched the surface of our potential. We experience a certain vibrant energy as we allow this life force to flow through us.

While we’re in this physical body, we all have patterns that are blocking our authentic self from coming forward all the time. Here are a few:

• How comfortable are you making decisions for yourself? Do you listen to your own inner guidance, or do you wait to be told by someone else or wait for their approval? Do you block yourself in following through until you get a guarantee of success? • How aware are you of your feelings and intentions in a situation? How comfortable do you feel expressing them? • Do you feel safe in being who you are with your friends and family in new situations? Or, do you think you need to hold back and leave parts of you unexpressed? • What is your deepest heart’s desire? And, are you willing to pay the price to go after it? • Do you love who you are and what you bring to the world?

1. Lack of awareness: Lack of awareness can come from going on autopilot, of not being fully present in the moment, of living in the past or the future and not being aware of the present. This can also mean a lack of awareness of what we’re feeling, thinking or wanting in a situation and either not hearing or trusting the inner guidance that’s available. 2. Past conditioning: Past conditioning includes beliefs such as: everyone must approve of what I do; it’s not okay for me to be different or to stand out; I’m not allowed to go after or get what I want; conflict is dangerous, so I always have to keep the peace; other people’s needs always come before mine. 3. Heart shut down/energy blocked: Many times we shut down our hearts in order to protect ourselves or hold a grudge against ourselves or others. Whenever we surround ourselves in our own negative energy or block the powerful life force of loving from flowing through us, we are blocking our authentic self from coming forward.

We can set our intention to live in our authentic self and open to our soul energy. To make our decisions each moment based on what we know is right for us. To bring our loving forward and keep our hearts open. To allow ourselves to be spontaneous and outrageous and joyous, even if we look foolish to others. To live in the joy of each moment…no doubt, no questions…only flight. And, feel at peace, knowing we’re enough.

• When you’ve made a mistake, are you able to learn from it and move on? Or, do you dwell on it, feel guilty or try to put the blame on someone else? And, are you able to let go of the mistakes of others?

We can lose ourselves in others, become a chameleon to keep the peace, or become manipulative or aggressive in order to get our way. None of those are being authentic. Our authentic self has no need to hide and no need to defend or justify. We just are in each moment, bringing our best selves forward forgiving ourselves when we miss the mark, knowing it’s all part of learning who we are.


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 • MAR 2011

leading & LIVING • apogee group metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha




I have been a fan of the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim for more than forty years. His sly, bittersweet sense of relationships, attachments, longing and the frightened heartbeats change inspires have captured me and millions of others. I’ve seen productions of Company, Sweeney Todd , Follies, A Little Night Music and so many others all over the world. I was, therefore, excited to receive the recent DVD release of Evening Primrose, which hasn’t been available since ABC presented it in the fall of 1966– 44 years ago. Television critic David Bianculli reminds us that “Evening Primrose is kind of a Twilight Zone episode set to music. And that makes sense, as it is based on a short story by John Collier whose creepy, fanciful tales inspired not only episodes of The Twilight Zone, but a handful of Alfred Hitchcock Presents installments as well.” Evening Primrose is about a young poet in New York City who decides to avoid both pressure and rent by moving into a department store, hiding during the day and living there rent– free at night. It turns out he’s not the first to have that idea– and the other residents have some very firm opinions about who gets to stay, and how to dispose of those who don’t.

In one of the more poignant songs, Ella, (a young “resident” of the night), sings to Charles (the poet), of her hunger to escape and see the world again, to have “a day of sky.” It’s a hymn to life and a rebuff to what we often see as a vast, frozen indifference to life. She sings, “I Remember”:

I remember sky. It was blue as ink. Or at least I think I remember sky.

To find your “day of sky” I have two proven ideas.

I remember leaves, Green as spearmint, Crisp as paper. I remember trees, Bare as coat racks, spread like broken umbrellas And parks and bridges, Ponds and zoos, Ruddy faces, Muddy shoes, Light and noise and bees and boys And days. I remember days, Or at least I try. But as years go by They’re a sort of haze. And the bluest ink Isn’t really sky. And at times I think I would gladly die For a day of sky.

In this winter where “the ice, like vinyl, on the streets/cold as silver/white as sheets” pushes thoughts of Spring renewal to the end of the still-tobe-shoveled driveway, how do we warm up and engage with the Now? It’s time to thaw, to arouse and startle your heart from its’ frozen lethargy. We too easily become seduced by our technology so we come to believe that our contact lists are our friends and our persistent emails our most urgent issues. As MIT social scientist, Sherry Turkle, cautions: “we expect more from our technology and less from each other.” The screen won’t change you. Connections will.

I remember snow, Soft as feathers, Sharp as thumbtacks, Coming down like lint, And it made you squint When the wind would blow And ice, like vinyl, on the streets. Cold as silver, White as sheets, Rain like strings and Changing things Like leaves.

At times in my life I have written poetry, been serious about painting and photography, and I’ve spent years trying to move from looking to seeing, from 5,000 ft. to 3 inches. I learned it wasn’t about technique, but instead about my courage to really be still, patient, and allow what I was seeing to come to canvas or paper. It was all about engagement. Instead of retreating into a darkened store, like Charles and Ella in Evening Primrose, I learned that it was about stepping into the full sunlight. 46

with roger fransecky

RECONNECT. I recently made a special effort to reach out to my oldest friend, now 82, whom I have known for over 50 years. Last week in Florida I drove a hundred miles to spend the day with him in the warm corners of Delray Beach. We shared three life chapters (when we worked in the same cities) all critical milestones of my career and life. We’ve often written to one another, but it was renewing to spend hours with him. I use the word “remarkable” too often, but my friend Cal is just that. And inspirational. After a distinguished career, he still lectures, teaches, is finishing a book, all the while as he continues to gently push people to deeper levels of engagement in life. On the same trip, I spent four days with my sister, my only sibling, and her husband. We have always been close, but I’ve allowed schedules to push away time together. I won’t do that anymore. Virelle is a writer, speaker, mother and grandmother, and a loving wife to Steve for more than four decades. We both committed to not allowing unimportant things to keep us apart.

SAYING THANK YOU. Did your Mother insist you write a thank you note for a gift? Ours did. I have tried to keep it up with notes, and now emails, but electronic hugs aren’t the same. I recently discovered a wise little book by John Kralik, “365 THANK YOUS”, (New York: Hyperion, 2010), on his decision to write a thank you note each day to acknowledge the large and small gifts of attention, patience, forgiveness, and tough love he received. It’s a small book with a big message. In expressing thanks, his life changed. He discovered hope after loss and depression, and he found that gratitude opened him up to life and love as nothing had before. I just ordered some new thank you notes. Watch out... you may find one in your mailbox, for I am so thankful to each person I encounter for countless acts of appreciation, counsel, and wisdom.

Reaching out to those you have postponed, and expressing honest appreciation for the gifts others bring you will open up your “Day of Sky” in the coldest days of this or any Season.

Learn more about Roger Fransecky and the services available for developing your resources at

metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011


optimalLIVING • aristotle group

power of perseverance



“I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” ~ Christopher Reeve In May of 1995, Christopher Reeve’s life changed dramatically when a severe spinal cord injury left him paralyzed. As he fought to walk again, he led an international movement to help others living with spinal cord injuries and created the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation which has reshaped spinal repair research. How did Christopher Reeve accomplish so much after a life changing spinal cord injury? He was driven by the conviction that “nothing is impossible” providing an inspiring example of the virtue of persistence, perseverance, and industriousness. As one of the 24 character strengths in the Values In Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS)*, persistence is defined as voluntary continuance of goal directed action despite obstacles, difficulties, or discouragement. While perseverance does not guarantee success; in many cases it is not possible without it.

GRIT. Angela Duckworth a Psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, studies a form of tenacity termed grit. Grit is perseverance and passion for long term goals. It entails the determination to accomplish ambitious long-term goals despite failure, adversity, and plateaus in progress. Across numerous studies of accomplished individuals, persistence is a key driver of accomplishment. Grit has a number of positive benefits. First, persistence increases the probability of achieving difficult goals. Rarely are significant goals accomplished with ease. Setbacks, challenges, and periods of discouragement are often part of the journey. Persistence is the vehicle that allows progress when the journey gets tough. A second benefit of persistence is that it can enhance enjoyment and satisfaction once the goal is attained. Grit can help expand one’s skills and resourcefulness. As challenges are faced, innovation, enhanced skills and new abilities emerge. Finally, persistence generates confidence that our effort results in desired outcomes, an important concept termed self-mastery. From middle school participants in the National Spelling Bee to West Point cadets; from real estate agents to Wharton business school graduates, grit has been identified as a key ingredient to successful goal attainment.

