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loving legacies LOVE THAT LINGERS • LOVE THAT LASTS

CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY

SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

FEB/MAR/APR 2016


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in this ISSUE

features

10 18 32 40 42

JOURNEYS faith • hope • love: a tribute to ty & terri schenzel

36

40

VIPS: VERY INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE 5 in a series of 25 inspiring 25th anniversary profiles

DREAM IT/DO IT do space

BEAUTIFUL SETTINGS omaha symphony table art

connecting to our computing

EXTRAORDINARY SIX

connecting to our culture

greater omaha chamber business hall o fame

departments/columns

28

CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY

GAME CHANGERS • SAMANTHA MOSSER

18

presented by planitOmaha

44

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

47 48 49 50 51 51 96

metroSPIRIT with mary vandenack

OMAHA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION giving with your family ymca

VW LAW pre-approved retirement plans

SWARTZBAUGH, FARBER & ASSOC. are we there yet?

88

connecting to our core values

VONDRAK DENTAL why you should want to pay for dental care

WAKING WORDS FROM ROB KILLMER race into the fire

events

53

connecting to our callings

150 YEARS OF THE “Y”

28

SCENE highlights from recent charity & cultural events

SAVE THE DATE upcoming events for fall 2015

bravo! CELEBRATING THE ARTS

83

DICKENS DUO joslyn castle literary festival

connecting to our role models

10

connecting to our history

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FEB/MAR/APR 2016 • VOL. 28 NO. 1 Press releases and other editorial information may be sent to: P.O. BOX 241611, OMAHA, NE 68124 or e-mailed to: Editor@SpiritofOmaha.com Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Creative Collaboration

Andrea L. “Andee” Hoig

Leo Adam Biga Mary Drueke-Collins Daniel Flanigan Roger Humphries Elissa Joy Mark Kresl Anne Meysenburg Wendy Moore MORNING BLEND’s “Mike & Mary” Jim Scholz Kara Schweiss Mary Vandenack Stephanie Vondrak D.D.S.

Editor/Creative Director

Robert P. “ROB” Killmer Community Engagement

Tracy Fisher Special Thanks

Counterparts Printco Graphics

metroMAGAZINE /

QUARTERLY 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

402.932.3522 | sales@SpiritofOmaha.com MISSION STATEMENT ALH Publications exists to inform, inspire and connect those who give back to the community through volunteerism and philanthropy, recognizing the ongoing efforts of area businesses, organizations and individuals who better our community. Contents of this magazine are copyrighted by ALH Publications, Inc. in their entirety. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form or by any means - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without prior written consent of the publisher. ©Copyright 1990 – 2015 ALH Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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words FROM MY HEART

mQUARTERLY • LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

love.

In 2016 we are celebrating 25 years of serving those who give back in our community! A lot has been building up to this 25th year. It’s a milestone. I was in my early 20s when I started out. A lot of “life” has happened since we published the first issue which at the time was a black & white newspaper printed on bulk newsprint, called Metro Monthly. Over the years I have really loved what I do, while at times it has been incredibly challenging and I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through the day. I know I am not alone when it comes to the seesaw of emotions that we feel in our careers. When things were challenging (and even when they weren’t) I would find myself trying to do more, achieve more, create more, acquire more…be more than what was humanly possible. Each time that I “fell short” of my own expectations about the person I believed I was supposed to be, I would lose a little part of myself. Over the past few years I have come to learn to embrace all of me. Not just the parts that I want people to see but the parts that I try to hide from the outside world. There is something very liberating and freeing when you allow yourself to be seen…to be real. And the only way to get there, at least for me, has been through Love.

ANDREA L. HOIG ahoig@SpiritofOmaha.com

Love of life, love of others, love of my surroundings and most important – self love. Many of us are familiar with the term and the importance of loving yourself – which can often times be the hardest and most challenging love of all. What I realized is that by embracing all of who I AM (all parts, even those that scare me a little) by loving all of me…the space available to love others expands and keeps on expanding. Love is energy that flows freely to and through those who are open to it. Love is powerful and for those that allow the confidence that comes with self love… magic and miracles happen. Love – including self love continues to allow me to see my business in new and exciting ways of Being in my business. There is an ease and an effortlessness that greets me each day as I finish with my morning meditation and set into my business with love and with greater appreciation. I have a much greater desire to put myself out there, to be seen and to take risks. I don’t concern myself with what others may think of me because what I intend, create and do is all done with Love. Self love inspires me to be more compassionate and more aware of how my words and actions impact others and myself. Self love allows me to be…just me…no more and no less. Self love teaches me that we are all here to love, to love others exactly where they are in life and to love ourselves exactly where we are. We are all on a journey. Enjoy it ... with Love! ~ Andee

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alh P U B L I C A T I O N S

charity • culture • consciousness P.O. Box 241611 • Omaha, NE 68124

PRESORTED STANDARD U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

OMAHA, NE PERMIT NO. 2013


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local LIGHT BEARERS

ty and terri schenzel, the late couple tragically killed in an august auto accident, leave multiple legacies behind, continuing the caring and sharing that defined their well-lived and modeled lives.

WHEN THE shocking news OF TY AND TERRI SCHENZEL’S AUGUST 20 FATAL AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT SPREAD, IT WAS AS IF THE THOUSANDS WHOSE LIVES THEY TOUCHED LET OUT A COLLECTIVE GASP. Many questioned how this could occur to an admired couple whose gifts for engagement, invitation, acceptance and frivolity endeared them to many. A sentiment often expressed upon their passing is that they had the ability to make people feel a part of them even upon meeting for the first time. This was not supposed to be how things ended for this golden, well-yoked pair, both popular pastors whose love affair began in seminary and never wavered in 30 years together. It seemed a cruel, premature exit for a duo who created a youthserving center and a marriage healing ministry founded and named after their core belief: Hope. “When something like this happens there are always questions like ‘Why?’ and ‘How could this happen,’” says friend and fellow pastor Lincoln Murdoch. “They were getting ready to move into probably the sweetest time in their lives in ministry. These are questions that are never answered, especially when you consider how many marriages they would have impacted and saved through their ministry, and that makes it hard. But as I said at their funeral, we’re going to turn our ‘why’ into ‘thank you’ for knowing them, for being in our lives, for the influence they had on us and on so many others. We find some comfort when we go there with gratefulness.” There is gratitude for all the work the Schenzels did at Trinity Church, where Ty was a youth minister, and the house of worship it transitioned into, Waypoint, where he was an associate pastor. A ministry he and Terri developed out of Trinity led to their founding the Hope Center for Kids in North Omaha. There they leave behind not only a brickand-mortar symbol of their community-based work but a thriving organization giving more and more atrisk youth the skills, services and resources needed for success.

He referred to the times he and his wife spent with At the October 2 annual Hope gala held in the the Schenzels as “laughter therapy.” CenturyLink Center Grand Ballroom, nearly 1,200 people attended and more than $600,000 was raised. It was direct confirmation of how far the Schenzels “People loved being around them because within two minutes you were laughing. We loved getting took what began as a vague dream in 1998. A video together with them because if we were going through tribute and remarks by emcees and hosts paid a hard time in ministry or in life we’d engage with homage to the Schenzels. them and laugh for a couple hours and feel a whole An earlier, much larger outpouring of love happened lot better by the end of the evening.” during the August 26 memorial service at Countryside Community Church, where 3,000-plus gathered to mourn their deaths and celebrate their lives. A pageant of people eulogized the Schenzels on that emotional occasion, when the loss was still fresh and raw. Speakers included the couple’s children – Emily, Annie, Tyler and Turner – along with old friends and colleagues.

Despite all the friendships they cultivated and the 24/7 demands of serving others, the three pillars of Faith, Marriage and Family always came first for the Schenzels. That legacy lives on not only in the individuals they led to be born-again Christians, but in the way they raised their children and in the youth, family and marriage building work they did. Murdoch always knew their wide impact but he was taken aback by the throng that came for their memorial. He was even more impressed by the fact they reached so many while managing to continue to make family their priority.

Impact

In addition to their four children the Schenzels left behind two young grandchildren, with a third on the way. They left behind, too, scores of people they ministered to, worshiped with, counseled and “Yeah, really amazing, their influence was so wide. advised. Their shared passion was helping people My wife and I were like, ‘Man, how did they have improve themselves and lead better lives. time to do that? How did they touch so many lives in the amount of years they had?’ They had this huge ‘They always had groups in their home they were reach and yet amazingly enough they were able to leading, doing Bible studies with, mentoring,” give their family the best of themselves and Murdoch says. “You can’t just do that, you’ve got to everybody else got what was left over. But there was have a gift to pull that off.” a lot left over. They were so engaged with their children, they spoke love and worth into their lives Their legacy may also live on in the manuscripts all the time. each Schenzel was working on at the time of their deaths. The family is exploring their publication. “They had their values and priorities straight and Additionally, Ty left behind dozens of leather-bound they kept them straight. That’s a pretty rare thing journals he kept that could be a primer for faith, nowadays. Even for well-intended people it’s tough family and marriage. to balance, especially in ministry because your job is never over. It can be like this black hole that never The legacies left in the wake of their passing extend ends. But they were able to draw the boundaries they to countless friendships that came easily to the needed in their life. Great role models that way.” extroverted, fun-loving couple.

Shining examples “I just miss the joy-filled friendship and the spontaneity of connecting,” Murdoch says, “and it was a real friendship formed over 35 years. They’re kind of rare nowadays and you don’t replace those.”

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The hurt of losing a couple that gave so much and had so much left to give runs deep but what consoles those who knew and loved the Schenzels is the assurance that they maximized their time on Earth.

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STORY BY LEO ADAM BIGA | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF HOPE CENTER FOR KIDS & SCHENZEL FAMILY

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TY & TERRI SCHENZEL

faith. hope. love.

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local LIGHT BEARERS

ty & terri schenzel

LAYING A FOUNDATION OF HOPE

faith. hope. love. A LEGACY Ivy Jackson was an original Hope staffer but she went back with the Schenzels before that – to when Ty did youth ministry at Trinity. If you knew one Schenzel, you knew the other. You became like family. She says their impact on her reflects how transformational a relationship with them could be.

Lincoln Murdoch says, “They were not pretentious, they were not overly spiritual in a religious kind of way and they were open with their lives, their marriage, their failures. They didn’t try to make you think they were something they weren’t and that’s endearing to anybody.”

“Everything Ty and Terri did, they were all in. You didn’t get half of them, you didn’t get a third of them, you got everything they were,” Jackson says. “Their legacy is that when you do find that thing you know you’ve been specifically made for – that’s something Ty was very big on – you go in completely 100 percent and you do it well. Everything they did, they did well. They loved well, they ministered well, they laughed well. They did everything with all of their heart.

Not long after being introduced to Ty Schenzel, Level 3 Communication founder Mike Frank helped buy the former Boys & Girls Club building on North 20th Street as the Hope Center home. He only knew the Schenzels socially at first but then he got to experience their caring. That’s when he caught their vision.

“They were all about what legacy will you leave in everything you do –when you kiss your children at night or talk to your spouse after a long day at work or engage with the checkout clerk at the grocery store.” Because the Schenzels didn’t skimp on life, it makes their loss easier to accept, Jackson says.

“Ty was completely sincere, completely real,” Frank says. “He was guileless. And he was kind of geeky. He wasn’t like this really cool guy. But his heart was really for the underdog, the disadvantaged and the hopeless. Terri just had a passion for living. She had a deep love for Ty and she was going to do everything she could to add to it. That was very contagious – that enthusiasm, that excitement.

“When you see everything they’d done up to this point you think to yourself it’s okay they’re gone “We became really close friends. Ty buried my because you didn’t see any holes in their lives. You youngest daughter and married my eldest daughter. couldn’t look back over their life together with He led my best friend to the Lord (Jesus Christ). regrets like, ‘Oh, I wish Ty and Terri had a better Our lives were intertwined pretty deeply. When I was relationship with their kids or patched up that thing around Ty he made me be better because he was so with so-and-so.’ They never left anything undone. So in love with his wife and with Jesus. He was so even though it’s hard to see them go and not be passionate about the disadvantaged and so excited to here…we know they lived life to the fullest. They serve and he called me up to be a better man.” could look at each other and say, ‘We did well.’ I think that’s the legacy they leave to us – do it well, He says he carries with him the Schenzels’ example you love your children well, love your spouse well, of “how to walk the talk.” and that’s what they did.”

Nick Reuting and his wife Andria came under the Schenzels’ influence through the Hope Filled Marriage workshops Ty and Terri were making the focus of their ministry after stepping away from the Hope Center. Like everyone who came near their orbit, the Reutings got swept up in it.

“The image I’m left with is walking into their home, getting a hug from Ty, getting a hug from Terri, and the first things out of their mouth were, ‘How’s your heart, how’s your marriage?.’ They were constant givers. They wanted to make sure you were all right, your marriage was all right. When you had a success there’d be such a joy in their faces,” Reuting says. “They showed an example of what a healthy marriage looks like and what healthy commitment to work, to marriage and to faith looks like and how to balance that. They both freely admitted their own faults, which made it easier to accept that ‘okay, I can make a mistake and it’s not the end of the world’ – everything can be worked out.” Reuting and others have picked up where the Schenzels left off to continue the Hope Filled Marriage series. He says he will miss the “warm loving feeling” that came with their radical hospitality. “And I’m going to miss Terri’s cooking as well. She made a lot of lunches for me.”

Marriage and family first Nurturing came naturally to the Schenzels, who never left any doubt they loved their kids.

“Even through our growing up we each had different times where we weren’t perfect kids and their loving Walking the talk Emily Lanphier says her parents exemplified good commitment was so unconditional,” says Emily The late couple’s eldest child, Emily Lanphier, living to everyone they came in contact with and that Lanphier. “They cared more about being connected agrees, saying, “They modeled well what it is to have extended to her and her siblings. to us as mom and dad than they did about us a good life.” making the right choice. Our heart connection with them was really important.” “Their example of getting life right was such a gift to “My parents were not perfect,” Lanphier adds, “but us because I think most people are trying to figure just authentically committed to their family. She says even with her parents’ busy schedules she out how to do that, and we kind of know how that There wasn’t any double standard – like what you and her siblings never felt neglected or shortchanged. works. Not that life is perfect, we still have life issues, saw from the pulpit is what we experienced our marriage is work and it takes a whole lot of effort. whole life. There was a total authenticity and “They were incredibly intentional in making time for But it feels like we started out 10 steps ahead of congruence. I think that is what made them so family. Sundays after church my mom would do everyone else in life just because of the kind of love beloved because people sensed that when they met lunch. There were different points during the week we received growing up. All four of us are confident, when we knew we were going to see them. They were them. They were so genuine. Who they were is who we know who we are, we’re happy individuals.” they were to any person.” really good at that.”

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local LIGHT BEARERS

The Schenzels’ children maintained the closeness their parents cultivated with them even in adulthood. “When we had free time we would all want to spend it with our parents. Like they were our friends, too. They loved being grandparents. My mom was actually present for the birth of both of my children. My dad was there with the second baby. That’s the kind of relationship we had. They were some of the most busy people I knew but my mom spent every Wednesday with me and the kids. “I’m so grateful I got to know them as adults. When I’d see my mom she’d confide if she was struggling with something. She was so honest. If she and my dad had a disagreement she’d acknowledge it without bashing him. They let you know life is messy. They would always say how hard they had to work on their marriage because they were so emotional, and my dad’s emotions would affect my mom, and her emotions would affect him, and they had to work through that.” The vulnerability and transparency that friend and fellow minister Ron Dotzler referred to in an Omaha World-Herald commentary “was refreshing to see,” Lanphier says, “because it gives you a realistic perspective for relationships. It’s not like you’re perfect together and you never have any fights. No, you’re going to have to be so committed and love each other so much that you’re going to be willing to go through anything together.” Lanphier admired that her parents made a rock solid commitment to staying together. “When they were dating my dad said he told my mom, ‘Just so you know, if we decide to get married, divorce will never be an option.’ And so they settled that even before they were engaged. They were like, ‘We’re all in or we’re not going to do it.’” Ivy Jackson says the Schenzels embodied better than anyone she knows the basic values and principles for right living. She says their lives demonstrated that doing the right thing is both simple and hard. “In my little circle when we talk about Ty and Terri it’s funny because all of the things we say sound like cliches, although they are hard to follow because they require intention and work. Ty and Terri almost seemed cheesy because they were so cliche but they had the fundamentals down and they did them well.

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ty & terri schenzel

LAYING A FOUNDATION OF HOPE

faith. hope. love. A LEGACY That’s who they were. If they went down a list of morals, fundamentals, codes of how you live your life, they checked the box good. They were an inspiration.” Jackson draws on that inspiration daily. “Every day I wake up I am literally a changed person because I knew them. I cannot wait to do well, to love well. And I literally do that. Upon their passing I feel like that’s what I’m doing – I’m entering into what that meant in every sermon Ty said and what he did.” Nick Reuting says Ty had a way of connecting with others.

Fittingly for a mission called Hope, Schenzel held hope that the center still positively changed lives.

“My dad always said he dreamed about a day when it was not just funerals but weddings, graduations, kids going to college and on mission trips all over the world, which did happen before he died. It’s so great to know he saw that in his lifetime – those tangible expressions of the difference the Hope Center made,” Lanphier says. “The longer the Hope Employment and Learning Academy was around, more and more kids were graduating high school and going to college. That was huge for him.” Ed King says the good experiences far outweighed the bad.

“I make my parents proud,” “I get better grades,” “I have really good friends,” “I am more happy,” “I have less pain and sorrow.” Then all the kids held up cards that read, “Thanks for giving us Hope.” Lanphier says the fact her parents regarded Hope youth as their own made it even tougher when the streets claimed some of them. “There were a few kids they had relationships with who got shot in gang activity and that always devastated them. The funerals were always really hard on them.” She says those tragedies reinforced their commitment to the mission.

“I thought of Ty as the best heart engineer you could “My dad would say, ‘This is why we’re doing what think of. He could build a bridge from his heart to we’re doing, this cannot continue.’” “Over 20 plus years of friendship we got a chance to your heart quicker than anybody I’ve ever seen. There was immediate connection and give and take.” experience a lot – from some of our kids who didn’t Unthinkable make it, going to court, going to jail, presiding over Lanphier didn’t want to get the kind of news her their funerals. Ty always would tell the kids the day Lincoln Murdoch says Terri had her own way folks got when people they cared about died. But she was going to come when we’re going to perform your of connecting. guys’ weddings and that most definitely came to pass was the first of her siblings to learn her parents had lost their lives in a crash that also took the life of a – we had the privilege of co-officiating the wedding “She loved to teach, she loved mentoring younger family friend and of the driver of the truck that of a former Hope youth.” women. I think the ladies immediately felt this was a collided with their vehicle. woman they could trust to open up their hearts to Father’s heart • mother’s heart and that Terri would be a confidante.” Lincoln Murdoch says the Schenzels’ “huge hearts as Authorities at the scene searched for hours to find parents bled out all over the place, so when they were identification in the remains of the fire that ignited called to North Omaha they saw and loved these kids after the head-on impact. Good times • bad times as their own and the kids felt it. Something that Not everything was hearts and roses for the Emily recalls the horror of hearing the made their ministry so powerful is they genuinely Schenzels and the people they served. unimaginable: embraced those kids and had them to their home. Parenting the next generation was very powerful in Pastor Ed King was at Hope when “Ty didn’t know their hearts. Ty was a great spiritual surrogate father “At 2:15 in the morning I heard a knock on my door. what he was doing but he knew he was supposed to It freaked me out because my husband was away on a to a lot of guys. Terri was phenomenal from the do it.” They learned an inner-city calling will have camping trip and I was home alone with my kids. maternal side. She was a parent to anybody who casualties when gangs rule some streets. My phone was on silent and I picked up and saw that hung around them at all.” the pastors at Waypoint, Matthew and Amanda It angered the Schenzels so many lives were lost to It wasn’t only adults who sang the Schenzels’ praises (Anderson), were calling me. Amanda said, ‘Emily, gun violence and the metro seemed indifferent to it come to the front door, we’re here.’ I was like, at the gala. In a video, kids delivered personal or tolerant of it. ‘What’s wrong?’ and she said, ‘You just need to come tributes about the difference Hope has made in their down.’ So I got dressed knowing something was lives. Kids went table to table to testify to their “They felt the community needed to take more really wrong. experience. Most powerfully, a group on stage took ownership in the inner city and what happens there,” turns flipping over cards in sync with a singerdaughter Emily Lanphier says. “They felt like this is “I opened the front door and there’s a police officer guitarist’s performance of “Beautiful Things.” our city, we should all be really upset that this is with Matthew and Amanda standing beside him. happening and do something to change it.” I thought, This is like in the movies, this is going to Kid by kid, card by card, the messages transitioned be really bad news.’ They came in and I was told by from where they were (“stressed out,” depressed,” Some kids the Schenzels served were lost in the officer what happened. A nightmare. And then I “angry and alone,” struggling in school”) to where the carnage. had to tell my siblings. It’s the worst, the worst. they’ve come – “I look forward to my future,” CONTINUED


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local LIGHT BEARERS

ty & terri schenzel

LAYING A FOUNDATION OF HOPE

faith. hope. love. A LEGACY FOR THERE ARE THESE THREE THINGS THAT endure: FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE, BUT THE greatest OF THESE IS love. ~ ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE I CORINTHIANS 13:13 THE HOLY BIBLE

It’s bad to know but then when you have to tell people that’s like a whole other level of pain. I remember thinking, ‘I cannot believe these words are coming out of my mouth.’” She delayed sharing the news as long as possible. “I actually waited to tell them. I decided to let them sleep because our lives were ruined and what difference would a few hours make.”

She also learned from her folks it’s okay to feel your feelings and, if needed, to have a professional guide you through them. “My parents were both highly emotional but they weren’t sufferers. They dealt with life and if they needed to get counseling they got counseling. It’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to need help.” More profoundly yet, she and her siblings are all believers who know to call on their Higher Power for healing.

After the blur of memorial services and condolences, she posted an online remembrance of her parents “Because this is the most pain I’ve ever felt in my life, that read in part: I know what to do and I can handle this because I have the Lord inside me.” “It is such a comfort to know their impact as I journey through this tunnel of grief. There are some Carrying the torch moments I want to call them so bad and I feel like I might die from sadness but I keep digging and Lincoln Murdoch has a perspective on the tragedy allowing myself to grieve and heal because I want to that took Emily’s parents and his good friends just as be the kind of parents they were.” they were transitioning from the Hope Center to their Hope Filled Marriage ministry and taking time She says what “they put in me” provided the out for themselves, too. resiliency needed to work through the tragedy. She confides that in the immediate aftermath of her “It was almost like they put in 17 hard years at the loss she didn’t feel so resilient until her training Hope Center and the Lord said, ‘Why don’t you take kicked in. two or three months off, travel around, enjoy each other, and then I’m going to call you home.’ “I remember thinking, Oh, my God, someone’s going We just didn’t know what that would be.” to have to take care of my kids, my grief is incapacitating. And then all of a sudden I At their funeral he brandished a baton at the altar to remembered, ‘Are you kidding? I know exactly how symbolize taking on the vision of hope the Schenzels I’m going to get through this – because everything I set forth. need to deal with this they’ve already given me.’ They prepared me my whole life how to be strong and to “Being a runner I thought, ‘Well, they left a big gap and they carried the baton and now somebody needs let my faith be the bedrock of who I am.”

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to pick it up.’ I challenged everybody there to take part of the baton Ty and Terri carried and let’s keep this vision going. It was a call for people to get involved.” That call has resonated with friends and strangers as Murdoch and others have taken to carrying batons in races and other venues to bring awareness to the Hope Center mission. “I had no idea the baton theme would kind of get a life of its own.” It’s not so different than when the Schenzels left suburbia for the inner city on faith alone to plant seeds they never imagined would grow into such strong roots. What began with Ty and Terri as Johnny Appleseeds and Pied Pipers has now born fruit as an expansive orchard of rooted and grounded beneficiaries and stewards, now following their lead in helping people bloom. To learn more about the enduring legacies of Ty & Terri Schenzel visit www.hopecenterforkids.com and http://hopefilledmarriage.org.

