May/Jun 09 - Omaha Magazine

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Your invitation to omaha’s charitY and societY scene.

Faces • styl

che ck out it o Pag n e 35


• art • Dining

Planning the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

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Restaurant Review The Boiler Room

ZOO Dennis Pate Takes the Helm

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Omaha magazine • 5921 S. 118th CirCle • Omaha, ne 68137

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L U X U R Y Visit:



17610 N. Reflection Cir., Bennington $1,490,000 6012 Northern Hills Dr.

Elegance Meets Leisure. Truly a one-of-a-kind home 4BR, 5 BA. This resort style courtyard boasts an infinity pool, hot tub, fire pit, mature landscaping, beach & covered boat dock. Breathtaking views of the lake, theatre room, sunken bar & so much more! Agent has equity. Tammi Banghart • 813-2326


9802 Ascot Dr.


$1,275,000 21010 Buckskin Trail, Elkhorn


Very Majestic. Over 8 park-like acres. Manicured grounds inc pond & tennis court. Enjoy indoor racquetball court, wildlife watching & superb views. The kitchen has beautiful FP & huge center island. The master BR is simply breathtaking. Come to this one-of-a-kind home and be prepaired to fall in love!

Absolutely Stunning. 1+ acre private/treed lot in Skyline Ranches. Hearthroom/gourmet kitchen w/cherry floors & cabinets, travertine counters. Exceptional mstr suite w/specialty cherry wood cabinets & travertine counters & Italian tile flr. Cherry wood doors on 1st flr. Incredibly well planned home. Horses permitted.

Kristen Kirwan • 637-5800

Nancy Kehrli • 690-1099



$875,000 180 S. 211th St., Elkhorn

$699,000 707 N. 163rd Ave.


Executive Entertaining at It’s Finest. Terrific 1.5 story Regency brick home with 6 BR, 6 BA. Well maintained from tuck-point, new caps on brick columns, main level and lower level renovated. Regency amenities include club house, pool, tennis, lake and park.

Gorgeous “Colorado” Feeling. Located on peaceful 2.5 acre lot. Beautiful sunroom with stone fireplace overlooks pool & flagstone patio. Master BR & BA includes limestone fireplace, vaulted ceilings. Awesome floor plan includes. maple cabinets & trim. Huge formal dining room steps down to elegant living room. Horses permitted.

Simply Beautiful. Impeccable 1.5 Story home in Barrington Park! 5BR, 7BA with oversized 4 car garage. Kitchen has beautiful cherry wood cabinets & corian counters. Each BR has its own bath. Security system, intercom & central vacuum system. Home is loaded with upgrades & is beautifully landscaped!

Nancy Kehrli • 690-1099

Susan Hancock • 215-7700




Sarah Goll Haskell • 616-4443

18459 300th St., Traynor, IA

$695,000 2028 S. 85th Ave.

Executive Ranch. Incredible home with over 5,400 sq ft. Beautiful wood beam cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, Silestone counters, private baths & walk-in closets in all 5 BRs. Family room with mini kitchen, upper & lower laundry along with 4 car heated gararage, 30x45 outbuilding. John Scott • 968-4064

$515,000 2612 Niagara, Logan, IA

Location is Everything. Custom-built, one owner ranch on lovely ½ acre lot in District 66. Beautiful wood working, quality construction & great floor plan. Wonderful great room w/ vaulted ceiling, stone fireplace. 3 BR, 3 BA, den, office, formal dining room & main floor laundry. Beautifully maintained. Jody Fike/Sharon Marvin • 699-3851


Exceptional Views. This home sits on over 4 acres & features 4+ BR, 3BA, 3 car heated garage. Over 3,600 fin sq ft with open floor plan adding to the charm & elegance of this magnificent home. The kitchen provides an exceptional, unobstructed panoramic view that stretches for miles. Shannon Snipes • 706-2905


m ay / j u n e 2 0 0 9 VOLUME 26 • I SSU E


Now: check out Omaha Magazine online. Using flipbook technology to give you a whole new magazine reading experience.


todd lemke editor

sandra lemke


events editor

corey ross

feaTUre ............................................ 17

assistant editor

linda persigehl

TRiPle CRown SPoRTS’ SluMPBuSTeR TouRnaMenT

art director/graphic design

matt jensen arts editor

Cover STory ................................. 26

kim carpenter

new Zoo DiReCToR DenniS PaTe


image director: bill sitzmann

feaTUre ........................................... 30

head photographer: philip s. drickey technical advisor

tyler lemke

contributing writers

lindsey baker • maureen clark maggie tunning • donald rashid leo biga • tony endelman molly garriott vice president

greg bruns

account executives

g w e n l e m k e • gil cohen vick i voet sales associates

sara lechowicz • alicia smith editorial advisors

rick carey • david scott for advertising subscription information:


To subscribe to

Omaha Magazine go to: Comments? Send your letter to the editor to: All versions of Omaha Magazine are published bimonthly by Omaha Magazine, LTD, P.O. Box 461208, Omaha NE 68046-1208. Telephone: (402) 884-2000; fax (402) 884-2001. Subscription rates: $19.95 for 6 issues (one year), $24.95 for 12 issues (two years). No whole or part of the contents herein may be reproduced without prior written permission of Omaha Magazine, excepting individually copyrighted articles and photographs. Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, however no responsibility will be assumed for such solicitations. Best of Omaha™ is a registered tradename of Omaha Magazine.

Page 35 Planning THe BeRkSHiRe HaTHaway MeeTing

depar tments for STarTerS ............................................................... 8

Calendar ..................................................................... 10 omaha home At Home With: Jennifer and Mark Hinrichs ............................... 21 transformations .................................................................. 61 omaha faCeS ............................................................... 33 Newman

Gala .............................................................................. 35 Letter from corey ross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gala cover story: cheryl Wild . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paying Tribute: YWCA’s Tribute to Women . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . behind the mic: dr. robert ballard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Scoop: Joslyn Art Museum Sculpture Garden Gala . . . . . . . . . . galas, etc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Food Bank’s Celebrity Chef Dinner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Catholic Charities’ Irish Fest. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Visiting Nurse Association’s Art & Soup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Camp Fire USA Luncheon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Junior League of Omaha American Girl Fashion Show. . . . . . . . . . . Opera Omaha Guild Gala. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Annual Gala . . . . . . . . . . . . Omaha Symphony Guild’s Table Art Event . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Annual Fundraiser . . . . . . . . . . . . Project Harmony’s Speaking of Children Luncheon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Omaha Community Playhouse’s Annual Luncheon . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

39 40 43 44 46 48 49 50 50 51 51 52 52 53 53 54 54

STyle TranSformaTionS

omaha faCeS ......................................... 57 Jeff Koterba

omaha STyle ........................................... 59 Melissa Aden

aT home wiTh

omaha arT ............................................ 64 Diane Lounsberry-Williams, painter

dininG oUT

mystery reviewer: the boiler room .............. Restaurant Guide .......................................... Chef Profile: ...............................................

66 69 77

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owned and managed by omaha magazine, Ltd may/june | 2009



This is

Twelve Angry Men

Big Omaha


may/june | 2009

FonDa FilM SeRieS aT FilM STReaMS Film Streams will honor Nebraskaborn Henry Fonda by showing seven of his greatest films from May 1 to June 25. Each film will show for at least one week. The lineup includes: JEZEBEL (dir. William Wyler, 1938); MISTER ROBERTS (dir. John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy, 1955); THE WRONG MAN (dir. Alfred Hitchcock; 1956); THE GRAPES OF WRATH (dir John Ford; 1940); THE BEST MAN (dir. Franklin Schaffner, 1964); and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (dir. Sergio Leone, 1968). Henry Fonda made his acting debut at the Omaha Community Playhouse, which will show a staged production of TWELVE ANGRY MEN May 1-31 concurrently with the Sidney Lumet film version at Film Streams May 1-14. For more information on these films, visit www. Film Streams’ Ruth Sokolof Theater is located at the corner of 14th & Webster within the Saddle Creek Records development. More information about the Omaha Community Playhouse’s production of TWELVE ANGRY MEN can be found at or call 553-4890. Big oMaHa HaS aTTenDeeS all aTwiTTeR BIG Omaha will be attended by roughly 300 of the region and nation’s emerging entrepreneurs, investors and visionaries. The main event will be held May 8 at KANEKO, 1111 Jones St. Jeffrey Slobotski, of Silicon Prairie News, said, “The event will feature some of the nation’s leading innovators, entrepreneurs and creative minds --- all in Omaha! Speakers include Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV, Jason Fried of 37Signals, Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless, Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress and more! " Slobotski further explained, “One of the primary goals of the event is to challenge as well as motivate people from within the region to follow their passion, launch new businesses and truly go after what they love!” Read more about BIG Omaha at www.BIGomaha. com.

Shundeena Beard FRoM THe ToP NPR and PBS fans will recognize From the Top, the preeminent showcase for young musicians hosted by acclaimed concert pianist Christopher O’Riley. On Friday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., From the Top comes to the Holland Performing Arts Center to tape its popular radio program aired weekly on Classical KVNO 90.7 every Saturday at 6:00 p.m. This concert taping will showcase Omahans Shundeena Beard, a 17-year-old Central High School senior and violinist and Ben Fuller, a Creighton Prep senior. Fuller is also principal trumpet of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra and performs with the Metro Area Youth Jazz Orchestra. The Holland Performing Arts Center is at 13th & Douglas Sts. For ticket information call 345-0606 or go to

when unique is what you seek...

Compiled by Sandy Lemke

PoeTiC aRT in TiMe FoR MoTHeR’S Day Nebraska poet, former Poet Laureate of America Ted Kooser will be on hand for the Opening Reception of the Omaha Artists Incorporated’s Spring Art Show at One Drake Place Salon, 12100 Ted Kooser West Center Road on May 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.. Works by the group’s membership reflecting Kooser’s poem, “Mother,” will be on display and for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting One Drake Place’s cancer charity, The Ribbon Foundation. Lavonne Tripp of Omaha Artists Incorporated says of the show, “Show visitors are always surprised at the quality of art at our shows. Prices are very reasonable. The art is all original and all media, sometimes mixed media.” The show runs through May 16. For more information on Omaha Artists Incorporated, see

Join us for Jewelry Trunk Shows featuring local jewelry artists every Friday and Saturday in May.

Come see new art by John Dennison and Paula Wallace on exhibit June 5-14.

402-505-8333 Tuesday – Friday 11- 9 Sat 10 - 9 • Sun 12- 5

4916 Underwood Ave Omaha, NE 68132 Located just six short blocks north of Dodge on Underwood.

DownTown liVing TouR May 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. is your opportunity to tour 12 downtown residential developments in the Downtown Living Tour, Omaha’s Lifestyle Showcase. A free shuttle will run passengers between properties ranging from townhouses, lofts and row houses. The tour is perfect for those looking for a new home, an investment property or those just curious about downtown living. For more information, contact Anna Douglas at 345-5401. Riverfront Place

may/june | 2009


calendar of events

Compiled by Sandy Lemke 5/2 - 9/26: Village Pointe Farmers market. village pointe. Be a “locavore”! Enjoy farm fresh, locally-grown produce and meats from the village pointe Farmers Market every Saturday, may-september. farmers market special events: farmer Appreciation, July 25 and Harvest Fest, October 3. 168th & W. Dodge rd. 5/2 - 10/10: Omaha Farmers market. Old Market. Buy Local. Eat Fresh! Presented in Omaha’s colorful Old Market District, the omaha farmers market offers the city’s best selection of farm-fresh produce and meats as well as a wide variety of unique specialty items. The selection includes gourmet prepared foods, organic fruits and vegetables, dairy products, cut flowers and bedding plants, handmade jewelry and toys, unique decorative items for home and garden and more. 11th & Jackson St. www. 5/3: Jeff Dunham. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 st. www.

railroad Days, lauritzen gardens, Omaha's Botanical Center. 6/20-6/21

CHECK IT! Dates and times are current as of press time but please call ahead to confirm. OngOing eVentS thrOUgh 7/24: Paintings of Francoise Duresse. Loves Jazz & Arts Center. Duresse’s paintings deal with the issues of race and color. 2510 n. 24th st. 502-5291 thrOUgh 5/31: autos & art. at mercedes benz of omaha, 14335 Hillsdale Avenue, featuring more than 100 works of local art from members of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery. Free to public through end of May. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 384-9999. maY eVentS 5/1: Opening reception: adam Frelin: let’s Pretend Weathermen. bemis center for Contemporary Arts. The summer’s tumultuous weather -- tornadoes, thunderstorms and a hurricane -- provides the backdrop for the film’s protagonists, Joe and Jim, who share a special interest in the weather. 724 s. 12 st. www. 5/1: Opening reception: Paul renner: the Omaha Diner. bemis center for contemporary arts. Paul Renner is a singularly bold artist, whose works span painting, performance art, jubilant social theater and a hyper-adventurous cuisine. Renner’s ecstatic feasts present food as sculpture and paintings as mythic backdrop, creating environments that transform the experience of his guests/eaters into art. 724 S. 12 st.


5/1 - 5/3: Omaha Symphony Pops Series: tribute to Benny goodman. omaha symphony. clarinet prodigy dave bennett pays tribute to the undisputed “King of swing” and his biggest hits including “I Got Rhythm”, “sing, sing, sing”, “moonglow”, and many others. the leading star of the swing and big band. www. 5/1 - 5/17: Charlotte’s Web. rose performing arts center. based on the award-winning classic, this beautiful play about friendship features all of E.B. White’s enchanting characters: Wilbur, the pig avoiding the butcher; Fern, a young girl with a big heart; Templeton, the rat, the Zuckerman family; and the extraordinary spider, charlotte. 2001 farnam st. www.rosetheater. org

5/1 - 8/31: america’s Favorite Pastime…Baseball at Boys town. boys town. baseballs important role in sports at boys Town, autographed bats, balls and photographs from visiting famous players including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig along with Johnny Bench. 137th & W. Dodge rd. 5/2: Bancroft to Bayliss Bicycle loop. bancroft street market. Join area artists on a bicycle ride from bancroft street market in Omaha to Bayliss Park in Council Bluffs and back. See the Omaha farmers market, the bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge, and the bayliss Park fountain. Bring your bike and helmet. 2702 s. 10 st. www.

5/1 - 5/31: twelve angry men. Omaha Community Playhouse. What seems like an open-and-shut murder case becomes a twisted puzzle of prejudice and intrigue when 12 jurors are corralled in a room for the durations of their deliberation. 6915 cass st. www.

may/june | 2009

5/2 - 5/3: Cinco de mayo Celebration. El Museo Latino. Come join us celebrate Cinco de mayo at the plaza de la raza on may 2nd and 3rd at 24th and n sts. there will be food, entertainment, a carnival, live music, and much more! For more information visit our website at 4701 s. 25 St. 5/2 - 5/3: hot Shops annual Spring Open house/Open Studios. Hot shops art center. artist demonstrations, live music, refreshments! Eighty+ artists invite you to visit the studios, view the artwork, and see how it is created! Four “hot shops” featuring glassblowing, pottery, bronze casting, and blacksmithing, as well as over fifty individual studios and four art galleries. 1301 nicholas st. www.

5/4: the Salvation army luncheon - Featuring Chris gardner. Qwest center omaha. Hear the inspiring story of chris gardner at the salvation army D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon. Gardner”s struggle with homelessness while raising his toddler son was made into the 2006 motion picture, “The Pursuit of Happyness,” starring Will Smith. The luncheon honors six Nebraska youths with Scholarship awards. 455 n. 10 st. www.

5/5 - 9/26: exhibit ex-Votos and retablos. El Museo Latino. 4701 S. 25 St. 5/6 - 5/31: Wicked. Orpheum Theater. So much happened before dorothy dropped in. on Broadway and around the world, Wicked has worked its magic on critics and audiences alike. Winner of 20 major awards, including a grammy and three tony awards, Wicked is “Broadway’s biggest blockbuster” (The New York times). 5/7: arttalk: Yumi roth & Sterling allen. bemis center for contemporary arts. Held the first Thursday of every month at 7pm, current artists-in-residence give presentations of their work and discuss their creative processes. 724 s. 12 st. www.bemiscenter. org 5/7: Cooking for Vna Fundraiser. Inaugural event at the MidAmerica Center in Council Bluffs to feature cooking demonstrations by community leaders. Attendees are encouraged to vote for their favorite dish by making a contribution to the chef’s “tip jar.” Event features dinner, cash bar, silent auction and entertainment. proceeds to benefit project Win, which provides free public nursing visits to any family who is expecting or has a new baby. tickets, $50. event will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. www.thevnacares. org or call 930-4021. 5/7: Fleetwood mac. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 st. www.

5/2 - 5/3: nebraska renaissance Faire. Bellevue Berry Ranch. The berry farm will be converted into a merry olde english castle town of the 1500’s. It will include eight stages of entertainment and a jousting arena. 11001 S. 48 St.

5/1-5/31: anthony Davis art: a collection of paintings. in the nicholas st. gallery in the Hot shops art center, 1301 nicholas st. 5/1 - 6/1: Paul renner: the Omaha Diner. bemis center for contemporary arts. 724 s. 12 st.

5/2: Spring Fever Craft Show. Rockbrook Village. 22nd annual show with 90 crafters from six states including potters, jewelers, sculptors, photographers, yard artists, metallurgists, glass artists and more. 108th & Center. www.

5/3: Brain: the World inside Your head. strategic air and Space Museum. It’s your brain.. Come discover it! Mysteries of the brain unfold as you take a virtual reality “brain cruise” and immerse yourself in 3-D displays that put you in the middle of an electrical “brainstorm.” i-80 exit 426. www.