Here is the great news! Grit is valuable for people at all levels of ability and is something that can be cultivated and strengthened. We have the ability to expand our capacity for persistence! Duckworth and colleagues have created “The Grit Survey,” an indicator of your personal level of grit. The survey takes just a few minutes to complete, is free of charge, and available at The results provide insight into your current level of grit. Can you have too much of a good thing? In some cases, yes. Examples of business and military failures demonstrate that persistence is not uniformly beneficial. There are times when it is best to abandon a course of action. The key is knowing when to persist and when to quit. For many of us though, increasing our ability to persevere provides a greater opporutnity for development than developing the ability to abandon a goal.

SO HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT GROWING AND STRENGTHENING GRIT? • Have passion for your goals. Passion fuels perseverance. In a powerful cyclical way, persistence also fuels passion. As you immerse yourself in pursuit of a complex goal your understanding increases and you become enlivened by it. So start by picking goals that you are passionate about. Christopher Reeve was passionate about walking again and helping others with spinal cord injuries. • Establish aggressive long term and attainable short term goals. Gritty people set challenging long term goals. With the longer term goal in mind, the next critical step is to set shorter term goals with moderate difficulty. These goals should be not so difficult that you are easily discouraged, yet not so easy that you do not have to put forth significant effort. Peak performance occurs along the edge of our skills. Setting smaller, more manageable goals helps to build confidence and fosters commitment to the task at hand. With each successful attainment your capacity increases as you move closer to your ultimate objective. Make sure to savor and celebrate each goal attainment, generating energy for the next phase of the journey. • Identify a role model. Pick an inspiring role model of perseverance and determination. Awe has been identified as a powerful method of personal change and growth. Leveraging a sense of awe in other’s accomplishments motivates perseverance in achieving difficult goals. • Adopt a growth mindset. Psychologist Carol Dweck identifies mindset as key to achieving our full potential. A growth mindset is the belief that your unique qualities can be cultivated through effort compared to a fixed mindset. • Practice. Just as marathon runners build their capacity through many shorter runs; you can build your capacity for grit. Kaizen is the Japanese term for continuous improvement. Businesses have found great success in practicing kaizen, a form of continuous improvement. With its focus on incremental (and often tiny) changes; kaizen transforms incremental change into monumental results.

Prior to his accident Christopher Reeve was best known his role as Superman, a fictional superhero. His life after the spinal cord injury is a real life example of a superhero. However, when asked about his life after the injjury, he reponded: “What I do is based on powers we all have inside us: the ability to endure; the ability to love, to carry on, to make the best of what we have– and you don’t have to be a ‘Superman’ to do it. When I work with clients on making change and achieving goals we often find that a tangible reminder supports continued progress toward the desired outcome. If you want to concentrate on expanding your own level of grit, consider purchasing a set of “Superman Tags.” Not only will they remind you to “go forward” but the $10 purchase goes directly to the Chrisopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. For more information and to order a set of tags, visit the foundation’s web site at *The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) is a self-report questionnaire that measures 24 strengths of character organized under six core virtues. The VIA-IS can be accessed free of charge at

Gordon Parry is the President of Aristotle Group, a firm dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and organizations achieve their full potential. In 2005, Gordon was one of 35 students selected globally to complete the first graduate program in the new field of applied positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. 47

with gordon h. parry

metroMAGAZINE • MAR 2011

planningMATTERS • with pvw law 48

estate planning under the

tax relief act of 2010

in the

final hours of 2010, Congress passed the Tax Relief Act of 2010. As part of that act, the estate tax continues for two more years with an exemption level of $5 million and a maximum tax rate of 35%. The key issue is that the extension is only for two years. The possibilities as of January 1, 2013 include (a) possible total repeal; (b) the 2011 and 2012 rules become permanent; (c) we have an ultimate sunset and return to the $1 million exemption level. Personally, I am making no predictions on this round. Planning in 2011 creates both opportunities and pitfalls.

Key planning opportunities are as follows: $5 MILLION EXEMPTION FOR ESTATE AND GIFT TAXES. For 2011 and 2012, we return to a unified credit for estate and gift taxes. Any donor (or later decedent) can transfer up to $5,000,000 to his or her heirs gift and estate tax free. For those individuals with assets well in excess of $5,000,000, the law presents an opportunity to consider aggressive lifetime gifts. The caveat of many advisors is a concern as to what will happen if there is a return to the $1 million dollar level. For those with an estate in the vicinity of the exemption amount, consideration must be given to whether there will be more benefit from a step-up in basis, which results with an at death transfer, than there will be from a lifetime gift. With respect to any estate plan, the higher exemption amount creates the opportunity to focus more on desired disposition of assets rather than avoiding estate taxes. Income tax planning becomes a more significant factor than estate tax planning.

PORTABILITY OF EXEMPTION. The law allows the executor of a deceased spouse’s estate to transfer any unused exemption to the surviving spouse. That is, if the first spouse to die has an estate of $2 million dollars, such spouse’s unused exemption will be by mary e. vandenack $3 million dollars. That exemption can be passed to the surviving spouse, who then has an $8 million dollar exemption. While some commentators view the portability of the exemption as a panacea and eliminating the need for trusts, my view is that the portability simply offers added flexibility but has limited usefulness in estate plans of those who have been married more than once and/or have children from various marriages. Even in the cases of first marriages, the available unused exemption is limited to the unused exemption of the most recent deceased spouse. Thus, if the surviving spouse remarries and is predeceased by her new spouse, the available transferred unused exemption will be that of the later spouse. MY RECOMMENDATION. For the next two years, I am not recommending dramatic changes to estate plans. I do recommend review. Most should review current disposition structure and consider whether there are any short term planning opportunities under the law as it exists for two years. For more information visit

todaysSAVINGS • swartzbaugh-farber & associates, inc. 49



of time as a young professional

with doug spongberg

how important is retirement and health care planning to you? Is health care or long term care more important than a fancy car? Do you believe you don’t have to educate yourself on available options until you get married or start a family or when you get sick? The fact of the matter is that planning at a young age will best position you for life’s many curve balls.

TAKE RETIREMENT FOR INSTANCE. You may know that you have a 401(k) available at work but do you know if your employer matches any of your contribution? Your employer may match a portion of your contribution after you have worked for them for a certain amount of time. Do you know what you need to contribute in order to ensure you are receiving the full employer match on your contribution? If the answer to the last question is no, it is time to do a little homework. If your employer matches three percent when you contribute six percent, your 401(k) would have to drop approximately 45% before you would lose any of your principal investment. Granted there are restrictions on your 401(k) funds; you can’t access the money until age 59 ½ without penalty except for hardship provisions and loans, but you are starting out at a 33% return on your money from day one. Unless you are a truly gifted stock broker, this investment can’t be beat. WHAT ABOUT YOUR HEALTH CARE COSTS? The cost of health care services is increasing at double digits annually. It is not uncommon to see health insurance premium increases in the 20% to 30% range. In most cases employers cannot absorb the entire increase thus the cost is passed to you, the employee, via increased deductibles, co-pay amounts, and co-insurance percentages. This is a traditional approach to keeping the cost to the employer relatively neutral or within budget constraints. You may be thinking that you are not sick and don’t go to the doctor, so why should your premiums increase? Insurance runs on the law of numbers: spread the cost of a few over a large number of insured. The key to finding the right health care plan for you is simple – evaluate your options and educate yourself on plan designs and the true cost of health care. One option that will help you understand how to be a smarter health care consumer is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Monthly premiums on an HDHP are generally less than standard PPO plans and monies contributed by the employee to the HSA are tax-exempt. All monies put into your individual HSA belong to you even if you leave your place of employment. Additionally, some employers will contribute on a regular basis to your individual HSA account as an incentive to enroll in the HDHP. This saves both the employer and employee money in reduced premiums. Don’t forget about the tax savings, it can be material. If you and your spouse have a joint taxable income of $75,000 in 2011 and contribute the family maximum of $6,150 to your HSA, your tax savings will be about $2,000 or a return of approximately 32%. So don’t underestimate the power of knowledge and time. The more you know and the sooner you act, the better you can position yourself for the future. For more information, please contact your trusted advisor at Swartzbaugh-Farber, Client Centered – Client Advocates™



Tell us your nominees for the Best Event in the following categories! Best 1st or 2nd Annual • Best Theme • Best Food & Wine • Best Musical Entertainment Best Special Guest Speaker • Best Education • Best Health • Best Fashion • Best Art Best Author • Best Under 500 in Attendance • Best Over 500 in Attendance Best Over 1000 in Attendance

For events presented between June 1, 2010 and May 31, 2011. Deadline to receive nominations is June 11, 2011. Fill out the Nominations Form at Details coming soon for the 5th Annual Presentation of “ The Big Event.”