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BEFORE 2008, the fashion community in Omaha was very small. Thriving ecosystem Opportunity for local designers to showcase their work was limited and there was next “I got it started, but when Brook took over as the CEO and worked with this amazing to no local infrastructure to support the industry. Aside from a handful of exceptions, community of volunteers and associated businesses, that is when it really took off,” budding fashion designers were compelled to leave the area to realistically pursue a career. Nick Hudson explained. Less than a decade later, in 2016, OMAHA FASHION WEEK is the nation’s fifth largest fashion “All of our efforts over the last few years have been around building a system to support event, featuring full-week showcases twice a year and serving as a talent incubator for creative talent regardless of their personal economic situation.” designers, models, stylists, photographers and artists. FASHION INSTITUTE MIDWEST, a nonprofit organization, supports the growth of regional fashion designers by fostering The couple became founding board members of the Omaha Fashion Institute, launched creative inspiration and providing talented individuals access to technical training, resources in 2012; they are no longer involved in its day-to-day business. The fashion sales arm, and business education. Omaha-based DESIGN PARLIAMENT provides a network to sell DESIGN PARLIAMENT, started up the next year, and Nick focuses on DESIGN designer products to luxury retailers and five-star hotels all over North America. OMAHA PARLIAMENT year-round, where he serves as chairman and managing director. The company grows luxury designer brands by providing sales, marketing and operational FASHION CAMP, a training program for youth ages 5 to 16, provides young attendees service to premium boutiques and retailers. They now have five head-office with opportunities to explore their design skills and develop their careers as employees and six regional sales reps. creative entrepreneurs. And the OMAHA DESIGN CENTER is a 30,000square-foot custom showcase and event venue undergoing a Through their various endeavors, the Hudsons have fostered multi-million-dollar renovation this spring to transform into a a thriving ecosystem that helps designers become permanent home for OMAHA FASHION WEEK and its “I think because entrepreneurs and opens up opportunities for models, associated fashion design and retail activities. stylists, hair and makeup artists, photographers, [Omaha Fashion Week] musicians and other professionals in industries related Hundreds of people have been part of the incredible is unexpected, to fashion. What was once just latent talent is blooming transformation of Omaha’s fashion scene, but the in the Midwest because of a supportive community, Nick that’s part of the reason primary catalyst undoubtedly has been the dynamic said, and OMAHA FASHION WEEK has caught the coupling of Nick and Brook Hudson. why it’s successful.” attention of magazines like Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), networks like MTV and television shows Nick Hudson, a third-generation fashion entrepreneur and NICK HUDSON F such as Project Runway. University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) graduate, launched the first OMAHA FASHION WEEK in 2008, hoping to “There’s starting to be a little bit of a buzz about young designers showcase about a dozen designers and generate some interest in coming from Omaha,” Nick said. “I think anything where it’s unexpected – Omaha’s very small fashion scene. where you’re almost against the grain – that maybe makes it harder but it also creates motivation. I think because it is unexpected, that’s part of the reason why it’s successful.” Friendly beginnings The community associates both Hudsons with the birth of OMAHA FASHION WEEK, but the couple weren’t married when the first OMAHA FASHION WEEK took place. In fact, Entrepreneurship incubator they weren’t even really dating; the two had been introduced by mutual friends and met And this year, one of the couple’s longest-awaited goals will be realized: OMAHA DESIGN for lunch here and there, mostly to talk about business. Brook Matthews, a Blair native, CENTER, a space that will be OMAHA FASHION WEEK’s permanent venue and was better known at the time as the 2004 Miss Nebraska. An MBA graduate of Creighton accommodate other events year-round. Located in north downtown at 15th and Cuming University, she was working on the marketing team for one of the OMAHA FASHION Streets, the 30,000 square-foot setting is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and will feature a large event space, an art gallery reception area, catering kitchen WEEK sponsors. “We were friends,” she said of her association with Nick Hudson then. facilities, an outdoor patio and even an upscale designer retail showroom. The center After that first event, they not only continued to collaborate professionally but opens with the March 15-20 OMAHA FASHION WEEK this year. somewhere along the way sparks flew and the couple became more than just friendly As OMAHA FASHION WEEK and its ecosystem continues to evolve, Brook said, the (although they never have stopped discussing creative endeavors). cultivation of future talent continues with several programs geared toward young “Our love story is…it’s interesting. You could write a whole book on the love side of it,” designers and even youth, like OMAHA FASHION CAMP. Brook Hudson said, with a laugh. “That’s an important part of our mission,” she said. “Omaha will probably never rival In 2010, the couple were married (they welcomed baby Charlotte in October 2014) and New York as a global fashion capital, but based on the creative young talent that is here, early the next year, Brook Hudson left the corporate world for a full-time entrepreneurial we could be a leading creative entrepreneurship incubator and one with a growing national reputation.” commitment to OMAHA FASHION WEEK.

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NOT MANY COUPLES in Nebraska can say that a land nearly 10,000 miles away brought them together, but a shared love for all things Madagascar was and remains an important connection for Susie McGuire and Ed Louis – even when their respective work sometimes takes one of them two days’ travel and nine time zones away.

and amphibians, but I did a scientific right turn and began working on biodiversity and distribution of Madagascar’s lemurs and have never stopped,” Louis said. “The biggest change for me came when we started to the community-based monitoring programs at four sites in Madagascar, concentrating on critically endangered animals and leveraging their importance to improve habitat and the local communities’ abilities to take their future over in a positive manner, banking on the importance of their biodiversity.”

“To be honest, our lives are just so crazy…I think I have a really have a great life, but it’s tough sometimes,” McGuire said. “We’re always traveling and he spends six to eight months a year in Madagascar. I think it would be difficult for other people to understand, but it “Madagascar is like nowhere else on Earth,” McGuire said. “Everything there is just crazy amazing.” works out for us because we each know what it’s like on the other end.”

The couple, who married four years ago, originally met through their work at Henry Doorly Conservation Fusion focuses on education, promoting a broad message of conservation that McGuire hopes Malagasy and American youth will carry forward as positive Zoo, where McGuire worked for 13 years and where her research in the molecular action in adulthood. genetics lab at The Center for Conservation and Research took her to Madagascar for the first time. Louis is still at the Zoo as the Director “I think the thing that sets Conservation Fusion apart is that of Conservation Genetics and has been traveling to and working everything we do is in collaboration,” McGuire said. “We have in Madagascar for his work there since 1998. “It became a reality, really accomplished a huge amount in the five years after along with we started and I think we were able to do that because Education and collaboration everything else, we’re always collaborating. Everything we do is a win/win In 2010, McGuire left the zoo to found Conservation Fusion, partnership, and we try to really keep that relationship with lots of passion, “an international nonprofit conservation organization, and that partnership open, and it’s such a heart of dedication and where everything we do is based on conservation, everything we do.” education and collaboration both here in the United States perseverance.” and in Madagascar,” she said. “Our mission statement is Backyard biodiversity SUSIE McGUIRE ‘Educating to build and strengthen our world.’ We really envision F As far as the Louis and McGuire partnership, even when the couple connecting communities on both the local and a global scale are at home in Omaha, they are studying and appreciating biodiversity through innovative education programs that promote conservation of sorts through their garden and an assortment of creatures from a German awareness and, ultimately, action.” shepherd to a troop of reptiles (reflecting Louis’s earlier studies). The “mini-zoo” includes a 150-pound giant African spur-thigh tortoise who roams the backyard eating fallen apples Louis, who serves on the board of directors for Conservation Fusion, is also the director of and grass. the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership, a Malagasy non-governmental organization he started the same year McGuire launched Conservation Fusion. So although they aren’t “The tortoise is really smart, and the German shepherd can unlatch the gate with his nose,” always able to be on one continent, the two frequently collaborate professionally, and in McGuire said. “One day this fall, a neighbor knocked on our front door: ‘Your tortoise is out.’ the summers they typically spend time together in Madagascar with McGuire’s teenage He made it all the way across the street to the backyard of a neighbor’s. He’s so smart that son in tow. ever since the escape, he’ll watch for me to come to the gate and then he’ll ram it to see if I leave the latch open.” An island nation located off the southeastern coast of Africa, Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, although its land area is only about the size of Texas and Dream School nearly 90 percent of its original forest is now gone due to damages from human activity. A big believer in the concept of “Be the Change”, one of Conservation Fusion’s primary More than 80 percent of its animals are found nowhere else in the world, and many of them messages, McGuire said her husband’s support inspired her to dream big. are endangered. “Follow your dreams, and never, never give up. We just finished the construction of the “Dream School” in Madagascar; never would I have ever imagined I would have orchestrated A scientific right turn something of that magnitude,” McGuire said, explaining that Conservation Fusion recently “I (first) went to Madagascar to attend the International Primatological Society meeting signed a contract with leaders of a remote village to build a community school – the nearest held at the University of Antananarivo in 1998, along with attending the pre- and post- school is more than 20 kilometers away – which will also function as a headquarters for conference events at Ranomafana National Park. I wanted to continue my work with reptiles conservation education and outreach activities.

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“HUTCH STARTED WITH Brandon and I dating,” Nick Huff says. But his and Brandon Beed’s hip Midtown retail establishment – featuring unique, cuttingedge furniture and accessories under the tagline ‘objects of the urban life’ – didn’t exactly start off with wild dating stories of a trendy couple hitting the hottest, latest, most happening new nightspots.

“After two weeks we almost sold through everything,” Huff said. Still both employed elsewhere, they initially operated on weekends only, but eventually took a leap of faith by leaving their jobs to concentrate on the growing business full time. They moved, and moved again, and for the first year and a half, sold only vintage items.

“We would do all the picking, we would put it in the store and we would do all of the deliveries as well, so we developed a really neat relationship with the customers,” Huff “Everyone else does the typical dinner, drinks and movie. But we liked hanging out and said. In their customers’ homes, they would also see amazing new furniture and accessories. “Our customers weren’t connecting with any stores in town…we knew they were buying thrifting together,” Huff said. “So it sort of sparked this new hobby.” from us because they liked a vintage flair, but we’d go into their homes and see all this Both men had recently moved to new residences that needed furnishing, he explained, new furniture they’d bought online.” and somehow the “hobby” took on a life of its own. “Thrift shops”, “aged”, “old”, “antique” and “vintage” were more like it.

“We kept buying more furniture, even when we didn’t need it. It really kind of snowballed, and we kept buying more and more,” he said. “Brandon’s garage filled up, his porch filled up, his basement filled up. His bedroom and his living room started to creep in furniture and then we decided we ought to do something about all of this furniture.” Beed created a makeshift photo studio in his garage with a backdrop fashioned from barn wood, and the two had the idea to sell surplus pieces online. “We never thought of a business at that point, it was just a fun way to sell our furniture on Craigslist,” Huff explained.

“Brandon and I both grew up gay in Nebraska.… And we both felt that we weren’t fully able to express ourselves until later as adults, like we had all this energy to give.”

A new direction Beed and Huff explored furniture markets in North Carolina, Las Vegas and New York, developing relationships with modern vendors as they also connected with local makers. In its current location at the corner of 33rd and Farnam Streets in Midtown Crossing, Hutch features products from 40 modern vendors and 20 local makers in addition to a continued mix of vintage items. The whirlwind of Hutch has been an evolution in many ways, Huff said. “Everything is a learning experience,” he said. “Everything was new and everything was a challenge and everything was exciting.”

NICK HUFF F

And running Hutch is still exciting, he added, because the experience From first hutch to first Hutch continues to cultivate inspiration. By then, the couple had already purchased their first piece together, a $40 hutch from a private seller on Craigslist. And as the relationship progressed, a partnership of another “Brandon and I both grew up gay in Nebraska. He grew up in a very small town called kind was developing as well. With Beed a graphic designer and Huff a sales and marketing Palmer with about 400 people and I grew up in a very small Christian community here in manager for a restaurant, it seemed fitting that their complementary areas of expertise Omaha. And we both felt that we weren’t fully able to express ourselves until later as were inspiring some big ideas. adults, like we had all this pent-up energy to give,” Huff said. “I think we’ve really been able to unleash that within Hutch and it’s a really liberating and powerful thing, and I “I always had this entrepreneurial spirit and would bounce my concepts off of my friends think that’s part of our mission, too, to provide things for other people to feel comfortable before I was hanging around Nick, and they’d always chuckle at me and be like, ‘Well, that with and express themselves.” won’t work because of this.’” Beed said. “But when I was around Nick, it was like they were really welcome concepts and he would kind of build on them. There’s something in the “I think we both felt a little bit stifled by our environments growing up, so Hutch has created dynamic of the two of us that seems to stimulate a lot of creative ideas.” an environment where we can really explode with our creativity and I think that’s where all our energy comes from,” Beed agreed. “I was sort of shocked at the beginning how “Normally ideas are just ideas, but for some reason, when we came together things started easy it is to make a splash in Omaha; I think there’s a lot of creative people here and who happening. It really worked,” Huff added. are really passionate and rally around Omaha, making Omaha better. Less than six months after their November 2012 first date, Beed and Huff opened the original incarnation of Hutch (named in honor of their first shared purchase), selling vintage pieces in an Old Market space below a friend’s retail store. 22

When we started our concept, we had so much support and all of a sudden all of these entrepreneurs and creative people just started coming out of the woodwork rallying us. That has so much energy, we just felt like we were on the right path.” mQUARTERLY • FEB/MAR/APR 2016


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WHEN MATT AND SIMONE WEBER opened “It showcases our mission and hopefully it will get played on radio stations, maybe played the doors of Table Grace Cafe in 2011 as a program of their nonprofit Table Grace with advertising that we do, and continue to seal in people’s minds and hearts what Table Ministries, they knew it would take a tremendous amount of hard work and an even Grace is all about.” greater degree of faith to make it successful. Dignity and respect “This was something we felt really called and passionate about doing, but we also knew Another distinguishing feature of the cafe is that all patrons are invited to give a free will it was a wish and a prayer that it would succeed. Who in their right mind would start a donation of either money or labor. cafe with no prices on the menu and with very little funding?” Simone Weber said. “You start out and you say, ‘We’ve got this dream, and we’re going to push it out there and “For some people that means giving financially, for other people that means giving of their time or their talent,” Simone said. “But we really feel that giving something offers everyone walk in faith and see if God will meet us halfway.’” an opportunity to contribute to their community and the dignity and respect of really Although from different hometowns, the couple met in high school at a University of assisting and being a community together. It’s not a soup kitchen where people come to get free meals, it’s a community hub where everyone has the opportunity to contribute Nebraska Lincoln music camp; both ended up at UNL as music majors and in the in their own way, whether you’re in need or you have something to give,” Matt Cornhusker marching band. They spent some time in New York after said, adding that patron donations help subsidize food and operational marrying but ultimately returned to Nebraska to start their family. costs, and volunteers are welcome. “We bring in $3 per person on They also wanted to combine their faith and talents (Matt is a average for meals here, so the rest of it has to come from other Natural Gourmet Institute for Health & Culinary Arts-trained places in the community.” chef and Simone is a singer/songwriter and musician) into “[We] both set out “some kind of social endeavor that would help our local As part of their mission, the Webers strive to make deeper community,” Matt Weber said. to live on what connections to their patrons who are homeless or our passion is struggling. “He and I both set out to live on what our passion is and and what we what we really love to do,” Simone said. “With him, it’s “We kind of function as a hub where people can come culinary as well as the music. With me, it’s the music as really love to do.” together and share information and resources about how well as ministering to people and really being in to get the support they need,” Matt explained. “It’s not the community with each other and inspiring other people to SIMONE WEBER easy way of doing it…to have a personal relationship with F be the best version of themselves through whatever their each of the patrons that come in here.” given gifts and talents are.” A new ‘multimedia’ The couple was intrigued by Denver’s SAME (So All May Eat) community cafe that featured a no-price menu and was open to all, and they eventually decided to launch a similar operation in Omaha. The twist was integrating music as a vehicle to communicate about hunger outreach. “Eating healthy tends to be expensive sometimes, so what we do in our restaurant with no prices is provide access to high-quality, food for people all across the socioeconomic spectrum and address the issue and growing concern of socioeconomic inequality in our world,” Matt said.

Through partnerships with multiple community organizations and government agencies including the Douglas County drug court, Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation, Urban League Employment First, MACCH (Metro Area Continuum of Care for the Homeless) and others, Table Grace has become a source for services such as homeless outreach, court-ordered community service opportunities, and even job training. Table Grace Cafe also strives to be a zero-waste restaurant and utilizes food donations that might otherwise be destined for discard. All walks of life The couple said a continuing goal of the restaurant is to bring in more of the business crowd for weekday lunch.

Then not only do patrons enjoy an excellent meal, they often are treated to entertainment “One of our challenges is creating a more balanced patronage. Eighty percent of our patrons as well. Simone performs at Table Grace at least one afternoon a week, inviting other are low- to no-income and only about 20 percent are the working professionals who are musicians to collaborate. “Depending on who’s here, we will all sing and play together, coming in to support us by eating lunch here,” Matt said. “It’s important for the social and many of the songs we do are ones that I’ve written or we cycle through various capital aspect, and in order to truly have a restaurant that blends people from all walks of genres of music,” she said. Music is a large part of the community outreach for the cafe, life, we need the participation of people from all walks of life.” too, bringing a new meaning to the word “multimedia”, she added. “We stay in our silos, we stay in our places that are comfortable. And Table Grace might be “Matt and I do music in the community, too, on a pretty regular basis; it’s one of the ways uncomfortable, and that’s okay. If it takes you an extra little deep breath to walk in the we fundraise,” she explained. She even features a song called “Table Grace Cafe” on her soon- front door, that’s all right,” Simone added. “It may transform you, whoever you are, as well to-be- released CD (daughters Hope, 8, and Alexandra, 5, sing on some of the songs, too). as the people who meet you here.”

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THE ACCOLADES ARE NUMEROUS and coming from everywhere for Catering Creations and the event venue Founders ONE | NINE, complementary businesses both owned by Jeff and Jennifer Snow: Best Caterer in the Midwest, Best of Weddings, Bride’s Choice Award, Best Dessert, 1st Place Tablescape, 1st Place Regional Beef Competition, 1st Place Regional Pork Competition. And the enthusiastic praise is continuous: “absolutely awesome,” “phenomenal job,” “the best holiday party we have ever had,”“the food was to die for, the service was impeccable,” “a cut above the rest,”“guests are still raving about how amazing the venue, service and food were.” They’re enjoying their success, but the journey hasn’t always been easy for the Snows. They started the catering business at a particularly inauspicious time: “One year right after 9-11…an industry downturn,” Jeff said. They encountered some name confusion in 2014 and 2015 when a local company that also had “Creations” in its name received repeated negative press for a scandal involving a marketing promotion. “We actually considered possibly changing our name,” Jennifer said. And in 2013, just as the couple was poised to launch their second venture Founders ONE • NINE, Jeff was seriously injured in a horrific accident – he was on a bicycle when a motorist made a bad left turn resulting in a straighton collision – that left him with a broken pelvis and broken vertebrae and ribs. “We thought about putting construction on hold and coming back in a few years,” Jennifer said.

Catering Creations outgrew its original facility and rapidly exceeded the capacity of its second location (Jeff likened managing operations in the small space to shuffling a Rubik’s cube), and the couple was soon ready for bigger and better. “We knew we wanted several things: our own venue, a commissary and office we wouldn’t have to move away from again because we’d already moved twice; we wanted a space we could grow into,” Jennifer said. “We also wanted ownership; we didn’t want to be paying rent.” A 1920 building for the future In 2013, they found the perfect facility at the corner of 19th and Jackson, which gave rise to the name of the new event venue: “Founders” for James A. Jackson, one of the original town site founders, and “ONE • NINE” for 19th Street. The circa-1920 L-shaped building, which formerly housed a printing company and restaurant fixture company, was reimagined as the new home of Catering Creations with the adjacent “urban chic” event space as Founders ONE • NINE.

“[After Jeff’s accident] we thought about putting construction on hold and coming back in a few years.”

“This area is prime for development,” Jennifer said. “It’s definitely an up-and-coming neighborhood.” In its spacious new quarters, Catering Creations continues an on- and off-premise catering and event planning company for many of Omaha’s finest venues. Under Jeff’s supervision, the professionally-trained staff prepares all menu items from scratch and Catering Creations provides full-service event planning as well.

JENNIFER SNOW

F But the couple overcame every challenge. Their business Founders ONE • NINE opened next to Catering Creations in April thrived in the early 2000s even as the overall catering industry 2015 and provides seating for up to 400 guests, an outdoor green space was in a prolonged slump. By mid-2015, the public had mostly and even a bridal suite. The venue can accommodate a wide variety of events disassociated the reputable Catering Creations with that other “Creations” company. from weddings and full-scale fundraisers to corporate luncheons and cocktail parties, and And it took many long months, but Jeff recovered from his injuries while the vision in coordination with Catering Creations the Snows are able to provide a host of additional for Founders ONE • NINE moved forward. services.

Taking off from the start Sharing the success The couple’s story begins at the former Old Market mainstay The French Café, where “We still look back at least once a month and talk about how we never thought we’d get Culinary Institute of America-trained Jeff served as executive chef for 10 years. Jennifer this big,” Jennifer said, adding that they share credit for the success of both businesses was employed as a waitress there when they met but it wasn’t long before she chose to with their “innovative” culinary team and professional staff. The Snows also share their leave that position so the couple could date, which turned out to be quite prescient since success in other ways: Ten percent of their profits are donated to local charities along they eventually married. with volunteer time, services and discounts. Their primary projects include Food Bank for the Heartland, Ronald McDonald House, the Institute for the Culinary Arts at A few years later, Jennifer explained, “He went out to start a catering company and I was Metropolitan Community College, and Child Saving Institute. working as a stockbroker. At night I would help him, working on marketing pieces and catering proposals and the accounting. Ironically, we were starting a family at that time The Snows have their hands full, but they also serve as “taxi drivers” for their 14-yearas well. It was a really…unique time to start,” she said. old son and 12-year-old daughter who are involved in numerous activities. Because despite their busy schedules running two businesses, it’s still family first. And for now, However, Jennifer was soon working full-time with Jeff. “The business grew far beyond they keep their commercial and residential kitchens separate although the younger what either of us ever expected it to be. I think we thought it was always going to kind Snows show an interest in cooking like their dad did as a youngster. “Jeff and kids cook of be Jeff’s company and that would be his thing and I would do my thing and help him together as a family, at home, just for themselves,” Jennifer said, adding only half-jokingly, when I could. But the company took off.” “But maybe one day we’ll sell the business to them.”

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• PRESENTED BY

IT’S REALLY truly ABOUT THE TEAM AND HELPING them GET THE RESOURCES they NEED IN ORDER TO BE SUCCESSFUL. ~ SAMANTHA MOSSER

she's the omaha president for the third largest family-owned bank in nebraska today, but samantha mosser never forgot her days on the front line as she manages under a philosophy that good leadership is helping others excel.

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celebrating 25 years in 2016!

SAMANTHA MOSSER OMAHA PRESIDENT UNION BANK & TRUST

PRESENTS game

changers

SAMANTHA MOSSER

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“I REALLY WORK FOR MY team… Samantha moSSer leadS with thiS Sentiment when explaining her role aS the omaha preSident for lincoln-baSed Union bank & trUSt company (Ubt). Ubt is the third largest family-owned bank in the state, offering every major product type, and Ubt has over $3 billion in assets (the omaha bank has $450 million in assets under management). in her role, mosser directly manages executive vice presidents, vice presidents and department managers, ultimately overseeing a team of more than 25 employees. regardless, she’s still not fond of being called ‘boss’. “Union bank’s number one goal is customer satisfaction, so my job is really to get our team the resources they need to provide the best service for our customers.” part of mosser’s effectiveness as a leader is that she knows what it’s like to be on the front line. She began her banking career the same year she earned her bachelor’s degree from nebraska wesleyan University, working her way from management trainee to residential mortgage lender and then private banking officer at a large regional bank. mosser joined Ubt as an assistant vice president of commercial real estate in february 2002, where she was further promoted to vice president and omaha regional manager before being promoted to her present position in 2011. after earning her mba at the University of nebraska omaha in 2002, mosser also served her alma mater nebraska wesleyan University as an adjunct professor in the evenings, facilitating courses in economics and money and banking for four years. “my responsibility at the bank is to oversee the omaha team, which encompasses commercial real estate, commercial banking, corporate banking, retail, private banking, treasury management, residential construction, residential mortgage and business development,” she said. “my job is to carry out the bank’s vision and mission within the omaha bank, help set targets and budgets, and help our team be successful in each of their areas, whether that’s increasing deposits and loan volume or increasing profitability.” and again, it all requires a team approach, as mosser repeatedly emphasized.

IT’S NOT ABOUT women, IT’S NOT ABOUT men, IT’S NOT ABOUT age OR position. I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT FOR everyone TO BE INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY.

