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Faces • Style • Home • Events • Art • Dining

The Home Stretch ‘Coach’ Phil Hummel celebrates life in hospice before crossing the finish line


Premier Wealth Advisors Omaha’s

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Omaha Magazine • 5921 S. 118th Circle • Omaha, NE 68137


Luxury Homes CoLLeCtion 14349 Hamilton Street


617 Fairacres Road


Conveniently located in Linden Estates! Picturesque landscaping on 2.85 acres includes spacious terraces & beautiful pool area. Dramatic architecture featuring a porte-cochere, marble tile flrs, coffered & vaulted trey ceils. State of the art commercial appls. Breathtaking home with unmatched quality.

Magnificent incorporation of old world architecture with hightech amenities. Original John Hyde design enhanced superbly by master designers and craftsmen. Dazzling Christopher Peacock custom gourmet kitchen. Too many amenities to mention here. This is the home of a lifetime!

Marvin and Fike • 402.333.5008

Jeff Rensch • 402.391.5333

17610 N Reflection Circle


420 Fairacres Road

1403 Farnam Street #1100


Stunning Penthouse in the Paxton! Amazing views with three side exposure, over 4,100 square feet, enormous 14’ ceiling heights, private decks, private rooftop space, private staircase to rooftop & unit, three parking stalls (underground & heated), unbelievable amenities.

Grant Stine • 402.850.7171


8804 Westover Road


Serene views with infinity pool, beach, hot tub, fire pits, covered deck, front courtyard and professional landscaping. Interior has all the upgrades w/granite, dark & light cherry wood, high-end appliances, boxed ceilings, built-in flat panel TV’s, theater room and much more!

Gracious Fairacres home beautifully updated. Hrdwd floors, crown moldings, lovely craftsmanship & architectural detailing. Gourmet kitchen w/Viking appls. Spacious rms, charming all-weather porch overlooks gorgeous landscaped yard. Stunning MBR & BA suite. LL walks out to gardens.

Home of a lifetime on Swanson Park! Design, quality, location describes this Dist. 66 home. Awesome stained glass ceiling in LR surrounded by flr to ceiling windows. MBR has abundant built-ins. Main flr ofc. Great workable kit w/tile flr, countertops & center island.

Tom Helligso • 402.740.5300

Marvin and Fike • 402.333.5008

Marvin and Fike • 402.333.5008

1430 S. 85th Avenue


121 S 92 Street


This amazing home is located in District 66 just south of Pacific. This home has a wonderful modern look to enjoy inside and out. Tall ceilings and a spacious great room that overlooks the backyard & pool. Huge master with bath, closets and much more. This home is a must see!

Grand 2 story entryway into great room,overlooks beautiful landscaped yard. Upscale kitchen, granite, stainless appliances, maple cabinets, fireplace. Main floor Master suite has built ins, bath features heated floors and marble tops. Bonus loft area on 2nd floor, wet bar in lower level and much more to see!

Grant Stine • 402.850.7171

Jeff Rensch • 402.391.5333

5110 N 196th Street


21185 Bonanza Boulevard


Beautiful hard to find acreage in Skyline Ranches. 1 1/2 story home features 6 bedrooms and 6 baths with over 6800 sq feet. Huge living spaces, gourmet kitchen, large private beds that all have access to baths, and large master suite with spa like Bath. Features 2 pastures with a 4 stall horse barn that is 1225 sq ft. Come see this fabulous home today!

Susan Hancock • 402.215.7700

Susan Hancock • 402.215.7700

  march/april  •  2011


Amazing views of the Elkhorn & Platte River valley’s. 5 bedrooms, front and rear staircases, towering ceilings & inspiring views out every window. Chef’s kitchen includes walk-in pantry, birch cabinets with roll out shelves & easy close drawers. The huge master suite includes FP, walk-in shower, heated floors. This is a must see!

Tom Friehe • 402.516.2661

Beautiful custom home on a 1 acre lot. Features a gourmet kitchen that flows into a huge hearth room & dinette area. Brazilian cherry flooring, large baths, all bedrooms have a walk in closet & bath access. Circular drive, high efficiency, huge rec room with a rewired theater room & 5th bed.


4807 S 235 Street, Elkhorn

24580 Jasmin Lane, Glenwood


Truly a special home setting on a landscaped 1.54 acre’s. Everything in this home has been transformed over the last couple years. High ceilings, wood floors, Quartz countertops. Cozy up to the fireplace in the kitchen or the one that is in the main floor master bedroom suite. Walk-out basement opens to the private backyard.

Rob Cerveny • 402.598.3335

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  november/december  •  2011

Take a Walk in our Winter Wonderland Holiday Poinsettia Show Friday, November 25 through Saturday, January 8

100 Bancroft Street | Omaha, Nebraska 68108 |

november/december  •  2011  


In This ISSUE 2011 Kevyn Morrow

FEATURES COVER STORY__________________ 28 A Hospice House Story OMAHA HOME_________________ 41 GALA__________________________ 93 Cover Story: Making the Grade to End Hunger Wealth Management_____________ 110 NABCAP Premier Advisors Holiday Gift Guide_ _____________ 119 Omaha’s Broadway Babies_________ 123


Art Friends

Publisher’s Letter_ ______________________________ 8 For Starters_ __________________________________ 10 Calendar of Events_ ____________________________ 12 Between The Lines_ ____________________________ 13

November/December 2011 Vo l u m e 2 8 • I s s u e 5 publisher

todd lemke omaha publications editor

linda persigehl city editor

sandy lemke assistant editor

bailey hemphill art director

john gawley

graphic designer

katie anderson

principal photography by

minorwhite studios, inc. scott drickey • bill sitzmann • jess ewald contributing writers

leo adam biga • tony endelman carol crissey nigrelli • lainey seyler • john fischer vice president

greg bruns

account executives

gwen lemke • gil cohen • vicki voet stacey penrod • paige edwards sales associate

alicia smith hollins

Omaha Art____________________________________ 20 Art Friends Omaha Face___________________________________ 22 Katie Huerter

editorial advisors

rick carey • david scott technical advisor

tyler lemke

warehouse distribution manager

Omaha Faces_________________ 118 Dickens in the Market Omaha Faces_________________ 126 Pat & JT Greater Nebraska Happenings___ 127 Gen O_______________________ 132 Roger Garcia

Pat & JT

DINING OUT_ ___________________________________________________________130 Restaurant Review____________________ 130 Zin Room Dining Guide________________________ 133 Restaurant Profile_ ___________________ 144 Grisanti’s Wine & Food_ _______________________ 146 Champagne

mike brewer

for advertising subscription information:


To s u b s c r i b e t o

Omaha Magazine go to: Comments? Send your letter to the editor to: All versions of Omaha Magazine are published bimonthly by Omaha Magazine, LTD, P.O. Box 461208, Omaha NE 680461208. Telephone: (402) 884-2000; fax (402) 884-2001. Subscription rates: $19.95 for 6 issues (one year), $24.95 for 12 issues (two years). No whole or part of the contents herein may be reproduced without prior written permission of Omaha Magazine, excepting individually copyrighted articles and photographs. Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, however no responsibility will be assumed for such solicitations. Best of Omaha®™ is a registered tradename of Omaha Magazine.

Owned and managed by Omaha Magazine, LTD

Zin Room


  november/december  •  2011

Pages 27-122 are included for city readers and subscribers only but can be viewed at

GET STARTED AT THE YMCA Let the Y help you GET STARTED on the path to a healthier life. When you join any YMCA of Greater Omaha location, you’ll get 3 FREE sessions of individualized wellness coaching as part of our new GET STARTED program. Use promo code OMA1112 to waive the joining fee. Expires 12/31/11. Online purchases only.

november/december  •  2011  


Publisher’s Letter

Dear Readers, I

Todd and Sandy Lemke

t’s an exciting time here at Omaha Publications. In

addition to tabulating the Best of Omaha® Winners, which will be announced in the next issue, we are excited about the imminent Holiday Season. We always have an enjoyable staff party at a local restaurant. We are fortunate to have a close-knit staff full of diverse personalities. It’s what you get when you put creatives, sales and writers together! We hope readers of HER Living enjoy the changes to the former HER Magazine. Its recent restyle, by Art Director John Gawley, brings a fresh look to a magazine that is dedicated to the women of Omaha. HER Living focuses on Leisure, Lifestyle, Health and Home. Editor Sandy Lemke leads this publication and seeks to promote positive stories about local subjects. You can pick up a copy at over 230 retail locations including Baker’s and Kmart, or you can subscribe at www. Of course, you can always read all our publications free at This issue we hope you enjoy our lead story about Phil Hummel’s experience at Hospice House. It is a story that has touched the heart of everyone who has read it. We would like to express our most sincere thanks to the Hummel family:

Phil, JoAnn and their son Alan. Al shared the wonderful photos you see in the article. We also want to thank Gary George, director of Hospice House, and all his great staff. Of course we would also like to thank Leo Biga for writing this story, which took many interviews and several months. It’s also exciting to bring you the Nebraska NABCAP Premier Advisors for 2011. We congratulate the wealth managers named in this list. As the NABCAP board vice president Dr. Chuck King says, “This is not a pay-toplay organization.” They use a merit-based methodology to identify top wealth managers. Read more about it on page 110. Thank you, dear readers, for your support. We look forward to an exciting 2012! Watch for our next issue as we announce the Best of Omaha® winners.

Todd Lemke President and Publisher

Sandy Lemke HER Living Editor

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

Pages 27-122 are included for subscribers only but can be viewed at

For those visitors interested in reading the rest of this issue of Omaha Magazine, go to and read the entire magazine as well as past issues of all of our publications. For those interested in subscribing to Omaha Magazine, please visit Hotel Cover Courtesy of Disney and Cameron Mackintosh present Mary Poppins 8 

  november/december  •  2011

he Durham Museum invites you to “experience the wonder” this year during Christmas at Union Station. This beautiful holiday tradition began in the 1930s when Union Pacic would decorate and display large evergreens from the Pacic Northwest for Union Station travelers to enjoy. Today, this cherished tradition continues with the region’s largest indoor Christmas tree and an exceptional line-up of family-friendly events. Tree Lighting Ceremony Nov. 25, 4-7PM

Holiday Concert Series Dec. 3 & 4, 10 & 11, 17 & 18

Ethnic Holiday Festival Dec. 2, 5-9PM

The Durham’s Noon Year’s Eve Celebration Dec. 31, 10AM-1PM

Family Nights with Santa Dec. 6, 13 & 20, 5-8PM

Visit for event details including the dates and times when Santa will visit the museum. Christmas at Union Station is presented by ConAgra Foods. Holiday programming sponsored by the On Track Guild, Pinnacle Bank, and ConAgra Foods. Media support provided by KETV. Special thanks to Union Pacic, Omaha Public Power District, and Mangelsen’s.

Thank You Omaha for voting us as one of your best! Define your body instead of your body defining you.

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Omaha fo This is

Compiled by Bailey Hemphill

A Christmas Carol Omaha Community Playhouse November 18-December 23

Girl’s Room Bellevue Little Theatre November 4-20

It just isn’t Christmas without Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The classic tale tells the story of a mean-spirited, greedy old man named Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve as he reacts with bitterness to the holiday with “Bah! Humbug!” After a chilling visit from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley, who warns him to change his ways, Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Come experience Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition as Ebenezer Scrooge takes us on a life-changing journey filled with beautiful costumes, exquisite music, perfectly crafted sets, and special effects second to none. A perfect outing for the whole family! Adapted by Charles Jones with musical orchestration by John J. Bennett on the Playhouse’s Hawks Mainstage. Recurring daily. Tickets are $35 for adults, $24 for students for performances before Dec. 16; $39 for adults, $28 for students for performances Dec. 16-23. 6915 Cass St. For more information, visit www.

A dramedy by Joni Fritz in arrangement with Dennis Grimaldi Productions, Girl’s Room deals with the relationships of three generations of lively, intelligent women—grandmother, mother, and daughter—and their family skeletons. The play takes place in the youngest woman’s room as she recovers from a devastating broken bone, which has ended her debut as a dancer. Her mother and grandmother, in an attempt to comfort and encourage her, must confront their own shortcomings. Each woman examines, at length, her own ambitions, and the young woman must come to terms with the path her life must now take. The results are both humorous and moving. Girl’s Room is the second production of the Bellevue Little Theatre’s 2011-2012 season and will run for three weekends from Nov. 4 to Nov. 20. It is part of a celebration of women playwrights, as it was written by a woman, will be directed by a woman, and will have a cast consisting of three women, who are also three generations. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling the theatre at 402-291-1554. 203 W. Mission, Bellevue, NE. F-Sat/8pm; Sun/2pm. For more information, visit www. 10 

  november/december  •  2011

or starters Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s The Nutcracker Orpheum Theater December 9-11

Kicking off Omaha Performing Arts’ 2011-2012 Dance Series is the return of the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet’s The Nutcracker to the Orpheum Theater stage, which wowed audiences last year with its modern, awe-inspiring take on the cherished and traditional holiday favorite. Embark on a magical journey through Tchaikovsky’s beloved holiday classic. Children of all ages will delight in this sumptuous production with its magnificent sets, dazzling special effects, and cirque-style aerialists. More than 60 dancers, actors, and circus artists, including local Omaha-area youth, will mix traditional ballet elements with astounding creativity to bring the whimsical story to life. Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is not only a nationally recognized dance company, a leader in the dance world in terms of repertoire, acquiring and commissioning work from top choreographers, but it is also one of the largest dance presenters in the country, welcoming the best in dance in both Aspen and Santa Fe. Recurring daily. 409 S 16th St. For more information, visit www. or call 402-345-0606.

Holiday Lights Festival Thanksgiving Lighting Ceremony Gene Leahy Mall November 24

The Holiday Lights Festival will kick-off on Thanksgiving evening with the annual lighting ceremony at the Gene Leahy Mall, which will illuminate over 40 blocks of lights in Downtown Omaha. Mayor Jim Suttle and a group of children from the Adopt-A-Tree program and Kids Cafes from throughout the city will lead the crowd in a countdown that will culminate with the illumination of a spectacular display of twinkling lights. There will also be pre-show entertainment before the official ceremony begins at 6pm. Elderly and citizens with disabilities are welcome to view the lighting ceremony from the fourth floor of the W. Dale Clark Library. Public restrooms for the event are available in the Landmark Building and in the W. Dale Clark Library at 14th and Farnam sts. Everyone attending the lighting is encouraged to bring a can of food to support the “Shine the Light on Hunger” campaign benefiting Food Bank for the Heartland. Donation barrels will be located throughout the event. Cash donations will also be accepted. Free admission. 14th & Farnam sts. 6pm. For more information, visit or call 402-345-5401.

november/december  •  2011  


Calendar of EVENTS

2011 November & December

Trans-Siberan Orchestra performs Nov. 11 at MAC

Ongoing Events Through 11/4: Sunday Acoustic Music Series. Soaring Wings Vineyard. Bring your lawn chair or blanket and listen to some wonderfully talented local musicians. Recurring weekly on Sunday. 1711 S 138th St. Free admission. 2-5pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-253-2479. Through 11/5: Bancroft Bayliss Loop Bicycle Rides 2011. Bancroft Street Market. A 19-mile long, family-friendly bicycle ride from Bancroft Street Market to Council Bluffs and back. The ride takes 2 ½ hours. A helmet is required. Recurring weekly on Saturday. Free admission. 2702 s 10th St. 9-11am. For more information, visit www.bancroftstreetmarket. com or call 402-651-2327. Through 11/20: Flyin’ West. Omaha Community Playhouse. Flyin’ West is a moving piece of American history brought to life on stage. A poignant tale of sisterhood and independence, Flyin’ West


  november/december  •  2011

is the personal saga of a family of African-American women who will do whatever it takes to protect each other and protect their land. Unity, courage, strength and perseverance drive this heartfelt play. Recurring daily. $35 adults, $25 students. 6915 Cass Street. For more information, visit Through 11/20: Fall Chrysanthemum Show. Lauritzen Gardens. The show articulates the beauty of autumn with thousands of brightly colored, unique chrysanthemums, water features, Japanese garden influences, and the textures and rich colors of trees and shrubs. Recurring daily. $7 adults, $3 children 6-12, free for members and children under 6. 100 Bancroft St. 9am-5pm. For more information, visit or call 402-346-4002. Through 11/30: A Rescue Mission on the Home Front: Japanese Internees at Boys Town during WWII. Boys Town. This exhibit highlights Father Flanagan’s work to bring JapaneseAmerican families out of internment camps to live and work at Boys Town during WWII. Several of these Japanese-Americans’ stories will be featured, bringing this little known chapter of Boys Town’s history to light. Recurring daily. Free admission. 14057 Flanagan Blvd, Boys Town, NE. 10am-4pm. For more information, visit www.boystown. org/discover or call 402-498-1186. Through 1/7: “Jumpin’ Joe Beyrle – A Hero for Two Nations”. Strategic Air & Space Museum. This exhibit will feature the life story of Jumpin’ Joe Beyrle, thought to be the only American soldier to have served with both the United States Army and the Soviet Army in World War II. Recurring daily. $12 adults, $6 children (ages 4-12), military and senior discounts. I-80, Exit 426, Ashland. 10am-5pm. For more information, visit or call 402-944-3100. Through 1/8: DinO!saurs: Dawn of the Ice Age. Omaha Children’s Museum. Stomping and roaring robotic dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals are invading Omaha Children’s Museum this summer as the museum celebrates its 35th anniversary with the new exhibit Dinosaurs: Dawn of the Ice Age. For more information, visit Through 1/8: American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West. Joslyn Art Museum. The contemporary photographs featured in this exhibition recognize the complexities of our relationship with the landscape and seeks to define paths that reconcile our lasting desires for wilderness and open space with the realities of the built environment of the modern West. $8 adults, $6 seniors and college students, $5 youth (ages 5-17), free for 4 & under. Recurring daily. 2200 Dodge St. Tu, W, F, Sat/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; Sun/noon-4pm. For

more information, visit www.joslyn. org or call 402-342-3300. Through 3/17: Art Pals: Jewelry and Art Show. Old Millard. New on the scene! A cooperative of local artisans are gathering monthly in Old Millard to show their unique artwork and jewelry. “Gotta have’s” of all sorts! Colorful, whimsical, and fun! Free admission. Recurring monthly on the 3rd Saturday through March 17, 2012. 5072 S 135th St. 10am-3pm. For more information, call 402-630-8850. Through 4/18: The Met: Live in HD. Film Streams. Opera Omaha and Film Streams have collaborated to bring the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series to Ruth Sokolof Theater. Wagner’s Siegfried (Nov. 5), Glass’ Satyagraha (Nov. 19), Handel’s Rodelinda (Dec. 3), Gounod’s Faust (Dec. 10), The Enchanted Island (Jan. 21), Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Feb. 11), Verdi’s Ernani (Feb. 25), Massenet’s Manon (Apr. 7), and Verdi’s La Traviata (Apr. 14). Tickets are $24 for general admission; $10 for full-time students with valid school ID. 1340 Mike Fahey St. For more information, visit Through 4/25: Omaha Town Hall Lecture Series. Omaha Town Hall. For over 45 years, Omaha Town Hall has been dedicated to bringing noted speakers to Omaha. Featured this year are legendary broadcast journalist of “60 Minutes” Lesley Stahl (9/28), executive pastry chef of the White House for 25 years Chef Roland Mesnier (10/26), imprisoned investigatory journalist Laura Ling (3/28), and cultural commentator and prolific newsman Nick Clooney (4/25). Must have a membership to attend the event. All lectures start at 10:30am and last one hour. For more information, visit

November Events 11/1-12/31: Christmas Stamps. Boys Town. Visit Christmas-themed stamps and covers from around the world on display at the Leon Myers Stamp Center, located in the Boys Town Visitors Center. Recurring daily. Free admission. 13628 Flanagan Blvd, Boys Town, NE. 8am-5pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-498-1141. 11 / 4 - 5 : Monty Python’s Spamalot. Orpheum Theater. Lovingly ripped off from the classic film comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Tony Winner of the Best Musical of 2005, Spamalot tells the legendary tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Tickets from $2562. 409 S 16th St. F/8pm; Sat/2 & 8pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-345-0606. 11/4-27: Once On This Island. John Beasley Theater & Workshop. A highly original and theatrical Caribbean adaptation of the popular fairy tale “The Little Mermaid.” In an almost non-stop song and dance, the show tells the story of a black peasant girl who rescues and falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of her island. Recurring weekly on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 3010 Q St, La Fern Williams Center. Th-Sat/7:30pm;

Sun/3pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-502-5767.


the lines A look at three Omaha Magazine contributors

11/5: Owl City. Sokol Auditorium. Formed by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumenta list Adam Young, Owl City is an electronica musical project known for the platinum album Ocean Eyes with hits such as “Fireflies” and “Vanilla Twilight.” $20 in advance, $25 on day of show. 2234 S. 13th St. Doors open at 6:30pm, show at 7:30pm.

Christian Behr

Christian Behr

11/6: Regency Lodge Hotel Bridal Show. Regency Lodge. Fashion show, bridal experts, awesome giveaways, and a fabulous time! Free admission. 909 S 107th Ave. 11am-3pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-397-9922. 11/11: Vetera n’s Recognition Day at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Henry Doorly Zoo. In honor of those who proudly served our nation, the zoo will be offering free gate admission to all veterans and their immediate families on Veteran’s Day. 3701 S 10th St. 10am-4pm. For more information, visit or call 402-733-8401. 11/11: Trans-Siberian Orchestra. MidAmerica Center. TSO will rock your winter season, performing the timeless classic “Christmas Eve and Other Stories” in its

Omaha Publications

Fashion Photographer

is an Omaha native. At the early age of 8, he knew he wanted to work in the fashion industry. He left the Omaha area when he was still very young and worked several markets on the West Coast followed by the East Coast. The past 15 years, he has been a photographer in NYC and South Beach Miami. Christian was fortunate that in the beginning of his career he worked for model agencies as a “New Face Specialist.” Since his return to Omaha, he has coached several of the models used in Omaha Publications and has placed them with modeling agencies around the world. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for fellow Omaha residents and love to see them sail off just as I did.” Christian has been published in magazines from Omaha to Asia, and has shot for international advertising campaigns including Fujifilm.

Tony Endelman was born and raised in Omaha. The

writer/comedian Tony Endelman graduated from Burke High School, and holds a degree in Radio, Television & Film from the University of Wisconsin. He spent two years in Chicago doing stand-up comedy, studying at the world-famous Second City, and working mindlessly in an office cubicle. Weary from the hustle and bustle of big-city life, Endelman returned to Omaha to continue his writing career.  He is the guy behind the popular website, , and the author of the upcoming memoir, I Hope There’s Pie.  Keep up with Tony at Tony Endelman Freelance Writer

Linda Persigehl is a native of the Chicagoland

Linda Persigehl

area. She moved to Nebraska as at teen and graduated from Stanton High School in northeast Nebraska. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from UNL, and later moved to Omaha and took a job as a full-time staff writer at Midlands Business Journal. During her seven years at MBJ, she also worked as a part-time sales associate, an editorial assistant and freelance writer. After a stint staying home to raise two kids, she began as Assistant Editor at Omaha Publications in 2008. Linda, her family and her two adopted dogs reside in Bennington, Neb. She’s an active supporter of the Girl Scouts-Spirit of Nebraska and the Nebraska Humane Society.

Acting Managing Editor november/december  •  2011  


Calendar of EVENTS

2011 November & December entirety, followed by excerpts from the upcoming Rock Theater installment “Gutter Ballet and The New York Blues Express.” One Arena Way, Council Bluffs, IA. F/4 &

Ladies Christmas. The Arts Center, Iowa Western Community College. Be taken back to 1959 and the day of the Sunday School Christmas program. As the chil-

8pm. For more information, visit or call 712-323-0536.

dren rehearse up in the sanctuary, the ladies of the kitchen are busy finishing up the goodie bags and putting final touches on the Nativity pieces. Little do they know what surprises are in store for them as they are called upon to once again, step in and save the day. Recurring daily. Tickets from $25-37. 2700 College Rd, Council Bluffs, IA. F/8pm; Sat/2 & 8pm. For more information, visit or call 712-388-7140.

11/11-12: Omaha Symphony: Daphnis and Chloe. Holland Performing Arts Center. There’s a lot to love about this French-inspired program, from Ravel’s ballet masterpiece to Lalo’s enchanting cello concerto. These tres chic classics prove why the French are known for their passion. Recurring daily. Tickets from $15-75. 1200 Douglas St. 8pm. For more information, visit or call 402-342-3560. 11/11-12: Away in the Basement – A Church Basement


  november/december  •  2011

11/11-12: RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. Orpheum Theater. Together longer than The Beatles, RAIN has mastered every song, gesture, and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that’s as infectious as it is transporting. From the early hits to later classics, this adoring tribute will take you back to a time when all you needed was love, and a little help from your friends! Recurring daily. Tickets from $20-62. 409 S 16th St. For more information, visit www.ticketomaha. com or call 402-345-0606. 11/11-13: Hansel & Gretel. The Rose Theater. Sung in English with projected translations in Spanish—and less “grim” than the Brothers Grimm version. The spunky children of a poor broom maker get lost in the woods, where they encounter a magical cottage of sweets and its elderly occupant. But this “witch” is more comic than evil as the clever brother and sister soon turn danger into delights. Recurring daily. Tickets are $19. 2001 Farnam St. F/7:30pm; Sat/1 & 3pm; Sun/1 & 3pm. For more information,

visit or call 402-345-0606. 11/12: Glassblowing Workshop with Ed Fennell. Hot Shops Art Center Crystal Forge. Ed Fennell will demonstrate his craft during this two-and-a-half hour course. Students will then be guided through the process of creating their own paperweight to be mailed or picked up at a later date. Class members should be 13 years or older. Admission is $35. 1301 Nicholas St. For more information, visit www.omahacreativeinstitute. org or call 402-917-8452. 11/13: Nebraska Wind Symphony Concert. UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center. The Nebraska Wind Symphony presents a new season of formal concerts for your enjoyment. $10 adults, $5 seniors & students, free for children

under 12. 60th & Dodge Sts. Sun/3pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-216-0325. 11/16 - 30, 12/1- 3: 12 Ophelias (A Play with Broken Songs). UNO Weber Fine Arts Building. Part of the UNO Theatre’s Mainstage 2011-2012 Season, by Caridad Svich, directed by Dr. Cindy Melby Phaneuf, featuring original music by Michael Croswell, the play imagines an alternate universe following the character Ophelia created by Shakespeare for his play Hamlet. For more information, visit w w w.u noma h a .edu / theatre or contact Sarah Fogarty at or 402-554-3167. 11/17-20: Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair. CenturyLink Center Omaha. Hundreds of the nation’s finest artists and crafters display and sell their handcrafted works. Voted one of the top 100 shows in the country, according to Sunshine Artist Magazine. Recurring daily. $7 adults, $6 seniors, free for children under 10. 455 10th St. Th-F/11am9pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/10am-5pm. For more information, visit or call 402-331-2889. 11/23-1/8: Holiday Poinsettia Show. Lauritzen Gardens. More

than 5,600 poinsettia plants are grown in the gardens’ greenhouses for this annual holiday show. This spectacular exhibit includes a 20-foot-tall poinsettia tree, beautifully decorated holiday trees, antique sleighs, and model trains. Recurring daily. $6 adults, $3 children 6-12, free for members and children under 6. 100 Bancroft St. 9am-5pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-346-4002. 11/ 2 4: “ Hol iday Lights” – Nebraska Wind Symphony Concer t. Holland Performing Arts Center. The 7th Annual Holiday Lights Festival concert will please audiences with beautiful holiday music. The free concert will take place immediately following the Lighting Ceremony. Free admission. 1200 Douglas St. Th/7pm. For more information, visit or call 402-216-0325.