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

celebrating the arts

the Blue Barn theatre { thrives in its 22nd season}

omaha • lincoln • council bluffs

new york

state of

DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE • 2009

by david williams

New York City is still dotted with the occasional brick street tucked away throughout Manhattan and its boroughs. Here in Omaha, the Old Market’s 11th Street also happens to be of the cobblestone variety. But that’s not where the otherwise scant similarities end between the two disparate towns, one a metropolis and the other a budding micro-opolis. All one need do to prove the point is look to the cities’ floodlit stages. Stroll along those 11th Street pavers and scale five cement steps– eight if you are approaching from the downhill side– and you’ll find yourself at the Blue Barn Theatre, a striking example of prairie theater delivered with a Gotham state of mind.

When friends come to visit from back east, they tell me that they are just bloWn aWay by

omaha’s arts community.} ~ Susan Clement-Toberer

“We’re a New York-born, Omaharaised theater that uses a bare roots approach to what we do,” said Susan Clement-Toberer, producing artistic director of the company that is now in its 22nd season. The Blue Barn was launched by a cadre of graduates from the State University of New York at Purchase Theatre Conservatory. The school is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top ten theatre incubators of creative talents. Clement-Toberer, a Seattle native and also a product of SUNYPurchase, headed west to join the organization a year after it was founded in 1989. continued



metroMagazine • MaR 2011


Blue Barn theatre

omaha • lincoln • council bluffs


“In New York,” she said, “there is a structure, a hierarchy of arbiters who can artificially limit and define how things work. There are no such barriers here in Omaha. No one has the power to define us here. We can define ourselves. There are no limits.” The Blue Barn operates on the smallest of budgets. Clement-Toberer is the only fulltime staff member and yet they somehow manage to conjure up the highest of production values every time the lights go down on work that is on par with that to be found five steps down and 1,140 miles to the east. “The Blue Barn has a long history of presenting the very finest in highquality work that attracts the area’s best artists,” said the Omaha Community Playhouse’s Carl Beck, artistic director of America’s largest community theater. TALK RADIO • 2010 “The intimacy of their Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol was amazing,” he said in citing how what may appear to be contrasts can also result in the most delicious of convergences. “Just look at it” he said of the 2010 treat, “a four-man show done on the barest of stages became as equally a compelling production of A Christmas Carol as any of us had seen or done.” That’s high praise from a company that knows more than a little about how to spin magic with the popular, pack-‘emin holiday classic. Critics, the box office and awards organizations seem to agree with Beck. The Blue Barn staging of Edward Albee’s stunning The Goat or Who is Sylvia earned 2010 best drama nods from both the Theatre Arts Guild and the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards. The previous year, Margaret Edson’s transcendent Wit was named best drama by voters of the Theatre Arts Guild. And last month’s Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards delivered a trio of acting nods for David Lindsay-Abaire’s riveting Rabbit Hole on top of sound and lighting design awards for Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. This means that the Blue Barn must now find five new spaces on an already crowded, elbow-to-elbow trophy shelf.




new york state of mind

AS FOR LIGHTER FARE? “Our comedies are just as important to us as our dramas,” ClementToberer said with a wink. Think here of David Sedaris’ hilarious SantaLand Diaries or the uber-campy Reefer Madness – The Musical. Back by popular demand, the musical that won five Theatre Arts Guild awards will return this June. Although the Blue Barn may point to New York for foundational influences, Clement-Toberer did a 180 on the map when asked to describe a mirror image of Omaha’s current cultural landscape. “The arts scene today reminds me a lot of Seattle when I lived there in the ‘80s. That was before things got so big there and it had that same raw, bare roots feel where young, fledgling artists found creative ways to do almost anything.”

no one has the poWer to define us here. We can define ourselves. there are no limits.”} ~ Susan Clement-Toberer


In small-ish town Omaha, she said, great wonders are often only footsteps away.

“When friends come to visit from back east, they tell me that they are just blown away by Omaha’s arts community, by what they can find at the Blue Barn and at places like the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and The Kaneko,” she said of neighboring cobblestone-girded institutions. “When Edie Falco helped us with a fundraiser a couple years ago, she was in awe of not just what we have built here with the Blue Barn, but of the entire Omaha scene.”

Up next for those who will jostle to sit in one of the theater’s 87 cinnamon-hued, velveteen seats is Three Tall Women, Edward Albee’s wickedly funny, Pulitzer Prize-winning serio-comedy, a look at the arc of one human life from the perspectives of three different generations. THE GOAT OR WHO IS SYLVIA? • 2008

metroMagazine • The Spirit of Omaha

{three tall women


march 10 through april 2, 2011 Blue Barn theatre 614 s. 11th st. thursday – saturday at 7:30 p.m. sunday performance march 20 at 6 p.m. no performances march 25 – 27 call 345-1576 for reservations}


20 years OF APPLAUSE

artfully speaking another opening! another show! The Annual Press Club Show pokes fun at politicians, officials and events of the past year in the metro!

It’s always a hot ticket, but this year is extra special as the Omaha Press Club honors Creighton’s Father John Schlegel in Schlegelkegger! Schlegel, who has done much for the university and the city, is stepping down and this tribute will be a high-spirited sendoff! My wife, Rebecca Noble, has been the music director of the show for the past three years. When longtime artistic director Howard Swain, Jr. retired this year, I was asked to take on this role. What fun it is and it’s all for a good cause! The Omaha Press Club Foundation awards scholarships to journalism students. Proceeds from the Press Club Show help fund these grants. You may wonder how this all comes together. Foundation member, Chris Christen, and her husband, Kurt Keeler, function as the show’s producers. They are responsible for every aspect of the production. A perennial group of writers gathers months before with the artistic team to discuss the vision and theme of the show. They go to work writing song parodies to familiar tunes lampooning metro events and personalities. Script writers take the submissions, choose viable numbers and craft a script. This script is constantly revised and tweaked until the night of the performance to make sure it is up-to-the-minute with current events and news. Shortly after the holidays, a general meeting and sing-through of the songs is held. All past participants are invited to attend; an open invitation is extended to the press club membership and others. To participate, one must be a member or must join the organization. Following this, auditions for solo or small group numbers are held. The entire group gathers again to kick off rehearsals with a read-through of the script and general notes on the directors’ vision for the entire show. Small and large group rehearsals follow up to the preview night and final performances. Without giving anything away, look for the honoree, Father Schlegel, to have a major part in the production. Hosted by barkeep, Gary Sadlemeyer, look for personalities like Mary Maxwell, Dave Nabity and Father Steve Boes to appear. Politicians, broadcast personalities and civic movers and shakers may show up unexpectedly. You may even find yourself smack dab in the middle of the show! The Omaha Press Club Show is Saturday, March 26, 2011 at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs. (An often-asked question is “Why is the Omaha Press Club Show in Council Bluffs?” The answer is two-fold. One is that the entire metro is involved and featured in the show; the other is financial consideration and recent tradition. The MAC is very accommodating to the organization and it is a fundraiser after all). Teri and Jack Diesing Jr. are the Honorary Chairs. For more information, visit It’s going to be a fun, fast and furious show full of laughs! Mark your calendars today! See you there!


g n i w o n k catholic charities

Changing Lives. Providing Hope.

