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Faces • style • Home • events • art • Dining

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Wiles' Lake Living

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Secrets Your Server Won't Tell You


Omaha Symphony's Star of Holiday Fanfare

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He came through open heart surgery without missing a beat. When Ian Johnson was born, a severe defect restricted his heart’s ability to pump oxygenated blood to his body, a potentially fatal condition. His parents had to choose between a heart transplant and an innovative new series of open-heart surgeries that would build Ian a new heart. They put their trust in the expertise of cardiac surgeon Dr. Kim Duncan, leading a team of specialists in three open-heart surgeries performed at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. Ian not only survived, he’s thrived. And as for his heart,

the beat goes on.

Visit for information on how Children’s Hospital can help your child. For a pediatrician, family physician or pediatric specialist, call 1.800.833.3100.

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INtHisISSUE features Cover Story .................................. 17 STAge PreSence MAkeS THe PerfecT eMcee

featUre ........................................... 33 HOLIDAY gIfT gUIDe 2008

featUre ............................................ 61 Miracle Icons Jewelry Designer Mary Jo Pane

new in omaha magazine

featUre ............................................ 63

Page 41 Walk This Way: The Pedestrian Bridge

depar tments for StarterS ............................................................... 8 This is Omaha

Calendar ..................................................................... 10 omaha home At Home With: Bruce and Annette Wiles’ Custom Comfort ............... 19 Transformations ................................................................... 24 omaha art ................................................................. 28 Orchestrating 50 Years of Young Musicians

Style ............................................................................ 30 Cindy and Tim Schmad

Gala .............................................................................. 41 Letter from Corey Ross . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Gala Cover Story: Betiana and Todd Simon . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts 10th Annual Art Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49 Behind the Mic: Mavis Leno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 The Scoop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .52 Galas, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Omaha Performing Arts Society’s Broadway Ball . . . . . . . .54 The Durham Museum’s Gowns & Glitter Luncheon . . . . . .55 Arthritis Foundation’s Woman of the Year: Anne Nelson .56 Lauritzen Gardens: Omaha’s Botanical Center Antique and Garden Show . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .57 Project Harmony’s Halfway to St . Patrick’s Day . . . . . . . . . .58

dininG oUt

• Check out New Listings as they enter the market. tranSformationS

at home with

Pages 17-64 are included for city readers and subscribers only. Pages rG1-rG16 are included for visitors and relocation readers.

• View dates and times for all upcoming NP Dodge Open Houses. • Search for properties by address, state, city, zip code, schools, price, and more.

Mystery Reviewer: Zio’s Pizzeria ............................. 65 WiseWords from aWaitress .................................... 66 Restaurant Guide .............................................. 67 Funny Restaurant Stories ..................................... 74 Chef Profile: Chef Marc, The Tasting Room .............. 77 Office Space

Scroll through the links to: • See all photos and details for any house listed by any company in the metro area. • Find your NP Dodge Agent with one click and view all of their listings.

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november/december | 2008


November 7-9, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008, 8:00 PM

The Rat Pack

The 5 Browns

Orpheum Theater

Holland Center

THE RAT PACK – Live at the Sands is the hottest and coolest party in town. You won’t find anything like it anywhere else. It’s the Rat Pack – and it’s live! Ring-a-ding-ding! Tickets start at $28.

Dubbed the “Fab Five” by People Magazine, this sibling quintet of pianists has become the classical equivalent of a new rock band. Tickets from $19. Part of the

Classical Series

In Partnership with

Saturday, November 22, 2008, 11:00 AM & 1:30 PM

Friday, December 5, 2008, 8:00 PM

Hot Peas N’ Butter

The Canadian Brass

Holland Center

Holland Center

Incorporating elements of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, R&B, folk, and rock, this group’s hit videos on Nickelodeon and Noggin are quickly making them a household name. Tickets $19.

From classical concerts to music served up with lively dialogue, the Canadian Brass is the world’s leading brass ensemble. In this performance, they bring new life to your holiday favorites. Tickets from $19.

Part of the 1200 1/2 Club for Families

Part of the Sponsored by

Classical Series

november/december 2008 VOLUME 25 • I SSU E 5 publisher

todd lemke editor

sandra lemke events editor

corey ross

assistant editor

linda persigehl art director/graphic design

matt jensen photography

image director: bill sitzmann head photographer: p h i l i p s . d r i c k e y technical advisor

tyler lemke

contributing writers

mike watkins • anita wiechman, ASID tony endelman • leo adam biga maureen o’halloran clark • tina king stephanie lynam • molly garriott vice president

greg bruns

account executives

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

jessica buckley • alicia smith

The Largest Community Theatre in the United States!

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rick carey • david scott FOR ADveRTiSiNG SuBSCRiPTiON iNFORMATiON:

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Stones in His Pockets October 17 – November 16, 2008 ANovember Christmas Carol 21 – December 23, 2008 Omaha’s #1 Family Holiday Tradition! Tickets on Sale October 1st!

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January 23 – February 15, 2008

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#ASS3TREETs  s november/december | 2008



illustration by Watie White

This is

It’s a Gingerbread Cathedral! WheatFields annual gingerbread house display and auction to benefit The Salvation Army.

“Breakfast With Santa,” December 13 at WheatFields.


november/december | 2008

Gingerbread House, Saint Nick to appear at WheatFields WheatFields restaurant will unveil its annual holiday gingerbread house project the first week in December . each of the past eight years, WheatFields owner Ron Popp has auctioned off a gingerbread house display and donated the money raised to the Salvation Army . Last year’s house was sold at auction for $1,000 . Popp also collects toys and other donations for the charity at his restaurant during the holiday season . Again this year, baker-extraordinaire Kim Slater and her team will bake, assemble and decorate the gingerbread house for exhibit at the One Pacific Place restaurant . The process takes in excess of two months and, according to Popp, grows more elaborate each year . The exhibit will remain on display into the New Year . in addition to the exhibit, WheatFields will host several holiday events, including “Saint Nic’s Saturday” in its Patio Tea Room on December 6 . Sponsored by Spirit Radio and in cooperation with Holy Family Shrine, the event will feature Saint Nic handing out special stories of the “true meaning of Christmas” to visiting children . On December 13, WheatFields will host “Breakfast with Santa .” The event will promote the Salvation Army, and donations of toys and monetary gifts will be collected . Lauritzen Gardens Celebrates the Holidays From November

28 through January 4, 2009, visitors to Lauritzen Gardens can enjoy beautiful nature displays of the season at the Holiday Poinsettia Show . More than 7,000 poinsettia plants are grown in Lauritzen Gardens’ greenhouses for this annual holiday show . This spectacular exhibit includes a 20-foot poinsettia tree, beautifully decorated holiday trees, three antique sleighs and a model train that travels through the display . Daily from 9 a .m .-5 p .m . Cost is $6 adults, $3 children ages 6-12 . On November 30, the sounds of the season can be heard at the Holiday Harmony concert series featuring holiday music on Sunday afternoons . Cost is $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12 . And December 6 and 7, Lauritzen Gardens will host Holiday Happenings, a weekend of holiday e ve nt s, music and c h i l d r e n ’s a c t i v i t i e s . Santa Claus will visit and sit with kids for photos . Cost is $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12 . T h e r e’s something for everyone to enjoy! Lauritzen Gardens – O m a h a’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha . visit www .lauritzengardens .org or call 3464002 for more information .


Compiled by Linda Persigehl

Joslyn Exhibits Russian Artworks Through January 11, 2009, The Mastercraftsmen of Palekh Miniatures exhibit will be on display at Joslyn Art Museum . The first American exhibition to examine the tradition of hand-painted, lacquered, papiermâché boxes from the Russian village of Palekh (pronounced poleck) . The village, about 125 miles northeast of Moscow, was known before the Russian Revolution as a center for icon painting, but after the advent of official atheism, the craftsman moved away from religious images to a rich and acceptable genre of tourist boxes decorated with Russian folk tales, among other subjects . The exhibition examines the entire range of Palekh artistic production, in sizes ranging from a 1 x1 ½- inch box for beads to a 23


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Palekh Miniatures Russian artwork exhibit through January 11, 2009 at the Joslyn Art Museum.

x 17-inch jewelry box decorated to honor Stalin . The display also includes icons, other boxes, and decorative objects such as easter eggs . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information .

november/december | 2008


calendar of events

Compiled by Linda Persigehl paintings of Mexican rural subjects, for which he is most well known . A student of the Academy of San Carlos in Mexico City, Rivera was nurtured in the classical tradition but soon became part of the international avantgarde movement that gathered in Paris in the first two decades of the 1900s . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn . org or call 342-3300 for more information . nOvember eventS 11/1-12/11: Film Streams Repertory Series – Great Directors. Film Streams will celebrate the work of director Stanley Kubrick, beginning with a 40th Anniversary presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey . Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St . Call 9330259 or visit www .filmstreams .org for more information .

"the imperial nutcracker" at the rose theater brings the elegance of 1890s St. Petersburg, russia, to life.

CHECK IT! Dates and times are current as of press time but please call ahead to confirm. OngOing eventS On Sale now: HSM Tickets at The Rose Theater. June 2009, The Rose Theater will debut Disney’s High School Musical . Tickets for this very popular show are on sale now for Rose Theater members only, and going fast! Single ticket sales for HSM to non-members will begin in November . visit www .rosetheater .org for more information . through 11/17: Classical Kids Nominations . Classical 90 .7 KvNO recognizes outstanding young musicians by designating them Classical Kids . There have been 112 Classical Kids since the program’s inception in 1999 . Winners have come from throughout the KvNO listening area and have included students from Lincoln, Columbus, elkhorn, Blair, Gretna, Omaha, and Council Bluff and Crescent, iA . Nomination forms are available at www .kvno .org and will be taken through 11/17, 2008 . For more information, call Anne Hellbusch at 559-5866 . through 11/23: Fall Chrysanthemum Show . The indoor floral display hall is festooned in autumn colors during this Japanese-inspired show, featuring unique chrysanthemums, Japanese maples and water features, bamboo, Zen garden influences and multi-dimensional tiered displays . Cost is $7 for adults, $5 for children 6-12 . Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street . visit www .lauritzengardens .org, or call 346-4002 for more information .


through 12/28: The Many Faces of David Diaz at Joslyn Art Museum . Caldecott Awardwinning illustrator David Diaz uses bold, dynamic styles to create rich and striking illustrations for expressive children’s books . inspired by the innovation of viennese Secessionists such as Gustave Klimt and egon Schiele, Diaz aims to break away from any constriction and develop his own way of telling stories through art . The exhibition includes 54 original artworks from 15 children’s and young adult books including Smoky Night, Wilma unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman, Going Home, December and The Pot That Juan Built . This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s illustrated Literature (Abilene, TX) . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . through 1/4/09: Omaha Children’s Museum DinO!saurs: A Prehistoric Expedition DinO!saurs brings a whole new herd of creatures sure to entertain and educate young and old alike . This exhibit features 13 spectacular robotic dinosaurs, including a massive, 22-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex - plus other favorites including Triceratops and Stegosaurus . There’s even a dinosaur nest with eggs and hatchlings . Little paleontologists will love the Dinosaur Dig where they can uncover fossils, and Paleo Camp, where a number of educational activities will be available . Kids can produce images of their favorite dinosaurs at the rub station and control the

november/december | 2008

movements of a robotic Duckbill Dinosaur with a hands-on model . Daily Dino Activities with the museum’s education staff will teach kids all they ever wanted to know about these fascinating reptiles . Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S . 20th Street . Call 402-930-2352 or visit www .ocm . org for more information . through 1/4/09: Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives . Chronicles some of the most dramatic moments in history: the storming of Bastille in Paris, the explosion of the Hindenburg, and assassination of President Kennedy . Cost is $7 adults, $6 age 62+, $5 ages 3-12, free 2 and under . Durham Museum, 801 S . 10th St ., Omaha . visit www .durhammuseum .org or call 444-5071 for more information . through 1/11/09: Fantasy Uncoiled: Prints by CoBrA Artists at Joslyn Art Museum . This print gallery exhibition celebrates three important suites of lithographs acquired by Joslyn in 2007 . CoBrA, an acronym for the members’ cities of origin — Copenhagen, Brussels, and Amsterdam — is one of the great abstract expressionistic movements of the 20th century . Though their formal relationship lasted a mere three years, artists such as eugene Brands, Mogens Balle, and Anton Rooskens forged lifelong commitments to the primal and fantastic . initially resistant to printmaking, an introduction to lithography allowed them to produce multiples while preserving their hallmark spontaneity . The resulting prints

pulled from images painted by the artists directly on lithographic stones are vividly colored and alive with childlike energy . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . through 1/11/09: The Mastercraftsmen of Palekh Miniatures at Joslyn Art Museum . The first American exhibition to examine the tradition of handpainted, lacquered, papier-mâché boxes from the Russian village of Palekh (pronounced poleck) . The village, about 125 miles northeast of Moscow, was known before the Russian Revolution as a center for icon painting, but after the advent of official atheism, the craftsman moved away from religious images to a rich and acceptable genre of tourist boxes decorated with Russian folk tales, among other subjects . The exhibition examines the entire range of Palekh artistic production, in sizes ranging from a 1 x1 ½- inch box for beads to a 23 x 17-inch jewelry box decorated to honor Stalin . The display also includes icons, other boxes, and decorative objects such as easter eggs . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . through 1/18/09: Diego Rivera Exhibit at Joslyn Art Museum . Drawn from the collection of the Museum of Art of the State of veracruz in Orizaba, Mexico, the approximately 35 works in this exhibition survey the entire career of Diego Rivera, including his earliest work in Mexico and his period of study in Paris, where his paintings took on the influence of impressionism, and later, as a colleague of Picasso, Cubism . The exhibition culminates with examples of Rivera’s monumental

11/1: Opera Omaha’s Find Your Voice Day. A day of fun for every age, including workshops for children, poetry readings, scrap booking of your opera memories, and the popular voices in Residence interactive performance – all FRee at Barnes & Noble . A portion of the day’s sale proceeds from all area Barnes & Noble stores will be donated to Opera Omaha . 9 a .m . – 10 p .m . Barnes & Noble-Oak view, 3333 Oak view Dr . Contact Tara Cowherd at 346-4398 x217 or tcowherd@operaomaha .org for more information . 11/2: Opera Omaha – Omaha Symphony Choral Collaborative. Opera Omaha joins the Omaha Symphony in a collaborative venture with seven area high school choirs, members of the Opera Omaha Chorus, guest soloists of Opera Omaha, Omaha Symphony Resident Conductor ernest Richardson, and the musicians of the Omaha Symphony for a performance at the Holland Performing Arts Center . in the weeks prior to the performances, students are taught the fundamentals of proper vocal technique by Opera Omaha Resident Music Director J . Gawf and discuss careers in the arts, which culminates with experiencing an unparalleled live performance of a large symphonic choral work . Admission is $10 . 7:30 p .m . at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th & Douglas streets . Contact Tara Cowherd at 346-4398 x217 or tcowherd@operaomaha .org for more information . 11/3: Omaha Community Playhouse hosts Adam Epstein . in celebration of its 23rd anniversary, OCP presents an afternoon of conversation with Broadway producer Adam epstein . The Tony-award winner for Hairspray will meet with guests at a social hour at 10:30 a .m .; an 11:00 a .m . presentation with epstein and a 12:30 p .m . luncheon will follow . Omaha Community Playhouse, Cass Street and Fonda Drive . For details, visit w w w .omahaplayhouse .com .

11/6-11/9: Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair Hundreds of the Nation’s finest artists and craftspeople from all over the country display and sell their handcrafted wares . voted one of the top 100 shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine! Thurs . and Fri . 11 a .m .9 p .m ., Sat . 9 a .m .-7 p .m . and Sun . 10 a .m .-5 p .m . Cost: $7 adults, $6 seniors, children under 10 are free . Quest Center Omaha, 455 N . 10th St . visit www .hpifestivals . com or call 331-2889 for more information . 11/7: Opera Omaha Guild’s Cotillion Graduation . The six Cotillion classes culminate together in an elegant and fun evening . Students put their new skills into practice and enjoy dinner and dancing . included in class tuition (additional cost for parents is $60 .00 per parent .) 6 p .m . at Qwest Center Omaha, 415 N . 10th St . Contact Tom Chandler, Director of Patron Programs at 402-346-4398 x 111 or tchandler@operaomaha .org . 11/7: Salvation Army Bell Ringer Campaign Kickoff . The Salvation Army’s annual fundraiser kicks off in Omaha! This year, bring your family and friends to help ring bells! Bell ringers from schools, business groups & service clubs are also encouraged . Without your leadership in volunteering your time, our efforts would be severely curtailed! To learn details or sign up online, visit www .ringomaha .org, or call 898-6000 . 11/7-11/9: THE RAT PACK – Live at the Sands . The Rat Pack - Live at the Sands is the hottest and coolest party in town! You won’t find anything like it anywhere else . it’s the Rat Pack - and it’s live! Ring-a-ding-ding! Tickets start at $28 . Orpheum Theatre, 409 S . 16th St . Call 345-0606 for performance times and tickets, or visit www .omahaperformingarts . org for more info . 11/7: Rememb ering Kristallnacht. Bob Cohen will speak on “Remembering Kristallnacht after 70 Years” – Temple israel, 7:30 p .m . The institute for Holocaust education and the Omaha Community will commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass . Kristallnacht was the organized destruction of synagogues, Jewish houses and shops, accompanied by arrests of individual Jews, which took place in Germany and Austria under the Nazis on the night of Nov . 9-10, 1938 . 11/7-11/23: Chanticleer presents Arsenic and Old Lace . Chanticleer Community Theater will present the classic murder comedy play Arsenic and Old Lace . 830 Franklin Ave ., Council Bluffs . Tickets and more information available at 712-323-9955 or www .chanticleertheater .com

November & December


11/8: Met Opera Live at Film Streams. Live, high-def broadcast of Dr . Atomic, from the Metropolitan Opera in NYC . Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St . Call 933-0259 or visit www . filmstreams .org for more info . 11/8-11/9: Fall Home Show & Green Expo. Annual expo of new home manufacturers, contractors, remodeling ideas, green products, windows, cookware, sunrooms, carpeting and furniture and more! Sat . 10 a .m .8 p .m . and Sun . 11 a .m .-5 p .m . Mid-America Center, exit 52 on i-29, Council Bluffs, iA . Call 712323-0551 or visit www .jrexpos . com for more information . 11/8: Mariachi Band Concert at Joslyn. Latino Productions & Management presents a concert by Mariachi Luna Y Sol, voted the premier mariachi in the Midwest . The free concert is 10 a .m . -12 p .m . at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . 11/9: Organ Vesper Series Presents. The Organ vesper Series presents Csaba endelyi on viola . The free afternoon concert begins at 3 p .m . at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S . 114th St . Call 333-7466 or visit www .organvesper .com for more information . 11/9: Schoolhouse Harmonica Workshop/Concert. The Old Avoca Schoolhouse, Avoca, Ne, will host a harmonica workshop and concert at 1 p .m . A $15 fee includes a harmonica and admission to the concert at 2:30 p .m . Admission for all others is $5 for adults, $1 for children . For more information, call 402-275-3221, or send an e-mail to g-s@alltel 11/9: Kristallnacht Commemoration. A C o m m u n i t y - w i d e Commemoration and Multimedia presentation of 70 years since Kristallnacht, and a musical expression by Omaha professional musicians . Presented by the institute for Holocaust education . 5 p .m . at Witherspoon Concert Hall, Joslyn Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . 11/9: Omaha: Portraits of Survival. exhibition by Photographer David Radler will be displayed in the Joslyn Fountain Court, Joslyn Museum, 2200 Dodge St . This exhibit will then be displayed at the Jewish Community Center, 333 S . 132nd Street, through December 15, 2009 . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . 11/11: Metro Women’s Club Luncheon and Silent Auction to benefit The Hope Center for Kids. 11:30 a .m . at the Faith Westwood united Church cafeteria . $12 pre-registration required by contacting Mary ellen Anderson at 630-9924 .