Helping others be successful “my parents were great role models when i was growing up. they taught me, “to whom much is given, much will “Something i’m pretty proud of is that our employee engagement, which is measured by Quantum workplace, be required [luke 12:48].’ they volunteered at our school has increased every year for the last five years,” she and church and helped others quietly behind the scenes,” explained. “it’s really truly about the team and helping mosser said. them get the resources they need in order to be successful.” “my mother continues to be very active in the community. She is president of the school board, sits on the brady mosser also believes that one of the hallmarks of good public Schools foundation board, and helps plan leadership is allowing others to excel. community events. She always told my sister and i, ‘you can’t sit back and wait for others to take action; if you see “i always say i want to hire people smarter and more a need, find a way to be part of the solution.’”  talented than myself because they’ll challenge me and make me better,” she said. “i’ve always surrounded myself Generations of giving back with really good people, and mentors. i don’t think anyone at this level can be successful if they’re focused on following her parents’ example, mosser has given time themselves. it truly is about the team, and i work with an and support to numerous community organizations and nonprofits through the years. incredible group of people.”  mosser is a team player on the community level, too. She “my husband and i have been very blessed and we want to give back to the community. we are passionate about was born on the east coast but grew up in brady, children and education. i recently served on the board of nebraska, a town of approximately 425 located near child Saving institute; i became involved because my north platte—the group she now oversees at Ubt is considerably larger than her graduating class of 14—and father was a foster child and i want to help other she credits her family with instilling in her a drive to give children who are in the same situation he experienced,” back to the community. she explained.

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• mQUARTERLY celebrating 25 years in 2016!

SAMANTHA MOSSER

WE ALSO WANT TO pass along TO OUR children THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING OTHERS. WE STRONGLY encourage THEM TO GET INVOLVED. …GIVING BACK HAS always BEEN PART OF MY LIFE AND ALWAYS will BE.

This special feature is sponsored by planitomaha. planitomaha is dedicated to honoring women whose influence not only impacts the boardroom but the community.

“Welcome to “i am currently on the board of community alliance. i joined because i have a family member who has struggled with severe depression their whole life and community alliance’s mission is to help individuals with mental illness achieve their unique potential, and to live, work, learn, and contribute in a community of mutual support. i am joining the children’s hospital & medical center board of directors in January of 2016.”

“it’s not about women, it’s not about men, it’s not about age or position. i think it’s important for everyone to be involved in the community,” she explained. “i am blessed to work at Ubt, which shares the same value. Ubt has a community involvement program to encourage all employees to get involved, and i am proud to say the omaha team has had 100 percent participation the past three years.”

mosser and her husband, mitch, have also made giving a family affair for their three sons: 10-year-old neal, 8year-old major (who shares a halloween birthday with his mother) and 6-year-old maddux.

examples of Ubt employees’ involvement just last year included donating blood, participating in the Strike out hunger event to benefit food bank for the heartland, providing dinner and pantry items to the ronald mcdonald house, volunteering for the State of america games and the United cerebral palsy golf tournament, contributing to United way with Ubt’s 100 percent match, and a holiday drive benefitting lutheran family Services.

“we also want to pass along to our children the importance of helping others,” she said. “we strongly encourage them to get involved in giving back whether it’s giving toys to goodwill or the lydia house or donating a book to their classroom or food to the food bank.” mosser said she continues to make time for giving back despite her demanding schedule, and feels fortunate to work for an employer that supports those efforts.

“giving back has always been part of my life and always will be,” she said.

PRESENTS game

changers

SAMANTHA MOSSER

one of the largest and most prestigious meeting planning firms in the midwest omaha magazine B2B winners since 2008 national, regional and local meetings and events nationally recognized as a leader in the meetings & event industry supporting our community through our non-profit work and the boards/organizations we are members of planitomaha has been providing event and meeting management solutions for over 15 years. we are a client-centric firm that provides unmatched service and professionalism. while proudly located in the midwest, our crazy-talented event team works from new york to la and everywhere in the middle.


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community ADVANCEMENT

The creaTion of Do Space…Truly empowers The omaha communiTy To Take The lead in The Technology movemenT. ~ WALTER SCOTT, CO-FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN HERITAGE SERVICES

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STORY BY KARA SCHWEISS | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF DO SPACE celebrating 25 years in 2016!

dreamDo it Space / do it

it’s evident from the point of entrance – and from the street, really – that there’s nothing quite like do space anywhere else in omaha. actually, there is nothing quite like it anywhere.

omaha’S firST DigiTal library: one of a kind do space: ALL ABOUT ACCESS

CONTINUED


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community ADVANCEMENT

do “The space: popularity all abouT of acceSS “The audience iS everyone: all ages, all levels of expertise.” it’s a statement Do space executive Director rebecca stavick has made many times and expects to emphasize many more times as more and more omahans are discovering the cutting-edge technology facility that opened in November at 72nd and Dodge streets and is available to the public 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. “Do space is a community tech library and an innovation space for the public. our mission is to increase access to technology and empower the community with innovative learning opportunities for everyone,” stavick explained. “We have hardware, software, all kinds of tech. and all kinds of learning opportunities for people who are absolute beginners all the way through superadvanced programmers who are trying to boost their existing skills.” reflecting the mission of Do space “to empower Do space members through technology access and education,” Do space was developed to be a technology equalizer, enabler, educator and innovator. anyone can apply for a free membership in person or online, and most services are free of charge, with some fees assessed for materials costs when applicable.

Technology and education Do space offers access to more than 200 desktop computers, tablets and laptops; a 3-D lab outfitted with 3-D printers, a 3-D scanner and laser cutter; gigabit internet connectivity including wi-fi; standard and large-format printing services; meeting spaces with high-end touch screen technology; technology-related workshops, classes and clubs for all ages; and community events and speakers that encourage discussion about how technology can improve the lives of omahans. also, Metropolitan Community College will be leading innovative educational programs and classes on the second floor.

our miSSion iS To increaSe access To Technology anD empower The communiTy wiTh innovative learning opporTuniTieS for

Do space is run by Community information trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed by Heritage services (an omaha-based nonprofit project development organization), and launched with private donations.

everyone. ~ REBECCA STAVICK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DO SPACE

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“the creation of Do space as a technology library and innovation space truly empowers the omaha community to take the lead in the technology movement,” Chairman of Heritage services and Director of Community information trust Walter scott said.

FEB/MAR/APR 2016


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• mQUARTERLY

do

through education and available resources, we will work together to develop increasingly advanced digital skills among omahans.”

Structure and infrastructure HDr senior vice president Bruce Carpenter, whose firm designed the building, said the facility itself is unique. the space is a good example of environmentally respectful re-use (it once housed a commercial bookstore), with significant design changes  being implemented to make Do space one of a kind.

the choice of placing Do space near the geographic center of the city was key in assuring that anyone in the community could take advantage of its programs and services.

“the space is designed for flexibility because we know that technology is going to change,” Carpenter added. “technology infrastructure is becoming simpler in many ways because of the development and use of fiber optics to transmit data. a primary consideration is “location was a critical element when planning Do space,” having enough capacity for expansive amounts of data Director of Community information trust and Director of to be transmitted. Having varied platforms like apple Heritage services David slosburg said. “the 72nd and and Microsoft at the workspace for patrons to use and Dodge streets location provides everyone with easy the ability to work anywhere in the building were also access to the building. the convenient location also important considerations.” helps bridge the digital divide of available technology in omaha so that these critical resources are available even fixtures and furnishings can be moved to to everyone.” accommodate future needs, he said.

“We wanted to redesign the exterior to create its own “the very core of this project is creating opportunity,” identity. as soon as you walk in, you’re immediately stavick agreed. “How do we present opportunities to the “We have furniture that’s flexible, so as technology engaged in technology with an interactive media community to boost their digital skills? this is becoming changes the furniture can change. We tried to create wall. there’s a different spatial quality,” Carpenter said. different types of areas so you can either be at a “We used colors from the brand on both the exterior and an increasingly bigger issue in society because workspace or workstation at varying heights, or you can technology is changing so fast that our skills need to interior, so when people in the community see the brand be at more of a casual, bench/table-type seating area,” evolve along with it in order for us to get to the next step used in media or out in the community they know in innovation. so the primary objective is really access Carpenter said. “people can create their own space that they’re in the right place. there was a tremendous and education; you can’t put tech out into community they’re comfortable in. in the teen space, the furniture is amount of research that went into this facility even without education.” all moveable; teens like to create their own spaces, and though it’s a small building.” they can set themselves up in different-sized groups.” the unique look of Do space also sends a message that it’s innovative in other ways, he added.

Innovation incubator

Do space is also designed to serve as an innovation incubator of sorts.

“the program is the only one we’ve seen in the country, “individuals who have the spark and idea to develop a and we’ve visited many of the top library systems in san new business now have the critical resources needed to get their project off the ground,” Chairman of Diego, seattle, phoenix and New York City. We visited a similar electronic library, but it doesn’t have the depth of Community information trust Board of Directors Mike McCarthy said. “Do space offers omaha entrepreneurs a programming or the ‘do’ space such as 3-D printing and meeting location to collaborate and create as well as full access to high-end programs software.” access to technology and resources needed to help start and run a successful business.”  Bridging the digital divide Do space is intended to be transformational over time, stavick said. “there is still a distinct digital divide in omaha. there are still quite a few people who don’t have computers at home or who don’t have access to the internet, and that’s a huge problem if you’re trying to apply for jobs and learn; everything is online, right?” she said.

For the future one challenge associated with technology services is trying to ascertain how technology will evolve in the future, stavick said. “We took that into account in our planning,” she said. Bandwidth capacity exceeds current needs, for instance, and budgeting accommodates new hardware and software that is just emerging or may not even exist yet. even the physical space is mutable. do space: ALL ABOUT ACCESS

stavick said the public was enthusiastic about the potential of Do space even during the planning stages, and better yet, people are fully utilizing the services now that Do space is a reality. “it’s been really great to see the response from the community. to see it actually happening is so exciting,” she said. “We’ve been getting a lot of inspiring stories from people already.” “the best part of any project is watching people move through the space and interact with it,” Carpenter said. “Do space has been an exciting project, with inspiration coming from the entire design team including Community information trust, five Nines, swanson russell and Kiewit Building group. a conceptual idea that was conceived many years ago has developed into a vibrant space that hopefully will continue to encourage people of all ages to ‘do.’” CONTINUED


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community CONNECTIONS

do space: all abouT acceSS

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• mQUARTERLY

do

we wanTeD To reDeSign The exterior To creaTe iTS own identity. aS Soon aS you walk in, you’re immeDiaTely engaged [wiTh] Technology.

~ BRUCE CARPENTER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, HDR

do space: ALL ABOUT ACCESS


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FEATURED EVENT

spotlight

do space

HERITAGE SERVICES & DO SPACE

donor preview!

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN FLANIGAN

ESSENTIALS: When: October 30 Where: Omaha Why: Donor Event Attendance: 150 Mission: Do Space empowers our community through access to technology and innovative learning experiences For more Information: DOSPACE.org

MIKE AND GAIL YANNEY WITH SUE MORRIS AND WALTER SCOTT

DAVID AND LORI SCOTT

DAVID AND SUE MORRIS WITH JACK AND STEPHANIE KORALESKI

SCOTT AND CINDY HEIDER WITH MIKE MCCARTHY

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| donor event

SUE MORRIS, WALTER SCOTT, REBECCA STAVICK AND MIKE MCCARTHY

MIKE MCCARTHY, SUE MORRIS, RANDY SCHMAILZL AND REBECCA STAVICK

DR JOE AND MAYOR JEAN STOTHERT

SHANE AND GAIL GRAEVE

ANDEE HOIG AND MIKE KLUG

RANDY AND NANCY SCHMAILZL

SUE MORRIS, WALTER SCOTT, REBECCA STAVICK, MIKE MCCARTHY AND DAVID SLOSBURG

FELICITY WHITE WITH MEGAN AND BRIAN JENKINS AND ADAM STAHLECKER

MARY HENG-BRAUN, MAMIE THEINER AND BOB BRAUN

ANDEE HOIG AND MARIAN LEARY


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community CONNECTIONS

“THE popularity OF Pinterest, lifestyle bloggers and even channels such as the food network and hgtv have highlighted the idea of gracious living and entertaining,” borsheims President and ceo karen goracke said. “tablescapes are a natural part of that interest. People are interested in seeing how professional designers put a table together and how to replicate it on their own. omaha symphony guild table art 2016 provides an opportunity for our community to see how local designers, florists and retailers interpret entertaining and accessorizing.” table art is an annual fundraising event featuring formal and casual tablescapes created by a wide variety of area designers, plus a selection of heirloom tableware from local families. borsheims fine Jewelry & gifts returns as the presenting sponsor, bringing in a special designer, Mariposa founder livia cowan, as the featured speaker.

Important firsts

Education and engagement

table art’s milestone 10th year ushers in two important firsts: a new venue and a special patron party. on april 6, the table art public exhibition and luncheon takes place at the spacious new baxter arena. the evening prior, Mogens and cindy bay – a local couple widely known for their support of community and nonprofit activities – are hosting a patron party.

at the core of the table art is the fact that the omaha symphony guild, organized in 1957, is dedicated to supporting and promoting the education programs of the omaha symphony, Marvin said. “anyone who supports table art is underwriting a valuable experience for youth in the community.”

“we earmark all of their fundraising for our education “we’re adding an extra, very special element,” Marvin said. programs,” Johnson said. “not only do they provide “i think it’s a wonderful event because it brings together “we’re thrilled that Mogens and cindy are opening up financial support through their various activities, they their beautiful home. those attending the patron party people of all ages across the community,” omaha also volunteer at many of the education programs as symphony President & ceo James M. Johnson said. “the will have a chance to actually spend time with livia .” ushers and as facilitators…they are dedicated, heirloom tableware on display is like being invited into hardworking volunteers who do this because they somebody’s home for tea or lunch and really feeling “borsheims has enjoyed a long relationship with the you’re making a connection with them when you realize omaha symphony guild and the table art event. in 2010, believe in the work the symphony does and the importance of music education. they have very busy these objects have historical significance and treasured we began working to secure speakers for table art,” value as family heirlooms. and it’s wonderful to meet lives and yet they find time to do these events, and i am borsheims President and ceo karen goracke said. “our the designers and get inspiration and ideas from them, very grateful for their work.” tabletop designers have proven to be popular speakers and get their stories. whether it’s a fun piece of art that for the event. recent speakers include annie Morhauser goes on the table or something that turns the everyday of annieglass, Mark bergadon of Mackenzie-childs, ultimately, it’s the youth in the community who benefit, into the special...you bring a little bit of beauty into the Jorge Perez of waterford crystal and wedgwood china, Johnson said. home and a little bit of personality on the table.” Julia knight of Julia knight collection, and Michael aram of Michael aram designs. we are proud to host livia “Music education is at the heart of what we do as a “table art has become one of the premier events in cowan, the founder of the casual yet elegant tabletop symphony. we’re committed to it and the omaha omaha primarily because everyone loves to get family company Mariposa, for the 2016 event.” symphony is unique among orchestras in the united and friends around a table, whatever and wherever that may be,” chairman Melissa Marvin said. “this event states in that nearly a third of our activity is devoted Mariposa is known for its casual, elegant tableware, allows the omaha symphony guild to partner with solely to educational purposes,” he explained. “Music stainless serveware and flatware, glassware and borsheims annually to showcase a particular designer. education is, we believe, critical to providing a wellstemware, and dinnerware styled with italian, Mexican People leave the event full of ideas and i believe walk and french influence, goracke said. “it’s perfect for both rounded education. we know that kids who study music away excited to entertain. and that’s the beauty; some have better cognition, have better test scores and an easy get-together and a formal dining occasion. designers choose to share formal table designs, while basically are able to function at a higher level in their other designers will take a different direction. you’ll see Mariposa’s ‘string of Pearls’ line is very popular with brides and that is often our customers’ first introduction learning.” everything from casual outdoor dining examples to to the line. Mariposa is versatile and a good gift for many whimsical ideas. table art is also about re-thinking the for more information on table art or to purchase tickets, traditional table setting and engaging the audience with occasions from weddings to hostess gifts to employee reward and recognition gifts.” visit www.omahasymphony.org. creations they can easily transform to their home.”

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STORY BY KARA SCHWEISS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM SCHOLZ celebrating 25 years in 2016!

beautiful settings

in today’s increasingly casual world, creating a special occasion holds greater meaning than ever before – like an evening at the symphony, or a beautiful tablescape for friends and family to enjoy a meal together. omaha symphony guild table art 2016 not only celebrates the art of special occasions, it supports music education in the community.

OMAHA SYMPHONY GUILD table art 2016 omaha symphony guild

TABLE ART


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business CORNER

GREATER OMAHA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

gary gates

irving r. dana, jr.

president and chief executive officer oppd (ret. june 2015)

founder: dana larson roubal and chief executive officer associates/dlr group and psi group, inc. hawkins construction company

GarY GaTes began his career at OPPD in September 1972.. In May 1989, Mr. Gates was named executive assistant to the president, and he was appointed division manager of Nuclear Operations in February 1990. He was promoted to vice president with responsibility for OPPD’s nuclear organization in November 1992. He became president and CEO in January 2004 and recently retired from OPPD after 42 years of service. Mr. Gates has chaired boards of various local, national, international and industry organizations. His board service includes organizations such as Boy Scouts Mid-America and Regional Council, Boys Town, College World Series, Creighton University, and many more.

IrvInG r. dana, jr. lead construction of such buildings as the Blue Cross/Blue Shield, North Branch Library, Bryan High School, Eppley Airport Terminal, Omaha Community Playhouse, and the UNO Performing Arts Building. In 1962 Irving Dana formed Irving R. Dana and Associates, which included the Space Needle. Dana started with 1 employee and grew to 7th largest Architectural Engineering firm in the US. In 1991 he began processing mail in conjunction with the US Postal Service through Postal Services, Inc. (PSI Group). Board of Directors, Architectural Foundation of Nebraska; Chairman of Transport Group, Riverfront Task Force, Omaha, NE (1974).

GARY GATES

IRVING R. DANA, JR.

fred h. hawkins, jr.

Fred hawkIns, jr. was born in Omaha, September 15, 1949 and attended Westside High School. Upon graduating from Hastings College in 1972 he joined Hawkins Construction and progressed to President in 1983 and then on to Chief Executive Officer in 2006. Hawkins, Jr’s community service involvement includes Knights of AKSARBEN, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, JDRF and several others. He is currently part of the Board of Directors for the Nebraska Game & Park Foundation.

FRED H. HAWKINS, JR.

The GreaTer Omaha Chamber annOunCes – and applauds – the latest class of Omaha Business Hall of Fame inductees, six outstanding business leaders, past and present, whose professional accomplishments are historically significant to the development of Omaha. The Omaha Business Hall of Fame was initiated in 1993 in celebration of the Chamber’s centennial anniversary. Proceeds from the Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala will continue to support the permanent Omaha Business Hall of Fame exhibit at The Durham Museum and the annual Young Professionals Summit, a project of the Chamber’s Greater Omaha Young Professionals.

greater omaha chamber inducts six business leaders into business hall of fame

extraordinary six 42

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chamber of commerce hall of fame kenneth m. hawkins

john j.“jack”koraleski

steven s. martin

president hawkins construction company

executive chairman union pacific corporation

chief executive officer blue cross and blue shield of nebraska

kIm hawkIns was employed with Hawkins Construction Company upon graduation from Georgia Tech in 1976. He progressed to the President/Board of Directors for both Hawkins Construction Company and Hawkins Equipment Company. Kim’s civic activities include serving on several different boards not limited to Creighton Alumni Board, Westside Foundation, Omaha Hearing School, Nebraska Educational Facility Authority, Good Neighbor Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands, Omaha Community Alliance, University of Nebraska and others. Kim received the 2015 Westside Lighthouse Award.

jaCk kOraleskI was named executive chairman of the board of directors for Union Pacific Corporation on February 5, 2015. He retired September 30, 2015 after over 43 years of service. Previously he had been elected chairman in March 2014, and named president and chief executive officer of the corporation in March 2012. Since joining the railroad in 1972, Koraleski has served in a number of senior leadership roles. Koraleski is a member of the Board of Heritage Services, Omaha Performing Arts, and the Board of Trustees of Lauritzen Gardens. Koraleski has been widely recognized for his community service activities.

sTeve marTIn joined BCBSNE in 2002 and currently serves on the board of directors of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) in Chicago, as well as Chairman of the BCBSA Brand Enhancement and Protection Committee. Martin also serves as a board director for Prime Therapeutics LLC and Travel and Transport, as vice chair and board director of the Wellness Council of America and as Chairman of the Board for BCS Financial Corporation. Martin currently serves with: Children’s Scholarship Fund, Governor, Knights of Aksarben, Lauritzen Gardens, Nebraskaland Foundation, Strategic Command Consultation Committee, The Durham Museum and more.

KENNETH M. HAWKINS

JACK KORALESKI

STEVEN S. MARTIN

These sIx exTraOrdInarY leaders will be inducted into the Omaha Business Hall of Fame during a gala celebration on Wednesday, April 13, at the Holland Performing Arts Center. Hosted by the Greater Omaha Chamber, the evening will begin with a 6 p.m. hors d’oeuvres dinner followed by the induction ceremony at 7:30 p.m. The cost to attend is $250 per person. Parking is included. Reservations can be made online at OmahaChamber.org/HOF by April 6.


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KMTV MORNING BLEND’S

SHE SAID

mike & mary

What do you consider the greatest Romance in Modern History?

he said • she said We hear a lot of romantic stories this time of year. They evoke some of the most powerful emotions. Love is a feeling that can’t be easily explained. A great love story reminds people that love is something so powerful that it is worth sacrificing for. I’ve always felt that true love is something that passes the test of time. A few years ago I remember hearing about an elderly couple who’s relationship was never supposed to last. Their story was shared all over the internet and to news media outlets, including THE TODAY SHOW, where I found more details of their story. Les Brown was in high school when he met his wife Helen. He was the son of a prosperous landowner and businessman. Helen’s father worked on the railroad. They came from very different backgrounds, and neither family were very pleased with the relationship, and didn’t believe it would last. Ironically, Les and Helen were born on the same day in 1918. After wedding, they became inseparable and spent every moment with each other. They had kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They had the perfect life – with each other. They celebrated birthdays, anniversaries – the final diamond jubilee, 75th anniversary. Les and Helen had a bond so strong neither wanted to live without the other, and they knew the end might be near. Helen had battled stomach cancer, and Les had struggled with Parkinson’s disease for a period of time. Les slipped in to a coma a their home in Long Beach, California, and he had just days to live. Helen, who hadn’t been critically ill, suddenly passed away. Les died the following day, and never knew about his wife’s death. They were both 94 years old. Their son, Daniel, later told THE TODAY SHOW their marriage was a testament to the power of love: “It knows no barriers and seems to know no bounds. They were from different sides of the tracks and it didn’t seem to matter to them. After 78 years, they were very much in love.”

~ Mike DiGiacamo

“I’m sorry I’m not John Wooden!” That’s what my husband quipped once. I was on his case because in that moment, I needed him to be sweeter, more loving, more empathetic. If you’re married – odds are – you’re familiar with that conversation. Why John Wooden? It’s because, in my eyes, he was half of the gold standard. Sports fans think of him first as one of the best basketball coaches to ever live. He took UCLA to several championships. His teams won 10 title games in 12 years. What I respect most is how Coach Wooden didn’t trade ethics for wins. This wonderful man found a wonderful woman. John met Nellie in high school. He played basketball, and she was in the band. They got married when they were both 21 years old. John said they seemed destined for each other. He said she was the only woman he ever loved, and ever wanted to love. That was evident after John lost Nellie to cancer in 1985. In the 25 years between her passing and his, John went to Nellie’s crypt on the 21st of every month. After those visits, he’d write her a love letter, and put it on her pillow. Then, he’d put the letter away with the rest. This stopped only when his health made it too tough to write. John was by Nellie’s side when she drew her last breath. He explained, “For me it was the ultimate tragedy. The girl I had known for most of my life was no longer beside me.” He continued, “Now I live with fond memories and do my best to carry on in life as she would want me to.” They were married for 53 years, and not even death could tarnish the spark between them. I can’t imagine it was a perfect marriage. I think that’s an impossibility. But the Woodens were committed to trying. They shared, forgave, and exercised patience and respect. My husband isn’t John, and I’m not Nellie. But their love story is relatable enough – you feel like some form of what they shared is within reach for all of us.

~ Mary Nelson

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G IVINGBACK!