Serving All.

st OPE is the state’s large MAHA CAMPUS FOR H O ing HE vid T pro y, ilit fac t ing en ord atm acc ency tre A HIDDEN TREASURE,” atient chemical depend of care at “CATHOLIC CHARITIESanISdsa nt Officer for inp al beds. Various levels me nti op ide vel res De , 1 ert 10 g pin op Gr support, wh ld d a an era n zg tio Fit ed gra nd thy nte fou Ka to lic Charities was lude community rei tho inc Ca y it. ilit rof treach fac ou n-p d the no an , old the 85-yearalth education et of $12,000 nce abuse/mental he vices, rting off with a budg sta ser sta , on sub 26 ati 19 ific in n a tox see ah de s ha Om cy in dition, emergen the organization ad y, da In To n. iate s. tio ed ilie uca erm fam ed 6 int 23 and serving rt-term and llion, serving nce a budget of $13.5 mi over 400 outpatient treatment, sho sta to d sub g an rrin exp cu et -oc dg co bu its agency engages atment, as well as e tre Th le. al ls. ilab nti ua ide ava ivid res are ind ts 0 over 75,00 orders treatmen serves the 23 used and mental health dis board members and ab d use an for ab ff m sta gra a rs, pro are tee al an nti lun vo totals d reside a Archdiocese, which The shelter is a 26-be in Omaha counties of the Omah is is the only shelter Th . en ldr chi d an . n les me Charities mi wo lic are tho squ Ca es, 1 ce. vic ,05 len ser 14 of ly on domestic vio we do all sorts of ive t lus tha exc is d violent art use ap in foc us se s tho “What set andsaert said. crisis line for 700. ng on one or two,” Gr .org, the also provides a 24-hour 8-5 usi 55 foc 2) t (40 jus is of er d mb tea nu ins crisis line phone ite at ccomaha The bs ps. the we shi on to ir ati ce the rel an to ist According r provides ass social service ual e Juan Diego Cente started as a “formal ivid Th ich ind d wh an n, l lic tio rita iza tho ma an Ca ily, org ity, such as fam rehabilitation to un d a mm an tin co o La ief e tin rel Th La er . off ess agency to of services. rsons in str vides a wide range ual counseling for pe nic women with services pro ing bil w no d an s,” ilie to fam pa ing g the hungry, listen assisting Resource Center provides His ucation, counseling and These include feedin life ed ess, ilyilln l fam d nta an me h alt th he wi as tive such as a second language. counseling people paration, and English need, reuniting adop pre of job es th tim wi n Center, g aid rin du immigrants uartered at the Sheeha se faced with tholic Charities is headq of Omaha. The center serves ing and guiding tho Ca ort pp su d an ing s, ch ilie tea fam d to son area s. The services exten which is located in the Ben se in crisis as well. untimely pregnancie Catholic Charities tho lls. for ski ter cen life s ling ilie nse fam cou d d left an indelible ed for as a children, seniors an CHARITIES has indee d its surrounding and services develop IC ms OL gra TH CA pro 50 n tha has more unity. mmunity an er needs of the comm Catholic impression on the Omaha co n feel S meeting these, and oth rest of the organizatio of GE the SSA d ME an T ert TAN OR dsa an IMP Gr ST yet rd MO as, wo GLE are SIN the g THE din ly ONE OF t exclusive ains sprea nvey is that they are no greatest challenge rem more people aware of the co ir to the s she wi do s e tie “W ari n. Ch ke tio name of their organiza e serve all what they do in order to ma Catholic, despite the help. said, “w can y ert the dsa t an tha Gr ys ge ,” wa lics ny r what ma ing that we help chan not just serve Catho community…no matte atest reward is know gre the lp he he “T we … d. life dsaert sai walks of lives everyday,” Gran ary income.” Omaha people’s ing their 85th annivers the age, race, religion or rat eb oss cel acr s is s ter tie cen ari of Ch er lic ns mb tho pla nu y, Ca a s nit ha mu cy en com ild The ag , Christ Ch y of serving the including Christ Child nity and s year; with a rich histor mu thi com r, a ah nte Ce Om s the bu and Columbus area, to Learning Center, Colum n Diego to continue their dedication to come. (North), Christ Child ), and Jua for many more years est as (W are ys ing rne nd Jou rou ys, sur its ari tie s, vis it Ch e, us lic Ho tho ar Ca The Shelter, Journe with Msgr. Kellig rn mo re ab ou t es lea nu nti To co out how this list ab e es re Th Center. r, St. Jam cover mo Hope, Sheehan Cente different and dis tra dit ion of h ric its th Omaha Campus for ny an iza tio n wi s. “We have ma org rre d Po ate de dic rtin spirit of de Ma the St. t d ort Manor an and supp use [withou h many people might ce, continues to serve locations around...whic ] through us,” Grandsaert said. servi ity. vided the Omaha commun realizing they are pro r serves as the main nte Ce s rre Po de uals. volunteer The St. Martin ving low-income individ e For more information on ser ms gra pro ny ma ) 554-0520, center for r, is also on rtunities, call (402 the Juan Diego Cente This center, along with ters that serves as a food pantry. oppo cen or visit of the two community URTESY OF TO | PHOTOS CO BY ERIN SARMIEN


• MAR 2011 metroMAGAZINE 56

metroMagazine • The Sp

irit of Omaha

non-profits. the ARTery “To build social aw areness, confiden ce and self-esteem of social dance.” Th in children throug is is the mission of h the practice the ARTery and it's program, Dancing Classrooms.


FOUNDED BY MARIAN FEY, TH E ARTERY was create share the love of arts d to and its many benefits with children who may not otherw ise have access to hig h quality arts education, and in 2006 DANCING CL ASSROOMS became the staple me ans to do this. Dancing Cla was inspired by the movie, “Mad Hot Ba ssrooms documentary based llroom”, a on the beginning of Dancing Classrooms in New Yo rk. It is now offered in over 15 cities around the world wi th Omaha being the oldest of the participating cities ou tside of New York. “Dancing Classrooms is child regardless of backg a program that can benefit every round. We would like to see throughout the metro “In these tough eco dancing,” says Fey. The children nomic times, raising ten weeks of intensive program is continu funds to training in which inten tional methods expre e reaching out to new schools is a ch are used to help pro allenge,” sses Fey, yet the gro mote respect, elegance wth and , con kindness and teamwork with all of the students fidence, children through the program pro development of the referred to as “ladies” , and “gentlemen” durin who are and the ARTery staff and volun vides motivation for Fey teers to continue with g class time. work The entire class and the in the community. Sa their classroom teacher partic ys Fey program with tight ipa : “Dancing Classrooms te in the couldn’t exist without quality control measu the amazing Teaching res. Extensive staff training is provided for Artists and who the teaching artists thr oughout the progra work for little pay because they believe year, with many of in the m. In addition, the sup the sessions requiring port of the communit volunteer time to fac y is vital ilitate learning, not on mandatory and we are very fortunate to ly the steps of partn ha each dance, but the pre ers, an active and energ ve tremendous community cis etic board, and a small bring to the surface life e way to teach them in order to of volun army tee ski exemplified through ba lls within each student that are Dancing rs. Finally, the Omaha Public Schools welco med llroom dancing. Classrooms with open arms and their support THROUGHOUT THE TEN enabled our rapid gro has WEEKS students learn wt h. Da ncing Classrooms tru a ha dances including waltz, ly is a rumba, tango and swing ndful of community effort.” others. As their final , as well as “Watc lesson, the students perform in a gentl hing the children truly transform into ladies showcase presented emen, seeing them and to the parents and work together as a oth students during class team and hours. At the end of ea er school support one another is an am ch sem azing experience, to competition is held (an know optional choice for the ester a that you are sincerely making such a huge impact on the goal of each stude nt is to be chosen for the schools); lives of our future is irrepla the cea competition. artist ble,” claims one teach Upon graduation of da for the ARTery. “Whe ncing classrooms, the ing n you see two children students are may offered the opportu have never spoken to , who nity to participate in one another prior to the saturday classr scholarship program dancing ooms… who have com where they can pro gress in their begin e from different backg dancing, receive a pa rounds, to develop compassion ir of and support for one an perform around the Om their own dance shoes, and to [that] other makes this non-profit aha area during variou a true value to our com s functions… all at no cost to the stu munity.” dent’s family.


For more informat volunteer opport ion and for www.dancingcla unities visit ssroomsomaha.or g.


President-Elect Jennifer Zatechka, Auction Chair Jessica Freedman and Chair Kate Schafer

Mary and James O’Connell with Robert and Addie Hollingsworth Photos by Dan Flanig an





exciting • philanthropic • inspiring • fun

Stephanie Noonan and Michelle Smithberg 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

John and Susie Nelson, Andrew and Kristin Lundgren, Tara and Bill Durham

Roxann Haley, Marsha and Gary Marron, David and Lori Scott

Erin Murnan, Bob Kizer, Michael Murnan and Tonda Kizer

Rob “Darth” Zatechka and Dan Meyer 59

metroMagazine • MAR 2011

Stacy Demuth, Jana Flaxbeard and Cecily Cinotto

Jennifer and Duane Bartelt



Board President Kristen Lewis, Chair Kate Schafer and Honorary Chair Lori Scott Photos b y Dan Fla nigan

the rose theater guild rockin’ rosie 2011

Shelley Siemers and Mary Kerr


February 12th, supporters of The Rose Theater came out to the CoCo Key Convention Center in their best silver screen style for Rockin’ Rosie: Rosie Rocks the Silver Screen! Supporters were treated to a final performance of the WiseGuys, both silent and oral auctions, mystery wine table, and raffle, grossing over $185,000 to support the Rose Theater. With 500 people in attendance, costumes ranged from Cleopatra and Audrey Hepburn to Bonnie & Clyde. The evening included a contest for best red carpet costume, a retro movie concession stand and an exclusive Hollywood memorabilia auction. The Rose Theater Guild presented a 25th Anniversary Celebration video highlighting the history of the guild and presented awards to guild contributors. Special thanks were given to honorary chairs David & Lori Scott, Amy Scott, Wes & Karen Dixon, and Dave & Sandy Parker. Past guild presidents and the Blumkin family were also acknowledged.