11/11-11/13: “Home for the Holidays� at Nebraska Med Center . The Clarkson Service League is sponsoring this threeday holiday event, hosted at the Nebraska Medical Center . Tues ., Nov . 11th: wine and cheese reception, 5-8 p .m ., in the Lower Storz Pavilion; Wed ., Nov . 12th: 12 noon luncheon and fashion show following, Storz Pavilion, shopping 7 a .m .-5 p .m .; Thurs ., Nov . 13th: shopping from 8 a .m . - 3 p .m . 11/11 – 11/13: Santa’s Preview Christmas Boutique, “Home for the Holidays.� Features gift items and holiday merchandise . At The Nebraska Medical Center, sponsored by the Clarkson Service League . Proceeds benefit cancer care at The Nebraska Medical Center and the development of the Acute-in-Patient Rehabilitation Therapy Center . Wine and cheese reception Nov . 11 from 5-8 p .m . Shopping on Nov . 12 from 7-5 p .m . Luncheon, fashion show and raffle on Nov . 12 . Boutique open from 8-3 on Nov . 13 . For more information, call 559-4197 . 11/13: Heartland Family Service Salute to Families Awards. Mid-America Center, Council Bluffs . $25 adults, $10 children . Call (402) 5527426 for more information .


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11/13 through 12/7: Advise and Consent at the Shelterbelt . Snap! Productions event at the Shelterbelt Theatre, 3225 California St . Cost: $15 adults, $12 seniors, students and military . visit www .snapproductions .com or call 341-2757 for more information . 11/13-11/22: IWCC Presents “Noises Off�. An iowa Western Community College Theatre Department Production of “Noises Off� will run on the Mainstage Theatre . iowa Western Campus, Council Bluffs, iA . For tickets and details, visit www . iwcc .edu . 11/14: Opera Omaha Guild’s Wine Seller – Tasting and Auction. Representatives of American Winemakers and Winery, plus additional importers are on hand to guide participants through a sensory evaluation of the offerings at the Wine Seller Tasting and Auction . The Tasting is paired with chefselected appetizers and a silent auction from 6:00-8:00 p .m ., followed by an oral auction of fine wines and winery related items . Sponsored by Spirit World and Johnson Brothers . 6:30 p .m . at embassy Suites, Lavista . $60 .00 per person Friday only/$250 .00 per person, for Friday’s Tasting & Saturday’s Dinner & Auction . Contact Tom Chandler, Director of Patron Programs at 346-4398 x11 or tchandler@operaomaha . org for more information .

Ann Taylor LOFT • Borsheims • Christian Nobel Furs • Garbo’s Salon • Parsow’s Fashions Pottery Barn • Pottery Barn Kids • Pura Vida Blue • Regency Gift & Gourmet • Scooter’s Coffeehouse Solstice Sunglass Boutique • The Linen Gallery • Tilly • White House | Black Market • Williams-Sonoma

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november/december | 2008


calendar of events November & December


11/27: Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony. Kickoff to the Holiday Lights Festival . The festivities begin with a grand celebration . Watch as Mayor Mike Fahey and a group of local children flip the switch on over a million holiday lights! Free to the public . 6 p .m . at Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall, 10th to 14th between Farnam and Douglas streets . visit www . holidaylightsfestival .org or call 345-5401 for more information .

"the rat Pack - live at the Sands" is the hottest party in town! See these cool cats at the Orpheum theatre november 7-9. 11/14: Tree of Lights Kick-off . The Salvation Army Tree of Lights, a symbol of hope and giving in the Midlands, will light up the night sky this evening, kicking off the holiday season . Designed and built by Omaha company Brite ideas, the tree features 54,800 LeD lights and 543 giant ornaments and is a sight not to be missed! For details, visit www .givesalvationarmy .org . 11/15: The 5 Browns at the Holland. Dubbed the “Fab Five” by People Magazine, this sibling quintet has become the classical equivalent of a hot new rock band, cultivating wider and younger audiences with their fresh and energetic approach to masterpieces from greats like Rachmaninoff, Brahms and Gershwin . Tickets start at $19 . 8 p .m . at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street . Call 3450606 for performance times and tickets . visit www .omahaperformingarts .org for more info . 11/14-11/16: Council Bluffs Antique Spectacular. Melting Pot Productions will present the Council Bluffs Antique Spectacular, one of the Midlands’ premier antique shows . Admission is $6 for adults, and covers the three-day event . Friday 5 p .m .-9 p .m .; Saturday 10 a .m .-6 p .m .; Sunday 11 a .m .-4 p .m . MidAmerica Center, One Arena Way off i-80 and i-29, Council Bluffs . For more information, visitwww . antiquespectacular .com 11/15: Opera Omaha Guild’s Wine Seller – Dinner & Auction . Five-course meal, prepared by a fabulous guest chef and local outstanding chefs, is paired with incomparable wines at the new embassy Suites Hotel in Lavista . Live auction of fine wines and winery-related items caps the evening . 6 p .m . at embassy Suites, Lavista . $200 .00 per person, Saturday only/ $250 .00 per person, for Friday’s Tasting


& Saturday’s Dinner & Auction . Contact Tom Chandler, Director of Patron Programs at 346-4398 x 111 or tchandler@operaomaha . org for more information .

age pricing available .) Contact Tara Cowherd, Community Programs Coordinator at 402-346-4398 x217 or tcowherd@operaomaha .org for more information .

$19 . 11 a .m . and 1:30 p .m ., Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street . Call 345-0606 for tickets, or visit www .omahaperformingarts .org for more info .

11/16: HawkWatch Eagle Migration . Join us for the annual eagle Migration event and keep your eyes on the skies for migrating raptors . Hitchcock Nature Center has been recognized as one of the top 5 hawkwatches in the world for viewing migrating bald eagles, and November is the ideal time to view these majestic animals on their journey south . The annual event will also include live raptor demonstrations by Raptor Recovery Nebraska, activities for children, hikes in the Loess Hills and refreshments . Cost: $3 .00 per person, children 5 and under admitted free . Hitchcock Nature Center, 1 p .m .-3 p .m . Please call 712-545-3283 for more information .

11/20: Heartland Family Service . Salute to Families Awards Happy Hollow Club, Omaha . $35 adults, $15 children . Call (402) 552-7426 for more information .

11/22 through 1/1/09: Mormon Trail Center Gingerbread Exhibit. The Annual Gingerbread Display will be held at the Mormon Trail Center (3215 State Street, Omaha) and the Kanesville Tabernacle (222 east Broadway, Council Bluffs) November 22,2008 - January 1,2009 . This year’s theme will be “Christmas Around The World” . The displays can be viewed daily 9:00 a .m . to 9:00 p .m . For more information call 453-9372 .

11/17: Celine Dion in Concert . This world-renowned Canadian songstress performs at 8 p .m . at the Qwest Center Omaha, 455 N . 10th St . Tickets are $47-$135, available at www .ticketmaster . com . Call 422-1212 for more information .

11/21: MS Wine Walk. A benefit for the Nebraska Chapter of the National MS Society sponsored by The Shops of Legacy . The Wine Society will pour a selection of wines paired with appetizers at each shop . each attendee receives a complimentary wine glass . Tickets available at the office or at select Shops of Legacy stores . 5:30 – 9:00 p .m . $35/person or $55/couple . Call the MS Society at 505-4000 for more information .

11/17: Opera Omaha’s Puccini 101 – Behind the Music. Puccini 101 classes are a chance to learn more about the great composer that created the ever-popular La Bohème, Turandot, Tosca and Madama Butterfly . Purchase all four classes for $49 .00; include a ticket to Opera Omaha’s La Bohème for $99; or purchase the entire package including one ticket to each of the two Puccini MeT HD broadcasts and your choice between the book, “Puccini without excuses” or a Puccini highlights CD for $159 .00 . Class #1 explores what influenced Puccini to write his most-loved works . 6:30 p .m . at The Bluebarn Theater, 614 S . 11th St . $9 per person (cost for single class – pack-

november/december | 2008

11/20-11/22: UNO Theatre Production, The Women of Troy. The university of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Theatre presents The Women of Troy, by euripides and translated by Kenneth Cavander . Maire Creegan will direct the production . Performances are also scheduled for 12/3-12/6 . Ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students . For more information, contact Wesley Houston at 554-3167 or at www .uno_theatre_publicity@yahoo .com .

11/21-11/27: Film Streams: The Exiles. The exiles, a film directed by Kent MacKenzie, 1961, will be presented at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St . Call 9330259 or visit www .filmstreams .org for more information . 11/22: Hot Peas ‘N Butter at the Holland . incorporating elements of Afro-Caribbean rhythms, jazz, R&B, folk, and rock, this group’s hit videos on Nickelodeon and Noggin are quickly making them a household name . Tickets start at

11/22: Met Opera Live at Film Streams. Live, high-def broadcast of La Damnation De Faust, performing at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC . Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St . Call 9330259 or visit www .filmstreams .org for more information . 11/22: 10th Annual Art Auction . Bemis Center’s 10th Annual Art Auction showcases exceptional contemporary art from some of the world’s most highly acclaimed artists, including former Bemis Center Artists-in-Residence as well as regional, national and international artists . Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 424 S . 12th St ., Omaha . visit www . bemiscenter .org or call 341-7130 for more information . 11/27 through 1/10/09: Holiday Lights Festival. visit downtown Omaha to see the region’s largest holiday lights display . Families can enjoy a variety of activities . Free to the public . 6 p .m . at Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall, 10th to 14th between Farnam and Douglas streets . visit www .holidaylightsfestival .org or call 3455401 for more information .

11/27 through 12/21: Berenstain Bears Save Christmas. in this stage adaptation of Stan and Jan Berenstain’s phenomenal bestselling book, “The Berenstain Bears Save Christmas”, your family will enjoy fun, upbeat, holidayspirited songs and antics with those lovable Berenstain Bears who live in the tree house at the end of the sunny dirt road . Those who attended The Rose Theater’s production of “Berenstain Bears Save Christmas” in 2005 will discover an entirely new show featuring an interactive component that is sure to entertain and infuse the entire family with holiday spirit . 120 minutes . Recommended for ages 4-adult . Performances at either 2 p .m . or 7 p .m ., depending on the day . Ticket prices: $10 for members, $16 for non-members . The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St . For tickets, call 345-4849 . For more information, visit www .otcyp .org . 11/28 through 1/4/09: Christmas at Union Station. Omaha’s largest indoor Christmas tree adorned with thousands of lights, annual “Holiday Miniatures” exhibit, display of miniature Christmas trees decorated in the fashion of many nations, and live entertainment each Sat . and Sun . in Dec . Cost is $7 adults, $6 seniors (62+), $5 ages 3-12, and free 2 and under . Durham Museum, 801 S . 10th St ., Omaha . visit www .durhammuseum .org or call 444-5071 for more information . 11/28: Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at The Durham . Kickoff to Christmas at union Station . The city’s largest indoor Christmas tree adorned with thousands of lights . Start the holiday festivities off right with holiday musical performances, children’s activities, a visit from Mr . & Mrs . Claus, the traditional tree lighting countdown and so much more . Cost is $7 adults, $6 seniors (62+), $5 ages 3-12, free 2 and under . visit www . durhammuseum .org or call 4445071 for more information . 11/28: Holiday Happenings at Village Pointe. Complimentary horse and carriage rides . Hear the clip-clop of the horse’s hooves as you take in all the festive sights and sounds on a complimentary horse and carriage tour through our Main Street . Catch the carriage at the fireplace in front of village Pointe Cinema . Free to the public . village Pointe, 168th & West Dodge Road, Omaha . visit www .villagepointeshopping .com or call 505-9773 for more information .

11/28 through 1/4/09: Holiday Poinsettia Show. More than 7,000 poinsettia plants are grown in Lauritzen Gardens’ greenhouses for this annual holiday show . This spectacular exhibit includes a 20-foot poinsettia tree, beautifully decorated holiday trees, three antique sleighs and a model train that travels through the display . Daily from 9 a .m .-5 p .m . Cost is $6 adults, $3 children ages 6-12 . Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center . 100 Bancroft Street . visit www .lauritzengardens .org or call 346-4002 for more information . 11/29: Iowa Western Musical/ Comedy. A hilarious musical comedy, “Church Basement Ladies,” features four unique characters as they organize the food and solve the problems of a rural Minnesota church in 1964 . Funny and down to earth, you will surely enjoy these ladies as they navigate the church year from below the house of God . 8 p .m . performance at The Arts Center, 2700 College Rd ., iowa Western Campus, Council Bluffs, iA . For tickets or more information, visit www .artscenter .iwcc .edu or call 712-388-7140 . 11/29 through 1/4/09: LightPLAY: A Celebration of Holiday Magic. This dazzling holiday light show is perfect for children and filled with dancing lights, shapes and holiday music . Show runs approximately 15 minutes and is included with museum admission . Show times: Tuesday-Saturday 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 . Additional shows on Thursday nights at 5:30 & 6:30 p .m . Sunday 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 p .m . Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S . 20th St ., Omaha . For more information, visit www .ocm .org . 11/30: Holiday Harmony. A concert series featuring holiday music on Sunday afternoons . Cost $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12 . Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha . visit www .lauritzengardens .org or call 346-4002 for more information . DeCember eventS 12/2: Holiday Churches Tour & Luminaria Lighting. eleven of Midtown’s most beautiful churches will be aglow for a holiday churches tour . Luminarias will be lit at 5 p .m ., setting the tone for a warm and joyful evening . enjoy music performances, live nativity scenes, guided tours and refreshments . Free to the public . 5-7 p .m . at various locations – see web site, www .destinationmidtown . org/event-details . Call 233-7142 for more information . 12/3-12/6: UNO Theatre Production, The Women of Troy . The university of Nebraska at Omaha Department of Theatre presents The Women of Troy, by euripides and translated by Kenneth Cavander . Maire Creegan will direct the production . Performances are also scheduled for 11/20-11/22 . Regular


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calendar of events

November & December


S . 10th St ., Omaha . visit www . omahazoo .com or call 733-8401 for more information . 12/12-12/13: Salvation Army Bell Ringing Marathon. Ringing in the O! A 36-hour bell-ringing marathon will be held at locations throughout the Omaha metro . Fri ., Dec . 12th 11 a .m . – Sat ., Dec .13th 11 p .m . To volunteer your time, go to www . ringomaha .org or call 898-6000 . 12/12-12/13: Christmas in the Forest . Walk into the Christmas Story, as you follow luminarylined paths in the forest . experience the manger and holy family, as individuals role-play the Christmas Story . Find the star of Bethlehem, sing carols and pray at the peace fire, and end the evening with a warm cup of hot chocolate and cookies . Pilgrimages into the Forest every 20 minutes from 5:00 to 8:00 p .m . Reservations call 359-4288 or e-mail kmscenter@ mercywmw .org . Knowles Mercy Center, 2304 Campanile Rd ., Waterloo, Ne . Suggested donation: $5 .00/person or $20 .00/ family . Website: www .kmscenter .org .

birdwatchers keep their eyes on the skies during hawkWatch at hitchcock nature Center. ticket prices are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors . For more information, contact Wesley Houston at 554-3167 or at uno_theatre_publicity@ yahoo .com . 12/3-12/19: Holiday Under Glass . This festive choral and instrumental series is held over the lunch hour in Joslyn Art Museum’s beautiful glass atrium . The holiday-themed concerts are performed by area university, high school, and youth musicians . Performances begin at noon and are free with regular museum admission . Lunch is available for purchase . Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St . visit www .joslyn .org or call 342-3300 for more information . 12/4-12/7: The Imperial Nutcracker at The Rose . A sensation at its premiere last season, “The imperial Nutcracker” glitters and shines with the opulence and elegance of St . Petersburg, Russia in the 1890s . The vibrancy and grandeur of this lavish era inspired Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score and are reflected in Robin Welch’s exciting and entertaining choreography . More than just a Christmas story, “The imperial Nutcracker” will delight your sense and awaken your holiday spirit! 125 minutes . Recommended for ages 6-adult . Performances at 2 p .m . or 7:30 p .m ., depending on the day . Ticket prices: $35 for members, $40 for non-members . The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St . For tickets, call 345-0606 . For more information, visit www .otcyp .org .


12/5: Ethnic Holiday Festival. experience how cultures from around the world celebrate the holidays by sampling ethnic holiday foods, viewing traditional crafts and observing ethnic performances . Cost $7 adults, $6 seniors (62+), $5 ages 3-12, free 2 and under . Durham Museum, 801 S . 10th St ., Omaha . visit www . durhammuseum .org or call 4445071 for more information . 12/5: The Canadian Brass at the Holland . From formal classical concerts to music served up with lively dialogue, the Canadian Brass is the world’s leading brass ensemble . Tickets start at $19 . 8 p .m . at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas Street . For info, visit www .omahaper formingarts . org, or call 345-0606 for tickets . 12/6-12/7: Holiday Happening . enjoy a weekend of holiday events, music and children’s activities, featuring the everpopular poinsettia show . Santa Claus will visit, and sit with kids for photos . Cost is $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12 . Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha . visit www .lauritzengardens .org or call 346-4002 for more information . 12/7: IWCC Winter Concert . iWCC’s Music Department, featuring Concert Choir, Show Choir, Men’s ensemble and Jazz Band, will perform in a free concert . 3 p .m . at iowa Western Campus, Council Bluffs, iA . For more information, visit www . iwcc .edu .

november/december | 2008

12/7: Holiday Harmony . A concert series featuring holiday music on Sunday afternoon . Cost: $6 adults, $3 children 6-12 . Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street, Omaha . visit www .lauritzengardens .org or call 346-4002 for more information . 12/9-12/12: Madrigal Christmasse Feaste. Now in its 18th year, this unique form of dinner theater invites you to return to the Renaissance years for a festive holiday evening in an old english castle . Four-course feaste complete with a jester, wench and castoff 30 who entertain with familiar music, madrigals and mirth . Cost is $50/single, $47 groups of 10 or more . Omaha Marriott Hotel, 10220 Regency Cir ., Omaha . visit www .omahamarriott .com or call 556-1400 for more information . 12/11: Opera Omaha Guild’s Holiday Luncheon. enjoy the sounds of the holiday season in the beauty of Joslyn Castle . Admission is $25 . 11:30 a .m . at Joslyn Castle, 3209 Davenport St . Contact Beth Kramer, guild president, at 689-7750 or bdkramer@cox .net for more information . 12/12-12/30: Holiday Wildlights at Omaha’s Zoo. Wander through the zoo’s twinkling wonderland of lights . See moving animal images, warm up with hot cocoa and more! Closed Christmas eve and Christmas Day . Special event admission will be charged . From 5-8 p .m . at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701

12/12-12/13: Christmas at the Cathedral. The 13th Annual Christmas at the Cathedral Concert, performed by the Omaha Symphonic Chorus and accompanied by the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra . Performance is at 8 p .m . both Friday and Saturday at St . Cecilia Cathedral, 701 N . 40th St . Call 398-1766 or visit www .omahasymphonicchorus .org for more info . 12/12-12/14: STOMP at the Orpheum. STOMP is explosive, provocative, sophisticated, sexy, and utterly unique and appeals to audiences of all ages . As uSA Today says, STOMP finds beautiful noises in the strangest places . STOMP: See what all the noise is about . Tickets start at $28 . Orpheum Theater, 409 S . 16th St . For more info, visit www .omahaperformingarts .org, or call 345-0606 for tickets . 12/12-12/18: Film Streams: The Nightmare Before Christmas. A showing of the dark children’s tale, directed by Tim Burton, 1993, will be presented at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St . Call 933-0259 or visit www .filmstreams .org for more information . 12/13: Breakfast with Santa and Holiday Craft Fair Santa will spend the morning at the Stepper-ettes baton and dance studio . The all-you-caneat pancake breakfast is $5, and tickets are available at the door . The craft fair features a variety of items great for last-minute holiday shopping . A limited number of spaces for vendors are still available . Breakfast with Santa and the Holiday Craft Fair are fundraisers for the Stepper-ettes national baton and pom team, which this summer won 13 firstplace awards at the National

Omaha Children’s museum Kids Vote! 11/4: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

vote for the president of the united States and for your favorite area of the museum . Kids will vote in decorated booths and results will be declared at the end of the day . Absentee ballots will be available on www .ocm .org

lightPLaY 11/29-1/4/09

Tuesday-Saturday 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 Additional shows on Thursday nights at 5:30 & 6:30 p .m . Sunday 1:30, 2:30 & 3:30 p .m . This dazzling holiday light show is perfect for children and filled with dancing lights, shapes and holiday music . Show runs approximately 15 minutes and is included with museum admission .

holiday Bazaar 12/8: 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

enjoy treats and discounts in the museum store! This is the perfect place to shop for unique and educational items for children’s holiday gifts .