5/4 - 6/19: the Fred Simon gallery: Brett anderson. fred simon gallery. displaying the paintings of Lincoln artist brett anderson. the gallery is located in the Nebraska Arts Council offices. 1004 farnam street, Lower Level.

anthony Davis art. hot Shops art Center. 5/15/31

Chris gardner of "Pursuit of happyness" fame, shares his life lessons. 5/4. Qwest Center Omaha

May & June


5/7 - 5/10: 14th annual Young Playwrights Festival. omaha theater co. this festival showcases scripts by some of the best teenage writers in omaha. 2001 farnam st. www. 5/8: 1200 Club at the holland: Dobet gnahoré. afro-pop. a delicate, danceable whirlwind – worldly pop with charismatic range. doors open 7:15 p.m. cash bar with light menu.345-0606 5/9 – 10: 1200 Club at the holland: Frank Ferrante in An Evening with Groucho. Comedy Theatre. Arthur Marx, son of Groucho, declares, “Nobody does Groucho better than frank ferrante.” doors open 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, at 1:15 on Sunday. Cash bar with light menu.345-0606 www. 5/9: Omaha Symphony Chamber Series: mozart and Salieri. Holland performing arts center. this program features recitations from the play Amadeus along with some of Mozart’s most popular compositions. 1200 Douglas St. 5/9: Patterns - nCaS Concert Featuring nebraska Children’s Chorus & CaSt. UNO Strauss performing arts center. one can find consistency and repetition in a kaleidoscope’s refractions. this family concert emphasizes the many patterns in music those melodic, rhythmic and of form. 60th & Dodge Sts. www. 5/10: “mad Dog, the Dog with nine lives”. circle theatre. the summer’s tumultuous weather -- tornadoes, thunderstorms and a hurricane -- provides the backdrop for the film’s protagonists, Joe and Jim, who share a special interest in the weather. 726 s 55th st. 5/10: mother’s Day at general Crook house museum. general Crook House. Free admission for all mothers and families are encouraged to enjoy a day in the past touring. 30th & Fort Sts. 5/10: “Soul Survivor”. John beasley theater and Workshop. set in 1939 Hollywood inspired by real events, a behindthe-scenes account of the collaboration between a film producer, director and script doctor as they write the screenplay for gone With the Wind. a Hollywood dreamfactory farce, a hyperventilating slapstick comedy. 3010 Q st. 5/10: Sentimental Journey: the art of alfred Jacob miller. Joslyn Art Museum. Approx. 70 sketches, watercolors, paintings and collateral. 2200 dodge st.

5/10: Spring Flower Shot “moonlight and magnolias”. Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical Center. Southern gardening is the theme of this indoor floral show with themes from “moonlight and magnolias” and “gone with the Wind.” 100 bancroft st. www. 5/10: moonlight and magnolias. Omaha Community Playhouse. 6915 Cass St. www. 5/10: “Fat girlfriend”. shelter belt theatre. 3225 california st. www. 5/10: nebraska Wind Symphony Concert. uno Strauss Performing Arts Center. Omaha’s Community Concert band presents their 3rd concert of the 2008/09 season. Tickets can be purchased at the door. www.nebraskawindsymphony. com 5/12: Billy Joel and elton John Face 2 Face. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 st. www. 5/13: Beginner level Belly Dance Classes. Bellevue University Student Center Game Room. Learn to Belly Dance! tribal and cabaret style classes, beginner level. No previous dance experience required. 1000 Galvin Rd. S, Bellevue. http://

A hint of summer’s pleAsures Breeze into summer at Village Pointe® with fashion, food and free outdoor concerts all season long.

village pointe Farmers market saturdays, 8am–1pm summer concert series saturdays, may 23 – august 29 6:30 pm–8:30 pm Catch the vibes at West Omaha’s favorite outdoor concert series. Enjoy a cold beverage at our Brew Patio during the concerts.

Enjoy locally grown produce, meet masters of cuisine and garden, and browse community group displays at West Omaha’s premier open-air market. sponsored by

More than 50 exceptional stores and restaurants. Just 15 Minutes froM Midtown.


Close to you. Far from ordinary.

168th Street & W. DoDge roaD • 402.505.9773 MonDay–SaturDay 10aM–9pM SunDay 12noon–6pM hourS extenDeD to 9:30pM FriDay & SaturDay FroM MeMorial day to labor day

5/13: haydn’s the Creation. UNO Strauss Performing Arts center. masterworks, Heartland Philharmonic Orchestra & UNO university and concert choir truly great music maximizes the qualities of its elements. 5/15 - 5/16: men’s garden Club Plant Sale. Featuring annuals, perennials, herbs, hosta, wildflowers and heirloom tomatoes. Proceeds support aas garden at fort omaha and the community grant system for nonprofits, churches and schools. 8015 W center rd. www. 5/16: Playing With Fire Concert Series. Lewis & Clark Landing. Blues music Concert at Lewis & Clark Landing Park. Free will donations accepted at the gate, with a portion going to the Food Bank. Featuring Gaetano pellini band and ronnie baker brooks. 515 n. riverfront dr. 5/16: matthew Dehaemers: (402) DisConnect/reConnect. bemis center for contemporary arts. matthews dehaemers utilizes the social and cultural histories of a region to make unforeseen connections with diverse contemporary communities. Gallery talk on Sat 3/14 noon. 724 S. 12 St. www.

this is living Ann Taylor LOFT • Anthropologie • Borsheims • Christian Nobel Furs • Francesca’s Collections Garbo’s Salon • Parsow’s Fashions • Pottery Barn • Pottery Barn Kids Regency Gift & Gourmet • Solstice Sunglass Boutique • The Linen Gallery Tilly • White House | Black Market • Williams-Sonoma Bonefish Grill • Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar • Clasicos Kobe Steak House • Paradise Bakery & Café

calendar of events May & June


5/30: Downtown living tour. Downtown Omaha. Tour of twelve downtown residential developments: riverfront place, rows at soma, Kimball Lofts, the paxton, jLofts on the market, Wallstreet tower, giovanna rows, farnam 1600, towns at Little italy, the enclave at brandeis, beebe Runyan and The Dunsany Flats. www.downtownomahaliving. com 5/31: artists’ Cooperative gallery. Artists’ Cooperative gallery Ltd. all members show. opening party open to the public on First Saturday of each month 7-10pm. food and drinks & Live Music. 405 S. 11 St. www. 5/31: Boys town Student art Show. Boys Town. This annual art event highlights the creative talents of the students of Boys Town. 137th & W. Dodge Rd. 5/31: Becoming american: teenagers and immigration. The Durham Museum. A compilation of gripping black and white photography taken by barbara beirne and captioned in the subjects own words. 801 S. 10 St. JUne eVentS 6/1 - 8/31: Boys town Farmers market. boys town. Home-grown produce raised by the children of Boys Town. 137th & W. Dodge Rd.

"Broadway's biggest blockbuster" Wicked works its magic in Omaha. may 6-31. 5/16: regina Carter. Holland performing arts center. one of the most popular young violinists in modern music today, Regina Carter and her group have brought audiences to their feet with exhilarating performances worldwide. 1200 Douglas St. 5/17: Public art tours. Guided walking tour of Omaha downtown public art. Three tours beginning at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. participants have a choice of a long (2-mile) or a short (1/2mile) tour. Meet at the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1001 Farnam Street, Suite 200. For more information contact ashley Hinck, City of Omaha Mayor’s office, 444-6410. 5/17: Omaha Symphonic Chorus presents handel’s “Solomon”. Presbyterian Church of the Cross. along with the organ vesper series, the omaha symphonic Chorus presents the Omaha premier of Handel’s oratorio “solomon”. the concert will feature countertenor Jay Carter as solomon. 1517 s. 114 st. www.

5/21: John Pizzarelli Presents. Holland performing arts center. an internationally acclaimed jazz vocalist and guitarist presents favorites from the sinatra songbook. 1200 Douglas St. www. 5/22: Omaha Beef vs. Colorado ice. Omaha Civic Auditorium. Arena football. 18th & Capitol Sts. 5/22: From the top live with host Christopher O’Riley. A live radio performance showcasing top young classical musicians. Holland performing arts center. 7:30 p.m. presented by Kvno classical 90.7 fm in collaboration with omaha performing arts. tickets, call 345-0606. 5/22: robert earl Keen & Cross Canadian ragweed. Stir Summer Concert Series at Harrah’s Outdoor concert cove. 8:00 p.m., tickets $29. 5/23: Village Pointe Summer Concert Series. Lemon fresh days live in concert. village pointe amphiteater, 168th & Dodge.

5/17: Joe Cocker live in Concert. Stir Summer Concert Series at Harrah’s Outdoor Concert Cove. 8 p.m. tickets, $34.50. www.


may/june | 2009

5/23 - 9/7: moneyville. the Durham Museum. This highly interactive exhibit promotes economic literacy in a fun, immersive urban environment. embark on an exciting hands-on tour through a money factory, anti-counterfeiting forensics lab, bank, shopping district, stock market, and international shipping dock. 801 s. 10 st. www. 5/24: Fashion market. bancroft street market. fashion market featuring the work of local clothing designers. 2702 s. 10 st. 5/24: Wood. Joslyn Art Museum. an exhibition celebrating the history and unique characteristics of the woodblock print. the Wood exhibition inauqurates a series of three annual exhibitions - Wood, metal and stone. 2200 dodge st. 5/24: the indian Portrait gallery of thomas l. mcKenney. Joslyn Art Museum. An impressive portfolio of indian portraits documents an important part of american history with likenesses of individuals who represented the indian nations. 2200 dodge st. 5/25: memorial Day run. boys Town. 5K Memorial Day run. 137th & W. Dodge Rd. www.

5/25: andre rieu. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 st. www. 5/28 - 6/21: “the Secret of the Old Queen: a hardy Boys musical adventure”. shelterbelt Theatre. A delightful musical romp in which the only mystery the Hardy Boys can’t seem to solve is that of their own sexual identity. 3225 california st. www. 5/29 - 5/30: Omaha Symphony masterworks Series: mahler’s Fifth. Omaha Symphony. Mahler’s work is remarkably distinctive— from its opening funereal trumpet solo and beloved adagietto to the finale that almost forces you to hold your breath. Acclaimed young cellist Alisa Weilerstein performs Haydn’s mercurial, brilliant cello concerto in c major. 5/29 - 6/28: gypsy. omaha Community Playhouse. The ultimate story about an aggressive stage mother. Join Rose, June, and Louise on their trip across the US during the 1920s – when vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. considered one of the crowning achievements the mid-twentieth century’s conventional musical theatre art form. 6915 cass st.

6/3 - 6/28: artists’ Cooperative gallery. Artists’ Cooperative gallery Ltd. new works from Jim Brummel, Lori Elliott-Bartle, tom Hamilton and Jean mason. opening party open to the public on First Saturday of each month 7-10pm. food and drinks & Live Music. 405 S. 11 St. www. 6/5 - 6/7: 12th annual taste of Omaha. Heartland of america Park & Fountain. Along Omaha’s riverfront, the event showcases area restaurants with exciting live entertainment and activities. Watch cooking demonstrations, browse displays, enjoy music, amusement rides, face painting and much more! 8th & Farnam sts. 6/5 - 6/7: Sand in the City. Corporate sand sculpting competition. concessions available. Vote for your favorite sculpture and help determine who will win the People’s Choice award. free. donations welcome. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 St. 6/5 - 6/28: Disney’s high School musical. rose performing arts center. the smash disney Channel movie on stage! East High will never be the same when basketball star troy and the brainy new student Gabriella break out of their groups to audition for the school musical. 2001 Farnam St.

6/5 - 8/15: hope tucker: the Obituary Project. bemis center for contemporary arts. 724 s. 12 st. 6/5: Sculpture garden gala. Joslyn Art Museum. A gala event for the opening of the new peter Kiewit Sculpture Garden. 2200 dodge st. 6/5: Omaha Beef vs. Sioux City Bandits. Omaha Civic Auditorium. Arena football. 18th & Capitol Sts. 6/6: Future Death toll. bancroft street market. performance by the group Future Death Toll. 2702 S. 10 st. 6/6 - 9/6: river of gold: Precolumbian treasures from Sitio Conte. Joslyn Art Museum. This exhibition surveys the first artist to travel across the plains and into the heart of the rocky Mountains. Approximately 70 sketches, watercolors, paintings and collateral materials. 2200 dodge st. 6/6 - 10/18: masterpieces of mexican Folk art from the Pat & Judd Wagner Collection. Joslyn Art Museum. This exhibition features traditional and contemporary mexican folk art objects collected by omahans Pat & Judd Wagner. 2200 Dodge st. 6/11: Dane Cook. Qwest center omaha. fresh on the heels of the announcement of his Comedy Central special and comedy album, ‘ISolated INcident,’ comedian Dane Cook has now announced plans to take his material on the road with the ‘isolated incident - global Thermo Comedy Tour.’ Touted as the largest comedy tour in history, cook will travel within the us, Canada, Africa, Brazil, Australia, UK and germany. 455 n. 10 st. www. 6/13 - 6/24: nCaa College World Series. Rosenblatt Stadium. Team autograph sessions, Fan fest activities and opening ceremonies and fireworks will be Fri 6/12. For information on ticket purchases, including dates they go on sale, please refer to www. or call 402-5544404. 6/13: Playing With Fire Concert Series. Lewis & Clark Landing. Blues music Concert at Lewis & Clark Landing Park. Free will donations accepted at the gate, with a portion going to the Food Bank. Featuring Angel forrest and trampled under foot. 515 n. riverfront dr. www. 6/14: Second Sunday talk: Flag Day. General Crook House. Featuring Omaha attorney Larry dwyer speaking on “Lincoln--the Law Years”. 30th & Fort Sts. www.

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calendar of events May & June


Public art tours. 5/17 6/14 - 10/4: golden legacy: 65 Years of golden Book illustrations. Joslyn art Museum. Original illustration art from the vast random House archive including The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, I Can fly and more. 2200 dodge st.

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6/16 - 8/25: tempo of twilight Concert Series. Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Botanical center. from all-time favorite cover songs to artistic originals, talented local bands will create a memorable musical experience for visitors of all ages. Purchase delicious and affordable meals from the café or bring your own snacks and beverages. bring blankets or chairs to relax in the garden. 100 bancroft st. www. 6/18 - 7/11: reefer madness: the musical. Blue Barn Theatre. An outrageous tongue-in-cheek musical comedy adaptation of the classic 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film. 614 s. 11 st. 6/19 – 21: nebraska gay Pride Week. For updates, see www. 6/19 - 7/12: nurse rached, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s nest”. John beasley theater and Workshop. Turn on the TV set, you twisted bundle of frustration. Who’s the real mental case here? 3010 Q st. 6/20: adam Frelin: let’s Pretend Weathermen. bemis center for contemporary arts. 724 s. 12 st. www.bemiscenter. org 6/20: Scavenger Dash Urban adventure. downtown omaha. teams of two solve twelve clues, visit checkpoints and complete challenges while running, walking or riding the bus for a max of 5 hours. visit for full details. http://scavengerdash. com/ 6/20: 3 Doors Down. stir Summer Concert Series at Harrah’s Outdoor Concert Cove. 7:30 p.m., tickets $45.50. www.

6/20: Omaha Beef vs. San angelo Stampede. omaha Civic Auditorium. Arena football. 18th & Capitol Sts. 6/20: eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. Qwest center omaha. 455 n. 10 st. www. 6/20 - 6/21: railroad Days. Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s botanical center. a celebration of all things train and track at Lauritzen Gardens, The Durham Museum in Omaha, Union Pacific Railroad Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum and the General Dodge House in Council Bluffs. Sponsored by union pacific railroad and the Iowa West Foundation. 100 bancroft st. www. 6/23: mormon tabernacle Choir. Holland performing arts Center. Don’t miss this once-ina-lifetime chance to experience the 360 heavenly voices and 110 musicians of “America’s Choir” inside Omaha’s own celebrated Kiewit concert Hall. one performance only and seating is limited, so mark your calendar now. 1200 Douglas St. 6/26 - 6/28: Summer arts Festival. farnam st. between 10th & 15th St. 135 of the nation’s finest visual artists, three stages of continuous entertainment including national performers and a large hands-on Children’s fair. food, nebraska craft brews, special events and artist demonstrations. one of the city’s premier destinations for exceptional art, atmosphere and entertainment. www. 6/27: Chicago live in Concert. Stir Summer Concert Series at Harrah’s Outdoor Concert Cove. 8:00 p.m. tickets, $41. www.