Ben and Kelly Titus

For more information about the Rose Theater, visit or call (402) 502-4650.


a crystal ball

american heart association 2011 omaha heart ball


February 5th, volunteers and friends of the American Heart Association attended the 23rd Omaha Heart Ball, presented by The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC Physicians at Embassy Suites La Vista. To date, the event has raised nearly $40,000 for lifesaving research discoveries and educational programs related to cardiovascular diseases-our nation’s top killer. Randy Ferlic, M.D., was honored during the program with the association’s Spirit of the Heart Award for his contributions to the medical field and the local community. Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Heart Princess Hannah Hetherington was crowned at the Patron Party at the beginning of the evening and her story was shared with ballroom guests in a video. In 2009, shortly after she turned 14, Hannah was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition where the muscular walls of the left ventricle become abnormally thick. Following the Heart Princess video, the 2010-11 American Heart Association Sweethearts were formally presented. The Sweetheart program is for high school girls who have an interest in leadership and philanthropy. It provides mentorship in etiquette and community service to give young ladies the tools they need to reach their goals in college and beyond.

Heart Princess Hannah Hetherington and Spirit of the Heart Awardee Dr. Randolph Ferlic

Jayme Sandberg and Ashley Christensen

Steve and Kelly Kontz Alison Brockman, Grace Begley, Julia Kirwan, Maddie Webb and Emma Bonebrake

Alexis Vana, Sara Schnackel and Leanna Willer

Honorary Chairs Lori and Paul Hogan

To learn more about the American Heart Association, visit

Jeff, Lizzy and Anne Marcotte Traci and Tim Harrison

Mary Lou and Mark Brasee

Flanigan Photos by Dan

Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes and Archbishop George Lucas

Carolina Mapes, Gordon Mundell and Mike Mapes

Joe and Karen Verdirame with Ruth Keene

Photos by Dan Flanigan


Judy and Paul Tamisiea

Amy and Jim Druliner with Dr. John and Mary Monson

Mariana Rojas, Jorge Ernesto Espejel Montes, Luisa Rangel, Gloria Rangel and Everardo Acosta



January 29th-30th, approximately 10,000 people attended Cathedral Arts Project’s 26th Annual Cathedral Flower Festival. The theme of the festival was Xalapa, City of Flowers and was held in Saint Cecilia Cathedral with over 30 florists participating. In addition to beautiful floral displays, visitors could attend musical performances, lectures and educational programs throughout the weekend. The Chairs were Paul and Barbara Jeffrey. The Honorary Chairs were Mexican Counsel Ernesto Espejl Montes and his wife, Louisa Rangel. The festival was in honor of the late Elvira Garcia for her outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Omaha. For more information about Cathedral Arts Project, visit


praise with sports

downtown omaha inc. doi gala January 29th, the 8th Biennual Gala for Downtown Omaha Inc. (DOI) was held at the Hilton Omaha with approximately 250 guests in attendance. The event is held every two years to raise funds and to recognize outstanding companies and individuals who have contributed to the growth and awareness of downtown Omaha. This year, $17,000 was raised.

Joan Baillon, “Screamin Demon” and Vern Wood Aggie DeRozza and Nikki Huffman


With the theme of “Celebrating Downtown Sports,” Downtown Omaha Inc. and the Hilton came up with an entirely different way of staging the event with treats upon arrival and the opportunity to meet with cheerleaders, players and mascots from the Omaha Beef, the Lancers, the Nighthawks and the Omaha Roller Girls during the cocktails/tailgating. For the first time ever, guests were encouraged to wear their favorite team apparel. Many guests commented that is was very nice to go to a banquet that they didn’t have to dress up. The co-chairs of the event were Paula Steenson from Paula Presents! and Joyce Caldwell from Gallup. To learn more about Downtown Omaha Inc., visit

Co-Chairs Paula Steenson and Joyce Caldwell

Brian Bartels, Nickie Hanson, Clint Cadwallader and Jeff Moser

Midlife Crashes, Sharon Misery, Eblastagirl and Spin Shady Photos by Dan Flanigan

Randy Lukasiewicz and Pat Salerno

Roberta Wilhelm, Lynn Trefzger, Jane Allamong and John Ewing

Lynn Trefzger and Terri McDonnell

Tara Boynton, Lisa Cahow and Taylor Kerschke

Photos by Dan Flanigan



Andrea Wells, Kelly Titus and Piper Johnson

Becky Werner and Judy Wickersham


January 29th, girlFRIENDS presented its annual Girls Nite Out event at the Mutual of Omaha Dome benefiting Girls, Inc. The theme for the evening was “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.” Over 630 guests, boys too, were treated to a girl’s favorite things-shopping, dining and laughter. The event raised over $90,000 in funding for Girls, Inc. programs. Terri McDonnell was the Girls Nite Out Honorary Chair, as Ashley Horgan, Shelli Klemke, Jodie Mackintosh, Regan Mackintosh and Kathy Martin served as general co-chairs.

Kate Grabill and Jennifer Zatechka

Lisa Rose, Debra Ashworth, Tara McCarty, Shannon Suver, Kate Betsworth, Sandy Suver and Naomi Deines

The girlFRIENDS group is a volunteer guild dedicated to supporting Girls, Inc. of Omaha in their efforts to inspire girls to be strong, smart and bold through fundraising, friend-raising and advocacy. For more information on how you can be a mentor in the Girls, Inc. program, visit or call (402) 731-2108.


the wi nner’s table Vic Kensler and James Jensen

Rickey Thenarse and Alex Henery



January 13th, the Outland Trophy Award Dinner was held at the Downtown Double Tree Hotel. For the 14th consecutive year, the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awarded Omaha the opportunity to host the dinner.

Jennifer Gilmore and Susie Bryan

Bob Hegwood, Jennifer Kind, Shelly Fitton and Kristina Jacobs

This year, University of Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi was announced as this year’s Outland Award winner on the ESPN College Football Awards Show, which took place on December 9th. Both Carimi and his coach were in attendance at the dinner. Also in attendance were the winners of Nebraska’s football senior awards: Ricky Thenarse, who received the Novak Trophy; Alex Henery, recipient of the Chamberlin Trophy; and Niles Paul, awardee of the Cletus Fischer Native Son Award. For more information on the Greater Omaha Sports Committee, visit GOSCHOMEPAGE.html.

Tom Koll and Brandon Henery

2010 Outland Trophy winner Gabe Carimi, Bob Mancuso and Bob Bostad Photos by Dan Flanigan

Bob and Dona Mancuso


raising awareness

Ruth Henrichs, President & CEO of Lutheran Family Services with Lee Hamann and Lew Trowbridge

lutheran family services at ease luncheon


January 31st, Lutheran Family Services (LFS) of Nebraska hosted the At Ease USA Fundraising and Awareness Luncheon at the Qwest Center Omaha with former U.S. Senator and Medal of Honor Recipient Bob Kerrey served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Senator Kerrey, who served two terms in the U.S. Senate, is currently the President of the New School in New York City. He is a former Nebraska Governor and a 1992 candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Kerrey served in the United States Navy as a SEAL from 1966 to 1969 during the Vietnam War. He lost the lower part of one leg in combat and received the Medal of Honor. At Ease is a trauma treatment and therapeutic support program that serves active military, veterans and their loved ones affected by untreated trauma reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The program complements existing services offered by military and veterans’ organizations, with a focus on eliminating barriers to treatment for those suffering from the effects of deployment and the uncertainty of war. At Ease USA is the fundraising organization founded and led by Omaha’s Scott Anderson. At Ease USA is the primary sponsor and fundraising support for LFS’ At Ease program.