First night of Play: Dinomite new Year’s eve 12/31: 6-8:30 p.m.

Ring in the New Year with the dinosaurs and the whole family at Omaha Children’s Museum . Don’t miss all the dino-riffic dancing, lights, games, food, special crafts and more . Tickets are $8 for members and $12 for non-members . Tickets sell out quickly and are on sale to general public starting Saturday, Nov . 29 .

Dino!saurs: a Prehistoric expedition through 1/4/09

DinO!saurs features 13 spectacular robotic dinosaurs, including a massive, 22-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex - plus other favorites including Triceratops and Stegosaurus . There’s even a dinosaur nest with eggs and hatchlings . Little paleontologists will love the Dinosaur Dig, where they can uncover fossils, and Paleo Camp, where kids can produce images of their favorite dinosaurs at the rub station and control the movements of a robotic Duckbill Dinosaur with a hands-on model .

Omaha Children’s Museum - 500 S. 20th Street Call 402-930-2352 or visit www.ocm. org for more information.

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Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) competition in South Bend, Ind. Breakfast 8 a.m. to noon; craft fair 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., 10925 Harrison St. Call 5924545 for vendor information. 12/13: Iowa Western hosts The Blenders. The Blenders present Holiday Soul Tour 2008. The Blenders combine their unique style of vocal harmonies with Christmas standards and hilarious comedy in their wildly successful holiday show. A concert perfect for ages one to 93. 7:30 p.m. performance at The Arts Center, 2700 College Rd., Iowa Western Campus, Council Bluffs, IA. For tickets or more information, call 712-388-7140 or visit 12/14: Holiday Harmony. A concert series featuring holiday music on Sunday afternoon. Cost $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12. Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street. Visit or call 346-4022 for more information.


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12/14: Wells Fargo Family Festival. Part of the Holiday Lights Festival. A variety of downtown arts and cultural institutions provide free admission and hands-on activities for the entire family for the day. Free trolley service connects all participating locations. Canned goods and cash donations accepted at participating locations. Held at various locations in downtown Omaha. Free to the public. 1-5 p.m. Visit www. or call 345-5401 for more information. 12/18- 12/20: NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships. Cost $45-$55 per ticket. Qwest Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St., Omaha. For more information, call 341-1500 or visit 12/19-12/25: It’s A Wonderful Life at Film Streams. Ruth Sokolof Theater will present the 1946 Frank Capra classic It’s A Wonderful Life. 1340 Webster St. Call 933-0259 or visit for more information. 12/20: Met Opera Live at Film Streams. Broadcast live and in high-def, Thais will perform from the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Webster St. Call 933-0259 or visit for more information.

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12/21: Holiday Harmony. A concert series featuring holiday music on Sunday afternoon. Cost: $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12. Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center, 100 Bancroft Street. Visit or call 346-4022 for more information.

12/26-12/30: Frosty the Snowman at The Rose. The holiday song “Frosty the Snowman” has taught generations of children how to build a proper snowman - a button for the nose, two lumps of coal for eyes, a scarf, hat and finally, a corncob pipe. But, as everyone knows, Frosty’s hat is magical and has the power to bring him to life! He is the perfect playmate for the town’s children - that is, until the thermometer starts to turn red. What will happen to Frosty? Don’t let the youngsters in your family miss this chance to see one of the all-time great winter season stories come to life on stage at The Rose! 60 minutes. Recommended for ages 4-adult. Performances at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. or 7 p.m., depending on the day. Ticket prices: free to members, $16 for non-members. The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. For tickets, call 345-4849. For more information, visit www. 12/31: Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band on New Year’s Eve. GRAMMY® and Emmy®-winning film composer Gordon Goodwin leads an explosive 18-member jazz ensemble. Together their highly original sound is witty, intricate and swinging. Tickets start at $40. 8:30 p.m. at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Visit for more info. Call 345-0606 for tickets. 12/31: First National’s New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Part of the Holiday Lights Festival. Join thousands on New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display choreographed to music! Free to the public. 7 p.m. at Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall, 10th to 14th between Farnam and Douglas streets, Omaha. Visit or call 3455401 for more information. 12/31: New Year’s Eve Celebration. Celebrate a new year with the whole family at the family entertainment center voted the Best of Omaha. The Amazing Pizza Machine will host New Year’s Eve celebrations for all ages. ‘Noon Year’s Eve’ takes place at noon on Dec. 31, and is designed specifically for kids ages 6 and under. A New Year’s Eve party for kids 8-15 on Dec. 31 will include countdowns to the ball drop at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. 13955 “S” Plaza in Millard. Visit www. for more information.

Story by Leo Adam Biga Photo by

The Perfect host Dave Webber is a sportscaster who’s also a good sport as the annual Omaha Symphony’s Holiday Fanfare emcee.


most indemand master of ceremonies, Dave Webber, may be best known as WOWT’s lead sportscaster. But to some he’s a seasoned lounge singer-guitarist, and to others a commercial pitchman. His warm, funny, cockeyed spirit, mellifluous voice and easy smile put people at ease. These same qualities make him the perfect emcee. This versatility explains why the Omaha Symphony’s made him the host for its annual Holiday Fanfare concert the past 14 years. His way with a song and his ability to ad-lib doesn’t hurt. “He’s a terrific singer. He has a great bari-

tone voice. Very smooth. He delivers a song really well,” says Omaha Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Ernest Richardson. “He’s incredibly affable and charming and he’s just tremendous with the audience. He has personality that just carries. Lots of stage presence.” Webber, who’s sung professionally since the late ‘50s, is a real trouper, too. “He has a great willingness to take on anything the show requires,” Richardson says. “He’s danced, he’s sung, he’s been a straight man, and he’s told jokes. He’s been in every kind of costume you can imagine, including a grass skirt and coconut shells.” The show brings in Broadway performcontinued on next page

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continued from previous page

ers for a festive concert. It’s a good fit for Webber, who dreamed of a musical theater career. “It’s the best week of the year because I get to rehearse with these huge Broadway stars,” he says. “He holds his own with those guys, too,” Richardson says, proudly. Webber likes that the extravaganza never stays the same. “It’s always fresh,” he says. “It’s fun to start the next year with a whole new show.” On stage his role’s to “keep the show moving.” He introduces bits. He interacts with performers. He sings traditional and contemporary tunes. His rendition of White Christmas was a staple for years. He even throws in a little soft shoe. He’s read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and every year recites ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The show combines Webber’s passions. “I love doing it. I love anything that mixes all the things I really love doing — singing in front of the symphony, communicating with a live audience. It’s such a great rush to have a live audience.”

He says the concerts fly by. No performance is ever exactly the same. The energy, excitement and spontaneity give him goose bumps. “You’re just bursting. It’s an unbelievable feeling. That one-time performance experience is what keeps me going,” he says. “It’s always a surprise. The fun things about the show are the things that go wrong.” It’s at times like these, after a flubbed a line or a missed cue, Webber’s at his improvisational best. He says, “I have a reputation for having fun with things like that.” That’s when, he said, “the funny little person that lives inside my head finds poignant things and humorous things in every day life and puts them into words.” Self-deprecating humor is his specialty. He takes his cue from comic heroes like Jack Benny, Johnny Carson and Tim Conway. “The great ones, that’s what they were so beautiful at — being the butt of the joke and letting the audience enjoy the

joke right with them,” Webber says. Doing a live show requires being in the moment. “You have to be able to think on your feet a little bit. That’s what makes it something not everybody can do,” he says. Like the time a celeb ended his banquet remarks with a four-letter word, leaving the audience aghast. Webber defused the awkward situation by relating a humorous anecdote. No matter what, he says, “The show must go on.” Webber prefers the outline of a script and then, he says, “give me a little carte blanche for things I can do. Whatever happens, happens.” For Holiday Fanfare he and Richardson go off-book to do some “shtick.” As an emcee though, “you never want to upstage anybody,” says Webber, whose off-the-cuff remarks only work because he’s prepared. That’s why he takes a week off from WOWT to rehearse. Richardson says, “I love working with Dave. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without him.” Catch Uncle Dave and Co. at Holiday Fanfare Dec. 15-17 at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

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Have a jolly good time at The Durham Museum this holiday season with activities galore for the whole family. This year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, held on November 28 from 4 – 7 pm, will be an event to remember with a live performance from Michael Walker, Omaha’s vintage vocalist! The Ethnic Holiday Festival, held on December 5 from 5 – 9 pm, celebrates holiday traditions from around the globe, and Santa and Mrs. Claus will make numerous special appearances including at Family Nights with Santa on December 9 and 16 from 5 – 8 pm. Visit our Web site at www.durhammuseum. org to learn more.

801 South 10th Street  Omaha, NE 68108 402.444.5071 

Photos by Story by Tina King

At Home With Annette and Bruce Wiles


Wiles wanted a bigger kitchen for entertaining when she planned her new home, so she spent extra time searching out exactly what would function and look best. Her effort paid off. Now her kitchen – and her entire new home - is not only spacious, but it’s so well-appointed that it offers the homeowner and her guests luxury, comfort and lakefront views. “I feel very blessed,” Wiles says. Sitting at her dining table, guests can feel the pull of the kitchen. The gold walls and deep-stained maple cabinetry provide a rich framework for the commercialquality stainless steel appliances. The polished granite countertops gleam under-

Cooking and entertaining is more fun now that the Wiles can spread out in their custom kitchen by Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces, which features a tailored pot rack to keep tools at the ready.

continued on page 21

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neath the focal point – a custom hanging rack loaded with pots, pans and wine bottles. “A friend made it for me,” Wiles says of the pot rack. After she saw the idea in a catalog, she made a few alterations and a buddy crafted it. It is a story echoed in many of the custom built-ins throughout her home. If guests don’t feel like getting in on the cooking, they can sink into the oversized, brown leather furniture in the kitchen’s sitting area and warm their feet by the fireplace. Feeling any need to get up may take a while. “I tried to make it comfortable and homey,” Wiles says. It’s also practical. Wiles expanded the architect’s original plans for a nearby laundry room to create a custom mudroom – if you can call a room filled with maple and granite a “mudroom.” Now, when her husband Bruce gets home from operating Wiles Bros. Fertilizer & Chemical Inc., he can clean up in the combo full bath-laundry-custom closet in true comfort.

The couple’s former home, a condominium, is within view. It sits just across the lake – Sailboat Lake – from their new 4,800-squarefoot ranch-style house. They both love the slower pace of their nearPlattsmouth neighborhood, home to about 800 people and many geese, deer and muskrats. In early October, the weather remained warm enough to enjoy the wildlife up close in paddle boats, fishing boats and floating, inflatable lounge chairs. The busier pace and city amenities of Omaha are a mere 25-minute drive away. “It’s close, but it’s far enough away from Omaha,” Wiles says. The lake community is close-knit, with a lot of entertaining all around. The Wiles built their home with that in mind, and the ranch’s spacious basement offers a variety of amusements. A five-by-eight-foot wall-mounted viewing screen in front of another robust leather couch offers a prime movie-watching spot. Nearby, visitors can also rotate among air hockey, foos-

The couple's basement is designed with parties in mind. Guests can sink into the comfy furniture for big screen viewing or enjoy a cocktail at the bar. A wine cellar built under the front porch features intricate stonework and doubles as a storm shelter.

continued on next page

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Enjoying the lake view is easy from the deck, beach or fire pit or even the master bath sunken tub.


ball, shuffleboard and poker tables. Or they can belly up to the bar. Guests can even wander behind it to the rounded entry, stonewalled wine cellar to pick their vintage. The cellar was built underneath the home’s front porch and doubles as a spot to wait out tornado warnings. Guests’ chatter can trend toward winning barbeque recipes. Wiles and her brother compete in area barbeque contests, refining sauces for pork, brisket, chicken and rib entries. She made sure her new pantry has plenty of room for meat smoking supplies. When it’s time to work, Annette Wiles has a short commute. She left her position at First Data a year ago and is now president of Wiles Development. She and Bruce are developing the 100-acre commercial Wiles Crossing nearby along Highway 75, along with a multi-field sports complex. Her large corner office is in the home’s basement, with views overlooking much of the lake. The far side is completely tree lined, with an occa-

november/december | 2008

sional train coming through on the adjacent tracks. “You get so used to it you don’t even hear it anymore,” she says. When it’s quitting time, tranquility is but a few steps away. If it’s raining, Wiles can watch the storms from under the protective roof overhang on the upper deck outside her master bedroom. The deep, sunken master bath tub also offers a good view. When the weather’s good, it’s more fun to claim a spot on the lower deck, the sandy beach or around the built-in benches of the masonry fire pit. It usually doesn’t take long for the homeowner to catch a glimpse of an eagle, fox or a crane. At night, the view gets even better. “The stars out here are unbelievable,” Wiles says, “because there is no light pollution.” Waking up each day in the new house is still a vacation-like a treat, she says. “But it’s nice to know we don’t have to check out.”

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Photos by Tom Kessler Anita Wiechman, ASID

Let There Be Light Outdated to Updated in Five Months

The grand dinette table for ten overlooks the beautiful landscaped backyard. The custom light fixture is made of fused glass and forged metal. Best of both worlds... comfort of the inside with full view of the outside.


to update their comfortable ranch home, Dr. Bob and Mary Jo Langdon were looking for a relaxed environment for two people, yet spacious enough for sixty. They wanted to change the separateness of the rooms, dim interiors and the outdated dĂŠcor. They contacted Anita Wiechman, ASID, a designer at The Interior Design Firm since 1982, with their list of wants and needs. The dramatic, new plan included removing interior walls, removing existing cabinetry, installing new lighting and planning for overall flexibility. Contractor Kevin Oswald with Salt Valley Construction in Lincoln provided added expertise, finishing the project in five months. Removing the wall between the family room and sunroom enabled the massive


november/december | 2008

The expansive island separates the wine bar from the kitchen workspace while keeping it accessible to the family room.

ASID stands for Allied Society of Interior Designers. Membership is based on minimum interior design education and specific years of work experience. Once this is achieved, Allied Members who pass the

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JJ, the youngest member of the family, enjoys all the comforts of home. The bronze statue sits proudly on a custom pedestal. The custom designed entertainment wall repeats the square metal tile motif used throughout the home. The openness and flow of the rooms is emphasized with this view.


field stone fireplace to be gutted, and a “floating” granite platform with a ribbon fire became the room divider. The fireplace hood is accented with a piece of backlit multi-colored onyx. The stairway is now open, showing off a custom railing and a large original painting. Bronze metal squares are repeated in the custom railing, column capitals and cabinetry hardware. The designer selected a honey-colored travertine for the flooring in the family room and sunroom. The existing Brazilian cherry floor in the living and dining room extends to the stairway and becomes an accent border in the oak floor in the kitchen and dinette. The enormous island in the kitchen houses the cook center and doubles as a serving area. A butler’s pantry, planning space, dinette and wine bar with lighted wine glass storage are part of this space. The kitchen is designed to flow comfort-

november/december | 2008

ably into the family room. The complementary color scheme is rust, burgundy, toasty tan, purple, silvery teal, and golden bronze. Furniture selected offers much needed flexibility in the household. Pieces can be easily moved from room to room, while spaces flow into each other for larger crowds. The granite dinette table for ten overlooks the dazzling landscape and future cabana and pool. A custom light fixture of metal and fused glass graces the dinette table. Family and friends were surprised to learn additional space wasn’t added to the home. Personal pieces, such as a bronze sculpture displayed prominently on a custom pedestal, along with book collections, art glass and prized framed photos, are complemented by the new surroundings.

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Story by Maureen O'Halloran Clark Photo courtesy Omaha Area Youth Orchestras

Omaha Area Youth Orchestras 50 Years of Music Excellence A Fifth of Beethoven for 50 Years.


50 years, the best young musicians in the greater Omaha area have been performing classical masterpieces by such composers as Beethoven, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, as well as contemporary pieces from Broadway and movies. Elaborate interplays of their wind, brass, string and percussion instruments have resonated through such venues as the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Joslyn Art Museum Witherspoon Concert Hall. All of this has been made possible by the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras (OAYO), which has also provided them with coaching from professional conductors and musicians. Several years ago, OAYO even received national recognition. Jan Braden, the Executive Director of OAYO for the past 15 years, relates that its Youth Symphony was one of six orchestras selected after a taped audition to participate in the 2002 National Youth Orchestra Festival. It represented the smallest metropolitan area to receive that honor. The organization had its beginnings in 1958 with a partnership between the metro area public schools and the Omaha Symphony Guild. Since then it has grown into an independent, nonprofit


november/december | 2008

organization. Glen Hadsell was the concertmaster, the principal violinist, for its first season 50 years ago. He continues to attend OAYO concerts and comments, “This year, the level of the quality of students, the level of parental involvement, and the number of students taking private lessons is just amazing compared to our first group 50 years ago. It is so much higher than it was then.” About 550 musicians, ages 8 through 18, are involved with OAYO. It is comprised of six groups. The top four ensembles are audition-based, and stairstep in skill. They rehearse once a week from August through May and have four concerts. The tuition for those groups ranges from $375 to $550 per season, but scholarships are available for those with financial need. Students can join the two beginner orchestras with the recommendation of their music teacher; no auditions

are necessary. They meet for eight weeks. The advanced groups have sectional practices with area music professionals. In addition, since 2000 they have had an annual side-by-side concert with the Omaha Symphony. Thomas Wilkins, music director for the Omaha Symphony and the conductor for the last two sym-

and open, which only adds to the joy.” He adds, “Both of my daughters are involved with OAYO and loving it.” Braden says, “We have alumni who are top players in major orchestras.” She also relates, “We have the best kids. They are the busiest, they are the high achievers. Whenever the Omaha World-Herald features the top high school seniors who have the perfect ACT, SAT scores, almost always we have had at least one of our students in that group. They all work really hard, and many of them have jobs besides being great students and musicians.” To celebrate its 50th anniversary season, the OAYO Youth Symphony will present a concert at 3:00 p.m. on February 1, 2009, at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Strauss Performing Arts Center. Alumni are invited to participate. Contact OAYO through its Web site,

“We have alumni who are top players in major orchestras.” — Jan Braden

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phony/youth orchestra concerts, reflects on that experience. “It is always a great privilege and joy for me to make music with those kids. It’s a chance to help instill a deep love for great music. They are in fact always eager, well prepared,

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thoughtful, relaxed… caring, outgoing…that’s how many would describe our holiday season Style Shot pair — tim & Cindy Schmad. many know tim through the Omaha Community Playhouse, where he’s served as executive director since 2001. his wife, Cindy, is a dedicated “nana” to their three grandchildren. their favorite holiday event? not surprisingly, “seeing ‘a Christmas Carol’ at the Omaha Community Playhouse,” Cindy said. “We take our family photo in the lobby, amidst the Christmas trees.” though formal here, the two typically prefer more casual attire. “tim prefers the sport coat/ slacks look over suits.” tim’s favorites: Jos. a. bank Clothiers, lindley Clothing and Jerry ryan Sportswear. as for Cindy, “i love ann taylor loft,” where she worked for four years. What does the fun-loving couple like to do? “tim loves sports, so he’s all over Omaha, watching almost any game – UnO, Creighton, Creighton Prep…” Cindy cochairs the worship environment team at St. vincent’s and belongs to her church choir. “and i’m a gardening fiend,” she jokes. the couple also enjoys going to movies, long dinners and hosting game nights for their friends and family.


november/december | 2008

Tim & Cindy Schmad early 60's, and still having fun!