GET EXCITEDABOUT

FROM THE PUBLISHERS OF

3 Great Ways to Connect

with the most important events in the 2016 Charity & Cultural Calendar • The Giving Guide & Event Book 2016 Print Editon • The Giving Guide online at WWW.SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM/THE-EVENT-BOOK/ • Enter, update and search 2016 events 365/24/7 at WWW.SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM/METRO-MAGAZINE/COMMUNITY/CALENDAR/

Distributing Now in support of these great organizations: AKSARBEN Foundation Alzheimer's Association of the Midlands American Cancer Society American Heart Association American Red Cross Heartland Chapter Angels Among Us Assistance League of Omaha Avenue Scholars Ballet Nebraska Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands Boys Town Catholic Charities Child Saving Institute, Inc. Children's Hospital & Medical Center Foundation Children's Scholarship Fund of Omaha College Possible Completely KIDS Do SPACE The Durham Museum Film Streams First Responders

Fontenelle Forest Food Bank for the Heartland Gesu Housing, Inc. Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska Heart Ministry Center Heartland Family Service Hearts United for Animals Hope Center for Kids Jennie Edmundson Hospital Foundation Joslyn Art Musuem Josyln Castle Justice For Our Neighbors Nebraska Keep Omaha Beautiful,Inc. Kids Can Community Center The Kim Foundation Lauritzen Gardens Lifestyle Innovations for Epilepsy Literacy Center of the Midlands Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska Merrymakers Association Methodist Hospital Foundation

Metro Area Youth Foundation Metro Community College Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Nebraska Children's Home Society Nebraska Foundation for Visually Impaired Children Nebraska Humane Society Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. Non Profit Association of the Midlands (NAM) Omaha Children's Museum Omaha Community Foundation Omaha Community Playhouse Omaha Conservatory of Music Omaha Home for Boys Omaha Performing Arts Omaha Public Library Foundation Omaha Symphony Association Omaha Zoo Foundation One World Community Health Centers, Inc. Open Door Mission Opera Omaha Outlook Nebraska, Inc.

Partnership 4 Kids Phoenix Academy QLI • Quality Living, Inc. Ronald McDonald House Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, Inc. Senior Health Foundation Siena/Francis House Special Olympics Nebraska Susan G. Komen Nebraska Ted E. Bear Hollow The Salvation Army United Way of the Midlands UNO Athletics Visiting Nurses Association Voices for Children in Nebraska Women's Center for Advancement YMCA of Greater Omaha Youth Emergency Services


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

mindfulness: TIPS FOR beginning “THE PRESENT MOMENT IS FILLED WITH JOY AND HAPPINESS. IF YOU ARE ATTENTIVE, YOU WILL SEE IT.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh Recently, I taught mindfulness at a large gathering of lawyers. At one point, I used the terms mindfulness and meditation in a way where they could be perceived as interchangeable. One lawyer got up and said: “You talk about mindfulness and meditation as if they are the same thing. They aren’t. And by the way, mindfulness started in California.” After listening to the comment, it occurred to me that some might resist the practice of mindfulness based on a notion that it means sitting and meditating for hours on end. While that type of meditation is certainly an awesome mindfulness practice, mindfulness practice can be much simpler. I’ve written previously on the concept of mindfulness (which is essentially accepting the moment as it is and experiencing thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions in an open and accepting manner). THE INFORMATION AT RIGHT pROvIdEs sOME sIMplE TIps TO bEGIN TO pRAcTIcE MINdFulNEss IN A MANNER THAT yOu cAN susTAIN dAIly wHIlE lIvING IN THE MOMENT.

be mindful anywhere anytime. If you are standing in a long grocery line without your smartphone, consider taking the moments that you are in line to deepen and notice your breath. That’s all. Just notice the breath. That’s a mindfulness practice. Make a habit of noticing your breath anytime. Take a one minute desk break and just breathe with attention to the breathing. develop concentration. Building the ability to concentrate is fundamental to mindfulness. Take a few minutes and notice your breath. Also notice your thoughts but each time you notice a thought, consciously shift attention back to your breath. Notice your thoughts. When you have developed good concentration, you can begin the practice of noticing your thoughts. As you engage in this practice, recognize that your thoughts are just thoughts. Your thoughts are not you. They are just thoughts. Notice what you are doing. On a Sunday morning, you might be sitting at the dining room table drinking tea and reading the paper. Take a moment to just notice what you are doing. Notice your thoughts and notice any sensations. Practice acceptance of thoughts and sensations. slow down. It is difficult to run at a fast pace and be mindful. Begin to notice your pace. Find a pace that allows you to walk, eat, engage, and move mindfully through your day. be patient. Mindfulness is a practice developed by consistently attending to the practice over time. Progress is not always a steady movement toward a calm demeanor. Continue to practice. Use stressful moments as opportunities to improve your practice. use a mindfulness app. There are numerous apps that you can install on your smartphone to remind you to practice mindfulness. There are also numerous apps that offer guided meditation practices. It’s okay if you fall asleep sometimes. However, if you fall asleep every time you slow down and take a few breaths, consider whether you are getting enough sleep. Have Fun. We are more likely to do that which is fun. That’s why it is important to find your own personal mindfulness practice that works for you. For some, sitting on a cushion might work. For others, it might be a walking practice. It doesn’t matter how you practice but that you do.

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omaha giving

• OMAHA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

BUILDING giving WITH YOUR debunking THE OVERHEAD myth Imagine that you’re planning to run a marathon. You have a big, audacious goal in mind. And a key item you’ll need to reach this goal is a great pair of running shoes. You go to the shoe store, but they only carry one brand and style in one size that happens to be two sizes too small. Because you need shoes to reach your goal, you begrudgingly buy them hoping you can make it work. Now, think about ranking the success of nonprofit organizations using a one-sizefits-all measurement; overhead. Overhead, if you don’t know, is everything that a nonprofit organization spends that can’t be attributed to program expenses. Rent, utilities, salaries, computers and internet might all be considered overhead. It’s often difficult for donors to get an easy apples-to-apples measure on nonprofit performance. So, looking at an organization’s overhead becomes a default method with a value judgement placed on the percentage of an organization’s budget that is spent on overhead. But, there’s a problem with that. Similar to the proper shoes you’d need to reach your running goals, organizations need overhead to sustain their efforts. Without rent or utilities, they have no facility to house critical work toward their mission. And trying to get anything done without internet or computers these days is almost impossible. Additionally, different organizations need differing levels of overhead. For example, a backbone organization for a collective impact effort is attempting to coordinate efforts of several organizations, working in concert with each other to accomplish a greater goal for the community. By definition, these organizations tend

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to be all overhead. But, without them our community might not be able to begin tackling larger challenges like reducing homelessness, improving community health or eradicating hunger. An organization that provides meals directly to the hungry may have lower overhead costs. anne meysenburg Expecting organizations to deliver on their missions without overhead is like expecting someone to run the marathon with ill-fitting shoes. Some organizations can easily meet their mission with a smaller overhead. But, like running with the wrong shoes, other organizations find that attempting success on a lower overhead percentage is painful, crippling and will keep them from reaching their goals. Imagine running that marathon with the shoes you owned when you were in middle school. Pretty much impossible, right? Just as you would need to invest in the right shoes, organizations also need to invest in long-term infrastructure in order to continue evolving to meet the constantly changing needs of the community they serve. Things like strategic planning and fundraising are overhead, but investing in these mechanisms helps ensure the organization’s sustainability for years to come. So, what information should you ask for when attempting to determine an organization’s effectiveness? The answer to that is as varied and complicated as the numerous organizations in the nonprofit sector. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all measure. However, you might begin by asking about how an organization measures impact. Because isn’t that what you really want to know, anyway? Anne Meysenburg, Director of Community Investment at the Omaha Community Foundation

mQUARTERLY • FEB/MAR/APR 2016


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serving all

• YMCA OF GREATER OMAHA

BUILDING giving WITH YOUR EXPERIENCE A first AT THE YMCA OF GREATER OMAHA YMCA of Greater Omaha’s roots in the Omaha metropolitan area are woven into the fabric of the community. Founded in 1866 by a Union Pacific employee, the Y first began its impact on the Omaha area as a place to serve young Christian men working on the transcontinental railroad. Since then, the YMCA of Greater Omaha has grown to be a leader in providing first experiences to families, individuals and youth for 150 years. With 10 locations in the Omaha area, spanning four counties in two states, the YMCA of Greater Omaha works to strengthen communities by offering programs and services in three focus areas: youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Today, the Y provides a variety of programs that support educational achievement, alternatives to teen violence, health/wellness, chronic disease intervention, child care, summer day camp, water safety, refugee assimilation, homework help, special needs integration and family programs. For 150 years, the YMCA of Greater Omaha has strived to understand our community needs, providing services and programs that cater specifically to the issues our children, families and neighborhoods face. We have touched many lives by providing first experiences to children and adults alike throughout our 150 years in the Omaha metropolitan community. You may personally find yourself reminiscing on your childhood at the Y; your first goal on a YMCA youth sports team, your first swim lesson, or your first friend at the YMCA summer day camp. Many adults begin their journey to a healthier lifestyle at our Y locations, achieving many personal accomplishments with the help of our health and wellness facilities and staff.

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Our medically-based wellness programs, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA program, provide many cancer survivors with their first sense of recovery. Our kindergartenreadiness program Ready in Five, gives international refugee children the tools they need to succeed in the education system, oftentimes preparing their parents for the American education system for the first time. Whatever your YMCA first may be, we hope you can help commemorate our 150th year in the Omaha community by experiencing a first…again. Come take a tour of any of our nine facilities and see what the Y can offer for you today. You may be surprised by the scope of what we offer for all community members. The Y is open to all people regardless of their ability to pay for programs and services, and as a result we provide over $1,000,000 of financial assistance each year. By investing in our kids, our health and our neighbors, the YMCA of Greater Omaha ensures that everyone, regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to thrive—thereby strengthening our community. The Strong Communities Campaign is the YMCA of Greater Omaha’s annual campaign to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to succeed and experience their own firsts. Your meaningful gift to the campaign goes directly toward providing financial assistance for those in our community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to Y programs and facilities. With the help of the Strong Communities Campaign, we are able to provide over $1.3 million in financial assistance throughout our 10 locations. Learn more about the YMCA of Greater Omaha at www.metroymca.org. YMCA of Greater Omaha | 430 S. 20th Street Omaha, NE 68102 | 402-341-1600 • www.metroymca.org

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planning matters

• WITH HVW LAW

an alternative to traditional trusts

directed trusts FOR SPECIAL SITUATIONS

Historically, when an individual created a trust, he or she named a trustee. Such trustee would have full responsibility for all administrative aspects of the trust including investment, distribution, accounting, and management. In recent years, directed trusts have become popular vehicles. A directed trust is a trust the removes one or more of the traditional powers of the trustee and vests such power or powers in a special trustee or committee designated to handle investments, distributions, or various aspects of trust administration. The term “directed trustee” results from the fact that in such an arrangement, the trustee takes its directions regarding the removed power from the special trustee or other trustee advisor in whom such power is vested. The popularity of directed trusts has risen for a variety of reasons. One such reason is the desire of families owning a business desiring the ability to maintain the business

as part of the trust over the long-term. Also, with directed trusts, a family can achieve more control over selection of the team that manages the trust over the long-term. Directed trusts come in a significant number of mary e. vandenack variations. A fully directed trust would be one where all the traditional powers of the trustee are removed and vested in another advisor. The structure of a fully directed trust might include an investment direction advisor, a special holdings advisor, a distributions advisor, and a trust protector. Any of the positions could be a committee rather than a single advisor. An investment direction advisor would typically have the authority to direct the trustee as to the investment of the trust assets. An investment direction advisor is desirable where the family prefers to continue to hold a concentrated position of a particular asset or where the family has a long and positive relationship with a particular investment advisor and wants such advisor to continue to invest for the family. A special holdings advisor might be utilized if there is a desire to bifurcate the direction of investments with respect to only certain holdings of the trust. For example, the family might have the trustee invest publicly traded securities but name a special holdings advisor with respect to a family owned business. A family may want o use a distribution advisor so that distribution decisions are made by someone who is familiar with family situations. The use of a distribution advisor might be particularly important if there is a special needs child or a child who has struggled with particular challenges such as mental health or addiction. A trust protector or committee can be empowered with the ability to change trust advisors (with specified directions regarding the same), to amend the trust for administrative provisions and take actions that keep the trust functioning in the manner intended by the settlor even when laws and circumstances change. Some states have very favorable laws regarding directed trusts. Others have less favorable laws and some states have no directed trust statute at all. Regardless of where you live, it is possible to have a directed trust if it makes sense for you.

For more information visit www.vanwil.com. 50

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todays savings

impact!

• SWARTZBAUGH-FARBER & ASSOCIATES, INC.

HEALTH doesn’t MATTER FOR

insurance?

• YOUR DENTAL HEALTH

SLEEP apnea mary drueke-collins

AS WE BEGIN

a New Year, many of us focus on our New Year’s Resolutions. Most of these resolutions center on improving our health. We know living a healthy lifestyle has many benefits, but have you ever thought about how your health affects your pocketbook? Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to pay for medical care, odds are you may not realize how much your health can affect your budget. The obvious impact to an individual with medical conditions is the out of pocket paid for medical costs. Even if you have insurance, you will likely pay copays for office visits and prescriptions. If you need tests and hospital services, you will probably have to meet your deductible and coinsurance. These days the maximum out-of-pocket on health plans can be substantial, many exceeding $6,000 for an individual. With some of the rating changes created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Health Care Reform, you could argue that your health doesn’t really matter anymore when obtaining health insurance. For people purchasing health insurance on the individual market, on the Marketplace, or through the small group market (in Nebraska employers with less than 50 employees) the health plans are ‘Community Rated.’ ‘Community Rated’ means the rates are not impacted by each person’s health status. Any person living in the same area, selecting the same benefit option and of the same age will have the same rate. So, why should we worry about our health? The most obvious reason is one of the rating factors also allowed by the ACA tobacco use. The ACA permits an insurance company to charge tobacco users a different premium. That premium for tobacco users could be as much as 50% more than the non-tobacco user rate! Employers can also differentiate the amount their employees pay for coverage through their employer-based plan on a set of wellness measurements. Laws allow for up to a 50% difference in the cost between those employees that meet the measurements, versus those that do not. The most popular wellness measurement is tobacco use, but employers also might give ‘credit’ to an employee for completing a health risk assessment and/or blood draw, obtaining flu shots or participating in challenges throughout the year. Even if your premium cost is not affected by your health status, each persons’ use of medical care does affect the cost of insurance. There are many simple things you can do to affect those costs. Next time you need medical care, consider the following: • Use generic drugs or drugs on the prescription formulary. • Seek care from the proper location – emergency rooms are not always the best use of your time or money. Consider an urgent care facility, a doctor with extended office hours, or quick-care/minute-clinics located in grocery stores and pharmacies. • Get your annual physicals! The ACA requires insurance plans to cover annual exams at in-network providers, so there should be no cost to you for those services. • Use providers that are in-network with your medical plan. • Work closely with your physician and don’t be afraid to ask questions about prescriptions and tests your physician may be recommending.

Although it may appear like your health doesn’t matter when it comes to health insurance, it can affect your bottom line – even if those impacts are not felt right now. The decisions we all make today will influence our pocketbooks at some point in the future.

kills

stephanie vondrak d.d.s.

THE ABOVE statement is an indisputable fact. Blunt but true: untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea can kill the individual suffering from the disease. Think of it like drowning (an analogy that is not far from true!) You begin in a relaxed, calm state gently floating in the water. Then suddenly, you are trapped beneath the surface. You cannot breathe. As your body struggles, desperate for air, you sink deeper and deeper. Your body is reacting now, struggling, willing you to live. As blackness approaches, you cough, gag and push yourself up out of the water gasping for air. For individuals with untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea, episodes like these (fall into sleep… choke…gasp…struggle…breathe) occur over and over again throughout the night. Obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA), as defined by American Academy of Sleep Medicine, “is a breathing disorder that involves a decrease or complete halt in airflow during sleep for at least 10 seconds despite the body’s ongoing effort to breathe.”. These interruptions of breathing during sleep cause heavy snoring as well as choking and gasping until arousal (awakening) when airflow resumes. Each event (apnea) creates undo stress on the heart, lungs and nervous system. As a result of this systemic “wear and tear”, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is linked to many deleterious health effects – some of which are stroke, heart attack and a 68% increase in the risk of cancer. As stated previously, untreated sleep apnea kills. But more than just the afflicted patient are at risk! A recent study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found, “that patients with sleep apnea were nearly 2.5 times more likely to be the driver in a motor vehicle accident, compared with a control group of other drivers in the general population.” According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, “drowsy driving is estimated to cause 328,000 motor vehicle accidents and 6,400 fatal crashes on U.S. roads each year.” Yes… innocent, healthy people are at risk of dying from untreated OSA. Board certified by the American Academy of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine, I treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea in my practice using Dental Sleep Appliances. Dental Sleep Appliances, a proven alternative to the cumbersome CPAP machine, draw the lower jaw forward creating an open airway during sleep. The results are fantastic. Patients report sleeping throughout the night, rested and rejuvenated in the mornings. When wearing a Dental Sleep Appliance, snoring is eliminated allowing spouses or significant others to share a bedroom again. The Wall Street Journal, February 2010, stated that, “As few as 50% of people who are prescribed a CPAP device actually use it regularly.” When discussing sleep with my patients, the overwhelming fear of an OSA diagnosis is CPAP treatment. Patients are terrified of sleeping with a mask strapped to a machine. Dental Sleep Appliances offer an effective solution. They are easy to wear, simple to use and convenient for travel. Fear of a CPAP machine should not prevent an individual from diagnosis or be an excuse for avoiding treatment. Dental sleep appliances are a valid treatment alternative for OSA. Remember, sleep apnea kills. Remember, only board certified dentists with advanced training in the anatomy of the TMJ joints and sleep appliances should be offering these services. If you are concerned you or someone dear to you may be suffering from sleep apnea, contact your physician or our office to be properly screened. *Look for our ad in this issue of mQUARTERLY

For more information, please contact your trusted advisor at Swartzbaugh-Farber – ‘Client Centered – Client Advocates™’. This material is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or tax advice and is not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, tax advisor or plan provider. Securities Offered through M Holdings Securities, Inc., a Registered Broker Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Swartzbaugh-Farber & Associates, Inc. is independently owned and operated.

Dr. Stephanie Vondrak has been treating TMJ and head and neck pain in her private practice for over 10 years. She has completed Residency and earned Fellowship status with the American Academy of Crainofacial Pain. She is also Board Certified by the American Academy of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Facial Esthetics 51

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event galleries

look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE EVENT BOOK 2016!

ANGELS AMONG US AN EVENING AMONG ANGELS

CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL & MEDICAL CENTER 2015 GALA WITH LEANN RIMES

OMAHA PERFORMING ARTS CELEBRATE 10 CONCERT WITH KRISTIN CHENOWETH

OMAHA SYMPHONY GUILD DEBUTANTE BALL

NEBRASKA AIDS PROJECT NIGHT OF 1,000 STARS

JOSLYN ART MUSEUM GO WEST! GALA

QLI RED CARPET AFFAIR

THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION GO RED FOR WOMEN EXPO

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

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

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FEATURED EVENT

spotlight

omaha symphony guild

50TH ANNIVERSARY IN 2015

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROGER HUMPHRIES

50th debs & stags!

ESSENTIALS:

2016 DEBS

2016 STAGS 54

When: Sunday, December 27 Where: Embassy Suites, La Vista Why: Families of Omaha and Council Bluffs area are acknowledged for their support and charitable giving to the many organizations in our community. 60 Debutantes and 52 Stags were presented with their families. Following the formal presentation they participated in a Grand March and then a mother-son and father-daughter dance. Special Guests: Master of Ceremonies Steve Davidson, President and CEO of Omaha Symphony James Johnson, Robert Glazer and the Sing, Sing, Swing Orchestra was entertainment. Attendance: 860 Amount Raised: $180,000 Mission: To help support the educational and outreach programs of the Omaha Symphony. Over 30,000 students annually benefit from these programs. Learn more: www.omahasymphony.org/ guilds/omaha-symphony-guild/overview/

CHRIS, KATIE AND JENNIFER JERRAM

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mQUARTERLY

| debutante ball

BOTTOM ROW: TERESA JOHNS, TOODY MOFFATT, LAURA DOLL, BRIGID WILKENING, JULIE LIAKOS, LAURA LUTHER MIDDLE ROW: LISA STROHMYER, JONI LINDQUIST, DANIELLE BUNZ (ASSOCIATE CHAIRMAN), JANET NICHTING, CINDY MAGID TOP ROW: DONNA ERKER, PATTY BUSER, SALLY ENGLISH, BECKY WINCEK, CATHERINE MAHONEY

KADY HOSMAN, SOPHIE CLARK AND KELLI SCHILKON

KATHLEEN RUSSELL, BRIDGET RUSSELL, EMMA RUSSELL AND JAMES RUSSELL

KATHLEEN PALLESEN, MAGGIE PALLESEN, KATIE PALLESEN, LIBBY PALLESEN, MICHAEL PALLESEN AND MIKE PALLESEN

DAN PETERSON, ANDREW PETERSEN, ANNA PETERSON, MARTHA PETERSEN AND AIDEN PETERSEN

KATHARINE CHAUSSEE, TAYLOR NIHSEN, BAILEY NIHSEN AND SARAH NIHSEN

BRANDON TWIGG, NANCY TWIGG, CARL TWIGG, KEVIN GEASON WITH DIANE AND SENATOR BEN NELSON

DANIELLE BUNZ AND KRISTEN GONZALES

JACOB HERICK, FIONA RAYNOR, BOBBY LINDEAY, JILLIAN KRESKI, HARRISON KRATOCHVIL AND MADISON BRIGGS

GRANT FEE, KAREN RYAN, AIDAN RYAN AND DAN RYAN

JANET NICHTING AND MARK NICHTING


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event galleries

Photography by Dan Flanigan

ASSEMBLING OF

Angels

Angels Among Us An Evening Among Angels When: November 6

ANGEL’S AMONG US BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Where: Embassy Suites in the Old Market Why: An Evening Among Angels is Angels Among Us’ annual fundraiser. The proceeds earned at the event provide Angels Among Us the funds needed to support families in the coming year. Chairperson: Jane Pohlman Honorary Chairs: Juli Meador, Janice Johnson, Nancy Norgard, and Diane Larson

JARITA, CARSON, CLAIRE AND ANDY TAYLOR

JULI MEADOR, JANICE JOHNSON, NANCY NORGARD, AND DIANE LARSON

Attendance: 300 Amount Raised: $115,000 Mission: Angels Among Us helps families of children battling cancer reducing the stress in their lives so that they can focus on their children.

SID AND DAWN DINSDALE

CRAIG AND JANE POHLMAN

About: Angels Among Us helps families of children battling cancer by making sure families can be with their children and not worried about paying a mountain of bills. We help families that are from Nebraska or being treated in Nebraska. We pay bills directly ranging from mortgage payments to medical or utility bills. For more Information: www.myangelsamongus.org

LORI HAYDEN, ADAM AND KELLY WALSH

KYLE JOHNSON, ALEXANDRA KOHLER, JESSICA POHL AND SCOTT SUMMERS

CAPTIONS GREG AND HEATHER SIMONS WITH KIM AND TODD STRUBLE

KYLE AND JOEY GARDNER 56

TED AND MICHELLE PLUGGE WITH MARCIA AND JOHN HAYDEN

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Photography by Roger Humphries

GATHERING OF

Heroes

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center 2015 Gala Heroes & Hope

LAURA CROSBY, LEANN RIMES AND DEBBIE WOOD

A sold-out, record-breaking crowd of 1,500 raised an unprecedented $850,000 at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center’s annual Gala on Nov. 14 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.