Keynote Speaker Former Senator Bob Kerrey

In its first year of operation, LFS’ At Ease program served 53 service personnel and their families, 83 percent of whom reported a reduction in symptoms during and after treatment. Service personnel and family members who have benefited from the program recently shared their stories in an Omaha World Herald report by Matthew Hansen. The At Ease program provides confidential, individualized counseling and treatment using a combination of individual and group approaches, including specialized therapies, families/couples and peer-to-peer mutual support groups. Services are coordinated out of the Lutheran Family Services’ Bellevue office, but veterans and their loved ones may also be served at LFS locations in Blair, Fremont, Plattsmouth, Papillion and four Omaha-area locations. Additionally, Telehealth sessions may be used to accommodate veterans and/or their loved ones living in Greater Nebraska.  All active military, veterans and their loved ones are accepted into the At Ease program regardless of ability to pay. LFS Behavioral Health services are made available through insurance payments, sliding scale fees and contributions. For more information on Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, visit

Former Senator Bob Kerrey and KETV Anchor (and Iraq War Veteran) Adrian Whitsett Photos courtesy of Lutheran Family Services of N ebraska

Teri and Greg Lindberg

Renee Freeman and Dan Preusser

Chad Hartmann, Eric Hanke and Chad Preuss

Mike and Kevin Simmonds


taste ofsuccess Steve King, Jennie and Steve Warren

Tammy Vanderwilt, Steve Danon, Dave Bushey and Michael McCarville Photos by Dan Flanigan


Barb and Joel Hahn, Nicole Jesse, Helen Patane, John Jesse and Danielle Emsick

Jon Young, Denny Schmidt, Brian Zachariae and Tom Howard


January 17th, Omaha Restaurant Association’s 67th Annual Dinner was held at Anthony’s Steakhouse and was hosted by Rich Barmettler, the association’s immediate past president. John Wade from Restaurants, Inc. was named as Restauranteur of the Year. Restaurants, Inc. operates a variety of restaurants including Twisted Fork, Stokes, Genji, Hu Hot, Old Country Buffett, etc. On behalf of Sysco Lincoln, Chad Hartmann accepted its award for Purveyor of the Year. For more information on the ORA, visit


jay jamboree

creighton university athletics bluejay jamboree


November 6th, the Creighton Department of Athletics held the 24th Bluejay Jamboree dinner and auction. The Jamboree was held in D.J. Sokol Arena and drew more than 625 people. It raised more than $400,000 for Creighton athletics and also brought in more than $125,000 to fund a student-athlete scholarship in the name of Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J. This year’s event, chaired by Mike and Dana Meyer and honorary chairs Joe and Amy Moglia, was themed “When All the Pieces Fit.” Tom Kiefer, D.D.S., was the chairman of the committee in charge of raffle ticket sales, which raised more than $62,000.

Mike Meyer, Bruce Rasmussen and Dana Meyer Photos courtesy of Creighton University Athletics

To learn more about Creighton University, visit

Photos by Dan Flanigan

Tom Kiefer with Bluejay fans, Kathy and Dr. Dwaine Peetz



Jo Collins, Jeri Piechoski and Barbara Stone

Beth Borgmann, Kathy Sutula, Francie Prier, Susie Norton and Pamela Hill

Paula Hendriksen, Colleen Dilley and Linda Williams


December 10th, over 1,050 people attended Lunch for the Girls, an event benefitting Girls Incorporated of Omaha, in the ballroom of the Qwest Center. Approximately $120,000 was raised for Girls, Inc. Former Girls, Inc. members who are now in college provided the official event welcome. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was the keynote speaker of the event. Members of Girls, Inc. also took the stage to show a video they made about the organization and participated in a question-andanswer segment with Secretary Albright. Girls, Inc. members offered a two-part invocation. First, girls played “For Health & Strength” on the ukulele. Then, the Girls, Inc. step team, “2 Unique,” did a step to “Bless This Bunch That’s Here for Lunch.” Following the event, Albright signed copies of her books for attendees.

Alli Rose Lopez, Lisa Mellen and Awa Diaw May

Event Chairs were Jennifer Hamann and Robyn Freeman. John Morgan, a former national Girls, Inc. board member and friend of Girls, Inc. of Omaha, was a sponsor of the event.

Guest Speaker Madeleine Albright

Mychael Shield, Keianna Turner, Carolyn T. Green, Hunter Washington and Alexis Taylor

For more information on Girls, Inc., visit

Fatema Graves, John Ewing, Kainette Jones, Emily Mwaja and Rachel Jacobson Paul and Linda Sather with Robert Patterson


metroMagazine • MAR 2011

Co-Chairs Robyn Freeman and Jennifer Hamann


ki c ki n g itoff

knights of ak-sar-ben women’s ball committee kick-off luncheon


January 6th, the 2011 Ak-Sar-Ben Women’s Ball Committee Kick-Off Luncheon was held at Happy Hollow Country Club. The luncheon kicked off the 115th year of the Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation and Scholarship Ball.

Kelli Draper, Ann Tjaden, Susan McGillick, Chairman Kyle Robino, Stacy Wilson, Kathy Langdon and Christine Stevens

Steve Martin, chairman of the Coronation Ball Committee, announced members of his committee, which includes Amy Schmid, Bill Cutler, and Kyle Robino. Honored for their service were retiring members, Mary Johnson-chairman of the 2009 Women’s Ball Committee, Ann Blunk, Jeannie Dudzinski, Patti Pryor, Heather Russell and Kelley Stuckey, while six new members were announced, including Kelli Draper, Kathy Langdon, Susan McGillick, Christine Stevens, Ann Tjaden and Stacy Wilson, as part of the committee. Also announced were an overview of the 114th Coronation and Scholarship Ball as well as committee assignments for the 2011 ball. The 2011 Coronation and Scholarship Ball will be held on October 22nd at the Qwest Center Omaha. To learn more about the Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation and Scholarship Ball, visit

Bill Cutler, Amy Schmid, Kyle Robino and Steve Martin Photos courtesy of Women’s Ball Committee

teaandfashion t ACT II holiday tea and fashion show


November 20th, ACT II hosted their Holiday Tea and Fashion Show. The event was organized by Vernie Jones and a committee of dedicated ACT II volunteers. Guests started their holiday shopping early amid a tempting array of offerings in the silent auction, one-of-a-kind purses crafted by Sabrina Jones and wreathes designed for the event by area designers. After a light tea, guests moved to the Howard & Rhonda Hawks Theatre to enjoy a fashion show set amid the street scenes of A Christmas Carol. The show featured the fashions of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Christmas Past provided a glimpse of the fashions of yesteryear through the collection of Sue McLain of Yesterday’s Lady, while the fashions of Christmas Present and Future featured the stunning designs of local designer Sabrina Jones. To learn more about ACT II, a volunteer group that supports the Omaha Community Playhouse, visit Photos by Jim Lamb

Katie Weinert, Tara Paulitz and Melissa Marvin

Sunny Lundgren, Margaret Evans and Christi Janssen

Norma Riley and Anne Lieben

Vernie Jones and Lisa Hagstrom

Beth Kramer and Jackie Quigley

Susan Moyer, Marion Trumble, Gerry Mountford, Gloria Duffack and Terri Duffack



asweet mercy high school FIESTA a la mercy


February 12th, Mercy High School’s annual FIESTA a la Mercy was celebrated at the midtown school. FIESTA is an acronym for Friends In Earnest Supporting Tuition Assistance. Approximately 525 guests attended the event.

Monsignor James Gilg

Marty Fleischman and Joe Connolly

The theme this year was “How Sweet It Is!” The school was transformed into a candy store with candy bouquet centerpieces and oversized lollipops, gummy bears and other candies adorning the walls. Guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres served by Mercy High School National Honor Society students while they bid on the many silent and super silent auctions items available during the social hour. The Mercy High Singers under the direction of Joy Augustine performed a colorful arrangement of “Sweet Songs,” including “Lollipop!,” “Hold On” and “How Sweet It Is To Be A Mercy Girl.” After dinner, Mercy High School President Sr. Delores Hannon, RSM presented the Cor Misericordiae (Heart of Mercy) Award to Edward T. Regan. A recent member of Mercy’s Board of Directors, Ed’s 42-year financial background and expertise more than qualified him to become a trustee for the Sister M. Brendan O’Malley Endowment Fund, a position he held throughout his tenure on the board. Ed and his wife of 49 years, Rose, are members of St. Vincent de Paul parish where both serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and are members of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher.  He is president of The Regan Group. 