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11/25: Tree Lighting Ceremony. Durham Museum. A holiday favorite! Enjoy live musical performances in front of the beautiful Christmas tree. Take part in cookie decorating, create holiday crafts in Mangelsen’s Craft Corner, and children can share wish lists with Santa and Mrs. Claus under the glow of the tree. $7 adults, $6 ages seniors, $5 children 3-12, free for members

november/december  •  2011  


Calendar of EVENTS

2011 November & December and children under 2. 801 S 10th St. 4-7pm. For more information, visit or call 402-444-5071. 11/25-12/17: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!). Blue Barn Theatre. Like an overstuffed stocking hung by the chimney without care, this story packs every beloved holiday tale and tradition you can think of into a physically dexterous, comedic romp for three actors. It ends with a frenzy of caroling that attempts to pack every known holiday jingle into a two-minute mash-up. Recurring daily. 614 S 11th St. For more information, visit www.bluebarn. org or call 402-345-1576. 11/26-12/17: Holiday Lights Festival: Sounds of the Season. Gene Leahy Mall. Enjoy live music and holiday carols as you

stroll through the beauty of the Holiday Lights! Recurring weekly on Saturday. Free admission. 13th & Farnam Sts. Sat/7-8pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-345-5401. December Events 12/2: Ethnic Holiday Festival. Durham Museum. Learn how the world celebrates this joyful time of year. Featuring ethnic foods and entertainment from all corners of the globe. Local cultural organizations proudly display crafts and traditional dress while musicians and dancers perform throughout the evening. Visitors can also purchase hard-to-find ethnic food and gifts. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-12, free for members and children under 2. 801 S 10th St. 5-9pm. For more information, visit or call 402-444-5071. 12/2-31: Yesterday and Today. Omaha Community Playhouse. Billy McGuigan and his brothers are back! This all-request Beatles tribute show will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along to every song. Share your stories and relive your memories with your favorite Beatles songs. No two shows are the same and every show is a guaranteed exhilarating time! Recurring daily. Tickets are $38 for adults/students. 6915 Cass St. For more information, visit www. 12/3: Holiday in the Village. Rockbrook Village. Children can talk with Santa while riding around Rockbrook in a horse-drawn carriage. Local school and church groups will entertain shoppers

with seasonal music. Free admission. 2800 S 110th Ct. 11am-3pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-390-0890. 12/3: Holiday Air Affair: 501st Legion Stormtroopers. Strategic Air & Space Museum. Photos with Santa and the 501st Legion Stormtroopers. Miniature train display provided by Western Heritage Division of the National Model Railroad Association. Holiday craft stations and special holiday shopping. $12 adults, $11 seniors and military, $6 children 4-12, free for members. 28210 West Park Hwy, Ashland. Doors open at 9:30am; Santa arrives at 10am. For more information, visit or call 402-944-3100. 12/3 - 4: The Physicans Mutual & WOWT Holiday

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Market. Aksarben Village. Get into the spirit of the season in a festive atmosphere inspired by Germany’s classic Christmas markets! Explore booths selling tasty treats and festive gifts to get a start on holiday shopping and savor the tasty aroma of a warm cup of cocoa. Purchase goodies including jams, jellies, baked goods, photography, jewelry and more from local vendors. Recurring daily. Free admission. 67th & Mercy Rd. Sat/10am7pm; Sun/10am-5pm. For more information, visit or call 402-345-5401. 12/3-4: Holiday Happening. Lauritzen Gardens. Festive music, holiday crafts, and a visit with Santa Claus make this a perfect holiday outing for the entire family while visiting the holiday poinsettia show. Children’s activities and photos with Santa cost $3 per child in addition to admission. Recurring daily. $6 adults, $3 children 6-12, free for members and children under 6. 100 Bancroft Street. 12-4pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-346-4002. 12/3-18: The Durham Museum’s Holiday Concer t Ser ies. Durham Museum. Enjoy some of the most beautiful holiday music under the glow of the Durham’s Christmas tree. Talented local entertainers

and choirs perform on weekends as part of the Holiday Concert Series. Recurring weekly on Saturday, Sunday. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-12, free for members or children under 2. 801 S 10th St. For more information, visit www. or call 402-444-5071. 12/3-4/29: Cut! Costumes and Cinema. Durham Museum. Take an in-depth look at the art of making costumes that set the scene and establish authenticity in period films. The films represented depict five centuries of history, drama, comedy, fantasy, and adventure through period costumes worn by such famous stars as Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, and others. Recurring daily. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-12, free for members and children under 2. 801 S 10th St. Tu/10am8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-444-5071. 12/4: Christmas at Boys Town – Tree Lighting. Boys Town. Carolers will welcome Santa Claus when he stops by to visit Boys Town children and families. Everyone joins in singing jolly holiday favorites as the Village Christmas tree is lighted to start the Christmas season. Free admission. Village Circle, near Heroes Blvd, Boys Town,

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Calendar of EVENTS

2011 November & December Mannheim Steamroller is at the Orpheum Dec. 22nd.

NE. 7:45pm. For more information, visit or call 402-498-1141. 12/4: Christmas in Germany. German-American Society. Come celebrate Christmas with traditional German music and dance, Schnitzel and Brats, warmed spice wine, a children’s string puppet show, a visit from St. Nicholas, and gift shopping in the Christkindlmarkt. Free admission. 3717 S 120th St. 12-6pm. For more information, visit or call 402-333-6615. 12/4: Holiday Lights Festival: Wells Fargo Family Festival. Various locations. 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. Free admission. 12-5pm. For more information, visit or call 402-345-5401. 12/4-1/14: Christmas at Boys Town – Historic Crèche Displays. Boys Town. See three Nativity scenes. The main crèche adorns the historic Music Hall near the main entrance and can be seen for miles. This large Nativity scene was created by the late Donia Temple, a Holocaust survivor. Other Nativities are located at Dowd Memorial Catholic Chapel and in front of the Village Christmas tree across from the Skip Palrang Field House. Recurring daily. Free admission. Village Circle, near Heroes Blvd, Boys Town, NE. For more information, visit or call 402-498-1141. 12/5-11: Irish Christmas at Father Flanagan House. Boys Town. The Father Flanagan House comes alive each holiday season with the sights and sounds of a traditional Irish Christmas celebration. From candles in the windows to Christmas


  november/december  •  2011

quilts on the beds, the house captures the spirit of an Irish Christmas based upon faith and family. Recurring daily. Free admission. 14153 Grodinsky Cir, Boys Town, NE. 10am-4pm. For more information, visit or call 402-498-1141.

cup of Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa topped with Reddi Wip. Recurring weekly on Tuesday. $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 3-12, free for members and children under 2. 801 S 10th St. 5-8pm. For more information, visit or call 402-444-5071.

12/6-9: The Madrigal Christmasse Feaste. Regency Marriott Ballroom. Announced by fanfares and accompanied by music, mirth, and traditions, the multi-course meal is designed to celebrate Christmas. Every member of the cast of 30 is dedicated to making this an unforgettable event filled with the spirit of the season. Recurring daily. Tickets are $52 general, $48 group rate. 10220 Regency Cir. Cocktails at 6pm, dinner at 7pm. For more information, visit or call 402-556-1400.

12/9, 12/11: Christmas at the Cathedral. St. Cecelia Cathedral. The Omaha Symphony Chorus and the Omaha Symphony Chamber Orchestra perform a concert of original classical works and arrangements of seasonal carols in this 16th annual holiday tradition. Dr. Craig Jessop, former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, will appear as guest conductor. Recurring on Friday and Sunday. Tickets from $15-25. 701 N 40th St. F/8pm; Sun/2pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-398-1766.

12/6-20: Family Nights with Santa. Durham Museum. Children will be able to share their wish lists with Santa and meet his reindeer, who will be making a special stop at the museum. Take part in holiday crafts and enjoy live musical performances. Warm up with a free

12/10: Holiday Lights Festival: Dickens in the Market. Old Market. Costumed characters and holiday performances recreate a Dickens Village in the Old Market. Free admission. 10am-4pm. For more information, visit or call 402-345-5401.

12/16-17: Mr. Dickens is Coming to Town. Field Club of Omaha. Hosted by the Douglas County Historical Society, Mr. Gerald Charles Dickens, greatgreat grandson of Charles Dickens, is coming to Omaha to perform A Christmas Carol. On Dec. 16, Dickens will perform during a Proper English Tea at 2pm, a Patron Party from 5:30-7pm, and Dinner at 8pm. On Dec. 17, Dickens will perform during a Matinee at 1pm, and then will go to the General Crook House for an intimate evening at 6pm with cocktails, hor d’oeuvres, and observations on the life of his great-great grandfather. Book signings and autographs will follow after every performance. Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit or call 402-455-9990. 12/16 -18: Omaha Symphony: Christmas with the Symphony. Holland Performing Arts Center. Make memories with the ones you love at Omaha’s favorite holiday tradition! Beloved music, Broadway stars, local talent, an audience sing-along, and the popular dancing Santas create a can’t-miss Christmas spectacular

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12/31: The Durham Museum’s Noon Year’s Celebration. The Durham Museum. Bring your children to the fun-packed party where they can explore New Year traditions from around the world, take part in crafts, and special activities. The day ends with a celebratory bubble wrap stomp and ball drop at noon. $8 adults, $5 seniors, $4 children 3-12, free for children under 2. 801 S 10th St. 10am-1pm. For more information, visit www.durhammuseum. org or call 402-444-5071.

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12/31: Noon Year’s Eve at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Henry Doorly Zoo. Party with the animals and celebrate New Year’s Eve at the zoo. Have a wild time with activities, entertainment, and an early countdown to 2012. Enjoy this fun family event without having to stay up until midnight! Free with regular paid zoo admission. 3701 S 10th St. 10am-1pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-733-8401.


12/22: Mannheim Steamroller. Orpheum Theater. Grammy Award® winner and mastermind behind the group, Chip Davis will direct and co-produce both the East Coast and West Coast tour ensembles of Mannheim Steamroller. The shows will feature the favorite Christmas music of Mannheim Steamroller along with state of the art multimedia effects in an intimate setting. Tickets from $34-74. 409 S 16th St. 7:30pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-345-0606.

4 Consecutive Years


12/16 -19: Supper with Santa at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Henry Doorly Zoo. Join Santa and Mrs. Claus at the zoo for a night of fun-filled holiday spirit! Enjoy supper, crafts, pictures with Santa and more. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Recurring daily. Registration required. $15 per person, free for children under 2. 3701 S 10th St. 6-8pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-738-2092.

Fireworks. Gene Leahy Mall. Join thousands on New Year’s Eve with a fireworks display choreographed to music. Free admission. 14th & Farnam Sts. 7pm. For more information, visit w w or call 402-345-5401.

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bursting with joy and excitement. Recurring daily. Tickets from $1580. 1200 Douglas St. F/8pm; Sat/2 & 8pm; Sun/2 & 7pm. For more information, visit www. or call 402-342-3560.



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Omaha ART Story by Carol Crissey Nigrelli • Photos by & Kim Justus

Art Friends

A Consortium of Caring Creatives


t’s good to have a friend like Glenda Stone. Her smile and personality are as rich as

her auburn hair. She leads with her heart and derives great pleasure from helping others. A handful of local artists can attest to that. Stone, an Omaha native and mother of two grown daughters, is co-founder and sole proprietor of Art Friends, a combination art gallery and gift shop in West Omaha. The unassuming storefront lies tucked inside a maze of commercial buildings along Industrial Road between 144th and 149th streets. On display inside the small store is an eclectic array that ranges from Stone’s fabric art to large framed photographs of flowers. Hand-made baby clothes sit on shelves across from antique china. A ceramic sculpture of a pig decorated in mosaics greets people at the front door. Carved gourds, pottery and jewelry catch a browser’s eye as the customer moves slowly through three rooms. Six different artists, including Stone, share space at Art Friends. Stone sells their artwork on consignment. She lets them price their own work. “If and when an artist’s creation sells, then they get a large percentage of the sale price,” explained Stone. “ I make enough to pay the rent, and there’s a monthly fee to show their work, but my goal isn’t to make a lot of money as a business. It’s to promote the artists.” One of Glenda’s consignors, fine art photographer Kim Justus, makes Art Friends her second home. Her shots of delicate, colorful botanicals hang throughout the store along with photographs of Omaha landmarks, matted or framed. 20 

  november/december  •  2011

But Justus’ pictures of dogs and her line of canine-themed notecards have helped make Art Friends a destination for dog lovers. In return, Art Friends takes pride in its involvement with Hearts United for Animals, a nokill animal shelter. “We gave a percentage of our sales in August and September to HUA,” said Stone, a huge dog lover herself. “Art Friends also donates things to their silent auction and helps promote them,’ added Justus. The giving nature of Art Friends is why Paul Koch, lovingly referred to as “the token guy,” got on board. Koch provides the

pottery, but Omahans may remember him as the former executive director of the Siena Francis House downtown. When the Long Island native retired in 2002, he decided to become a full-time potter. His Pottery By the Creek studio calls rural Carson, Iowa home. “I do a mix of functional ware and sculptural,” said Koch, whose New York accent is long gone. “Coffee mugs sell for about $18 and pay my studio expenses.” Koch says he’s very happy to be a part of Art Friends, as is Katherine Krug, whose medium is tile and ceramic art. “It’s a great place to show some of my pieces because they’re too big and too fragile to haul around to different art shows,” explained Krug, who holds an art degree from UNO. Krug’s mosaic sculptures that sit in the front window of Art Friends are the heaviest and most expensive pieces in the shop. Her small mosaic table is decorated with colorful hand-made tiles, pieces of glass, china, concrete and grout, and sells for over $800. Another Omaha native, Betsy Rubendall, sews and knits one-of-a-kind baby gifts, from bows and sweaters to blankets and diaper bags, using top designer fabrics. Stone quickly pointed out, “You won’t find those kinds of gifts in a mall!” Cheryl Wood rounds out the group with her decorative gourds, a craft she learned to love in 4-H Club. Wood cuts, cleans, dries, paints and accessorizes gourd bowls and vases. And she’s gearing up for the holiday season with her gourd ornaments. Stone is beefing up her line of wearable art for the gift-giving season as well. Her intricately beaded bracelets take hours and hours of work. She also knits scarves and tunics and paints handbags. In fact, she’ll paint on just about anything…including pheasant feathers. “I’ve had women ask me to paint their husband’s hunting dog or their motorcycle on a feather,” said Stone matter-of-factly. “A framed feather costs between $75 and $120 and they are very popular! Art Friends is celebrating its second anniversary this Christmas. Their store offers a wide variety of holiday-themed accents both big and small, and is located at 14738 Grover St. For more information on artists, hours, directions and more, call 402-637-6444 or ‘ friend’ Art Friends Omaha on Facebook.

november/december  •  2011  


Omaha FACES Story by Bailey Hemphill • Photos by

Katie Huerter


Mother, Student, Activist

t 24, Katie Huerter has experienced more than most her age. She is a mother to

her and husband Nick’s four-year-old son, Sebastian; she attended three undergraduate colleges until finding her perfect fit in UNO’s Non-Profit Administration and Philosophy programs; and she spent 10 days with a delegation in Israel listening and providing non-violent empowerment to Palestinians. Huerter grew up in Honey Creek, Iowa and attended St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs before moving to Omaha and attending Duchesne Academy. Although raised Catholic, she had Jews, Muslims, and Christians in her family, so she knew that people of different faiths could coexist. She also grew up going to homeless and women’s shelters, and events on equality with her mother. Needless to say, Huerter was groomed for delegating peace. It was in a Critical Reasoning class at UNO where Huerter read an article about the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict and found herself unable to grasp “how anyone could let such a conflict happen.” Philosophy professor Dr. Rory Conces recommended that she move beyond the books 22 

  november/december  •  2011

and get involved in conflict resolution and global peace organizations. Two years later, she went to Israel. At the trip orientation in Washington, D.C., Huerter and the Youth Delegation practiced being interrogated, non-violent resistance, how they’d react to a riot or demonstration, and how they’d move along occupation lines. Shortly after, they left for Tel Aviv. Within five minutes of being off the airplane, Huerter noticed there were different signs and streets for Israelis and Palestinians, much like during the apartheid in South Africa. “The first day experiencing the [Israeli West Bank barrier] was striking, horrible, and empowering all at once.” Over the 10 days, Huerter participated in two demonstrations in Jerusalem, stayed in Israeli and Palestinian homes near Gaza, and visited Palestine’s Birzeit University. During these experiences, she learned about the inability to travel between Palestinian cities due to the militaristic Israeli checkpoints and the inaccessibility of transit permits for Palestinians. At one checkpoint, the entire delegation was taken off their bus at gunpoint. The Israeli guards took their passports, looked through their cameras and deleted photos, and interrogated them. Huerter believes some in Israel don’t want the world to know what’s happening in the West Bank. continued on page 24

“The first day experiencing the [Israeli West Bank barrier] was striking, horrible, and empowering all at once.”



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november/december  •  2011  



“Even though I was experiencing these horrific events—human rights violations, segregation, racism—the Palestinian people [with me] were so wise and welcoming. They weren’t violent or demanding retaliation.” Huerter continues to fight for Palestinian rights despite being back home. She published several articles on CNN’s—one of them even appeared on the home page for a few weeks. She admits to receiving plenty of hate mail, but she has also received mail from Palestinians all over the world who believe her shared experiences are helpful to the resistance. On Sept. 15th, International Day of Democracy, Huerter organized a Rally for Palestine in Omaha’s Memorial Park, which had more than 60 people in attendance to chant, hold signs, and listen to speakers from the community. Huerter created the rally to bring awareness to the UN vote on the Palestinian bid for statehood. As for her goals moving forward, Huerter would like to attend American University for global peace and conflict resolution for her Masters and Ph.D. programs. She also plans to continue projects in Omaha that will spread awareness about the conflict, which include making her Sept. 15th rally an annual event. To read more in-depth about Huerter’s trip to Israel, visit her website 24 

  november/december  •  2011

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Story by Leo Adam Biga • Photos by & courtesy of the Hummel family

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How Phil Hummel’s end of life journey in hospice gave his family peace of mind and granted him a gentle, dignified death


ven though the end of life comfort

care known as hospice is better understood today than decades ago, misconceptions linger. Some mistake it as denying care. Others assume it’s only for special cases. The myths and misapprehensions make sense given how death and dying tend to be topics avoided rather than engaged in America. No two end of life scenarios unfold alike. But charting a real life journey through hospice can remove some of the fear and unknown that follow a terminal prognosis, which is why the Hummel family agreed to share their experience at Hospice House, the Josie Harper Residence. Executive Director Gary George welcomed this reporter in to give readers a glimpse at a patient-familycaregiver story. The center, at 7415 Cedar St. just east of the Bergan Mercy Medical Center, is a collaborative between Alegent Health, Methodist Hospital, the Visiting Nurse Association and the Nebraska Medical Center.

november/december  •  2011  


cover story

F A Rich Life

amily patriarch Phil Hummel of Woodbine, Iowa was a resident there 10

weeks last summer. Hospice provided a dignified end of life path and offered loved ones peace of mind his every need was met. Hummel, 78, died gently in Room 2 on September 1. That last day, like each of the 69 preceding it, Phil’s wife JoAnn and son Alan were present. They were with him when he drew his last breath. In the weeks leading up to his death, his daughter Gail was on hand along with other family members and figures from his career as a high school educator and coach. Married 56 years, JoAnn and Phil met at Tarkio (Mo.) College. She attended on an academic scholarship. He, on an athletic scholarship. Phil, a Riverton, Iowa native, excelled in sports at Sidney High School, where’s he’s a Hall of Fame member. His football-track exploits also earned him a spot in the Tarkio College Athletic Hall of Fame. After the couple married, Phil was drafted in the U.S. Army and JoAnn followed him, first to New Jersey, then to Japan. Back home, his military hitch over, the couple started their family and taught together at Woodbine High School. Her speciality was business ed. He taught U.S. government and American history. Summers, he ran a house painting crew that did work all over western Iowa and the Omaha metro area. He was by all accounts as demanding a boss as he was a coach. During a highly decorated coaching career, he led teams in many different sports but mostly made his mark as a cross country and track coach. He won several Coach of the Year honors and was a longtime Drake Relays official. The Iowa Association of Track Coaches’ Hall of Fame inductee twice led USA Track and Field youth teams to China. “Sports were a big part of our life, that’s for sure,” said JoAnn. “He was really busy coaching, and then on the side he was an official, and he refereed. He was gone a lot. And then when he wasn’t doing that, he was hunting and fishing. It was a good thing I loved sports because that was Phil’s life. I was at all the games.” Her husband, who made his runners take the steep cemetery hills on the west edge of town, was a living legend. “Phil was known all over the state of Iowa,” she said. A measure of the impact he had on young people is the seven pages worth of condolence memories on the Fouts Funeral Home web page after his death. Like any good coach, Hummel was a surrogate father to his athletes. One young man he drew 30 

  november/december  •  2011

Phil and JoAnn Hummel recount their family’s decision to move Phil to Hospice House. Though unsure of hospice at first, the Hummels were sold on the place after just one day.

especially close to was Guy Mefferd, who with Phil’s guidance turned his life around and went on to serve as a U.S. Navy SEAL. Jan Sauvain, a family friend Phil coached in basketball, said he could be a strict disciplinarian “but never vindictive or to humiliate you or to demean you, just to give you a little insight into what you did wrong, and he cared about the kids after they graduated.” She said Hummel, unsolicited, recommended her to an AAU basketball coach in Omaha and wrote a glowing reference letter for her brother. “He did care, absolutely,” said JoAnn, who typed her hubby’s correspondence in her unofficial role as “Phil Hummel’s administrative assistant.” She said, “He was always interested to see what happened to students down the line. That’s why so many people came to see him in the Hospice House. Sometimes we had five to 10 a day. They came from all over.”

W Comfort and Care

with the dying process — things like pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, constipation, agitation. Those are all things we often see in varying stages as the dying process progresses. “If we can control those symptoms and the patient knows you’re going to be with them, you’re going to support them, and you have enough time to develop this relationship, then there’s always something we can offer to comfort them. We can control these symptoms, make them the least they can be, so they can live a really comfortable life until death comes naturally. This is our area of expertise.” Because Phil was alert and active almost his entire stay, he savored many moments with those dear to him and developed rapport with caregivers. He felt well enough most days to relax in the courtyard. He even went on regular outings to favorite haunts, such as the Horseshoe Casino and Olive Garden restaurant. He told stories and shared memories, but mostly he listened, laughed and cajoled, holding court on the deck or in his room. My intro to the Hummels came via a phone call to JoAnn’s cell. She answered from Phil’s room with, “We just got back from the casino with some of Phil’s friends. Phil just ordered Jimmy Johns.’” It’s not what I expected — a dying man living it up, so to speak. I came to see it as his serene surrender to fate — making the most of what time he had and appreciating everybody and everything around him. “He wasn’t scared,” said JoAnn. Phil loved singing the praises of Hospice House. “Oh, I mean, they are so good it’s unbelievable,” he told me, his voice a heavy rasp from the radiation that seared his mouth and throat tissues. “That doesn’t mean we get everything we want. It’s just — they have a care and a love, and people come in and it doesn’t take long for people to understand that. I don’t know where you can move to a better place. There might be one, but I don’t know of any.” For those like Phil, given the opportunity to appreciate the life left to them, hospice is not the dour, bitter end but the last bright stage of things.

h e n w o r d got out

Phil was dying, scores of athletes he coached, along with fellow coaches, even old teammates, came to see him. Each shared a piece of Phil’s end of life journey with him. As did Hospice House staff and volunteers. With its many windows looking out on nature and the great room’s soaring cedar ceiling, there’s a bright, uplifting feel to Hospice House. Also an intimacy and communal aspect quite unlike a hospital. Community meals are convened. Families and volunteers share treats. Musicians come to perform music. Children and therapy pets visit. The emphasis, said Ann Cole, a staff registered nurse, is comfort. “Death is really the final stage of growth and dying is a natural part of life, and if we have enough time to work with people we can help them and make this really a positive time,” she said. “We can help them to accept what’s going on. First of all, we’re able to control the adverse symptoms that go along

Phil won several Coach of the Year honors and was a longtime Drake Relays official. The Iowa Association of Track Coaches’ Hall of Fame inductee twice led USA Track and Field youth teams to China. “Sports were a big part of our life, that’s for sure,” said JoAnn.

november/december  •  2011  


cover story

P Bonds

eople think of hospice as

a death sentence so often and it’s really about quality of life,” said Cole. “Hospice is working with the patient and family — supporting, teaching, making that quality of life a real possibility, and I think that’s what we did for Phil. If you can help families know what to expect, what will be done, and follow through on those things, they really learn to trust and the trusting relationship is very important.” JoAnn and Alan praise the staff for easing the path. “They were wonderful there. It’s just a fantastic place,” she said. When she and her son left to go home at night, she said, they could be assured Phil was in good hands. Said JoAnn, “We knew if he needed any little thing they’d be running right over here because the nurse’s station is just around the corner.” Alan admits he wasn’t sold on Hospice House before placing his father there. After moving him in, though, he became a convert. “Looking back now, it could have been a cave as long as those people were there. The people that work there make that place what it is. Ninety-nine point nine percent go far beyond the call of duty.” JoAnn, a native Missourian with a show-me attitude, noted the sincere empathy. “When they had kind words to say I never felt they were just making it up to make me feel good. I think they really felt that way. That’s why they’re there.” A little warmth goes a long way. Besides, Ann Cole said, “Who wants a cold nurse?” It wasn’t just healthcare providers who impressed JoAnn either. “The volunteers are fantastic. Like the Cookie Lady. Her husband was a resident there and she wanted to do something for the Hospice House, so she decided she’d bake cookies. Every Thursday she brings them in. It smells so good. Even the cleaning ladies are fantastic. Nice, pleasant, do a beautiful job.” Gary George, who’s headed the center since its 1998 opening, said everyone who works 32 

  november/december  •  2011

there embodies “a sense of passion,” adding, “We want to be doing this kind of work.” He describes it as “a calling to be working with people at end of life that then links to an honoring of life and a recognition that end of life is part of life, not something to be feared, not something to run from. It’s recognizing all the rich...things that can come out of end of life when people are being walked through that journey.” “Compassion,” is the common denominator, said certified nursing assistant Joanne Waltsky, who, like Ann Cole, got close to Phil. “These people are like our family. We get some of the crabbiest people in the world and they always end up loving us — I mean, always. It’s awesome, it just makes us feel good.” The Hummels shared how Waltsky’s habit of singing while making her rounds at first rubbed Phil the wrong way, before he melted under her buoyant charms. “The first night I came in here it was a helluva night,” Phil said. “Six o’clock the next morning, somebody came in here singing. Who the hell can be that happy in the morning? I told my wife,’ I don’t think I can put up with that.’ By noon she had me won over. You want to know why? This gal had everything we needed whenever we needed it, before we knew we needed it. That’s not a joke. “And she’s still going, and the others are just like her, just happy as clams, which made us happy of course. I can’t say any more about this place than if I tried, and I’m trying, because they’re good.” Because Phil was there so long and his wife and son there so much, the bonds between caregivers, patient and family had time to to ripen. “Everybody was really attached to him and they were really fond of him,” son Alan said. “They want to keep from getting attached but your dad won them over,” JoAnn told Alan. “They won him over,” Alan replied.