STAVELY AND ELLEN WRIGHT

Grammy-winning country and pop superstar LeAnn Rimes provided the entertainment. Attendees also enjoyed silent and live auctions, a raffle and dinner. The theme for the 2015 Gala was “Heroes & Hope.” Proceeds from the evening will support Children’s plans for expansion, which will help the hospital meet increasing needs and stay on the leading edge of care for our region’s children. CHILDREN’S PRESIDENT AND CEO, DR. RICHARD AZIZKHAN, WITH WIFE GERALYN AND SON AARON

GOVERNOR PETE RICKETTS WITH WIFE SUSANNE SHORE

DEBBIE WOOD, STAVELY WRIGHT, LAURA CROSBY AND ELLEN WRIGHT

PIRZADA SATTAR, FATIMA BASITH WITH MARY LOU AND MARK BRASEE

Honorary chairs were Ellen and Stavely Wright. Laura Crosby and Debbie Wood served as the event’s co-chairs. Mary Lou Brasee is the current president of Children’s Friends Board. “We are grateful to the hard-working and enthusiastic Gala committee, the Friends Board for their leadership, Children’s employees for their beautiful staff baskets and to all of the community volunteers who worked together to make the 2015 Gala one to remember,” said Roger Lewis, executive director of the Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation. “The money raised makes a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of children and their families, and we are honored to have our community’s growing and ongoing support.” Gala guests were treated to toys at their table, all donated by Fat Brain Toys. As many as 900 of the Fat Brain toys will now go to the patients and families of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. For more Information: www.childrensomaha.org

SUZANNE ROGERT, ROGER LEWIS AND BETH GREINER

AMY GROHE, LESLIE MAYO, KELLI JORGENSEN AND NANCY PFLUG

BECKY AND JASON MCCARVILLE WITH CHILDREN CALVIN AND MADDIE

JUDY AND DR. RANDALL PRITZA 57

LEANN RIMES

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event galleries

Photos courtesy of Omaha Performing Arts

MOMENTOUS

Milestone

Omaha Performing Arts Celebrate 10 Concert starring Kristin Chenoweth

KRISTIN CHENOWETH AND JOAN SQUIRES

CARMEN AND JOHN GOTTSCHALK WITH JOAN SQUIRES

When: October 16 Where: Holland Performing Arts Center

SUSAN AND TODD JOHNSON

Why: Omaha Performing Arts celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Holland Performing Arts Center and 10 years of presenting full seasons with a concert featuring Kristin Chenoweth, as well as community partners like the Omaha Symphony, Ballet Nebraska, Opera Omaha and Salem Baptist Church. A special dinner was held before the concert for major supporters of Omaha Performing Arts.

PAT AND DICK BELL

Special Guests: John Gottschalk, Omaha Performing Arts board chairman; Dick Holland, vice chairman of the Omaha Performing Arts board

DICK HOLLAND AND MARIAN LEARY

DAVID AND SUE MORRIS WITH KRISTIN CHENOWETH

About: Omaha Performing Arts is dedicated to enriching the lives of the citizens of Omaha and surrounding communities. In its two venues: the Orpheum Theater and Holland Performing Arts Center, the organization presents the best of Broadway, jazz, blues, dance, comedy, family and popular entertainment, along with a range of educational programs and free community events. For more Information: OmahaPerformingArts.org

MEG AND NATHAN DODGE

LYNNE AND JOHN BOYER

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

look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2016!

MARIE OTIS, HARRIT OTIS AND JIM OTIS

KRISTIN CHENOWETH AND ANNE THORNE WEAVER 58

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Photos courtesy of Omaha Performing Arts

IN THE

Garden

Omaha Performing Arts Carl G. Mammel Courtyard Dedication When: October 13 Where: Carl G. Mammel Courtyard at the Holland Performing Arts Center

CARL AND MARILYN MAMMEL

GAIL AND MIKE YANNEY WITH WALTER SCOTT Why: Omaha Performing Arts held a special event to celebrate naming of the courtyard at the Holland Performing Arts Center: the Carl G. Mammel Courtyard. The designation is in recognition of Mammel’s generous contributions and support of the performing arts. The evening opened with a performance by Danny Nguyen and Rachael Lincoln, members of the vertical dance troupe, BANDALOOP. A dinner followed with performance by Nebraska High School Theatre Awards students Marcel Daly and Emma Kate Brown. About: Omaha Performing Arts is dedicated to enriching the lives of the citizens of Omaha and surrounding communities.

DAVID AND SUE MORRIS

MARIAN LEARY, DICK HOLLAND AND ANDY HOLLAND

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For more information: OmahaPerformingArts.org

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event galleries

Photography by Dan Flanigan

SHARING THE

Sentiment The Durham Museum Sentimental Journey – Celebrating a Classic When: November 20

JOHN AND ANNE NELSON WITH SUE AND DAVID MORRIS

GAIL YANNEY AND WALTER SCOTT

Where: The Durham Museum Why: Sentimental Journey celebrates the friends, sponsors, members and visitors that make The Durham Museum what it is. This year - we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the museum. Special Guests: Honorary Chairs Pat and Dick Bell, Mayor Jean Stothert and Joe Stothert, State Senator Jim Smith and Ruth, many prominent Omaha business people

ANDY AND CAITLIN DAVIS WITH WENDY AND SCOTT MOORE

Sponsors: Pat and Dick Bell, Kiewit Corporation, Riverton Management Resources, LLC, Valmont Industries, Inc., HDR, Inc., Union Pacific

SUSAN AND GEORGE HADDIX

Caterer: Hap Abraham Catering Multi Media: J&S Audio Visual, MacRae Productions and Direct Pro Audio Attendance: 325

CHRISTI JANSSEN WITH BRUCE AND RKACHEA CARPENTER

RANDY AND LAURETTE HESS WITH MARY AND HAL DAUB

Amount Raised: $160,000

SUSAN AND BILL CUTLER WITH CINDY SMITH Mission: Provide relevant educational and entertaining opportunities within the region that exceed customer expectations, while preserving our community’s vibrant cultural history.

ED AND BEV BURCHFIELD WITH WILLIE AND CRAIG JACOBS

About: The Durham Museum in Omaha’s beautiful art deco Union Station, is home to permanent exhibits that preserve Omaha’s vibrant history, traveling exhibits covering subjects ranging from history and culture, to science and industry, and many entertaining, educational, family-oriented activities. The Durham Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and has strong ties with the Library of Congress, National Archives, and The Field Museum. For more Information: 402.444.5071 | www.durhammuseum.org

JIM, ANNE, MARY AND TERESA MAXWELL

TRACY FISHER, MIKE HOMA AND ANDEE HOIG 60

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BOUND FOR THE

West!

Joslyn Art Museum GO WEST! Gala When: November 13

HOWARD AND RHONDA HAWKS, LANCE AND JULIE FRITZ WITH LESTER KATZ

Where: Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha

KAREN NELSEN WITH STEVE AND JANICE ERWIN Why: Joslyn Art Museum Association Annual Fundraiser Special Guests: Wo-Xete Hire Dance Troupe Caterer: Hap Abraham Catering Multi Media: Dog and Pony Productions Inc., Lincoln Tent, AAA Rental Attendance: 365

WO-XETE HIRE DANCE TROUPE

MARIAN LEARY AND DICK HOLLAND

Amount Raised: $314,100 Mission: Joslyn Art Museum collects, preserves, and interprets the visual arts of the highest quality, fostering appreciation and enjoyment of art for the benefit of a diverse audience. For more Information: 402.342.3300 | www.joslyn.org

JOHN AND ANNE NELSON WITH CAREY AND BRIAN HAMILTON

DOC AND MARIE SIMMONS, ANNE BAXTER WITH STEPHANIE AND TODD MURPHY

RUSS ALBERS, HANNAH WOOLDRIDGE AND DAVE SOMMERS

WO-XETE HIRE DANCE TROUPE

ALEX JANKOWSKI, RAQUEL SMITH AND LISA KIECHEL

JANICE AND STEVE ERWIN

BRYAN AND HEATHER SCHNEIDER WITH DAVID AND MELANIE HECKER

ANNA CABLE, CICI CHRISTIAN, RACHEL LARSON WITH SCOTT AND JENNIFER MCCOIG

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event galleries

SEBRINA TAYLOR AND E.D. JORDAN DELMUNDO

JOANN CARLSON, MITCHELL CARLSON, ANITA BISQUETTE, ASHIA DUNN AND RUSS COOPER

GINA CEDERBERG, JUSTIN KADLEC, BILL DUGAN AND JANAE LAMME

STARS Galore

Nebraska AIDS Project Night of 1,000 Stars

A night of cocktails, dancing, desserts and – most importantly – fundraising for the Nebraska AIDS Project was held on December 5, 2016, with honorary chair, Andrew Rannells, who recently appeared in the Hollywood film The Intern, with Robert Dinero.

E.D JORDAN DELMUNDO, ANDREW RANNELLS AND VIC RICHARDS

The evening began with guests enjoying a series of fabulous pre-parties before making their way downtown by 9pm, where all invitees joined the NAP Board of Directors, staff and volunteers at The Diamond Room, an urban chic venue located in the up-and-coming NODO area.

JAKE THACKER, JAKE DENKER AND KENZIE COLEMAN

Throughout the evening guests danced to the beats of DJ Sweetlife, grabbed a group picture in front of the grafitti photo wall, enjoyed delectable desserts from local bakeries and bid on silent auction experience packages. Cabanas were completely sold out, but VIP and GA tickets were grabbed up as the event filled out. VIPs were invited to join dignitaries an hour early and enjoyed a hosted bar, interactive dessert stations, as well as some late night pizza and a pop-up coffee bar.

MAGGIE FEY, ERIKA TEUTSCH, JULIE WALKER AND MARIAN FEY

ASHTON PRINCIPLE AND MATTHEW STEELE

ASHLEY WESTLING AND RACHEL LARSON

VIC RICHARDS AND RACHEL RICHARDS 62

JESSICA GREENWALD, JUDY AHLSCHWEDE, LAILA KHOUDEIDA AND CHRISTIE ABDUL

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Photography by Roger Humphries

BeeAUTIFUL!

Literacy Center for the Midlands 8th Annual Adult Spelling Bee When: November 6 Where: Scott Conference Center

ESTHER BRABEC, DAN HAMANN AND JULIE HAMANN

JOE AND KJIRSTEN FINNEGAN WITH KIRSTEN CASE

Why: The Adult Spelling Bee helps raise critical funds for the Literacy Center’s work helping adults increase their literacy skills. Sponsors: Bank of the West and Mutual of Omaha Attendance: 160 Amount Raised: $22,00

JUDITH CARLIN AND CHRIS TONNIGE

ZACH KINDER, AMMONE PHIMVONGSA AND CHRIS BURGE

Mission: Our mission is to empower adults and families by helping them acquire the literacy skills and practices to be active and contributing members of their communities. About: We serve adults who are 18 and older with basic literacy needs from read and writing to GED obtainment. For more Information: 402.578.9662 | www.giveliteracy.org

MELANIE DASOVIC, ALISEN MAYFIELD AND STEPHANIE NEAL

JEFF AND STEPHANIE HANSEN

JENNIFER MAGILTON AND BRIAN PALMER

CONNIE AND BILL LOWNDES

KATIE ANDERSON, KITTY WIZE, JULIANNE YIPPLE, KATIE HEIMANN AND REBECCA BODE

VIV AND JOHN EWING

RHONDA COALE AND PATRICIA CANTU

PATRICK AND MARY BETH BURNS

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Photography by Dan Flanigan Photos courtesy of The Kim Foundation

HEADLINE headline FOSTERING

Hope

organization event

CAPTIONS

Thedolor KimsitFoundation ipsum amet consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed A Time foreirmod Hope andinvidunt Healing diam nonumy tempor ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. When: October 15 ipsum dolor sit amet consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed Where: Embassy Suites La Vista Conference Center diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua Why: To raise and educate the tempor public on sadipscing elitr, awareness sed diam nonumy eirmod issues related to mental health and suicide invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyamprevention. erat, sed diam voluptua. Keynote Speaker: Sergeant Kevin Briggs, former California Highway Patrolconsetetur Officer sadipscing elitr, sed ipsum dolor sit amet diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et Sponsors: Industries, Financial dolore magnaC&A aliquyam erat,Inc., sed Harrison diam voluptua. Services, SilverStone Group, Bellevue University, Bryan Health, ipsum dolor Janssen, sit ametPhRMA consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et Attendance: 420 erat, sed diam voluptua dolore magna aliquyam sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor Mission: A supportive resource and a compassionate invidunt ut labore voice for lives touched by mental illness and suicide prevention

CAPTIONS KATHY COURTNAGE WITH DR. THOMAS AND MARY DOBLEMAN

JOY AND GORDON WATANABE

CAPTIONS THE COURTNAGE FAMILY WITH THE STAFF OF THE KIM FOUNDATION CAPTIONS AND KEYNOTE SPEAKER SERGEANT KEVIN BRIGGS

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Photography by Roger Humphries

SEEINGRed!

The American Heart Association Go Red For Women Expo

NORMA DEEB, GAIL YANNEY AND KAREN LEVIN

ANN STINSON AND ANNE NELSON

The American Heart Association raised over $360,000 for its lifesaving mission with last month’s Omaha Go Red For Women Expo. The event, sponsored locally by Methodist Health System and Werner Enterprises with media sponsors KMTV and metroMagazine, was held Nov. 3 at Embassy Suites in La Vista. Hosted by The Morning Blend co-host Mary Nelson and 4, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. Action 3 News anchor Jennifer Griswold, 650 people attended the event, which started with a health expo and educational breakout sessions. The evening also included the inspiring story of Lisa Carmichael, a heart transplant recipient, and a keynote address from Caren Dean.

MAUREEN HANEY, BETH ZEIGLER, CINDY OVERHUE, TERESA MILNER AND KAREN RAU

NANCY GILMORE, SUE BURKARD AND STACIE NEUSSENDORFER

Proceeds from the Go Red For Women Expo fund not only groundbreaking scientific research but also public health education and professional training throughout the state. In 2014, the American Heart Association funded $2.68 million in research in Nebraska alone. Heart disease is No. 1 killer of women in the United States, claiming the lives of one in three women. The national Go Red For Women movement, sponsored by Macy’s, aims to change that statistic.

LIZ SPITZENBERGER, VERNIE JONES, LAURETTE HESS AND CHERYL GOODRICH

PAT ROONEY, EDITH HUMMEL, BRITTANY BRUNER AND ANN BRUNER

The Omaha Go Red For Women Expo was chaired by Ann Bruner of the Burlington Capital Group. Ann Stinson chaired Circle of Red, a group of 125 women who raised $70,000, while Derek Leathers of presenting sponsor Werner Enterprises served as the founding chair of Men Go Red, a group that raised over $60,000. For more Information: OmahaGoRedForWomen.org The 2016 Omaha Go Red For Women Expo is August 30.

CHELSI KIEBORZ, PEGGY HELGET, ALISON KUMM AND JEN HELGET

PAM ZIMMERMAN, CHRIS GREANEY, LINDA BROOKS AND MARY KAY MILLER

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ALL ABOUTArt

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Bemis Benefit Art Auction When: November 21

Where: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

MARY TALEN WITH MARY AND KIRBY ZICAFOOSE

HEATHER AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER

WATIE WHITE, THOMAS BRUSH AND STEPH SUTTON Why: The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, internationally recognized artist residency in Omaha, NE, presented a benefit auction of contemporary artworks on Nov. 21, 2015. Featuring works by Christo, Jun Kaneko, Vera Mercer, Therman Statom, and Betty Woodman, proceeds support the Bemis Center’s artist-in-residence and public engagement programs giving artists from around the world time, resources, and freedom to create. The purpose of the event is to support artists who contribute their work to the auction by receiving 50% of the proceeds of the sale of their work while also donating 50% of the sale to the Bemis Center to support its artist-in-residence and public engagement programs. The Bemis Benefit 2015 Art Auction is the organization’s most well known fundraising event of the year. Contemporary artists bring creativity and vitality to the local and regional community. The local community has the opportunity to be introduced to outstanding contemporary artists worldwide and their presence offers inspiration to aspiring and experienced artists throughout the region.

ANDREA AND ADAM LETHEBY

Caterer: Catering Creations

SADIE AND MADS ANDERSON WITH KATIE BELLER

DARYL ANDERSON WITH MARK AND CAROLINE HINRICHS

Event Planner: Carrie Dayton Multi Media: Midwest Sound and Lighting; Make Believe New Media; Auctioneer Wes Schlobohm of Regal Printing; Clark Creative Group; United Rental Attendance: 700 Amount Raised: $165,000

G.K. GAMMON AND JULIE SCHRAM

GARY GOLDSTEIN, EMILY PUCCIONI, BARBARA GOLDSTEIN AND BETIANA SIMON

Mission: The mission of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is to provide residency opportunities to artists from around the world, so that they may develop new ideas, expand their practice and engage the community. About: ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE Few places in the world provide the kind of artistic freedom found in the Bemis studios. In 35 years Bemis has brought more than 800 international artists to Omaha where they live, work, and enliven the community. The Bemis Center receives applications from artists from around the globe and a highly selective jury selects artists to receive three-month residencies. Artists are provided with large well-equipped live-and-work studios in the 100,000 square-foot historic McCord -Brady building.

AMY ROGERS, JOHN ROGERS WITH LORI REED AND JON IVERSON

JOSH HINMAN, JOSIE KARRE, LISA GUEVARA AND MICHAEL VILLARREAL 68

For more Information: bemiscenter.org | 402.341.7130

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Photos courtesy of Omaha Outward Bound School

AIMING

Higher Omaha Outward Bound School 5th Annual Climb Higher Luncheon When: Tuesday, October 20 Where: Hilton Omaha

EDWARD MILLS AND ROTON

SHELLY GROTE, GARY GROTE, DJ REZAC AND LISA REZAC

Why: To provide high-quality experiential programming for youth of all socioeconomic levels Multi Media: MacRae Productions Attendance: 500 Amount Raised: $100,000 Mission: To inspire character development and self-discovery in people of all ages and walks of life through challenge and adventure. For more information 402.614.6360 x204 | www.outwardboundomaha.org

SCHEELS EMPLOYEES WERE AWARDED THE 2015 ‘PADDLE FORWARD’ AWARD

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FROM MANY…

One

OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc. 2015 Milagro Dinner When: Thursday, November 12th

SEN. SARA HOWARD AND DOUG SCHRODER WITH DEREK AND SARAH MILLER

CHRIS MILLER, NICK JULIANO, TIFFANY WHITE-WELCHEN AND JOEL COTA

Where: The Livestock Exchange Ballrooms About: All proceeds go back to our community’s most vulnerable children, teens, and families in the form of access to quality, affordable health care.

KAELIN PILKINGTON, ROSIE JOHNSON AND LACEY BARRON

DR. KELLY AND SOLI MCCARTHY

CHRIS DENNEY AND DR. BECKY HERINK

DR. KRIS AND CRAIG MCVEA WITH CEO ANDREA SKOLKIN

Highlights of the evening’s program: The evening consisted of a Silent Auction with a guitarist and Violin Sprouts performance and free sangria tasting. During the auction, a featured table of artwork made by the children of the Learning Community Center of South Omaha was also available for purchase where all proceeds went to a field trip fund for the children and families. The Dinner and program consisted of remarks from Heath and Catherine Mello, Co-Chairs of the 2015 Milagro Dinner, and Dave Ridder, OneWorld Board of Directors Chair, followed by a video, fundraising challenge, speaker presentation, and awards presentation. The Learning Community Center of South Omaha is a partnership between OneWorld Community Health Centers and the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The Center helps new immigrant families with English language learning and supports them as they navigate the public school system so they can be more actively involved in their children’s education. Awardees were recognized for giving their time and talents to care for patients and for making miracles happen every day: • Dr. Suzanne Braddock • CHI Health Clinic Cardiology • Methodist Radiation Oncology • Nebraska Cancer Specialists • Nebraska Medicine – Bellevue

CINDY MARGRITZ, CANDACE WHITE AND SUE PETERSON

ANDY AND CARLA KLOECKNER WITH MICHAEL CHASE

Mission: OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., in partnership with the community, provides culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved. Attendance: About 400 guests and volunteers Amount Raised: Over $115,000 Honorary Chairmen: Senator Heath Mello and his wife Mrs. Catherine Mello For more Information: OneWorldOmaha.org

GRANT RUNYAN, ERIN DANAHAY WITH DUSTIN AND ASHLEY SELZER

JOE AND CATHERINE TODERO 70

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Photos courtesy of Youth Emergency Services

CREATING

Change

Youth Emergency Services Breaking the Cycle Luncheon When: Friday, November 6 Why: November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

AMANDA TROUTMAN, MARY FRASER MEINTS AND ANGELA HEIM

TIP TOP THRIFT SHOP BOARD

Speaker: Justin Reed Early Attendance: 200 Amount Raised: $7,500 Mission: To serve homeless and at-risk youth by providing critically-needed resources which empower them to become self-sufficient. About: Each night, hundreds of youth in the Omaha metro are homeless. Many of these youth have been physically, emotionally or sexually abused, making it unsafe for them to return home. Many others are facing health, mental health and substance abuse issues beyond their control. Youth Emergency Services (YES) exists to help these youth turn their lives around.

YOUTH EMERGENCY SERVICES STAFF, YOUTH AND SPEAKER JUSTIN REED EARLY

For more information: www.yesomaha.org

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Photography by Mark Kresl

MAKING

Merry

The Merrymakers Association A “Toast” to the late Mike Simmonds The Merrymakers Association’s major annual fundraiser was held Thursday, November 5, 2015 at the LaVista Embassy Suites. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, traditionally a roast of a prominent Omaha figure. The 2015 event was a “toast” to the late Mike Simmonds, who passed away in 2014 from a 12-year battle with cancer. Many members of Simmonds’ family were on hand to participate in the festivities. Mike Simmonds was Founder and Chairman of Simmonds Restaurant Management, Inc.. He owned and operated over 80 Burger King, Taco John’s and Jimmy Johns restaurants in Nebraska and Iowa. He was an enthusiastic board member and supporter of Merrymakers Association and many other charitable organizations.

HARLAN FALK, DAVID MAYER, BILL CUTLER, MELISSA HEGARTY, GARY GROTE, STEVE PATTERSON, SANDRA PARKER, CRAIG POHLMAN AND PETE HENLEY

MELISSA MARVIN AND CATHY BONNESEN

Over 360 attended the event, mostly comprising corporate tables. This is a record number. Sponsorships are at a record level $157,50 and a total of over $300,000 was raised. The Merrymakers Association is a 501 (c) (3) organization, started in 1986 by Jim Johnson, which provides professional entertainment to 134 senior homes in Nebraska and Iowa. Its mission statement: to improve the quality of life for seniors by encouraging active participation, increasing social interaction, and sparking memories through professional entertainment. Merrymakers is led by Executive Director Patti Craig and is based in Omaha. Craig is supported by a 12-member Board of Directors.