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Triple Crown Sports’ SlumpBuster Brings Boys of Summer to Omaha

The second

week in June, just as the best college baseball teams in America descend on “The Road to Omaha” to compete in the NCAA College World Series, so will thousands of young baseball players from across the nation. Most will catch a few CWS games during their stay, but it’s not the only reason for their journey. These Boys of Summer are coming to play hard, win, and bring home a title, just like their idols at Rosenblatt. For the past six years, during the same two-week period of the CWS, the big “O” has hosted the Omaha SlumpBuster, a youth baseball tournament of size and scope unlike any other. Thirty-seven states were represented at last year’s event, with 462 teams competing. From 8-year-old coach pitch contests to 18-year-old College Placement-level games, the SlumpBuster tournament offers some of the most diverse, and fierce, youth baseball competition in the nation. The Omaha SlumpBuster tournament is the creation of Triple Crown Sports, a premier grassroots sports event marketing organization, based in Fort Collins, Colo. In its first year, 2003, the tournament drew 24 teams from five states. Two years ago, Triple Crown merged with Super Series Network, another sports event marketing group sponsoring

tourney play in Omaha. The two events, now combined, have made Omaha SlumpBuster the largest youth baseball tournament in the world. Eric Hungenberg, baseball event director for Omaha SlumpBuster, said kids from all four corners of the U.S. — Washington State to Massachusetts, Florida to California — come to the tournament. Games are played at more than 40 baseball complexes in Omaha, LaVista, Council Bluffs, Lincoln and surrounding communities. Each session of play (there are four) lasts three to four days, and with a fourgame minimum, each team is guaranteed a couple of games before elimination. “A lot of tournaments have kids playing games from dusk ‘til dawn, but because so many of the kids come to experience the College World Series, we honor that,” said Hungenberg. “We schedule games at 8, 10, 12 and 2, so that in most cases, the kids are finished playing by 4 p.m. which allows as much time as possible to see CWS games with their teams and families.” Dave and Annette King founded Triple Crown Sports in 1982, hosting their first event, a softball tournament, in western Colorado. Their goal: to develop weekend tournaments for the serious amateur athlete. Initially, their concept was to establish three tournaments in a geographic area where top performers would qualify for a may/june | 2009


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Moneyville was made possible by the generous support of the National Science Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller foundation and The NASDAQ Stock Market Educational Foundation, Inc. The exhibit was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Moneyopolis is a registered trademark of Ernst & Young. The Moneyville trademark is used under license. Sponsored Locally by the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation, Peter Kiewit Foundation, First National Bank, Douglas County Commissioners, the Iowa West Foundation, and Cox Communications.


may/june | 2009

feature championship in Las Vegas, hence the Triple Crown name. Eventually, the tournament concept was expanded to encompass other sports, including baseball, fastpitch, basketball, and slowpitch. With youth sports team participation exploding in the past two decades, and demand up for team travel and competition opportunities, Triple Crown has grown exponentially, evolving into a franchise operation with 200 protected territories nationwide. With the purchase of a franchise, the franchisee buys the rights to own and operate a series of local tournaments in a select sport in his territory. He also can use the well-respected Triple Crown name to promote his events. To date, the franchisor has produced over 2,000 sporting events in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries. Its tournaments have drawn an estimated half-million participants and 1.5 million spectators in a single year. Omaha SlumpBuster is certainly a prime example of Triple Crown’s success. One reason it’s so well received is that the event is much more than just a youth baseball tournament, said baseball coach Rick Merrill of Omaha. Merrill coached a 10-year-old Omaha team in the 2008 event, and will coach two Omaha teams, 8-year-olds and 11-year-olds, in this year’s tourney. “The level of talent [in SlumpBusters] is pretty good…Our team last year came in second to a team from Texas,” Merrill said. “But what I like best about [this tournament] is they give you great activities to do in between and after the games…the CWS, the family-friendly stuff...It’s all a lot of fun.” In addition to tickets to College World Series games, SlumpBuster players can participate in the Fundamentals Challenge, a team skills event in which teams compete in a line drive challenge, a base running relay, and an “around the horn” hybrid challenge, which requires every player on the field touch the ball. The tourney sponsors a pin trading session, in which players buy and trade baseball team pins – much like baseball cards – with other players. “Pin trading is all these kids talk about,” said Hungenberg. “Every kid gets a SlumpBuster towel at the beginning of

feature the session, and lots of them leave with 100-plus pins on their towels. It’s a great way to encourage interaction between the teams.” One of the most popular events is the SlumpBuster bonfire, which kicks of Festival Night for each session. “Basically, every player has the option of throwing an old wooden bat into the bonfire to rid themselves of their hitting slump,” Hungenberg said. “It’s a fun tradition, and it creates quite the explosion.” SlumpBusters 2009, June 11-26, is expected to draw 500-525 teams to compete, and with literally hundreds of games to play, Hungenberg is hoping for good weather. “Last year, Omaha got 10 inches of rain in the two weeks of the tournament, and we came into town and left town under tornado warnings. More than 330 games had to be rescheduled. It was a real challenge.” Let’s all hope the Boys of Summer get some Omaha sunshine this year.

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Be original, and show your support for your favorite CWS or SlumpBuster team with a little bling! Perspective Jewelry Design of Omaha has developed an innovative line of sports jewelry — including earrings and miniature sports slides for necklaces — that can be customized with jersey numbers, team colors and even a team’s logo. Its design center can also create custom sports-themed cufflinks, pins, charms… just about any jewelry item, in either gold, silver or platinum. Perspective is an officially licensed manufacturer of Creighton Bluejay and Nebraska Husker jewelry as well. For more information, stop in their store at 1209 Harney in the Old Market, or visit www.

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At Home With Jennifer and Mark Hinrichs


and Mark Hinrichs don’t have to travel south of the border to soak up a little Mexican ambiance; they just have to walk through their front door. A cursory glance of their Rockbrook area home plants you firmly in a warmer climate. “I have always been very proud of my Mexican heritage,” offers Jennifer Hinrichs. Her mother is from Mexico City, and she still has extensive family there. Jennifer herself lived in Mexico City for two years, attending school. When Jennifer and Mark, both CBSHOME Real Estate agents, first began designing their two-year-old home, they knew they wanted an open floor plan designed for stylish, yet functional comfort and entertainment. Mexican saltillo tile links the rooms on the main floor. It is a sun-cured tile in warm, variegated shades of terra cotta. That these rich tiles are not factory

The Hinrichs' are not in any hurry to fill space.

continued on next page

may/june | 2009


The Hinrichs' spacious, open kitchen, warm hickory cabinets and colorful accents create a welcoming place to entertain friends.


fabrications is evident: one bears the impression of a canine paw print from when an errant dog left his indelible mark while the tile was curing. This “flaw” makes the tile more valuable to the Hinrichs, who instructed their tile layers not to hide it under a cupboard. Jennifer went on a six-day buying trip to Mexico City to find uniquely Mexican accents for her home in Omaha. She shipped back her treasures in 16 boxes. By all counts, it was a successful shopping expedition. Hand-painted tile features prominently throughout the house: as a colorful backsplash in the kitchen, a whimsical line of demarcation between two colors on bathroom walls, risers on stairs, a grotto-like mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and stunning shower walls. Vibrantly painted knobs dot the kitchen’s hickory cupboards, the perfect colored companions to the rich green granite countertops. The Hinrichs felt that bringing in as many natural materials as possible was a way of infusing warmth into their

may/june | 2009

new construction home. For a couple that enjoys hosting parties, creating a welcoming environment was a must. Rubbed oil bronze wall sconces and light fixtures and punched tin mirrors add understated warmth and interest. The Hinricks’ bathrooms are proof that there is indeed “fun” in “function.” Mustard toilets shipped from Mexico City; ceramic basins adorned with sunflowers (main floor) and lizards (their sons’); bold colors like navy and terra cotta or a bright blue, the color of a Mediterranean sky; a spacious walk-in shower with tile laid in a pinwheel pattern. Music is wired throughout the house. “It’s like living inside a stereo,” describes Mark. To keep the untidiness of an extensive sound system from detracting from their décor, the Hinrichs run their electronics (with the exception of the family room’s flat screen TV) from their master bedroom closet. Art is extremely important to the couple, as evidenced by their eclectic display throughout



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Ah, siesta! Hand-painted tile accents the vibrant walls of the master bath.


their home. Traditional prints keep company with contemporary Mexican works. Three niches are carved into the wall leading to the master bedroom, and in these three niches hang original works of art. In the opposite wall are three corresponding open niches so those sitting in the family room can enjoy the work as well. As Mark sits in his family room, he looks at the cream colored wall in front of him. “I would love to have these walls covered in art,” he declares. But they are not in any hurry to simply fill space. The art, like the other items that grace their carefully planned home, must “call to us,” the husband and wife team agree.

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Dennis Pate called to purchase cable for his new home, the woman on the phone commented on his previous city. “Jacksonville, Florida. Our new zoo

director is from Jacksonville.” “Well, yes. That’s me.” he said. She then recounted how important Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is to the community and to her family. He promised to take good care of it. On March 16, Dennis Pate became the zoo’s executive director and CEO, stepping into the shoes that Dr. Lee Simmons had filled for 39 years. Propelled by Dr. Simmons’ vision, Omaha’s zoo grew from 13 employees to 235 full-time and 450 parttime employees with a budget of $22 million. In May 2004, Reader’s Digest named it “America’s Best Zoo,” and the zoo has made multimillion-dollar additions since then. Simmons takes on the vital role of Omaha Zoo Foundation’s chairman of the board of directors. Pate comes with 35 years of progressive advancement at three accredited zoos. Kevin Bell, Chair-elect of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, is confident that Pate will indeed take good care of the zoo. He has known Pate for 30 years. When Pate was an animal keeper at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, Bell was his supervisor. Later, when the zoo privatized, Bell, its executive director, asked Pate to return to the zoo as senior vice president. “Dennis has always been one of the top people in our field, a rising star from those early days. I knew it was only a matter of time before


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Dennis would be lured to another institution as director/CEO.” In 2002, Pate left Chicago to become the executive director of the Jacksonville zoo. He managed a $12.3 million budget with 240 employees. He oversaw the opening of the zoo’s $15.4 million Range of the Jaguar, $6.7 million Play Park and five other exhibits. Bell states, “Omaha brings Dennis the opportunity on the science side, to enhance the already incredible reputation that Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo has, nationally and internationally, in terms of conservation and sciencebased programs.” As one example, he cites its work in amphibian conservation. Though other zoos participated, “What separated Henry Doorly out were the molecular genetics and other programs that very, very few zoos actually had. I credit Lee [Simmons] with getting the resources to get that work done, but also with being a leader in the zoo community to further sciencebased management and science-based research that helps us better take care of our animals both in U.S. zoos and internationally.” Another example of its science-based research involved patented technology to reduce or eliminate pathogens in semen or other biological samples. This focus on research was one of the things that attracted Pate to Omaha. “Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is a national leader in conservation research and this sets it apart from other zoos in the U.S.,” explains Pate. Pate’s 35 years of working with animals and people were evidenced during this photo shoot/interview in the Desert Dome and Lied Jungle. In between shots posing with a blackheaded python, a sulfur-crested cockatoo, golden lion tamarins, and an iguana, he obtained information from zoo staff, responded to two photographers’ requests, visited with Omaha Magazine editors, and answered this writer’s questions. Some of this was conducted amidst the roar of cascading waterfalls, the squeals of children, and the ear-piercing hoots of gibbons. He handled all of it with gentle calmness. Don’t misinterpret that, though. He recalls netting wolves and bears in the

years before good animal anesthetics were available. Pate can appreciate the diversity and size of Omaha’s animal collection; in fact, it was one of the draws for him. Last year, he was elected to the board of directors of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Previously, he served as chair of the AZA Accreditation Commission. He states, “The animal collection here is in the top two or three in the country. This zoo has not been afraid to build worldclass scale exhibits.” In addition, the Omaha Zoological Society, the nonprofit corporation that owns the zoo, is planning to buy the Rosenblatt Stadium from the city when the new downtown ballpark is finished in 2011. He admits, “That was very appealing to me… to be able to have property that we can expand into.” He notes that this is a great zoo and a community icon because of Dr. Simmons’ consistent leadership over several decades. “That makes all the difference in the world.” The level of support for the zoo from business and community leaders also impresses Pate. “For me to be able to lean on the John Gottschalks and the Grewcocks and the Walter Scotts for advice is a pretty incredible thing. This zoo doesn’t just have to be as smart as me and the staff. We have people who are wise way beyond Omaha. To be able to bring that expertise here is probably why the zoo has done so well.” He also comments that the family membership fee of $83 is less expensive than comparable zoos and even smaller ones. Last year, the zoo drew 1.4 million people. On his first Saturday, the zoo had 9,700 visitors. With all of the zoo’s great exhibits, he observes that zoo attendance has increased over the years and expects that it will continue. He will focus on accommodating these increases and is monitoring the need for more ticket booths, restrooms, parking spaces, and the like, to ensure that the zoo provides an optimal “guest experience.” To research the guest experience for younger visitors, Pate will be bringing in a consultant, his 5-year-old son. Now that will give him real data as to what a treasure this zoo is to families.

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A Meeting Like No Other Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s once modest annual shareholders meeting has morphed into what one pundit called “Woodstock for Capitalists.” Thanks to chairman Warren Buffett’s “Oracle” status, the weekend event is now a branded experience. Sure, Buffett and partner Charlie Munger’s witty Q & A is popular, but there’s also exhibits by subsidiaries, entertainment, parties, concerts, tours and immersion in-all-things-Omaha. People drop big bucks on buying junkets at Berkshire-held Borsheims and Nebraska Furniture Mart, which reportedly did $30 million in sales for last year’s spree. Gorat’s Steak House and Dairy Queen do well. Economic crisis or not, thousands will once again venture here from across the nation and globe for the May 1-3 bash. The Saturday, May 2, meeting is when Qwest Center Omaha overflows with activity. Annual meeting director Kelly


may/june | 2009

Muchemore-Broz said she’s seen the event take on a life of its own. “The first meeting I attended, there were 200 shareholders. When I started helping with the meeting, there were a couple thousand. Back then we were able to pass microphones to the shareholders to ask their questions. Last year we had 32,000.” The scale, said Qwest Center Director of Event Operations Stan Benis, “is probably the largest we handle from start to finish. People come early and stay late. The event is certainly in a class of its own. The closest would probably be the American Idol tryouts, but even that didn’t take the entire convention center floor space.” So, what goes into making it all happen? Months in advance, Muchemore-Broz begins working with a core team to plan every element of the all-day event. The devil’s in the details. That includes a theme, which this year is cowboys. “I try to select themes that are whimsical, colorful

and offer a large canvas of creative possibilities,” she said. Designers lead crews that dress the facility — this time in a Western motif. Only the arena’s left untouched. “It’s all business in there,” she said, referring to the venue where the company movie, Q & A, and business meeting unfold. Everything else is fair game. A live reenactment of a stagecoach hold-up will break out right in front of the Qwest on 10th Street. A Wild West show, minus shootouts, is on display inside. “Every year, it’s amazing to see an empty exhibit hall become completely transformed,” said team leader D’Ann Lonowski of Mint Design. “It is an elaborate setup that usually contains a large, central focal point in the exhibit hall. From there, we branch out with scenery and signage.” Muchemore-Broz said the most time-intensive work is “finalizing meeting details — designing, writing, printing, organizing, communicating and delivering meeting materials to both shareholders and attending exhibitors.” The most labor-intensive? “Stuffing envelopes,” she said. All of it — the landscaping, centerpieces, booth displays and graphics, right down to passes and visitor guides — must work together to “create a cohesive environment” and to “bring the theme to life,” Lonowski said. Then there’s the buzz. Think of Buffett as the iconic frontman for a hot band whose star power gets shareholders to queue up hours before the concert — rather, meeting — starts. “I believe the record was 1 a.m. the morning of the meeting. However, last year there was a gentleman who arrived at 11 the night before,” said Muchemore-Broz. In terms of preparations, Qwest’s Benis said, “We treat it just like a rock show. The crowds are lined up outside and pass through a security checkpoint.” Once inside, he said, it’s a race of people “in suits-andties trying to get a front row seat.” With attendance now at sold-out, stadium-concert proportions, demand on area service sectors, such as lodging, is great. “The downtown hotels do sell out the summer before,” said

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Broz, “but room availability changes constantly — right up to the weekend of the meeting. So it doesn’t mean you can’t get a room in Omaha.” However, she added, “If you wait until spring to get a room, it’s possible you could be as far away as Lincoln.” Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dana Markel said its Visitor Center at 1001 Farnam Center sees double its highest traffic that weekend. “It’s just a spectacular event for Omaha and really nothing compares,” she said. “People come in from all over the world.” The day of the meeting, Benis said, “parking is always a challenge but people seem to find spaces. A lot of attendees take the hotel shuttles or walk over.” As the arena can’t hold everyone, teleconferencing beams the meeting into the exhibit hall, the ballrooms and the concourses, where the overflow crowd mingles. Accommodating all those visitors requires much coordination. Muchemore-Broz said countless people support the meeting and satellite events/ activities. “My team members have their own staffs. Everyone at Berkshire works the meeting — including employees at a couple of our local insurance companies. There’s Qwest personnel, Omaha Police Department, Nebraska and Iowa State Patrol, Douglas and Sarpy County deputies. Many local residents volunteer to help. And, of course, the local restaurants, hotels, taxi companies, the airport — the list goes on and on.” At the Qwest, Benis said, “Our event staff, including cleaners, is around 300 on the day of the meeting. Levy, our concessionaire, will have around 250 on site. Keeping the arena and convention center clean is always a challenge, but this event, again, is so different because of the length of time visitors are in the building.” Muchemore-Broz said putting on the event is “a very exhilarating and fun grind. I’m thrilled when it’s over and everyone has had a terrific weekend, but it’s sad too. It’s a big emotional letdown when the lights go out. Every year is a lesson in growth and fine tuning.”