“Death is really the final stage of growth and dying is a natural part of life...We can help them to accept what’s going on,” says staff-registered nurse Ann Cole.

W Attitude is Everything

altsky said in contrast to some patients who sink

into despair and wallow there despite her and her workmates’ best efforts, Phil embraced his remaining life. “We try to bring people up but they don’t always want to,” she said, “but Phil every morning got the day planned and told us what he was doing. He touched everybody there. He was so independent. He was everybody’s friend. He had so many visitors. When his coaching friends and past students would come in, he’d always introduce me like I was family. I just loved him.” She said the entire Hummel family made an impression. She was struck by how JoAnn and Alan befriended a woman without any family in the room next to Phil’s, checking in on her, bringing her goodies. “They’re just loving people, you know, and everybody loved that. They were just joy.” JoAnn Hummel returns the compliment by saying she never conceived hospice would be such “a positive thing. I’m so glad we went there. That was the only place for that kind of care. It was either that or go back to Woodbine to a nursing home, and Phil didn’t want to do that. This was just perfect.” She’s certain Hospice House helped extend his life. When he arrived in June, he was given less than a week to live. Ten weeks later, he was still there.

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H A Life Interrupted

is cancer jolted the couple. They were busy enjoying their hard-earned retirement, traveling to Las Vegas, wintering at a Florida condo, spending time with family and friends. The Council Bluffs casinos were favorite getaways. Phil loved the outdoors. Then, in April, he discovered a large lump on his throat while shaving. After going in for tests at Methodist Hospital, the bleak diagnosis of cancer unsettled his and JoAnn’s world. “The worst you can have,” is how a physician put it. Inoperable. An aggressive regimen of chemo and radiation in Omaha followed. “I truly think the doctors knew it was an impossible slide but worth a shot and I thought it was worth a shot, because the alternative would not be any good if you just left it alone,” said Phil. “I had all the faith in the world the treatments were going to fix it,” said JoAnn. Only Phil didn’t get better. The tumor didn’t respond as hoped. “I just saw him get sicker and sicker and more miserable,” said JoAnn. Making one-hour drives each way for debilitating treatments took its toll. “We would drive back and forth every day,” she said. “On the weekends he would just go in the bedroom and stay in there in the dark. He couldn’t eat. It was terrible. His neck was getting worse and worse, just burned.” “I couldn’t get anything down,” Phil said. On Mondays it began all over again. “It was a hard time,” said JoAnn. Spring turned into summer when the oncologist reported what the couple already suspected — the tumor wasn’t shrinking.

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cover story “That was a bad day for me when he said we are going to stop all treatment,” said JoAnn. “I know when it was exactly — the 22nd of June. We came in here (Hospice House) the 24th.” Phil was precariously near death. “When we came in here the doctor said maybe five days,” JoAnn recalled, “Phil hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for two weeks, only kept alive with hydration. He couldn’t raise his head off his chest.” “I couldn’t move. I was bad,” Phil said to me.


Phil Accepts Impending Death

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thing happened. “When the swelling began to go down from the radiation treatments, he began to be able to sip a couple sips of water and eat a little apple sauce,” said JoAnn. “It wasn’t long before he was eating more things.” Alan plied his father with food but Phil could never hold it down. Yet the better Phil felt, the hungrier he got for his favorites, including hamburgers. It’s all he talked about. Alan was reluctant to give him one, until he finally threw caution to the wind. “It took us awhile to figure out it doesn’t matter — give him whatever he wants. I went to Five Guys Burgers and Fries and brought it back. He didn’t eat very much of it but it was the first time in at least a week he was able to hold down food,” recounted Alan. “You would have thought it was the first hamburger, the best hamburger, some kind of divine hamburger. Seriously, the look on his face…That hamburger is when he turned the corner from being where we thought there was no way, to maybe there’s some hope he’ll hang in there a little while, and it was.”

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P Rebounding

Phil relaxes in the Hospice House courtyard, where he recounted stories of his coaching days with former tracksters.

hil gradually regained strength. Not long after his rebound began, tells

JoAnn, the doctor that gave Phil precious little time to live stopped by Phil’s room. “He sat down and pulled his chair right up to Phil’s face.” “Nose to nose,” is how Phil put it. “And,” JoAnne continued, “that doctor said, ‘I can’t believe what I’m seeing.’ That he’d come around. And you have to give a lot of credit to this place because it’s a wonderful place.” Phil agreed, saying, “You know, I feel so far from where I was when I came in, but I accepted it [his fate]. Maybe it’ll give me some more days down the road, I don’t know.” “It’s a miracle you’re even here,” Alan told him then. Five days turned into 10, 10 into 20...Certainly no one expected Phil to venture out, albeit confined to a wheelchair, to eateries and attractions, but that’s what he did, and if residents get there early enough it’s how hospice ideally transpires. “The fact he was so positive about going out on his little excursions, and I’m sure he probably didn’t always feel the best, is what hospice is about. It’s to go out and do the things you love to do. You’re not confined to bed in this place. We encourage people to do what they can do. We’ve had people go home and stay overnight a couple days and come back,” said Cole.

The turnaround Phil experienced, said George, “is neither usual nor unusual, it happens sometimes, and for who knows how many reasons.” He added, “Sometimes people do seem to have some spark, some different amount of energy when they get here, and for some people it may be due to more stimulation and activity, for other people it might be a sense of relief — some sort of freeing up and letting go of responsibilities, letting loose of some things. “Lots of people bring treasures here that mean things to them. For many people that’s photos. For one guy it was a full lifesize cutout of John Wayne. For one of our earliest residents, John, it was a little bookshelf filled with these thick novels and I said, ‘Oh, John, you must have brought along your favorite books,’ and he said, ‘Oh, those aren’t my favorites, those are just ones I have left to read.’ I don’t know how many he got to read while he was here but that’s what he planned to do. I thought that was amazing. “People come with a bit of a sense of adventure sometimes. I always admire that attitude of here’s something new and different — kind of leaning into it.” That same leaning into one’s dying days is what Phil Hummel exemplified. A small bulletin board in his room displayed photos of things and people he cherished: family, friends, track. An American flag emblem. And a hand-printed Bible verse from his granddaughter Jessica about the virtues of love. He literally lived for visits by friends and loved ones, former schoolboy tracksters, hunting-fishing cronies, and for those casinorestaurant forays. Not everyone can be so active. For most, their illness is too advanced to allow for much mobility or independence. “Our residents tend to come to us later in their disease process than they used to, so on the continuum, Phil was a little bit more on the active end of things when he came,” said George. “Most of our residents are no longer at a point where they’re any longer coming and going so freely and wanting to do that even. But he also was a person who came, it seems to me, with that drive — this is what I want to do, this is how I want to do this. He kind of made that happen, along with his family.”

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hil himself theorized his

“cantankerous” spirit may have spurred his comeback. Action follows attitude, even when dying. Phil Hummel’s gregarious, generous attitude set the tone for his end of life experience and everyone around him. “You know, he was one of those patients none of us will ever forget,” said Cole. “He was just a delight, really a people lover. I picked that up. He really, really cared about people. He talked about his coaching days. It was so obvious he cared about everybody. And even the last couple of days, he was not a complainer. “You had to really take a lot of nonverbal cues as to what’s going on, which is something we do all the time. He always thought about other people, never about himself. ‘How was your weekend?’ he’d say.” Alan Hummel remarked, “I don’t know how he did it. I thought he was in a bad mood for maybe only one day — and that was the first day.”


The Beginning of the End

fter thriving for so

long, the end came rather abruptly. On Friday, August 26, Phil was, if not a picture of health, a still vital man. He was keen for the college football season to start so he could root on his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes. Still stinging from a “disasterous” day at the casino, he anticipated betterluck-next-time. He played amiable host to two journalists in his room. Small talk came easy to him as he relaxed in the tranquil courtyard. The last image of him was a tired but content man ready to meet whatever life next presented him, even death. When I called JoAnn Wednesday, August


  november/december  •  2011

Above: Phil in the dorms of Tarkio College, circa 1954. Top right: Phil and JoAnn in their college days in Tarkio, MO. Bottom right: Phil ready for a baseball workout. 31 about stopping by, she informed me in a taught, severe voice, “Phil’s taken a turn for the worse.” The morning after I saw him he’d suffered a bathroom fall, not breaking any bones, but hitting his head and scuffing his arms and legs. He didn’t lose consciousness. JoAnn and Alan were there. Alan was the first one in to help his father. The nurses were soon on the scene to attend to his scrapes and bruises and make him as comfortable as possible in his recliner. The fall precipitated a rather rapid decline. “That’s what started it. From then on it was down hill all the way,” said JoAnn. “He whacked his head pretty good. I think he might have been a little concussed,” said Alan. “I don’t know if he was in a lot of pain, he didn’t talk about pain,” said JoAnn. “He would have never told anybody if he was,”

said Alan. “Had to be strong,” added JoAnn. Acting on cues, the nurses gave him morphine. “We left him in his chair and he slept the whole day, and then that made him sore,” said JoAnn. “He didn’t eat anything. That was Saturday.” “He slept all day Sunday,” said Alan.”He was conscious but he just didn’t want anything to eat, and he really didn’t want to talk,” said JoAnn. Another sign that Phil’s body was shutting down and he was slipping away was when he stopped showing interest in the therapy dogs he used to enjoy. Through the weekend and into Monday and Tuesday he was more and more in a somnambulant state. “He’d wake up, talk a little bit, say a few words, and go right back to sleep,” said JoAnn. “He started babbling, too, like talking to someone who wasn’t there, reaching for stuff,”

said Alan. “It was the beginning of the end I’m afraid,” said JoAnn. Into Wednesday though, Phil clung on to what he could. “When they tried to put him into bed he absolutely refused,” said Alan. “They had to sedate him to get him out of his recliner into the bed. Mom said he didn’t want to go to the bed because he knew once he did that was it — he wouldn’t come out...” The robust Phil they knew soon disappeared. “That’s the last we heard from him. When his eyes would open it looked like no one was home...they were all glassy,” said Alan. “Usually when I said something he would look toward me,” said JoAnn. No more. “That was extremely hard to watch, extremely,” said Alan. continued on page 39 november/december  •  2011  


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The Gift of Time

or the family, there was the

consolation of two extra months. A true gift. “How many times did I say that today?” Alan said to his mother the day Phil died. Even though they knew it was coming, losing a loved one still hurts. “At the risk of being cliche, and Mom said it this morning, too — you say you’re prepared, you think you’re prepared, and there is no preparing. You just can’t be prepared,” Phil’s bulletin board of memories. Alan said. “I figured we would have been at this point a long time ago. We knew the outcome was going to be bad, but he had a good couple of months, seriously.” Sitting at the dining room table in Alan’s home only hours after Phil passed, son and mother recounted the blessing the Hospice House turned out to be. “All those people who came to see him. Dozens and dozens and dozens of people,” JoAnn said. “I should have kept track of the names.” “It’s been really good,” said Alan. “I think he actually had fun.” “He did,” JoAnn confirmed. “It sounds horrible, but it’s true, I think he had a good time,” added Alan. “When all the track people came from eastern Iowa, they stayed five hours. They sat out on the patio and Phil ordered Jimmy Johns. They all had lunch out there. He had a great time. It made him forget what the situation was,” said JoAnn. If we have the choice, maybe we should all go the way Phil did, I volunteered. “Absolutely,” said Alan. “Millions of people never get that opportunity.” JoAnn said while “it hasn’t been easy,” what helped make it more tolerable was the gradual transition Phil made “from one stage to the next stage,” the “wonderful” care he received, and his own serene attitude. “Phil was just resigned, too. He didn’t fight it. If this is the way it’s going to be, it’s the way it’s going to be.” Hospice House became such a routine in the family’s life that being separated from it feels like a loss, too. “I’m going to miss it, I hate to say that. It’s going to be funny not to go there,” said Alan. “We were there a lot of days,” JoAnn said. “It was weird to leave there after cleaning out the room and it was empty. No one there. None of my favorite girls around,” said Alan.


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hat workers were present the day Phil died were moved by Phil’s passing. “A lot of tears were shed that day by the staff,” JoAnn said. He seemingly touched everyone there. “Phil was a leader and teacher all the way to the end of his life,” said Gary George. “I will remember Phil and his family taking every opportunity to continue to come and go from Hospice House to enjoy life to its fullest. On many occasions I saw them heading out the front door for some adventure together.”

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Janet Ryan, “Cookie Lady” The same front doors Phil and family came in and out of are the doors Phil exited for the final time after his death. “We do not want to ‘usher death out a side door,’ or make it seem that death is too awful to look at, “George said. “This I believe is an important feature of Hospice House.” For Ann Cole and Joanne Waltsky, Room 2 will always be Phil’s. Said Cole, “You couldn’t help but love the guy. He was totally about seeking the positive things in people and affirming that and making them better. You would walk away from his room and just feel so good and hope that you had given him half of what he gave you. He was, oh, so gracious.” George said when a resident dies, “families and friends are given the time, space support they need, and my co-workers stand by ready to offer whatever they can,” adding, “This may involve tears, hugs, tissues, offers of a beverage, another chair, a shoulder to cry on…silence, storytelling, or tears mixed with laughter.” The giving goes both ways. JoAnn and Alan brought flowers from Phil’s funeral to Hospice House, where, per tradition, a candle burned in his memory. JoAnn will be back — she has walnuts and gooseberries for the Cookie Lady. The family asked that memorial donations be made to Hospice House and many were made. Typical of the man, Phil Hummel wasn’t interested in how he would be portrayed in this story. But he did request we emphasize the quality caregiving and warm sense of community at Hospice House. “I want you to give as much attention as you can to this facility,” he said. Read more of Leo’s work at

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Omaha Magazine go to: Comments? Send your letter to the editor to: All versions of Omaha Magazine are published bimonthly by Omaha Magazine, LTD, P.O. Box 461208, Omaha NE 680461208. Telephone: (402) 884-2000; fax (402) 884-2001. Subscription rates: $19.95 for 6 issues (one year), $24.95 for 12 issues (two years). No whole or part of the contents herein may be reproduced without prior written permission of Omaha Magazine, excepting individually copyrighted articles and photographs. Unsolicited manuscripts are accepted, however no responsibility will be assumed for such solicitations. Best of Omaha®™ is a registered tradename of Omaha Magazine.

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november/december  •  2011


ow many times have we all said, “I can’t believe it’s already that time of year!”?

As I write this letter, the leaves are beginning to turn, the air is getting brisk and the Halloween decorations are starting to appear. By the time YOU read this letter, the leaves will be gone and we’ll be preparing for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas or whatever holidays you may celebrate. Time moves so fast! I believe some of the best things about holidays are that they “require” us to break from our routine, slow down a bit, and take inventory of our lives, realizing all that we have to be grateful for. The holiday season is also a time to carry out traditions, and even start new traditions. It’s a time to make your home a little cozier with a crackling fire, a spicy scented candle, a fresh evergreen wreath, or just great comfort food. It’s a time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the last year and look forward to the next. This issue will complete our first year of Omaha HOME, and I, myself, have a lot to be grateful for. I get to work with fabulous clients that I’ve grown to know personally over time, as well as a great team of co-workers that are diverse, creative and fun. I have a boss that empowers his employees to make decisions and take ownership in their work. It has been wonderful to take not only my clients’ input, but also your input as readers to create what I feel is an informative, wonderful magazine called Omaha HOME. I hope you enjoy this issue because we broke away from some of our regular format to offer you a little glitz for the holidays. Aaron Carlson, interior designer/florist/event planner was so gracious to decorate his home for Christmas back in early October, in order for us to feature it in this issue (pg. H22) Everything looked fabulous! Thanks also to Kathleen Fahey for allowing Papillion Flower Patch to get a “major head start” decorating for the Christmas Caravan (pg. H46). Inside, you’ll also find many other holiday and winter-related articles to help you make your home festive and cozy this season. Thank you so much for your readership this year. It has been great fun and I look forward to even bigger and better things next year. Thank you also to my clients, who took a leap of faith last fall, having not seen even one Omaha HOME yet. It’s also you that keeps this magazine informative, interesting and diverse… Slow down, enjoy your holidays, and take it all in! We will see you in January! ENJOY! Sincerely,

Stacey Penrod Account Executive & Contributing Editor, Omaha Home Magazine

Omaha Home Magazine appears as its own magazine and as a section within Omaha Magazine. To view the full version of Omaha Magazine, or to subscribe, go to

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Omaha Home: contents FEATURES The Comfort of Fire_____________ 16 At Home:________________________ 22 Aaron Carlson Neighborhood Profile:_ ___________ 32 Skyline Ranches Transformations:_ ________________ 38 Traditional with a Twist Holiday Entertaining:_ ____________ 44 Tasty Traditions

Feature: Fireplaces

At Home

Holiday Tour:____________________ 46 Christmas Caravan 2011

COLUMNS Home Maintenance:______________ 20 Get Prepped for Fireplace Season Home Tech:_ ____________________ 21 Holiday Lights

Departments Home Happenings:________________ 8 Mega Model & Magic at Midtown come to Omaha Neighborhood Profile

Design Profile:___________________ 10 Deb Kirchner, Mulhall’s New on the Block: _ _______________12 Unique Stone Concepts Green Design:___________________ 14 Heat Pumps & Geothermal Systems Hot Products:____________________ 48 5 Gorgeous Gifts for Holiday Giving Pampered Pets:__________________ 50 Zoie, the Voet Family


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Omaha Home: home happenings Story by Bailey Hemphill • Photos by Carla Jarmin, All 4 You Photography and courtesy of Midtown Crossing

At left: Cheryl Tiegs models Cambria’s new line Above: Midtown Crossing looking west Below: Tiegs with Marchese family. Sam and Connie Marchese are on far right.

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  november/december  •  2011

Cheryl Tiegs at Cambria Quartz Countertops Launch

Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces held a combination New Product Launch and 25th Anniversary celebration for owners Sam and Connie Marchese on Aug. 26. The event was held on the Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces campus and was attended by over 175 customers and employees. The celebration included a new color launch of Cambria Quartz Countertops. Cheryl Tiegs, well known as America’s first ‘Mega Model’, was in attendance. Tiegs is the product advocate for Cambria and was on-hand to meet Consolidated Kitchens and Fireplaces customers as well as taking photos. The evening was capped off by “The Confidentials,” who played well into the evening.

Magic at Midtown

Joslyn Castle Trust has chosen Midtown Crossing, Omaha’s unprecedented condominium community, as the host site of its latest interior design showcase. Magic at Midtown: A Tour of Upscale Urban Residences will formally open with a gala event and fireworks on Thurs., Nov. 17. Public tours of twelve Midtown Crossing condominiums will continue through Dec. 4. In addition to the gala and the tour itself, a variety of events are scheduled in conjunction with Magic at Midtown to allow more community involvement. “We’ve been chatting with Midtown Crossing since it opened because it’s the new center of town, the new place to be. We knew the Omaha community would love to see what’s happening on the residential side and how handsome those spaces truly are. Add in vision of dozens of the area’s best designers and those spaces are truly going to be something to behold,” says Mark Maser, a member of the Magic at Midtown Tour steering committee. The Trust’s latest designer showcase was held at the Brandeis Mansion in Omaha’s historic Gold Coast neighborhood. These designer showcases are the premier fundraising events for the Joslyn Castle Trust. It is expected that Magic at Midtown will raise over $100,000 to support ongoing efforts to restore the Castle property.

november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: design profile Story by Linda Persigehl • Photo by


Deb Kirchner

Senior Manager of Décor, Mulhall’s


e caught up with this in-demand buyer/designer during her busiest time

of year to learn how she got started, about her own home décor, and her tips for novice decorators.

Q: Tell us what your job entails, and what you enjoy about it. A: I have been the senior buyer/designer for the interiors department at Mulhall’s for 12

years. The position gives me a lot of flexibility in how I spend my day, from crunching numbers on the buying side, to using my creative side in designing and decorating anything from customers’ homes to Christmas trees!


  november/december  •  2011

Q: Tell us a bit about your personal life. A: I’m originally from a small town in

northeast Nebraska, Meadow Grove. My parents still live there. I have a son, Michael, 28, who’s to be married in a year, and a daughter, McKensie, 23, who lives in New Orleans. They are the joy of my life. Q: You don’t have a degree in interior design, but obviously you have a gift for decorating. How did you hone your design skills? Did you have any mentors? A: I had a friend, Diane, who lived next

door to me 30 years ago. After my son was born, I stayed home, and Diane and I became interested in decorating our homes. We were always looking for new fabrics, accents… basically anything that would update our

homes. Diane inspired me with how detailed she was, from the welt she used on her sofa to the pillows that adorned her room. Q: How is your own home decorated? Do you have collections, or a favorite piece of art/ furniture? A: I live in a villa in Elkhorn. If you walk

into my home today, you will find a sunny, happy front corner office with two oversized rattan cuddle chairs in red and yellow! From there, [the rest of the home has] a different color story and feel. Bronze, black, gold, silver, and brown combine to make my piano room more formal, and flow through the rest of the main floor and lower level. I love fabric, pillows and well-appointed accessories. My favorite room is my great room – it’s cozy and comfortable. I feel most at home right there, as this is where my family and friends congregate. I have a 60-inch tall chair with ottoman that I bought 15 years ago. It was deep burgundy, but it’s now chocolate brown and makes a statement in the room. I also have a hand-painted charcoal picture of my son drawn by my grandmother. In my mind, it’s the best piece of artwork in my home! I’m not a collector of anything, though I appreciate those that are and find their ‘finds’ to be an interesting part of their home. I believe collectibles should be grouped together, not spread throughout a room or home. It then becomes a statement on its own.

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Q: What advice would you give beginning decorators? A: My advice is threefold: first, decide what

pieces in the room you will go forward with and keep, and why [you should have a reason every piece is chosen]; second, purchase items that are high quality and made well. You get what you pay for; and last but not least, a room is never done until you have added accessories such as artwork, lamps, floral and several key pieces to tabletops. Details are important and must be pleasing to the eye —they make a room come to life!