JENNIFER SIMMONDS, LAUREN SCHLATTER, KEVIN SIMMONDS, OWEN SCHLATTER, LIN SIMMONDS, LUKE SIMMONDS, NATALIE SIMMONDS AND SHAWN SIMMONDS

The Merrymakers Association had long held a special place in Simmonds’ heart. He was a dedicated board member, enjoyed watching performances and seeing the nursing home residents appreciate the music. “The sparkle in their eyes” is what he liked the most. Patti Craig, Executive Director of Merrymakers, has known Simmonds for 25 years through her work in the community. “Merrymakers is just very thankful and fortunate that Mike chose to be part of our board and focus on our organization. Mike had been the embodiment of a great board member, giving tirelessly and passionately of both time and treasure to help promote the mission. We are grateful for all his leadership and support.” Merrymakers’ program is a unique service. The mission of Merrymakers is to provide live, onsite entertainment. The performance provides physical as well as mental stimulation. According to recreational therapists, residents reap the benefits for days afterwards with increased mental awareness. For more Information: 402.697.0205 | www.merrymakers.org

SANDY PARKER, JOHN P. NELSON, CYNDY PEACOCK, MOGENS BAY, MARY MAXWELL AND SID DINSDALE 72

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Photos courtesy of Partnership 4 Kids

FINE ASWine

Partnership 4 Kids

Hops and Grapes Fall Festival When: November 13 Where: The Living Room at The Mastercraft

ALEX JONES, BRAD KIRSHENBAUM, BILL KIRSHENBAUM AND NERIS FRANCE

Why: Hops and Grapes Fall Festival is a special benefit for Partnership 4 Kids. The evening featured a feast for the senses! Festivities included wine and beer tasting from 10 vineyards and local breweries, appetizers by A Catered Affair, live music by The Shenanigans, games, raffle give-aways and more! Attendance: 350 Amount Raised: $45K Mission: To partner with our community to guide our youth toward academic success, from kindergarten to careers, through goal setting, mentoring, and college access programs. For more information: www.p4k.org

SHENANIGANS

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Photography by Mark Kresl

ROLLING IT Out

QLI

Red Carpet Affair When: October 9 Where: Villa Patryce on the Lake, Bennington

CHRIS AND KATHY JOHNSON

TOM AND KOANNE BABEL WITH JAY MIRALLES AND MICHELLE SCHRAGE

Why: Presented by Business4Business, this was a fundraising event in support of QLI’s adaptive sports and recreation program. Funds raised will support the development of an outdoor recreation area and lake on QLI’s campus. Special Guests: Hosted by Tom and Koanne Babel SPONSORS: Christian Nobel, Alletti Jewelry, Safari Cigars, Cutchall Management, VIP Limo, Clark International, Omaha Musicians Live, SpiritWorld, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Brickway Brewery, Northwest Floral, Jo-on-the-Go

MATT AND CATHERINE BROCKMEYER, CLINT AND KIM HAYWOOD, JON AND JAMIE JACOBI, ROB AND ASHLEY STARGEL, JEREMY WILHELM AND CASSANDRA KELLER

Attendance: 200 Mission: Deliver life-changing rehabiltation and care. Protect dignity, instill purpose, and create hope. Committ to excellence. About: QLI provides relentless and unrivaled rehabiltation services for those affected by brain injury or spinal cord injury. For more information: 402-573-3700 | www.teamQLI.com

BOB HARRIS AND RICK ANDERSON

JOHN HOICH

SHERI NEEMAN AND BRIAN THAMM

DR JOSEPH AND SAABINA DUMBA

SANDY AND DAVID DOWNING

ROD RHODEN AND SHARON MCDERMOTT

LAUREN LINENBERGER, JORDAN TAKAHASHI AND MICHAEL WALCZYK

WES WOODWARD AND COLLEEN WOODWARD

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Photos courtesy of Nebraska Humane Society

PLENTY OF

Purses

Nebraska Humane Society Purses 4 Paws When: October 29 Where: Regency Court

BARBARA RIZVI, JEAN LAHTI AND KARLA CASSELS

Why: To raise funds for the Nebraska Humane Society to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome homeless animals

SUSIE KNAPP AND VANITA LUND

Attendance: 200 Amount Raised: We expect to meet our goal! Mission: The Nebraska Humane Society protects, saves and enriches the lives of animals in the communities we serve About: The Nebraska Humane Society provides animal control and animal sheltering to Omaha and Sarpy County. We take all animals that have nowhere else to go and work to rehabilitate and rehome

BOB AND ROBYN FREEMAN WITH CHAIRDOG JACKIE

MARY ELLEN DUFFACK, BABS WEINBERG, MNATHA TABOR AND KERRY ECKLEBE

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For more information: 402.444.7800 | www.nehumanesociety.org

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Photos courtesy of v® of Omaha

OFFERING

Assistance

Assistance League® of Omaha Big Red Tailgate When: November 4 Where: Champions Run

SUZANNE HINMAN AND JOHN FURSTENBERG

JUDIE OLSON AND SUZANNE HINMAN

Why: Benefitting ALO’s philanthropic programs including Operation School Bell® Special Guests: Millard Superintendent Jim Sutfin; Crystal Bell Award winner Judie Olson Attendance: 250 Amount Raised: $30,000 Mission: Assistance League of Omaha is a non-profit service organization whose members identify, develop, implement and fund ongoing philanthropic programs to serve specific needs of children and adults in the greater Omaha area.

NANCY JOHNSON, JUDY LEISE, LEONA BRAKKE, GAIL FORMANACK, ELAINE JOHNSON, JAN JACKSON, SUZANNE HINMAN, ANN MOSSBERG, JOY CLAUSSENIUS, CAROLYN MCCORMICK AND ROBIN WIAR

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For more information: 402.342.4288 alo@alo.omhcoxmail.com | alomaha.org


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Photos courtesy of JL Williams

event galleries

SWEETS TO THE

Suite

Ballet Nebraska Nutcracker Holiday Tea Party When: November 29 Where: Joslyn Castle

ERIN ALARCÒN

DANCERS: AMARIS SHARRATT, REBECCA BRENNER, ALYSSA GRIMSLEY AND ANNA SWENSON

Why: Presented by the Ballet Nebraska Guild, the Holiday Tea gives children and adults a chance to spend an afternoon enjoying activities and refreshments with company dancers in costume. The event showcases excerpts from Ballet Nebraska’s Nutcracker and storytime with the Sugar Plum Fairy, bringing the magic of the holiday season even nearer to Omaha audiences. Funds from ticket sales, boutique sales, and silent auction help further the mission of Ballet Nebraska. Attendance: 186 guests and 22 company dancers Amount Raised: $6,366 For more Information: balletnebraska.org

JAKE GODEK, SIGNS A SOUVENIR

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Photos courtesy of Nebraska Children’s Home Society

GROWING

Homes

Nebraska Children’s Home Society Homegrown 2015 When: October 9 Where: Regency Court Why: To raise awareness, funds and celebrate the families and children served by NCHS, featured in a photo exhibit by Kathy Rae Photography. About: To provide safe and loving care to children of all ages. Nebraska Children's Home Society is committed to the belief that a child's needs come first and that all children deserve safe and loving care. We support parents across the state of Nebraska in overcoming barriers to nurture their children's growth and development. We help women and teens facing unplanned pregnancies; strive to build, strengthen and support adoptive, biological and foster families; provide early intervention programs; offer teen pregnancy prevention education; and ensure that children begin school ready to learn. For more Information: www.nchs.org

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Photos courtesy of TeamMates

ONE FOR THE

Team TeamMates

TeamMates Tailgate Gala

DR. TOM AND NANCY OSBORNE

COACH TIM MILES AND DR. TOM OSBORNE

The 12th Annual TeamMates Tailgate Gala was held on November 6 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in La Vista. The Gala funds nearly one-third of the program which was founded in 1991 by Dr. Tom & Nancy Osborne. More than 1,300 supporters were in attendance and over $700,000 were raised for the organization. A friendly free throw contest to ten between Coach Tim Miles and Dr. Tom Osborne was issued at last year’s event and the winner was revealed during the Gala as attendees watched the shoot out to ten between coaches. The TeamMates Mentoring Program was founded in 1991 by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne. It is a school based, one-to-one mentoring program that matches adult volunteers from the community with students to provide support and encouragement. The goal of the program is to see youth graduate from high school and pursue postsecondary education. Currently TeamMates serves over 7,500 youth in 131 chapters across Nebraska, and Iowa.

DR. TOM OSBORNE, TOMMIE FRAZIER, TONY VELAND, AARON GRAHAM AND MIKE’L SEVER

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For more information: 402.210.3546 | teammates.org

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Photos courtesy of Completely KIDS

COMPLETE

Tailgaters Completely KIDS Big Red Tailgate When: October 2 Where: Embassy Suites La Vista

RANDY AND DARLENE MUELLER WITH KRISTIN LEWIS AND MARJEAN STAMM

FRONT: JOERDY F. AND TOMMIE FRAZIER BACK: JADE S., OCTAVIO M., ERIC CROUCH, MATT HOSKINSON AND MONTE CRISTO

Why: Proceeds will be used to support and maintain Completely KIDS after-school and family strengthening programming. This includes educational and enrichment programming, program materials, field trips, meals, administration, as well as classes for parents. Attendance: 400 Amount Raised: More than $175,000 Mission: Completely KIDS educates and empowers kids and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community. For more information 402.397.5809 | completelykids.org

STEFFANY LIEN

ANNE KELLEY, MAUREEN TURNER, NANCY EDICK AND MARY JO LANGDON

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celebrating THE ARTS celebrating 25 years in 2016!

STORY BY KARA SCHWEISS | PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF PARTICIPATING WESTWARD O PARTNERS

go west!

westward O

EXPLORING THE AMERICAN WEST THROUGH THE ARTS DISCOVER THE GREAT FRONTIER 2016-STYLE THROUGH WESTWARD O, A SERIES OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS EXHIBITIONS AND PERFORMANCES THROUGHOUT OMAHA THAT CELEBRATE THE MYTH AND REALITY OF THE AMERICAN WEST. The heyday of the American West movement is a century gone now, but the legend, folklore and romance – cowboys, Native American tribes, ranchers, homesteaders and hardscrabble frontier towns – still linger in popular culture today. The era has also been celebrated throughout the visual and performing arts, giving rise to Westward O, a collaborative programming partnership anchored by Joslyn Art Museum and presented through various arts organizations of Omaha, once known as “The Gateway to the West.”

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celebrating THE ARTS

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“We hope listeners will be inspired by the works of these American composers and find a deeper connection to the themes expressed in the Westward O festival.”

Programming began in mid-November and continues through spring, said Joslyn Art Museum Executive Director and CEO Jack Becker, who spearheaded the effort. “It’s an opportunity for audiences of all ages and interest levels to explore, learn about, think about, be intrigued about the West and the story of the West – the good, the bad and the ugly – in American culture, and to do so through the visual arts, film, dance, music and so much more,” he said.

THE DURHAM MUSEUM

JOSLYN ART MUSEUM Joslyn Art Museum features Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West through April 17. More than 90 artworks and artifacts – masterpieces of Western painting and a stunning selection of Plains Indian artifacts – come to Joslyn from the world-renowned collection of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. “We’re drawing from their incredible selection of American art, great 19thand early 20th-century paintings that really tell the story of the West: landscape and people, myth of the West, reality of the West,” Becker said. “We’re a place for people to connect and engage with art – from the past, the present and different viewpoints.” Go West! spans the century between 1830 and 1930 and includes works by artists and artist-explorers including Alfred Jacob Miller, George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell. The exhibition also features a remarkable selection of objects reflecting that, for Plains Indian peoples, art was integral to life; everyday items were carefully crafted and adorned to display personal creativity and cultural traditions. In conjunction with Go West!, Joslyn Art Museum presents lectures and gallery talks by local and national scholars throughout the exhibition period (for more information visit www.joslyn.org), Becker said. “And at the same time, there is a project we’ve been working on with an artist named Brad Kahlhamer who is doing a residency here at Bemis. He’s Native American and has created some works for a small exhibition that is on view in our Riley CAP Gallery.”

The Durham Museum (www.durhammuseum.org) features the exhibition From Nebraska to the World: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West from January 30 through May 1 and developed in partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The exhibition includes artifacts and photos on loan from local, regional and national partners.

“The Westward O project is a tremendous opportunity to engage our community in an important piece of American history that began right here in Omaha,” Durham Museum Executive Director Christi Janssen said. “Both a dedicated soldier and consummate showman, Buffalo Bill Cody created the iconic idea of the American West and transported that Western ideology worldwide. The exhibition traces Buffalo Bill’s journey from his very first show here in Omaha (1882) to his last in Council Bluffs (1913). A collaboration of this a nature and scope certainly helps to reinforce this exciting piece of our region’s history.”

The Durham Museum also offers Cowboy Up!, an interactive Western-themed experience for young visitors, from January 30 to March 27 alongside the Buffalo Bill exhibition.

OPERA OMAHA Opera Omaha (www.operaomaha.org) presents Puccini’s La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) February 12 and 14. Set in the saloon of a California mining camp during the Gold Rush, La fanciulla del West has all the grit and grandeur of the greatest American Western films. At the same time, Puccini’s soaring melodies provide the heartbeat of a dramatic love story filled with passion, redemption and forgiveness. This period production is sung in Italian with English supertitles.

OMAHA SYMPHONY

BALLET NEBRASKA

On January 10, the Omaha Symphony (www.omahasymphony.org) presents I Hear America Singing in Joslyn Art Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall, featuring works by American composers that reflect the theme of the American West.

As part of its longstanding partnership with the Joslyn Art Museum, Ballet Nebraska (www.balletnebraska.org) presents its mixed-repertory production Momentum: Go West! showcasing the artistic range and choreographic variety of ballet as a captivating art form. The ballet is inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West, with cowboys, tumbleweeds, and yodels in store.

“Westward O celebrates the human desire to grow, to thrive, and to make something great of our lives. Music is a vital to the human experience. All four of the composers on our program did what Aaron Copland suggested American composers should do: write something that has a tuneful connection to the human spirit,” Omaha Symphony Music Director Thomas Wilkins said.

“We always love collaborating with the Joslyn for Momentum, bringing art to life in a different way,” says Erika Overturff, director of Ballet Nebraska and choreographer of Go West! “Westward O is a very special opportunity because it tells our history as a region and involves the whole city. We hope people will join us in celebrating that history and the many forms of great art Omaha has to offer.”

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go west! westward O

EXPLORING THE AMERICAN WEST THROUGH THE ARTS The rollicking, high-energy Go West! premieres at the Joslyn on April 1, with a second performance at Iowa Western Community College’s Arts Center on April 3.

FILM STREAMS AT THE RUTH SOKOLOF THEATER Film Streams’ Picturing the West, a 12-film, 8-week series in February and March, features Western-themed films including Heaven’s Gate (1980), John Huston’s The Misfits (1961), Hud (1963), High Noon (1952) and Meek’s Cutoff (2010). More information is available at www.filmstreams.org. “For many, the term ‘the West’ is likely to conjure memories of screen cowboys like John Wayne, or outlaws like Clint Eastwood. Movies have played a huge role in creating the popular image of an entire chapter of history, not to mention many of the more misguided or harmful stereotypes about Native Americans,” Executive Director Rachel Jacobson said. “Our Picturing the West series will offer an opportunity to revel in beloved, classic films and also to think about how these works of art impact our perception of America, past and present.”

OMAHA AREA YOUTH ORCHESTRAS (OAYO) On March 6 at Joslyn’s Witherspoon Concert Hall, Omaha Area Youth Orchestras’ (www.oyao.com) Youth Philharmonic performs Copland’s Hoe-Down from his ballet Rodeo as part of a concert of classical masterpieces and audience favorites. The legendary Agnes de Mille, choreographer for this ballet, described it as “Taming of the Shrew with cowboys”. Copland used folk tunes and his signature harmonic simplicity to create an icon of American music that sounds like it could be the soundtrack for the entire Wild West. “We treasure the history of shared programs with our artistic partners in the community,” Music Director and Principal Conductor Aviva Segall said. “OAYO musicians perform and rehearse with Omaha Symphony musicians, perform in the Witherspoon Concert Hall at the Joslyn, have performed in the pit for the Opera Omaha and Ballet Nebraska and are patrons of Film Streams, the Rose Theater and the Durham Museum.” “As the celebration of the American West is a collection of experiences and stories, each arts organization brings its unique programming to a central theme of our community and shared history. The result will be a satisfying and unique experience for the public,” OAYO Executive Director Rana ScarlettJohnson said.

{

IT’S AN OPPORTUNITY FOR

AUDIENCES OF ALL AGES AND INTEREST LEVELS TO EXPLORE, LEARN ABOUT, THINK ABOUT, BE INTRIGUED ABOUT THE WEST

}

AND THE STORY OF THE WEST. ~ JACK BECKER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CEO JOSLYN ART MUSEUM


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celebrating THE ARTS

save these dates FEBRUARY 1 – MAY 8

FEBRUARY 27 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM PEAR TREE PERFORMING ARTS FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER PEAR TREE PERFORMING ARTS

FRAGILE BEAUTY: THE GLASS ART OF CRAIG MITCHELL SMITH LAURITZEN GARDENS 402-346-4002 | www.lauritzengardens.org

FEBRUARY 5 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM WATER PUBLIC OPENING KANEKO 1111 Jones St | Omaha WATER will be on view at KANEKO from February 5 through April 23, 2016 and will explore issues impacting water quality and sustainability both within the midwestern region and globally. These concepts will be highlighted through the combination of scientific data and fine art, while encouraging visitors to consider their own relationship with water – how water impacts our community, our health, and our perspectives. WATER is made possible by the generous support of our Presenting Sponsor – Valmont Industries, Inc. - Free

402-341-3800 | http://thekaneko.org/water

4801 Northwest Radial Highway | Omaha Join us for our 2nd Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser for Pear Tree Performing Arts. Local artists, businesses, and organizations partner with Pear Tree Performing Arts to showcase our youth's talent! The fashion show supports our programming and student tuition assistance program. Pear Tree Performing Arts offers low cost dance and performing arts classes to area youth. Support a great organization, see amazing talent, and check out some cool fashion for kids and adults! A win for all! $10.00-$20.00

402-934-4767 | www.peartreeomaha.org

FEBRUARY 28 3:00 PM NEBRASKA WIND SYMPHONY WINTER CONCERT UNO STRAUSS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 60th and Dodge | Omaha Winter Concert - Mad about Marches featuring Middle School All-Star Percussionists $10 Adults; $5 Students/Seniors; Free under 12

FEBRUARY 6 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

http://nebraskawindsymphony.com

PEAR TREE PERFORMING ARTS FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER PEAR TREE PERFORMING ARTS 4801 Northwest Radial Highway | Omaha

MARCH 5 – 6

Join us for our 2nd Annual Fashion Show Fundraiser for Pear Tree Performing Arts. Local artists, businesses, and organizations partner with Pear Tree Performing Arts to showcase our youth's talent! The fashion show supports our programming and student tuition assistance program. Pear Tree Performing Arts offers low cost dance and performing arts classes to area youth. Support a great organization, see amazing talent, and check out some cool fashion for kids and adults! A win for all! $10.00-$20.00

402-934-4767 | www.peartreeomaha.org

FEBRUARY 12 – 14 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM OPERA OMAHA PRESENTS LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST OPERA OMAHA Orpheum Theater | 409 S 16th St | Omaha Set in the saloon of a California mining camp during the Gold Rush, La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West) has all the grit and grandeur of our greatest western films. Puccini’s soaring melodies provide the heartbeat of a dramatic love story filled with passion, redemption, and forgiveness. This period production will be directed by Lillian Groag (Carmen, 2013) and is sure to be a highlight of Westward O!, a city-wide arts festival celebrating the frontier and American West. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. $19-$99 402-346-4398 | www.operaomaha.org

FEBRUARY 20 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM COME CREATE IT WORKSHOP OMAHA CREATIVE INSTITUTE 1516 Cuming St | Omaha

GREATER OMAHA ORCHID SOCIETY ORCHID SHOW AND SALE LAURITZEN GARDENS 402-346-4002 | www.lauritzengardens.org

APRIL 1 7:30 PM BALLET NEBRASKA'S MOMENTUM BALLET NEBRASKA Joslyn Art Museum | Omaha Momentum, Ballet Nebraska’s award-winning “mixed-repertory” program, showcases the artistic range and choreographic variety of ballet as a captivating art form. Heading this season’s program will be the premiere of Erika Overturff’s high-spirited new ballet Go West! Presented in partnership with Joslyn Art Museum, the ballet celebrates Joslyn’s featured exhibition and is inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West. Hold on to your hat – there are cowboys, tumbleweeds, and yodels in store! Single Tickets: $19, $30, $45, VIP $70 (with reception) Groups: $17, $27, $41

http://balletnebraska.org/performances

APRIL 1 – 3 MOMENTUM: GO WEST! BALLET NEBRASKA Friday, April 1 at the Joslyn Art Museum Sunday, April 3 at the Iowa Western Arts Center

This workshop will explore what makes a powerful, thought provoking image that conveys the essence of the sitter at that particular moment. You will learn how to tap into the sitter's life story and convey it in a singular image via the use of light, shape, composition, mood and style. Please bring a digital camera. Open to beginners and intermediates. $35.00

Momentum, Ballet Nebraska’s award-winning “mixed-repertory” program, showcases the artistic range and choreographic variety of ballet as a captivating art form. Heading this season’s program will be the premiere of Erika Overturff’s high-spirited new ballet Go West! Presented in partnership with Joslyn Art Museum, the ballet celebrates Joslyn’s featured exhibition and is inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West. Hold on to your hat – there are cowboys, tumbleweeds, and yodels in store!

402-593-9632 | www.omahacreativeinstitute.org

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ARTS CALENDAR APRIL 3 2:00 PM BALLET NEBRASKA'S MOMENTUM BALLET NEBRASKA Iowa Western Arts Center Council Bluffs Momentum, Ballet Nebraska’s award-winning “mixed-repertory” program, showcases the artistic range and choreographic variety of ballet as a captivating art form. Heading this season’s program will be the premiere of Erika Overturff’s high-spirited new ballet Go West! Presented in partnership with Joslyn Art Museum, the ballet celebrates Joslyn’s featured exhibition and is inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West. Hold on to your hat – there are cowboys, tumbleweeds, and yodels in store! Single tickets: $19, $30, $45 Groups: $17, $27, $41

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http://balletnebraska.org/performances

APRIL 8 – 10 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM OPERA OMAHA PRESENTS SEMELE OPERA OMAHA Orpheum Theater 409 S 16th St | Omaha Visionary director James Darrah and his creative team Chromatic (Agrippina, 2014 and A Flowering Tree, 2015) return to Opera Omaha with a new production of Handel’s Semele – a darkly comic mythological story of a mortal woman’s tryst with a dangerous god. Featuring some of Handel's most glorious orchestral and virtuosic vocal writing, Semele is an opera of unbridled lust, jealousy, and revenge. Early music specialist and Grammy® winning conductor, Stephen Stubbs (Agrippina, 2014), will lead another exceptional ensemble of artists. Sung in English with English supertitles. $19-$99

402-346-4398 | www.operaomaha.org

APRIL 9 – MAY 1 10:00: AM – 5:00 PM SHAKESPEARE'S FIRST FOLIO THE DURHAM MUSEUM 801 S 10th St | Omaha

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The Durham Museum was named Nebraska's host for the First Folio! The book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour. The First Folio is the first completed collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Compiled by two of Shakespeare's fellow actors, it preserves 36 of Shakespeare's plays. Without it, we would not have 18 of those plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra. The First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, to be or not to be. In conjunction with the traveling exhibition from the Folger Library, The Durham Museum will also exhibit some never-before-seen pieces from the Bryon Reed Rare Coin, Document and Book Collection, including a later edition of the Folio published in 1876 that speaks to the popularity of Shakespeare's works, but also the ways in which later editors tried to change or enhance the works. $9-Adults; $7Seniors(62+); $6-children(3-12); Free-members and 2 and under

402-444-5071 | www.durhammuseum.org

APRIL 17 3:00 PM NEBRASKA WIND SYMPHONY SPRING CONCERT UNO STRAUSS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 60th and Dodge | Omaha Spring Concert - Color of Music featuring NWS Scholarship winner as guest soloist $10 Adults; $5 Students/Seniors; Free under 12

http://nebraskawindsymphony.com

CONNECTING OUR COMMUNITY

people. parties. passion. purpose.


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community CALENDAR

LEARN MORE details about any of these events by searching our extensive Community Calendar at mQUARTERLY’s website: http://www.SpiritofOmaha.com/Metro-Magazine/Community/Calendar/

FEBRUARY 5

5:30 PM

save the date CONNECT WITH over 100 nonprofits and learn more about their mission and how you can help! Order your copy of The Giving Guide & Event Book 2016 today at mQUARTERLY’s SpiritofOmaha.com.

FEBRUARY 19 • RESCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER

MARIANFEST 2016: #MARIANINSPIRES Marian High School

FANDANGO® Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc.