Story by Don Rashid Photo by

Newman: Laid back at home. Competitive in the ring. "Newman is a

great little dog, like Muhammad Ali in the ring. He is tenacious and loves to strut his stuff.”


championship Border Terrier seeks to meet his destiny. Well-groomed and physically fit, my personality illustrates that big things come in small packages. A good-looking, short-haired, tan and grizzle coat underscores a laid back sense of style. In the dog show ring, the judge needs to award me best of breed every time.” Relaxed and friendly, Newman sat next to me on a brown leather couch during a dog day Sunday afternoon. Our visit left me with the strong impression that my personal ad for Newman is right on target. This dog acts three

times his size when competing. At 10 months of age, Newman earned an “Award of Merit” at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. This event, often attended by 50,000 dog lovers, is the largest and most prestigious show in the United States. John and Mateel Smith, Newman’s owners, agree that if Newman could speak English, he would state as fact that he deserved to win the best of breed title that day. The Smith’s knew from the beginning that Newman was destined to join their family. After two unsuccessful attempts to mate their dog, Mason, with a purebred terrier, a continued on next page

may/june | 2009


continued from page 16




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Hollywood, California, breeder gifted them with Newman. Ironically, he was born on April 15 — tax day, one of two certainties in life. Many owners spend thousands of dollars to have a professional handler guide their three-year-old dog toward a championship. Newman was way ahead of the curve when he won his first major championship in a ten-day period for $500. Going forward, their families’ goal is for Newman to win a national specialty award and top honors as best of breed. They anticipate a return trip to compete at Westminster. Mr. Smith says, “Newman fits into our home [and family] perfectly. He is an extremely healthy dog and Mr. Personality Plus. He shows his attitude [of confidence] in the ring and has great finesse. Newman is motivated and a great companion.” John is the families’ leader of the pack and trainer. In control of his own fate, he owns and operates an Omahabased window cleaning company. Mrs. Smith says, “Newman is a great little dog, like Muhammed Ali in the ring. He is tenacious and loves to strut his stuff. His attitude is ‘I am going to win.’ In the ring, he is full of himself and loves to compete. When Newman won his Award of Merit, it was one of my biggest moments in life.” In 2008, Mateel founded JoTeel Kennels to pay the Border Terrier breed forward. A 36-year employee of Union Pacific, she currently is an administrative aide for the vice president at the Harriman Dispatch Center. They Smith’s also know that destiny brought them together as couple. They share a love of animals and a common interest in the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Smiths are proud parents of her three grown children and five grandchildren. At the end of the day, the Smith family portrait would be incomplete without their dogs, Newman and Mason. This family proves that destiny always wins.

cOver: Wild abOut vOlunteerism

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Wonders of the Web


f you’re reading this column online, please excuse the redundancy. You’ve beaten me to the point of this column. If you’re reading us in our traditional format, however, let me let you in on a little secret: We have a web site. Actually, I hope that comes as no surprise to you, but in case you haven’t visited us at, here’s an open invitation to do so. At, you’ll find Omaha Magazine and three other publications in our portfolio – B2B, Her and Encounter magazines – in flipbook form all in one convenient location. Thanks to the flipbook format, you’ll find the online experience pretty similar to reading the print version of Omaha Magazine, but the digital version offers features that enhance your readership experience. First, you’ll find that the magazine is searchable, making it easy to find a story that you’ve heard is in the magazine but aren’t sure where it is. Instead of flipping to find it, a search engine can locate the story in seconds. Once you’ve found the story, you can share it with a friend while clicking on a button that looks like an envelope. Filling out a brief form will enable you to forward a link. If you’d like to save a copy for yourself, the button to the right of the envelope allows you to save the story as a PDF. If you find an article you like and forget to save it, no worries. Our web site has a two-year archive, so you’re covered until sometime in 2011. That futuristic reference brings me to a question I get asked quite often

Corey Ross

these days: What’s the future of print in the digital age? No one has the absolute answer, but, in magazines at least, the print format isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. One thing we’re finding, though, is that rather than competing with the print format, a web presence is actually a complement, meaning they drive each other. Readers find stories online and then want to trace them back to the print format. My guess is that will continue to be the case and that the future rests leveraging the respective strengths of the two formats. For instance, when you see an ad in Omaha Magazine with a web link and go to the ad’s online counterpart, you can click on that link and it will take you to the company’s web page. That’s just one of the digital nuances we’ve added to readonlinenow. com. Another is video. Go to the page opposite the digital cover of this issue and click on NP Dodge’s ad to see an example. These features are all meant to enhance your readership experience and take full advantage of our digital capabilities, so please make use of them, if you don’t currently do so. Another aspect of our online presence is our recent foray into the worlds of Facebook and Twitter. Our Facebook page, in particular, offers opportunities for a participatory readership experience. Occasionally, we’ll solicit photos or other editorial material on the site. It’s also another avenue for readers to submit story ideas. No matter how you choose to enjoy Omaha Magazine – digital, traditional, or both – thank you for your readership and support. We’re proud to be your city magazine.

may/june | 2009


cover story

Photos by Story by Corey Ross

Wild About Volunteerism For donating her time and talents to an array of causes, volunteer Cheryl Wild will be one of 10 women honored by the YWCA in June


ad one tried to guess Cheryl Wild’s destination by her outfit when she left her Linden Estates home around noon on a Friday in March, a charity luncheon or afternoon shopping trip would’ve seemed

likely. Sporting a stylish pink blouse, black skirt and matching jewelry, Wild was indeed dressed to impress, but she wasn’t headed to a country club or day spa. Her destination? The Douglas County Correctional Center. Every Friday, Wild teaches a class called “cognitive renewal” to a group of between five and 15 female prisoners through the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry program. For 2 ½ hours, she works with inmates to help them have a more positive outlook on life and


may/june | 2009

feel empowered to make changes to self-destructive thought patterns and behaviors. Wild has been teaching her two-week class every week for three years. Besides being convicted criminals, her students often come from impoverished backgrounds and lack much formal education, but Wild says she has nothing but respect for the women she teaches. “These are very bright women with actually very high self-esteem, but they think they’re above the law and won’t get caught. We work to change those thought processes,” Wild says. “We have a graduation ceremony where they get a certificate. For some of these women, it’s the first time in their life they’ve ever finished anything, so it really means something to them.”

cover story

Wild’s work with prison women is just one of her many volunteer efforts. Truly a woman for all causes, her charitable work over the past 20 years has spanned the gamut, from churches to colleges to children to charities. You name it, and it’s likely Wild has done it. For her entire body of volunteer work, Wild will be one of 10 women honored by the YWCA on June 9 at its annual Tribute to Women luncheon. The luncheon annually recognizes women who make significant contributions to the community across a range of categories, such as arts, business and education. Wild will be honored as the YWCA’s Professional Volunteer of the Year during a ceremony at the Holiday Inn. (Turn to page 43 for a look at the rest of the honorees.) Wild and husband Steve have been recognized often for their charitable contributions and efforts, but Cheryl says this honor is especially meaningful to her because she shares the YWCA’s values of empowering women and eliminating racism. “I do whatever I can to break down barriers – cultural, economic, whatever,” she says. “That’s what I do.” Wild attributes her passion for diversity and unity to growing up in South Omaha and the influence of her father, Mickey Sparano. Sparano was a coach and teacher at racially and culturally diverse Omaha South High School.

Wild says her father often had his athletes over to their house for dinner. Besides being a coach, he served as a mentor to many. “We always had a melting pot of people in our living room,” she says. “My dad loved all kinds of people and all kinds of people loved him.” Her father’s true influence was forever impressed upon Wild at his funeral when many of his former athletes paid tribute. “It was really powerful,” says Wild, who now mentors two students of her own. “I think about it to this day.” His daughter has made quite an impact of her own. Her volunteer resume reads like a directory of Omaha charitable causes, listing 71 organizations, groups or charities served. Her range of participation spans everything from fundraising to sitting on boards to doing actual hands-on service. In all, Wild estimates on average 20 hours of her week are spent volunteering. Amongst her volunteer peers, Wild is known for her infectious enthusiasm and complete dedication to every commitment. “In countless activities, Cheryl shares her passion and boundless energy to better our community,” writes Sharon Marvin Griffin. “She helps others realize there is always hope, and leads with commitment, grace and success – always.” Adds Suzanne Scott, “Cheryl walks with love and happiness

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along the way, and it’s a happy day for everyone who knows her.” Wild’s involvement in the charitable community began in 1985 with a volunteer project for the Open Door Mission. She facilitated a 12-step recovery program, working with the homeless, abused women and prostitutes. Following years of dealing with a family tragedy, Wild says her charitable work began as a cathartic effort to make something good happen in her life and in the lives of others. “I really felt a longing to go into the community,” she says. That longing led Wild to soon follow her primary passions – church, children, the arts, UNO (she and Steve are grads) and South High – in her charitable work, but she seems to make time for any cause she deems deserving, and especially embraces challenges. Wild has helped found several events, but two are particularly notable. Wild, a former special education teacher, was behind starting Madonna School’s annual fund-raiser, and she also pioneered Whole Women’s Day, a biennial Christian-based day to “enhance the lives of all women spiritually, physically and psychologically to foster harmony among women.” She founded Whole Women’s Day in 1999. It will be held again this November. The Child Saving Institute and Omaha Community Playhouse have been her longest commitments, giving 18 years to each. The support for CSI stems from Steve’s mother being adopted through CSI. The Playhouse speaks to Cheryl’s belief in the importance of the arts, especially to kids. “The arts humanize and expand kids, which is why two causes go hand in hand for me,” she says. “The arts give children a soul and help them understand who they are.” The same could be said of Wild and her charity work. She credits her background and her faith for giving her the motivation, perspective and strength to serve. “I get up in the morning and think, ‘How can I use this day?’ Wherever I am, whatever I do, I try to make that moment count,” she says. “I really have a need to make a difference.”

paying tribute The following is a look at the nine other women, besides Cheryl Wild, who will be honored at the YWCA’s Tribute to Women luncheon on June 9th at the Holiday Inn.

Rachel Jacobson Arts/Humanities Jacobson is the founder and director of Film Streams, Omaha’s first and only non-profit theater dedicated to showing first-run independent, documentary and foreign films as well as repertory selections that reflect film as an art form. It is her personal mission to advocate for independent filmmaking, social education through film and wider distribution of singular voices in filmmaking.

Dana Markel Business/Entrepreneur As director of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau for more than 10 years, Markel has taken the bureau from the barely functional organization it was to the highly capable civic advocate it is today. Not only has she created a revenue-generating sales and marketing division, she has also developed a private-public partnership that will benefit Omaha far into the future.

Andrea “Andy” Hoig Communications Hoig is CEO and Publisher metroMAGAZINE, which focuses on charitable events and the good works of non-profits throughout the city.

Elizabeth Kish Education K - 12 Elizabeth “Betsy” Kish uses her enthusiasm and dedication to engage her community of faculty, staff, students and alumnae at Marian High School, encouraging all to work together in their mission to teach young women to be “leaders and life-long learners.” Knowledge is power, and Kish is committed to preparing her students to excel in academics, athletics and the arts.

Sara Woods Post-Secondary Education As Assistant Dean for Community Outreach and Program Development in UN-Omaha’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service (CPACS), Woods plays a critical role in engaging students, faculty, staff, and the Omaha community in ongoing dialogues about critical issues facing contemporary society. In addition, she is one of our community’s leading grant writers, resulting in over $50 million in outreach, service and research support for higher education, school districts and non-profits.

Valda Boyd Ford Human Services/Community Advocate Ford, President and CEO of the Center for Human Diversity, is a trailblazer in her work to provide cultural competency education to health and human services professionals throughout the community and across the state. Most recently, she was tapped to serve as the Community Response Coordinator (or “STD Czar”) to lead a 60-organization initiative against our community’s epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases.

Jackie Thielen Medical Professions A Clinical Nurse Specialist for Quality at Methodist Hospital, Thielen’s most significant contribution to the empowerment of women has been the development of the Heidi Wilke Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners/Sexual Assault Response Team (SANE/SART Program). Her critical work helps turn victims into survivors.

Lynda W. Shafer Professions (Other than Medical) As manager of Leadership & Workforce Development at the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Shafer is devoted to educating business professionals about the importance of community trusteeship Leadership Omaha and the Omaha Executive Institute. Above and beyond her professional role, she also promotes and develops economic programs for the Latino community.

Jessica Warren Young Leader An academic honor student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Warren is already a strong, productive community leader. President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at UNL, she also leads the sorority’s citywide Omaha chapter, Gamma Xi. And as 2nd Vice President of the Afrikan People’s Union, she has organized several volunteer activities, including mentoring young girls the F Street Rec Center in Lincoln.

may/june | 2009


behind the mic... dr. robert ballard By corey ross

Titanic Talk

Dr. Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic and many other historic sunken treasures, will share his oceanographic adventures with Omaha Hearing School supporters in May. Discovering the remains of the legendary Titanic shipwreck in 1985 is the achievement that made oceanographer Dr. Robert Ballard famous. However, to him it’s just one line on a resume filled with accomplishments and adventures. Ballard will talk Titanic if you’d like, but these days he’s more into the future of deep-sea exploration and it’s potential for such things as inspiring future generations of scientists and making the seas accessible to all through the Internet. When Ballard addresses supporters of the Omaha Hearing School on the evening of May 8th at the Joslyn Art Museum, he’ll share stories from his 125 ocean expeditions and then reveal some of his visions for our future at sea. Among other things, he envisions a day when we can all go to ships like the Titanic whenever we want - and without even getting wet, much less leaving the house. Q. how did you get into oceanography? A. My junior year in high school (in San Diego) I applied for a scholarship to an oceanography program at a college in La Jolla, Calif. I was one of 30 chosen and only two of us were picked to go to sea. We went on two cruises and both encountered violent storms. On the latter cruise, we had to be rescued by the Coast Guard. The whole thing was an incredible experience. It will be 50 years ago this summer that I was on my first oceanographic cruise.


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Q. how did the discovery of the titanic impact your career? A. The world discovered me because of that, but I’d certainly been very busy prior to that. I found the Titanic on the 70th of my 125 expeditions. I’d had more valuable scientific discoveries, such as the discovery of hydrothermal activity in the Pacific, before Titanic, but no one was watching. (Editor’s note: Besides the Titanic, Ballard is also known for discovering the German battleship Bismarck in 1989, the wreck of the aircraft carrier

the munroe-meyer guild’s 41st

Garden Walk USS Yorktown in 1998 and the luxury liner Lusitania, among other things.) I’ve basically had two lives in my career. One has been as an explorer and oceanographer. The other has been to design and develop my own toys to make those discoveries. Q. What’s your latest toy? A. We have two new ships coming online that will be used for exploration and education. They’ve been built for the next generation of kids. We want to use them to beam programming live into classrooms. These ships have command modules where you can use the new Internet2 to let these kids travel electronically to these sites. The experience is part science and action, almost like things are unfolding as a video game in a remote part of the ocean. Kids get the concept immediately. Old folks don’t, but kids do. Making science a little like a game gets kids excited about it. And if they’re motivated to do science, they’ll do it. Q. You call the ocean “the greatest museum on earth.” Why do you say that? A. We estimate that there have been over 1 million shipwrecks and less than 200 have been found. That leaves some 999,800 perfectly preserved time capsules to be discovered. There’s more history in the deep oceans than in all the museums of the world combined. We’re working in the Black Sea now. That area is unique because the bottom of the Black Sea has no oxygen, which means no corrosion or decay takes place. We found a 1,500-year-old ship that looked like it was made an hour ago. Q. and you want to turn these finds into underwater museums and utilize the internet to let people visit them? A. Not all of them, but certainly some of them. Why not go down and clean

them up, preserve them and equip them with technology that makes them accessible by computer to people in their homes? Instead of taking you to the spot, we can take the spot to you and you can actually see what goes on aboard these ships. In many cases you would observe more behavior than if you were actually there and certainly see more than you would through a four-inch porthole in a submarine. Q. So you think this is the next generation of not just aquatourism, but tourism in general? A. Why not? You can take many more people to some place like Yellowstone (National Park) electronically than you can physically. And some places like the Galapagos Islands, because of the intense traffic, can only take about 60,000 visitors a year, which means only the rich can afford it. The Internet can make these places accessible to everyone and ease the tourist pressure and help preserve some of these places. And as a selfish motivation, I’d like to still be able to visit some of these places when I’m a wheelchair and can’t physically go there in a sub. Q. So what’s going to be your next big discovery? A. People ask me that all the time and I tell them, “If I really knew, it wouldn’t be a discovery.” Most of my most important discoveries weren’t predicted; they were by stumbling onto something. Seventytwo percent of the planet is under the ocean, and most is under deep ocean that is inaccessible, so there’s plenty out there waiting for us. My greatest discovery is whatever’s next. I’m much more into the future than talking about the past. To purchase tickets or to get more information about the luncheon, call 558.1546.