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november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: new on the block Story by Bailey Hemphill • Photos by & provided by Unique Stone Concepts

New on the Block

Unique Stone Concepts

(L-R) LaBrier, Britain and Uchitelle in their Omaha distribution center


nique Stone Concepts was

founded in November 2010 when Larry LaBrier and Elliot Uchitelle purchased the natural stone slab assets of ISC Surfaces. They named the company Unique Stone Concepts to better represent their vision of bringing the most “unique” new natural stone products to the marketplace. The partnership of LaBrier and Uchitelle has allowed Unique Stone Concepts the opportunity to become the pre-eminent wholesale distributor of natural stone products in the Midwest. Recently, the company expanded beyond their St. Louis and Kansas City locations to open


  november/december  •  2011

Flags representing stones’ country of origin

a third stone distribution center in Omaha, headed by Christine Britain. Britain started as a designer within the industry, working with homeowners, builders, and general contractors in plumbing sales, but she had always had more of an interest in surface materials. Unique Stone Concepts found her resume on and contacted her with a design consulting position, which eventually led her to her current position as the manager of the Unique Stone Concepts Nebraska division. As a full-service importer of natural stone slabs, Unique Stone Concepts offers their customers the opportunity to view and select the finest marble, granite, and other natural stone slabs in a well-organized gallery environment. The goal of the company is 100 percent customer satisfaction and 100 percent referral ratings. The professional staff of designers, sales professionals, and support staff are committed to insuring that clients have the best possible experience in selecting their natural stone materials. “What we’re finding out about our clientele is that they are local designers in the community, and they bring in their clients with paint colors and cabinet colors,” says Britain, adding that the best way the staff can guide customers is by having the customers bring as much as they can to help in the stone selection. When asked what makes Unique Stone Concepts special, Britain says, “We’re an inside facility—everything is inside. Most of the local area stores are outside. And, we are the exclusive dealer for Vermont quarries.” Unique Stone Concepts is located at 13231 Centennial Rd, south of Giles. For more information, call 402-609-7585 or visit

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november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: green design Story by Linda Persigehl • Image provided by Enertech Global

Rendering of a horizontal geothermal system

Heat Pumps & Geothermal Systems

Green options for heating and cooling your home


ith another harsh Nebraska winter on the horizon, many homeowners are looking at ways to reduce their energy costs by upgrading their outdated, traditional heating systems. More homeowners are embracing green technology, including heat pumps and geothermal heating and cooling systems, which serve to replace both a furnace and air conditioning system, and finding the savings is worth the extra costs upfront. Here are basic explanations of how each option works, as well reasons so many are making the switch. Heat Pumps

Heat pumps work by drawing heat from the surrounding environment and pumping that warm air into another environment through the use of an outdoor coil, refrigerant, a compressor and an indoor coil. The website explains the heating process this way: Air passes over the outdoor coil, which sucks the heat out of it and puts it into the refrigerant (even on cold days, there’s some heat present in the outdoor air). The captured heat makes the refrigerant warm and turns it into vapor. These vapors travel to the indoor coil inside the home. When the indoor air meets the heat in the indoor coil, it gets warm and travels throughout the home ventilation system. A heat pump uses nearly the same process to cool the home, but with a few changes: The outdoor coil captures the heat from air outside and pumps it into the indoor coil. When the warm air meets the indoor coil’s extremely cool refrigerant, the heat doesn’t last very long. It gets absorbed so quickly that the air loses all humidity, which condenses outside of the coil. A fan pushes that super-cool air into the ducts. H14 

  november/december  •  2011

“Most heat pumps today are capable of removing heat from outside air down to temps as low as 0º F,” said Dave Swett, an energy and HVAC specialist with Omaha Public Power District. “They also provide far less fluctuation in indoor temperature during the heating season…so comfort levels improve as well.” Visually, heat pumps resemble a large air conditioning unit and furnace, and many people don’t notice any difference. Though models come in a variety of sizes, efficiency ranges and price points, they generally do cost more up front than a furnace. eHow. com reports on average, heat pumps cost about $2,000. “However, if you look at the first costs compared to the efficiency of the system and the amount of money it can save you, you’ll find the energy savings often pays back the initial cost difference very quickly,” Swett said. According to Swett , records indicate that over 45,000 OPPD customers in the metro use heat pumps in their homes as the primary source of heating and cooling. Nationally, total shipments of heat pumps in 2010 were nearly 1.8 million units, up 7 percent over 2009 (according to a recent Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute report). Why the increase? “Some industry experts believe it is due to economic recovery, while others indicate that federal tax credits and utility rebates are in part responsible,” Swett said. “Currently, OPPD customers can receive up to $400 if they have an AHRI-certified heat pump installed in their home,” he added. Many heat pump manufacturers also offer additional incentives. The increasing costs of gas and electricity, as well as people’s desire to reduce their environmental footprint, may also be contributors. “Heat pump efficiencies run in the ranges of 200 to 500 percen. They can be that high because they don’t produce heat, they simply move it from one location to another. “Any time energy use and consumption can be minimized, the effect on the environment is positive.” Geothermal Heat Pumps

Geothermal heat pumps—also called ground source heat pumps—work much like conventional heat pumps: GHPs use electricity to take heat from a warm area and transport the heat to a cooler area, and vice versa. However, GHPs use the relatively constant

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temperature of the shallow earth as a source of heat in the winter and a repository for heat in the summer. A system of fluid-filled plastic pipes, or loops, buried underneath the home or in-ground adjacent to the building, acts to transfer the heat to where it’s needed. The loops can be buried in a horizontal pattern, or vertically. The heat can also be used to produce some of the home’s hot water or even heat a swimming pool. Larry Rasmussen with Gustave A. Larson Co., a leading wholesale distributor of HVAC equipment in the Midwest, said geothermal heat pumps are being used in all types of construction, “wherever enough space is available and earth formations allow. “Vertical wells take a very small footprint but are more expensive than horizontal loops…but they’re more practical (in metro areas) because of limited land.” Rasmussen said residential systems can cost from $15,000 to $30,000, but a 30 percent federal tax credit, available until 2016, offers some financial assistance. Electric utilities offer rebates and lower electric areas in many areas as well. Lucas McAlpin, residential sales manager with Thermal Services, which also provides sales and installation of geothermal systems, said, “A typical three to four-ton system will take about five full days for install, start to finish. Digging the wells takes a majority of the time. The process does include tearing up the yard to an extent; however, with the well companies we have used, they do their best to minimize the amount of damage to the grass. Many times, we simply re-sod the portion affected.” Rasmussen said the energy saving of such a system can be dramatic. “From 30 to 70 percent, depending on which system you go with. Residentially, this can add up to $400 to $900 in annual savings.” McAlpin said the investment pays off, adding, “We’ve seen payback (for the initial costs) in as little as two to three years, but the average time it takes to recoup the cost is four to six years.” Systems are being installed in just about every part of Omaha for commercial and residential use, with both new construction and existing structures, Rasmussen said. “Homeowners planning to stay in their home for the foreseeable future are investing in geothermal systems.”





november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: feature Story by Traci Osuna • Photos courtesy of Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces

The Lennox Wood Estate Series


Comfort of Fire

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero, Roman Era


  november/december  •  2011


rom the traditional wood-

burning fireplaces that require kindling, wood, ample time and a watchful eye, to new gas models that come to life with the flip of a switch, there are more options in fireplaces than ever before. Electric models that create a mood, if not an abundance of heat, and wood-burning stoves that evoke the feeling of a simpler time. Local retailers say that, depending on your needs, they can steer you in the right direction. Wood-burning fireplaces still have a presence in older homes, as well as in the rural areas where wood is plentiful. For what they

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lack in convenience and efficiency, they more than deliver in ambiance; there is nothing like a natural fire on a chilly night…the sound of popping and crackling wood and the sight of glowing, flickering flames bring back family memories and help to create new ones. Though most people may not be adding wood-burning fireplaces to the interior of newer homes, more and more people are adding these full fireplaces to their outdoor living areas. The classic look of a wood-burning fireplace is a staple in many homes around town, but many residents are feeling the need for both a warmer and more economical choice. There are several options for those looking to increase the heat that their fireplaces put out while lowering their utility bills. Gas logs resemble real wood logs and come in a variety of types. They fit over a gas line, which may already exist in your fireplace or can be added. The gas valve allows a small amount of gas to be ignited and the flames to rise through the artificial logs. There they are vented, meaning the chimney flue would remain open, allowing smoke (and heat) to escape. Un-vented logs (also known as or vent-free or vent-less) would allow the damper to remain closed, keeping more heat inside the home. While the vented gas logs provide a more realistic look, they are not nearly as economical as the vent-less. There are pros and cons to both and your local retailer will be able to steer you toward the option that is best for you. Gas inserts are currently the most common way to transform an existing fireplace into a more efficient and convenient source of heat. The metal inserts are designed to slide right into your existing masonry and a face plate will close up the outer edges, creating a smooth look and an airtight seal. New home construction most likely will utilize gas fireplaces. You can enjoy a warm and inviting fire at the touch of a button. Inserts fueled by wood, wood pellets (compressed wood), as well as corn and some kinds of seeds are also available and may be more beneficial to you if a gas line is not readily available or if you live in an area where these other fuels are easily accessible. For those who do not currently have an

november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: feature HINT: For fireplace maintenance see page H20 existing fireplace and do not want to add one, a stove is an option that will provide an efficient source of heat, as well as bring a unique look to your décor. Stoves are available in gas, wood, wood pellet, or corn and seeds. Some stoves require a gel-based fuel to start the fire; others may require a gas ignition starter. Corn- and pellet-fueled stoves have hoppers that will hold a large amount of fuel, cutting down on the need to bring in extra wood. However, depending on how often the corn or pellet stove is used, regular maintenance of cleaning out the burn pot is required. Stoves are a very economical choice, with some wood-burning users claiming to save up to $200 a month off their utility bills. Depending on the model, stoves can easily heat homes anywhere from 600 to 3,000 square feet. In the past, electric fireplaces have not been well received. They did not give off much heat, and their far-from-realistic look left people wondering, “Why bother?” But retailers say that the electric fireplace has come a long way in recent years and is much more appealing today. While the heat that it gives off has been compared to that of an electric space heater, the appearance has greatly improved. Electric has been cited as a good alternative for rural communities, where gas lines are not readily accessible. It has also been a popular choice in some of the recent condo renovations, in which vented fireplaces have not been an option. While the mental image of a fireplace can seem pretty antiquated to some, don’t get discouraged; in recent years, the fireplace industry has been evolving. The latest trend in fireplace fashion includes replacing the gas logs with what are known as fire crystals (pieces of broken glass) or fire gems (glass pebbles). These come in a wide variety of colors and allow the flame to rise up through the pieces of glass, creating a clean and elegant look. River rock is also a popular option. Fireplaces themselves have become sleeker, more linear. Rather than the tried and true rectangular opening, the openings have become lower and wider, scrawling across the wall and occasionally around the corner. Dual sided fireplaces allow two rooms to benefit from the warmth and beauty. Linear fireplaces H18 

  november/december  •  2011

The Lennox Montebello see-through fireplace

The Lennox Elite Louverless fireplace


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are available in both wood burning and gas. Whether you are looking to update the look of your existing fireplace or create a new cozy spot, there are many ways to make the fireplace stand out or blend in. Mantles come in various styles and materials, brick or stone facades, wood surrounds…whatever your style, there are décor option that will suit your tastes. Accessories, from decorative (candelabras, fire gems), to functional (grates, tools, remote controls, thermostats) to safety (mesh screens, child protecting gates), help to create the fun and safe experience that every family is looking for. While hearth and home have changed immensely over the last 2,000 years, it still is one of the most wonderful places to be. The following people contributed to this article: • Wayne Swaney – Lumbermen’s • Bruce Carlson – Consolidated Kitchens & Fireplaces – • Brandon Claxton – Claxton Fireplaces • We work with all insurance companies for water restoration

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november/december­  •  2011  


Home: maintenance Story by Wayne Swaney, Customer Service/Dealer/Retail Sales Manager Lumbermen’s Hearth & Home of Omaha, NFI Certified

Get prepped for fireplace season!


he leaves are turning and

the nights are getting cooler… yes, fall is here once again. With winter just around the corner, now is the time to get your fireplace ready for the season. These are just a few things to keep in mind when preparing your hearth for the winter. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually. Burning wood and pellet fuel creates creosote that builds up over time on the inside of the flue pipe. This creosote build-up causes the flue pipe to lose its ability to function properly, and if left unmaintained, could eventually lead to a chimney fire. During a chimney fire, the temperature inside the flue exceeds the maximum operating range of the chimney causing a burn-thru on the pipe. Once the pipe integrity has been compromised, a fire can quickly spread throughout the house causing a complete loss of property and possibly lives. Gas fireplaces should be inspected and maintained on a similar schedule to the furnace system in your home. Although gas fireplaces do not create a creosote hazard, they do produce carbon monoxide. If the appliance is not properly serviced and maintained by a qualified technician it can be very deadly. During operation, the fireplace and surrounding surfaces will become very hot to the touch. This extreme heat can cause a serious skin burn very quickly. Children should never be left unattended while your fireplace is in operation. Furniture, holiday decorations, and other combustible materials that are placed close to the fireplace can become overheated and start a fire without warning. Following a maintenance schedule, becoming familiar with the proper operation of your fireplace, and being watchful of fire hazards will allow you and your family to have a warm and safe hearth season. For more information on fireplace options and maintenance, visit Lumbermen’s at 13709 Industrial Rd., Omaha or go to their website, H20 

  november/december  •  2011

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Home: tech Story by Chris Spurgeon, owner Landscape Illuminations

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Are You Ready For The Holidays?

time of year when you need to decide how you are going to decorate your home for the holidays. When it comes to your outdoor holiday lights, we know exterior lighting can be a challenge. Steep roofs, tall trees, and “Clark Griswold,” down the street may all contribute to decorating anxiety. Here are a few decorating tips to help your home glow this holiday: • Use LED lights. Not only do these holiday fixtures glow brighter, but also at a lower energy cost to the homeowner. The bulbs are guaranteed to burn considerably longer as well, eliminating the headache of searching for the single burned-out bulb in a seemingly endless strand of lights. • Use clips. There area wide range of clips available for hanging lights in trees and from the rooftop. Nails can leave permanent marks on your home and run a high risk of damaging your strings lights. • Simple is better. Try to pick a single theme for your design—one color of lights (all blue or all white are popular) with a large wreath, or just light the trees and roofline but leave the windows in the dark this year. In staying simple, it helps draw viewers’ eyes to the overall beauty of the design and prevents the risk of them getting lost in the busy-ness. • Use a timer. Your holiday lighting can be designed to turn on and off at times determined by you: imagine turning ‘round the corner on your way home from work and being greeted by your lights shining brightly with holiday cheer!

402-289-1010 •

Call Landscape Illuminations today at 402-699-3414 to meet with a holiday lighting designer, or visit our website at for more info. We suspect you won’t be disappointed to leave your ladder in the garage this year.

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november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: at home Story by Molly Garriott • Photos by

Large marble tiles in the living room distinguish the formal living room from the rest of the main level, while furniture with a neutral color palate serves as a sophisticated backdrop to holiday dĂŠcor. The red painting by Steve Joy adds a huge pop of color.

Dressed for the Season Designer Aaron Carlson decorates his luxurious home for a holiday soiree


aron and Karen Carlson bring a little Southern, gracious living home for their Midwestern holidays. Boxwood wreaths, magnolia swags, and plenty of fresh flowers dress their home in “simplistic but elegant” holiday attire. continued on page H27

november/december  •  2011  



november/december  •  2011

The Fine Art of Entertaining Aaron Carlson (see photo at top left) is definitely a professional when it comes to fine entertaining. As owner of Aaron Carlson Design, Inc., he’s designed the home interiors of some of Omaha’s finest residences and planned dozens of memorable special events. His modus operandi: Combine style, luxury and simplicity for elegant, timeless design. For this holiday gathering, held at his home near 90th and Pacific streets, Carlson pulled out all the stops. Ornate floral centerpieces and holiday greenery displays were used to add festive, fragrant flair. Gold and silver accessories were used in unique ways to add sparkle to his already-stunning home furnishings and décor. Ornate china, crystal and silver, paired with fresh fruit and fine linens, were used to dress the dining table to suit the most sophisticated palate. Carlson also called in the help of his friend Susan Fortina to help out. Fortina, who owns her own boutique catering and personal chef service, provided the festive martinis, appetizers and dinner menu for this holiday gathering. Fortina describes her style as rustic and casual with an emphasis on seasonal, local, and organic ingredients. “My niche market is small intimate gatherings and food as gifts,” she added. Fortina’s newest interest is mixology. “Cocktails are making a huge comeback and you no longer need to settle for boring vodka and sodas or rum and cokes because nobody knows how to mix a good drink.” Below, she shares a recipe for one of her own craft cocktails (see photo at left).

“Christmas Cheer” Cosmopolitan 1 part cranberry infusion 1 part Joss vodka or Hendrick’s gin Juice of 1 orange Fresh lemon juice to taste 1 sprig of fresh lemon balm or mint Muddle lemon balm or mint in cocktail shaker. Add remaining ingredients. Fill w/ ice and shake vigorously. Pour through strainer into chilled martini glasses. Enjoy!

november/december­  •  2011  



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  november/december  •  2011

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he Omaha interior designer

swaps out the traditional red and green for a more monochromatic approach to holiday decorating. Pick one color and go with it, advices Carlson. This year Carlson is going bold­— but simply. White with silver accents is the color scheme this December. Stately orchids, bunches of hydrangeas, bundles of roses, and clusters of soft, white candles present a striking contrast with the rich greens of boxwood and magnolia. For added sparkle, Carlson added touches of silver. “I just cleared out my china cabinet,” he confesses. He is a big fan of using what you already have in innovative ways for holiday entertaining. To wit, silver champagne glasses found new life as serving pieces for olives and cornichons. He also uses silver trays a base for white pillar candles and greens. “Call your mom, call your cousin to borrow silver for Christmas,” Carlson suggests. “Not everyone has five silver trays.” And ask for help from talented friends when entertaining. Susan Fortina helped out with Carlson’s recent gathering, providing the festive martinis and food. “Texture is the secret to design,” he owns. Throw in a little candlelight, and you have stunning holiday décor. This concept of layering even works for food, he asserts. Balance out high and low on a tray for added interest. Mix shapes: wedges of cheese and bowls of olives with breadsticks gathered in a tall glass. Dabble with color: black and green olives with red pimentos alongside a simple bowl of purple grapes. Carlson believes holiday decorating does not have to be an ordeal when you use what you already have as a backdrop. You don’t have to pull out boxes of Christmas baubles and Dickensian villages from storage to dress up your home in holiday attire. A simple boxwood wreath draped around a candelabrum continued on page H29

Flickering candles and a textured floral display by Carlson add layers to the décor in the foyer.

november/december­  •  2011  


is both festive and easy. Want to gussy up a chandelier? Carlson suggests wiring green apples to your lighting. Pomander balls adorned with rich, velvet ribbon can dangle from just about any cabinet knob. Carlson even has them hanging in his bathroom. This approach of keeping it simple and adding interest through layers and texturing is at play throughout his home year round. In his living room, Carlson mixes contemporary and traditional pieces. Consider the sofa and chairs and coffee table. The clean lines and quiet colors of his sofa and chairs are a striking juxtaposition to the rich color and intricately

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november/december  •  2011  



  november/december  •  2011

carved tobacco twist leg of the coffee table. The flooring is 12 by 12 Carrara marble tile and a surprising departure from the hard wood in the rest of the house. “I wanted to break it up, add another texture,” he explains. Gentle neutrals is the predominant palette in Carlson’s home. “The color is in the art,” he asserts. A rich, red Steve Joy painting hangs over the couch, giving the soothing room a vibrant jolt. Over the sideboard is a large painting of cows. While it may be a nod to his Midwestern life, it is also a reminder that decorating your home takes time and patience. Carlson originally saw the cow painting in a local gallery and fell in love with it. He didn’t buy it, though, and regretted its loss. Then one day he saw it hanging in a client’s home. She wanted to sell. Carlson promptly bought the painting, and it now resides in a place of honor in his living room. Carlson’s tale illustrates his belief that decorating your home does not have to happen overnight. “Take your time,” he advises. “What make a home are those special items.” And at the holidays, special items can be as simple as a white candle, swags of magnolia, or grandma’s silver tray or as sublime as the family and friends with which you surround yourself.

Top photos: Leaves and ribbon adorn a wall sconce, while candlelight adds ambiance and dimension to the living room. His prized cow painting hangs in the distance. Green apples displayed in a bowl add a fresh scent. Bottom left: A casual dining space in the kitchen offers more delicious appetizers displayed with charm, while a stocked bar sits at the ready for crafting holiday cocktails and mixers.

november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: neighborhood profile Story by Traci Osuna • Photos by

Skyline Ranches


Conceived as a “community of horse owners” a half-century ago, this West Omaha neighborhood retains it equestrian roots

love my neighborhood!” says Theresa Johnson, Vice President of the Skyline

Ranches Homeowners Association. Johnson, who has lived in the residential area just west of Hwy. 31 between West Dodge and Pacific streets since 2005, said she fell in love with the area long before she ever lived here. Growing up in Springfield, Johnson recalls that Elkhorn and her hometown were sporting rivals. While playing the high school away games, she appreciated how similar Elkhorn was to Springfield. Years later, a house-sitting job for her then-boss brought her back to “the Ranches.” “I fell in love with it out here because of the nice big, open spaces and the trails.” The fact that Skyline Ranches is one of only a handful of equestrian communities in the United States also appealed to this former farm girl. “I grew up in that kind of community…I had horses [growing up].” Drawn to the sprawling horse trails and the approximately 150 acres of the development’s

common areas, Johnson told her then-boyfriend (and future husband), “Someday, I’m going to own a house out here.” It took nearly 15 years, but Johnson says her dream finally came true. The couple left Omaha to build their home here six years ago. Skyline Ranches was developed in 1960 by realtor and landowner Slim Thornton. His plan was to create a community of homes on the outskirts of the city where lots were large enough to allow the residents to own and board horses. Each home would have direct november/december  •  2011  



  september/october  november/december •  • 2011 2011

MAKE YOUR NEIGHBORS JEALOUS. access to horse trails and would surround a large, 60-acre common area to be used for horse riding and other community activities. One of the original residents, Jerome Givens, built an indoor riding arena for the community to use. As Skyline Ranches grew in popularity and population, the riding arena was soon too small for the area. Nowadays, the Skyline Corral is where Ranch residents show and ride their horses. It includes a rodeo arena and a 4-H showground with observation tower and stands. Skyline Ranches today is a community of 232 homes, with lots varying in size from approximately a half-acre to seven acres. Houses range in price from $250,000 to over $1 million. According to NP Dodge Realtor Nancy Kehrli, nearly 75 percent of the homes have been updated. Skyline Elementary School is conveniently located in the subdivision, and two new schools opened within the last year: Elkhorn Valley Middle School, just across Pacific Street, and Elkhorn South High School, situated a half mile to the south of the development. Still an equestrian’s oasis, in which approximately half of the current residents own horses, many of the properties in Skyline Ranches have barns, corrals and pastures. Neighbors often board horses for those who may not have the amenities on their own property. The sense of community is strong within the development. “Our association dues are only $200 a year, which means there are a lot of things we look to neighborhood volunteers to do” explains Johnson. Each fall and spring, residents come together for the neighborhood clean-up and picnic. At this time, neighbors break off into different groups and set off along the 18 miles of trails to collect tree branches and perform other maintenance needed among the common areas. “Then we have a gigantic potluck dinner …and we just hang out in the park all afternoon.” Other community events include the annual Easter egg hunt, a progressive dinner and a 4th of July celebration that rivals anything you’ll find in Omaha. “We always continued on page H36 At left: A contemporary home sits across the street from a traditional Cape Codstyle home. The mix of residential home styles is one aspect that makes Skyline Ranches unique.

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have a big BBQ lunch during the day and end with a humongous fireworks display.” Johnson says the association hires a professional company to put it on. “Considering it comes from a neighborhood, it’s pretty doggone impressive!” Longtime residents Lionel and Jane Reilly have lived in Skyline Ranches for nearly 35 years, and raised their children in the home they still occupy. Today, they are often visited by their grandchildren who feel right at home in The Ranches. Granddaughter Taylor Cooprider has been an avid horse rider since she started taking lessons at age 7. Though the Reillys do not own horses of their own, Taylor often helps care for the neighbor’s horses, and in return, gets to ride them around the ranches. Lionel, recently retired CEO of Professional Veterinary Products, recalls how others reacted when he decided to move to Skyline Ranches in 1977. “People would always say, ‘Why’d you move out there? It’s the boondocks!” he recalls with a laugh. Today, even though Skyline Ranches is now a part of Omaha, Jane and Lionel say they still feel like they’re out in the country. “We used to be much more secluded than we are now. The city’s pretty much engulfed us,” says Jane. “But yes, we still get that wide open feeling…that’s what we enjoy the most.” Their ranch-style home has been updated over the past thirty-four years, with additions, remodeling and a new in-ground pool, to accommodate their growing family and their changing needs. The Reilly’s lot, like many others, is surrounded by trees, making their backyard a secluded get-away, where the family can relax by the pool or grill out on the large deck overlooking the backyard. “At one point, we were looking to leave here and build somewhere else,” says Jane. “But we’re surrounded by trees and riding trails and we decided to stay here and make improvements to this house. We’re happy we did.” “We love the area,” says Jane. “Our kids loved it, our grandkids enjoy it…I think we’re here for good.” At right: A view of Skyline Ranches’ lake and park. A quaint sitting area with lake view in the common area sits nearby.

Jeff Rensch, NP Dodge (402) 677-5333

  november/december  •  2011

Omaha Home: transformations Project and story by Marian Holden, ASID, and Erin Svoboda, Allied Member ASID, Designer’s Touch Photos by Lisa Louise Photography

Traditional With a Twist Edgy accents fill this rustic home

The homeowners selected decor with earthy tones and an edgy spin. The kitchen features contemporary pendant lights and accent tile in the backsplash and on the oven hood. A crescent-shaped sofa in mocha fabric is paired with an oval crocodile ottoman. A bit of traditional is added with a floral fabric chair.


he clients wanted a com-

fortable and relaxing space for their new home. Their taste for the most part was traditional, but they desired clean lines and an uncluttered look. They wanted a warm, rich, earthy color pallet. The home sits on what was once farmland so they wanted to incorporate a few rustic elements yet have all the modern amenities of a contemporary home. The rustic flavor was maintained by adding board and batten shutters to the stone façade. The stone detail was carried inside as well as chiseled rustic tile work. The two-story windows in the great room take advantage of the sweeping views. The color scheme throughout the house consists of warm rusts, reds, and various shades of brown from creamy soft brown on continued on page H43

november/december  •  2011  


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FINE EUROPEAN LINENS Countryside Village 8726 Pacific St. Omaha, NE 68114 (402) 492-9855

At right: The master bath has a contemporary touch, with a mosaic glass tile backsplash and contrasting deep bronze fixtures. Large, bold accessories provide a clean look. Below: A branch-like chandelier with dozes of tiny bulbs and a built-in buffet with a black granite top add elegance to the dining room.

november/december  •  2011  


Omaha Home: transformations


november/december  •  2011

Nature’s Intent Landscaping “Where the principles of art & nature meet”

Professional Landscape Design and Construction Services Burton Kilgore UNL Horticulture Alumni 402.926.9790

the ceiling to deep dark chocolate carpeting. The warmth continues with the natural stone fireplace and lighted coffered ceilings that soar 24-feet high in the great room. The lower level of the home was designed to be all about fun and games. There is a separate billiard room which features a built in martini table. The billiard room also includes a feature wall of textured metallic faux paint. The bar area boast a dramatic accent wall with a faux painted harlequin pattern in bold charcoal and brown. The TV viewing area includes black wood blinds with a decorative tape to allow for maximum darkness while watching a movie or a football game. Overall, this home design came to fruition and became a cozy, comfortable, uncluttered, dream home for the homeowners.

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Top left: Shutters on the home’s stone exterior and a large wooden front door add rustic charm. Left and Above: The lower level flooring is a dark chocolate brown carpet for added warmth. The bar area features deep slate metallic tile with champagne accents.

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Omaha Home: holiday entertaining Story by Priscilla Morales, manager, Ted & Wally’s Photos by

Story by Ed LeFebvre, baker, Cupcake Island Photos by John Gawley

Tasty Traditions

Ed LeFebvre’s Chocolate Sour Cream Cake


Combine sugar, cocoa powder and salt.   Mix well.  Add boiling water and butter.  Beat well.  Add vanilla and beat in.

• 1 tsp vanilla • 2 C all-purpose flour • 2 eggs wo locals from Omaha sweet shops share their recipes • 2 C sugar • 4 ounces unsweetened baking for delectable desserts, and the stories of why they became • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda chocolate, cut into pieces, holiday traditions. • 1 tsp salt melted and cooled • 1/2 tsp baking powder • Fudge frosting (recipe below) Priscilla Morales’ Arroz Con Leche • 1 C water • Raspberries Ingredients Optional ingredients • 3/4 C dairy sour cream • Raspberry jam or filling • 3 C water • 1/4 C raisins, walnuts or • 1/4 C margarine • 1 C short-grain white rice cherries   • 1 whole cinnamon stick • Orange or lemon Peel, 2 strips Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch round cake • 14 oz of sweetened condensed • Sugar to taste pans. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and milk (preferably Carnation) baking powder. Blend well. In large bowl, combine remaining cake • pinch of salt For Garnish ingredients.  Add dry ingredients, blend on low speed until moistened. • 1 whole cinnamon stick Beat three minutes at high speed.  Pour half of batter into each cake • ground cinnamon pan. Bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted • mint leaf (optional) in center comes out clean. Let sit 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans      and cool completely. Spread raspberry filling between the layers and Place water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium frost with fudge frosting. Top with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls. heat. Add rice and cinnamon stick. Immediately reduce heat to very   low and simmer, stirring often and scraping bottom, for about 30 Fudge Frosting  minutes. Add optional ingredients, if desired, and simmer for another • 1-pound package confectioners’ (powdered) sugar, sifted (about 4 10 minutes. Last, add condensed milk. Stir often to keep from stickC) 1/2 C cocoa powder ing to the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat. Adjust to taste and • 1/4 tsp salt serve hot or cold, sprinkling the top with some ground cinnamon • 1/3 C boiling water and top with garnish. • 1/3 C butter or margarine, softened • 1 tsp vanilla


rroz Con Leche is a simple, traditional Mexican

dessert that offers a deliciously creamy, sweet taste with a kick of light cinnamon. It can be served hot or chilled. My family has prepared Arroz Con Leche for Christmas Eve since before the Mexican Revolution. My great-great grandmother lived in Puebla, Mexico, and when Christmas came around, the townspeople would get together and make huge pots of Arroz Con Leche to share with everyone. I remember as a child being drawn into the kitchen by the warm, sweet smell. Our family recipe has been passed down from generation to generation, and someday I hope to pass it down my daughter in hopes that the tradition continues. H44 

  november/december  •  2011



he chocolate raspberry torte is a special treat I make for family gatherings or a holiday party. The fragrance of the chocolate cake and icing entice chocolate lovers to take a piece. The cake is moist and the flavor of the raspberries blends well with chocolate.  Chocolate curls on the top with the fresh raspberries make the presentation very festive!