Story by Molly Garriott Photo by

Roll Out The Polka The Polka Show With Local Roots and a National Following

Joseph “Big Joe” Siedlik is a self-described SOB (South Omaha Boy).


Siedlik, aka “Big Joe,” equates polka music with happiness. He should know. His career in polka music has spanned five decades and reaches even further back to his South Omaha childhood. “I’m an SOB,” Big Joe admits with a chuckle. “A South Omaha boy,” he quickly clarifies. Growing up in the St. Stanislaus neighborhood, little Big Joe was exposed to the music from which he would one day earn his living. “Windows were always open,” recalls Big Joe, “and you heard polka music all the time.” The music was a fixture at joyous occasions: first communions, graduations, engagement parties and wedding receptions. It was not uncommon for a bride to be serenaded by a polka band on her front porch step the morning of her wedding. The band would then proceed to “escort” her to the church and continue playing all day long. The celebrations often lasted for three or four days, or

as Big Joe explains, “as long as the bride’s father’s pocketbook would hold out for buying booze.” Siedlik’s first foray into publicly playing polka music was a fundraiser for a friend who needed medical treatment. He then began collecting polka records, playing at South Omaha watering holes, fraternal organizations and Sokol Park. But his professional interest in polka music began in earnest when he broadcasted what would be the first in a 40-year run of The Big Joe Polka Show on KTTT in Columbus, Neb. His one-hour inaugural show was a hit; within seven weeks the station had increased his airtime to five hours. Soon, a station in Ord, Neb., picked up the show. Four months later, his hometown could tune in to “The Big Joe Polka Show” on Sunday mornings. The three cities combined totaled 18 hours of polka music programming. It was the No. 1 radio show on Sunday mornings in Omaha. “Most radio shows on Sunday continued on next page

november/december | 2008


were religiously geared, and here I am playing ‘In Heaven There Is No Beer,’” says Big Joe, laughing at the irony of his program’s success. Variety, says Siedlik, is the key to his career’s longevity. “American servicemen [serving a tour of duty at Offutt Air Force Base] called the show and wanted to hear polka music from his state, what was familiar to him,” says Big Joe. Big Joe always obliged. His show offered a wide range of polka to suit every taste. Though of Polish descent himself, Siedlik includes music from German, Czech, Slavic, Danish and Bohemian traditions, and showcases bands all over the United States and Europe. It is a format that has served him well; his show has aired in 39 states across the country. Seeing a dearth in traditional Czech and Bohemian polka music, Big Joe has sought to fill this void. In all, he has recorded over 120 albums in the U.S. and Europe. In 2000, Big Joe teamed with Patrick Gottsch, President of RFD-TV, and ventured into the television medium. Siedlik dubs his TV show the “Poor

Man’s American Bandstand.” Each show, he highlights five to seven polka bands from different ethnic traditions spreading across the U.S. and Europe. One program includes five polka vignettes, with three numbers in each vignette. This format, Big Joe believes, offers something for virtually every fan of a particular ethnic polka tradition. At 74, Big Joe still travels the country, taping dozens of bands for his polka television show and master tape collection along the way. He recorded 40 new bands in Medina, Minn., in 2005 and 2006. He traveled to Branson, Mo., in 2007, and to Roundtop, Tex., in 2006 and 2008. During his career, he has videotaped over 300 different bands. His business, Polka Cassettes of Nebraska, warehouses both cassettes and CDs, and includes VHS and DVD renditions of live recordings. He has acquired almost 600 master tapes and has built his own radio studio in the warehouse, enabling him to produce his own stock. Many times, customers will call asking for a particular recording and are delighted

to find Big Joe can accommodate their request. Big Joe recalls one customer who was looking for the polka band that played at his parent’s wedding. Surprised that Big Joe’s library included the band, he promptly ordered copies for his parents and siblings. It is stories like these that Siedlik finds most rewarding. He can boast of having the longest running polka show on air and of having the nation’s largest polka music warehouse. But it is the joy he brings his listeners that means the most to Big Joe. Polka music, he maintains, is “happy music.” Big Joe defines success as the happiness he brings to his listeners with his shows and music. As far as Big Joe is concerned, his commercial achievements are merely by-products of his interpersonal success, not the reverse. For more information on Big Joe’s programming and music warehouse, contact him at Polka Cassettes of Nebraska, P.O. Box 3643, Omaha, NE 68103, e-mail him at or visit his website at

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5038 So. 108th St â&#x20AC;˘ Omaha, NE 68137 402.592.1664 (next to valentinos pizza by the 108th location)

3601 N. 129th St. â&#x20AC;˘ Omaha, NE 68164 402.991.8809 (across the street from super target)

Our cigars are all hand made in small batches with premium long filler at the best prices in town gaurenteed, Now Selling pipe tobacco and pipes too Now selling top shelf spirits and wine at north 129th location

mention this ad and receive a free cigar


november/december | 2008

Your place for holiday smiles.

Make Shadow LakeÂŽ Towne Center your destination for holiday shopping, dining and fun. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find fabulous gift ideas, including the latest fashions, cool sports gear, the newest electronics and more. And donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget Shadow LakeÂŽ Towne Center Gift Cards; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always in style. Join family and friends for festive gatherings and stroll through the dazzling dĂŠcor. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your place to make the seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warmest memories.

Holiday in the Sky Tree Lighting Celebration Wednesday, November 26, 6:30pm .BSLZPVSDBMFOEFSGPSBEB[[MJOHLJDLPGGUPUIFIPMJEBZT Visit for more information. W. Center Rd.

38 L Street S. 72nd St.

S. 84th St.

Harrison Street

Cornhusker Road Papillion

370 Offutt AFB


OVER 50 STORES, RESTAURANTS AND SERVICES, INCLUDING: AĂ&#x2030;ROPOSTALE ".&3*$"/&"(-&065'*55&34t"//5":-03-0'5t#&45#6:t$)*$04 %*$,441035*/((00%4t(03%."/4t+$1&//&:t+04"#"/, '"5#63(&3t/&#3"4,"#3&8*/($0.1"/:t0-%$)*$"(0 3&%30#*/(063.&5#63(&34t8)&"5'*&-%4


november/december | 2008


You’ll like the small town friendliness and service with 30 shops in one block and parking at every door.

Pacific at 87th • Omaha

pamper your pooch accessories • grooming • collectables

The Quintessential Day Spa at Countryside Village Rejuvinating Facials • Spa Manicures Spa Pedicures • Therapeutic Massage Inquire about our spa packages • Gift Certi¿cates Available

402.884.0330 • countryside village

Steppin’ Out

specializes in personalized service

884-5080 • 8709 Shamrock Road • Countryside Village

beautiful casual, dressy casual, accessories, handbags and jewelry

Make This Holiday Classy And Comfortable With Shoes From Steppin’ Out

Maggie Approved!


8715 Countryside Plz. • 402.384.8400

november/december | 2008

Sarah’s boutique 391-7997

Happy Holidays

from Krista’s Creations

Custom Orders Welcome

Letter Photography

for that unique holiday gift anyone can enjoy!



Omaha, NE 402-960-2442

Give Someone Special that Wonderful Gift of Relaxation!

402-393-4219 • 1000 N. 72nd St.

Holiday Gift Certificates Available

Stress Relief Packages Spa Massage Omaha’s Romantic Private Couples Spa Room Featuring Eminence Organics Skin Treatments

Call to Customize Gift Packages & Certificates, and “Yes” we deliver! NORTH SIDE OF PACIFIC ST AT 178TH ST. 17785 MASON ST. - SUITE 105 OMAHA, NE 68118 402.933.8885 • WWW.NEWUSPA.COM

West Omaha Jewelers & Repair “Our cake stands alone.”

Open M-F 8:30 - 5:30PM • (402) 502-0895 1810 N 144th St. • 1 blk S. of 144th & Blondo

1314 S. 119th St. • Omaha, NE 68144 402-334-6800 november/december | 2008


...your search is over. Jillian Post InStyle Salon Studio No. 9 402.490.1657 Razor & Shear Sculpturing Dimensional Color Seamless Layering

3929 S. 147th St.

397-4585 â&#x20AC;˘ 2520 So. 130th Ave.



november/december | 2008

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Creating Fresh Environments To Complement Your Lifestyle. Lori Anderson • Lindsey Anderson • Amanda Koris

402-502-5126 sophisticated separates for every lifestyle

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402-391-1091 334-2222

Home furnishings, accessories and gifts.

Discover the Treasures of Rockbrook Village This Holiday Season Shop Rockbrook Village and win Holiday Bucks Now through December! Over 60 locally-owned stores for amazing holiday gifts. Rockbrook Village... just around the corner from everywhere at 108th and Center.

november/december | 2008


Office Cleaning

Professional Home Cleaning

off first month service

some restrictions apply



Insured & Bonded References Available Quality Controlled 10 Years experience Free Estimates Locally Owned Flexible Scheduling

Residential & Commercial

402-597-2620 •


Design PERSONALIZED greeting cards right from your computer. We PRINT, ADDRESS, STAMP and MAIL them for you! First card is ABSOLUTELY FREE for the rst 50 respondents.

Created to care for our family, devoted to serving yours. “Even more than our foundational belief, this is a way of life in each Bickford residence. Love is in the details and the experienced team at each Bickford shows it through the attention given to each individual; just as we did for our very first resident, my mother.” - Judie Eby, Founder Created to care for our family, devoted to serving yours.

Visitors welcome. Call or stop by today!

Bickford assisted living


november/december | 2008

402.491.0400 11308 Blondo Omaha, NE 68164

402.391.3000 7337 Hickory Omaha, NE 68124



Your Guide to ShoppinG, dininG and relocatinG in the heartland “My house is Worth What?”


Fun Facts about Warren Buffett


Maps/ omaha’s neighborhoods rG5-rG13 home comparisons


omaha community playhouse

rG8 rG10

omaha thanksgiving history


omaha Metro Schools


council Bluffs hotels/Map


photo by Patrick Drickey, Stonehouse Publishing Co.

hunting in nebraska

Recuperation To Renovation To TV Sensation:

HGTV’s “My House Is Worth What?” Visits Omaha Cancer Survivor’s Home Jim and Marcie Flynn, owners of the Ridges home to be featured on HGTV.

Chuck Sanderson turned up every light in the Flynns’ home for the shoot.

Audio Mixer Chuck Sanderson “miking up” the Flynns. Producer Mike Noble, left, and Director of Photography Bruce Hsiao, right, travel up to 200 days a year on video shoots such as this.

HGTV series “My House is Worth What?” visited Omaha recently to film three area homes. The popular show looks at a property and has a local real estate agent appraise the home post-renovation. The agent then gives an appraisal of the upgraded home’s dollar value. HGTV flew in a producer and two-man crew from Los Angeles for five days to shoot homes in three areas: The Ridges, a Dundee home and Papillion. It is not yet decided exactly when the episode will air. We asked owners of one of the Omaha homes, Marcie and Jim Flynn, what it was like to have a video crew scrutinize their house for a day. “It was fun but exhausting. I expected it would be a hard


november | december | 2008

day,” said Marcie Flynn. The day started with a three-man crew arriving at 9:00 a.m. Preparations took several hours. Filming went on until 7:00 p.m. Marcie Flynn is a longtime fan of the show. She’s a cancer survivor who, during recovery, watched HGTV and “got ideas for my home renovation,” said Flynn. She’s been watching since 2003. The Flynns invested about $300,000, which they feel was well worth it. The home is now “just how they like it,” said Jim. It features a gym, wine cellar, wet bar, gourmet kitchen and new driveway. CBSHOME realtor Sallie Elliott was chosen by HGTV to appraise the home. Her findings will be revealed on the show. Tune in to “My House is Worth What?” to see her appraisal!

Abe’s Trash Service, Inc.

Fun Facts

“Serving Omaha For Over 50 Years”

About Warren Buffett

Mention this ad and receive your first month of residential service free.


Nickname: The Oracle of Omaha (the city from which Warren hails, and still lives to this today). Dubbed as one of the greatest investors of our time, Warren Buffett and his holding company (Berkshire Hathaway) have amassed one of the greatest fortunes ever. Warren has consistently beaten the returns of the S&P 500 for over 40 years. A claim few in the world can make.

Residential • Recycling Service

Locally Owned and Operated

Commercial • Construction Specialists Steel Roll Off Containers From 2 to 40 Yards 90 Gallon Trash Carts Available • Prompt Professional Service

Radio Dispatched: 402-468-5434

8123 Christensen Lane • Omaha 68122 •

Knowledge... Compassion... Follow Through!

1. He still does his own taxes. With a net worth of over $52 billion, Warren still likes to do his own taxes.

Let me put my 34 years experience to work for you.

2. He has been living in the same house since 1958 (which he bought for $31,500).

Duane Sullivan

402.333.6565 •

3. Warren’s salary is $100,000. On the surface, Warren’s salary is not overly impressive. What is impressive is that Warren has never taken a big salary or option plan. Warren gets paid solely on the basis of whether his stock goes up or down. More CEOs should manage their companies this way. 4. Berkshire Hathaway employs 19 people. That’s not bad when your holding company oversees 180,000 employees, with revenue upwards of $81 billion. Many companies in corporate America could borrow a page from Warren’s play book for productivity and efficiency.




Old Market • Downtown • Riverfront

Plus | September/October 2007

arts & entertainment how i roll education the know-it-all in the office omaha! technology that’s what THEY said


BUY OMAHA Celebrating, Empowering, Inspiring... Profiles

the Women of Omaha.


2008 Ballot

Old Market Gallery Crawl Take a Poke Break with Dr. Yoo

LEGENDS OF HAIR David Scott, Rick Carey, Tom “Tino” Constantino, Heather Smalley, Claude Smith

Results are in!

MutualJeffofSchmid Omaha Bank’s and the Coffeehouse Banking Concept MAILED TO AND READ IN EVERY BUSINESS IN THE METRO!

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sp special pecial



$3.95 US U.S. $3.25

6. He gave away $30 billion to charity. Not many of us will ever be able to put that on our resumes. But it’s true. In 2006 Warren donated 83% of his holdings to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This was the largest donation in U.S. history.


Background fabric provided by Textiles Inc.

5. He likes Cherry Coke and hamburgers. With everything you read about Warren, it would be easy to think he is some kind of super monk who hides away in his ivory tower nibbling on bread and drinking magical tea. Nothing could be further from the truth. He walks the street as a common man (no bodyguards) and eats hamburgers and drinks Cherry Coke like anyone else in Omaha. He is also rumored to be a fierce bridge player (often playing with partner Bill Gates).


74470 63856

w w w. b 2 b o m a . c o m

profiles: bringing–it–to–business omaha–view: gadget–chat digital–mammography how–to: text–message blog


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november | december | 2008


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Omaha’s Distinctively Delightful Neighborhoods Omaha isn’t a hodgepodge, bland, nor is it homogenous. Each area of town reflects the individuality of its residents. More established parts of town reflect and nurture the community’s proud history while building for future generations.

Just Outside Omaha

Attractions in Ashland, Gretna, Waterloo, Blair, Bennington, Elkhorn, Valley • Strategic Air and Space Museum • Ak-Sar-Ben Aquarium and Nature Center • Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari and Conservation Park

Northwest Omaha

Northwest Omaha is an expanding area for new development and homes. Kids of all ages flock to Tranquility Park for hockey practice and recreational ice skating. Its rolling hills are a rest from the built-up sectors further east. Attractions in Northwest Omaha • Standing Bear Lake • Lake Cunningham • Tranquility Park and Ice Rink • Champions Club

The Cox Classic at Champions Club

november | december | 2008


Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Your Home Worth? The housing market might be in a bit of a slump, but Omaha homeowners and buyers can take some comfort in knowing they still get a lot of bang for their buck! Compare these three

homes in similar markets. All three boast great amenities, great curb appeal, newer construction and almost identical list prices. Advantage Omaha? Much more square footage!

Omaha metro home listing: 4 bedroom, two-story home with 4 baths, 3-car garage, 3,898 finished square feet, built in 2002, listed at $300,000. MLS# 20815625 9408 Edna St. La Vista, NE Agent: Charlotte Smith, CBSHome, (402) 677-9279 or Charlotte.Smith@cbshome. com MLS Description: Awesome better than new Gateway Homes W/O 2 sty. 9â&#x20AC;&#x2122; ceils on main & fin bsmt., 2-sty tile entry to kit, oak flrs kit/dinette, staggered cabs w/ under counter lighting, WI pantry, tile counters & backsplash, BI oven cooktop, island bar & pull out trash. FR has stone FP w/2 BI cabs (exclude flat screen). Beautiful bsmt w/lge wet bar w/dishwasher, glass cab fronts, pull out trash, fridge, tile & wine rack. Lge master w/FP, recessed lighting, vault ceiling & WI closet. Priced below assessed value.

Tuscon home listing: 4 bedroom, 2-story home with 2.5 baths, 3-car garage, 2,400 finished square feet, built in 2000, taking offers from $299,900. MLS#20826646 185 N. Desert Stream Dr. Tuscon, AZ Agent: Brian Connelly, Long Realty, (520)235-2589 MLS description: Model home in great shape-Upgrades include ceramic tile floors and countertops, hickory cabinets, cultured marble baths. Balcony off master with spectacular mountain sunset views. 10 minutes from Downtown and UofA.

Atlanta, Georgia metro home listing: 5 bedroom, 2-story home with 3.5 baths, 2-car garage, 2,700 FSF, built in 2002, listed at $300,000. MLS#3764157 156 Vine Creek Dr. Acworth, Georgia Agent: Laura Josel, Jenny Pruitt & Associates, Realtors, (404)210-0844,


november | december | 2008

Southwest Omaha

Southwest Omaha is the address of choice for residents choosing the Millard School District. This, combined with many newer housing choices and recreational options make it particularly appealing. Attractions in Southwest Omaha • Lake Zorinsky • Wehrspann Lake • Walnut Grove Park • Chalco Hills Recreation Area

West Central Omaha

Proximity to Westroads and Von Maur are just two of the benefits to West Central Omaha. The West Dodge Express Lanes have made traffic oh-so-much easier. Attractions in West Central Omaha • Jewish Community Center • Boys Town • Numerous golf courses

Father Flanagan Statue at Boys Town

november | december | 2008


Omaha Community Playhouse


World Class chauffeured service

Offering transportation for any size group Proms, Weddings, Special Olympics, College World Series, Berkshire Hathaway Stockholders Meeting and any other Special Ocassion. 402.934.5466 • 1.866.762.6885 RG8

november | december | 2008

For over 80 years, the Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) has presented an exceptional range of plays and musicals while offering unique educational programming for adults and children interested in the performing arts. The OCP is the largest community theatre in the United States in terms of facility size, subscription membership base, season size, and volunteers. Each season over 2,000 volunteers work alongside a professional staff of 35. They not only supplement the organization’s work force, but bring creative energy and talent to the theatre – and ultimately the community. The Omaha Community Playhouse features two state-of-the-art performance spaces. The 601-seat Mainstage Auditorium proscenium theatre features comfortable, stadium-style seating, advanced visual technology and acoustic excellence – a perfect environment to present our larger productions. The Howard Drew Theatre is a “black box” theatre. Depending on the production’s specific scenic/stage requirements, the flexible risers allow for audiences of between 200 and 230. The intimate surroundings are ideal for more progressive, avant garde scripts. The OCP also features a large rehearsal hall, dance studio, costume shop, scene shop, classrooms, Green Room, and a new beautifully-landscaped outdoor plaza. Founded in 1924, the Playhouse quickly established a pattern of steady growth paralleling Omaha’s own development. Now a cultural landmark and icon of Omaha, the Playhouse has become known as a place where people could practice their avocation - fostering the artistic talents from people throughout the community. Hollywood legends Dorothy Brando (Marlon’s mother), Henry Fonda, Dorothy McGuire, and Jane Fonda as well as Broadway stars Kevyn Morrow and Tony Award winner John Lloyd-Young honed their talents on our stage. American painter Grant Wood shared his talent with the Playhouse, designing one of the Playhouse’s early production’s sets.