Sunday, June 14, 2009 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Rain or Shine! A benefit for the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute for Genetics and Rehabilitation (402)559-6460

UNMC’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service

the omAhA heAring School guild


Discoverer of the

TITANIC & Author

Dr. Robert Ballard Exclusive Speaking Engagement

> Friday, May 8, 2009 > 6:00pm to 9:45pm > Joslyn Art Museum A benefit for

For reservations, call 558-1546. may/june | 2009


the scoop By Corey Ross

Garden Party The Joslyn Art Museum will unveil its new sculpture garden in June at “Sculpture Under the Stars”


hen the Joslyn Art Museum celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2006-2007, part of the thrill was the announcement of plans for a significant campus expansion, including a sculpture garden. This spring, those grand plans will finally come to fruition when the $10 million project is completed. The major new additions to the Joslyn, including a sculpture garden and reflecting pool, will be celebrated on June 5 with a gala themed “Sculpture Under the Stars.” Guests at the benefit dinner will be the first to experience what Joslyn Director Brooks Joyner is calling the museum’s “new front door.” Joyner says the garden will allow visitors to experience art at the Joslyn in a whole new way. “It very much has the feel of a private garden even though it’s in public,” Joyner says. “It’s an outdoor gallery concept that will reflect


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the general nature of our collection.” The garden will feature new works but also utilize pieces from the existing collection, Joyner says. Given that expansion marks only the second significant addition to the museum since it opened in 1931, gala event chair Melissa Marvin says the opening evening for the sculpture garden will be a truly historic event for Omaha. “The garden is really going to be the focal point of the campus redevelopment plan,” she says. “It’s going to change the face of the Joslyn. It will really enhance the museum’s architecture and its collection from an exterior perspective.” The Joslyn’s only other expansion came in 1994 when the 58,000 square-foot Walter and Suzanne Scott Pavilion opened to connect the original building with the glass ConAgra Atrium. The Scotts will serve as honorary chairs for the sculpture garden gala. Besides the sculpture garden and reflecting pool, the

expansion’s major features include a grand plaza, discovery garden, fountain wall and a parking garden. The sculpture garden, located to the east of the Museum, will initially include eight sculptures, but is designed to accommodate additional works. (Joyner says he has a “wish list” of 10 pieces he’d like to be purchase eventually after the garden opens.) Artists for the eight original sculptures, including Omaha’s Jun Kaneko, will be on hand for the Joslyn gala. The signature sculpture of the garden’s entry plaza is Sioux Warrior, a sculpture of an Indian warrior on a rearing horse. Sculptor John David Brcin design the piece in the late 1920s. Omaha sculptor Matthew Placzek was commissioned to complete the 15-foot high, 5,000-pound bronze sculpture in 2008. For the gala, Placzek has been commissioned to craft a keepsake for each of those who purchase patron ($350) or benefactor ($500) tickets. “We wanted to do something extra special for them,” Marvin says, noting that individual tickets are $175. The gala will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. on the sculpture grounds. At 7:30 p.m., the party will move inside for dinner, where Marvin said the event will stay true to its theme by retaining a starry-night ambiance. The party will honor long-time donors and supporters of the Joslyn. Joyner is hopeful the sculpture garden will also help attract new members and supporters with a new art experience. In the garden, Joyner says, there will be many ways to experience art, including sitting on it. “Seeing art outdoors tends to demystify the experience,” Joyner says. “It shows that you don’t have to go into a quiet secret chamber to experience art privately. When the museum is closed, people will still be able to experience the beauty of the grounds. And it is going to be quite beautiful.” For gala ticket information, call 661.3822. The members’ opening is scheduled for June 6th.

may/june | 2009


galas, etc. A two-month look at upcoming fundraisers and other charitable events

may 2 the Omaha Children’s museum’s annual benefit, Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St., 5:30 p.m. reception, 8 p.m. dinner, 930.2358. What it is: The museum’s 30th annual benefit, which includes a reception inside the museum followed by a dinner and live auction in a tent outside. This year’s theme is “Be A Kid Again.” Where the money goes: Proceeds help sustain the museum’s permanent exhibits and its traveling exhibits, workshops and special events. the arthritis Foundation’s arthritis Walk, featuring Mary Lou Retton, Miller Landing, 330.6130 or omaha. What it is: A local event that’s part of a national campaign to raise arthritis awareness and encourage people to active. Where the money goes: Proceeds support the programs of the Arthritis Foundation. mosaic’s second annual heartland hoedown, Carol Joy Holling Center 27416 Ranch Rd, Ashland, Neb. 6 p.m., reception, dinner at 7 p.m., Reserve your tickets at 896.9988 or www. What it is: Western barbecue buffet, silent and live auctions, dancing, entertainment with magician Joel Cole, Cowboy Dave and the Country Kickers. Where the money goes: This event benefits Mosaic’s Liberty Employment Solutions program, which provides vocational support and job coaching for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Concert and Conversation with Peter Buffett, a benefit for the Kent Bellows Foundation, Rose Theater, 7:30 p.m., 345.4849 or www. What it is: Buffett, a musician and son of Warren Buffett, will perform and share insights from his upbringing. Where the money goes: Proceeds will benefit the next generation of free thinkers. More info. at may 4 the Salvation army’s D.J.’s heroes awards luncheon, featuring Chris Gardner, Qwest Center, 898.5906 or What it is: A luncheon that honors youths and adults who’ve overcome obstacles to make a difference in the community. They are awarded scholarships in memory of D.J. Sokol, the son of David and Peggy Sokol who died from cancer at age 18.

Where the money goes: The luncheon supports the programs of The Salvation Army. ronald mcDonald house golf benefit, Champions Run, noon, 346.9377. What it is: A noon luncheon followed by a four-person golf scramble. A dinner and program will follow. Where the money goes: Proceeds benefit the families supported by the Ronald McDonald House who bring sick children to the community for medical care. may 5 Social Settlement’s Kids Can luncheon, Downtown Doubletree, or 731.6988. What it is: A luncheon featuring author Misti Burmeister, author of “From Boomers to Bloggers.” Burmeister is an expert on generational awareness and diversity. As CEO of Inspirion Inc., she coaches companies such as AT &T , UPS, and Johnson & Johnson to help them align individuals with the organization’s vision, ensuring success in recruiting and retaining generationally diverse talent. Where the money goes: Proceeds support Social Settlement’s services for the children of low-income families. may 6th 55th annual B’nai Charity Sports Banquet, Qwest Center Omaha, reception and silent auction 5:45, dinner at 7 p.m., 334.6443. What it is: The B’nai Brith Charity Sports Banquet honors the top metro area high school male and female senior athletes as selected by the Metro area’s Athletic Directors, Sports Information Directors, area coaches and T.V. and Radio Sports personalities. The winning athletes have to have participated in more than one sport and have exceptional scholastic achievements as well. Where the money goes: Monies raised go to BBYO youth activities as well as many other Omaha organizations such as Teammates Mentoring, Boystown, Omaha Youth Orchestra, Pacific Pals, Omaha Performing Arts Society and many more. may 7 Boys town Booster Banquet, Embassy Suites LaVista, 6 p.m., 498.1299. What it is: A banquet that benefits and honors Boys Town student athletes. Former NFL running back Jerome “The Bus” Bettis will be a special guest. Where the money goes: Proceeds from the banquet support Boys Town athletics.

may 8 Omaha hearing School benefit featuring author Dr. robert Ballard, oceanographer and discoverer of the Titanic, Joslyn Art Museum, 6 p.m., 558.1546. What it is: Dr. Ballard will talk about his experiences as an oceanographer and explorer, including discovering the Titanic, as well as give his thoughts about the future of deep-sea exploration. The evening will consist of a meet-and-greet reception, a Q & A session following the talk and a book signing. Where the money goes: Proceeds help fund the Hearing School’s programs to teach deaf or hard of hearing to learn and communicate through listening and spoken language, while advancing the education of families, professionals and the community. may 9 CSi’s Cabaret, featuring comedian henry Cho, Holiday Inn Central, or 504.3664. What it is: An evening of comedy to support CSI. The evening’s theme is a 50s party and will feature the raffle of a mint condition red 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Cho, who has appeared on Comedy Central and in several movies, will entertain. Where the money goes: Money raised will support CSI’s emergency shelters for children and youth, substance abuse intervention, intensive family preservation, adoption, therapeutic foster care and developmental childcare. may 13 Prevent Blindness nebraska’s People of Vision dinner, Happy Hollow Club, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7:30 p.m. dinner, 505.6119 www. What it is: Honorees are selected as “people of vision, whose clear perspective and farsightedness in community services and devotion to their fellowman have earned them the respect of their community.” This year’s dinner will honor Rick and Carol Russell, owners of Millard Lumber and supporters of many local charitable organizations. Where the money goes: Proceeds support the programs of Prevent Blindness Nebraska, which strives to prevent blindness and preserve sight through vision screening and education for adults and children, certification training programs and advocacy. may 21 Sharing the table: Holiday Inn Central, 3321 S 72nd St., 6 p.m. cash bar; 7 p.m. dinner, 546-0790 What it is: A celebration of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program. Creighton basketball coach Dana Altman and his father Lyle Altman are honorary co-chairs of the event, and Omaha humorist Mary Maxwell is scheduled to perform. In addition, the event will feature

a cash bar, dinner, a silent auction, games and other entertainment. Where the money goes: ENOA’s Meals on Wheels program, which delivers hot, nutritious meals to nearly 1,200 homebound older adults and persons with a disability in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties every day. may 22 From the top: Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St., 7:30 p.m. performance; 9 p.m. Patron Party, 345-0606 (use code KVNO for patron reservations). What it is: This live recording of the popular NPR show will feature classical musicians, ages 8 to 18, including at least one local violist. Families with children at least 7 years old will love this. Where the money goes: Proceeds will benefit Classical 90.7 KVNO and Omaha Performing Arts, who are collaborating to present From the Top. June 2 the 14th annual Project harmony golf invitational, Indian Creek Golf Course, 20100 West Maple Road, 1 p.m. shotgun start, 595-1326. What it is: An afternoon of golf followed by dinner and an awards program. Where the money goes: Proceeds support Project Harmony in its mission to aid children abuse victims. June 5 Sculpture Under the Stars gala, Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St., 6 p.m. cocktails, 7:30 p.m. dinner, tickets start at $175, 661.3821. What it is: Join honorary chairs Suzanne and Walter Scott for an evening celebrating the Joslyn Art Museum’s new Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden. Cocktails will be served outdoors in the Garden; dinner will be inside in the Museum’s ConAgra Foods Atrium. Artists whose work is featured in the Garden will be special guests. Where the money goes: Proceeds benefit Joslyn Art Museum’s education programs. June 6 nebraska Children’s home Society’s Sand in the City, Qwest Center Omaha, 455 N 10th Street, Lot D, June 6, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and June 7, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 451-0787 or www. What it is: Nebraska Children’s Home Society brings the beach to downtown Omaha. Corporate teams compete in a sandsculpting contest to create 15-ton sand sculptures to be viewed during the weekend amidst a carnival atmosphere.

June 7 hubert green golf event and dinner to benefit the Dobleman head and neck Cancer institute. Through June 10th, Omaha Country Club, 575.5800. What it is: A chance to play a round of golf and have lunch with former PGA pro Hubert Green, a cancer survivor. Green will play in private foursomes for four straight days and be the guest of honor at a dinner on June 9. Where the money goes: Proceeds go toward head and neck cancer awareness and treatment programs. June 9 YWCa’s tribute to Women luncheon, Holiday Inn Central, 346.6555. What it is: The luncheon annually honors women in 10 categories for outstanding contributions to the community. Where the money goes: Proceeds support the programs of the YWCA, which aim to empower women and eliminate racism. June 11 Women against mS luncheon, Crowne Plaza Omaha, 11:30 a.m., 572.3208. What it is: Laurie Lindeen, lead singer for all-female trio Zuzu’s Petals, and author of “Petal Pushers,” will speak. Where the money goes: Proceeds support MS research, support and education programs. June 14 the 41st annual mmi garden Walk, held at various gardens throughout Omaha, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., www. What it is: A tour of five local gardens to raise awareness for the Munroe-Meyer Institute. The event draws an average of attendance of 2,000. Where the money goes: Proceeds support the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute for genetics and rehabilitation. June 20 On the road, girls and Boys Clubs of Omaha, Regency Court, 6:30 p.m., 342.1600. What it is: A biker-themed evening under a tent outside Regency Court that includes a buffet dinner, live auction and dancing to live music. Where the money goes: Proceeds fund Girls and Boys Clubs programs served more than 8,400 members each year.

Where the money goes: Proceeds go toward the Nebraska Children Home Society Foundation, which aids the Children’s Home in its mission to provide safe and loving care to children of all ages.

Charitable events for gala’s calendar of events can be submitted to Corey Ross at corey@omahapublications or 884.2039.


may/june | 2009


Charity Served Warm

Iron Chef Cat Cora’s recipes help The Food Bank raise $190,000 at its annual celebrity chef dinner Story courtesy of The Omaha Food Bank

Photos by Green Room Studios


hef Cat Cora delighted a record attendance of more than 800 people with her culinary wisdom and expertise in February at The Omaha Food Bank's Eighth Annual Celebrity Chef Fundraiser dinner at the Holiday Inn. Cora’s live cooking demo and book signing helped raise $190,000 for The Food Bank. Featured recipes included Chef Cora’s signature Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken and a Chocolate Budino, which is an Italian cake-like pudding. The dishes were included in the live auction. A special breakfast was also held at The Market Basket for a more intimate experience with Cora, one of the Food Channel’s Iron Chefs. “We are so appreciative that Cat Cora offered her time and talents to help make the evening such a success,” said Don Schinzel, president of The Food Bank. “The support for this event … shows that hunger is an issue that we all battle together.”

The evening also included an awards presentation that celebrated the efforts of volunteers and businesses that support The Food Bank. This year’s presentation recognized Rotella’s Italian Bakery, Inc. and Great Harvest Bread as Food Donor Companies of the year; Valpak of Omaha as the Non-Food Donor Company of the year; Mission For All Nations as the Agency of the year; and The Food Bank’s own Quack Pack - Pat Gromak, Linda Mertz and Deanna Wagner - as Volunteers for the Year for their hard work with the first annual O! What A Duck Race! The Celebrity Chef Fundraiser is The Food Bank’s premiere fundraiser, which consists of a celebrity chef who provides a cooking demonstration of several recipes on stage, followed by a sit-down dinner and live and silent auctions. The Celebrity Chef Fundraiser is presented by ConAgra Foods and sponsored by the Hawks Foundation.

1 2



1) Students from the Sage Student Bistro at Metro Community College assisted Chef Cat Cora during her cooking demonstration. 2) Steve Gehring, Food Bank Board Member, poses with Chef Cora and her signature Greek Cinnamon Stewed Chicken. 3) Hayes and Gloria Kennedy, highest bidders of the Grand Myan Riviera Maya Resort stay in Cancun Mexico, visit Chef Cora at the book signing event that coincided with the fundraiser. 4) Food Bank Board Member Tarna Kidder enjoys the Celebrity Chef Fundraiser with husband Mark and friends John and Janel Sunderland.

may/june | 2009


Motown Magic

Art & Soup

The Motown sound of The Four Tops helps

Annual VNA fundraiser showcases artists, restaurants

raise more than $400,000 at Irish Fest for Catholic Charities

Story and photos courtesy of Envoy

Story and photos courtesy of Catholic Charities


otown Magic drew some 800 supporters of Catholic Charities to its annual Irish Fest in March for a 60s- and 70s-style celebration. Guests grooved to the music of the legendary Four Tops and ate dinner on tables made to look like records while surrounded by classic cars and chandeliers made from old Motown LP’s. The benefit raised more than $400,000 to help more than 70,000 individuals and families in Omaha and Greater Nebraska. Proceeds from the event will fund programs that focus on numerous areas of personal, family and community improvement “Countless lives have been touched by our programs,” said Kathy Fitzgerald Grandsaert, senior director of development at Catholic Charities. “Irish Fest is a wonderful way to expose Omaha both to great music and to the difference Catholic Charities makes in our community.” This year’s fundraiser returned to the Strategic Air and Space Museum (SAC), where the current format of the annual event originally began in 1999. In addition to the Four Tops performance and muscle car display, Omaha Pipes and Drums and The Craoi na Tire Irish Dancers also performed for party-goers. For more information, visit

Top: Event chairs Anne Marie O’Brien and Gail Durkin. Above: Bob and Marilyn Martin, Chuck and Cynde Lakin, and The Four Tops


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he Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) hosted the 12th annual Art & Soup event on February 22 and raised $140,000 to benefit its Shelter Nursing program, which provides nursing services to children and adults living in Omaha and Council Bluffs homeless shelters. This year, more than 1,000 people attended Art & Soup. Those who attended had the opportunity to sample culinary soup delights from some of Omaha’s finest restaurants while they strolled the gallery, and purchased art from local artists, as well as participated in the silent auction. The evening highlighted 60 local artists, who donated a minimum of 50 percent of all their sales to the VNA Shelter Nursing program. More than $20,000 worth of art was sold that night. Chefs from 25 Omaha/Council Bluffs restaurants competed in the “Battle of the Soups,” with their original recipes. A panel of culinary judges selected the winners. Chef John Sgourakis from Greek Islands won Grand Champion with Creamy Spanakopita Soup. The second-place winner was Chef Mike Johnson from Vivace with Smoked Salmon Florentine Soup. The third-place honor went to Chef Corey Guyer at Old Mattress Factory Bar & Grill with Hot & Sour Lemongrass Shrimp. All participating artists were also judged in a professionally juried art competition. Artist Dennis Wattier won Best of Show; his medium is wood. The second place winner was Sara Sumnick Wamsat with her painted wood objects. Third place went to David Frye for his photography. Guests had the chance to vote for their favorites in the People’s Choice Awards. Best Artist was awarded to Katrina Methot Swanson for her oil artwork; Best Soup went to Greek Islands and Chef John Sgourakis for Creamy Spanakopita Soup; the Best Restaurant Decorations went to WheatFields; Best Artist Exhibit was awarded to Anne Nye for her acrylic and glass artwork. The VNA is the only provider of nursing services in Omaha shelters, and has been since 1987. In 2008, VNA provided care to 764 children, 1,221 women and 1,704 men for a total of 3,689 individuals.

Art winners: David Frye, Dennis Wattier and Sara Sumnick Wamsat.