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november/december  •  2011  


Omaha Home: holiday tour

Christmas Caravan 2011

A sneak peek


  november/december  •  2011

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ssistance League Omaha will hold its 38th Annual

Christmas Caravan, a tour of four private homes decorated for the holidays, on Thurs., Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The event benefits ALO’s philanthropic programs in Omaha, including Operation School Bell®. Kathleen Fahey, one of this year’s participants, graciously opened up her elegant home to our photographer to allow us to preview her West Omaha residence, festively decorated with evergreen swags, holiday centerpieces and floral arrangements by Papillion Flower Patch. In addition to viewing four beautiful homes, tour participants can purchase holiday decorations from participating florists. Tickets can be purchased at the homes for $20, or for $15 in advance at Yesterday’s Best Thrift Shop or the ALO Chapter House, both located at 3659 Leavenworth St.

“The Art of Landscaping Redefined” Landscaping Design & Installation Retaining Walls & Patios Irrigation Installation & Service Holiday Lighting Turf Maintenance Fertilizer Bed Maintenance Concrete


november/december­  •  2011  


Omaha Home: hot products Photos by John Gawley

5 gorgeous gifts for holiday giving

(and you can find them all right here at Omaha retailers) Silver-plated manzanita branches add their own shimmer to a natural decor, in addition to the glow from the candles they hold. Tree can make a festive jewelry or ornament display. Measures 23” wide and 12” high and sells for $186.99. Available at Tweed Couch, 2806 S. 110th Ct., in Rockbrook Village.

Ann Gish is best known for her exquisite detailing and construction, along with the use of luxurious and innovative fabrics and designs. The Ann Gish Sparkle Collection is the ultimate Diva Bedding. Shown here in Platinum. The coverlet adds just the right amount of glitz. The decorative pillow is perfect on the bed and makes the perfect sofa or chaise pillow. Choose 1 color or mix a few. 20” Seaflower pillow, $205. Available at Early to Bed, 8726 Pacific St. in Countryside Village,

This elegant faux fur collection from Bella resembles woodland feathers and envelops you into an enchanting fairytale. We love Bella for its mood-setting potential. Bella brings along whimsy and fun, or moody seductiveness. Use this gorgeous throw on a statement chair or the pillow on top of a bed for added luxury. The Lounge Throw is 50” X 60”, $585. The pillow is 20” square, $300. Available at The Linen Gallery, 120 Regency Pkwy., Suite 165.


  november/december  •  2011

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november/december  •  2011  


Omaha Home: pampered pets Story by Linda Persigehl • Photos by • Provided by Bark Avenue Grooming & Daycare

T Zoie Decked out for the holidays

he holidays are a time for sharing tasty treats and thoughtful

gifts with the ones you love, and that includes our family pets! Vicki and Perry Voet are loving “parents” to Zoie, this nine-year-old Shih Tzu–Lhasa-Poo, seen here with friend Callie, 4. The empty-nesters live in a brick ranch-style home in Whitehawk in West Omaha. Come Christmastime, Vicki loves to dress Zoie in a holiday dress and buy her new toys and treats from Pet’n on the Ritz, the doggie boutique adjoining Bark Avenue Grooming & Daycare, where the pooch has been a frequent guest for six years. Zoie’s gifts are displayed on and beneath her own Christmas tree in the couple’s family room, and used to stuff her own stocking hanging from the mantle. With the Voet kids off at college (Chelsea at Missouri State University and Josh at UNL), Zoie is still adjusting to being “an only child.” The Voets encourage Callie and other neighborhood kids to stop over and play with the black and white cutie-pie, who Vicki describes as “very loving and friendly but demanding attention all the time.” For outside playtime in the snow, Zoie often sports a pink winter coat and boots, when she allows it. Oh, it’s tough to be a dog…

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Cover: Making the grade to end hunger School-wide project raises canned goods for pantries Into the deep blue Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s fundraiser raises $2.35 million

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From everyday needs to life-changing events, this is where you want to be. With state-ofthe-art technologies and treatments, a national ranking in the top two percent for saving lives following a heart attack and a special trust built over generations. Methodist is where innovation meets compassion. And that’s the meaning of care. ©2011 Methodist Health System

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Parties that WOW before the first appetizer is passed. The DoubleTree® by Hilton Omaha Downtown will provide your event the special attention it deserves. With our newly renovated Grand Ballroom, the DoubleTree® by Hilton Omaha Downtown is the perfect place for Fundraisers, Benefits and Galas. From beginning to end, we will take care of all the details to ensure an event your guests will remember.

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  november/december  •  2011

cover story Story by Bailey Hemphill

Students from St. Gerald Catholic School get creative with boxed and canned goods.

Making the Grade to End Hunger Local organizations participate in a schoolwide project dedicated to raising canned goods for food pantries in the community


fter an unpredictable summer of damaging floods and grueling

heat waves, deliveries to food pantries around Omaha slowed, raising a red flag for organizations like Together, Inc., which depend on donations to help keep thousands of local families from suffering the pangs of hunger and becoming homeless. So, in order to restock the food pantry supply, Together, Inc. called the community to action. In September, the Omaha community participated in the Making the Grade to End Hunger food drive contest, a collaboration of Together, Inc., Omaha Serves, Sam and Louie’s New York Pizzeria, and Omaha Public Schools (OPS). The two-week contest had students from 17 elementary and middle schools in the OPS district bringing cans of food to their homerooms or classrooms to donate to local food pantries. Erin Stoll, Director of Development is in charge of fundraising, public relations, and marketing at Together, Inc. She is originally from Omaha and admits that, before her position with Together, Inc., she wasn’t really aware of the hunger issues, food pantry shortages, and problems with homelessness in the community—which is one of the many reasons why she wants to spread more awareness. “I feel really grateful to work with this organization,” she says, adding that, even though she has been with them for over three years now, continued on page 96

november/december  •  2011  


cover story

Students from Adams Elementary School proudly pose with food drive items.

she is still blown away by all that the organization does for the community. Together, Inc. was founded by the leaders of Countryside Community Church, Dundee Presbyterian, Temple Israel, Kountze Memorial Lutheran, Trinity Cathedral, First United Methodist, and St. Cecilia’s Cathedral as an initial response to the disastrous tornado that hit Omaha in 1975. It was a cooperative effort to meet the immediate needs of hundreds of families that struggled with the basic necessities of life—food, clothing, and shelter. However, the founders eventually realized that thousands of families in the metro area need relief every day and opened free services to the community year-round. Today, Together, Inc. is a homelessness prevention agency for local people and families. “We are the first stop for people in need,” Stoll says of their free services. Last year, Together, Inc. provided food to 10,783 people through the USDA Food Pantry, clothing and household items to 4,564 people through their store, and assisted 825 people with rent and utility payments. “Our goal is to make sure that, when people leave our doors, all of their needs are met. If we can’t help them, we’ll find someone who can.” Food is the number-one need in the Omaha community. Together, Inc. is one of Omaha’s largest food providers, giving free food to 15 local pantries. Stoll explains that the overall goal for the food drive was not just to rebuild the food pantry supply but to also reach out to the Omaha schools. Since OPS is such a large school district that spans every Omaha area zip code—and diverse socioeconomic regions of the city—the food drive could impact a greater population of the community. Stoll hoped that the partnership with the schools would help educate students whose parents may not have taught them about giving back to those in need. “We want kids to know they have the power to help out in the community,” she says. “Participating in this food drive can help them see how their efforts affect the hunger issues in the community. One or two cans per person may seem small, but together it can make a big difference.” The objective, Stoll says, is to empower kids to continue helping the community beyond this one event. And what’s another way to get the students to help out? Pizza. Sam and Louie’s New York Pizzeria is a great advocate for community outreach. As an incentive for the students, the company generously donated a pizza party to each school’s winning homeroom or classroom. “The owner really understands the community,” Stoll explains. “And pizza is a really great way to motivate the kids,” she adds, laughing. “I think it says a lot if kids can do it. If they can do it, anyone can do it,” Stoll says. “Everyone can donate food. Little things make a very big impact.” She believes that, because hunger spans generations and is a prominent issue in every area of the city, more people will be pushed to 96 

  november/december  •  2011

work together to solve this problem for the greater community. Another food drive collaborator works hard to solve problems for the greater community on a regular basis. Omaha Serves has helped Together, Inc. organize and inspire volunteers on other projects such as the “Canned Film Festival” at Aksarben Cinema, another canned food drive. “They bend over backwards to make sure we have everything we need,” Stoll says. Craig Howell works with Omaha Serves in the Omaha Mayor’s office, which is a grantfunded community service plan started by Mayor Suttle to connect non-profits, community organizations, and neighborhood associations to strengthen Omaha’s civic engagement. “Essential to moving Omaha forward is our focus on Omaha’s children. As a result, Omaha Serves is committed to building the capacity of programs that provide our children a better future,” says Howell. Omaha Serves worked with Together, Inc. to solve the food shortage in the city pantries before it could become a crisis. “Sam and Louie’s Pizzeria said that it could provide pizzas to every school in Omaha Public Schools if it would help Together, Inc. supply food to people in need,” says Howell. “We contacted Omaha Public Schools [about providing a community service program throughout the city elementary and middle schools], and the response from OPS was one of excitement. Once the program was continued on page 98

Students from Liberty Elementary School share their donations.

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Student from Liberty Elementary School stacks canned goods

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initiated, Omaha Serves proudly stepped back and allowed Together, Inc., OPS, and Sam and Louie’s Pizzeria to work together for those in need.” The program benefits Omaha in many ways. Howells explains that, beyond helping provide food to local families in need, the city now has a relationship with the schools that will continue to improve each year with the program. It’s also gotten the kids excited about community service. “At the end of the day, nothing is more important than the city coming together,” says Howell. Together, Inc. has three programs coming up for the holidays: Thanksgiving Meal, Holiday Gift Store, and Presents for Parents. Each of the programs requires the families in need to register. For the Thanksgiving Meal, people donate items to put in Thanksgiving dinner bags— things like canned yams, piecrust, pie filling, boxed mashed potatoes—and give $10 for a gift card for the family in need to purchase a turkey. Three days before Thanksgiving, Together, Inc. hands out the meal bags, giving the families in need an opportunity to share food with their family during the holiday. The Holiday Gift Store has a similar premise. Together, Inc. collects new toy donations during November and December, and then the families come in and shop for two items per child. “We supply 800 to 1,000 kids with new toys during Christmas,” Stoll says. As for Presents for Parents, it’s the exact same, except there are gifts that kids can get for their parents. For more information regarding Together, Inc.’s local projects, please contact Erin Stoll at 402-345-8047 (ext. 206) or

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

November 3

November 10

November 12

Habitat for Humanity of Omaha’s 2011 Raise the Roof

2011 Caregiver of the Year. Fontenelle Forest – Forest

The Bergan Mercy Medical Center Auxiliary’s 52nd An-

Gala. Harper Center at Creighton University. 2500 California

Room. 1111 N Bellevue Blvd. No admission fee. To reserve a

niversary Candlelight Ball. Embassy Suites La Vista. 12520

Plaza. Contact: Kathy Wells at or call

place in advance, contact Emily at HELP Adult Services at 402-

Westport Parkway. For reservations, call 402-398-6199.


341-6559 ext. 100. What it is: An annual tribute to Bergan Mercy physicians.

What it is: The Spirit of Humanity Awards honor the signif-

What it is: A gathering for HELP Adult Services honoring

This year’s Candlelight Award recipients will be Drs. John J.

icant contributions, commitment, and dedication of Habi-

of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area Caregiver of the Year.

Ferry and R. Michael Gross.

tat for Humanity’s community partners and individuals

The event recognizes the immense unpaid contributions

who have helped in the Omaha area for the past 27 years.

made by family members, friends, volunteers, and neigh-

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to special projects

bors who care for someone with a chronic illness.

that benefit Bergan Mercy patients and families, and the

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity Omaha.

community. Where the money goes: Proceeds go to HELP Adult Services, which helps the chronically ill and older adults by

November 4

offering resources and support.

Santa’s Preview. Nebraska Medical Center Clarkson Tower,

November 17 - December 4 Magic at Midtown: A Tour of Upscale Urban Residences. Midtown Crossing. Between Dodge and Farnam Sts, 33rd to

Lower Storz Pavillion. 42nd & Dewey Sts. 10:30am-12pm. Res-

OneWorld Community Health Center’s 12th Annual

ervations for brunch are $35. Contact 402-559-4197 for reser-

Milagro Dinner. Livestock Exchange Building, 10th Floor Ball-

vation information.

room. 4920 S 30th St. Social hour at 5:45pm, dinner at 6:45pm.

What it is: Designer showcase gala and tour in urban con-

Corporate or individual tickets can be purchased online at

dominiums hosted by Joslyn Castle Trust.

What it is: Annual boutique featuring unique holiday gift or by calling the development office at

shopping with brunch and accessory preview sponsored


31st Sts. 402-934-8860.

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to the Joslyn Castle Trust to support ongoing efforts to restore the Castle

by the Clarkson Service League. What it is: Dinner recognizing the significance of contri-


Where the money goes: Proceeds go to the Nebraska

butions made by volunteers and partnering organizations.

Medical Center and Clarkson College.

This year’s award recipients include: Bergan Mercy Medical

November 19

Center, Building Bright Futures, Robert Fitzgibbons, M.D.,

63rd Annual Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Gala.

November 8

Midwest GYN Oncology, and the University of Nebraska

CenturyLink Center Omaha. 455 10th St. www.childrensoma-

The American Heart Association’s Annual Go Red for

Medical Center’s Department of Family Medicine. Keynote 402-955-6851.

Women Expo. Embassy Suites La Vista. 12520 Westport

speaker is Dr. Joann Schaefer. What it is: Singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins will be the

Parkway. 4:30-8:30pm. Individual tickets are available for $75 at or by calling 402-346-

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to OneWorld’s mis-

featured performer while Miss America 2011 Teresa Scan-

0771 by Oct. 28.

sion to provide high-quality affordable health care to the

lan will serve as co-emcee for the night’s festivities, which

underserved in Omaha.

include cocktails, silent auctions, dinner, and a live auction.

What it is: Signature event for the year-round Omaha Go Red For Women campaign with breakout sessions

Merrymaker’s 21st Annual Roast. CenturyLink Center Ball-

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to the Children’s

addressing a variety of health topics, silent auction with

room. 455 10th St. 6-10pm. Contact: Tricia Cottrell at tricia@

Specialty Pediatric Center, which brings together more

“purse-inaility,” a heart healthy dinner, health screenings, or 402-697-0205.

than 30 specialty clinics on the campus.

survivor testimonials, and a keynote speech by Connie Spellman, founding director of civic planning organiza-

What it is: Celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Mer-

December 27

tion Omaha by Design.

rymakers Association. John P. Nelson, President of Silver-

The 46th Annual Debutante Ball for the Omaha Sym-

Stone Group, will be the subject of this year’s roast, em-

phony. Embassy Suites La Vista. 12520 Westport Parkway.

ceed by the ever-popular Mary Maxwell.

Contact: Kim Banat at or call 402-493-2004.

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to The American Heart Association to support awareness, research, education, and community programs to fight the No. 1 killer

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to Merrymaker’s

What it is: An elegant evening to honor 65 young women

of women.

Association, which improves the quality of life for seniors

and 54 young men for their volunteerism and support of

by encouraging active participation, increasing social

the Omaha Symphony.

interaction, and sparking memories through professional entertainment.

Where the money goes: Proceeds go to the Symphony Guild, which helps fund the educational programs of the Omaha Symphony.


  november/december  •  2011

Dinner for Education

Woman of the Year

Over $180,000 raised for scholarships and educator awards

Sandy Parker honored at “A Legacy of Love” gala Story and photos courtesy of the Arthritis Foundation

Story and photos courtesy of the Archdiocese of Omaha


he Archdiocese of Omaha honored nine educators

in September at the 34th Annual Archbishop’s Dinner for Education. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman and First Lady Sally Ganem joined over 850 people at Embassy Suites La Vista to celebrate Catholic education and pay tribute to the Archdiocese’s finest educators. Approximately $180,000—a record for the event—was raised to fund scholarships and educator awards. The nine honorees were nominated and selected by a committee for their commitment and service to the Archdiocese. Their combined experience totals more than 207 years of dedicated to educational excellence. Each honoree received a $5,000 award. Administrators of the Year Troy Berryman, Norfolk Catholic Elementary, Norfolk Dave Garland, St. Gerald, Ralston Rev. Thomas Merkel, SJ, Creighton Preparatory, Omaha Educators of the Year Lori Christensen, Cedar Catholic, Hartington Tim Mueting, Roncalli Catholic, Omaha Mary Hassenstab, St. Anthony, Columbus Cindy Heimes, Mary Our Queen, Omaha Educators of the Year – Inner City Maureen Harrington, St. Philip Neri, Omaha Mike Mansour, Jesuit Academy, Omaha

Chairpersons for the 2011 Archbishop’s Dinner for Education were Mary and Tom Dobleman. Proceeds from this event are used to provide scholarships for families in need. Scholarship dollars raised are matched by the Children’s Scholarship Fund of New York at $.50 for every $1.00 raised.

Above: Archbishop George Lucas, Mike Mansour, Mary Hassenstab, Troy Berryman, Maureen Harrington, Tim Mueting, Cindy Heimes, Dave Garland, Lori Christensen, Rev. Thomas Merkel SJ


ward legacy and Omaha community volunteer Sandy Parker was honored as the 2011 Woman of the Year by the Arthritis Foundation of Nebraska in October at the Embassy Suites La Vista. “A Legacy of Love” was the theme of this year’s gala, the Arthritis Foundation’s 38th annual event to honor an outstanding community volunteer. The theme was chosen in honor of Sandy’s mother, Carolyn Scott, who was the Woman of the Year recipient in 1982. Over 250 guests attended the gala that raised over $180,000. The money will be used to fund research and provide services for the over 340,000 adults and 1,800 children in Nebraska that have arthritis. Shelley Siemers served as the Gala Chairman, Darlene Mueller as Co-Chairman and Karen Dixon, Amy Scott, David Scott, and Lori Scott as Corporate Chairman. This year’s “Key to A Cure” auction was conducted by Tim Moore of Taylor & Martin, Inc. The auction raised over $70,000 for the Foundation. Mary Maxwell served as the master of ceremonies. Beyond the Vine created an array of exceptional floral arrangements. Guests dined on Apple and Pear Arugula, Parisian Walnut-Dijon Chicken, seasonal grilled vegetables, Baby New Potatoes, Rich Chocolate Layer Cake and Layered Berry Mousse, Bunt Cake and Triple Berry Compote. Cathy Bonnesen, Marianne Hawkins, Amy Moglia and Ellen Wright hosted the patron cocktail reception at the home of Cathy and Scot Bonnesen preceding the event. Over 100 benefactors and patrons enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and the kind hospitality of the Bonnesen’s and fellow hostesses.

Top: Marianne Hawkins, Cathy Bonnesen, Amy Moglia, Ellen Wright, Shelley Siemers Bottom: Sandy Parker, David Parker, Breezy Schroeder, Andrew Parker, Amy Scott

november/december  •  2011  


Big Red Tailgate

Cruisin’ for a Cure

Story and photos courtesy of Completely KIDS

Story and photos courtesy of Cruisin’ for a Cure

Husker fans and community supporters raise more than $178,000


n October, the Omaha nonprofit Completely KIDS—previously

known as Camp Fire USA Midlands Council—held its annual Big Red Tailgate, raising more than $178,000 to help serve children and families in the Greater Omaha area who are struggling to meet their basic needs. Kate Grabill and Teresa Hunzeker served as Guild Co-Chairs for the 2011 tailgate. Honorary Chairs were Cindy & Mogens Bay. The event was held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, where guests enjoyed traditional tailgate fare, including smoked beef brisket and a Southwestern salad. Nothing Bundt Cakes donated Chocolate Chocolate Chip and Red Velvet Cake. Dawn Dinsdale is President of the Completely KIDS Guild. Guild volunteers and committee members include: Pam Beardslee, Kathy Beck, Kate Betsworth, Pat Brannon, Kate Brownrigg, Danielle Bunz, Annette Byman, Diane Cameron, Aaron Carlson, Karla Cassels, Brenda Christensen, Susan Clark, Kelli Clayton, Lisa Connealy, Candace Daly, Amy Deardorff, Courtney Dunbar, Stacey Falk, Mary Foley, Shari Grimes, Victoria Halgren, Andi Hallgren, Cindy Hanley, Sarah Helvey, Stephanie Horeis, Jen Jepson, Jeanie Jones, Patti Kircher, Sheila Kuehn, Kim Lewis, Heidi Macy, Catherine Mahoney, Sarah McGowan, Lynette McQuade, Anne Medlock, Julie Mowatt, Christine Nikunen, Jennifer Peterson, Kara Plumb, Lizzy Rasmussen, Kris Schaff, Nola Schettler, Shelley Siemers, Angel Stottle, Ashley Trankle, Samantha Wahl, Michele Zadalis and Jennifer Zatechka. For more information about Completely KIDS, visit www.

Above: Fred Hunzeker, Penny Parker, Cindy & Mogens Bay, Kate Grabill


  november/december  •  2011

Inaugural event draws 200, provides 45 free prostate cancer screenings


eptember was Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and

Cruisin’ for a Cure Omaha, partnered with the Methodist Hospital Foundation, launched their inaugural car, truck, motorcycle, and boat show, Cruisin’ for a Cure Omaha, to raise awareness and promote detection of prostate cancer in its early stages. Around 200 people attended the event to view 50 registered cars and participate in prostate cancer screening. “We provided 45 free PSA Tests; and as far as we’re concerned, 45 PSA Tests our first year is a huge success! Next year, we should be able to provide over 100 PSA Tests,” says chairman Harold Pharoah. “Providing men with free PSA Tests is the only reason we have this car show…The earlier we catch prostate cancer in men, the better chance they have of beating this deadly disease.” The winner of the Peoples Choice Award for best car in show was Bernie Slowik and his 1969 1/2 Plymouth Road Runner. Thanks to the help of Methodist Hospital Foundation, Methodist Hospital staff, the sponsors, volunteers, friends, family, and prostate cancer survivors, the event will continue with its devotion to raising prostate cancer awareness and donating the proceeds to the Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center. Next year’s Cruisin’ for a Cure will be held on Sept. 9, 2012. For more information, visit

Top: Winning Car, Bernie Slowik’s 1969 Plymouth Road Runner Bottom : Harold Pharoah, Bernie Slowik, Daniel Slowik

Behind the Seams

Expressions of Hope

More than 400 attend Durham’s celebration of fashion

Gala raises $300,000 for Hope Center programs Story and photos courtesy of Hope Center for Kids

Story and photos courtesy of The Durham Museum


he Durham Museum held its Behind the Seams: Inside the


he Hope Center for Kids Expressions of Hope, Blueprint for

World of Costume luncheon in September, sponsored by Durham’s On Track Guild, to celebrate the museum’s upcoming exhibition, Cut! Costume and the Cinema. The guild hosted special guest speaker Nancy Lawson, the North American representative for Cosprop, the renowned London costume house and curator for the Cut! exhibition. Displaying a costume worn by Keira Knightley in the film The Duchess, Lawson’s presentation was a playful blend of history and humor as she discussed fashion trends from the early 1400s through modern day. Event Chair Melissa Marvin welcomed guests to the luncheon and acknowledged the tremendous work of the Guild, including President Vernie Jones and Durham’s Executive Director Christi Janssen. Special recognition was given to Honorary Chair Sharon Marvin Griffin for her philanthropic work in the community. An elegant lunch prepared by Abraham Catering was served in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Great Hall. Guests took part in a silent auction with beautiful fashioninspired items and tried their luck in a raffle to win a stunning 18KT round pink sapphire and diamond leaf brooch pendant generously donated by Borsheim’s. The event raised over $80,000 with proceeds supporting exhibitions and educational programming at The Durham Museum. For more information, visit

Success gala, was held in October at Embassy Suites LaVista and raised more than $300,000 for the Hope Center’s after school mentoring, tutoring, service learning and employment readiness programs. “We are pleased and thankful for the community’s generous response to our request for help toward our mission,” said Ty Schenzel, Executive Director of the Hope Center. Approximately 800 attended the event, according to Development Director Brenda Block. Highlights of the event included: recognition of the Odell Pickett Scholarship recipients James Buckley and Precious Temple, both students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha; the Hope Center for Kids Video produced by Sarah Seaton of the Food Network; and Board President Adam Wright’s personal story of overcoming obstacles through faith, education, family and community support. Attendees were also entertained by a dance featuring Precious Temple, Jamia Houston and Djenaba Kelly. The three girls learned the dance in Belize where they participated in a short-term mission trip. Attendees then pledged and contributed money to provide program support for children for the coming year. For more information about the Hope Center for Kids, visit

Above: Christi Janssen, Nancy Lawson, Melissa Marvin & Vernie Jones

Top: Del and Phyllis Toebben, Terri and Ty Schenzel Bottom: Kevin and Lisa Larsen, Terri and Ty Schenzel

november/december  •  2011  


Brew HaHa

Antique and Garden Show

Habitat’s fifth annual fundraiser draws 700 Story courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Omaha, Photos by Nina Graziano

More than 4,500 visit Lauritzen Gardens’ exhibition Story and photos courtesy of Lauritzen Gardens


ore than 700 guests enjoyed Habitat for Humanity

Omaha’s fifth annual Brew HaHa, a fine food and brew tasting event, at Aksarben Village’s Stinson Park in September. Attendees enjoyed sampling beer and local fare from more than 30 restaurants and breweries. Brew HaHa raised more than $63,000, a record for the annual fundraiser. The event would not have been possible without the support received from the brewers, restaurants, volunteers, and Habitat Omaha staff. Habitat Omaha sends many thanks to the event sponsors including honorary co-chairs Emily and Mike Jung. The planning was spearheaded by event co-chairs Josh Livingston and Mike Mackintosh. Founded in 1984, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha is a grassroots organization that builds and renovates houses, forges community partnerships, and breaks down barriers. Habitat Omaha partners with families that need safe and affordable housing. They eliminate vacant lots and abandoned homes in the blighted areas of North and South Omaha while improving the overall appearance of the community. The homeowners are required to complete 350 hours of Sweat Equity before purchasing their homes through 25 or 30-year no-interest mortgages. Through Habitat Omaha, more than 300 families have realized the dream of homeownership and are ending the cycle of poverty for their children. In 2011, Habitat Omaha will build or renovate 31 homes. For more information, visit