Bellevue and Sarpy County

Bellevue and Sarpy County are well known as the home of Offutt Air Force Base. The population is growing and so are the services, such as shopping with the new Shadow Lake Towne Center on Highway 370 and 72nd Street. Attractions in Bellevue/Sarpy County • Olde Town Bellevue • Offutt Air Force Base • Sarpy County Museum • Bellevue University • Bellevue Little Theater

Ralston, LaVista and Papillion

Ralston/LaVista and Papillion are moving from bedroom communities to business centers in their own right, particularly LaVista. A large PayPal center is located in LaVista as well as Oriental Trading Company. Attractions in Ralston/LaVista/Papillion • Papio Bay Aquatic Center • Walnut Creek Lake • LaVista Sports Complex • Seymour Smith Park • Cabela’s

North Omaha

North Omaha has many homes built in important architectural styles. Its African-American heritage is rich; it is the birthsite of an important figure in our nation’s history: Malcolm X. Attractions in North Omaha • The historic Florence neighborhood • Historical Society of Douglas County • Great Plains Black History Museum • Malcolm X Birthsite • Urban League Family Resource Center • Mormon Trail Center • Omaha Home for Boys • Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus

South Omaha

South Omaha is where you’ll find several pockets of immigrant communities. You have the Little Italy neighborhood, with a group of newly built townhomes reflecting this history. Then there is the Eastern European flavor remaining on some of the business names near the Livestock Exchange Building. In more recent generations, a Latino flavor is ours to enjoy in the authentic restaurants and Mexican grocery store. Attractions in South Omaha • Sokol Hall • Grace University • Mount Vernon Gardens • Henry Doorly Zoo • Chicano Awareness Center • El Museo Latino • Lauritzen Gardens – Omaha’s Botanical Center • Metropolitan Community College’s South Omaha Campus

november | december | 2008


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

Duchesne Academy 3601 Burt Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402) 558-3800

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

Hunting in nebraska

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


SmaLL Game (pheasant, duck, quail) Oct. 25-Jan. 31 FaLL TuRkey SeaSON Archery – Oct. 1-Dec. 31 (closed Nov. 15-23) Shotgun – Oct. 11–Dec. 31 (closed Nov.15-23) WhiTe TaiL, muLe DeeR SeaSON Archery – Sept. 15-Nov. 14 & Nov. 24-Dec. 31 Rifle - Nov. 15-Nov. 23


SmaLL Game PeRmiT Resident - $14 (annual) Non-resident - $81 (annual) Non-resident - $36 (2-day) TuRkey PeRmiT Resident - $24 (annual) Non-resident - $86 DeeR PeRmiT Resident - $28 (annual) Non-resident - $178 For a full list of hunting preserves, visit the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission website,


november | december | 2008

photo by Patrick Drickey, Stonehouse Publishing Co.

Council Bluffs, Iowa

Our neighbor to the east is an attractive option for many with its proximity to downtown Omaha and lower taxes. Attractions in Council Bluffs: • Wabash Trace Nature Trail • Lake Manawa State Park • Ameristar and Harrah’s Casino Hotels • Horseshoe Council Bluffs Casino & Hotel • Mid-America Center • Bass Pro Shops

Great Places to Live

Omaha has no shortage of brand-new McMansions with enough square footage for a reality show. These homes are simply breathtaking with equally spectacular landscaping. Seasoned sub-neighborhoods are in demand for many Omahans looking for established character and location not so far west or northwest. Some of these neighborhoods are: Dundee was once its own municipality. The heart of Dundee is 50th & Underwood – it’s a charming neighborhood of brick exterior homes and a business district of small shops, restaurants and an art movie theater. Fontenelle Hills in Bellevue is a tucked-away treasure in Sarpy County for many USSTRATCOM officers stationed at Offutt Air Force Base. It has its own golf course. Mature trees add to its appeal. Happy Hollow is just west of Dundee. With large yards and curving boulevards lined with old-fashioned streetlights with hanging planters, Happy Hollow is one of the most desirable zip codes in Omaha. Regency, a now-established neighborhood, contains some of Omaha’s most famous homes – the Witherspoon Mansion, the Watanabe mansion (soon to be demolished) and the Willy Theisen mansion. Theisen, of Godfather’s Pizza fame, no longer lives in the home, but the moniker remains. infoUSA founder Vin Gupta lives in Regency. Regency is part of a larger planned community that includes an office park and upscale shopping center. It is right in the middle of town and convenient to the interstate. Other great established neighborhoods: Gold Coast, Rockbrook, Keystone, Saddle Creek/Leavenworth, Westgate, Miracle Hills and Eagle Run. We don’t have space to mention the many more fabulous neighborhoods to discover.

november | december | 2008


Gobble, Gobble... at your own risk! (Source: Nebraska State Historical Society website)

Thanksgiving in Omaha, 1909

Nearly a month before the official Thanksgiving holiday in 1909, the Omaha Daily News published mayor James Dahlman’s plea for what he called a “sane Thanksgiving.” The News said on October 24: “Mayor Dahlman will not issue an official proclamation for a sane Thanksgiving but he is passing the tip out to his confidential constituents.” “’Unquestionably, men, women and children go to extremes in an observance of Thanksgiving day in some instances and it is about time their attention should be called to it,’ said Mayor Dahlman. ‘The real insanity of the day usually lies in the fact that people gorge themselves with turkey and cranberries to the detriment of their health, and as much indigestion follows Thanksgiving as burns and maimed limbs after the Fourth.’ “The mayor believes that temperance at the dinner table on Thanksgiving day will be conducive of a sane observance of the day. He thinks that the turkey and trimmings should be made to last over into an a la hash for the next day. Too much turkey in the stomach at one time, he says, is like too much of any other stuff. “Health Commissioner Connell was too busy with contagious diseases Saturday to give an expert opinion on ‘too much turkey,’ although he flippantly opined that a sane Thanksgiving day would result in the salvation of the digestive systems of many people.” The News must have realized that Omahans intended to indulge themselves despite Dahlman’s warning. An article on November 22 advised readers of the cost of grocery items in a typical Thanksgiving market basket in 1909: “Thanksgiving turkey will cost about 25 cents a pound if the weather turns warm, but about 30 cents if it gets colder, say the retailers. Turkey today is retailing at 27 l/2 cents a pound. This is the highest price that has obtained in Thanksgiving week for many years. The wholesale price is 22 cents. Duck is 17 l/2 cents a pound at retail and goose 14 l/2 cents.” Other Thanksgiving items and their


november | december | 2008

costs listed by the News: Pumpkin, ten cents a can; cranberries, ten cents a quart; celery, five cents a stalk; and sweet potatoes, one dollar per bushel.

More Fun Thanksgiving Facts

The average person consumes 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. (Now that’s a lot of turkey!) Turkey is the traditional dish for the Thanksgiving feast. In the U.S., about 280 million turkeys are sold for the Thanksgiving celebrations. There is no official reason or declaration for the use of turkey. They just happened to be the most plentiful meat available at the time of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, starting the tradition. The first U.S. Thanksgiving was held between 21 September and 11 November 1621 in Massachusetts by 50 Plymouth Pilgrims and their 90 Wampanoag neighbors. After that, Thanksgiving was held fairly randomly. Thanksgiving days were proclaimed annually by the US Congress from 1777 to 1783 which, except for 1782, were all celebrated in December. George Washington declared Thanksgiving in 1789 and 1795, and John Adams in 1798 and 1799. James Madison declared Thanksgiving twice in 1815. None of these were celebrated in the autumn. The next national Thanksgiving was declared only in April 1862, by Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, he declared Thanksgiving for 6 August, and for the last Thursday in November. He went on to declare a similar Thanksgiving observance in 1864, establishing a precedent that was followed by Andrew Johnson in 1865 and by every subsequent president. After a few deviations of the day of celebration - Thanksgiving was held on 7 December in 1865, and 18 November in 1869 - the last Thursday in November was proclaimed as the national Thanksgiving day, but still not a officially holiday. Thanksgiving remained a

custom unsanctified by law until President Roosevelt signed a bill on 26 November 1941 that established the fourth Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving public holiday. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird. Domesticated turkeys cannot fly, however wild turkeys can fly up to 55 miles per hour over short distances. The cranberry got its name because the pale pink blossoms on the plant resembled a crane’s head and neck. The name craneberry stuck, eventually becoming cranberry. Fresh cranberries are ideal for cranberry sauce. Cranberries of the highest quality will always bounce! (If you try this at home, please wash the cranberries before eating.) Turducken, a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken, is becoming more popular in Thanksgiving (originated in Louisiana). A turducken is a de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken. The cavity of the chicken and the rest of the gaps are filled with, at the very least, a highly seasoned breadcrumb mixture (although some versions have a different stuffing for each bird). There are regional differences as to the “stuffing” (or “dressing”) traditionally served with the turkey. Southerners generally make theirs from cornbread, while in other parts of the country white bread is the base. One or several of the following may be added: oysters, apples, chestnuts, raisins, celery and/ or other vegetables, sausage or the turkey’s giblets. More than 40 million green bean casseroles are served on Thanksgiving. Twenty percent of cranberries eaten are eaten on Thanksgiving.

Downtown Omaha

Downtown Omaha is the cultural and arts center of the Metro. Those who want to live and play close to the action look at the loft condominiums in the Old Market. Attractions in Downtown Omaha: • Joslyn Art Museum • Omaha Children’s Museum • Creighton University • Orpheum Theater • Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts • KANEKO • The Durham Museum • The Rose • The Old Market

Gene Leahy Mall in Downtown Omaha

To Eppley Airfield


Downtown Omaha

River City Star


Miller's Landing Park








In Play

Hampton Inn

Homewood Suites

Holiday Inn


Fairfield Inn


Riverfront Trail













Gallup University Campus



Hot Shops


Metro Area Transit

Riverfront Place

BURT Slowdown / Film Streams

Creighton University Baseball Complex


Levee Trail

Creighton University

Missouri River Pedestrian Bridge

National Park Service

Creighton University Medical Center

Creighton University Morrison Soccer Stadium




Qwest Center Omaha



Omaha Marina

Hilton Omaha Hotel



Music Hall

Zorinsky Federal Bldg.

Mancuso Hall

Central High School

First Nat'l Bank "Pioneer Courage" Park


First Nat'l Tower

Federal Bldg.

Enclave at the Brandeis Woodmen Tower

W. Dale Clark Library

Central Park Plaza

Gene Leahy Mall

FARNAM 1600 Farnam

Omaha / Douglas Civic Center Hall of Justice



Heartland of America Park and Fountain

The Paxton

Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau

Landmark Center

Nebraska State Bldg.

Redick Hotel

Regis Condos


O.P.P.D. Energy Plaza

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce

Orpheum Theatre


Omaha Police Headquarters

Omaha Fire Department

The Old Market

Embassy Suites





1101 Jackson Blue Barn Theatre





Residence Inn








Greyhound Bus Depot

Liberty School





a Iow ka s bra


ConAgra Campus

HOWARD Magnolia Hotel

Omaha Childrens Museum




Heartland Pedestrian Bridge

Burlington Bldg. / Nebr. Arts Council





Beebe and Runyan Lofts Courtyard by Marriot

FARNAM The Rose Theater

Federal Reserve


902 Dodge

Hilton Garden Inn

Holland Performing Arts Center


Scottish Rite


1024 Dodge

DODGE Omaha WorldHerald

Union Pacific


Hruska Courthouse

Wall Street Tower

"Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness" Park

First Nat'l Tower Plaza


First Nat'l Bank St. Mary Magdalene


DoubleTree Hotel





Trinity Cathedral



Rick's Cafe Boatyard

Omaha World-Herald Freedom Center



Joslyn Art Museum


First National Bank Technology Center


Omaha Civic Auditorium



Lewis and Clark Landing Martin Luther King Pedestrian Bridge

Seemann Stadium


Boys Town National Research Hospital

UP Harriman Center


Corrections Center

The KANECKO Bemis Center for Contemp. Arts



Durham Museum



Rows at SoMa

Map prepared by: Metropolitan Area Planning Agency 2222 Cuming St., Omaha, NE 68102 (402) 444-6866

To Lauritzen Botannical Gardens Rosenblatt Stadium Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

Map Date: 7/08

november | december | 2008


Mercy high School 1501 S. 48 St. omaha, ne 68106 553-9424

duchesne academy of the Sacred heart


this site lists all catholic schools in the omaha archdiocese: FolloWinG are the catholic hiGh SchoolS:

Bishop neumann high School 202 South linden Wahoo, ne 68066 443-4151

coed Junior/Senior high School in Saunders county.

creighton preparatory School 7400 Western ave. omaha, ne 68114 402-393-1190

omaha’s Jesuit all-Boys high School Since 1878.

St. peter claver cristo rey catholic high School 5301 S. 36 St. omaha, ne 68107 734-1802

district office 715-8200

papillion/laVista public Schools

all-girls educational community sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.

office of Student Services 537-6214

Mount Michael Benedictine high School

ralston public Schools

Friedel Jewish academy

Wahoo public Schools

PRIVATe, ReLIGIOuS SCHOOLS abundant life lutheran School

22520 Mount Michael road elkhorn, ne 68022 289-2541

a five-day boarding and day school for boys grades 9-12.

roncalli catholic high School 6401 Sorensen parkway omaha, ne 68152 571-7670

administrative office: 331-4700

district office: 443-3051

Westside district 66 enrollment office 390-2107

V.J. and angela Skutt catholic high School

Montessori children’s room

coed high school founded in 1993.

400 n. happy hollow Blvd. omaha, ne 68132 556-3772

PRIVATe, NON-ReLIGIOuS SCHOOLS Brownell-talbot School

private, independent, coed college prep day school. Founded in 1863, serves students preschool through 12th grade.

MonteSSori SchoolS:

Montessori children’s room 7302 Burt St. omaha, ne 68114 551-1440

7700 S 43rd St Bellevue, ne 68147 734-2007

PuBLIC SCHOOLS: omaha public Schools Student placement office 557-2710

Founded in 1985, Mcr is licensed as a preschool and a certified elementary school.

a coed, college-prep high school educating students in Marianist tradition.

Bellevue public Schools

Montessori educational centers, inc.

duchesne academy of the Sacred heart

3601 Burt St. omaha, ne 68131 558-3800 all-girls school established in 1881, one of 21 network of Sacred heart Schools in the u.S.

Marian high School

7400 Military ave. omaha, ne 68134 571-2618 nebraska’s only class a, catholic, north central accredited college prep school for girls, founded in 1955.

Welcome center: 293-4000

Bennington public Schools district office 238-3044

Blair public Schools district office: 426-2610

elkhorn public Schools district information: 289-2579

Fort calhoun public Schools district office 468-5596

Gretna public Schools

administrative office: 332-3265


november | december | 2008

a WolSa School. WolSa (the Wider omaha lutheran School association) is a recognized Service organization (rSo) of the lutheran church Missouri Synod (lc-MS).

1400 harvell drive Bellevue, ne 68005 291-0616

3131 S. 156 St. omaha, ne 68130 333-0818

omaha public Schools

3504 S. 108th Street omaha, ne 68114 592-8005

Bellevue christian academy

a coed high school founded in traditions of the delaSalle christian Brothers & notre dame Sisters.

college prep for low-income students of all faiths. as part of the cristo rey network, students at omaha’s St. peter claver cristo rey catholic high School will participate in work-study internships that finance their education and give them real-world job experience.

Gross catholic high School

Millard public Schools

Seven omaha locations serving various age groups ranging from infant house (6 weeks and up) to Kopecky elementary serving preschool up to 6th Grade.

Montessori parents’ co-op for children, inc. 2616 S. 30th Street omaha, ne 68105 345-2001

Serving children in age from 18 months to 12 years.

Montessori learning center of dundee

K-8 christ-centered education.

Bread of life lutheran School 1821 n 90th St omaha, ne 68134 391-3505

a WolSa School. WolSa (the Wider omaha lutheran School association) is a recognized Service organization (rSo) of the lutheran church Missouri Synod (lc-MS).

concordia Junior/Senior high School 15656 Fort St. omaha, ne 68116 445-4000

a WolSa School. WolSa (the Wider omaha lutheran School association) is a recognized Service organization (rSo) of the lutheran church Missouri Synod (lc-MS).

cornerstone christian

3704 370 plz. Bellevue, ne 68123 292-1030 Founded in 1984, christian school for K-8.

Friedel Jewish academy 335 S 132nd St omaha, ne 68154 334-0517

independent, coeducational Jewish day school for children K to 6. hot Kosher lunch and/or milk programs are available daily. Welcoming reformed, conservative and orthodox families.

Gethsemane lutheran

5103 capitol ave. omaha, ne 68132 558-6018

4040 n. 108 St. omaha, ne 68164 493-2549

Full day or kindergarten program for children ages 2 1⁄2 - 6.

christ-centered education grades pre-K through 8.

Mt. calvary lutheran School

1110 n. 66 St. omaha, ne 68132 558-1546

omaha christian academy 5612 l St. omaha, ne 68117 399-9565

parent-run, interdenominational, K-12 plus preschool.

omaha Memorial School of Seventh-day adventists

Girls and Boys town

SPeCIAL eDuCATION SCHOOLS Girls and Boys town

13603 Flanagan Blvd. Boys town, ne 68010 admissions office: 498-1900 or (800) 989-0000.

K-8 coed school.

Youth admitted to Girls and Boys town have experienced severe individual and/or family difficulties. Some have been involved in the juvenile justice system or the social service system. Family-style treatment setting.

St paul lutheran School

cooper Village

840 n. 72 St. omaha, ne 68114 397-4642

5020 Grand ave. omaha, ne 68104 451-2865

8502 Mormon Bridge Blvd. omaha, ne 68152 457-1373

K-8 school.

psychiatric residential and day programs for boys 12-18 with acute mental health, behavioral or substance abuse needs. located on a working farm in the rolling hills of omaha. optional spiritual programs.

trinity christian School 15555 W. dodge rd. omaha, ne 68154 330-5724

Madonna School

K-8 interdenominational school founded in 1989.

for $avings

omaha hearing School for children

5529 leavenworth St. omaha, ne 68106 551-7020 lutheran school serving grades K-8.

6402 n. 71 plz. omaha, ne 68104 457-7857

Founded in 1952, the omaha hearing School for children is an educational alternative for deaf and hard-of-hearing children in learning oral communication skills.

phoenix academy day School

n a t i o n a l l y re c o g n i ze d

rockbrook Village Shopping center 11060 oak St. omaha, ne 68144 390-0556

as one of the t o p t h re e r o l l e r r i n k s i n t h e U.S .