Childhood Challenge

American Girls

Media expert discusses dangers of the media’s impact on children with Camp Fire luncheon crowd

The Junior League’s annual fashion shows attracts 2,000 to Happy Hollow

Story courtesy of Camp Fire USA Photo by Corey Ross

Story courtesy of Junior League of Omaha Photos by Corey Ross

record crowd of over 600 attended Camp Fire USA’s seventh annual author luncheon in April to hear Dr. Jean Kilbourne talk about the dangers of childhood being sexualized by the media and in advertising. Dr. Kilbourne is co-author of So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do To Protect Their Kids. She is recognized internationally for her pioneering work on alcohol and tobacco advertising and the image of women in advertising. So Sexy So Soon helps parents understand how sexualization affects children of all ages and genders and tells them what to do about it. During her talk, Kilbourne displayed a series of images taken from the media and ad campaigns that showed children being portrayed provocatively. She says these images send unhealthy messages to children that often confuse them. “Children struggle to make sense of the sexual messages that surround them,” Kilbourne says. “To help them, we need more education about sex in schools, not less. “The sexualization of childhood is a public health crisis – and a global one. It makes parenting much more difficult today than even before.” The luncheon raised $70,000 to support Camp Fire’s youth programs. Camp Fire USA is a leading non-profit organization serving boys and girls between ages five and 18. Our all-inclusive, coeducational programs aim to spark the light within each child. By providing timely prevention education programs, after-school leadership programs and school-based community learning centers, Camp Fire offers rich development opportunities for children and families throughout the greater metropolitan area.

he fifteenth annual Junior League of Omaha’s American Girl Fashion Show drew 2,000 guests to the Happy Hollow Club over three days in March and raised over $35,000 for the Junior League. Seven shows were held featuring historically inspired clothing and matching dolls from the American Girl clothing collection, American Girl of Today and the American Girl Bitty Baby collections. Each model got to carry the matching doll and outfit. The models had their hair done by Sweet and Sassy Salon. Besides fashion shows, the event included a silent auction, boutique shopping featuring exclusive American Girl products, a raffle and door prizes. The American Girl Fashion Show is an important fundraiser that helps support the children’s projects of the Junior League. Anne Medlock served as chair of this year’s event. Since 1919, Junior League of Omaha members have served our city by effectively training volunteers, providing leadership, raising funds and developing programs and services that make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family. The Junior League has been the driving force behind the kinds of initiatives and institutions that make our community a healthier, more vital place to live.



For more information, contact Camp Fire USA at 397-5809 or

Board President Brian Brownrigg, Camp Fire Executive Director Penny Parker, Author/Speaker Dr. Jean Kilbourne, emcee Brandi Petersen and event chairs Shelley Seimers and Jody Carstens.

Two of the models who showcased American Girl fashions to benefit the Junior League.

may/june | 2009


Gala Boheme

Journey to a Cure

Annual Opera Omaha Guild gala raises more than $70,000

Annual JDRF gala raises $520,000 to fight juvenile diabetes

Story and photos courtesy of the Opera Omaha Guild.

Story and photos courtesy of JDRF


he Slowdown, an entertainment venue in NoDo, was transformed into a Parisian cabaret nightclub complete with live entertainment in March for the Opera Omaha Guild’s annual gala. Gala Boheme featured the live music of Rouge, a classic French musette and cabaret band which bridges jazz, folk, and classical influences. Their sounds transported attendees to the cobblestone streets of Paris. Over 170 people attended gala, which raised more than $70,000. Proceeds from the event will support Opera Omaha’s outreach programming. The Company is known for its creative approach to stimulating interest among people of all walks of life in the classical arts by utilizing the internationally renowned artists traveling here for our productions. More than 7,000 students throughout Nebraska, western Iowa and eastern South Dakota annually participate in and benefit from the Company’s many education programs. Dr. Debra Reilly-Culver and Bob Culver served as the honorary chairs for the evening. Kyle Robino and Beth Kramer chaired the event. John Benker served a wonderful French-themed dinner beginning with shrimp, lobster and celeriac salad followed by beef tenderloin napoleon, roasted winter vegetables, French beans with carmelized shallots, all culminating in the pièce de résistance – a chocolate tart symphonique.


he Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) 12th annual gala – “Journey to a Cure - An Arabian Night” - raised over $520,000 in February to fund research to find a cure for juvenile diabetes. More than 520 JDRF supporters enjoyed an evening at the Qwest Center, hosted by honorary chair couple Lori and David Scott and event chairs Susan Dennis and Lissa Skutt. In the live auction, a Napa Valley wine trip sold twice for a total of $13,000 and an exclusive trip for two to see the Ellen Degeneres Show was also a big ticket item. Following the auction, Fund A Cure speaker, 15-year-old Georgia Andresen, highlighted the importance of diabetes research by sharing her personal experience living with juvenile diabetes. Georgia was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was five years old. Her compelling story received a standing ovation and helped raise over $215,000 in Fund A Cure alone. Local band, The Finest Hour, performed after the Fund A Cure portion of the evening. “We are so blessed that even in these uncertain economic times, our community responded with a tremendous outpouring of support – both of time and treasure,” said Ellen Wright, JDRF Board President. Presenting sponsor for the 12th Annual Gala was The David Scott Foundation. For more information, visit the JDRF web site at or call (402) 397-CURE (2873).

Honorary chairs Dr. Debra Reilly-Culver, Bob Culver, event co-chair Beth Kramer, Mark Hinrichs and event co-chair Kyle Robino.


may/june | 2009

Top: Children's Hospital CEO Gary Perkins and wife Carol. Above: Chair Susan Dennis, honorary chairs Lori and David Scott, Fund A Cure Speaker Georgia Andresen, JDRF Omaha-Council Bluffs Chapter President Ellen Wright and event chair Lissa Skutt Sutton.

Tasteful Tables Table Art combines history and fine design to raise support for Symphony Guild

Diamonds and Champions

Story courtesy of Omaha Symphony Guild Photos by Corey Ross

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society draws 250 to Hilton for annual gala


Story courtesy of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Photos by Corey Ross

Top: A table by Borsheims. Above: Symphony Guild President Connie Kinnear, past guild president Karen Burkley, guest Lord Piers Wedgewood, and chairs Anne Bogard and Jean Cramer at the patron party at Borsheims.

Co-chairs Kate and Tony Sorrentino, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Executive Director Pattie Gorham, speaker Dr. Louis DeGennaro and honorary chairs Anne and John Nelson.

wenty-two finely decorated tables were the centerpiece of the Omaha Symphony Guild’s annual Table Art event in March. Themed “Rhapsody Into Spring,” the event showcased 13 tables d ecorated by area designers and nine historic china tables provided by long-time Omaha families. The tables were on display at a luncheon at the Omaha Regency Marriott. At the luncheon, special guest Lord Piers Wedgwood commented on the tables and gave an address to the crowd about his company’s 250-year history. Wedgwood is descendent of the Wedgwood family and international spokesman for Wedgwood china. He was on hand to sign copies of the book, “Wedgwood Style.” Patrons got to meet Wedgwood at a patron party at Borsheims held the night before the luncheon. The two-day event drew 265 guests. Co-chairmen for the event were Anne Bogard and Jean Cramer. Connie Kinnear is president of the Omaha Symphony Guild. Funds raised from the event will be used to promote and support the music education programs of the Omaha Symphony.


iamonds and Champions, an annual fundraiser produced by the Nebraska Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, drew 250 supporters to the Hilton Omaha in April. Several thousand dollars were raised for research and patient services through table and ticket sales, auction items and donations. Unique to this event was the sale of glass items originally drawn by children with a blood cancer, and translated into glass by Anne Nye of The Blue Pomegranate. The children displayed their “masterpieces” while Scott Moore auctioned them to the highest bidder. Several of the items were then given back to the children as a gift from the purchaser. Dr. Louis DeGennaro, one of the nation’s foremost experts in Leukemia and Lymphoma research was the honored speaker. Dr. DeGennaro's comments were relevant and informative, speaking to the many doctors in attendance while keeping the information at a layman’s understanding. John P. and Anne Nelson served as honorary chairs, and Tony and Kate Sorrentino were co-chairs. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services. LLS offers a variety of programs and services in support of the mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

may/june | 2009


Speaking of Children Delightful Destinations Acclaimed director shares story of abuse, advocates for support of Project Harmony at annual luncheon


Story courtesy of Project Harmony Photos by Andrew J. Baran Photography

cclaimed motion picture screenwriter, director and producer Antwone Quenton Fisher related his story of overcoming child abuse to a sold-out crowd of 1,450 at the Qwest Center in March for Project Harmony’s annual Speaking of Children luncheon. Fisher shared details of his abuse-tainted childhood and how one early foster parent, the U.S. Navy and a Navy psychiatrist saved his life. Much of Fisher’s life story was revealed in the 2002 film Antwone Fisher. Fisher’s address came the day after a sold-out screening of his film at Film Streams. “Speaking of Children” seeks to inspire and inform the community about the fight against child abuse – sexual, physical and other forms – so that the “unthinkable” can be prevented and eliminated. This year’s event focused on the impact of childhood trauma and the importance of treatment for child victims. During his address, Fisher noted that no organization similar to Project Harmony existed during his youth. “Every city in the world needs a Project Harmony,” he said. Honorary co-chairs for the luncheon were Howard and Rhonda Hawks. Co-chairmen for were Cathy Bonnesen and Jane Pohlman. Presenting sponsors were Barnhart Press, Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Howard and Rhonda Hawks, Lozier and Gale and Judy Wickersham. Corporate sponsors were the eBay Foundation, HDR, Peter Kiewit Son’s, Inc., Amy and Joe Moglia, and New York Life. All proceeds benefit the children served by Project Harmony Child Protection Center.

Community Playhouse yields $50,000 with annual travel-themed fundraiser Story courtesy of the Omaha Community Playhouse Photos by Corey Ross


reeted upon arrival by KGOR’s Dave Wingert and Lucy Chapman, more than 300 patrons “traveled” the world at the popular “Destination: World’s Fare” in April at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Six glorious “destinations” were spread throughout the Playhouse and awaited “travelers,” who were tempted by unique cuisine, spirits and entertainment from countries such as Peru, Italy and the Caribbean. Participating restaurants included: Kona Grill, Vincenzo’s Midtown, Spirit World Deli, Rick’s Café Boatyard, España and Gelato Jo’s. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse catered the patron party on the Playhouse main stage. Guests partook in activities from dancing the salsa to getting a tarot reading. Billy McGuigan provided “in-flight entertainment” with his new music revue, “Rock Legends: People’s Choice." Jim Boggess, a Playhouse favorite, served as auctioneer. Of particular interest in the auction were a pair of ruby, diamond, and black onyx art deco-style pierced earrings donated by Mark Edward, Private Jeweller, and a framed autographed jersey of former Husker quarterback Tommie Frazier. Hosted by Act II, this event raised more than $50,000 for the Playhouse. Bob and Debra Culver were event chairs, and Steve Martin and Amy Haddad were honorary chairs. President of the Act II Guild is Vernie Jones.

Further information is available at Project Harmony, (402) 5951326 or

Project Harmony Executive Director Gene Klein, Antwone Fisher, Dr. Bruce Perry and Board President Lisa Mellen.


may/june | 2009

Top: Bob and Janice Batt with Gale and Judy Wickersham. Above: The performance at the patron party.

Second annual

Sharing A benefit for the Meals on Wheels Program

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Holiday Inn Central



• Co-chairs Creighton Bluejays men’s basketball coach Dana Altman and his father, Lyle. • Omaha humorist Mary Maxwell. • Cash bar, dinner, a silent auction, games, & entertainment.

$10 for persons age 60 and older $15 for persons under age 60 For more information, call Carol Gleason at 546-0790.

72nd & Grover • Omaha, Nebraska Cocktails at 6 p.m. • Dinner at 7 p.m.

For reservations, clip this form and send it with your payment (check made out to ENOA’s Sharing the Table or credit card) to: ENOA/Attn: Carol Gleason • 4223 Center Street, Omaha, NE 68105

The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging Presents: The second annual

Sharing the Table

Fund-raising event benefiting Meals on Wheels program

I would like______ reservations @ $10 per person (age 60 and older) I would like ______reservations @ $15 (under age 60)

The reservation deadline is Monday, May 18, 2009. PLEASE SIGN IN AT THE REGISTRATION TABLE. (No tickets will be mailed.) Name__________________________________ Phone __________________ Type of payment: Make checks payable to: ENOA’s Sharing the Table Visa Master Card Other: ___________________________________________ __________-_____________-_____________-___________Expiration Date:_______/_______ Signature:___________________________________________________________________

No, I cannot attend, but I would like to donate $____________ to ENOA’s Meals on Wheels Program.

For more information, please call Carol Gleason at 546-0790.

en! p O owtreet N r S ntearnam e es C 3 F Sal 333

see it. touch it. experience it. Midtown Crossing Sales Center Open! Walk right in to the Midtown Crossing at Turner Park Sales and Design Center and experience the development’s luxury condos and contemporary lifestyle. We’re located in the Mutual of Omaha Bank building at 3333 Farnam Street. Omaha’s most exciting new development offers luxury 1- and 2-bedroom condominiums with sweeping views and state-of-the-art amenities. Shopping, dining, entertainment, personal services and acres of green space await outside your front door.

sales and design center 3333 Farnam St. (402) 351-3333 M-F 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Weekends noon-5 p.m.

This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, real property. Purchasers should review the Federal Property Report prior to signing a contract. No federal or state agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Artists’ renderings are shown for illustrative purposes only. *See sales agent for details.

may/june | 2009

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Luxury Residences At The Brandeis


Luxury Residences At The Brandeis

Luxury Residences At The Brandeis

Story by Maggie Tunning Photo by

Jeff Koterba Truth Seeker

Koterba, as he sees himself.


Koterba, editorial cartoonist for the Omaha World-Herald, creates caricatures, but he doesn’t distort the truth. “That’s my goal…” Koterba said, “to be a truth seeker.” Koterba efficiently and effectively uses his editorial space to get a message across, and although he may have fun with Senator Ben Nelson’s hair or President Barack Obama’s ears, he won’t let physical proportions distract from the message he aims to convey. “Jeff’s work is always thoughtful and humorous,” said Tom Janssen, former deputy chief of staff for former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel. Regardless of the editorial

content, Hagel’s staff would always contact Koterba following publication of cartoons featuring the Senator and display copies of his work in the office. Clay Westrope, press secretary for Senator Nelson, said Nelson’s office staff members have created t-shirts displaying favorite cartoons. “[Senator Nelson] really enjoys Koterba’s cartoons,” Westrope said. “Nelson is a jokester himself, and he really appreciates the humor.” Koterba, who describes himself as a “passionate centrist,” said he enjoys illustrating the Nebraska delegation, both past and present. “[Nelson and Hagel] are both dynamic politicians who are known nationally,” he said. Koterba is known nationally, too. His continued on next page

may/june | 2009


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work is syndicated in more than 400 newspapers with King Features, and appears in publications including The New York Times, Chicago Sun-Times, USA Today, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Dallas Morning-News. “It’s great to open The New York Times and see not only my name, but the Omaha World-Herald,” he said. “I think that’s kind of cool for our Omaha readers.” Since 1989, Jeff Koterba has been drawing six editorial cartoons a week for the Omaha World-Herald. In 2002, he was named a finalist for Editorial Cartoonist of the Year from the National Cartoonists Society, and in 2000, he placed second in the National Headliner Awards. Although Koterba has been drawing since his childhood, he enjoys the written word, too, and has a memoir schedule for publication. “It is really liberating to be able to write stuff rather than convey things through drawing,” he said. Local writers who appreciate his artistic strengths have acknowledged his talent for writing, too. “In my line of work, you’re always looking for a voice — an original voice,” said Rick Dooling, an Omaha screenwriter and award-winning novelist. “That is what you find with him right away.” After reviewing Koterba’s memoir, Dooling had positive comments to highlight on the book’s jacket. “Jeff Koterba’s voice is distinctive, poignant, genuine, innocent and absolutely captivating,” he said. Timothy Schaffert, a short story writer and novelist who leads the Omaha Lit Fest, describes Koterba’s style as straightforward and direct. “We’re always questioning memoirs these days, insisting on absolute truth, but one doesn’t feel compelled to question Jeff’s writing,” he said. “You’re not distracted by petty concerns about exactitude. You just want to listen to what he’s talking about.” Koterba’s memoir Inklings will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the fall of 2009.

Story by: Linda Persigehl Photo by:

When freelance writer and graphic designer Melissa Aden feels like indulging a little, she goes for the chocolate – but it’s not what you think! “I get regular facials at Seven Salon. They use an all-natural skincare line that features products made out of things like chocolate and bananas, and they all smell fantastic!” Though she thinks it’s important to take care of herself, she doesn’t obsess about her looks. “Beauty can definitely win you favor and open doors for you… but when it comes down to it, inward beauty is what truly matters.” Aden found inner beauty in husband, Erik, who she’s been with for six years. “I fell in love and married the man of my dreams,” she said. “Over time, finding out that he truly is a man of integrity makes me fall in love with him again and again.” Aden said she’s bothered by society’s obsession with physical perfection. “a while back, my 10-year-old sister was standing in front of the mirror and said, ‘One day, I think I’ll need a boob job.’ It broke my heart. Young women need to be taught how to accept themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin – regardless of cup or nose size.” she also believes in paying it forward. “Kindness has a rippling effect. no good deed ever stops with itself, or is ever wasted. Plus, it simply does the heart good.” Of what is Aden most proud? She’s almost completed her first novel, a long-time goal. “i love to write. this year, i decided to stop talking about it and actually do it! Now, I just need to get it published! No hard task, right?"