Top: Guests enjoy food by Blue Sushi Sake Grill Bottom: Empyrean Brewing Co.’s tent


  november/december  •  2011


he eighth annual Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show was held in September, drawing 4,500 guests under an 80-foot by 180-foot tent for a true “garden party” experience. The show featured 28 exhibitors from across the country and around the world, who brought an incredibly diverse collection of items of exceptional quality and extraordinary style, encompassing all genres of antiques and collectibles. The weekend was filled with educational experiences, great decorating ideas, and fabulous and affordable shopping opportunities. Under the leadership of honorary chairmen Cindy Bay and Mary Seina and general chairmen Dawn Dinsdale, Joani Mullin, and Lori Williams, the event was infused with creativity and detail and once again set the standard for elegance, artistry and culture across the region. Attendance was strong at the show’s signature events. On Friday, almost 400 guests experienced the elegance of Old New York at a luncheon featuring A-list designer Charlotte Moss; and more than 225 guests enjoyed a taste of designer Suzanne Rheinstein’s eclectic style at a Saturday morning brunch in the gardens’ version of the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge. More than 100 people attended a wine and cheese tasting on Friday evening, and more than 400 guests attended the patron preview party. All proceeds from the event support the programs and exhibits at Lauritzen Gardens. For more information, visit

Top: Charlotte Moss, Bruce and Gerry Lauritzen Bottom: Mary Seina, Suzanne Rheinstein, Cindy Bay, Spencer Crews

Chocolate Festival

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Premiere event draws 2,000 candy and chocolate lovers

Project Harmony raises $67,000 at its fundraiser

Storey and photos courtesy of National Council of Jewish Women Omaha


he National Council of Jewish Women Omaha Section

Story and photos courtesy of The Project Harmony Service League


he Project Harmony Service League hosted its eighth

(NCJW) premiered a city wide fundraising event—The Great Omaha Chocolate Festival—in September at the UNO Fieldhouse to raise funds for its many projects. By all accounts, the festival was a huge success and received glowing coverage from attendees and all local television stations. Vendors included: The Afternoon, Art Chicks, Bakers Candies, the Bread Oven, Broadmoor Market-Ferds Bakery, Candyopolis, Chocolaterie Stam, The Chocolate Bar, Chocolate Peacock Boutique, The Cookie Company, Cordial Cherry, Dove’s Chocolates, Garbos, Hy-Vee Bakery (90th & Center), Janicek’s Cake Box, Le Quartier Baking Co., Lithuanian Bakery, Market Basket, O’Donnell’s Vic Popcorn, Pettit’s Pastry, Purjava Coffee, Rocket Fizz, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, RSVP, Taste, Trader Joe’s, and Three Dog Bakery. The event also served to energize and mobilize an already-active Omaha section. President and co-chair Jan Fischer reported that in attendance were at least 14 past section presidents and many members. Proceeds are going to support the group’s many projects including Mini-Grants for Teachers, Reading Pups, Women for Career Advancement, and the Adopt-a-School program. For more information, contact Jan Fischer at

annual Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the Omaha Firefighters’ Union Hall in September. More than 500 tickets were sold for the event. The casual party started with Irish music and continued with dancing to Finest Hour. Attendees dined on corned beef and brats provided by Omaha Steaks and prepared by Anthony’s Catering along with the traditional cabbage and potatoes. $67,000 was raised for Project Harmony’s protection and support of victims of child abuse. The celebration’s Pot O’Gold Sponsors included the Baer Foundation and a Friend of Project Harmony. The Rainbow Sponsors were Baird Holm LLP, Bland and Associates, P.C., Creative Print and Design, Creighton Medical Associates/Pediatrics and The Scoular Foundation. Lucky Leprechaun Sponsors include Clement and Heather Chantiam, Finkle Cosmetic Surgery Center, Fraser Stryker PC LLO, Nobbies Party Superstore, Pinnacle Bank, and a Friend of Project Harmony. The Project Harmony board members who attended were: Harvey Cooper, Carol Gutchewsky, Don Kleine, Leo Knowles, Dan McGinn. The event was chaired by Christine Benson—who is on the board of the Project Harmony Service League—Luke Klinker, Nicki and Brody Deren, and Gina and Mike McDevitt with the assistance of the Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Committee.

Top: Melissa Hartman and Jennifer McNamara of the Cordial Cherry Bottom: Sonia Tipp, Holly Weill, Jan Fischer, Melinda Graham

Top: Brody and Nicki Deren Bottom: Marla and John Grose

november/december  •  2011  


Angel Flight

Gala and Golf

Over $325,000 raised to support school

$60,000 raised brings grand total to more than $625,000

Story and photos courtesy of Skutt Catholic High School

Story and photos courtesy of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital


ore than 650 parents, alumni, and other community

members gathered for the V.J & Angela Skutt Catholic High School annual fundraiser, Angel Flight, in September at Skutt Catholic High School. This year’s event themed New York Nights raised more than $325,000 to support the school’s general operating expenses and financial aid program. The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction followed by dinner and a live auction. General chairs for this year’s event were Skutt Catholic parents Jerry and Ann Crouse, Mike and Renee Masching, and Charlie and Lynn Wurtz. Honorary chairs for the event included Tim Moylan (19561996), Ken Sorensen and Janet Moylan Sorensen, and Kurt and Kathy Strawhecker. They were recognized for their efforts in establishing Skutt Catholic as one of the premier Catholic coed high schools in the metropolitan area. Their early commitment to excellence remains strong today, serving as a standard for all Skutt Catholic endeavors. This year’s Outstanding Alumnus was Kathryn Dempsey, a 2003 graduate of Skutt Catholic. She was honored for her work in the field of Bioinformatics. Dempsey’s research involves understanding the mechanisms behind the aging human body, which is an area of some of science’s most compelling research. For more information about Skutt Catholic, visit

Above: Freshman Taylor Yordt and Junior Annie Moylan with Angel Jar


  november/december  •  2011


t. Jude Children’s Research Hospital recently hosted its annual Gala of Hope and Omaha St. Jude Golf Classic, raising nearly $60,000 for the basic and clinical research into catastrophic childhood diseases conducted. Since the event’s inception, more than $625,000 has been raised for the hospital. The 2011 Gala of Hope took place at Tiburon Country Club and wrapped up with the Omaha St. Jude Golf Classic at Champion’s Run Country Club. “For the past 11 years, countless people from the Omaha community have truly embraced the life-mission of St. Jude by supporting the Gala of Hope and golf tournament,” said Diane Holubeck, patient mother and committee member. “Thanks to their contribution and charitable donations, they are helping us save the lives of children with deadly diseases.” The Gala of Hope featured cocktails, dinner, and a memorable performance by songwriters from Nashville including Brice Long, Arlos Smith and Becky Hobbs who have written songs for Gary Allan, Rascal Flatts and Alabama. During the evening, more than 150 attendees heard the stories of local patient families including John and Gail Lindekugal, whose son Levi lost his battle with neuroblastoma when he was nine years old. Throughout the evening, guests also had the opportunity to bid on exclusive prizes during a live and silent auction. Hosted at Champion’s Run Country Club, more than 100 golfers at the Golf Classic played on teams of four, participating in an afternoon shotgun start. Players wrapped up the day with dinner and an awards ceremony. For more information, please visit

Above: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Leadership Luncheon


Scholarship Swing

College basketball commentator Dick Vitale makes a special appearance

UNO Alumni Association’s golf tournament raises $47,000 for scholarships

Story courtesy of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Nebraska, photos by Roger Barnes Photography

Story and photos courtesy of the UNO Alumni Association

ake-A-Wish Foundation® of Nebraska and


he UNO Alumni Association hosted the 31st Annual UNO

UnitedHealthcare hosted the Leadership Luncheon featuring Dick Vitale in September, drawing 200 Make-A-Wish supporters to the CenturyLink Center Omaha. Vitale, college basketball’s top analyst and ambassador, spoke on philanthropic responsibility for the corporate leader in today’s world and benefits of giving. A philanthropist himself, and recent recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation®’s “Christopher Grecious Award,” Vitale brought his enthusiasm, passion, and hopes to inspire company leaders and professionals to give back and serve in our community. The featured wish families were the Davis Family, the Stackhouse Family, and the Frazell Family. Other dignitaries included Vitale’s wife Lorraine, Mayor Jim Suttle, Make-A-Wish CEO Brigette Young, Emcee Travis Morgan from Channel 3, Make-A-Wish Board Chairperson Jim Eggleston, and UnitedHealthcare CEO of the Heartland States Bill Tracy. The mission of Make-A-Wish Foundation® is to grant the wishes of children age 2½ to 18 with life threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. UnitedHealthcare’s social and business missions are one and the same: to help people live healthier lives. All proceeds from the event went to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. For more information, visit

Chancellor’s Scholarship Swing in September at Tiburon Golf Club, netting more than $47,000 in its largest single fundraising event of the year. The association now has raised more than $730,000 since it began hosting the Swing 16 years ago. Almost 130 golfers and 62 sponsors participated in the tournament. The money raised supports various association-sponsored student scholarships. “The Alumni Association is touching lives and preparing students for the future,” UNO Chancellor John Christensen said. “Special kudos to the coordinating committee. An event of this scope requires months of diligent planning and effort—and they make it look easy.” UNO graduates David Craft (’90, ’92) and Blake Edwards (’90, ’99) chaired the committee that oversees the tournament’s organization. Other committee members included UNO graduates Scott Durbin, Larry Gomez, Hugh Hermanek, Steven Schmitz, Mack LaRock, Kate Zielinski, Jacob Rehder, and Rochelle Eigsti. Sixteen UNO Air Force ROTC students also provided assistance during the tournament. Among the scholarships the Swing supports are four UNO Alumni Association Scholarships, $2,500/year grants to graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated leadership and involvement during high school. The scholarship may be renewed for up to four years. The association currently sponsors 15 UNO Alumni Scholars, some of whom were at the tournament to thank Swing sponsors and participants. For more information about the UNO Alumni Association, visit

Above: Dick Vitale poses with Make-A-Wish Kids, who greeted him with welcoming signs

Above: Blake Edwards, UNO Chancellor John Christensen, UNO Alumni Association President Lee Denker

november/december  •  2011  


Into the Deep Blue

Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s fundraiser draws more than 1,300 guests Story courtesy of the Omaha Zoo Foundation, Photos by Paparazzi by Appointment/Laura Von Roenn


record-breaking $2.35 million was raised to support

the renovation of the Scott Aquarium, the world’s largest zoo-based aquarium, during the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s biennial fundraiser, Zoofari. Event Chairs Shirley and Jim Young, along with Honorary Chairs Suzanne and Walter Scott, hosted the “Into the Deep Blue”-themed September event, which featured cutting-edge electronic and mobile silent auction bidding, surprise entertainment by local volunteer performers, innovative underwriter recognition, and an online fundraising component that extends beyond the night’s event. In addition to leadership from the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and the Omaha Zoo Foundation, Zoofari 2011’s theme and program development were spearheaded by a creative team from Union Pacific and Bailey Lauerman. The silent auction’s electronic bidding software allowed attendees to use a personally coded auction card to bid at kiosks, on digital tablets, and on their smartphones. This digital bidding process—the

Above: Guests dined under a huge tent in the zoo parking lot, with a menu prepared and served by Hap Abraham Catering.


  november/december  •  2011

first ever used in the Omaha market—enabled guests to shop the silent auction longer, bid on any auction package anywhere in the room, and continue bidding and checking bids on their smartphones and at kiosks placed throughout the dining tent. In fact, 25 percent of the evening’s bids were placed on smartphones. The success of this technology contributed to the record-setting fundraising total. An immersive, undersea experience, the “Into the Deep Blue” theme carried through the event with a rainbow of turquoise, navy and sea foam linens; blue lighting; a “Dive Bar”; classic water-themed songs performed by volunteer performers; and in underwriter recognition. Fundraising for Zoofari 2011 continues beyond the event with an online application, accessible on the Omaha Zoo’s Facebook page. For more information, visit

Top: John and Lynne Boyer, Bob Turner, Jim and Shirley Young, Walter and Suzanne Scott, Jessica and Dennis Pate, Lee and Marie Simmons

See something you like? Have you been featured in one of Omaha Publications’ magazines? Contact minorwhite studios to order re-prints or to set up your own session.

402-345-1810 | 1111 n. 13th st. #104

november/december  •  2011  



Nebraska NABCAP Premier Advisors


BOUT. The National Association of

Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) is an unaffiliated, nonprofit organization based in Colorado that was created to tackle the daunting challenge of identifying top practitioners, and through the process help reform the public’s perception of the industry and its professional membership. NABCAP currently has a presence in twenty plus U.S. markets. The nonprofit along with its board of directors developed a formula designed to identify the best practices as determined by NABCAP. Separating and distinguishing the strongest practitioners from the industry’s pool of advisors is a solution with merit. The difficulty lies in the clear need for transparency. “I’m very interested and concerned about the integrity of the industry,” says Dr. Chuck King, NABCAP board vice president. “Our goal is to make sure that the people who make our list meet our guidelines. It’s not about just hanging out a shingle. One of the reasons I got involved was the need for more scrutiny.” The public requires a reliable, independent resource to provide clarity for their financial decisions. NABCAP was formed to help clarify the picture. And while NABCAP

knows there is no perfect solution, it is committed to promoting higher standards and transparency, which are vital to the long-term success of the investing public. “We’re not just counting assets under management,” says King. “We’re interested in the processes used. And we don’t just take anybody. This is not a pay-to-play Organization. I’m a big believer in free markets. And what makes free markets work is information, not a lot of regulations. The more perfect the information, the more perfect the regulation.” Methodology. The primary focus of NABCAP is to serve the needs of the investing public by helping identify top wealth managers. NABCAP and its board of directors created an unaffiliated evaluation process in which 20 categories of practice management are assessed. Advisors are invited and/ or nominated to participate by submitting an online questionnaire. The multi-step verification process utilizes independent resources to assess the accuracy and truthfulness of the information submitted by participating advisory practices. NABCAP’s methodology is unique in deciphering advisors because it is primarily objective, not subjective, and helps add transparency for the investor’s benefit. Continued page 112

Exemplary Wealth Managers Client Education & Customer Service Model

Ethen Bagley Group, Merrill Lynch Financial Planning

Harrison Financial Services, Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company Risk Management

The Militti Group, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney See Exemplary Wealth Managers description on page 112

NABCAP©2011 Avg. $ Assets Under Management per Client

Avg. # of Clients per Advisor

Advisor to Support Staff

Top 5 Specialties & Credentials

City, State Phone #

Bob Kenny RBC Wealth Management





Omaha, NE 402-392-6105

Cambridge Advisors Inc. Schwab Institutional





Omaha, NE 402-687-1166

Carson Wealth Management Group Carson Wealth Management Group





Omaha, NE 402-334-6274

Cibola Group Morgan Stanley Smith Barney





Omaha, NE 402-399-6156

Craig Korkow Merrill Lynch





Omaha, NE 402-496-5127

Curnes Financial Group Curnes Financial Group





Omaha, NE 402-397-5440

Advisor Practice Name Firm


  november/december  •  2011

NABCAP©2011 Avg. $ Assets Under Management per Client

Avg. # of Clients per Advisor

Advisor to Support Staff

Egermier Wealth Management Group LPL Financial



Ethen Bagley Group Merrill Lynch


Feltz WealthPLAN Feltz WealthPLAN

Top 5 Specialties & Credentials

City, State Phone #



Omaha, NE 402-861-9696




Omaha, NE 402-496-5192





Omaha, NE 402-691-0200

First National Wealth Advisors First National Wealth Advisors





Omaha, NE 402-602-8749

Frank J. Ward Ameriprise Financial





Omaha, NE 402-391-5400

Harrison Financial Services Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company





Omaha, NE 402-891-2302

Jeff Sharp SilverStone Group





Omaha, NE 402-964-5440

John “Buzz” Garlock RBC Wealth Management





Omaha, NE 402-392-6138

Ken Koop Morgan Stanley Smith Barney





Lincoln, NE 402-474-2400

Kerlik, Sadler, Smith & Associates Ameriprise Financial





Omaha, NE 402-334-7265

Manarin Investment Counsel Manarin Investment Counsel





Omaha, NE 402-330-1166

The Militti Group Morgan Stanley Smith Barney





Omaha, NE 402-399-1513

Moylan Kropp RP, LLC Securities America





Omaha, NE 402-390-9066

Mundy & Associates NFP Securities





Omaha, NE 402-398-1103

Mutual of Omaha Bank Wealth Management Mutual of Omaha





Omaha, NE 866-826-3357

Slatterys & Hruby Group Merrill Lynch





Omaha, NE 402-496-5109

Solutions Group, Inc Solutions Group, Inc





Omaha, NE 402-991-9670

Union IM Group Union Bank & Trust Company





Lincoln, NE 402-323-1538

Vintage Financial Group, LLC Vintage Financial Group, LLC Williams Quinn Heimrod & Associates Ameriprise Financial









Omaha, NE 402-932-7233 Omaha, NE 402-391-5400

Advisor Practice Name Firm

november/december  •  2011  


Wealth MANAGEMENT NABCAP takes pride that its list of Premier Advisors is not merely defined by Assets Under Management (A.U.M.), revenues produced or even worse, popularity. Alternatively, NABCAP attempts to identify top advisors regardless of size, firm or affiliation. Consumer Use. Even though NABCAP’s vetting process is comprehensive in evaluating advisors, every single practice on the list most likely will not fit you the investor. The list of advisory practices is in alphabetical order; NABCAP believes there is not one perfect practice for every investor out there. The first step recommended by NABCAP is to narrow down the list of practices by average client size. It is recommended you select practices that have an average client size of ½–¼ the size client you would estimate yourself, family or business to be. For example, if you have approximately $2 million of investable assets then identify practices with an average client size of $500K- 1 million. This way, you fall within the top 20% of a practice’s entire clientele. This increases the probability you receive the practice’s top shelf service, care and attention. In addition to narrowing down the field of practices by average size client, it is recommended you also reference the practice’s top 5 specialties and designations to assure they are equipped and focused on handling your individual needs. Try to select at least 3 practices to interview for different personalities, service models and practice methodologies. Exemplary Advisor Explanation.

NABCAP’s objective questionnaire assesses 20 categories of practice management of all participating advisors and while all the practices on the list this year met NABCAP’s minimum objective criteria, the practices on page 113 achieved exemplary scores in their respective categories. The highlighted categories were selected through NABCAP’s independent investor research which concluded these three areas of practice management were the highest influences in choosing a financial advisor: 1) Client Education & Customer Service ModelThis category reflects the actual service model the practice employs and whether they incorporate any education of investments and/or markets to the client 2) Financial Planning- this category reflects what level the practice/advisor implements financial planning when servicing clientele 3) Risk Management–this category measures what systems and policies are utilized to potentially help mitigate and manage the risk of the markets. 112 

  november/december  •  2011

NABCAP’s focus is to provide objective differentiation between financial advisory practices and through their evaluation process to help add transparency to the Financial Services Industry. Even though the NABCAP Premier Advisors’ list is comprehensive it should not be considered exhaustive and the following disclaimers should be considered: [a] To ensure the best interests of the investing public, NABCAP does not accept financial support from advisory practices, financial institutions or the media in exchange for beneficial reviews, rankings or industry insight. NABCAP is not affiliated with any advisor or financial institution participating in the survey. [b] Selecting a NABCAP Premier Advisor is no guarantee as to future investment success nor is there any guarantee that the selected financial advisory practice will be designated as a Premier Advisor by NABCAP in the future. [c] The inclusion of a financial advisory practice on the NABCAP Premier Advisor’s list should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial advisory practice by NABCAP or Omaha Publications. [d] Although NABCAP invites all advisors in a market to participate, the final decision lies with the advisor and as such there may be advisors who would qualify but do not appear on the list as they chose not to participate and if they were included some advisors on this list would not have been included. [e] NABCAP screens candidates for regulatory compliance issues: checks and balances are imposed to limit the inclusion of an advisor with a negative regulatory history or multiple client complaints. These checks and balances include: (i) NABCAP requires financial advisors to be registered/licensed financial advisors in good standing with state and federal regulatory bodies. In addition NABCAP requires financial advisors to be in compliance with their respective broker/dealer or affiliated representation (ii) NABCAP reviews each financial advisor and support staff’s U-4 or ADV to verify their employment and compliance record. (iii) If an advisory practice makes the list with a settlement on their record we recommend that investors inquire with the advisory practice as well with their supervisor for the nature of the settlement. [f] The supervisor survey is structured to make it equally easy for a respondent to give negative or positive responses and the method of calculating results incorporates both negative and positive survey responses [h] NABCAP does not perform subjective analysis of the survey results but assigns numerical ratings based on questionnaire and survey

responses, as well as third party verification. [i] 2,500+ direct contacts were made via email and mail in Nebraska and XXX+ indirect to subscribers for participation/nomination of participants. Premier Advisors list will not exceed 3.5% of each market’s financial advisory practices [j] NABCAP created the methodology and process. Rank Premier Advisors is contracted to administer the evaluation process. [k] All profiles in the special advertising section were sold exclusively by Omaha Publications and not endorsed in any way by NABCAP. Omaha Publications is exclusively responsible for all advertisements. Credentials Index: CEP- Certified Estate Planner CFA- Chartered Financial Analyst CFP- Certified Financial Planner CIMA- Certified Investment Management Analyst CAIA- Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst CPWA- Certified Private Wealth Advisor CHFC- Chartered Financial Consultant CRPS- Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist CLU- Chartered Life Underwriter MCEP- Master Certified Estate Planner CPA- Certified Public Accountant AIF- Accredited Investment Fiduciary Specialties Index: RP: Retirement Planning FP: Financial Planning EP: Estate Planning SP: Special Needs Planning PP: Philanthropic Planning BP: Business Planning WP: Wealth Preservation/Insurance CP: Capital Preservation CM: Comprehensive Wealth Management AM: Asset Allocation Management PM: Portfolio Management IM: Investment Management RM: Risk Management LM: Liability Management RS: Retirement Services CS: Corporate Services FS: Family Office Services ES: Executive Services PA: Professional Athletes HP: High Profiled Individuals LC: Low Cost Provider SA: Separately Managed Accounts


wealthmanagement WINNERS Edward J. Militti, Sr. Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor With 40-years experience with the firm, Ed has developed a sophisticated approach to estate planning, retirement strategies and portfolio risk assessment. Education: MBA and undergraduate degrees from Creighton University. Ed is also a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania. Carroll Militti-Hacker Financial Advisor Carroll reviews and implements plans for affluent individuals and institutions. Particular areas of focus: retirement planning, municipal and other fixed-income strategies, and wealth transition planning. Carroll also helps clients by providing tailored wealth planning and risk-management solutions through life, longterm care and disability insurance. Carroll delivers an added benefit of having a female perspective - being a wife and mother - which furthers the diversification and dynamics of our team. Education: MBA from Loyola University of Chicago; undergraduate degree in Finance and International Business from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

the militti group at morgan Stanley Smith barney

What is your team’s wealth planning process and investment philosophy? We believe wealth planning isn’t asset allocation, estate planning or what you might think of as financial planning – though, done right, it addresses those areas. We focus on what is meaningful in your life and develop strategies to help achieve your goals. This requires multiple points of view and skill sets. With The Militti Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney you have access to a team of professionals who bring a breadth of experience and collective wisdom focused on you. This means practical solutions and true objectivity. The process begins with an in-depth conversation that goes well beyond investments to address what you care about most. We likely have developed strategies to help deal with similar issues for other individuals and families dozens of times before, which can be customized for your unique needs. We also easily collaborate with your management team comprised of your attorney, accountant and other key advisors. Describe your risk management philosophy and the ways you help clients during these volatile market conditions: Our risk management philosophy takes into account four key considerations: 1) setting realistic goals and expectations; 2) having a clear understanding of your risk tolerance; 3) investing over a reasonable time horizon so not to take on undue risk; and 4) helping you stick to your tailored plan – the hardest part for many.

We offer you many industry-leading and cutting-edge retirement planning tools to help determine and measure your needs, wants, wishes and risk tolerance. We then use these tools to help develop highly tailored, risk-management strategies which are aligned with your individual goals. Often times we incorporate risk-based portfolio strategies which are developed and constantly updated by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Global Investment Committee. Further, The Militti Group can connect you with senior investment strategists within our Capital Markets department should you have specific questions – no other Wall Street firm can offer you this direct connection with equity and fixed-income specialists. In addition, we believe a solid risk management strategy is one that incorporates both sides of your balance sheet – for individual and corporate clients, alike. This means we can assist you with your risk management needs through our access to banking and lending services. The Militti Group also offers you two distinct advantages that many wealth management teams cannot offer. First, our team is a family practice (father, daughter, and son); so we easily identify with your family wealth planning issues. Second, one Militti Group member is a wife and mother which offers you a female perspective. We feel these two advantages give you an edge when we lead you and your family through very personal multi-generational wealth planning issues.

E.J. Militti, Jr. Financial Advisor E.J. develops investment policy statements for affluent individuals, corporate executives and institutions which then lead to the development of tailored portfolio strategies utilizing risk-assessment scores. Particular areas of focus: 401(k) and other definedcontribution plans; alternative and structured investments for estates, endowments, foundations, charitable remainder trusts and non-profit entities. Education: MBA from Creighton University and undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. This material does not provide individually tailored investment advice. Any information presented is general in nature and is not intended to provide individually tailored investment advice. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors as the appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives. Investing involves risks and there is always the potential of losing money when you invest. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates, and its Financial Advisors are not in the business of providing tax or legal advice. Individuals are urged to consult their personal tax advisor or attorney for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their personal attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

e.j. militti, jr. financial advisor

edward j. militti, Sr. Senior vice president, financial advisor

Carroll militti-hacker financial advisor

13625 California Street, Ste. 400 Omaha, NE 68154 402-399-1513 november/december  •  2011  



wealthmanagement WINNERS

vintage financial group

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice? We believe in our clients, their goals, and their plans. It is our privilege to be their partner in their financial success. By taking great strides to promote economic and financial literacy within our advisory practice, we empower our clients to further define their personal financial goals and implement an objectives-based strategy that is truly as unique as each client. In your own words describe the financial planning process of your practice. The first step in our process is to fully understand and help our clients define their goals and priorities. We gather the information necessary to assess the individual situation of each client and complete an analysis of those facts. We then prepare a solutions-based plan, implement the plan, and conduct meaningful reviews to build upon and further advance each client’s goals. Insurance products issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in New York) and Principal Life Insurance Company. Securities offered through Princor Financial Services Corporation, 800/247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life and Princor are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392. Bradford R. Burwell, Kirstin J. Ricketts and Patrick M. Ricketts, Principal National and Principal Life Financial Representatives, Princor Registered Representatives. Vintage Financial Group is not an affiliate of any company of the Principal Financial Group.

kirstin j. ricketts, Cfp president and CfO

bradford r. burwell president and CeO

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP and Certified Financial Planner in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

patrick m. ricketts managing partner

14217 Dayton Circle, Suite #3 Omaha, NE 68137 402-932-7233


wealthmanagement WINNERS What is the process you take each customer through? We use the financial planning process which begins with a personal interview to understand our clients’ goals and objectives. Several subsequent meetings are conducted as we educate our clients through all aspects of financial planning while we develop a customized financial plan tailored to our clients’ specific goals and objectives. Quarterly reviews follow this process to track progress towards these goals and to make changes as their lives evolve.

ameriprise financial Services, inc.