Joy Thiem Kellerman and Jonathon Temme

Sr. Marie Angele with Fr. Ryan Lewis

The award presentation was followed by a live auction which included trips to Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Washington D.C., as well as golf outings, sports events, special dinners and artwork. All funds raised will support Mercy High School’s Negotiated Tuition. Mercy Negotiated Tuition is a morally just, confidential, individualized convenient between Mercy and each family, respecting family needs and income and providing equal access. For more information on Mercy High School, visit

Ted and Cindy Menzel with Ed and Rose Regan Photos by Caroline Thompson

savethedate mar 74

March 2

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

March 3-6 OMAHA HOME & GARDEN EXPO This year the Omaha Home & Garden Expo unites with the Omaha Lawn, Flower and Patio Show to become the most complete showcase of the latest products and services for the home – inside and out! This four-day multi-event extravaganza will have attractions for adults and children alike, and will feature presentations from nationally-known experts and personalities throughout the Expo. Qwest Center Omaha Visit

March 3 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

March 4-5

March 5

March 12

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. The conference features an Opening Reception on Friday evening and a Conference that includes exhibits, networking and demonstrations. MCC South Omaha Campus – Omaha Visit

COLUMB’S CEILI A benefit for St. Columbkille Parish This annual parish benefit celebration takes its name from the shortened form of St. Columkille and the Celtic word referring to a festive party. Guests will enjoy cocktails, dinner, and silent and live auctions. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 5:00 P.M. Call 339-3285.

BLUE JEAN BALL A benefit for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska Join the Friends Council of the Make-AWish Foundation for this elegant, yet casual evening to help fund wishes for children in Nebraska. Wild About Wishes is the theme for this year’s event, which will include cocktails, dinner, live and silent auctions, and entertainment provided by Tunafish Jones. Mutual of Omaha Dome – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Visit

March 9 March 4-6 AMERICAN GIRL FASHION SHOW A benefit for Junior League of Omaha Seven shows for this 16th annual event will be held featuring historically inspired clothing and matching dolls from the American Girl clothing collection, American Girl of Today and the American Girl Bitty Baby collections. Several exciting raffles will be held and each show will feature a silent auction and an expanded and fantastic boutique. Happy Hollow Country Club – Omaha Visit

March 5 90TH ANNIVERSARY GALA Hosted by the Omaha Symphony The Omaha Symphony marks its 90th Anniversary with a weekend of exceptional music and tremendous gratitude for the community it serves. A black-tie formal Gala event held on the 5th will hold an evening of timeless elegance and entertainment, including a concert by the orchestra and a special tribute to Richard Holland, in honor of his 90th year. Joslyn Art Museum – Omaha Call 402-342-3836 x125.

March 5 CRUISE AWAY A benefit for The Stephen Center This year’s theme is “Cruise Away to the Jungle” and will include dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions. Music will be provided by the Fishheads. Champions Run – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Call 715-5476.

HEROES IN THE HEARTLAND A benefit for the American Red Cross Now in its 11th year, this event honors individuals who have saved another person’s life during the past year or who have positively impacted the quality of life in Northeast Nebraska, Southwest Iowa or the Omaha Metro. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 11:45 A.M. Visit

March 10 GRAND GIVEAWAY Hosted by the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce This year’s theme is Wild West, so dress code is business casual or break out your western gear! The event includes social hour, dinner, auction and raffle. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 5:00 P.M. Visit

March 11 MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION GALA A benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association This event features a sit-down dinner, silent and live auctions, a keynote speaker and dancing. This year’s theme is “Make a Muscle, Make a Difference” and will highlight the faces of those affected by neuromuscular disease. Mid-America Center – Council Bluffs – 5:45 P.M. Call 402-390-2914.

March 12 KALEIDOSCOPE A benefit for the Clinical Research Center “An International Affair, Advancing Science for a Global Purpose” is the theme for this year’s University Hospital Auxiliary Kaleidoscope event. Proceeds will help to fund the new Clinical Research Center, which will be located at The Nebraska Medical Center’s main campus. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 6:00 P.M. Call 552-3510.

March 12 IRISH FEST A benefit for Catholic Charities Featuring a cocktail reception, silent auction, dinner, and live auction, this is Catholic Charities’ most entertaining night of the year. Musical entertainment will be provided by Finest Hour and The BroadBand Horns. Qwest Center – Omaha Call 829-9261.

March 14 LITERACY ALIVE A benefit for Literacy Center Featured speaker at this event is Jacques Demers, a distinguished figure in the National Hockey League, Stanley Cupwinning coach, and TV commentator. Demers’ story creates dialogue and helps build common-ground solutions to the issue of adult literacy. Scott Conference Center – Omaha – 12:00 P.M. Call 342-7323.

mar March 16

KIDS AT HEART A benefit for Kids Can Community Center Join us for a fun-filled evening is support of Kids Can programs! Proceeds from this inaugural event, a cocktails and hors d’oeuvres reception, benefit low-income families with quality childcare at affordable costs. Passport Restaurant – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Visit

March 19 HOLT INTERNATIONAL GALA A benefit for the Ilsan Center Holt International, the country’s oldest and largest inter-country adoption agency, will celebrate its 55th anniversary of serving homeless children at their annual gala dinner and auction. This year, all proceeds will benefit the Ilsan Center in Korea. Embassy Suites – La Vista – 5:30 P.M. Visit

March 26

April 2

April 9

CATHEDRAL COMEDY AND CUISINE Benefitting Saint Cecilia Cathedral Grade School This annual fundraiser is the main source of funding for classroom and capital improvements for Saint Cecilia Cathedral Grade School. This 14th annual event will this year recognize and honor the Sinsinawa Sisters. Fr. Henry Sullivan Center at Creighton Prep Omaha – Call 551-2313.

BLUE JEANS AND DREAMS A benefit for HETRA This family friendly event includes dinner, silent and live auctions, entertainment and dancing. HETRA’s mission is to improve the quality of life of adults and children with disabilities through equine assisted activities. Five Star Stables – Bennington – 5:00 P.M. 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.

April 4

April 9

TRIBUTE LUNCHEON HONORING WALTER & SUZANNE SCOTT Hosted by the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures The Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures will honor Walter and Suzanne Scott at its ninth annual tribute luncheon honoring medical research in Nebraska. Happy Hollow Club – Omaha – 11:30 A.M. Visit

FESTA DEL LEONE A benefit for Roncalli Catholic High School This 22nd annual dinner and auction will honor Christina Hixson of the Lied Foundation for her contributions to Roncalli Catholic and the Omaha community. The evening will feature a cocktail reception, dinner, silent and live auctions and a raffle drawing. Roncalli Catholic High School – Omaha Call 571-7670.

March 26 OMAHA PRESS CLUB SHOW Presented by the Omaha Press Club Foundation Celebrate Saints & Sinners at the Omaha Press Club Show, Omaha’s funniest fundraiser. KFAB’s Gary Sadlemyer will serve as emcee and bar keep for this annual lampoon of the year’s headline stories and the newsmakers behind them. Mid-America Center Ballroom – Council Bluffs – 6:00 P.M. Visit or call 339-9874

March 19 SPOTLIGHT GALA A benefit for Voices for Children The theme for this annual event continues to represent the organization’s efforts to illuminate the needs of children throughout the state. The evening includes cocktails, silent auction, dinner, awards and live auction. DC Centre – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Call 597-3100.

March 20 NOTRE DAME SISTERS’ ANNUAL DEVELOPMENT DINNER A benefit for the Notre Dame Sisters This year’s event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Notre Dame Sisters’ service in the United States. The evening includes social hour, silent auction and dinner. Roncalli Catholic High School – Omaha – 4:00 P.M. Call 402-455-2994 x102.

March 30 DVCC AWARDS LUNCHEON CEREMONY Benefitting the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council Join us as we gather to honor the special individuals that have made significant contributions to the DVCC over the last year. Scott Conference Center – Omaha – 11:30 A.M. Visit

april April 1 2011 TABLE ART A benefit for the Omaha Symphony This year’s theme for the Omaha Symphony Guild’s Table Art is “Ninety Years of Harmony”. The luncheon will feature table displays of historical china from Omaha families and local Omaha designers. Georgetowne Club – Omaha Visit or call 598-7385.

April 7 2011 WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE Hosted by ICAN You are invited to actively participate in a conversation about the ever-changing leadership demands of the global business community. Qwest Center – Omaha – 8:00 A.M. Visit

April 8 PUTTIN’ ON THE PINK A benefit for Susan G. Komen for the Cure Join Komen Nebraska for Puttin’ on the Pink, the 2011-2012 Grantee Award Presentation and cocktail reception. Baxter Ford Showroom – Omaha Visit

April 9 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.

April 9 DESTINATION WORLD’S FARE A benefit for the Omaha Community Playhouse Join us for the getaway of a lifetime! The weather is incredible, the food is world-class and the entertainment is sizzling. Test your hand at Black Jack and Roulette in Las Vegas, experience the magical lights of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens and enjoy all the beauty of Austria and India! Omaha Community Playhouse – Omaha Call 402-553-4890 x145.