Melissa aden 25

may/june | 2009


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may/june | 2009

Photos by Tom Kessler Article by Gwen Ahrens, ASID The Interior Design Firm

Large in Scale with Intimate Welcoming Spaces

Gwen Ahrens

The dining table was purchased to blend with an existing antique hutch, designed within a niche. A crystal & metal chandelier add to the elegance.


on the homeowner’s choice lot, this home was designed from the outside in. The residence was created within the natural flow of the land. Once inside, the flow of the home was designed around existing art and antiques. Gwen Ahrens, ASID, interior designer with The Interior Design Firm, worked hand in hand with the homeowners and D&R Builders with specific criteria in mind: the home needed to be large in scale, with welcome and intimate spaces throughout. It was built for an efficient lifestyle of a couple that wanted the ability to entertain children, grandchildren, and friends on a whim. The kitchen, dinette, hearth, and master bedroom with laundry are located on the main floor for constant use, while the lower level contains

Stone, brick, and cherry wood all merge together to create an intimate seating space within a large scaled room.

may/june | 2009


The lower level has bold colors & patterns more tuned for entertainment. Traditional with an eclectic twist of finishes & fabrics, the kitchen & dinette are able to entertain many. The lower level bath contains a mosaic tiled vanity with a stone vessel sink and oil rubbed bronze faucet, while still incorporating the client’s antique mirror.


supplementary spaces for added entertainment areas. Much thought and detail was put into the exterior of this home. The patio features a beautiful waterfall and fire pit that can be viewed from many rooms within the home. A rough space plan evolved into the couple’s dream home. Ahrens worked closely with the builder, draftsman, landscape designer, and subcontractors on all floor plans & finishes. Hard surfaces, lighting, plumbing, appliances, and hardware details were all important decisions made with the homeowner. Window treatments, artwork, and accessories finished out the project. The floor plan showcases many antiques and

may/june | 2009

existing furnishings mixed with current finishes. The dining room was designed around an existing hutch. The client’s antique dining room chandelier is currently used as one of the master bedroom nightstand fixtures. This home is traditional with complements of whimsy that show the client’s personality. The eclectic home furnished with collected and reupholstered antiques meshed with new pieces reflect the client’s love of family and style. The rich color palette of reds, blues, and caramels create a warm welcome for anyone who enters this home. There is not a space in this home that cannot be enjoyed by all who visit.

The master bedroom was created to frame the amazing backyard water feature. The mixture of granite & glass tiles with the natural travertine detail once again the eclectic style and textures. The architecture of the great room features whitewashed ceiling beams and a traditionally detailed fireplace and moldings. Crystal sconces are featured in the mirrored powder bath arch.

may/june | 2009


Story by Kim Carpenter Photo by ?

Art As Journey: Painter Diane Lounsberry-Williams

LounsberryWilliams is a

"powerful painter who demands to be noticed."



at one of Diane Lounsberry-Williams’ paintings is akin to taking a journey – not the kind that arrives at a geographic location, but one that brings you to an inner place beyond the physical environment. Saturated with rich colors and dominated by archetypal shapes, her abstract works absorb and transport viewers beyond visual borders into conceptual territory. Traveling through art is fitting for an artist who has spent much of her life stationed throughout the United States with her husband, Scott, now retired from the Air Force. Art allowed Lounsberry-Williams to pursue her own interests irrespective of location, and her beginnings as a landscape artist reflected her excitement in discovering and exploring each new place. Once Lounsberry-Williams settled in Omaha during the 1990s, though, her work evolved in a dramatic way. Colors changed from vibrant primaries to more subdued, calming hues, while the subject matter morphed from realism into geometric abstraction. “I was getting ready for an exhibition at the Artist Co-op,” LounsberryWilliams remembers, “and I stopped midway through a painting. I said ‘that’s it.’ I just let myself go.” Ironically, this letting go was closely tied to her travels, with trips to Italy and France and their timeless architecture serving as de facto muses. “At the time I didn’t know it,” Lounsberry-Williams says, “but years later I realized how much it influenced my work.” Jo Anderson, gallery owner of Anderson-O’Brien Fine Art, has represented the artist for over a decade. “What is interesting about her work,” she observes, “is that you kind of get to travel with her.” Armin Mersmann, curator for Lounsberry-Williams’ 2007 solo exhibition at the Midland Center for the Arts in Michigan, concurs. Likening her paintings to “chapters in a book,” he says, “I knew in her body of work was a journey.”

may/june | 2009

In recent years, this journey has been influenced by trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roman cities buried under 60 feet of ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. A chance private tour of a villa in the latter town proved especially significant for her PHerc series, which is more archaeological excavation than artistic exploration. Burnt reds, earth tones and patterned squares and rectangles call to mind ancient structures, while rough surfaces resemble decaying facades and fading frescoes. Ancient parchment has additionally served as a major source of inspiration, extending the artist’s interest in cultures long lost. Says Lounsberry-Williams, “The crumbling scrolls symbolize, for me, not only the importance of history to our future, but in all that has been lost or misinterpreted in historic text as it is translated through the personal prisms of its readers, the effects of nature and the passing of time.” This is evident in works such as the expansive diptych Sulla Natura, where thick layers, melted wax and hatched brushstrokes heighten these effects. They also provide a depth that makes Lounsberry-Williams’ paintings seem almost three-dimensional. “The textures are so seductive you must touch the work,” observes Mersmann. “Diane is a powerful painter who demands to be noticed. Her surfaces [have] such subtle textures and translucency that you could get lost in tiny areas while still being very aware of the whole. The work is mind-numbing and enlightening at the same time.” Whether drawn in by one of her saturated red surfaces or her delicate gold expanses, Lounsberry-Williams creates work that has nothing to do with destinations and everything to do with the journey. Says the artist, “What is so exciting about abstract painting is the subconscious memories that emerge. It’s an exploration; it’s where most creativity comes from. As far as Jo Anderson is concerned, though, one part of LounsberryWilliams’ journey is over. “Diane,” she says, “has arrived.”

Become Part of the Great Tradition of Catholic Education Creighton Preparatory School 7400 Western Avenue, Omaha, NE 68114 (402) 393-1190

Gross Catholic High School 7700 South 43rd Street, Bellevue, NE 68147 (402) 734-2000

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Marian High School 7400 Military Avenue, Omaha, NE 68134 (402) 571-2618

Mount Michael Benedictine High School 22520 Mount Michael Road, Elkhorn, NE 68022 (402) 289-2541

Mercy High School 1501 S. 48th Street, Omaha, NE 68106 (402) 553-9424

St. Peter Claver Cristo Rey Catholic High School Roncalli Catholic High School 5301 S. 36th Street, Omaha, NE 68107 6401 Sorensen Parkway, Omaha, NE 68152 (402) 734-1802 (402) 571-7670 V.J. and Angela Skutt Catholic High School 3131 S. 156th Street, Omaha, NE 68130 (402) 333-0818

Archbishop Bergan Catholic School 545 E. 4th St., Fremont, NE 68025 Elem.-721-9766 High-721-9683

may/june | 2009


Story by: Mystery Reviewer Photo by

The Boiler Room Restaurant

The Boiler Room Restaurant Ratings: (out of 5*) Food & Bev. **** Service


Ambiance **** 1/2 Price:




I get

so excited every time a new restaurant opens in our great city. So when I heard about The Boiler Room Restaurant opening, naturally I could not wait to try it out. I rushed right over there, hoping they could squeeze in a walk-in, but luck was not with me that evening. It was explained to me that reservations are strongly recommended because business has been very good. I concealed my disappointment and I made a reservation for another evening while giving this beautiful restaurant a good look over. Located just outside the Old Market area at 1110 Jones Street, it is a little bit off the beaten path but still just a short walk from the Old Market. The front door is right next to a bunch of loading dock-type doors, and it looks like you’re walking into the basement of a building. When you walk in, you are standing on a balcony, and the first thing you can see is a warm, inviting, open kitchen just below and the chefs busily creating delicious-looking plates for the guests. I was immediately enamored with the look and feel of this restaurant. It is flat-out one of the coolest restaurant designs I have seen in a while. The space is actually the old boiler room and basement of the building. It is an open split-level, with the kitchen on the lower floor, plainly visible from just about every table on the upper level as well as the lower level. The iron beams of the building are highlighted by the beautiful brickwork for which the Old Market area is so well known. There are large, interesting prints hanging on the brick, and warm, antique wood floors. The kitchen is surrounded by counters, at which patrons can sit and interact with the chefs. The tables are placed spaciously and draped with white tablecloths.


may/june | 2009

The chairs have a modern chrome trim with leather seats and are very comfortable. The designer should be commended for a job well done. With anticipation building out of control, the night of my reservation finally arrived. We were seated immediately at a pleasant table overlooking the kitchen. A young man promptly greeted us and introduced himself as Jesse Becker, and went on to tell us that he was the sommelier and that it would be his pleasure to help us select a wine from the impressive and reasonably priced list. We took him up on the offer, and he helped us select an Italian wine that, without his help, I would have probably never tried because I am not that familiar with Italian wines and like most people, I stick with what I know. Like any good sommelier, Jesse read us very well and only gave as much information about the wine as he felt we would be able to digest without overloading us and making us feel uncomfortable. I must say that he had a great tableside presence and did not make

us feel inadequate, as some sommeliers seem to have a knack for doing. Did I mention the wine was excellent and only $28 for the bottle? I later found out that he is the only certified master sommelier in Nebraska and Iowa. Our server also turned out to be a delight, with a very charming personality, great serving skills and an impeccable sense of timing. Over all, the service received high marks. The food at The Boiler Room Restaurant was every bit as good as the service. I would describe Chef Paul Kulik’s style of food as a minimalist’s approach to modern, creative cuisine that is firmly rooted in established culinary techniques with an Italian influence. The menu changes pretty much daily, depending on what is locally available. During our visit, the menu consisted of a choice of five different first courses, six different main courses and a solo dessert. For our first courses, we selected the Smoked Steelhead, $13, and the Slow Roasted Pork Belly, $12. The Steelhead was smoked perfectly and served over a

horseradish risotto topped with American sturgeon caviar. The combination worked very well together. The Pork Belly was easily the best dish we tried that evening. It was braised perfectly so that it melted in your mouth. It was out of this world. For entrees, we tried Monkfish chop, $19, and the Hanger Steak, $20. Both were stellar. The Monkfish Chop was a bone-in chop expertly prepared and served on polenta with a chickpea puree. The Hanger Steaks was the secondbest dish we tried. It was incredibly tender, cooked perfectly and served with fingerling potatoes, caramelized onions, watermelon radishes and some type of a beef stock reduction sauce. The combination worked well together. For dessert, we had the Saffron Pound Cake with black walnut brittle and crème fraiche mousse, $6. It was also enjoyable. There was nothing left on our plates. The Boiler Room Restaurant is a splendid addition to the Omaha dining scene and one that I plan to enjoy many more times in the future. SEVEN AD 2.375 x 4.917 4-color

Anthony Davis Art

a collection of paintings thank you. For voting us Best Of Omaha!

opening May 1st showing all thru May Hot Shops Art Center 1301 Nicholas St. Omaha

3117 N.120th St. n 1201 S. 157th St. #109 402.934.2177 n Color by Stevi, haircut/style Alicia & Makeup by Ashley at Seven Salon, clothing by BeYourself.

may/june | 2009 Seven_omahaAD_holiday_08_1.indd 1


11/18/08 4:21:04 PM

L e g e n d (average price per entrée) $1 to 10 - $, $10 to 20 - $$, $20 to 30 - $$$, $30 and over - $$$$


aMErIcaN DaVe anD BuSTeR'S 778-3915 132nD & weST CenTeR Have a drink and then go play. or play, and then grab a bite to eat. at dave & Buster's, it's totally your call. You can start with a delicious meal in our Grand Dining Room. Then move on to some games in our Million Dollar Midway. Check out our drink specials with your friends-or meet new ones-in our lively bar areas. The options are many! How you do it is up to DunDee Dell 553-4010 (oMaHa) 5007 underwood. 11 AM until 1 AM every day, Monday-Sunday. Famous for Fish n’ Chips since 1934. Single malt & scotch tastings open to the public four times a month. Private tastings also available. We serve food from 11 AM to Midnight Sunday through Thursday, and from 11AM to 12:45 AM Friday and Saturday. We also serve a fantastic Sunday brunch from 11AM - 2 PM on Sundays. $

Dining Out Spezia-omaha.mag


3:55 PM

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FaT BuRgeR (PaPillion) Fat Burger serves fresh, never frozen, 100% pure, lean beef. onion rings made from scratch fresh every morning. Hand scooped, real ice cream vanilla, chocolate or strawberry shakes". Fatburger is located at Shadow Lake Shopping Mall, Highway 370 and 72nd St, in Papillion, NE. We're open seven days a week. FuDDRuCkeRS woRlD’S gReaTeST HaMBuRgeRS Two loCaTionS (oMaHa) 7059 Dodge St.: 556-0504; 16920 Wright Plaza: 932-7790; Enjoy the TRUE Gourmet Hamburger. Others make the claim, we’ve got the fame. Voted #1 Burger in Best of Omaha 2005, 2006, 2007, and again in 2008. Bring the family and enjoy our fresh ground chuck, fresh produce and condiment bar, and our freshly baked buns (baked fresh daily). We have Outrageous Salads, boneless/skinless chicken sandwiches, and are one of the only restaurants to carry both Ostrich and Buffalo in Omaha. Our malts and shakes are the best. There’s something for everyone at Fuddruckers. On-site catering available for parties of 100 or more. Hours: Sun.-Thu. 11a.m.-9p.m., Fri.-Sat. 11a.m.-10p.m. AE-DC-MC-V. $ JiMMy JoHn'S (oMaHa) We are a Gourmet Sub shop with a fun upbeat atmosphere and classic rock music. We will deliver down to one sandwich within the delivery area set by Jimmy John's Corporate and we make "Freaky Fast sandwiches". the 300 s. 72nd location is open from 10:30 am to 2:00 am, the 107 n. 40th st. location is open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, the 10720 Q Street location is open from 10:30 am to 11:00 pm except on Th/Fri/ Sat open until 2:00 am. PePPeRJax FouR oMaHa loCaTionS Serving four locations: 2429 S. 132nd Street, 2579 S. 171st Court, 2085 N. 120th Street, 1040 S. 74th Plaza & 84th and Park Drive. Just you, the cook, and the wide open range – grill range, that is. That’s what makes PepperJax so great. With the help of our folks and the finest ingredients available, you can create your masterpiece, grilled to order and topped any way you like it, right before your eyes. Choose from our famous philly, giant wrap, gourmet salad bowl or fresh salad. QuakeR STeak anD luBe 712.322.0101 (CounCil BluFFS, ia) 3320 Mid America Dr. Council Bluffs, IA."The Lube" serves over 70 million wings annually, has bottles sauces for retail sale and has won the title of "best Wings usa" mondays are kids eat free from 5 to 9pm and Tuesdays are all you can eat wings for $12.99 all day. The Metro's only, Quaker Steak and Lube also offers great steaks, ribs and burgers. Live Music again this fall on Friday

BBQ FaMouS DaVe’S BaRBeQue 614-9333 (oMaHa) Old Market, 71st & Ames, 171st & Center, Council Bluffs and Bellevue locations. Famous Dave’s has been voted Omaha’s favorite barbeque by Omaha Magazine’s readers and the Reader’s Choice. Real hickory smoked ribs, brisket, pork and a great selection made-from-scratch recipes. open lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Take out and catering available. $$$$

ITaLIaN BianCo RiSToRanTe iTaliano oMaHa Located at 13110 Birch Drive (SE Corner of 132nd Street and Maple in eagle plaza shopping strip). specializing in traditional italian foods with optional five-course menu consisting of Imported meats and cheeses, homemade bread, pastas, soup & sauces, fresh salads, brick oven style pizzas, veal, steak, seafood & chix entrees and finally all our homemade desserts from tiramisu to gelatos. We offer 170 bottle (most of them Italian) wine list with 20 by the glass & our specialty Italian cordials!! Best outdoor patio in Omaha. Casual attire, but neat. Amex, MC, Visa accepted. Mon & Tues-4 to 9:30; Wed & Thurs-4 to 10; Fri & Sat-4 to 11; Sun-4 to 9. Bar stays open until closing time. Happy hour Mon thru Sat-4 to 6:30. Don CaRMelo'S 2 loCaTionS (oMaHa) Tradition - Excellence - Value! Two locations: Rockbrook Village (9333190) and 204th & Dodge (289-9800) Omaha's First and Finest NY Style pizza, stromboli, calzone, oven-toasted Hoagies, philly cheese steaks, Pasta, Salads, Beer & Wine. We also feature take-out and delivery and can cater your special event large or small. Stop in for daily lunch specials 11am -2 pm!



LADIES NIGHT ~STARTS AT 4:00 EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT ~ in the bar and dining room, all cocktails, beer or wine by the glass are half price from 4pm until close.



may/june | 2009



bianco ristorante italiano

SUSHI SAKE GRILL 13110 Birch Drive, Omaha NE. 68164


BLUE SUSHI North West 14450 Eagle Run Drive, Suite 240 68164

402.445.2583 South West 16939 Wright Plaza, Suite 103 68130


Omaha Locations:





& Catering Services Available

Old Market Blue & Baby Blue locations.