Describe your practice’s investment policy. Our objective is to empower clients with solid financial plans tailored to their goal of an active and successful retirement. We put our knowledge to work for them by developing investment, tax management and estate planning strategies – all aimed at maintaining clients’ lifestyles and financial independence. Our clients have worked hard. Now, as retirement approaches, it’s their turn to redefine the next phase of their lives. The NABCAP Premier Advisor (“Program”) research was conducted from May 1 - August 31, 2011. Fewer than three and a half percent of financial mark d. Smith, advisors in the area received the recognition. Advisors were evaluated financial advisor, based on twenty categories, including customer service model, experience, aamS® credentials, compliance record and other criteria. A financial advisor’s final ranking may not represent a particular client experience. The National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices, manages the Program, but does not endorse listed financial advisors. Working with this financial advisor is not a guarantee of future financial success. Investors should conduct their own evaluation of a financial professional. for details go to:


  november/december  •  2011

Steve Sadler, financial advisor, Cfp®, CrpC®

joanie lebaron, financial advisor, CrpC®

gabriel kerlik, financial advisor, Cfp®, CrpC®, mba

Kerlik, Sadler, Smith & Associates

A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.

1005 S. 107th Ave., Suite 201 Omaha, NE 68114 402-334-7265


wealthmanagement WINNERS In your own words describe your practice. The Cibola Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has the knowledge, experience and commitment necessary to manage your investments on an ongoing, fully discretionary basis, providing you with objective advice on critical financial matters. Working closely with you, we will develop an investment strategy focused on your objectives – one that reflects your lifestyle expectations, cash flow needs, risk tolerance and aspirations for your family. We will help you build a portfolio informed by the resources and insight available. When you look at wealth management from a long-term perspective, one thing is clear; it’s your future, not just your money. Over time, we can help you navigate the noise and distractions of challenging markets, providing a disciplined sense of focus on what’s most important – your progress toward your goals.

the Cibola group at morgan Stanley Smith barney

Describe your customer service model. Before our team offers specific advice, we must understand who you are and what you want your wealth to accomplish. We begin our relationship by listening, discussing and setting your financial objectives. Based on your input, our advice will address and develop a wealth management strategy. Your plan will include an asset allocation strategy designed to help achieve your financial goals with regards to your risk tolerance and time horizon. After we have discussed and refined your strategy, the team works closely with you to bring the elements to life, to track your progress and make appropriate adjustments to your portfolio to help it remain aligned with your goals. We believe that working as a team helps to provide access to a number of solutions, and helps to ensure that the client benefits from the highest levels of service. While we bring complementary skills and perspectives to our clients, we also share a commitment to responding to our clients needs promptly, professionally and thoroughly. Our goal is to earn

their confidence not only through the quality of solutions we provide, but also the excellence with which we deliver them. Portfolio Management is an advisory program in which the client’s Financial Advisor invests the client’s assets on a discretionary basis in a wide range of securities. Asset Allocation and Diversification do not guarantee a profit or protect against a loss. Tax laws are complex and subject to change. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Individuals are urged to consult their personal tax or legal advisors to understand the tax and related consequences of any actions or investments described herein. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

Matt Shalhoob - Vice President/Sr. Portfolio Manager/Financial Advisor Matt has been in the financial services industry since 2000; he runs a concentrated portfolio with approximately 20 securities. Typically the account is 70% core holdings and 30% tactical. Matt is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM practitioner and has earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Creighton University. Matt’s first job out of college provided invaluable experience working for TransCanada Energy Marketing USA on the natural gas trading desk. Bennett W. Goodspeed - “Why do investment professionals get such poor marks? The main reason is they are victims of their own methodology. By making a science out of an art, they are opting to be precisely wrong rather than generally correct.” Tim Zielinski – Financial Advisor Tim’s primary focus is on tax-free investments, asset allocation and portfolio optimization. He graduated from University of Nebraska – Omaha with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) and has been in the financial industry since 2008. Roxanne Kolev – Financial Advisor Roxanne has over 10 years experience with retirement plans with an understanding of their design. Her focus is on helping individuals and business owners find the right plan to help meet their priorities. Roxanne is a licensed investment professional with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management of Human Resources. Her certifications include Professional of Human Resources (PHR) and Retirement Planning Associate (RPA).

tim zielinski, financial advisor

matt Shalhoob, vice president/ Sr. portfolio manager/ financial advisor

roxanne kolev, financial advisor

13625 California Street #400 Omaha, NE 68154 402.399.6156 november/december  •  2011  



wealthmanagement WINNERS

ethen bagley group of merrill lynch

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice? Our team’s focus is to help simplify our clients’ lives in an increasingly complex world. We offer wisdom, as well as information, so that our clients can make informed decisions regarding their financial affairs. We consider it a privilege to serve as trusted advisors and to provide quality, unbiased information and assistance.

we follow-up with an on-boarding meeting where we explain how to read the statements, log in to the on-line account access, and help them organize all of their financial affairs. Finally, we schedule periodic face-to-face account reviews, which for most clients is semi-annually. In between meetings, clients can expect monthly calls, monthly newsletters, and periodic client educational events throughout the year.

What is the process you take each customer through? Each prospective client is taken through a series of meetings. The first is a discovery meeting where we gather information and gain an understanding of their goals, timeframes, and risk tolerance. This is followed up by an Investment Proposal and Financial Plan meeting. When the client indicates they are ready to proceed, we schedule a mutual commitment meeting where we complete all paperwork and agree to each party’s roles and responsibilities. Once accounts have transferred in,

In your own words describe your practice’s financial planning process: Our financial planning process is designed to provide specific advice and investment strategies. Clients have a detailed Net Worth, Asset Allocation and Retirement Analysis prepared. Other analyses, depending on need, include Education Planning, Cash Management, Liability Management, and Stock Option analysis. For clients with more sophisticated needs, we also offer a Risk Allocation Statement which allows us to categorize all assets and liabilities into specific risk and objective categories.

Stephen C. Ethen, CFP® Steve received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. After serving as a U.S. Army Captain and helicopter pilot, Steve joined Merrill Lynch in 1993. He is a Certified Financial Planner® certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. He also holds the CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) designation. Steve has been recognized for his commitment to his profession and clients with a seat on Merrill Lynch’s prestigious Advisory Council to Management. In this role, he works with senior managers of the firm to provide feedback on issues faced by both clients and fellow financial advisors. Steve is married to Teresa Ethen. They have two young daughters, Caroline and Isabel. In addition to their children, Steve and Teresa are in their second year of hosting a foreign exchange student. In his leisure, Steve enjoys waterskiing and wakeboarding. Michael J. Bagley, CFP® Mike is a veteran of the financial services industry. He began his career in 1998 as a compliance examiner, and then as an internal wholesaler for large securities firms before joining Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in 2003. Mike is committed to providing the highest possible level of client service. He uses his knowledge and experience to build investment and retirement strategies designed to help people achieve their short- and longterm goals and objectives. Mike has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and is a Certified Financial Planner® certificant, a designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. He is actively involved in the Omaha Hockey Club and the Gretna Soccer Club, serving as a volunteer coach. Mike, his wife, Kelly, and their two children, Landon and Reid, reside in Gretna, NE.


  november/december  •  2011

Describe your practice’s investment philosophy: We are long-term investors and work hard to educate our clients as to exactly what they own and why they own it. We require all portfolios to be well diversified in order to eliminate unnecessary risk. All portfolios are global in nature and contain assets that are not highly correlated in price movements. We begin with the determination of the allocation between stocks, bonds, cash and alternative investments. Our portfolios are well diversified across several sectors of the economy and multiple business groups within each sector. The sector weights vary amongst our different model portfolios and are dependent on each portfolio’s stated goal.

michael j. bagley, Cfp®

#1 Client Educa tion & Customer S ervice Mode l

Stephen C. ethen, Cfp®

1044 N. 115th Street Omaha, NE 68154 402-496-5193


wealthmanagement WINNERS

Craig d. korkow, Cfp®, CrpC® of merrill lynch

What is your philosophy on what it means to be a financial advisory practice: Our guiding principle and mission is over 95 years old—“client first”—as stated by Charles E. Merrill himself. The foundation of which begins by listening. Only then can we garner the necessary understanding to help the individual or organizational client successfully identify the respective financial goal. We can then work to develop the potential solutions with our vast access to resources for goal accomplishment. Define the added value of your services in relationship to your fees: Our value-add is in providing a holistic approach to financial planning. Leaving nothing uncovered. To truly become a family or organizational adjunct chief financial officer, it requires the specialist resources of which our firm has access, and the knowledge of how to put those resources to work. It is exemplified in our industry leading and unwavering commitment to continuing education and training.

Craig D. Korkow, CFP®, CRPC® Craig D. Korkow is principle of the Korkow Group and is a First Vice President-Investments with Merrill Lynch, Omaha, NE. After graduating Summa Cum Laude in Economics from South Dakota State University and leaving the US Army as a Captain, he joined Merrill Lynch in 2000. Craig specializes in retirement planning for organizations and individuals.

Omaha magazine’s

wealthmanagement Winners What is your philosophy on what It means to be a financial advisory practice? The Slatterys/ Hruby Group provides wealth management services to affluent families and trusts. We help clients articulate their goals, then guide them with appropriate strategies for investments, lending, wealth transfer, and philanthropy with particular emphasis on tax minimization and wealth preservation. By formally reviewing and understanding a client’s total assets and liabilities, we are able to develop customized solutions to address their unique needs and challenges. For clients, we seek to have a profound impact on both their financial and personal lives. Our ultimate responsibility is to help clients achieve their aspirations for themselves, future generations and their communities. Within that effort, we provide the personal attention and high level of service that significant wealth warrants. What is the process you take each customer through? We use a comprehensive, values based financial planning process. Our process starts with our initial Discovery meeting, where we take the time to learn about the prospective client, their values, interests, past experience and goals. Extensive analysis is done by our staff Certified Financial Planning practitioner to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the current situation. From there we develop investment

1044 N. 115th Street, Suite 500 Omaha, NE 68154 402-496-5127

Slatterys/Hruby Group of Merrill Lynch

and advanced planning strategies specific to their goals and needs. Once a client, we meet on a quarterly basis to not only review investment performance, but also to review advanced planning topics that are pertinent to their situation. The analysis that was done initially is updated on at least an annual basis or as life changes warrant.

and preferences, as well as to protect clients from Personal, Market, and Aspirational risk factors. The framework brings together Portfolio theory with aspects of Behavioral Finance to overlay a client’s risk exposures on to their balance sheet. The application of our investment philosophy is typically executed within an Advisory relationship. We asset allocate benchmark indexes for market risk exposures in selected asset classes. Our fixed income approach is to customize portfolios by matching the client needs with a separately managed fixed income portfolio manager.

Describe your practices’ investment philosophy: We apply a comprehensive wealth allocation framework to a client’s balance sheet. In the simplest form you could state it as Risk Allocation precedes Asset Allocation. The framework enables clients to construct appropriate portfolio’s using all their assets such as their home, mortgage, and market investments. The resulting frameworks are designed to meet L -R: Timothy Slattery, Jr., client needs Peggy Fehncke, Stephen Hruby, CIMA®, Kandis Schissel, CFP®, Daniel Slattery

1044 N. 115th Street Omaha, NE 68154 402-496-5152 november/december  •  2011  


Omaha FACES Story by Lainey Seyler • Photo by Husband/wife team Deb & Tim Duggan as Queen Victoria & Charles Dickens

Dickens in the Market


Festive Christmas spirit served up Victorian Style

hen I was 16, I practically begged to be in my high school’s carol choir. The choir assembled once or twice a week before school to rehearse for only a few concerts, one of which was Dickens in the Market. The choir rented period costumes and strolled the Old Market on a Saturday near Christmas singing familiar carols in character. I was totally in my element singing too loud and talking with an awful British accent, my skirt, bonnet and shawl protecting me from the chill of December. The day is just the thing to put one in the spirit of the holiday season. Ten years later, the event has been rekindled from a brief hiatus as part of the Holiday


  november/december  •  2011

Lights Festival, which runs from Nov. 24 to Jan. 8. Father Christmas, Scrooge, Dickens and Queen Victoria will all be part of the parade through the Old Market on Dec. 10, along with Tiny Tim and the rest of the Cratchit family. Magical Journey Carriages will transport the actors down Howard Street and are then available for a discounted rate to modern-day revelers. Vic Gutman and Associates, organizers of the Holiday Lights Festival, has scheduled three musical ensembles to entertain visitors, and local choirs and church groups will populate the streets after the parade. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Howard Street between 11th and 12th streets. The free event is a big draw for families coming downtown to see the lights and skate at ConAgra Foods ice rink. More than 1 million lights illuminate the Gene Leahy Mall starting Thanksgiving Day. Shops and restaurants get into the spirit, offering discounts and dressing up their windows for the Dickens event. There’s an art gallery crawl and other special events at venues such as the Holland Performing Arts Center and the Rose Blumkin Theater, all associated with the Holiday Lights Festival. Deb and Tim Duggan perform regularly in the Dickens in the Market parade as Queen Victoria and Dickens himself. They often fight extreme cold, along with the other players, to bring the Old Market to life. Says Deb: “It’s a fun kickoff for the holidays. If you’re not in the mood, you will be after Dickens.” Every attendee of the event seems to have a unique favorite. A costumed bear and his trainer are popular with everyone. The duo has appeared at Dickens since year one in 1987. Vic Gutman loves watching children interact with the characters, who are dressed authentically by Ibsen Costume. He said, “The costumes are beautifully done. I love to watch the children come up and interact with Father Christmas and Queen Victoria.” Dwayne Ibsen, of Ibsen Costume, said, “It’s also fun to see all the characters and choirs that come down who also add to the affair. They all get scarves and top hats, and it adds to the period feel.” Even if I won’t be performing this year, I’m looking forward to soaking up the holiday spirit from performers, professional and amateur alike.

Holiday 1 1 20Gift Guide

s ’ e n i z a g a M a h Oma


he holidays are here, and in keeping with the spirit of the season, Omaha Magazine is pleased to

present its Holiday Gift Guide. This Gift Guide is supported by local advertisers. Please consider these businesses as you shop for friends, family and business associates on your holiday shopping list. Besides being available in print, this Gift Guide is also accessible online at, where the web links provide a direct click-through to the featured item or business. In a retail world increasingly driven by online shopping, we hope you find this technological assist convenient! Our best wishes to you for a happy holiday season!

Omaha Magazine Staff

november/december  •  2011  


Holiday 1 1 Gift Guide 0 2

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  november/december  •  2011

feature Story by Leo Adam Biga

Omaha's Broadway Babies Several talents from the Big O have made their way into the stage spotlight


roadway seems a far dis-

tant dream for theater aspirants in Nebraska. Yet many natives have conquered the Great White Way: Fred and Adele Astaire Henry Fonda Dorothy McGuire Marlon Brando Montgomery Clift Julie Wilson Inga Swenson Sandy Dennis Swoosie Kurtz

Kevyn Morrow appearing in the Omaha Community Playhouse production of the musical Ragtime, 2006. Photo courtesy of OCP.

New talents making their mark today include Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young and Tony nominee Andrew Rannells. For this new crop of Omaha Broadway Babies, local theaters provided vital training grounds. After years of community theater, music and dance Kevyn Morrow’s big break came via a national touring production of A Chorus Line. His Broadway debut was in Leader of the Pack. He joined Chorus Line in New York. Other Broadway credits include Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Anything Goes. continued on page 124

november/december  •  2011  



He’s headlined off-Broadway and in London, where his performance as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime earned him an Olivier Award nomination. He reprised the role in a smash Omaha Community Playhouse production. Coming back to Omaha reconnected Morrow to the place where it all started for him. His success, he says, is confirmation dreams come true for those driven enough to see them through. “You have to believe. You have to have the passion and you have to see it,” he says. He likes to think he might inspire others here to follow their own dreams. Q Smith is doing just that in her third year with the national tour of Mary Poppins. She earlier appeared on Broadway in Les Miserables. She’s done well in regional theater as well. Her odyssey began at Omaha’s Salem Baptist Church and Center Stage Theatre. Last winter, things came full circle when Poppins played 23 dates in her hometown, allowing her to perform in front of friends and family at the Orpheum Theatre. She’s already celebrated three birthdays on tour. She appreciates her plum gig. “Everybody’s dying to get a first national tour — that’s like a dream,” she says. “I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but right now it’s a blessing, and it’s all about right now. This is like my first major role, and it’s a big deal because it’s Disney and you want to make them proud and you want to continue your career with Disney.” One downside to such a long engagement is that it’s taken her away from the heart of the theater world. “I have to reintroduce myself back to New York because I’ve been gone so long,” she says. “When I get back I’m going to do a cabaret and invite everyone.” She says she’ll return a more confident Q. “I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot on the road and I’m going to bring all of it back with me.” If Poppins is extended, Q will gladly sign up for another tour. A tip from Q led her friend, Omaha journeyman actor D. Kevin Williams, to go up for a replacement part in the national tour of The Color Purple in 2009. With backing from family, friends and his church, he auditioned in New York. He didn’t get the job, but a year later another spot opened and he was cast, 124 

  november/december  •  2011

Q Smith as Miss Andrew in the touring musical Disney and Cameron Macintosh's Mary Poppins. Photo provided by Omaha Performing Arts.

D. Kevin Williams toured with the national production of The Color Purple.

John Lloyd Young of recent Jersey Boys fame began acting at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

leading to three months with the company. “I was just blessed to be able to do it,” he says, adding that he was prepared when the opportunity came. “You have to put yourself in the right situation, you have to have been taking the steps, and I’ve been working my chops for 30-plus years. “ The experience whet his appetite for more. “Next time I want to get in on the ground floor instead of second string, so I can prove to myself and everybody else it wasn’t just a fluke. I want everyone to realize I do have the talent to be on a full Broadway tour. I’m hungry.” Williams hopes to land in Color should a new tour launch. John Lloyd Young’s New York theater journey peaked with his lead role as Frankie Valli in the mega-hit Jersey Boys. But he never forgets his path began much earlier at the Omaha Community Playhouse and the former Emmy Gifford Children’s Theatre. “I think Omaha’s a fantastic place for a young person to be able to have a regular childhood and learn the things they need to learn if they’re interested in moving forward with an entertainment career,” says Young, who lived here with his military family. “I kind of knew already in Omaha I wanted to do it professionally.” He credits old pros like Charles Jones and Dick Boyd with aiding his development. Now living in L.A. pursuing music, film and television projects and creating original visual art, Young expects to return to the stage when the right part surfaces. Andrew Rannells first honed his craft at the Emmy Gifford and the Firehouse Dinner Theater, and now he’s a sensation in The Book of Mormon. Joanna Young is another Emmy Gifford alum with extensive Broadway, offBroadway and regional theater credits. Q encourages dreamers it can happen for them to, saying, “If we can do it, so can you.” Young reminds hopefuls, “Everybody comes from somewhere and Omaha’s a great place to come from.”

november/december  •  2011  


Omaha FACES Story by Tony Endelman • Photos by

Pat & JT

in the Mornings


Serendipity brought this dynamic duo back to Omaha radio

here’s a funny thing about radio: its fundamental form leaves much to the imagination. Who are these people chatting endlessly behind a pair of microphones? What do they look like? And why were they granted permission to address the masses? But turn on Omaha’s Q98 on a weekday morning and it’s easy to tell that something special is going on. For nearly a decade, Pat Safford and Jill Thomas have been an on-air duo, engaging early commuters and office-dwellers with their signature brand of affable, light-hearted banter. Of course, most of us know them quite simply as “Pat and JT.” With a studio nestled in the heart of Dundee, Pat and JT have garnered a lovingly loyal fan base, and came together seemingly by fate and an undeniable passion for their craft. Safford, who was born in Omaha and grew up in Waterloo, started in radio almost 20 years ago as a producer for Rockett in the Morning on what was then called Sweet 98. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it after the first time I walked into a radio station,” the energetic


  november/december  •  2011

morning host shares. “I knew it was what I wanted to do.” After three years behind the scenes, Safford went on-air as one-half of Scott and Pat at Night on 101.9 The Edge. Then, in 1999, he took a job doing mornings in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Thomas was trying to solidify her career in radio after a similar series of shortlived jobs. Another Omaha native, Thomas started in 1986 as a producer for Glenn Beck’s morning show while attending Arizona State University. “I don’t think I know how to do anything else,” she explains. “Once I walked through the doors of a radio station, it just felt right. It felt like ‘my people.’” In 1990, after bouncing from station to station in Arizona, Thomas moved back to Nebraska, spending four years on-air in Lincoln and another six in Hastings and Grand Island. Finally, in 2002, Q98 came calling. “They summoned Pat and me and put us in a studio overnight to see what would happen,” describes Thomas. “We were both very skeptical. It’s very rare that two people who don’t know each other can gel.” But, despite their skepticism, it wasn’t long before Pat and JT in the Morning was born. “It just works,” says Thomas, sporting her great smile. “And there’s no rhyme or reason why. It just does.” Surely, at least part of their success can be attributed to the way that Pat and JT effortlessly relate to their listeners. “We’re like your neighbor,” explains producer Josh Nelson. “We try and have a conversation like you would with your close friends. And we have fun, which comes through to our audience.” “We connect to our audience by talking about the stuff we’re dealing with that happens to everybody,” adds Thomas. “Even when we do headlines every hour, we really try to emphasize how it affects the people of Omaha. And most importantly, we’re not afraid to make fun of ourselves.” Catch Pat and JT every weekday morning on 98.5 FM. For more information, visit www.

And Nelson

Greater Nebraska happenings

Source:, website for Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Travel & Tourism Division.

November & December November Events Nov 1-30, Bellevue, Sarpy County Explore American Indian Heritage Month. Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, 1111 Bellevue Blvd N. History trail hikes and exhibits. (402) 731-3140 www. Nov 1-30, Grand Island, Hall County Nature’s Bounty, Prairie Winds Art Center. 112 W. 3rd St. Featuring painters Patricia Scarborough and Dee Rodgers, along with wood turner Harry Adams. Reception Nov 4, 5:30pm, Free (308) 381-4001 Nov 4-5, Beatrice, Gage County Annual Nebraska Governor’s Pheasant Hunt. Beatrice Gun Club, 5954 W. Hoyt Rd. Enjoy a classic hunt and European hunt. Entrance fees include dogs, guides, reception, breakfast and more. $250 (402) 223-3244 Nov 5, Bellevue, Sarpy County. Nebraska’s Official Veterans Day Parade. Downtown on Mission Ave Patriotic parade. 10am, Free (402) 898-3000 Nov 5-6 & 12-13, Homer, Dakota County O’Connor House Christmas Tour. 2 mi. E. of the Pronto Station Featuring the Victorian mansion with 15 rooms decorated for the holidays. Sat, 10am-4pm; Sun, noon-4pm, Donation Paul Culbertson (402) 987-3330

Nov 5-6 & 19, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Seasons of Crafts. Lancaster Event Center, 84th & Havelock Ave Sat, 9am5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm, Free Mary Marik (402) 489-5001 Nov 10-12, Grand Island, Hall County, NSAA State Girls High School Volleyball Championships. Heartland Events Center, 700 E. Stolley Park Rd (308) 382-4515 www. Nov 1-30, Fremont, Dodge County New Images–Hal Holoun Oil Paintings. Gallery 92 West, 92 W. 6th St TueSun, 1-4pm, Free Barbara Gehringer (402) 721-7779 Nov 11, North Platte, Lincoln County, Veterans Day Observance. 20th Century Veterans Memorial in honor of all veterans who have served. 2pm Wilma Salisbury (308) 532-6579 Nov 17-20, Columbus, Platte County, 31st Annual Festival of Trees. Library Art Gallery Thu, noon-8pm; Fri-Sun, noon- 5pm, $6 (402) 564-2769 Nov 18, Burwell, Garfield County, Craft Show at Parish Center. Parish Center Terese Lech (308) 346-5040 www.visitburwell. org Nov 18, Hartington, Cedar County, Candlelight Christmas and Lighted Vehicle Parade Downtown Silhouette

Shadow Lake Towne Center Sarpy County offers great shopping, easy access, easy parking, and a lot of choices! Check out the stores at Shadow Lake Towne Center in Papillion; Nebraska Crossing at Gretna; Twin Creek in Bellevue; or Brentwood Square in La Vista. Sarpy County also has some great specialty shops as we wonderful antique shopping. Plan your day (or days) to allow yourself to grab a bite at one of our wonderful restaurants and coffee shops.  Check out the great stores in Sarpy County, it’s…..So Near, So Fun!”

lighting, living Christmas scenes, luminaries and a lighted vehicle parade. Free Cindy Howey (402) 254-6939 Nov 19, Ord, Valley County, Candy Cane Craft Fair. Angie Kokes (308) 496-4477 Nov 19, Seward, Seward County, Seward Jr. Woman’s Club Annual Craft Show. Fairgrounds More than 95 vendors with a variety of items. 9am-3:30pm, Free (402) 643-4189 Nov 20 Lodgepole, Cheyenne County Christmas Decorating Party. Museum on Hwy 30 Make hand-strung popcorn for the tree and enjoy a hayrack ride or sleigh ride. (308) 483-5353

Nov 20, South Sioux City, Dakota County 27th Annual Midwest Toy & Collector Show. Marina Inn, 4th & B Sts Check out wares from 300 vendors from around the region. Sneak peek Sat at noon; Sun, 8am-3pm, $5 (712) 239-1466 Nov 25-Dec 31 Beatrice, Gage County Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures. Homestead National Monument of America, 8523 W. Hwy 4 Celebrate the winter traditions of homesteaders with special programs and entertainment. Programs on Nov 27, Dec 4 & 11 at 2pm, Free Susan Cook (402) 2233514 Nov 25-Dec 31, Grand Island, Hall County, Fantasy of Trees. Stuhr Museum, 3133 W. Hwy 34 november/december  •  2011  


Holy Family Shrine, near Gretna

Photo courtesy of Nebraska Department of Economic Development

come discover sarpy county!

Cabela’s, La Vista

Linoma Beach, Gretna

Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue

6 7

Whether you’re in search of a

4 5

fun-filled vacation, great dining, wonderful shopping, cultural

13 8

events or exciting nightlife, something awaits you at every

9 10

turn in Sarpy County. Just

12 14

minutes from the state’s most vibrant metropolitan district,


the area offers the perfect blend of city and country.