April 12 OMAHA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME GALA Hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber Past and present outstanding Omaha area business leaders will be inducted into the Omaha Business of Fame at this annual gala honoring individuals whose accomplishments in business are historically significant to the development of Omaha. Holland Performing Arts Center – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Visit

savethedate april may 76

April 12 OMAHA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME GALA Hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber Past and present outstanding Omaha area business leaders will be inducted into the Omaha Business of Fame at this annual gala honoring individuals whose accomplishments in business are historically significant to the development of Omaha. Holland Performing Arts Center – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Visit

April 13 LAURITZEN GARDENS GUILD SPRING LECTURE AND LUNCHEON A benefit for Lauritzen Gardens Come and be swept away by New York City’s premier floral designer Remco Van Vliet. A Master Florist and thirdgeneration floral designer, he has created designs for some of the most prestigious arts institutions in the city. Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha Visit or call 402-346-4002 x201.

April 14 6TH ANNUAL YOUTH ART SHOWCASE & AUCTION A benefit for The Neighborhood Center This community event directly supports The Neighborhood Center, providing quality programs and support to all neighborhoods in Sarpy, Douglas and Pottawattamie counties. The evening begins with a reception and preview, silent auction and food and beverages, then a live auction with celebrity auctioneer Scott Moore. Scott Conference Center – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Call 561-7581.

April 28

June 3-4

WOMEN’S POWER LUNCHEON A benefit for Habitat for Humanity of Omaha Habitat for Humanity FRIENDS presents the 2011 Women’s Power Luncheon, a kick-off celebration for the 14th annual Women Build. Coco Key Convention Center – Omaha – 11:30 A.M. Visit

CATTLEMEN’S BALL Benefitting UNMC Eppley Cancer Center and local healthcare The Cattlemen’s Ball is the state’s premier fundraiser in the fight against cancer with 100 percent of the dollars raised staying in Nebraska. Country music star Sara Evans is the featured performer at this year’s event. The theme of this year’s ball is “Plowing Cancer Under”. 595 15th Road – West Point, Nebraska Visit

April 29 FEATHER OUR NEST A benefit for Fontenelle Nature Association This annual fundraiser features live and silent auctions, dinner and raffle. This year’s theme is “The Beginning of a Mammoth Adventure” and celebrates Fontenelle Forest Nature Center’s upcoming Ice Age Exhibition. Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom – Omaha – 6:00 P.M. Call 201-7628.

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

June 11 May 9 D.J.’S HERO AWARDS LUNCHEON A benefit for The Salvation Army This year’s featured speaker is Apolo Anton Ohno, eight-time Olympic medalist and most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian in history. Qwest Center – Omaha – 11:45 A.M. Visit

April 29-30

May 16

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 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.

THE PARTNERSHIP FOR OUR KIDS GOLF TOURNAMENT A benefit for The Partnership for Our Kids Event festivities at this 18-hole scramble also include door prize giveaways, raffle drawing, barbeque banquet and team awards. Omaha Country Club – Omaha – 12:30 P.M.

April 30


DINING WITH DOGS A benefit for the Nebraska Humane Society This dinner goes to the dogs … literally. You and Fido are invited to yappie hour, with Three Dog Bakery provides the finest yappy-tizers and mutt-inis for Fido. Get a table of friends together and enjoy a doggone great time! CoCo Key Convention Center – Omaha Visit


stay check out our complete

May 3

June 3 MOUNT MICHAEL DJ SOKOL MEMORIAL GOLF CLASSIC A benefit for the Mount Michael Alumni Association Tiburon Golf Course – Omaha – 12:30 P.M. Call 402-253-0950 or visit

WINE AND JAZZ 2011 A benefit for the American Red Cross Attendees at this event will taste a fine selection of wine and beers throughout the evening, accompanied with great food and live jazz by the George Walker Trio. The night’s events will also include exciting live and silent auctions featuring an array of well sought-after items. Ameristar Casino Ballroom – Council Bluffs – 7:00 P.M. Visit

June 14 CORK THE FORK – A WINE INFUSED CATERING CHALLENGE Benefitting the Greater Omaha Chapter National Association of Catering Executives This fundraising event features two competitions incorporating both food and design, showcasing the culinary talents of local member chefs and featuring a tablescape competition highlighting the décor aspect of event execution. Call 402-778-6317

September 9 ZOOFARI A benefit for Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo This biennial fundraising event features a lively oral auction, exquisite food and entertainment, and captivating imagery. The evening promises to entertain and educate guests on the past, present and future of Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo – Omaha – 5:00 P.M. Visit

live metroMagazine

live in your power

vibrations • with sue moon

The March winds will blow a little stronger due to a square (friction) from Jupiter (philosophies) to Pluto (regeneration). Just trying to figure out what to believe in, and if people (politics, etc.) are telling the truth, and if not, why; and where do we go from here? The Opposition of Mercury (messages) to Saturn (accountability) around St. Patty’s Day will keep communications a little sober. Then Mercury will start to slow down, and on the last day of the month go retrograde. If you need to buy any electronics, sign any important documents, etc., do it the first few weeks of March because the gears will start to jam around the 20th. Playful Venus (love/sex) will be in Aquarius (let’s try it a new way) most of the month and that will bring an exciting twist to your life. Saturn (lessons) is retrograde all month (till June 12th) helping us to revisit all Saturnine lessons of the fall/winter. That would be about your accountability and responsibility to make your life a beacon of honor and integrity and holding others accountable. The New Moon (plant your seeds) in Pisces (creativity) on the 4th will be a wonderful time to dream yourself a bigger and happier life. The Full Moon (emotions) in Virgo (cool as a cucumber) on the 19th will show if your dreams made it into reality. But the really big news this month is Uranus (genius/chaos) into Aries (the initiator) until 2019. This powerful duo will radically change each individual life and the world that we live in. Start planning a new and stronger life that has enough power in it to reveal the beautiful and unique individual you are.


Mar 21 - apr 19

It’s a strong month, for you are about to rocket into outer space in April. The heavens are aligning in your sign and you will need to go for the gold. You may meet some new and interesting friends this month. If in a relationship, you are still repairing that one or maybe deciding to move on.


apr 20 - MaY 20

The world is watching you change in a very public way. This month should prove pretty nicely in your career sector as people notice how talented you are. Your gifts are shining. Friends have great potential to help you and have fun with. Uranus will stir up some unexpected meetings and maybe a few prophetic dreams.



nOV 22 - dec 21

jul 23 - auG 22

Ch-ch-ch-change is afoot all month long and Venus will light up your partner sector with new ways to make that relationship work! Communications are being tweaked from your higher mind to your lower mind making you a little restless and impatient with those that don’t understand you. Lighten up a little.


MaY 21 - jun 20


jun 21 - jul 22

You are expanding your world and enjoying it. Fantasies are fun this month, thanks to Venus. Just don’t act on them unless you are unattached. Expect the unexpected in your career zone as Uranus moves in there bringing lucky chances and brilliant ideas.

The spotlight is on home and you this month. Take care and rest. Plan this month in preparation for the high energy month to come. Communications will be lovely, thank you sweet Venus. The Full Moon brings you honors mid-month. Don’t be shy, you deserve it. dec 22 - jan 19

auG 23 - sep 22

Marriage and business partners or even enemies will be knocking on your door all month. It’s a relationship month for you, so fix what you can and mediate the rest. It will end next month in dramatic change. The Full Moon on the 19th has you thinking about how to get your body in better shape.


A Pisces (dreamy creativity) energy is invading your mind and the way you communicate this month and that might be a little hard on you as you like the facts and not the sugar. Mid-month you may need some home repair as Uranus (unpredictable energy) moves into that house. Check your fire alarm batteries! jan 20 - feb 18


Your career/life achievement house is overflowing. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your mark in the world. Some pretty major transformations are happening in your life and that won’t go away soon. Watch for some unexpected changes in friendships.



sep 23 - OcT 22

All work and no play make Libra a dull, but how can you help it with so many planets in your work house? Take advantage of this nose to the grindstone month, and you will be well rewarded next month. Children will be a delightful break throughout, or maybe you can take a day or two away.


OcT 23 - nOV 21

The month is loaded with all kinds of fun for the adventurous Scorpio. An unusual opportunity may appear in work. Do watch for rushing around too much. With Uranus (chaos) in your health house, you could have a little accident if not careful.

You are just lovely this month, and people are drawn to you like a magnet, thanks to lovely Venus in your first house. It should be a great month for making money and marketing your talents. Brilliant ideas will come your way. Jot down everything, so you don’t forget.


You are loaded with energy this month and so inventive! You might be a little emotional with your significant other, so just pay close attention and pamper them a little. Then get back to your drawing board and show the world who you are.

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 • MAR 2011

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

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


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metroMAGAZINE's March 2011 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's March 2011 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council Bl...

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