Red Lounge 14450 Eagle Run Drive, Suite 200 402.445.2583

may/june | 2009

mexican grill + margarita bar

Downtown / Old Market 416 S. 12th Street 68102

Sake bombers Lounge second oor / martinis



17010 Wright Plaza, Omaha NE. 68130

gRiSanTiS 330-0440 (oMaHa) 10875 W. Dodge Rd. Grisanti's (serving Omaha & Lincoln for over 20 years) is a fun, casual classic Italian restaurant that offers an extensive menu featuring a full selection of house-made and imported pasta, homemade soups & salads, pizza, flatbreads, seafood, chicken, steaks and desserts. Large portions of affordably priced menu selections are prepared with the freshest ingredients available. JoHnny SoRTino’S 339-5050 (oMaHa) 7880 L St. Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri & Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Family owned and operated for more than 35 years, Johnny Sortino’s specializes in pizza, pasta and salads. Their pizza sauce is prepared daily with special spices and no imitation ingredients – nothing frozen. the spaghetti sauce and meatballs are prepared fresh daily with a special recipe. lo Sole Mio RiSToRanTe iTaliano 345-5656 (oMaHa) 3001 So. 32nd, Ave. This quaint authentic restaurant is located in the middle of a neighborhood surrounded by charming homes. Inside you will find a friendly staff, simple elegance with art & statues of Italy, the aromas of home cooked food & the sound of Italian music welcomes you. at the table everyone is greeted with homemade bread, a bowl of fresh tomatoes & basil, a bowl of oven roasted garlic cloves, special seasoned olive oil, & at night, a jug of Chianti, to set the stage for a wonderful experience! You will always find a family member around in this family owned & operated restaurant. Large variety of pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, & even a delicious New York steak. Traditional dishes such as lasagna, tortellini, & eggplant parmigiana are also available. Lunch offers all of the above, along with panini, salads & one of the best pizza in town. Patio seating, full bar, & a great wine list complete this "Simply Elegant, Simply the Best" restaurant. No reservations, except for private rooms. PaSTa aMoRe 391-2585 (oMaHa) 108th & West Center road (Rockbrook Village). Pastas are made fresh daily, including tortellini, fettuccine and capellini. Daily specials and menu items include a variety of fresh seafood and regional Italian dishes, such as Linguini Amore and Calamari Steak, Penne Florentine, Gnocchi, Spaghetti Puttanesca and Osso Bucco. Filet mignon also offered for those who appreciate nationally renowned Nebraska beef. To complement your dining experience, the restaurant offers a full bar and extensive wine list. Be sure to leave room for homemade desserts, like the tiramisu and cannolis. Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. dinner: 4:30 p.m. reservations recommended. ae-mc-v. $$ SPeZia 3125 South 72nd Street (3 blocks north of the I-80 interchange). Choose Spezia for lunch or dinner, where you’ll find a casual elegance that’s perfect for business, guests, get-togethers, or any special occasion. Exceptional food, wine and service, with a delectable menu: fresh seafood, Angus steaks, innovative pasta, risotto, gnocchi, cioppino, lamb, entrée salads. mediterranean chicken, flatbreads, fresh salmon daily. Enjoy a full bar, Italian & California wines, Anniversary Lovers Booth (call to reserve), private dining rooms, and wood-fired grill. Open Mon-Sat. Cocktail hour: 4-5 pm-all cocktails, glass wine and beers half price. evening reservations recommended. call 391-2950.



Freshest Pizza Best Flavor Midtown 7834 W. Dodge Road 391-1881

Hand Stretched New York Style Pizza! *By slice

West Omaha 12997 W. Center Road 330-1444

*Whole Pies

Downtown 1213 Howard (Old Market) 344-2222

*Lunch Specials *Dine In *Carry Out *We deliver Downtown

Most Bountiful Toppings at Zio’s!!!

ValenTino’S Eight Neighborhood locations. (refer to our ad for address and phone numbers) Voted Omaha’s Best Pizza and Buffet by Omaha Magazine, valentinos has been a nebraska tradition for almost 50 years. convenient Delivery/ Carry out location throughout Omaha serving not only the Best Pizza but also Pastas, Salads, and Breads. The Grand Italian Buffets have something for everyone. Award-winning Buffets offer not only mouthwatering Italian Food but also various other cuisine as well. Open Daily at 11am for Lunch and Open every Sunday at 10am for a Special Sunday Brunch. Zio’S PiZZeRia SeVeRal oMaHa loCaTionS Three locations: 7834 Dodge Rd. (391-1881), 12997 W. Center Rd. (3301444), and 1213 Howard St. (344-2222). DELIVERY, DINE-IN, and CARRYOUT. Serving New York style pizza by slice or whole pies, calzones, hoagies, pastas, salads and garlic breads. Zio’s pies are hand-stretched and baked in old-world ovens. Zio’s offers 35 of the freshest toppings. Taste the freshest pizza at Zio’s. Family dining – open seven days a week. Lunch special and beer and wine available. for delivery call 333-food. $

LIGhT & EaSY o’ConnoR’S iRiSH PuB & gRille 934-9790 (oMaHa) 1217 Howard st. comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. great before and after games. O’Connor’s offers pub style food: burgers, reubens, daily specials and homemade soups. The pub offers all the traditional Irish favorite libations: Guinness, Harp and Irish whiskey. Grill hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. $

MEXIcaN FeRnanDo’S Two oMaHa loCaTionS Two locations: 7555 Pacific St. (339-8006), 380 N. 114th St. (330-5707). Featuring Sonoran-style cooking made fresh daily. Catering and party rooms also available. Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 4 p.m.-9 p.m. AE-MC-V. $ RoJa MexiCan gRill 333-7652 Located just off Center west of 168th at 17010 Wright Plaza. RoJA features Tex-Mex cuisine with several interior Mexican dishes as well as a coastal influenced grill. The best house margaritas in town made with real lime juice and over 80 tequilas to chose from for an unbelievable margarita experience. Late night Happy Hour Fri. & Sat. 10p.m.-12a.m. Open Mon.-Sun. 11:00 am - Close.

may/june | 2009


Family Owned & Operated Authentic Italian Cuisine Party Rooms Available Carry Out Available


The Original Whiskey Steak 2121 S. 73 St. (402) 391-7440

Serving Lunch & Dinner


Mt. Fuji Inn 397-5049 (Omaha) 7215 Blondo St. For Japanese dining in the traditional atmosphere, take time to visit Mt. Fuji Inn. Specialties include fresh Sushi and Sashimi, Sukiyaki and Shrimp Tempura. Also featuring Cantonese Chinese dinners and appetizers. Dining in individual tea rooms is available by reservation. Enjoy one’s favorite beverages in the Mai Tai Lounge. Cocktail hour: Mon.-Thu. 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Dinner: Mon.-Thu. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-11 p.m. AE-DC-V. $


Tha nk You Om aha for t Con tin ual ly Vot ing Us Bes t ran tau Res Ita lian

Blue Sushi Sake Grill 445-2583 Located on SW Intersection of 144th & Maple at 14450 Eagle Run Drive. More than just Omaha’s freshest and most innovative sushi, Blue offers a creative mixture of Asian inspired grill dishes. The finest Omaha Steaks, chicken, and the freshest fish available are professionally prepared using traditional, as well as cutting-edge cooking techniques. Late night Happy Hour Fri. & Sat. 10p.m.-12a.m. Open Sun-5 to 9; M-11 to 10; T-11 to 10; W-11 to 10; F-11 to 11; Sat-11 to 11. Charlie’s on the Lake (Omaha) 144th and F streets (894-9411). Charlie’s is the only fresh-fish daily seafood restaurant in Omaha. Featuring a relaxed, yet contemporary atmosphere that is fun for all ages. Besides fresh seafood, Charlie’s is the home of the James Bond style martini, shaken not stirred, in over 20 varieties, in addition to over 60 wines. Lunch: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Dinner: Mon.-Thu. 4:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 4:30 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m. $

3001 S. 32nd Ave • Omaha, NE 402-345-5656

Johnn s the original

Serving Steaks, Seafood, Chicken, and more.


Lunch & Dinner


Where good steaks and good service never go out of style.

a f é 402-731-4774

Joe Tess' Place 731-7278 5424 S 24th St., Omaha, NE 68107. As seen on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, our specialties include carp, whole catfish, rainbow trout, salmon, shrimp, oysters, tilapia, walley, chicken, kids menu, daily lunch and dinner specials. Call for reservations. Sun.-Thrs. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

SPECIAL DINING Greek Islands 346-1528 (Omaha) 3821 Center St. Greek cuisine with specials every day at reasonable prices. Well known for our Gyro sandwiches and salads. We do catering and can accommodate a party for 65 guests. Carryout and delivery available. Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. AE-DC-MC-V. $

27th & L Sts. Five minutes from downtown

Horsemen's Park 402-731-2900 (Omaha) Horsemen’s Park located at 6303 Q Street. Happy Hour Mon-Wed from 5-9 p.m. - $1 pints, $1.75 domestic bottles and $2 well drinks. Tuesday 25¢ wings from 3-8 p.m. Wednesday - $5.95 Steak Night after 5:00 p.m. Thursday - 75¢ tacos and $1.75 margaritas after 5:00 p.m. Friday – $7.95 Prime Rib Dinner after 5:00 p.m. Daily specials 7 days a week. Open daily at 10:00 a.m. Check out our website at TED & WALLY’S ICE CREAM 341-5827 Come experience the true taste of homemade ice cream at 12th & Jackson in the Old Market. Since 1986, we've created gourmet ice cream flavors in small batches using rock salt & ice. We offer your favorites plus unique flavors like Margarita, Green Tea, Guinness, and French Toast. Special orders available.

STEAKHOUSES The Drover 391-7440 2121 S. 73 St. (just 1/2 block south of Doubletree). Famous for our Whiskey Steaks! Serving seafood, chicken and chops. Fine wine in an intimate atmosphere. Casual attire. Lunch Mon-Fri 11am-2pm. Cocktail Hour 36pm Dinner nightly at 5pm. Reservations accepted. AE-DC-MC-V. $$$

Where good steaks and good service never go out of style.

Johnn s

Serving Steaks, Seafood, Chicken, and more. Lunch & Dinner





the original



27th & L Sts. Five minutes from downtown

Always a Large Selection of Fresh Fish

Johnny’s Café – Since 1922 731-4774 (Omaha) 27th and L streets. Years of quality dining and hospitality make Johnny’s Café a restaurant to remember. Serving only the finest corn-fed beef the Midwest has to offer. Aged steaks and prime rib are the specialties, with homemade bread and pies to complete one’s meal. An excellent wine list adds to the enjoyment at one of Omaha’s original restaurants. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. AE-MC-V. $$ Mahogany 445-4380 (Omaha) 13665 California St. Mahogany's steaks are the finest custom-aged U.S. corn-fed Prime Midwestern Beef served on a sizzling hot plate. Selections from the ocean include Australian Rock lobster and the freshest fish daily. Outstanding fine-dining service in a casual less intimidating environment make Mahogany one of Omaha's best. Reservations are recommended. Omaha Prime 341-7040 (Omaha) 415 S. 11th St. (Old Market). Only restaurant featuring complete Prime beef. Open seven days a week, Mon.-Sat. 5 p.m.-close. $$-$$$ Passport Restaurant 344-3200 (Omaha) 1101 Jackson St. An elegant, but simplistic ambience highlights this upscale Old Market eatery. Serving Prime grade beef. Open at 5 p.m. seven days a week. $-$$

4150 SOUTH 144TH STREET • OMAHA • 8949411 72

may/june | 2009

Piccolo’s Restaurant 342-9038 (Omaha) 2202 S. 20th St. One of Omaha’s finest traditions, where quality steaks are served at low prices. Especially designed for a family outing or a business social. The specialty is tasty prime rib, served for the last 60 years under the crystal ball. Daily lunches: Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dinner: Mon.-Thu. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 4:30 p.m.-110:30 p.m. Daily and night specials.

Private Rooms Catering & Delivery 330-0440 fax:330-5433

10875 W Dodge Rd. (Old Mill & 108th)

Sundays Brunch Buffet 10-2 Mon & Tues evenings Kids eat free Wednesdays: 1/2 off all bottles of wine

NOW FEATURING SUSHI & SASHIMI DINNERS Sukiyaki • Shrimp Tempura Teriyaki Steak • Cantonese Dinners • Family Style for Two or More • Intimate Tea Rooms Available • Reservations Preferred in Tea Rooms.

Try Our Famous Plus 20 Exciting Polynesian Cocktails and Delicious Cantonese Appetizers

Open 5pm Mon.- Sat. Closed Sun.





4:30 P.M.

Brewsky’s Welcomes All College World Series Fans!

r rts Ba est o p S #1 nt Voted maha® Co t of O 09 in Bes r 2008 & 20 fo

Come for the food, stay for the fun large parties and families welcome

153rd & Q Streets, 614-2739 84th & Park Drive, 201-2739


Kids Eat Free 5-9PM

Tuesday & Thursday: All you can eat wings $12.99 all day Lunch Brake Specials: Starting at $4.99 Happy Hour: $2 Pints, $3 Talls(24oz), $1 OFF Well Drinks Lube Tubes $10.99, $2 Busch Lights

Live Music every friday night.

3320 Mid America Drive • Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712.322.0101 • may/june | 2009


Our Whole Menu is Tex Mex 721 N. 132nd • 496-0040 M-TH 11am-9pm • F-SAT 11am-10pm SUN 4pm-8pm


Show a staff member and get a FREE $10 in game play.

Home of the Famous Fish Sandwich Grilled Fish, Catfish, Chicken, Shrimp and Oysters

5424 So. 24th St. • 731-7278

The Greek Islands Full Bar • Carry Out • Dine In Catering For All Occasions Open Seven Days A Week Thank you for voting us Best of Omaha

3821 Center 346-1528

Visa, MC, Diners & AMEX Accepted


may/june | 2009

Buy One, Get One

Buy any delicious Dell entrée or beverage item at regular price and get a second item of equal or lesser value absolutely FREE. Double your pleasure today! (maximum value of $10)

Over 700 Single Malts

Sonoran Style Cooking Made Fresh Daily. Catering and Party Rooms Also Available. 7555 Pacific St. 399–8006 380 N.114 St. 330–5707

500 Kinds of Liquor • 230 Kinds of Beer Omaha’s Best Fish & Chips

Omaha, Nebraska

5007 Underwood • Omaha, NE 68132 • (402) 553-9501 •

The One and Only


Family owned and operated for over 40 years. Mon. - Thurs. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

300 S. 72ND ST. ~ 402.255.0040 107 N. 40TH ST. ~ 402.614.4545 10720 Q STREET ~ 402.614.3600

Serving Omaha’s Finest Families

Johnny Sortino’s

7880 ‘L’ Street • Omaha, NE 68127 (402) 339-5050


Experience the Flavor ...


Rotella’s Italian Bakery Inc. invites you to experience the flavor and variety on our all new website.


Pasta Amore

Welcomes Berkshire Hathaway Stockholders NEW FEATURES History / Interactive Timeline • Production Video Tour • New Product Listing & Photos • Taste and Texture Hi-lite • Wholesale Section • Family Favorite Recipes • Sales Rep Locator •

LUNCH: Mon.-Fri.: 11a.m.-2p.m. DINNER: Mon.-Sat.: 4:30p.m-Close

Private Party Rooms Business Luncheons Catering

Rockbrook Village • (108th & Center) (402) 391-2585 • Fax: 391-0910

may/june | 2009


Now Bigger & Better Burgers! Fresh Angus Beef Fresh Baked Buns Fresh Cut Fries 18 Free Toppings

2202 South 20th Street – Omaha


Family Restaurant • Fine Steaks Chicken • Seafood Breakfast Dinner • Catering Party• Lunch Rooms• Available CATERING OFFICE 558-3333


2429 S. 132ND ST. 402-758-9222

1040 S. 74TH PLZ. 402-884-6003

2579 S. 171ST CRT. 402-884-0430

4303 N. 72ND ST. 402-991-6675

2085 N. 120TH ST. 402-964-2760



may/june | 2009

REGENCY COURT 342-9038 • 120 346-2865 168th & Dodge REGENCY PKWY



ue Bellev rd illa and M ave Now H oms! Ro Party

Old Market 11th & Harney 614-9333

Benson 71st & Ames 333-6391

Bellevue 21st & Cornhusker 934-2300

Lakeside 173rd & West Center 333-8001

Council Bluffs 50 Arena Way 256-1221 (by the MAC)

Millard 120th & L 829-1616

Shadow Lake Towne Center Papillion, NE


P: 402-504-9930

Jennifer Coco

Flatiron Café by Lindsey baker

O’Connor’s Irish Pub 1217 Howard St. • Omaha, NE 68102 402-934-9790

Jennifer Coco

admits she’s a kind of an anomaly in the restaurant business.

Coco’s been the executive chef at Omaha’s Flatiron Cafe for almost 11 years—an unusually long time for a chef to stay in one place, she said. But the secret to her longevity is a lot like her approach to food: It’s about the community. “I’ve been given so much freedom to explore here,” Coco said. “And I’ve always had a great staff behind me to help me. That’s the main thing to me—I’ve always had people willing to go above and beyond what I ask. I’m only successful because they work extra-hard.” And as for the food, the Flatiron clientele plays a role, too. “I haven’t traveled as much as other chefs in town,” Coco said. “A lot of them come from somewhere else or studied abroad, and I didn’t have that opportunity. I read a lot and try to keep up with the trends, but the customers here are not shy about what they’ve seen, or saying, ‘Try this.’ My approach to food is keeping my eyes and ears open.” The methodology works. Coco, who worked her way from the bottom up in Omaha restaurants before joining the Flatiron, has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Foundation Award, the highest honor for restaurant industry professionals. This year’s awards, to be presented in May in New York, focus on women in the industry. Coco said she’s been busy preparing a required appetizer for a cocktail reception prior to the awards: lemongrass-cured salmon with Thai-scented vegetables. For Omaha, she’s hoping to bring a variety of new fish dishes, as well as produce from local and small growers across the nation, to the Flatiron’s menu. “People are way more excited about food and ingredients and where it comes from,” she said. “It makes me have to seek out information for them, and that’s awesome. I’m learning about something I probably wouldn’t have come across.”

* By an independent food analysis.

Fitting words for the chef of a restaurant that has, under the guidance of owners Steve and Kathleen Jamrozy, catered to a theater crowd used to innovation. And, in Coco’s own words, “it’s just going to get better and better.” may/june | 2009


Mother’s Day Special Give a gift to someone you love or treat yourself.

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Planning the Berkshire Hathaway Meeting

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For over 26 years Omaha Magazine has written about the faces and flavors of Omaha.

Subscribe today and treat yourself to Omaha’s favorite magazine. New subscriptions only. Checks only. Expires July 10th, 2009. Mail check to: Omaha Magazine, PO Box 461208, Papillion, NE 68046


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