Baxter Arena | 2425 South 67th Street | Omaha We’ll share an evening of socializing and mobile bidding to help fund scholarships, need-based financial aid and Marian’s operating budget. Come hear stories we know you’ll like about how Marian is inspiring our girls to make a difference in our community and around the world. You’ll favorite our amazing silent and live auction packages and, with your participation, MarianFEST 2016 will go viral and be a great success. We’ll even feature live Instagram and Twitter slideshows of the fun! Interested in sponsoring a corporate table? Email Shari Gilg at sgilg@omahamarian.org or call her at 402.571.2618 ext. 1167. Visit www.marianhighschool.net for more details on this inspiring evening. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at to be a part of all the action! Corporate sponsorships are available. (402) 571-2618 x 1167 | http://www.bidpal.net/marianfest2016

Details to be announced Fandango is a casual, sports-themed event supporting Children Services of Lutheran Family Services. Past featured programs include the Family Liaison program, in-school support to children ages three to eight with complex challenges outside of school which impact their academic success; Centers for Healthy Families, an incentive-based program for at-risk families with children under age five and expectant mothers; and RSafe®, trauma treatment and therapeutic support for children and families impacted by child sexual abuse. Ticket Prices: $100 (402) 978-5646 | www.LFSneb.org

FEBRUARY 6

6:30pm - 11pm

2016 OMAHA HEART AND STROKE BALL American Heart Association And American Stroke Association Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista The 28th Annual Omaha Heart and Stroke Ball, attended by more than 1,000 individuals from Omaha’s business, medical and social communities, is the annual black-tie optional gala benefiting the American Heart Association’s lifesaving mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The evening festivities begin with an opening reception that includes an electronic silent auction and it is followed by a dinner and a program that features entertainment, a live auction and an inspiring survivor story. We will be celebrating our work and mission, our donors and volunteers, and – most importantly – the lives saved and improved because of the American Heart Association and our supporters. Ticket Prices: Individual tickets are $300 Tables available starting at $3,000 (402) 810-6870 | www.heart.org/omaha/

FEBRUARY 11 RED DRESS DASH American Heart Association And American Stroke Association (402) 810-6870 | www.heart.org/omaha/

FEBRUARY 13

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

CARNIVAL OF LOVE GALA Heartland Family Service Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista The Carnival of Love Gala is a fun-filled evening featuring cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, carnival games, dinner, and both silent and live auctions. The proceeds benefit families and individuals in Omaha and surrounding communities in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa. $125 Individual Ticket (402) 552-7424 | www.HeartlandFamilyService.org

FEBRUARY 13 OMAHA POLAR PLUNGE Special Olympics Nebraska (402)331-5545 | www.sone.org

FEBRUARY 13

6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

SWING UNDER THE WINGS Strategic Air & Space Museum 28210 West Park Highway | Ashland Valentine’s Fun! Swing Under the Wings takes place underneath the wings of a B-29 Superfortress and a KC-97 Stratotanker. Guests are encouraged to dress in their swinging-est 1940s attire as they swing to Gooch and the Guys. The event begins at 6:00 PM with dinner. Tickets can also be purchased for drinks and dance only. Proceeds support the operations of the Strategic Air & Space Museum including aircraft restoration and educational programming. Reservations are required. Details can be found @ SASMuseum.com. $60-$75 per person (402) 944.3100x253 | http://SASMuseum.com

FEBRUARY 20

5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

CRUISE AWAY TO MARDI GRAS Stephen Center Guild Champions Run Country Club | 13800 Eagle Run Drive | Omaha The Stephen Center will host its major fundraising gala, Cruise Away to Mardi Gras, on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at Champions Run. This past year, the Stephen Center Emergency Shelter ran 15% over capacity. We served over 134,000 meals for the hungry, provided 47,561 nights of lodging to men,women and children, and graduated 72% of the participants in our HERO (substance abuse) Program. Proceeds from the gala will support operations for all programs offered by the Stephen Center. We are excited to announce that we moved into our new emergency shelter and permanent housing units in early January, 2016! We invite you to join us in our mission to rebuild lives, restore sobriety and create stability for those most in need in our area. Your support will change Lives! $125 (402) 616-1878 | www.stephencenter.org

FEBRUARY 20

4:30 PM – 10:00 PM

FIESTA 2016 Mercy High School Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Mercy High School’s FIESTA 2016 is a dinner auction designed to raise funds for the school’s Negotiated Tuition program. The event, February 20, will be held at the Embassy Suites, La Vista and is entitled, A League of Their Own. The fundraiser begins at 4:30 p.m. with Mass, includes a silent and live auction, gourmet dinner and a $10,000 raffle. Details on pricing and other information is available on the school’s website at www.mercyhigh.org $125 each; alumnae and parents, two tickets, $75 (402) 553-9424 | http://mercyhigh.org

FEBRUARY 20

5:30 PM – 11:30 PM

ROCKIN’ ROSIE 2016: ROSIE CELEBRATES THE GOLDEN AGE OF THEATER Hilton Omaha | 1001 Cass St. | Omaha The Rose’s largest fundraising event, presented by the Rose Theater Guild, is the 30th Annual Rockin’ Rosie benefit, “Rosie Celebrates the Goldne Age of Theater.” This adult only event will be a fun and exciting evening of fun and festivities with cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner and dancing. Proceeds raised from Rockin’ Rosie will support the Rose Theater’s many community programs. Besides offering outstanding productions that entertain and engage young audiences, No child or family desiring access to productions and classes is ever turned away at The Rose. The Rose offers classes specifically reaching children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Down’s syndrome. Ticket prices are $125 per person ($50 of the ticket price is tax deductible). Patron pricing is $150 per person ($100 tax deductible). Tables of ten are available. (402) 213-7810 | www.rosetheater.org

FEBRUARY 21

Patron Party 1pm – 2pm | Art & Soup 2pm – 5pm

ART & SOUP Visiting Nurse Association Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Join local artists and restaurants who come together to help raise funds for VNA’s Shelter Nursing program. Enjoy an afternoon sampling soups created by the area’s top chefs and purchasing original art from some of the best local artists! This is a fabulous event you will not want to miss! Ticket Prices: $100 – Patron Party | General Admission – $50 in advance, | $55 at the door (402) 930-4170 | www.thevnacares.org 88

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• mQUARTERLY look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2016!

FEBRUARY 24 – 27

MARCH 3

5:00pm - Patron party | 5:30pm - Cocktail reception 7:00pm - Chef Burrell’s presentation followed by dinner

MURDER MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE FEBRUARY 24 Joslyn Castle Trust (402) 595-2199 | www.joslyncastle.com

FEBRUARY 27

CELEBRITY CHEF FEATURING ANNE BURRELL Food Bank For The Heartland

7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

PERFECT POUR: A CRAFT COCKTAIL COMPETITION TO BENEFIT NEBRASKA CHILDREN The Pella at Blackstone | 303 S. 41st Street | Omaha The Omaha Friends of Nebraska Children are excited to bring you Perfect Pour: A Craft Cocktail Competition to benefit the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation. Join us for a roaring 20s themed evening of expertly crafted libations, swinging jazz and great company. Local master mixologists will create special cocktails and guests and expert judges will vote on the their favorites. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and vintage Omaha art will be available for purchase. $75 (402) 660-9241 | www.PerfectPour.org

MARCH 2

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

COMPLETELY KIDS AUTHOR LUNCHEON Completely KIDS Hilton Omaha | 1001 Cass St. | Omaha Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S.Ed will be the speaker at this annual luncheon to further the mission of Completely KIDS. Dr. Ginsburg is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. His books address how to raise authentically successful children who will be happy, hardworking, compassionate, creative, and innovative. The luncheon is a sure not-to-be-missed for parents, doctors, teachers and child advocates. Presented by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. (402) 397-5809 | http://completelykids.org

MARCH 3

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

GREATER OMAHA YOUNG PROFESSIONALS SUMMIT Greater Omaha Chamber

Embassy Suites Conference Center – LaVista With her trademark spiky blond hair and pumped- up personality, Anne Burrell is featured on Worst Cooks in America, Chef Wanted and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. Anne Burrell is the Food Bank’s 2016 Celebrity Chef! Guests who attend the 15th annual Celebrity Chef event will enjoy cocktails and appetizers, a culinary presentation by Anne Burrell and dinner inspired by her recipes. (402) 331-1213 | www.FoodBankHeartland.org

MARCH 4

Mid America Center | 1 Arena Way | Council Bluffs Come and join the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the 18th Annual MDA Dix Family Gala at the Mid America Center. $60 per person (402) 390-2914 | www.mda.org

MARCH 5

make the connection! Follow us on FACEBOOK!

89

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

CASABLANCA GALA Nebraska CASA Association Scott Conference Center | 6450 Pine Street | Omaha Join us for an evening to celebrate Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs in Nebraska. The celebration includes cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, and a short program at the Scott Center. $50 (402) 477-2788 | www.nebraskacasa.org

MARCH 8

CenturyLink Center Omaha | 455 N 10th Street | Omaha It is an uncharted time for Young Professionals in the Omaha region. YPs are gaining a seat at the table, starting entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship ventures and have a louder voice in the community more than ever before. The 2016 Summit will help you: Discover Yourself, Chart Your Course. $125 - $150 (402) 978-7907 | http://omahayp.org

6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

18TH ANNUAL MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION/DIX FAMILY GALA Muscular Dystrophy Association of Omaha

11:45am - 1pm

HEROES IN THE HEARTLAND American Red Cross Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista The Heroes in the Heartland Awards Luncheon honors individuals from the Omaha metro who have saved another person’s life during the past year or who have positively impacted the quality of life in the Heartland area in other ways. This signature event, now in its 15th year, is based on the organization’s belief that qualities of bravery, commitment, dedication and selfless behavior should be recognized and honored. Ticket Prices: $50 (402) 343-7760 | www.redcross.org

mQUARTERLY • FEB/MAR/APR 2016

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LEARN MORE details about any of these events by searching our extensive Community Calendar at mQUARTERLY’s website: http://www.SpiritofOmaha.com/Metro-Magazine/Community/Calendar/

community CALENDAR

MARCH 10

save the date MARCH 18

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

ASSURE WOMEN’S CENTER IMAGINE BANQUET Assure Women’s Center

WISHBONE: AN EVENT SUPPORTING KENT BELLOWS MENTORING PROGRAM Joslyn Art Museum

Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Celebrate 30 Years with Us! This year’s keynote speaker is Ben Stein. You may not recognize the name right away, but you’d know the voice of the former speechwriter for Presidents Nixon and Ford, Columbia honors graduate, and valedictorian of Yale Law School. He is the author of dozens of books about economics and finance, the last several of which were New York Times best sellers. Individual tickets are $40 and a table of 10 is $350. These can be purchased at www.assurebanquet.eventbrite.com. VIP reception tickets are also available for $25. Secure your spot today! $40.00 (402) 390-9700 | www.assurebanquet.eventbrite.com

Joslyn Art Museum | 2200 Dodge Street | Omaha (402) 933-8220 | www.joslyn.org

MARCH 12

6:00 PM

2016 OPERA OMAHA SEMELE GALA Opera Omaha Paxton & Vierling Steel Co. | 501 Avenue H, Carter Lake Opera Omaha is once again breaking the traditional gala mold and taking the Semele Gala into a truly unconventional venue, Paxton & Vierling Steel Co. Opera Omaha has become known for innovative gala events in alternative venues that provide an immersive artistic experience for guests. The year prior was held at Omar Baking Co. Ticket Prices: $300 – Reservations Required. Invitations will be mailed in January. Advanced table reservations will be accepted now. To reserve a table, contact Jessica Blackman at (402) 346-4398, ext. 109 or jblackman@operaomaha.org. (402) 346-4398 | www.operaomaha.org

MARCH 15 – MARCH 20

6:00 PM – 6:00 PM

OMAHA FASHION WEEK - SPRING OFW presented by SAC Federal Credit Union Omaha Design Center | 1502 Cuming Street | Omaha Omaha Fashion Week is celebrating nine years in 2016! During that time, we’ve grown into the nation’s fifth largest fashion event, supporting more independent fashion designers that any other organization in the region. Omaha Fashion Week is a glamorous red carpet event for a good cause. Join us for our March 2016 season in the beautiful new venue the Omaha Design Center at 15th & Cuming Streets in Downtown Omaha. Reserved seats from $40, VIP seats from $70+ (402) 934-4303 | www.omahafashionweek.com

MARCH 18 MARCH MADNEZZ Boys & Girls Clubs Of The Midlands Boys& Girls Clubsofthe Midlands 2610 Hamilton St. • Omaha (402) 342-1600 | www.bgcomaha.org | www.bgcswiowa.org

MARCH 19

5:30 PM

IRISH FEST Catholic Charities Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Every year, Catholic Charities holds Irish Fest, our premier fundraising event. This year Catholic Charities of Omaha is celebrating its 90th anniversary. The theme this year is pléarácá (PLAY-raw-ka), which is an Irish noun and means THE party you don’t want to miss. The evening includes silent and live auctions, cocktails and gourmet dinner followed by entertainment. Seeing your friends and having fun is the best part of the event! visit www.ccomaha.org (402) 829-9260 | www.ccomaha.org

MARCH 19

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

GROWING HOPE GALA Alzheimer’s Association Lauritzen Gardens | 100 Bancroft St | Omaha Join us at Lauritzen Gardens Saturday, March 19th, 2016 for this inaugural Statewide Growing Hope Gala. This event is replacing the annual Lincoln Gala held in February and the Omaha Gala held in July. While it may have a new name and new venue, the purpose is the same - to eradicate this dreadful disease. For more information contact Keri Menage, kmenage@alz.org. Tickets are $250 (402) 502-4301 | http://alz.org/nebraska

MARCH 27

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

EASTER BRUNCH Lauritzen Gardens Lauritzen Gardens | 100 Bancroft Street | Omaha Easter Brunch at Lauritzen Gardens has become an annual tradition for many area families and sells out quickly. Make plans now to join us at the visitor and education center for a wonderful brunch among the flowers, catered by Hap Abraham Catering. The full menu is available online. Brunch is $30 per person. Children 6 to 12 are $13. Reservations and prepayment are required. To make reservations, cancellations or modifications to existing reservations, contact us by Wednesday, March 23. Please let us know if your party includes a wheelchair or if you need a high chair or booster seat. $13-$30 depending on age (402) 346-4002 | www.lauritzengardens.org

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HEALTH CENTERED DENTISTRY• 402.289.2313 Dr. Stephanie Vondrak • Dr. Ashley Rainbolt • DrVondrak.com

DISCOVER THE DIFFERENCE. 90

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CONNECT WITH over 100 nonprofits and learn more about their mission and how you can help! Order your copy of The Giving Guide & Event Book 2016 today at mQUARTERLY’s SpiritofOmaha.com. • VIEW & PURCHASE PHOTOS OF THESE AND OTHER EVENTS 365/24/7 AT SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

APRIL 1 – APRIL 2

• mQUARTERLY look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2016!

APRIL 2

6:00 PM

5:00 AM

OMAHA YOUTH RELAY FOR LIFE American Cancer Society - RELAY for Life

THE HEART OF CAMP GALA Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries

Omaha Sports Complex | 14706 Giles Rd. | Omaha Join local volunteers and participants from the community and celebrate cancer survivors, remember those lost to the disease, and take action to save more lives from cancer. The opening ceremony, which includes a special Survivors and Caregivers Lap, will begin at 6:00 PM on April 1, 2016. A Luminaria Ceremony to honor cancer survivors and remember those lost to cancer will take place at dusk. Contact Sarah Nelson, sarah.nelson@cancer.org. Participant fees may vary (402) 398-0775 | relayforlife.org

Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista When you attend the dinner, you will learn more about how Carol Joy Holling Camp is making a difference in thousands of children’s lives each summer and how it provides places set apart to help guest groups accomplish their goals. You will also help us honor people who exemplify Carol Joy Holling’s core values of Faith, Vocation, Community, Hospitality and Partnership through our “The Heart of Camp” awards. A silent auction, live auction and wine pull is all apart of the evening festivities. $85 (402) 944-2544 | www.caroljoyholling.org

APRIL 1 – APRIL 3

APRIL 5 – APRIL 6

April 1, 7:30pm • April 3, 2:00pm

April 5: Patron Party – 5:30 – 7:30pm | April 6: Luncheon – 12pm

MOMENTUM: GO WEST! Ballet Nebraska

TABLE ART 2016 Omaha Symphony Guild

Friday, April 1 at the Joslyn Art Museum | Sunday, April 3 at the Iowa Western Arts Center Momentum, Ballet Nebraska’s award-winning “mixed-repertory” program, showcases the artistic range and choreographic variety of ballet as a captivating art form. Heading this season’s program will be the premiere of Erika Overturff’s high-spirited new ballet Go West! Presented in partnership with Joslyn Art Museum, the ballet celebrates Joslyn’s featured exhibition and is inspired by the spirit and stories of the American West. Hold on to your hat – there are cowboys, tumbleweeds, and yodels in store! Ticket Prices: Joslyn Art Museum: $19, $30, $45, VIP $70 (includes reception), Patron Reception in the Fountain Court: $25; Iowa Western Arts Center: $19/$30/$4 (402) 541-6946 | www.balletnebraska.org

Patron Party : Cindy and Mogens Bay’s home | Luncheon – Baxter Arena Table Art 2016 celebrates the art of entertaining and the beauty of table décor with Mariposa. Livia Cowan, the founder and creative director, fell in love with recycled glassware during a trip to Mexico three decades ago and the company came to life. Ticket Prices: $75 for the Luncheon, | $250 for the Patron Party, $300 for Both Events (402) 681-4218 | www.omahasymphony.org/guilds/

APRIL 2

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

UNO’s Mammel Hall | 6708 Pine Street | Omaha artVenture is a unique arts education-based program that celebrates collaboration and creativity. Girl Scouts are matched with professional artists in a variety of mediums to create original works of art. From conception through completion, girls and artists work as a team through the artistic process. Their works of art, along with pieces by professional artists, are sold at a silent auction. All proceeds benefit the Spirit of Nebraska Council. $125-Patron; $50-General; $35-YP (402) 779-8230 | www.girlscoutsnebraska.org 6 – 7pm - patron reception | 7 – 9pm - author presentation and book signing

A NOVEL AFFAIRE 2016 Omaha Public Library Foundation The Omaha Public Library Foundation will welcome bestselling author Tobias Wolff (This Boy’s Life, In Pharaoh’s Army, The Barracks Thief, Old School) for its third annual fundraiser. A Novel Affaire 2016 will feature heavy appetizers and cocktails. Wolff will speak about his life as a writer and the importance of public libraries. He’ll also sign books following his remarks. Event proceeds will benefit Omaha Public Library programs and services. Ticket Prices: $60 per person – general admission | $100 per person – patron (402) 444-4589 | www.omahalibraryfoundation.org

APRIL 2

5:00 PM

Joselyn Castle | 3902 Davenport Street | Omaha Live concert will feature Simone Weber and songs from her newest album recorded with producer Dennis Dearing in Nashville. Table Grace Cafe the song will kick off the celebration of 5 years of Table Grace Cafe serving Omaha’s downtown community in a pay-what you can model restaurant. Appetizers and desserts will be catered by Chef Matt of Table Grace. Funds raised will go to support the work of Table Grace Cafe. $25-$500 917-992-8574 | www.simonegweber.com

APRIL 9

5:00 PM – 11:00 PM

MOUNT MICHAEL BENEDICTINE SCHOOL’S NIGHT OF KNIGHTS Mount Michael Benedictine Abbey and School Strategic Air and Space Museum | 28210 W Park Hwy | Ashland Twenty-seven years ago Mount Michael parents came together and the Night of Knights tradition began: To join in joyful hospitality, camaraderie and the awareness of God in our endeavors to support the good of the Mount Michael community. The evening will take place at the Strategic Air and Space Museum and will include a cocktail reception, dinner, and live and silent auctions. All proceeds are dedicated to the school’s operating budget. This is a vital fundraising mission each year! Please join our extended community to support the Mount Michael Night of Knights on Saturday, April 9th, 2016. $130 (402) 253-0950 | www.mountmichael.com/Pages/Advancement/Events/NightOfKnights

APRIL 9

5:00 PM

RONCALLI CATHOLIC FESTA DEL LEONE Roncalli Catholic High School

vinNEBRASKA SPRING WINE EVENT Partnership 4Kids Ramada Plaza | Omaha This grand celebration of great wines, gourmet food and amazing auction packages will feature premier wines from nationally and internationally recognized winemakers, paired with a selection of delectable hors d’oeuvres. The event includes a silent auction with unique gift-items, and wine-themed art work as well as a live auction showcasing select bottles of wine, one-of-a-kind vacation packages and rare collectibles. Ticket Prices: $110 ($120 after March 1st) (402) 930-3000 | www.p4k.org • (402) 557-6381 | www.vinnebraska.com

APRIL 2

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

SIMONE WEBER TABLE GRACE CD RELEASE CONCERT AND EVENT Table Grace

GIRL SCOUTS artVENTURE Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska

APRIL 2

APRIL 8

6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Roncalli Catholic High School | 6401 Sorensen Parkway | Omaha, NE The signature dinner and auction raises important tuition monies for the 410 young men and women of Roncalli Catholic. The cost is $125 per person. Patron table sponsorships, as well as underwriting and advertising opportunities are available and welcomed. The evening will include silent and live auctions, a lottery drawing, special giveaways and the presentation of the Pope John XXIII Award. Committees are forming now and volunteers are needed for this important fundraising event. $125 (402) 571-7670 | http://roncallicatholic.org

APRIL 9

6:00 PM

THE GATHERING CUES

2016 BLUE JEAN BALL Make-A-Wish Nebraska Mutual of Omaha Dome | 3301 Dodge Street | Omaha Make-A-Wish Nebraska’s annual Blue Jean Ball gala at the Mutual of Omaha Dome. Help make more wishes come true by joining us for an evening of inspirational wish stories. $125 per (402) 333-8999 | www.nebraska.wish.org 91

Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista The Gathering is a fundraising dinner to help support Sacred Heart, All Saints, and Holy Name Schools and is sponsored by CUES. The event will be held on Saturday, April 9th at the Embassy Suites, La Vista with cocktail hour beginning at 6:00 PM and dinner following at 7:30 pm. $125 (402) 451-5755 | www.cuesschools.org

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LEARN MORE details about any of these events by searching our extensive Community Calendar at mQUARTERLY’s website: http://www.SpiritofOmaha.com/Metro-Magazine/Community/Calendar/

community CALENDAR

APRIL 9

save the date APRIL 15

6:00 PM

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM

PINK RIBBON AFFAIR Susan G. Komen Nebraska

OMAHA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC GRAND OPENING GALA Omaha Conservatory of Music

Hilton Downtown Omaha | 1001 Cass Street | Omaha Join us for this second annual event benefiting Susan G. Komen® Nebraska and its mission to end breast cancer forever. The evening’s festivities begin with a pre-event patron party at 6 p.m. followed by dinner and an inspiring program. Kirk Kellner and his wife, Teresa, will serve as Honorary Chairpersons. Kirk and Teresa are long-time supporters of Komen® Nebraska. As regional president of Wells Fargo in Nebraska, Kirk leads the company in its support of the annual Komen Nebraska Race for the Cure® – serving as a major corporate sponsor and large team participant in the race. Cost TBA (402) 502-2979 ext.206 | www.komennebraska.org

7023 Cass St. | Omaha A “magical musical tour” celebration of the newly renovated permanent home of the Omaha Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory’s new centrally located facility features an exceptional 500-seat concert hall, a state-of-the-art 100-seat recital hall, a spacious study area, practice spaces, and nearly 40 studios and classrooms outfitted for private and group instruction. Join us as we hear beautiful music, enjoy exquisite food and beverage, and explore the area’s newest cultural landmark. $200 (402) 932-4978 | omahacm.org

APRIL 12 – APRIL 13

TORCHLIGHT BALL All About Omaha

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

DEMENTIA CARE CONFERENCE Alzheimer’s Association - Nebraska Chapter

APRIL 15

6:00 PM

Salvation Army KROC Center | 2825 Y Street | Omaha We couldn’t be more excited to once again partner with our presenting sponsor, Methodist Health System, to bring this outstanding educational opportunity to Nebraska’s health care professionals and family caregivers. Caring for someone with dementia can be a long, stressful, and intensely emotional journey. We invite you to become an agent of change and join us as we stand together and support those affected by this disease. Please refer to website for more information (402) 502-4301 | http://https://sites.google.com/site/dementiacare2016/home

Scoular Ballroom | 2027 Dodge St | Omaha The name Torchlight Ball was selected to convey the image of “passing the torch” of charitable giving in the Omaha community to a new generation eager to make a difference. Since its inception in 2002, AAO’s Torchlight Ball has raised more than $215,000 for local non-profit organizations including Completely KIDS, Youth Emergency Services, Winners Circle, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Teddy Bear Hollow, the SHARING Clinics, Social Settlement, Hospice House of Omaha, Nebraska Foundation for Visually Impaired Children, Mosaic Community Development Center Creative Education Program, Childcare Associates, D.R.E.A.M, and the Methodist Heidi Wilke SANE/SART Program. TBA | www.allaboutomaha.org

APRIL 12

APRIL 19

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE® OF OMAHA STYLE SHOW Assistance League® of Omaha Champions Run 13800 Eagle Run Drive | Omaha Assistance League of Omaha members model spring fashions from local merchants. Includes lunch and vendor shopping. $40 (402) 630-8791 | www.alomaha.org

APRIL 13

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

OMAHA BUSINESS HALL OF FAME GALA Greater Omaha Chamber Holland Performing Arts Center | 1200 Douglas Street | Omaha The Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala is held to recognize past and present outstanding Omaha-area business leaders. Initiated in 1993 as part of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s centennial anniversary, the Hall of Fame includes a dinner reception and induction ceremony. Achievements are then showcased in a permanent display at The Durham Museum. $250 (402) 978-7907 | www.omahachamber.org

APRIL 15

6:30 – 9:00pm

OMAHA CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC GRAND OPENING GALA Omaha Conservatory Of Music

make the connection!