Fun Pas s

the phoenix academy day School is for students who have experienced difficulties in reading, spelling, writing and math at their previous schools. Students typically spend one to two years at this remediation school. its goal is to get children out of special-ed classes and back to their regular school.


uta halee Girls Village

With one paid Roller Skate, Playdazium, Lazer Runner, or Rock Climbing Wall Admission. One free person per coupon. Not valid with other discounts or Fridays after 6 pm. Skate rental extra.Exp 2/28/2009

10625 calhoun omaha, ne 68112 457-1308

w w w. s k a t e d a ze . c o m 3616 S . 132 n d St. 402 .333.3555

psychiatric residential and day programs for girls 12-18 with acute mental health, behavioral or substance abuse needs. includes equineassisted psychotherapy and optional spiritual programs.

Visiting Omaha?

private christian school for students with cognitive and other developmental disabilities.

omaha Metro public School districts the school district map to the right is simply a graphical representation and subject to change. please check with the individual school districts for complete up-to-date information.

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cover: Betiana and todd Simon

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november/december 2008 VOLUME 1 • I SSU E 1 publisher

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november/december | 2008

Corey Ross

A Gala For One and All


ou only get a chance to be new once. For Omaha Magazine, that was 25 years ago. In that time, Omaha Magazine has become the definitive city magazine of Omaha with its expansive coverage of local culture and profiles of Omaha personalities. That coverage has, on occasion, included the Omaha non-profit community, but the magazine hasn’t had a regular section devoted to it – until now. This month, Omaha Magazine turns a new page with the debut of Gala, a publication dedicated entirely to coverage of Omaha’s charity and society scene. The word “gala” means “a festive celebration,” which is exactly what Gala is. It’s a festive celebration of all that goes on in the Omaha charitable community. Depending on the source, Omaha is routinely rated in the top 10, or even top five, when it comes to ranking the nation’s most philanthropic cities. Omahans truly know what it means to give back. As the former editor of One Magazine, I’ve witnessed and documented Omahans’ generosity for more than five years. The city’s ability to support such a wide range of organizations and causes never ceases to amaze me. There are a lot of good people behind that good work whose pictures you sometimes see but whose stories often go untold. Gala is going to introduce you to a lot of those people and many others who give their time and money to causes they truly believe in. Much of the current coverage in this domain is after the fact, but Gala will always be looking forward to events coming up, people being honored and

those making a difference today – and tomorrow – in our city. That said, Gala will still provide the event photos that people know and love, but the thrust of the magazine will always be forward, giving information at a time when it’s most valuable to charitable organizations and those who support them. This month’s profile of cover couple Betiana and Todd Simon is an ideal example of what you can expect from Gala. The Simons are supporters of many charitable organizations in Omaha, including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, which has its annual auction on Nov. 22. The story delves into the art backgrounds of both Todd and Betiana, their work in the community and, in particular, their support of the Bemis and Film Streams. Todd’s passion for photography was the inspiration behind this month’s cover shoot, which was beautifully executed by Scott Drickey of minorwhite studios. The photos compliment the story wonderfully and illustrate the couple’s artistic relationship. Also included in this issue is a Q & A with Mavis Leno, wife of comedian Jay Leno, who will appear at the debut event for the YWCA’s guild on Nov. 12. She’s one of several outstanding speakers who will come to Omaha in the next year that we’ll gladly introduce you to in advance. In the further interest of education, you’ll find a notebook-style column written by yours truly on page 52 that gives timely tidbits about future charitable events. This section and our calendar are where you, dear reader, can help me the most. Event information can be sent to or called in to 884.2039. Any help you can give is appreciated. This is one Gala you’re all invited to. And the best part is that the party is just getting started.

november/december | 2008


cover story

Photos by Scott Drickey, Story by Corey Ross Dresses by Mary Ann Vaccaro Styled by Rick and David

Candid Couple Betiana and Todd Simon share a love of the arts and are dedicated to shaping the future of at least two local arts organizations – the Bemis and Film Streams


hile his wife was changing in and out of elegant dresses for an August cover shoot for this magazine, Todd Simon made only one wardrobe change. It was subtle, but significant. At first glance, it seemed Simon had simply traded one plain back T-shirt for another, but then it was revealed that the second shirt made more than a fashion statement. Across the front, the shirt said, “Fear No Art.” This seemingly simple statement carries a lot of meaning to Simon and embodies the art philosophy of this avid art collector and long-time supporter of local arts organizations. “Fear No Art has a lot to do with ideas,” says Simon, of the Omaha Steaks Simon family. “One of the things that makes America so great is that we can have a free and open discussion about just about anything. We shouldn’t be fearful of differences and new ideas. We should be willing to embrace them.” Simon sees this as a no-risk proposition. “Just because something is in our consciousness doesn’t mean we have to address it or necessarily do anything about it, but we shouldn’t actively seek to push anything


november/december | 2008

out of our consciousness. “Fear No Art means to bring into your consciousness any idea and try it on for size. If it doesn’t work out, that’s cool.” Among local arts organizations, Simon says the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, which he has supported since its inception, is perhaps the most fearless. “I think the Bemis does embody that. It’s a place where risks can be taken and where it’s very bottom up, so a lot of the things that happen there are generated by the community or within the community.” The Bemis will hold its popular annual art auction on Nov. 22. The event offers an array of art produce locally, nationally and even internationally for purchase and is the Bemis’ largest annual fundraiser. For the first time in eight years, Simon will be in attendance as something other than the president of the Bemis board of directors. Simon recently moved into a vice president role and says he’ll be focusing on fundraising for the Bemis to help it build for the future. “We’ve gone through a planning process and decided what the organization will look like in 10 years,” Simon says. “We’ve decided we have some capital requirements for improving the facility and improving programming.” While Todd helps shape the future of the Bemis, his wife,

november/december | 2008


cover story

Betiana, is actively involved with Film Streams, Omaha’s first independent movie theater. She serves on its board and its educational committee. Betiana says the couple’s work in the community (Todd also works with the United Way and Omaha Community Foundation, among others) has helped bring them closer together since being married two years ago. “Todd and I enjoy, really enjoy serving the community through our involvement in the arts,” she says. “We’ve had so many wonderful experiences together involving the arts that I couldn’t even count them.” Rachel Jacobson, executive director of Film Streams, says both Simons bring enthusiasm, creativity and complete commitment to any cause they support, but particularly the arts. “They are passionate about making this a more vibrant cultural community,” Jacobson says. “And it’s not just about money with them. They’ve got really good ideas behind their philanthropy, which is part of what makes them so fun to work with.” For example, when the Simons made a donation to Film Streams last year through their foundation, they gave it in the form of 100 gift theater memberships for others they felt would become robust supporters of Film Streams. Jacobson was delighted. “That’s truly a gift that keeps on giving,” she says. Jacobson says both Simons, and Todd in particular, are catalysts for change. “He lives with this constant momentum and is always seeking change, new ideas and innovation,” Jacobson says. “That motivates everyone around him.” Todd and Betiana came by their respective art interests through different avenues. Growing up in Argentina, much of Betiana’s art exposure was hands-on. She dabbled in drawing and painting for the pure joy of creativity as a child before choosing to study art in college at Dana College in Blair and Creighton University. Todd’s exposure was more broad based. Besides being known for its saavy marketing of meats, the Simon family is also known for its appreciation of the arts. Todd recalls seeing “The Nutcracker” ballet as a child and being taken to the opera in junior high as some of his first artistic experiences, along with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


november/december | 2008

Todd says his parents expressed neither prejudice nor preference for his artistic preferences, only encouragement and opportunity. “When I was 10 years old, my mom started enrolling me in weekend arts classes. Ree Schonlau (now Kaneko) was one of my first teachers when she had the Craftsman’s Gallery in the Old Market. I took ceramics classes there, and took some classes at Joslyn. “When I was in college (at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia), I took four years of independent study art classes in photography. That really got me interested in photography, which is one of the reasons I collect it today.” He also produces it. Photography is Todd’s preferred creative outlet, while Betiana gravitates toward painting and drawing. When it comes to collecting, Todd says the couple has similar tastes but they retain their own preferences. “Several things in our collection are things that Betiana spotted out of the corner of her eye at events, so she’s got a great eye for these things,” Todd says. One of their shared art experiences this year was a trip to Telluride, Colo., for the Telluride Film Festival, of which Omaha Steaks is a sponsor. Film Streams' Jacobson says the Simons sent her written critiques of each film, and she looks forward to their input. “I definitely take their advice on what’s good,” she says, adding that Todd and Betiana are usually in agreement. Locally, Betiana, who’s taking a film class at UNO, calls her work with Film Streams “rewarding.” “Being on the board of Film Streams is the best education I could ever get for how to make a contribution to the Omaha community,” she says. “I’m learning so much from my fellow board members and I’m inspired by their leadership.” Todd expresses similar appreciation for those who’ve made Omaha’s current cultural growth possible. “I think Omaha is exploding right now from a cultural perspective. Between the Holland Center, The Kaneko, Film Streams, the Bemis expansion… We’ve got a lot of great things going on here,” he says. “I applaud the vision of the community leaders that made these things happen, because the if-you-build-it-they-will-come model seems to have worked very well for Omaha.” And it has all been done with a spirit Todd Simon can truly admire – fearless.

Mary Warner "Spiderman"

This Year’s Buzz is Tenfold!

Bemis’ Art Auction Preview Exhibition and 10th Annual Art Auction By Sandy Lemke This year marks the 10th year of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’ Preview Exhibition and Arts Auction.

It’s always exciting to see the preview. Up for auction are works from former Artists-In-Residence, regional, national and international artists This year’s featured artists: Therman Statom, John Buck, Red Grooms, Nic Nicosia, Lesley Dill, Mary Zicafoose and Jun Kaneko. Robert Duncan, art aficionado and longtime Bemis supporter says of the auction, “It’s a happening event. Nothing comes close to it – it’s a lot of fun people and we have a fun time. We have gone every year

since it started. We bought our first Jun Kaneko piece at a Bemis auction.” The annual Art Auction is The Bemis’ main fundraiser. It is a prime opportunity to acquire contemporary pieces from some of the world’s most highly celebrated talent. The auction is a chance to support Omaha’s culture, the Bemis’ goals, and bring original art into your workspace or home. Said Mark Masuoka, Executive Director of the Bemis, "After 10 years, the Bemis Art Auction is still the most anticipated art event of the season." Absentee bids are accepted. Pieces may be purchased in advance of the auction. Call 342-7130 for more details. What: The Bemis Center’s annual art auction When: Nov. 22, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Where: 12th and Leavenworth streets Admission: $25 Member; $35 Non-Member Major artists: Therman Statom, John Buck, Red Grooms, Nic Nicosia, Lesley Dill, Mary Zicafoose and Jun Kaneko.

Every story written by women, for women, from a woman’s point of view.


november/december | 2008


behind the mic... mavis leno By Corey Ross

No Laughing Matter Mavis Leno, wife of comedian Jay Leno and advocate for the rights of women in Afghanistan, will appear at the first event for the YWCA’s new guild in November.


esides being the wife of comedian and “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno, Mavis Leno is known as a strong advocate for women’s rights around the world, particularly in Afghanistan. Leno has made it her mission to speak for the Afghan women who have been silenced by the Taliban. On Nov. 12, Leno will bring her message to Omaha. She’ll appear at the

Paint the Town Orange with Awareness & Equality patron luncheon, the first event for the YWCA’s new guild, at the downtown Embassy Suites. Q. how and when did this become your cause? What first raised your awareness of the situation and what caused you to act? a. I’m a lifelong feminist and in 1997, I decided I wanted to become more active. I joined the Feminist Majority, which is a really pro-active feminist group. At the first meeting, the topic was Afghanistan, which had been taken over by the Taliban the year before. What happened over there was under-reported here to the point of invisibility. The Taliban had taken over and had issued their edicts, which basically dwelled on what Afghan women could and couldn’t do. Basically, they could do nothing. Women who the day before the Taliban took over had been teaching in universities and doing surgeries and serving in elected positions were essentially put under house arrest. The Taliban came in and pointed guns at them and said that women could work in Afghanistan no longer. They were told to go home and put on their burkas and not come out unless accompanied by a man. It was a body blow to the entire population because suddenly, all these women who were helping run the country were suddenly out of work. When I heard about it, I said, “I’m taking this on. I have no idea how, but I’m going to get women rolling on this.”


november/december | 2008

Q. how have you helped? What differences have you been able to make? A. We’ve made huge progress. The first year of the campaign, when our hands were really tied because we couldn’t get grants or press, (through advocacy) we were able to halt the building of a major gas pipeline in Afghanistan by (an American energy company). The country’s treatment of women was one of the reasons. (Leno testified before Congress about gender apartheid in Afghanistan). That was a big help because with that pipeline, the Taliban would’ve had the money to make 10 times the trouble. Q. and you’ve also personally contributed money to this cause? a. Yes, Jay and I donated $100,000 to start a foundation to end apartheid in Afghanistan. We held an event and invited celebrities and the press. That brought a stampede of response from women all over the country. We had some phone lines and a web site set up. The state department told us they got more letters on Afghanistan than any other human rights issue. (The funds raised) have let us bring over young Afghan women to complete their schooling and provide scholarships and housing.

Q. Have you been to Afghanistan?


A. No. The country has become more and more dangerous. The idea of me going to Afghanistan would make Jay really scared, so I haven’t done it.

Heart Hea ea a to of f th the he O Orient ient en

Q. What are the biggest problems the country faces now?

Presented by: The Nebraska Medical Center and UNMC Physicians

A. They have the highest maternal and infant mortality rates on earth because the country is so rural and has so many inaccessible villages. We’ve set up programs for women to be trained as midwives. The mortality rate of mother and child is horrific and can easily be taken care of.

February 7, 2009 Embassy Suites, La Vista

To purchase a table please contact Tina Foehlinger 346-0771 x 26 or

Q. How would you like the next U.S. president to assist? A. I would like to see us put enough peace keepers on the ground to control the drug lords and so forth, and help rebuild the infrastructure of the country so it can function again.

2009 Honorary Chairs: Bruce and Deb Grewcock 2009 Co-chairs: Mike and Carol McGlade Drs. Dan and Karoline Anderson Scott and Karla Cassels

Q. How supportive has Jay been of your work? A. Very supportive. We’ve been married for 28 years and he’s a great husband. Q. Is he as funny at home as is he is on TV? A. He’s very, very funny. It’s impossible to have an argument with him because he’ll say something so funny and I’ll just double over in laughter. By the time I’m done laughing, the whole point of the argument is gone. Q. How often do you speak publicly?


A. In the fall and winter, I’ll give four or five talks a month. Although I’ve never spoken to this YWCA before, I have spoken to other YWCAs and the work they do is very important for women. It’s inspiring, and I’m really pleased to be speaking to a YWCA again.




Old Market • Downtown • Riverfront

Plus | September/October 2007

arts & entertainment how i roll education the know-it-all in the office omaha! technology that’s what THEY said


BUY OMAHA Celebrating, Empowering, Inspiring... Profiles

the Women of Omaha.


Old Market Gallery Crawl Take a Poke Break with Dr. Yoo

LEGENDS OF HAIR David Scott, Rick Carey, Tom “Tino” Constantino, Heather Smalley, Claude Smith

Results are in!

MutualJeffofSchmid Omaha Bank’s and the Coffeehouse Banking Concept MAILED TO AND READ IN EVERY BUSINESS IN THE METRO!

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Background fabric provided by Textiles Inc.

For more information about the event, go to or call 345.6555. Behind the Mic, a Q & A with a speaker coming to Omaha, is regular feature of Gala. To nominate a speaker, call 884.2039 or email

2008 Ballot

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the scoop By Corey Ross

actor Will Smith with Chris gardner, who will appear at the 2009 D.J.’s heroes luncheon.


he Salvation Army has amassed an impressive lineup of speakers for its past D.J.’s Heroes luncheons and will add to that list in 2009 with speaker Christopher Gardner, the inspiration for the 2006 Will Smith movie “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Last year’s speaker, Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy, continued a tradition of strong speakers that has included baseball star Cal Ripken, Jr., Apollo 13 astronaut Jim Lovell and Andes plane crash survivor Nando Parrado. Each had an inspiring story to share, and Susan Eustice of The Salvation Army says Gardner’s story will again wow the luncheon crowd. Gardener overcame several obstacles to achieve success in life and the financial industry. He’s is now the CEO and owner of Christopher Gardner International Holdings. In the early 1980s, Gardner was at one point a homeless single parent; he’s now a successful businessman and passionate philanthropist. Gardner’s autobiography of the same name as the movie was a best-seller. “The focus of the luncheon is on unsung heroes and their impact on community, and Chris represents that model very well,” Eustice says. “His story is well known thanks to ‘The Pursuit of Happyness,’ and he’s a great dad. All those things made him a good fit for this.” The luncheon is named for D.J. Sokol, son of David and Peggy Sokol, who passed away from cancer at age 18. The Sokols have been strong supporters of The Salvation Army and other philanthropic endeavors. The D.J.’s Heroes Awards honor youths and one adult who’ve overcome obstacles to make a difference in the community. The teens each receive $5,000. The luncheon generates thousands of dollars in donations for The Salvation Army. Last year’s luncheon drew a standing room-only crowd at the Qwest Center. Eustice expects the 2009 luncheon on May 4 at the Qwest to be just as well attended. “I’m not sure we can squeeze many more people into that room,” she says, “but we’re certainly shooting for that number again.” The 2009 luncheon chairs will be Children’s Hospital CEO Gary Perkins and wife, Carol. To find out more information about the event, call 898.5908 or go to


november/december | 2008

the holiday items borsheims is selling for charity this year to benefit the autism action Partnership.

holiday Charity For the third straight year, Borsheims is producing a pair of holiday gift items that will benefit charity. One is a Santa Claus figurine that doubles as a gift card holder. The other is a sterling silver, quadruple-heart pendant. Both items will sell for $25, with $5 of each sale going directly to the newly named Autism Action Partnership, formerly the GWR Sunshine Foundation. Borsheims has previously partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Children’s Hospital to generate thousands of dollars for charity. Stephanie Morrison of Borsheims says each relationship has been beneficial in a unique way. “With each charity, you’re connecting with a different cause and reaching a different audience,” she says. “We’re really excited to partner with the Autism Action Partnership and help raise awareness.” Morrison says the chosen charities will always be local to ensure Borsheims is making a local impact. Bridget Cannon-Hale, Director of Programs for the Autism Action Partnership, says Borsheims’ support will have many benefits. “Not only will the proceeds help us expand some of our programs for families and children impacted by autism, but we hope that it will bring more public awareness about autism as well,” she says. Morrison says the items will be available for sale in the store at Regency Court and online at after Thanksgiving. Celebrity Chef The Omaha Food Bank has announced that the celebrity chef for this year’s Celebrity Chef Gala will be Cat Cora from Iron Chef America on the Food Network. The annual dinner, sponsored by ConAgra, will take place on Feb. 26, 2009, at the Holiday Inn. Items for The Scoop can be submitted to Corey Ross at 884.2039 or

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

november 6 ChriStmaS Caravan FOr the aSSiStanCe leagUe OF Omaha, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 342.4288. What it is: An annual tour of homes decorated in the spirit of the season by local florists. This year’s tour, the 34th for the Assistance League, will be of four homes in the Fairacres neighborhood. Where the money goes: Proceeds fund Assistance League programs, including Operation School which provides clothing for needy children in 13 area school districts. november 11 Santa’S PrevieW, thrOUgh nOv. 13, the nebraSka meDiCal Center’S ClarkSOn tOWer lObby, Nov. 11., 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Nov. 12, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Nov. 13, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 559.4197. What it is: A three-day Christmas boutique featuring unique gift items and holiday merchandise. Where the money goes: Proceeds support cancer care at The Nebraska Medical Center and the development of the Acute-In-Patient Rehabilitation Therapy Center. november 12 the yWCa’S Painting Omaha With aWareneSS anD eQUality, FeatUring maviS lenO, Downtown Embassy Suites, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 345.6555 or What it is: Painting Omaha with Awareness and Equality is the first event for the YWCA’s new guild, YW Partners. The week-long campaign includes a luncheon with Mavis Leno, wife of comedian Jay Leno and an advocate for women’s rights globally. Where the money goes: The YWCA’s programs, which seek to eliminate racism and empower women. november 14-15 OPera Omaha’S Wine Seller, Embassy Suites LaVista, 6:30 p.m. tasting and auction on the 14th, 6 p.m. dinner and

auction on the 15th, or 679.2004. What it is: The wine seller is an annual two-night event which includes: Friday night wine tasting and auctions, and Saturday night, the Best Chef’s of Omaha Dinner. Five local chefs collaborate to create the perfect meal paired with wines. Where the money goes: The Opera Omaha Guild raises funds for music educational programs in Omaha area schools. november 14 Sentimental JOUrney, a beneFit FOr the DUrham mUSeUm, 6 p.m., 444.5071. What it is: This annual dinner event celebrates The Durham. This year’s theme is “It’s a BIG Party!” and celebrates another outstanding year filled with many successes. Where the money goes: Funds collected support the museum’s 2009 programming. november 21 the thirD annUal mS Wine Walk, Shops of Legacy, 5:30-9 p.m., 505.4000. What it is: An evening of sipping and shopping. Guests sample wines at 14 participating stores in Legacy. Where the money goes: The MS Society supports research into the cure, prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis and provides programs and services to help improve the quality of life for those with MS. november 22 the 10th annUal bemiS Center FOr COntemPOrary artS art aUCtiOn, 5:30 to 10 p.m., Bemis Center, 12th and Leavenworth, 341.7130. What it is: An exhibition of regionally, nationally and even internationally produced art available for purchase. Jun Kaneko, Nic Nicosia and Mary Zicafoose are among the artists contributing to this year’s event.

Where the money goes: Proceeds from the auction go to the Bemis’ Sustaining Fund, which supports the Artist-in-Residence program. november 22 bergan merCy meDiCal Center’S CanDlelight ball, Embassy Suites LaVista, 6 p.m., 398.6199. What it is: A formal dinner that annually honors two outstanding Bergan physicians. This year’s honorees are James Connor, M.D., and Donald Kerr, M.D. Where the money goes: This event supports the Bergan Mercy Women’s Auxiliary. December 6 the 16th annUal night OF a thOUSanD StarS FOr nebraSka aiDS PrOJeCt, Holiday Inn, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 552.9260 or What it is: An evening of entertainment to support Nebraska AIDS Project. This year’s theme is "Bewitched, Bedazzled and Be Dancin'" and promises a festive evening filled with mystery, magic and glamour. The party at the Holiday Inn is preceded by several pre-parties held throughout the city. Where the money goes: Funds support Nebraska AIDS Project in its mission to eliminate the spread of HIV and provide comprehensive services to all people affected by HIV and AIDS. December 27 the Omaha SymPhOny’S 43rD annUal DebUtante ball, Holiday Inn, 6 p.m., 342.3560. What it is: An elegant evening to honor supporters of their Omaha Symphony and their family. This year’s ball will honor 54 debutantes and 40 stags during a night of dinner and dancing. Where the money goes: The ball is the main fundraiser for the Omaha Symphony and helps support its programs.

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

november/december | 2008



Emerald Extravaganza

Broadway Ball raises $500,000 for Omaha Performing Arts, previews “Wicked” Story courtesy of the Omaha Performing Arts Society. Photos by Corey Ross and courtesy of Omaha Performing Arts.


crowd of more than 500 enjoyed a “wickedly” good time at the Broadway Ball: Emerald Extravaganza in September to support Omaha Performing Arts. Themed after the upcoming Broadway touring production, “WICKED,” and held at the Holland Center, the event raised nearly $500,000 for Omaha Performing Arts. The Emerald Extravaganza was hosted by The Presenters, a volunteer organization supporting Omaha Performing Arts. Co-chairs were Kelli and Scott Draper, Jeanie and Lance Jones and Stacie and Rob Reed. Dick and Pat Bell served as honorary chairs. The evening began with hors d’oeurves and Elphaba Elixirs, a potionlike cocktail, created specially for the event, in the Scott Recital Hall. A raffle that included tickets for the entire Omaha Performing Arts Presents season, Broadway touring productions and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s June 23, 2009, performance was conducted during cocktails. The live auction featured a number of gift packages, such as a golf outing to the Sand Hills Golf Club in Mullen, Neb., a cocktail recep-


tion at the Kutak Rock offices, and themed entertainment packages with food, transportation and tickets to Omaha Performing Arts Presents events and Broadway touring productions. Following dinner, singer Idina Menzel bewitched guests with her musical performance including the hit song, “Defying Gravity,” from “WICKED.” Ms. Menzel is the 2004 Tony® Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Elphaba, a role she originated in the Broadway blockbuster, “WICKED.” John Nelson was master of ceremonies and Joe Temme served as auctioneer. The Broadway Ball is a biennial event with proceeds supporting Omaha Performing Arts’ presentation of the finest local, national and international artistic performances and its education and community involvement efforts. This year’s Emerald Ball Sponsors include the Carmen and John Gottschalk Foundation, HDR, Inc., Kiewit Construction, Tenaska, The Hawks Foundation, and Richard D. Holland.



4 5

1) Mayor Mike Fahey and Omaha Performing Arts Society President Joan Squires with honorary chairs Pat and Dick Bell. 2) Chairs Stacie and Rod Reed, the Bells, chairs Kelli and Scott Draper, and chairs Jeanie and Lance Jones. 3) UNMC Chancellor Dr. Harold Maurer and wife Beverly. 4) Alegent CEO Wayne Sensor with wife Cindy and Jeanine Hachten. 5) Walter and Suzanne Scott.


november/december | 2008


Gowns & Glitter

Durham Museum exhibit salutes more than a century of Ak-Sar-Ben style and royalty Story courtesy of The Durham Museum. Photos by Corey Ross.


The royal fashions of past Ak-Sar-Ben princesses, countesses and queens were on display at The Durham Museum in September in an exhibit titled, “Dawn in Quivira.” The two-day exhibit opened with a luncheon and style show attended by an enthusiastic crowd of 570. The crowd packed the Durham’s main hall to glimpse 22 gowns worn during the past century of Ak-Sar-Ben coronations. The luncheon was presented by the Durham’s On-Track Guild. Three-time Ak-Sar-Ben Couturier Mary Anne Vaccaro served as commentator

and shared insights and the history of the gowns. The exhibit itself consisted of more than 75 dresses. Dresses ranged from the 1914 gown of Queen Frances Hochstettler Scandrett to the current Queen, Halley Ostergard, and Princess Michelle Gates. Chairs Phyllis Choat and Nancy Hanson and On-Track President Julie Brewer presided over the luncheon. The honorary chairs were the Ak-Sar-Ben Queens from 1895 to 2007, many of whom were in attendance.

november/december | 2008



Valuable Volunteer

The Arthritis Foundation honors Anne Nelson as its 35th Woman of the Year Story courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation. Photos by Corey Ross and the Arthritis Foundation.


he Arthritis Foundation, Nebraska Chapter honored longtime volunteer Anne Nelson at its 35th Annual Woman of the Year Gala at the Hilton Omaha in September. Some 400 friends of Nelson and supporters of the Arthritis Foundation turned out to help raise $200,000. Anne Nelson is the wife of John P. Nelson, chairman of the Silverstone Group. They are proud parents of John, Kate and Molly, and enjoy their six grandchildren. Anne and John met at Carleton College in Minnesota, where Anne graduated with a degree in English. She taught junior and senior high school English in both Minnesota and Iowa and served on a GED essay reading team. She has also worked in numerous editorial capacities.


Anne was born on Mitchell Field Air Base in Long Island, N.Y. Her father, an army Air Force major and P-38 pilot, was shot down over France when she was three years old. Her mother, younger brother and Anne ultimately returned to Minneapolis, home to both of her parents. She was raised there, and influenced by nurturing grandparents, a mother whose dedication to community service certainly impacted her development, and later a stepfather with a strong work ethic and generous love for his ready-made family. Anne has volunteered her time extensively promoting educational opportunities for at-risk children, the arts and humanities, and health services. She is an avid reader, needle pointer and traveler, and works diligently on her golf game. She treasurers the expanded circle of friends made possible by her volunteer involvement.





1) Bill and Susan Cutler, John and Anne Nelson, and Judy and Bob Bates. Anne Nelson was honored as the Arthritis Foundation's Woman of the Year. The Cutlers and Bates served as patron party hosts. 2) The Nelsons with Karen and Robert Duncan. Robert Duncan, of Duncan Aviation in Lincoln, served as emcee. 3) Arthritis Foundation Executive Director Marzia Puccioni with board chair Dr. Erik Otterberg and wife Liz. 4) Susan Cutler, event chair Amy Deardorff and Judy Bates. 5) Past honorees Ann Stinson, Lynne Boyer and Sharon Marvin Griffin.


november/december | 2008


Garden Party

The fifth annual Antique and Garden Show at Lauritzen Gardens sets attendance records Story courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens. Photos by Corey Ross and provided by Lauritzen Gardens.


he fifth annual Antique and Garden Show at Lauritzen Gardens drew more than 4,200 guests to the gardens for the weekend and 575 to the patron party that preceded the show. Gardens officials reported that the Friday luncheon, featuring Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Co. interior designers, was sold out, and the Saturday luncheon, featuring designer Jay Strongwater, drew its largest crowd ever. Besides lectures and educational talks, visitors to the show had their choice of thousands of rare antiques made available for pur-



chase by 30 antique dealers. This year’s show was dedicated to Kimball Lauritzen, whose vision was instrumental in creating this fabulous event. Lauritzen, the wife of First National Bank President Bruce Lauritzen, passed away last January. In her memory, gardenias – Kimball’s favorite flower – were prevalent at the event. Lauritzen and Mary Seina were key figures in establishing the Antique and Garden Show. More information about the event can be found at and





1) Randall Netley, designer of the Gardenia Room, a collection of the dealers' finest merchandise. 2) Bruce Lauritzen, Blair Gogel, Clark Lauritzen, Emily Lauritzen, Jay Strongwater, Meg Dodge and Nate Dodge. 3) The patron party and show were dedicated to the memory of Kimball Lauritzen. 4) Brinsley Matthews of Dorothy Draper & Co; co-chair Maureen Turner; co-chair Jodie Mackintosh (seated); co-chair Nancy Prauner; and Carleton Varney, president and owner of Dorothy Draper & Co. interior designers. 5) Ann Marie Abboud and Susie Zindel. 6) Tony Seina, honorary chair Mary Seina, Carleton Varney, honorary chair Cindy Bay and Mogens Bay.

november/december | 2008



Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Project Harmony supporters turn out in record numbers for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Story courtesy of Project Harmony. Photos courtesy of Project Harmony and by Corey Ross.


he Project Harmony Service League’s fifth annual “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day” celebration drew a festive crowd of more than 572 to the Omaha Firefighters’ Union Hall in September. The casual party started with Irish music by Ellis Island and continued with entertainment by The Fishheads. Attendees dined on corned beef and brats provided by Omaha Steaks and prepared by Matt’s Grill and Catering, along with the traditional cabbage and potatoes. The money raised will help victims of child abuse. The celebration’s Pot O’ Gold Sponsors included: The Alan and



Marcia Baer Foundation, Children’s Hospital, Lovgren Marketing Group, and Nebraska Furniture Mart. The Rainbow Sponsors were Coors Light, FVB Foundation and First National Bank. The event was co-chaired by three couples: Liz and Mike Jensen, Liz and Tim Langan, and Molly and Ryan Zabrowski. Liz Langan is a board member of the Project Harmony Service League. They were assisted by the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day committee. Project Harmony exists to protect children by providing community-based, integrated, comprehensive, and coordinated child abuse assessments and investigations in a centralized location.








1) Melanie and Pete Ziegler. 2) Chairs Liz and Mike Jensen, Liz and Tim Langan and Molly and Ryan Zabrowski. 3) Joy and Gordon Watanabe with Sid and Dawn Dinsdale. 4) Heather and Amanda Chantiam. 5) Sherry Falke and Vicki Allen. 6) The Fishheads. 7) Colleen Roth and Amy Chisholm, both of Project Harmony. 8) Past Project Harmony Service League President Kevin Thompson and current president Sharlon Rodgers. 9) Joe Leggett, emcee Jeff Degan, Andy Hale and Jackie Walker.


november/december | 2008

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november/december | 2008


WallStreet Tower A






Jewelry Designer

Mary Jo Pane

story by Heather C . Akerberg

photography by Bill Sitzmann

DReSSeD iN BLACK with jet-black hair cut into a

sleek bob, one might easily mistake Mary Jo Pane for a New York fashionista, a là Meryl Streep’s character in “the Devil WearS PraDa.” However, that assumption will fly right out the window once she speaks . mary Jo exudeS poSitivity and warmth, and, with no formal training, is a talented jewelry designer .

november/december | 2008


Mary Jo started her fashion career right here in Omaha at The Avenue, a now-closed women’s clothing boutique. She then moved to Baltimore to work at a specialty store and eventually ended up in New York City, where she has lived for more than 15 years. With her family and her roots in Omaha, Pane visits at least four times a year. “You can take the girl out of Omaha, but you can’t take the Omaha out of the girl,” she joked. Her company, Miracle Icons, creates handmade, one-of-a-kind jewelry that features vintage and antique medals embossed with Catholic saints and other iconography. The idea came to her one night as she walked home after visiting a sick friend. Her friend had been diagnosed with cancer, and Mary Jo had given her a Saint Anthony medal

4,000 individual pieces of jewelry. Pane works constantly in order to fill orders and prepare for trunk shows. She also makes every effort to accommodate requests for custom designs. During the early years of Miracle Icons, she worked in a fashion showroom and woke up at 4 a.m. to squeeze in some creative time. However, with the growing demand for her creations, she quit her day job 16 months ago to focus solely on making jewelry. Most businesses have marketing plans and a targeted demographic. Pane doesn’t do business that way; instead she says most of her customers seek her out. Whether it’s the power of word-of-mouth advertising or the “karma of [her] jewelry,” it has worked. Miracle Icons has dedicated cases in nearly 20 Barneys and several other specialty stores nationwide, including Borsheim's here in Omaha. In addition, she does trunk shows where she features her latest designs. Mary Jo is also in the process of developing an e-commerce component on her website, Of course celebrity clients and press coverage never hurts business, and Miracle Icons jewelry has had plenty of both. Tom Hanks was one of the first stars to don a piece created by Mary Jo. The list has grown from there. Pane, however, isn’t fazed by her brushes with celebrity—she only sees the human looking for spiritual connections. These encounters have, however, given her some great stories, like the time she made jewelry with Mira Sorvino’s kids or when, while delivering a piece of jewelry to his hotel room, she got a peek of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in nothing but a bath towel. There does seem to be one celebrity that gets her blood rushing though, and he appeared on the cover of the November 2007 issue of Rolling Stone wearing one of her necklaces—Bruce Springsteen. “He’s the real deal,” said Pane.

“If I’m making a piece and it has a St. Joseph and a Sacred Heart of Jesus, I’ll add a Mary medal to give it some feminine energy,” said Pane.

as a gift. Even though the friend wasn’t Catholic, she found comfort in the medal, and Mary Jo found her calling. Inspired by her own sense of spirituality, which she describes as “deeply based in Catholicism and [her own] worldview,” Pane’s jewelry designs are classic and thoughtful. For Mary Jo, the meaning and impact of the jewelry is what matters. Her clients tend to develop strong attachments to their pieces, as the presence of the medals is soothing. “It makes me feel better,” is a comment Mary Jo often receives from her patrons. Pane relates to this sentiment, as she unfailingly wears a medal embossed with an image of The Virgin Mary. All the medals that are incorporated into Miracle Icons jewelry are antique or vintage, sourced mostly from flea markets in Europe, and the previous owner’s connection to the medal is apparent. The medals often have softened edges and a unique patina because of the common human habit of rubbing them between the thumb and index finger. Mary Jo likens the medals to worry-stones. It is this human relationship that makes Miracle Icons jewelry more than just a fashion accessory. Despite having been in business for more than 5 years, Pane still hand makes each piece herself. She puts care into selecting and pairing the medals to ensure that they are balanced both aesthetically and energetically. “If I’m making a piece and it has a St. Joseph and a Sacred Heart of Jesus, I’ll add a Mary medal to give it some feminine energy,” said Pane. Mary Jo estimates that last year she created between 3,000 and


november/december | 2008

All the medals incorporated into Miracle Icons Jewelry are antique or vintage.

Photo courtesy of Carroll Communications - Riverfront Place

Walk This Way

Story by Sandy Lemke

Condo-eye view.

The Bridge To Somewhere The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge opened on September 28, 2008, with a festival, a lighting ceremony and much flourish. The bridge links Omaha and Council Bluffs and is one of the longest pedestrian spans ever built. Its lines changed Omaha’s downtown skyline forever. The bridge features a gently curving path for walkers and bicyclists. At night, lighting funded by Gallup and the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation makes for a beautiful backdrop. Imagine the view from the Riverfront Place condominiums.

Fourth floor homeowner and real estate investor Jim Laguzza has always been drawn to water views. The pedestrian bridge surpassed all of his expectations. Laguzza said of the view, “It’s like icing on a cake.   I like to watch the people crossing the bridge as much as I love seeing it all lit up at night. It’s even better than I thought it would be. “   Back To The River Former Nebraska Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey humbly received the honor of having a namesake bridge. Now president of The New School University continued on next page

november/december | 2008


in New York City, Kerrey keeps his Nebraska ties and is still well-loved by his former constituents. He had this to say about the new structure: “The Missouri River pedestrian bridge is beautiful, a true work of art, and a wonderful addition to the Omaha-Council Bluffs skyline. My fondest wish is that it becomes a means for Nebraska and Iowa families to get back to the river in healthy and fun ways.” As an investor in a company that owns fitness clubs, Senator Kerrey puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to wellness. The bridge connects 150 miles of trails on both sides of the Missouri River. features an interactive trail map. An Iowa-side map is available at http://parksandrec.


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Bridge Over Troubled Waters A structure so architecturally significant does not come without a high price tag -- $22 million. It’s a federally funded project (read: you paid for it). Do you smell bacon? Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom mouthpiece Doug Kagan had this to say about this sizzling subject: “The Missouri River pedestrian bridge cost about $22 million, mostly from federal tax dollars. Instead of lobbying Congress for this pork barrel project, local elected officials should have lobbied for this amount plus much more to help defray the cost of the $1.5 billion bill yoked onto Omahans by an unfunded federal EPA mandate requiring sewer separation. Then, perhaps we would not be facing $50 per month sewer bills.” On opening day, one joyous bridgecrosser shrieked, “It’s a pork project, but it’s OUR pork project.” U.S. Congressman Lee Terry said of the bridge, “The pedestrian bridge looks nice, but the millions of dollars spent on the structure could have been better spent on housing or sewer issues.” Walk This Way Whether you approve or were against the expenditure, the bridge is here and it’s not going anywhere. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the fresh air, work on your fitness, use the bike trails and experience the Missouri River like never before.