7023 Cass St., Omaha A “magical musical tour” celebration of the newly renovated permanent home of the Omaha Conservatory of Music. The Conservatory’s new centrally located facility features an exceptional 500-seat concert hall, state-of-the-art 100-seat recital hall, a spacious study area, practice spaces, and nearly 40 studios and classrooms outfitted for private and group instruction. Join us as we hear beautiful music, enjoy exquisite food and beverage, and explore the area’s newest cultural landmark. Ticket Prices: $200 (402) 932-4978 | omahacm.org

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APRIL 15

5:00 PM – 8:30 PM

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME AUCTION & DINNER Open Door Mission Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Every year Open Door Mission looks forward with great anticipation to this Annual Auction & Dinner event. This event generates needed funds for the continued work of meeting the needs of the hungry and homeless in the Heartland. Silent Auction: 5:00 p.m. Dinner & Live Auction: 6:30 p.m. Advance reservations for this FREE EVENT must be received by April 5, 2016. Please rsvp for you and your guests online or contact Celeste at cnorman@opendoormission.org or by phone at (402) 829-1508. (402) 829-1508 | www.opendoormission.org

APRIL 22

6:00 PM

FEATHER OUR NEST Fontenelle Forest Fontenelle Forest 1111 Bellevue Blvd. North Bellevue Fontenelle Forest’s annual Guild Fundraiser will take place at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in Bellevue, NE. on Friday, April 22, 2016. Ticket Prices: TBD* (402) 731-3140 | www.fontenelleforest.org

APRIL 22

6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

11TH ANNUAL KICKS FOR A CURE DINNER Kicks for a Cure, Inc. Baxter Arena | Omaha Benefiting Liz’s Legacy, Kicks for Cure is a charitable program that supports local cancer research, education and patient care at Creighton University’s Hereditary Cancer Center and the Fred and Pamela Buffet Cancer Center. The dinner is casual and is held to honor the participating soccer teams and the sponsors of the program. The soccer tournament is held the next day at the Creighton Soccer Complex. Costs TBD (402) 934-8961 | www.kicksforacure.org

APRIL 22 6 PM Patron Party | 7 PM Reception and Riviera “gambling” | 8 PM dinner / dancing

WINE WOMEN & SHOES Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation

CASINO ROYALE Methodist Hospital Foundation

Champions Run | 13800 Eagle Run Drive | Omaha Sip, shop and savor at this one-of-a-kind fundraiser that celebrates fashion and compassion! Taste luxury wines as you shop our fabulous Marketplace, full of hot shoes, cool jewelry and stylish accessories. This unique event gives you the opportunity to slip into your sassiest shoes and enjoy some time with your girlfriends while supporting the patients and families served by Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. $100 (402) 955-6851 | http://WineWomenandShoes.com/Omaha

Scoular Ballroom (20th & Dodge Street) Join the Methodist Volunteers In Partnership for an evening of intrigue, espionage, and Ian Fleming as they present a Casino Royale themed night on the “Riviera” with black jack, roulette, and dancing to raise funds for the Methodist Women’s Hospital NICU. Ticket Prices: $150 per person | $250 per person for Patron reservation (402) 354-4825 | MethodistHospitalFoundation.org 92

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CONNECT WITH over 100 nonprofits and learn more about their mission and how you can help! Order your copy of The Giving Guide & Event Book 2016 today at mQUARTERLY’s SpiritofOmaha.com. • VIEW & PURCHASE PHOTOS OF THESE AND OTHER EVENTS 365/24/7 AT SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

APRIL 22

• mQUARTERLY look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2016!

APRIL 23

7:00 PM

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

CASINO ROYALE Methodist Hospital VIP

NATIONAL REBUILDING DAY Rebuilding Together

Scoular Ballroom | 2027 Dodge Street | Omaha Join the Methodist Volunteers In Partnership (VIP), a support group of Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital,for an evening of intrigue, espionage, and Ian Fleming as they present a Casino Royale themed night on the “Riviera” with black jack, roulette, and dancing to raise funds for a HeRO Monitoring System for the Methodist Women’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). $150 per person

2316 S 24th St | Omaha This year, Rebuilding Together Omaha will complete 10 to 20 homes and one or more community clean up and restoration projects during National Rebuilding Day, bringing together over 500 volunteers to serve low-income homeowners and communities in need South Omaha. If you are interested in sponsoring a Rebuilding Together Omaha project or serving as a volunteer on a home, please contact Carla Patton-Ochsner at carla@rebuildingomaha.org. Sponsors Teams Opportunities Available (402) 965-9201 | www.rebuildingtogetheromaha.org

APRIL 23

7:30am - 1:00pm

UNO CLAUSSEN-LEAHY MAVERICK RUN UNO Athletic Department

APRIL 28

Baxter Arena This community event will include 10K & 5K Runs a 5K Walk, a Kids’ Race and Kids’ Zone (located inside Baxter Arena). All registered participants will receive a t-shirt, bib and timing chip for the 10K and 5K runs. The event will host a post-race social area along with 50 different health-orientated vendors. Proceeds from this event support UNO student-athletes with scholarships. Ticket Prices: Kids ages 5-12 years are free | Adult $25 (and up to $45 day of event) (402) 554-3689 | OMavs.com

APRIL 23

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

11:30am - 1:30pm

AVENUE SCHOLARS FOUNDATION CELEBRATION LUNCHEON Avenue Scholars Foundation MCC Institute for the Culinary Arts The Avenue Scholars Foundation Celebration Luncheon is held each year to celebrate the incoming class of Avenue Scholars and honor individuals and businesses who have made exceptional contributions to the Foundation’s mission. Ticket Prices: Invitation Only (402) 916-9777 | www.avenuescholarsfoundation.org

BASH Creighton Preparatory School

APRIL 28

Creighton Preparatory School | 7400 Western Avenue | Omaha BASH plays a very important role in Prep’s ongoing commitment to deliver educational excellence to over 1,020 young men. The monies raised during BASH are a key component in our ability to keep tuition affordable for everyone, as well as to provide more than $2 million in financial assistance annually to approximately 45 percent of our students. The evening begins with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by a gourmet dinner, live auction and raffle. $150 (402) 548-3858 | www.PrepBASH.com

12565 W. Center Rd., Ste. 100 Omaha (402) 930-4170 | www.thevnacares.org

APRIL 23

EASTER SEALS NEBRASKA CELEBRATION OF DREAMS Visiting Nurse Association

APRIL 28 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

2016 WOMEN’S POWER LUNCHEON Habitat for Humanity of Omaha

5:00 PM

BLUE JEANS AND DREAMS HETRA HETRA Facility | 10130 S 222nd Street | Gretna Put on your hats and boots for an evening of entertainment country style with great food, friends, and entertainment for the 16th annual “Blue Jeans and Dreams” held at the HETRA Barn in Gretna. Join Honorary Host Couple Eric & Nikki Crouch and Host Couple Dr. Matt & Paige Rivard at the April 23 event, sponsored by Crouch Recreation. Social hour and silent auction begins at 5:00pm, dinner at 5:30, special presentation at 8pm. Event dollars will support the HETRA Participant Sponsorship Program. (402) 359-8830 | www.HETRA.org

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Hilton Omaha | 1001 Cass Street | Omaha The Women’s Power Luncheon is the perfect “kick-off” to Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s 2016 Women Build. It provides a venue for powerful Habitat Omaha advocates, both women and men, to rally around the mission of the Women Build: to recruit, educate and inspire women to build and advocate for simple, decent and affordable houses in our community. More than 400 women volunteers, many of whom attend the luncheon, generously give their time to make the Women Build house a reality. Event Chair: Molly Skold Honorary Chair: Kathy Wolf-Courtnage Power Woman of the Year: Rhonda Hawks $75 (402) 884-5957

mQUARTERLY • FEB/MAR/APR 2016

CONTINUED


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LEARN MORE details about any of these events by searching our extensive Community Calendar at mQUARTERLY’s website: http://www.SpiritofOmaha.com/Metro-Magazine/Community/Calendar/

community CALENDAR

APRIL 30

6:00 PM – 9:30 PM

save the date MAY 7

8:00 AM – 11:00 AM

BLACK TIE AND TAILS Nebraska Humane Society

MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY ASSOCIATION’S ANNUAL MUSCLE WALK Muscular Dystrophy Association of Omaha

Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista Black Tie and Tails is a fundraiser for the Nebraska Humane Society put on by the Friends Forever guild. This gala showcases the work NHS does with heartwarming tales of success complete with four legged proof! A patron party, silent auction, dinner and oral auction will be interwoven with stories of animals who have changed and enriched our lives. Honorary Chairs Steve and Judie Olson will be saluted for their many years of determined support in building NHS into a world class shelter. Animal lovers and those who appreciate the many services NHS provides will not want to miss this event! $150 per seat / $200 includes patron party 402 905-3483 | www.nehumanesociety.org

Werner Park | 12356 Ballpark Way \ Papillion The most inspiring event of its kind, MDA Muscle Walk brings communities together – families, partners, volunteers, sponsors and donors, YOU – to fight back against muscle disease. Through MDA Muscle Walk, you can join forces with others to raise critical dollars that will make a real difference in the lives of people fighting life-threatening muscle disease in your community and across the nation. Funds raised through the Muscle Walk program build on decades of MDA research progress, helping push science to its limits in the search for treatments and cures. The dollars we raise also support MDA’s life-enhancing programs, including state-of-the-art clinics, support groups and MDA summer camp – where kids with muscle disease can enjoy “the best week of the year.” MDA progress in muscle disease research and care moves far more quickly with your help than without it. No Cost to Register (402) 390-2914 | www.mda.org

MAY 3

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

BOYS TOWN BOOSTER BANQUET The Boys Town Booster Banquet is an annual fundraiser to honor Boys Town’s athletes and their awards and achievements. A notable sports athlete will be the keynote speaker. The speaker in 2014 was Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. $100 a ticket

MAY 5

5:30 PM – 10:00 PM

MAN & WOMAN OF THE YEAR GRAND FINALE GALA The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society - Nebraska Chapter The Hilton Omaha | 1001 Cass Street | Omaha Man & Woman of the Year is a campaign of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) which hosts 10-12 candidates who fundraise for a period of 10 weeks to raise the most funds to benefit LLS in honor of our Boy & Girl of the Year. The event culminates with a high profile community celebration including silent and live auctions, food, cocktails, live music, and presentation. The Man & Woman of the Year are announced, Boy & Girl of the Year share their personal stories of triumph over blood cancer, and all candidates are thanked publicly for their dedication to the mission of LLS. $100-$250 (402) 344-2242 | www.mwoy.org/ne

MAY 6

6:00 PM

GALA 2016 Brownell-Talbot School 400 N Happy Hollow Blvd | Omaha $100 per person (402) 556-3772 | www.brownell.edu

MAY 7

5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

MAY 10

11:45 AM

D.J.’S HERO AWARDS LUNCHEON The Salvation Army CenturyLink Center Omaha A fundraising luncheon that benefits programs for children and families. Scholarships are awarded to outstanding young Nebraskans and a national speaker is featured. The 2016 speaker is journalist David Gregory. (402) 898-7700 | www.SalArmyOmaha.org

MAY 10

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

GREATER OMAHA BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS Greater Omaha Chamber Embassy Suites Conference Center – La Vista A celebration of the Business Excellence Award winners whose contributions elevate our community and make it a better place for everyone to do business, work and live. We will also recognize Milestone companies who are celebrating an anniversary of 25,50,75,100 and 150 years in business. $40 per tickets (402) 978-7907 | www.omahachamber.org

MAY 14

6pm – 9:30pm

CABARET 2016 Child Saving Institute

Omaha Children’s Museum For the Kids Benefit is the museums largest annual fundraiser to help support the mission of Omaha Children’s Museum. Ticket Prices: $150 per person (402) 342-6164 | www.ocm.org

Embassy Suites Conference Center – LaVista You won’t want to miss this casual and entertaining event featuring funny and family-friendly stand-up comedian Ryan Hamilton! The evening includes cocktails, dinner, and great comedy all for a great cause! All proceeds go toward CSI’s services for the prevention, intervention and healing of child abuse and neglect. Ticket Prices: $175 (402) 504-3664 | www.childsaving.org

MAY 7

MAY 14

AKSARBEN DERBY Aksarben Foundation

OMAHA SYMPHONY GALA WITH FRANKIE VALLI Omaha Symphony

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

Holland Performing Arts Center | 1200 Douglas Street | Omaha Join Thomas Wilkins and your Omaha Symphony for our glittering 95th anniversary gala concert with Frankie Vallie & the Four Seasons. Valli, with his signature three-octave range, led the group to the top of the charts in the ‘60s and ‘70s, selling more than 100 million records. With hits like “Sherry,”“Big Girls Don’t Cry,”“Walk Like a Man,” and “December ‘63 (Oh, What a Night),” these Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members will join with the orchestra for an electrifying evening of entertainment. The Omaha Symphony Gala is one of Omaha’s most anticipated social events, celebrating the symphony’s role as a vital contributor to our community’s cultural and educational landscape. Funds raised support the symphony’s education programs, which serve nearly 30,000 children annually. Gala honoree Walter Scott, Jr. will receive the Dick and Mary Holland Leadership Award. Chairs for the 2016 Gala are Gail and Michael Yanney. $500 (Gala dinner and concert); $25-$85 concert only (402) 661.8575 | www.omahasymphony.org

FOR THE KIDS BENEFIT Omaha Children’s Museum

MAY 7 2016 OMAHA HEART WALK American Heart Association And American Stroke Association Miller’s Landing 151 Freedom Park Road | Omaha The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization dedicated to defeating heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Our mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke – the nation’s No.1 and No.5 killers. At the 2016 Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk, we will take steps toward lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Free (402) 810-6870 | www.heart.org/omaha/

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5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

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CONNECT WITH over 100 nonprofits and learn more about their mission and how you can help! Order your copy of The Giving Guide & Event Book 2016 today at mQUARTERLY’s SpiritofOmaha.com. • VIEW & PURCHASE PHOTOS OF THESE AND OTHER EVENTS 365/24/7 AT SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM

• mQUARTERLY look for the LEARN MORE ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS IN THE GIVING GUIDE 2016!

MAY 19 SUNSHINE KIDS FUNDRAISER EVENT BHHS Ambassador Real Estate Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ambassador RE 331 Village Pointe Pkwy | Omaha The Sunshine Kids is a non-profit organization dedicated to children with cancer and is committed to providing positive group activities and emotional support for young cancer patients. The Sunshine Kids provides a variety of programs and events, free of charge, for kids who are receiving cancer treatments in hospitals across North America. We are a proud sponsor of the foundation and are having our next big fundraising event May 19th, 2016. This family fun event features live music, silent auctions, amazing food, and a guaranteed good time! Donations accepted (402) 880-7629 | www.BHHSamb.com

MAY 21

12:00 PM – 2:30 PM

K9 BARK AND WALK FOR BRAIN CANCER Leap-For-A-Cure

register your event FREE on

SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM’S COMMUNITY CALENDAR and update or revise it

Chalco Hills | Omaha Annual event to raise Brain Cancer Awareness and to support Leap-For-A-Cure efforts. All money raised remains in Omaha benefiting Brain Cancer Programs. Registration begins 11:30 with vendors, canine rescue groups, activities, and food. 1 - 5 mile walk begins 1:00. Raffle items and photography available. LFAC donation admits walkers; $25 LFAC donation earns SPaw Bag. LFAC donation (402) 333-9370 | www.LeapForACure.org

MAY 23 CHILDREN’S CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Foundation Champions Run | 13800 Eagle Run Drive | Omaha Golfers will take flight on Monday, May 23, at Champions Run for the Children’s Charity Classic. Now in its 26th year, this event has raised more than $1.12 million to benefit the programs and services Children’s Hospital & Medical Center provides for Heartland families. Cost Varies (402) 955-6851 | http://childrensclassic.com

MAY 25

365/24/7 use our

“BEFORE OUR EVENT” and “AFTER OUR EVENT” links at SPIRITOFOMAHA.COM to support your mission & message prior to & following your event promote your event in our Join UCP of Nebraska to Honor

weeklyCONNECTOR and reach out weekly to over

OMAHA HOME FOR BOYS DUNK TANK As part of Omaha Gives!

9,000+ opted-in subscribers

Stinson Park | Aksarben Village | Omaha For the second year, the Omaha Home for Boys is asking Omaha’s business, entertainment, sports and media leaders to GET DUNKED! to raise money for youth and youth programs as part of Omaha Gives! Last year, the Home raised almost $20K despite rainy, cold conditions, and with a later date this year (May 20), they’re hoping to surpass that with some help from Mother Nature! No cost (402) 457-7014 | www.omahahomeforboys.org

MAY 25

LET US HELP YOU PROMOTE YOUR EVENT!

DIANE NELSON

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

A Nebraska Treasure

TABLE GRACE CAFE OMAHA GIVES EVENT Table Grace Cafe | 1611 1/2 Farnam Street | Omaha Join us for an hors d’oeuvres reception at Table Grace Cafe! 4-8pm - call for more information or to volunteer. Live music by local singer songwriter Simone Weber View art given and displayed at Table Grace Free 917-992-8574 | www.tablegracecafe.com

MAY 25 – 26

‘A LIFETIME OF CARING, SHARING AND DARING!’ Lauritzen Gardens Wednesday, April 13, 2016 • 11:30am-1:00pm For more information: 402-502-3572 or carolhahn@ucpnebraska.org

12:00 AM – 12:00 AM

OMAHA GIVES! Omaha Community Foundation www.omahagives.org Omaha Gives! is a 24-hour online giving event organized by the Omaha Community Foundation to inspire the community to come together for 24 hours to give as much as possible to support the work of public 501c3 nonprofits in the metro area. The minimum donation is $10 and there is no maximum. Bonus dollars and prizes amplify charitable donations to make each dollar go further. In 2015, more than 20,000 individuals came together to raise over $8 million for 700 area nonprofits! $10 minimum (402) 342-3458 | http://omahagives.org 95

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mQUARTERLY • FEB/MAR/APR 2016

people. parties. passion. purpose.


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waking WORDS

mQUARTERLY • LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

ROB KILLMER

to go. consciousness that is the sum of all knowledge Meditation is a discipline encouraged and extolled by virtually every philosophy and religion in existence, promising psychological, physical and metaphysical benefits that virtually guarantee acquired by human beings since the dawn of time, yet is somehow available on a deeper level. Others an enhanced existence, yet this discipline remains misunderstood by a majority of people in our fastwould certainly testify to the presence and paced, affluence-driven culture, where it is misapplied by many and dismissed by more. It has become second nature for us now, to live fast and push hard, seeking instant gratification from appearance of other“sources”or“servants”of this “Higher Guidance”, whether Angels, Ascended a constantly upgrading (and in many ways, addicting) technology curve that places vast amounts of Masters, or other sources of inspiration. We are less information at our immediate disposal. Yet we seldom pause to go within to seek a higher quality of concerned here with defining the sources of this essential information that is also at our disposal, offering a greater depth of gratification, and an almost universal breadth of resources. We simply cannot – or choose not to – carve out time to slow down, quiet guidance and more concerned with making use of the resources available, while being open to down, and be still for long enough to benefit from the calmness and insights available to us through a discover more (a very sound, reasonable, even meditative practice. ROBERT P. KILLMER scientific approach.) Practicing meditation – Well, I’m not here to encourage you to make more time to meditate, I’m actually Editor@SpiritofOmaha.com especially in-the-moment – assumes that high here to assure you that you don’t have to! You see, one of the great misunderstandings about quality insights are available to us in every micromeditation is that it comes in only one form, and this form requires that you set aside time (the one second (regardless of where or how they are derived) and assumes that we can benefit from being more commodity in our culture which is in the greatest demand and the least supply) to assume the Lotus alert and aware of them. position, close your eyes, practice a form of disciplined breathing, chant out some form of mantra, and TIP: Observe Everything: Make the assumption that everything – and I mean everything – enter into an altered state, in order to gain some (not too clearly defined) benefits. matters. That embedded in every episode we encounter in life there are nuggets of useful, helpful data If you think meditation is nonsense, read no further. (You probably checked out at the title anyway, embedded in the details – many of which we are overlooking. Make it a point to unlearn the tendency to right?) If you are interested in understanding more about meditation: what it really is, what the benefits dismiss what you see, hear and feel and to begin holding those observations longer in your background are, and how to incorporate it into a fast-paced lifestyle, this letter could be helpful. processing. Don’t be so quick to discard. The more you practice seeing all there is to see, hearing all that is In reality, there are many ways to practice“meditation”, and many of them are actually set up to actually being said – the more you will see and hear, and the greater your capacity to discern and respond provide“fast-food”for our Souls! Please hear me again: many forms of meditation are available“on-theto what is really happening in any given moment while others remain deceived by what appears to go”. I want to share more about Meditation To Go, but before I do, let’s cover a few basics. Meditation is simply cultivating deeper awareness. The benefits of such awareness are not just some be happening on the surface. Nuances exist in every tone and inflection of every person’s voice, every shift in body language, every emotion expressed, every action taken or opinion shared. Any successful murky, mystical, cloudy concepts out there“in the ether”, but are well-defined, and absolutely, negotiator will tell you that this art alone is worth cultivating mastery of. And what is life but an ongoing, imminently practical. For anyone who until now may have been asking“why bother?”, please consider continuous series of episodes and exchanges to be“negotiated”? just these few of so many more positive and practical byproducts of meditation in whatever form it may TIP: Examine your inner motives more carefully: Everything said above about observation be practiced: offers a yield tenfold when applied to ourselves. Those who dedicate themselves to fearless and thorough • Enhanced, more reliable self-awareness self-examination in every situation, are guaranteed tremendous results, promoting not only deeper • Enhanced focus and discernment internal harmony, but rich rewards with and for others. Everything we feel, do and say, reveals something • Enhanced observation skills about us that can stand improvement. All we have to do is be willing to observe those things more • Enhanced relationship and communication skills honestly. The benefits of such awareness are transformational. Here are some examples of the kinds of • Enhanced emotional balance and self-control questions we will ask ourselves as we become practitioners of “meditation to go”: • Greater capacity to adjust on-the-fly and in-the-moment • Greater capacity to manage stress and respond to challenges • Decreased reactiveness, increased proactiveness

Who among us would not embrace improvements in these arenas of life (and potentially many more)? Now for the kicker: you can have all of this without ever assuming the Lotus Position, or without dedicating any additional time for a“daily meditation practice”. It is possible, even beneficial to begin practicing your meditation“McDonald’s-style”– on the go. So let’s get to it. If meditation is simply cultivating the art of awareness, then simply choosing to practice being more alert and aware – no matter where you are or what you are doing – is something all of us can do on-the-fly. Think about it, we are always processing on multiple layers and levels in the midst of every daily activity and exchange. Our minds are capable of making observations, directing thoughts, and formulating insights and opinions on-the-fly as we maneuver day by day and minute by minute through relationships and encounters. All it takes to direct those resources into a “meditative”zone is the commitment to do so and practice (practice...practice.) SOME TIPS FOR PRACTICING Meditation To Go: TIP: Accept that “Higher Guidance” is available: One does not have to believe in a Supreme Being in order to access such higher guidance. As an example, for centuries Buddhism has perfected many arts and disciplines surrounding meditation without any belief systems connected to a Supreme Being. The belief is in a path to enlightenment that is aided by other Souls who have gone ahead. I know a number of Atheists who practice forms of meditation with rich results. They would attribute their“higher guidance”to an enlightened human

• “Did I just scapegoat that person in order to make myself feel better? Was I just callous or cruel?” • “Am I reacting to this flaw so intensely in others because I haven’t faced it in myself?” • “Was the anger I just expressed misguided or misapplied? What am I really angry about?” • “Wait: Is this the best way to frame this comment? Is this my highest form of expression?” • “I just blew it didn’t I?...what can I learn from this that will benefit myself and others next time?”

This is a very small sampling of the kind of inner dialogue we begin to develop – and then master – as we practice meditation on the go. I’ve only listed a few samples in the above category, and there are many more samples in many additional categories that I don’t have space to mention. It’s possible to cultivate a very deep, rich, powerful and practical meditative practice in the midst of every moment we encounter, and once you are into it, it’s not only beneficial but enjoyable, often entertaining. Talk about instant gratification! This is non-stop fast-food for the Soul… 365/24/7! As you continue this practice you move well beyond the examples given here, becoming a true appraiser of your life, and of life in all its aspects, and your capabilities move beyond merely recognizing opportunities for transformation to anticipating and creating them…You are meditating constantly! The great thing is, it’s like riding a bicycle. It’s tough at first but it becomes second-nature rapidly. I absolutely promise you that the more you ride this bike the easier it will get, and the better you will get at it. After decades of refining this practice, it has literally become a constantly running sub-routine for me. There is not a second that goes by where I’m not processing on multiple levels, and gaining precious insights which undeniably serve myself and others more effectively (and I am far from the sharpest crayon in the box.) I cannot express too greatly, the wealth of“Higher Guidance”that has been made available to me and those I share this journey with, the longer we continue to simply look and listen for it...on the go. 96

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metroQUARTERLY’S Spring (FEB/MAR/APR) 2016 Issue  

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metroQUARTERLY’S Spring 2016 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE/mQUARTERLY is published quarterly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lin...

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