Story by: Mystery Reviewer Photo by

Zio's Pizzeria

Zio's Pizzeria

Ratings: (out of 5*) Food




Ambiance **1/2 Price:

Very Affordable



i am

embarrassed to admit that more often than not, when I’m in the mood for pizza, I just pick up the phone and order delivery. Some of the delivery pizza is pretty good in Omaha, but it really can’t compare to the fresh pizza that Zio’s serves every day. There is something special about sitting down in a real pizzeria and being waited on while enjoying fresh, hot pizza. Or if you really want to eat it at home, you can just call ahead and order carryout from Zio’s. Zio’s Pizzeria has been a fixture in midtown Omaha since the mid-80’s. Opening first at 79th and Dodge, the restaurant later moved a block down the shopping center to 78th and Dodge. Soon after, a second location near 134th and West Center Road opened, then a third store in

november/december | 2008


12 Truths of eating out As Told by a Real-life Waitress By: Alicia Smith 1. We can tell if you are complaining to get a free meal . 2. Please don’t go into a restaurant 15 minutes before close . Just like you quit working 15 minutes before the end of the day, we want to go home, too . 3. i don’t set the prices . Complain to someone else . 4. Please tip on to-go orders . We are happy with 10-15% . We packaged the little extras of silverware, condiments and put all sauces and dressings in little containers to make your food better . 5. if you get a discount on the bill, please tip on what the bill would have been . i still had to do the work . This includes using gift certificates . 6. While i am taking a table’s order… i’m remembering the ketchup i need to take to table 15, i’m hearing my food is up for table 10, and i’m noticing table 11 needs a refill . i’m also trying to figure out how to fulfill all of these requests in the next minute . i am trying! 7. My employer pays me $2 .33 an hour . 8. if you can’t afford to tip, eat at home . Our tip not only goes to us…we have to share it with the bartender, busboy and hostess . 9. if you have a large group, the gratuity has probably been added to your check . Make sure you look over your bill, or ask . 10. if you “camp” at your table long past dinner, please include extra gratuity . The time you sat there is time i could have had another table, i .e . tip . Please go to the bar . 11. Most servers love being servers and will work hard to get the 20% tip . 12. Treat others the way you want to be treated . We are people, too . We make mistakes .


november/december | 2008

the Old Market at 12th and Howard Street. The West Center Road location has since relocated to a new building at 129th and West Center. All of their locations have a true New York pizzeria feel to them. The food service is very causal, with full service at dinner and counter service at lunch. The staff is always friendly, quick and polite. As you might imagine, the pizza is the star of the show at Zio’s. The hand-stretched, New York-style crust is crispy on the bottom and has that fresh-baked flavor and structure that’s pretty rare these days. The sauce is a zesty marinara that is not too sweet and has plenty of garlic. The cheese is all natural and very high quality. The 40 different toppings are all fresh and well seasoned, and they really pop on the pizza. The Zio’s Veggie Supremo is possibly the best veggie pizza I have ever had. The vegetables are fresh and crisp with tons of garlic. Another of my favorites is the Thai Chicken Pizza. My words really can’t do it justice. It is worth noting that all of the different pizzas are available by the slice and topped fresh upon ordering. This allows you to sample a couple of different combinations each meal. Zio’s menu also features some great appetizers. I’d highly recommend the Fried Raviolis ($6.20) and the 3 Garlic Cheese Bread ($2.40). The house salad is also fantastic and is loaded with fresh tomatoes and onions. The Italian dressing is one of the better ones you will find anywhere in town. The Calzones, Pastas and Hoagie Sandwiches are also made with the same top-notch fresh ingredients that are used in their pizza and the results are excellent. Zio’s also has a nice selection of beers and wines and free refills on all fountain drinks. The next time you have a craving for pizza, put down the phone and head to Zio’s. Trust me — you’ll be glad you did!

Dining Out L e g e n d (average price per entrée)

$1 to 10 - $, $10 to 20 - $$, $20 to 30 - $$$, $30 and over - $$$$



BUrger STAr 333-STAr Located at the southeast corner of 72nd & Pacific, Burger Star features gourmet burgers with your choice of 18 FRee toppings . enjoy fresh cut fries and fresh baked buns, plus Cheeseburger Tacos, Fish Tacos and Chicken Club Tacos . Beer and Margaritas are also available – All served up in a Rock Star Atmosphere . Open daily at 11am for lunch and dinner .

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 you .www .daveandbusters .com



3:55 PM

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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 . $ 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 coming soon . 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 Monnday night football specials . Tuesdays are all you can eat wings for $12 .99 all day . Quaker Steak and Lube is your Husker game headquarters . Fridays and Saturdays football special; bucket of wings and a lube tube for $21 .99 . Live Music starting again this fall on Friday nights .www .quakersteakandlube .com .

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 .



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.



november/december | 2008



november/december | 2008

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.

Thanks Omaha, for voting us Best of Omaha...


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.

LIGHT & EASY 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. 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. $ Paradise Bakery & Café Three Omaha Locations 168th & Dodge in Village Point, 120 Regency Parkway in Regency Court & 103rd & Pacific in One Pacific Place. Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in a fun and relaxing atmosphere. Sandwiches, Paninis, Soups and Salads are prepared fresh right in front of you to perfection. Cookies, muffins & breads are made from scratch and baked fresh throughout the day. We look forward to sharing “Paradise” with you. Call us for catering information. Hours of operation: MonSat 6am-8pm Sun 6am-6pm. We accept Visa, MC & AX $-$$

BEST OF OMAHA 2008 Join us for the Holidays at


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. $

1201 S 157th St Omaha, NE 68130 (402) 884-2272


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.

33007 S 83rd Plz Omaha, O NE 68124 (402) 391-2923

Pasta Amore • Private Party Rooms • Business Luncheons • Catering

Thank you for voting us your #1 Italian Restaurant.

Proprietors Chef Leo & Pat Fascianella

Tastefully old world, exquisitely modern, elegantly Italian.

LUNCH: Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. DINNER: Monday-Saturday: 4:30 p.m-Close Rockbrook Village (108th & Center) (402) 391-2585 Fax: 391-0910


november/december | 2008


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


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

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. $

The Original Whiskey Steak

Serving Lunch & Dinner

Hector's Two Omaha Locations 3007 S. 83rd Plz. 391-2923, 1201 S. 157th St. 884-2272; Come to Hector's and enjoy authentic, traditional Mexican food including delicious seafood dinners and tender, juicy steak. Hector's West location features a salsa bar and tortilla machine; both locations have off-the-menu specials on week ends and an extensive kids' menus sure to please your young ones. Michael's At the market 346-1205 1102 Harney in the Old Market. Michael's features authentic Mexican food and drink in a casual atmosphere. Michael's "Free Pours" their Margaritas, one at a time, with a tradtional recipe used for over 31 years, Michael's truly is the "Home of The Real Margarita". Michael's is also known for having one of the largest selections of 100% Blue Agave Tequilas in the state of Nebraska. 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.


ORIENTAL 2121 S. 73 St. 3001 S. 32nd Ave • Omaha, NE 402-345-5656

Just 1/2 block South of Doubletree

(402) 391-7440

Grand Fortune 697-9888 (Omaha) Featuring traditional Chinese Dim Sum and authentic Cantonese dishes, as well as a conventional Chinese menu, dine upon a variety of items from Cantonese Style Duck to Hong Kong Chow Mein. Also featuring a menu for the diet-conscious and chefs cooking to order for your need with a full bar serving specialty drinks such as Mai Tai and Volcano, and other services like delivery and catering. Located in the Lakeside Hills Plaza at 173rd and West Center open from 11am-9:30pm SundayThursday, 11am-10:30pm Friday-Saturday. Phone: (402)697-9888 Fax: (402)697-4855 $ 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. $

SEAFOOD 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.

WE DELIVER! 300 S. 72ND ST. ~ 402.255.0040 107 N. 40TH ST. ~ 402.614.4545 10720 Q STREET ~ 402.614.3600 ©2007 JIMMY JOHN’S FRANCHISE, LLC


november/december | 2008


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. $ Islamorada Fish Company 712-325-5300 (Council Bluffs) Located just across the river in Council Bluffs Iowa on I-80 & I-29 next to Bass Pro Shops, Islamorada Fish Co. offers a relaxing escape to the Florida Keys. Start off with a drink at our full bar backed by a 13,000 gallon aquarium filled with exotic salt water fish. We offer Grouper, Mahi Mahi, Sushi-grade Tuna, Alligator and Shrimp. But we also feature such Midwest favorites as Steaks, Ribs, Rotisserie Chicken, Burgers and Pastas, as well as a full kids menu. We have a covered patio that overlooks our stocked pond, and our Lodge room can seat over 100 for special gatherings. Each weekday we feature a $5.99 lunch special, and each weeknight offers a different feature (scallops, fresh water fish, oyster bar, rotisserie meat). Check out for our full menu and directions. AE-DC-MC-V $

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.





York New xe Delu


4:30 P.M.





Freshest Pizza Best Flavor West Omaha 12997 W. Center Road 330-1444 Midtown 7834 W. Dodge Road 391-1881

*Dine In

Downtown 1213 Howard (Old Market) 344-2222

*Carry Out

*We deliver Downtown Veggie Supremo

Chicken Pesto Combo

Most Beautiful Toppings at Zio’s!!!

november/december | 2008



When you are ready to relax...

Party room available for business or family gatherings Enjoy dining or a drink on our patio overlooking our pond Check out our 13,000 gallon salt water aquarium

Minutes from Downtown Omaha • Next to Bass Pro Shops 2901 Bass Pro Drive • Council Bluffs, IA • 712-325-5300 See our menu at

Kids under 10 always eat for $3.99

“You would be hard-pressed to find a more impressive restaurant.” – JOHN KEENAN

Omaha World-Herald

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. $ 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 Austin’s Steak and Saloon 829-1616 (Omaha) 120th and L streets in Southwest Omaha. Austin’s has been a long time favorite for steak lovers. Featuring steaks form Omaha Steaks and a fabulous salad bar, also serves prime rib, barbeque ribs, along with several fish and chicken selections. Open seven days a week. Reservations accepted. $$$ Charleston’s 431-0023( Omaha ) 13851 First National Bank Parkway. Casual, upbeat restaurant with modestly priced menu featuring American items prepared from $$ scratch daily. AE-DC-MC-VS 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. $$$ Johnny’s Café – Since 1922 731-4774 (Omaha) 27th and L streets. Years of quality dining and hospitality make Johnny’s Café a restaurant to remember. Serving only the finest corn-fed beef the Midwest has to offer. Aged steaks and prime rib are the specialties, with homemade bread and pies to complete one’s meal. An excellent wine list adds to the enjoyment at one of Omaha’s original restaurants. Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.-9:30 p.m. AE-MC-V. $$ 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. $-$$ The Paxton Chop House Omaha 402-341-1222;; The Paxton Chop House is located just outside the Old Market at the corner of 14th and Farnam, convenient to all the downtown hotels. We only serve USDA prime grade aged steaks. In addition we offer a variety of jet fresh fish, live Maine lobster and four fresh oyster selections. Hours: MondaySaturday 5:00-10:00; Sunday 4:00-9:00 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.

415 South 11th St. / Old Market (402) 341-7040 Reservations Recommended Open 5pm Monday-Saturday Party Room available


november/december | 2008

Sullivan’s 342-0077 (Omaha) Sullivan’s is a 1940s style steakhouse featuring the finest Nebraska grown steaks, fresh seafood, and unparalleled martinis. Live Jazz Music is performed seven nights a week in the lounge and patio seating is available. Open for lunch Monday thru Friday starting at 11:00am, dinner is served seven days a week starting at 5:00 pm and the lounge is open until $-$$$$ 1:00am! AE-DC-MC-VS

Always a Large Selection of Fresh Fish “The Best in Casual Dining” 13851 First National Bank Parkway (West Dodge across from Girls and Boys Town)


4150 SOUTH 144TH STREET • OMAHA • 8949411

The Greek Islands Full Bar • Carry Out • Dine In Catering For All Occasions Open Seven Days A Week We thank you for voting us #1

3821 Center 346-1528

Visa, MC, Diners & AMEX Accepted


Kids Eat Free 5-9PM • Monday night football specials


All you can eat wings $12.99 all day

Husker game headquarters Fridays and Saturdays football special, bucket of wings and a lube tube for $21.99

Live Music starting again this fall on friday nights.

3320 Mid America Drive • Council Bluffs, IA 51501 712.322.0101 •

Steak... Martinis... & Jazz...


222 S ou th 15th St


november/december | 2008


THE PRIME RIB SPECIAL Bring your friends for a deal well done.

Where the Whole Family Has Fun!



Enjoy $17.99 all-you-can-eat Prime Rib every day of the week at 360 Steakhouse.




The Restaurant s The Casino s Total Rewards® s Must be 21 or older to gamble. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETSOFF (In Iowa) or 1-800-522-4700. ©2008, Harrah’s License Company, LLC.


Funny Restaurant Stories While working at an italian restaurant, a server waited on a 20-something couple, which, based on their stiff body language and awkward small talk, could only have been on a first date . Trying to appear “take-charge,” the man ordered entrees for both . To his date’s obvious horror, he requested two “mistockoly” pasta dinners, mangling the italian mostaccioli . Not wanting to correct him and further embarrass him, the server replied, “Would you like meat sauce or marinara on your mistockoly?” His date looked up with a wry smile, recognizing the server’s efforts, and they exchanged a secret laugh at his expense . After handing out tickets to her last tables, the server began doing her sidework – filling salt and peppershakers, wrapping silverware, etc . That day, her side-work was cleaning the five-gallon iced tea dispenser . Not realizing she was supposed to first empty the container, the waitress slid it off the counter and unable to balance it, dropped it, catching it on her foot . The half-full dispenser went horizontal and airborne; then a tidal wave of tea crested through the wait station, over a half wall separating it from the dining room, and onto a table of six! Luckily, the very surprised and wet customers thought it side-splittingly funny, as did the wait staff, and were happy enough when management comped their meals .


november/december | 2008

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)

Largest selection of Single Malts in America 500 Kinds of Liquor • 230 Kinds of Beer

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



(402) 346-1205



Experience the Flavor ...


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

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 •

november/december | 2008


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


Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner • Catering 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

84TH & Park Drive Coming Soon

168th & Dodge 934-5757


120 REGENCY PKWY 9913000

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


1101 Jackson Street / Old Market / 344-3200 Reservations appreciated


november/december | 2008


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

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.

Serving Omaha’s Finest Families

Johnny Sortino’s

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

Chef Marc Wilson by Stephanie Lynam

A visitor

to west Omaha’s The Tasting Room may not actually observe rolling hills of lush California vineyards while sipping wine on the patio, but the aspiration of Executive Chef Marc Wilson is to make customers feel as if they are in fact there. “We are the only Napa Valleystyle restaurant in Omaha,” Wilson said. The restaurant, located at 17520 Wright Street, was opened four years ago by owners Sonny and Missy Bridges, who currently reside in Arkansas. The Tasting Room is a full-service restaurant featuring such favorites as the Tuscan Chicken entrée with chicken picatta. The entree is served on a crispy baguette with tomato confit, lemon aioli, capers, prosciutto and spinach, and paired with Ponzi’s Pinot Gris. “If you have some kind of wine knowledge, we are big on pairing food with wine,” Wilson said. The restaurant offers 30 wines by the glass and 350 wines by the bottle from around the world. Wilson said he’s gained a greater appreciation for wine over the years. “Wine is the only beverage on the planet that can literally heighten the flavor of food.”

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

2202 South 20th Street – Omaha

Half of the restaurant’s menu consists of appetizer selections, which include a customer favorite — the Tasting Room Classic Bruschetta with three toppings. “That is a staple. And our cheese plates are revolutionary,” Wilson said. A Michigan native, Wilson’s interest in cooking began at a young age. As a kid suffering from asthma and frequently homebound, he spent countless hours in the kitchen helping his mother prepare dishes. His love for the art of cooking has grown and developed over the past 18 years, while working with and learning from many talented people in the culinary profession. “The thing I like about the culinary arts is that it’s always changing and it’s never boring,” Wilson said. He also appreciates the feeling of instant gratification he gets upon sending out a plate of appetizing food and receiving immediate feedback. At The Tasting Room, a few of Wilson’s responsibilities are to develop recipes, cook, order supplies, write menus and train staff members.

Family Restaurant • Fine Steaks Chicken • Seafood Party Rooms Available

The elegantly furnished Tasting Room is decorated in soothing earth tones, and features massive brick and rock archways and polished shelves lined with hundreds of wine bottles. Comfortable seating areas are scattered throughout, and two fireplaces, along with firepits on the patio, contribute to the soft lighting and relaxed atmosphere. The restaurant seats up to about 150 and has a patio that wraps around the building, which Wilson said is the first place to fill up in the summer.

342-9038 • 346-2865

“We have a warming, cozy ambiance,” Wilson said. “We are so laid back. We don’t rush people when they come in the door. It’s nothing for people to spend three hours here.”

november/december | 2008


Story by Tony Endelman Illustration by Nathanial Johnston

Office Space

Somehow, between daydreams of winning the Powerball, I found myself deep inside the bowels of a modern day office. I hadn’t planned it this way. After college, I’d moved to Chicago to pursue comedy, using a carefully and brilliantly devised strategy: By day, I’d find my inspiration in hip and trendy coffee bistros, and on El trains, gazing out at the quickly passing cityscape. By night, I’d play at open mikes, only to catch the ear of George Wendt (Chicago comedian of “Cheers” fame), sign a development deal, and be thrust headlong into comedic superstardom. As it turned out, telling jokes about flatulence to drunkards on a Monday night didn’t quite pay the astronomical rent for my 400-square-foot palace without air conditioning. And as far as I could tell, George Wendt didn’t leave the house much. Using every contact I could drum up, I eventually landed my first job at one highly respected advertising rep firm, a billion dollar company just gracious enough to pay me $26,000 a year. The office occupied the 16th floor of a glossy high-rise on Michigan Avenue, conveniently situated between a Starbucks and another Starbucks. It featured the same colorless walls and vomit-inducing carpet patterns that seem to appear in every American office. I’d arrive here at 8 a.m. each morning, walk drowsily to my cubespace, and plop down in front of an outdated office PC. During my search, I'd make a discovery; finding a job requires more work and dedication than an actual job. It took weeks to advantageously condense all of the lies and trivial life experiences on my resume down to one page. Then several more weeks of pestering employers until they agreed to meet me for an interview so I could lie to them in person. Dressed in


november/december | 2008

a suit and tie, I took the bus from office building to office building, only to find out the complete irrelevance of my reign as treasurer of the Burke High Spanish club. I followed up promptly with hiring managers, thanking them for their time and expressing my interest in the company. And now, finally employed, I found myself doing work that could have been done by a half-trained Capuchin monkey. Completing a day’s tasks before lunchtime allowed me to closely observe the idiosyncrasies of working in an office. Accepting a job means accepting a life of “It’s Monday.” Ask the receptionist how she is doing and she’ll simply declare, “It’s Monday.” Ask your supervisor what’s going on and he/ she will reply, “It’s Monday.” Ask your co-workers why they’ve periodically been sipping from a flask and they’ll explain, “It’s Monday.” Similarly, pose these same questions just a few days later and you’ll hear the oh-so-uplifting response, “I’m so glad it's Friday.” Passing the time between Monday and Friday is a job all its own, and directly related to the location of one’s cubicle. Is it in a high traffic area next to the bathroom, making it risky to search the blogosphere for the details on celebrity sex scandals? Or is it secluded in a forgotten corner, just right for catching a midday power nap? For most of us, work is a sad, dull, unavoidable part of life. But it sustains us, keeps us afloat, and pays the tab at happy hour. In truth, the lucky ones don’t have to work. The smart ones follow their passions. And the crazy ones… well, they hope to meet George Wendt. Hey, there’s always the Powerball.

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Nov/Dec 08 - Omaha Magazine  

F a c e s • s t y l e • H o m e • e v e n t s • a r t • D i n i n g Omaha Symphony's Star of Holiday Fanfare Your invitation to omaha’s char...

Nov/Dec 08 - Omaha Magazine  

F a c e s • s t y l e • H o m e • e v e n t s • a r t • D i n i n g Omaha Symphony's Star of Holiday Fanfare Your invitation to omaha’s char...