Kick off your adventure today at!

ar y County 128 

  november/december  •  2011



1 Ak-Sar-Ben Aquariu m/Schramm Park 2 Holy Family Shrine 3 Nebraska Crossing Factory Stores 4 Wehrspan Lake at Chalco Hills 5 Brass Armadillo Anti que Mall 6 Cabela’s – World’s Foremost Outfitter 7 La Vista Conference Center

Visit us online for a

8 Werner Baseball Park 9 Walnut Creek Recr eation Area 10 Sumtur Amphith eater 11 Soaring Wings Win ery 12 Shadow Lake Tow ne Center 13 Fontenelle Forest Nature Center 14 Sarpy County Hist orical Museum

complete list of attrac


Greater Nebraska Happenings Experience the wonder of the Christmas Tree through this beautiful display. (308) 385-5316 Nov 26, Henderson, York County Holiday Tour of Homes. Memmonite Heritage Park Tour area homes fully decorated for the holiday season. 4-7:30pm, $10 Marjorie Smith (402) 7235793 Nov 22-Dec 24, Geneva, Fillmore County Holiday Cheer in Geneva. Downtown Visits from Santa, caroling, wine and cheese festival, cookie walk and a variety of activities. (402) 759-1155 Nov 23, Papillion, Sarpy County, Tree Lighting. Shadow Lake Towne Center Visits from Santa, ice carvers, carolers, horse-drawn sleigh rides and more. www.shadowlakeshopping. com Nov 26, Odell, Gage County, Craft Fair. Old West Trails Center, 301 Main St 3700 Nov 25-27, North Platte, Lincoln County, Festival of Trees. Sandhills Convention Center, 2102 S. Jeffers St Christmas trees decorated by local businesses are on display. (308) 532-9090 Nov 26-27, Columbus, Platte County, Turkeyfest Creative Crafters Craft Show. Center 30 Mall, 23rd St & 32nd Ave Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm, Free Sharon Pohlman (402) 564- 1845 Nov 26 -27, Fordyce, Cedar County, Annual WJ Ranch Cowboy Christmas. WJ Ranch, 55659 892 Rd Featuring arts and crafts from more than 50 vendors, buggy and pony rides, trick roping demonstrations and more. Free Jan Schiferl (402) 3572102 Nov 27, Beaver Crossing, Seward County Christmas in the Park. City Park and Legion Hall Lighting of holiday lights, hayrack rides, living nativity, food and vendors, visits from Santa.

2-8pm Mike Stutzman (402) 532-2030 December Events

sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. 6-9pm nightly, 2-5pm on Dec 11, $6-$8 Mike Bockoven (308) 385-5316 www.

Fort Calhoun, Washington County Christmas at the Museum and Frahm House. Washington County Historical Museum, 102 N. 14th & Frahm House, 220 S. 15th Enjoy the museum and Frahm House decorated for the holidays. Weekends, 1-4pm, $2-$3 Mark Schulze (402) 468- 5740 www.

Dec 3-24, Elmwood, Cass County Journey Into Christmas Open House Weekends. Bess Streeter Aldrich House, 204 E. F St View the rooms decorated for the holidays and enjoy a tour with complimentary refreshments. weekends, 2- 5pm, $3-$5 Teresa Lorensen (402) 994-3855 www.

Dec 1-31 Grand Island, Hall County In the Spirit. Prairie Winds Art Center, 112 W. 3rd St A holiday fantasy of art and gifts to put you into the Christmas spirit. Holiday Open Dec 4, noon-5pm (308) 381- 4001

Dec 3-4, Lincoln, Lancaster County Seasons of Crafts. Lancaster Event Center, 84th & Havelock Sat, 9am- 5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm, Free Mary Marik (402) 489- 5001

Dec 2, Plattsmouth, Cass County Christmas Tree Lighting & Caroling. Cass County Historical Museum, 646 Main St 6:15pm, Free (402) 2964770 casscountymuseum.

Dec 3- 4, Wahoo, Saunders County Christmas on the Prairie. Saunders County Museum Old-fashioned displays, activities, demonstrations and programs. 2-8pm, Free Erin Hauser (402) 443-3090 www.saunderscountymuseum. org

Dec 2-30, Fremont, Dodge County. Nancy Fairbanks Exhibit: Pawnee Technique Pottery Gallery 92 West, 92 W. 6th St Tue-Sun, 1-4pm, Free Barbara Gehringer (402) 721-7779

Dec 4, Auburn, Nemaha County Christmas on the Square. 19th & O Sts and Nemaha Valley Museum Visits from Santa, hot chocolate and cookies, crafts and holiday ornaments. 1-3:30pm, Free (402) 274-3735

Dec 3, Ashland, Saunders County, Holiday Air Affair. Strategic Air & Space Museum, I-80 Exit 426 The 501st Legion Storm Troopers will escort Santa into the Museum at 10am. Photos with Santa inside the FB-111. 9:30am (402) 944-3100 www.

Dec 4, Wisner, Cuming County Christmas Celebration. Businesses along Ave E & city auditorium Activities for all ages including a soup dinner, caroling, games, visits from Santa, living windows, tree lighting and more. 11am-5pm, Donation for dinner Peggy Liermann (402) 529-3338

Dec 3, Crawford, Dawes County Light up the Fort Fort Robinson State Park Historical Christmas Dec 3 & 9-11, Grand Island, Hall County, Christmas Past & Present. Stuhr Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, 3133 W. US Hwy 34 Beautiful lamp lit tours of Railroad Town, cooking, crafts, decorations, live music and the

Dec 4-5, Brownville, Nemaha County Brownville Old Time Christmas. City-wide Open houses, light displays, concerts and more. 8am5pm, Free Jay Tallmon (402) 825-3982 Dec 5, Sutton, Clay County, Parade of Lights. Downtown Kick off

the holiday season with a lighted parade, cookie decorating, Santa visits, holiday music, train rides, horse and buggy rides and more. 5pm, Free Shelly Childs (402) 773-4233 Dec 10-11, Columbus, Platte County Christmas Rush Creative Crafters Craft Show. Center 30 Mall, 23rd St & 32nd Ave Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm Sharon Pohlman (402) 5641845 Dec 10-23, York, York County Christmas on the Farm. Wessels Living History Farm, 1 mi. S. of I-80 Exit 353 Experience the sights, sounds, scents and flavors of the 1920s. Lighted village and refreshments. 1-4pm, $2-$5 Dale Clark (402) 710- 0682 Dec 13, Ponca, Dixon County Annual Christmas Bird Count at Ponca State Park. 88090 Spur 26 E. Amateur and expert birdwatchers are invited to attend this annual event. Noon chili feed. 7am-4pm, Park permit required Jennifer Wolff (402) 755-2284 Dec 15-18, North Platte, Lincoln County Christmas at the Cody’s. Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Rd Hot cider, cookies, chestnuts, holiday music, horsedrawn carriage rides and visits from Santa. 5:30-8pm, $5, agest 12 and under free (308) 535-8035 Dec 28-29 Omaha, Douglas County Penguins and Pancakes. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St. Enjoy pancakes from the Pancake Man, crafts and animal visits from the African penguins. 8:30-10am, $12$15 (402) 738-2047 Dec 31 Omaha, Douglas County Noon Year’s Eve. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St Party with the animals! Activities, entertainment and an early countdown to 2013 complete with a beach ball drop. 10am-1pm (402) 738-2047 november/december  •  2011  


Omaha FOOD restaurant review Story by Mystery Reviewer • Photos by

Zin Room

Serving American Fusion food, big city ambiance

"You feel like you are stepping off 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan and into a trendy New York City restaurant.


his June, in the lobby of the recently remodeled Hotel Deco at 15th and Harney, the Zin Room opened to much fanfare. In recent months, it has become apparent that Chef/Proprietor Ryan Gish, of Ryan’s Bistro fame, has another hit on his hands with his latest venture. With a name like Zin Room, one might think of an Asian restaurant, or maybe a wine-themed concept, or even perhaps a chic American Fusion restaurant located in the lobby of a new boutique downtown hotel. If you went with the last option, then you would win the prize. Actually, we all win the prize: a great new Downtown Omaha restaurant to enjoy and explore!


  november/december  •  2011

When you step off 15th Street and into the Zin Room, you feel like you are stepping off 5th Avenue in midtown Manhattan and into a trendy New York City restaurant. The spacious, modern design is truly breathtaking. High ceilings, dark woods, extensive sandstone brick work, and modern art pieces help frame this charming splitlevel restaurant. There’s also a lively bar that often features live lounge music, again sparking that feeling of being in a much bigger city than Omaha. The menu at the Zin Room features something for everyone: steaks, seafood, chicken, burgers, pasta, as well as Ryan’s popular “South of the Border” specialties. They are also open for lunch with similar selections and even have a very interesting gourmet breakfast menu. The wine list is also well stocked, and their selection of craft beers and spirits is quite good. On a recent visit, my dining partner and I sampled a pretty good cross section of what Ryan has to offer from his latest American Fusion menu. We started with the Bacon Wrapped Dates ($8.99). These tasty treats are also stuffed with blue cheese and have a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze. The result is one of the tastiest appetizers I have tried in a long time. We also had the Steak Bites ($9.99). These juicy morsels are Cajun-seasoned then perfectly fried to sear the outside and keep the inside nice and rare. They are served on sautéed spinach with garlic and have some kind of a creamy Worcestershire sauce for dipping. Needless to say, these did not last long either. The Balsamic Salad ($3.99) is a delicious combination of mixed greens, candied walnuts, blue cheese and bacon bits all tossed in a honey balsamic vinaigrette. For entrees, we had the Chicken Picatta ($19.99). Ryan’s rendition of this classic was as good as

Simulcast Racing from All the Top Tracks Over 600 TV’s • Keno

Watch Football! Bet the Races! Nebraska Games! NFL “Sunday Ticket” in our CLUBHOUSE, all season!

Have Your Parties & Meetings Here! Great Lunches Mon-Wed 5pm-9pm 6303 “Q” Street • 402-731-2900

Happy Hours:

& Dinners Daily Specials

Become part of a tradition of leadership, scholarship, faith and service.

Become part of Catholic Education.       all faith backgrounds are welcome.       Students of Scholarships and tuition assistance available.  


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any I have ever tried. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the sauce was spot-on. We also had the Chilean Sea Bass ($29.99). The panseared bass tasted extremely fresh with a rich, buttery flavor. Again, it was cooked perfectly and served with a delectable sun-dried tomato beurre blanc sauce. The entrees are all served with the house vegetable and your choice of sides. We chose the smoked baked potato, which is one of the coolest ideas I have seen in a while. It really added a unique twist to this comfort side dish. We also tried the Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese. This dish was also stellar. For dessert, we were talked into the Chocolate Gateau ($8.99). This rich chocolate layered cake was scrumptious and was the perfect ending to an excellent meal. In my book, there is no such thing as a perfect restaurant. There are just too many moving parts to get it right every day. With that in mind, the service at the Zin Room is good but not quite yet great. They just seem to lack the food knowledge, wine knowledge, course timing and overall polish that I am sure will come with training and time. That being said, every time I have dined there my server has been friendly, polite and helpful. Quite honestly, I will take friendly, polite and helpful over stuffy, rude and knowledgeable any day. The great food and ambiance more than make up for any service shortcomings and earn this restaurant a spot on my list of favorites. I suggest you get downtown and try it out for yourself. Cheers!













Zin Room 316 South 15th Street Omaha, NE 68102 402-991-0600






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Food & Beverage Service Ambiance Price Overall


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5 Stars Possible

november/december  •  2011  


GEN O Story by Leo Adam Biga • Photo by


Roger Garcia

Community Service, His Life's Work


  november/december  •  2011

oger Garcia fits squarely

in the mix of young professionals taking their turn at leading Omaha. As a former special assistant to Mayor Jim Suttle on urban affairs and community engagement, Garcia kept close tabs on issues impacting Latinos. Today, he continues doing the same as a community volunteer and activist with his eyes set on earning a master’s degree in public administration to prepare for the non-profit leadership role he expects to assume one day. His community focus right now extends to serving on the boards of Justice for Our Neighbors Nebraska, the Nebraska Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Brown-Black Coalition of Greater Omaha. He also works with the Latino Academic Achievement Council and the South Omaha Violence Prevention-Intervention Initiative. AND, he chairs the Nebraska Democratic Party Latino Caucus, which actively addresses issues like redistricting and immigration.  He’s so busy he’s had to hand over the reins of the Omaha Metro Young Latinos Professional Association he founded and led. His deep concern and involvement keep him attuned to what’s going on and to where he and the organizations he represents can help. “I do need to know what’s going on in the community and to see where we can help out if at all possible,” he says. Everywhere he looks, he sees young professional making a difference. “It’s definitely a growing community that’s being sought after more and more. Lots of people are wanting to know where we stand and what our opinions are. They want us to get involved because we bring that new energy or new mind frame. Our technology-social media skills are in demand. “I think it’s a population that will definitely gain in influence. Clearly, we’re the leaders of tomorrow.” For Garcia, there’s no higher calling than public service. “I love working with people, I love trying to help people better themselves. It’s just something I truly enjoy doing. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to serve.”

Omaha FOOD

Legend (average price per entrée)

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



Bailey’s breakfast and lunch

402-932-5577 1259 S. 120TH St. Comfort food done with flair. For breakfast; all your favorites, featuring Omaha’s finest Eggs Benedict – 6 varieties, (and Crepes, too) topped with Hollandaise made fresh every day. Come try the best bacon you will ever eat! Breakfast served all day. And treat yourself to some of Omaha’s finest Salads, Soups, and Sandwiches, plus Chicken Fried Steak, fresh Angus burgers, and Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. When is the last time you had really good Egg Salad or Chicken Salad??? Open 7 days a week 7:00 – 2:00.

we’re more than a [great] happy hour

[hawaiian ribeye] don’t forget about

the new [black] friday

kitchen • sushi • cocktails

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402-614-2739 153rd & Q Sts.; 201-2739, 84th & Park Drive; Brewsky’s Food & Spirits opened its first restaurant/bar in Lincoln, NE in 1990. Brewsky’s now boasts six restaurants in Lincoln and Omaha. Our menu (created by Certified Executive Chef Ed Janousek) surprises people that are expecting the normal “bar food” found at most sports bars. The menu consists of steaks, burgers, chicken, wraps and about everything in between. We offer all the sports packages on our banks of TVs as well. The atmosphere created, the quality of the food served and the modest prices charged define Brewsky’s. We’ve been voted Best Sports Bar in Omaha for three consecutive years (Omaha magazine). Come let us WOW you!

village pointe shopping center 295 n 170th street omaha, ne 68118 • 402-779-2900


brewsky’s food & spirits, two omaha locations




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• Action

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join us black friday 11/25 for our annual gift card sale. buy one, get one half off! one day only, in-restaurant only. limitations apply.

The 2012 Best of Omaha® results will be in the next issue. Check this January to see if your favorite Omaha Businesses won! november/december  •  2011  


Upstream Brewin Best Micro g Co brewe m ry p




20 PL 11 • FIRST

Authentic German Dining

~ Holiday Dessert Trays ~ ~ Pan-Fried Chicken - Wednesdays ~

~ Stollen, Houska & Custom Gingerbread Houses ~

~ Call Early to Order ~ 5180 Leavenworth • 402-553-6774

2202 South 20th Street – Omaha

Family Restaurant • Fine Steaks Chicken • Seafood Party Rooms Available

342-9038 • 346-2865 134 

  november/december  •  2011

Buffalo Wings and Rings

Wings done to perfection. We use only the freshest wings and top them off with our signature sauces that can be combined to create 45 different flavors! If you are a fan of Boneless Wings, then you are in for a treat! We use only fresh tenders that are hand cut, lightly breaded and served up hot and juicy. Our menu also features Gyro’s with homemade cucumber sauce, ½ lb burgers, Wraps, Salads, and Sandwiches. We have a full bar and party room for groups not to mention 39 Plasma TV’s. Located in the L Street Marketplace at 120th and L.

Stella’s Bar and Grill “Serving World Famous Hamburgers since 1936” 106 Galvin Rd • Bellevue, NE • 402-291-6088 • Open Monday-Saturday, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

CRAVE 402-345-9999 (Midtown crossing)

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.

e hottest new dining NOW OPE N estination 200 South 31st Avenue #4103. Omaha’s hottest new restaurant! CRAVE’s menu offers sandwiches, wood-fired pizzas, pasta, burgers, certified angus steaks, seafood and salads, plus a grand sushi bar. Compliment your meal with a bottle of wine from the 150-plus bottle selection. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

DJ’s Dugout Sports Bar 402-763-9974

1003 Capitol Avenue. Catch all of the action at 3 Omaha locations. Featuring burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, appetizers and an impressive drink menu along with HD TV’s and projectors and home to Blazin’ Piano’s, Omaha’s only dueling piano concept . 114th & Dodge, 10th & Capitol and 23th & Cornhusker in Bellevue.

ary American Fare

ay Brunch

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

Open 5pm Mon.- Sat. Closed Sun.





4:30 P.M.

Mid to

a wn Ct ross i


• Music & Entertainment • Daily Happy Hours | $3 Drinks & Appetizers • Kids Eat Free Sundays

25 Y E A R S

P R E M I U M         H O M E M A D E

12th & Jackson • Old Market • 341-5827 Dundee Dell 402-553-4010 (Omaha)

5007 Underwood. 11 AM until 1 AM every day, MondaySunday. 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. $

• Proudly serving visitor & locals for 89 years.

Farrell’s Sports Bar 402-884-8818

• Featured in Midwest Living Best of the Midwest 2011.

902 Dodge Street. Sports, Food, Spirits and Fun! Fresh, handmade pizza, deli sandwiches and a full menu for you to choose from while watching 25 HD TV’s with all the games. Located in The Capitol District in Downtown Omaha.

ossing 68131 999

Best Of Omaha 5 Years Running

• Serving hand cut steaks, aged on premise and slow roasted prime rib with pride.

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

402-731-4774 27th & ‘L’ St., Kennedy Frwy, ‘L’ St. Exit 8 Minutes from Downtown Omaha.

november/december  •  2011  


Fat Burger 402-504-9930 (OMAHA)

Every Televised Game! West Omaha Football Headquarters! Stop in for game day specials.

725 N. 114th Street, just north of 114th & Dodge. Fatburger – the Last Great Hamburger Stand since 1952 – features fresh, never frozen U.S.D.A. 100% pure, lean beef for the juiciest, thickest, most flavorful burgers. Additional choices include grilled, crispy and spicy chicken sandwiches; Turkey and Boca burgers, too! Of course all toppings are prepared fresh daily. Fatburger uses Omaha’s favorite Rotella’s white and wheat buns, toasted for your eating enjoyment. We slice the onions and make the batter for our scrumptious onion rings each morning. Fries that are crisp and tasty. How about a hand scooped Blue Bunny real ice cream shake? Soups and salads, too. Fatburger located in Miracle Hills Plaza at 725 N. 114th Street, just north of 114th & Dodge. Hours of operation are 11a-9p Monday thru Friday, 11a-8p Saturdays and 11a-6p Sundays. Take away too. Call 402.504.9930.

Kona grill 402-779-2900 (Omaha)

Kona Grill provides an escape from everyday dining. Indulge in sensational flavors by sampling any of our modern American cuisine and stunningly fresh sushi, made from scratch with passion by our executive chefs and teams. Visit our patio and bar and try our great designer cocktails. Voted 2011 Best Sushi, Best Happy Hour and Best Appetizer by Omaha Magazine readers!

Quaker Steak and Lube 712-322-0101 (Council Bluffs, IA)

Online at Carry-Out



17330 Lakeside Hills Plaza Omaha, Nebraska

Pasta Amore a classic spot

  november/december  •  2011

Upstream Brewing Company two omaha locations

514 S 11th St. (402) 344-0200. Upstream features an extensive menu of new American pub fare including: appetizers and thin-crust pizzas, superb steaks featuring “Omaha Steaks”, fresh fish, pasta, salads, sandwiches and a great children’s menu. Fresh, handcrafted beer and root beer on tap. Extensive wine list. Call ahead for group reservations or to be placed on our waiting list. Visit our classic, upscale poolroom located on the second level.

Book Your Holiday Parties


3320 Mid America Dr. Council Bluffs, IA.”The Lube” serves over 70 million wings annually, has bottled sauces for retail sale and has won the title of “Best Wings USA” Mondays are kids eat free from 5 to 9pm and Tuesdays are all you can eat wings for $12.99 all day. The Metro’s only, Quaker Steak and Lube also offers great steaks, ribs and burgers. Live Music again this fall on Friday nights.

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

Private Party Rooms Business Luncheons • Catering


Famous Dave’s Barbeque 402-829-1616 (Omaha)

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. Six Omaha-Metro area locations: Bellevue–21st & Cornhusker, Benson–71st & Ames, Eagle Run–130th & Maple, Lakeside–173rd &Center, Millard–120th & L, and Council Bluffs by the MAC. Take out and catering available.

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

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


2056 N. 117th Ave. We are open Sun-Thurs: 11-9 and Fri & Sat's 11-10pm. We are offer 6 smoked meats as well as "HUGE" Turkey Legs and Big Ribs. We also offer 14 different homemade sides- everything from cheesy potatoes to apple cobbler to roasted red potatoes to mac&cheese We have catered for up to 750 people. Let us help you with your catering needs for the office and holiday parties as well. Check out our website at www.eatredzonebbq. com or find us Facebook as well.


don carmelo’s 2 locations (Omaha)

Tradition–Excellence–Value! Two locations: Rockbrook Village (402-933-3190) and 204th & Dodge (402-2899800) Omaha’s First and Finest NY Style Pizza, Stromboli, Calzone, Oven-Toasted Hoagies, Philly Cheese Steaks, Pasta, Salads, Beer & Wine. We also feature take-out and delivery and can cater your special event large or small. Stop in for daily lunch specials 11am -2 pm!

Wave Bistro Asian Asian Fusion Fusion Cuisine Cuisine

402-496-8812 4002 N. 144th St.

One Block N of Maple & W side of 144th

330-0440 •

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

Grisantis 402-330-0440 (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.

Lo Sole Mio Ristorante Italiano 402-345-5656 (Omaha)

3001 So. 32nd, Ave. Located in the middle of a neighborhood surrounded by charming homes. 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! 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 also offers panini, salads & one of the best pizza in town. Patio seating, full bar, & a great wine list complete this. No reservations, except for private rooms.

Always a Large Selection of Fresh Fish

4150 south 144th street • omaha • 894-9411

Nicola’s 402-345-8466 (Omaha)

13th & Jackson. Nicola’s offers a distinctive, tempting menu of upscale Italian dishes, including Lobster Ravioli, Classic Carbonara & Mediterranean Lasagna in an alluring environment. Also enjoy an Extensive Wine List & Full Bar on our Outdoor Garden Patio while you dine. Nicola’s also offers Catering & Desserts To Go for your private party or business gathering.

Oscar’s Pizza and Sports Grille (Omaha)

Oscar’s Pizza and Sports Grille is West “O”s number one family sports bar and grille. With over 30 HDTVs and four HUGE screens, you will never miss your favorite team. Got a large group? No problem! Oscars has a party room. Call for availability. Open 7 days a week. • Dundee • 402-590-coal

Legend (average price per entrée)

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


november/december  •  2011  


Pasta Amore 402-391-2585 (Omaha)

“the healthiest”

-New York Post

treat yourself well. ®

“the holy grail of frozen yogurt”

-944 Magazine


402-933-8815 13th & Cuming

“best frozen yogurt”

-Seattle Magazine

One Pacific Place 402-884-3795 103rd & Pacific Street

Shoppes of Legacy 402-334-4774 168th & W. Center

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

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. $$

Zio’s Pizzeria Several Omaha Locations

Three locations: 7834 Dodge St. (402-391-1881), 12997 W. Center Rd. (402-330-1444), and 1109 Howard St. in the Old Market (402-344-2222). DELIVERY, DINE-IN, and CARRY-OUT. 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 oldworld 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. $


O’Connor’s Irish Pub & Grille 402-934-9790 (Omaha)

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

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. $

Omaha, Nebraska

Carry-out • Party PaCks • Catering • Holiday Parties

Cantina Laredo 402-345-6000


120 S. 31st Ave. Cantina Laredo serves gourmet Mexican food in a sophisticated, vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy the signature margarita, the Casa Rita, made from fresh lime juice and the finest tequila, while savoring guacamole made fresh at your table. Visit Cantina Laredo at Omaha’s Midtown Crossing for lunch, dinner, drinks, and Sunday brunch.

Fernando’s Two Omaha Locations


• Beef Brisket • Pulled Pork • Famous ribs • sausage & Hot links • BBQ nachos

• smoked turkey • smoked Chicken • turkey legs • & more...

reserve your Holiday dinner today!

Two locations: 7555 Pacific St. (402-339-8006), 380 N. 114th St. (402-330-5707). 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. $

Mt. Fuji Inn 402-397-5049 (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. Open Mon.-Sat. @ 4:30p.m. Dining room open Mon-Sat 5p.m. Closed Sun. & holidays. AE-MC-V. $$

whole smoked turkeys available

402.431.Zone (9663) • 2056 n. 117th ave. North Park Plaza Corner of 120th & Blondo or follow us on 138 

  november/december  •  2011

Wave Bistro asian fusion cuisine 402-496-8812 (Omaha)

4002 N 144th St (One Blk N. of Maple St&West Side of 144th St) Step into a world where green waves suspend in the air, an intimate interior as mouth watering aromas waft thru the air. Wave Bistro presents the best Asian Cuisine in Omaha with a European twist. One of a kind dishes from scratch such as Cashew Crusted Salmon to Tea Smoked Duck-a balance between contemporary & traditional food. Full service bar. Mon-Thurs 11:00AM-9:00PM,Fri-Sat 11:00AM-10:00PM. All Credit Cards Accepted.


Charlie’s on the Lake (Omaha)

144th and F streets (402-894-9411). 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. $

shucks fish house & oyster bar 402-827-4376 (S. 119 St.) 402-763-1860 (168th & Center)

1218 S. 119th St, and also in the Shops of Legacy, SW corner of 168th & Center (just north of Lifetime Fitness). Open 7 days a week. Have you ever been to a fish shack on the coast? You’ll like this! Open 7 days a week. Shrimp or Oyster Po’ Boys, Fried Clam Strips, Shrimp, Walleye, Calamari and Oysters (all VERY lightly breaded). Plus Crab Cakes, Clam Chowder, Gumbo, Salads and Daily Fresh Fish Specials. Featuring a large variety of Oysters on the Half Shell, shucked right in front of you. Killer Happy Hour 2-6, every day.


Capitol Lounge & Supper Club 402-708-9988

1011 Capitol Avenue. An eclectic and flavorful menu, fantastic wines, brews, liquors, and an impressive selection of Champagne. Guests can enjoy unique amenities and superb service dining in an intimate setting early in the evening and or in celebrating with table service late into the evening. Located in The Capitol District.

Owned & Operated by the Cascio Family

Owners Jon Mumgaard, Brian Kitten and Jim Mumgaard

65 Years of Selling Great Steaks!

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

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

rst 20 the fi s #1 r o f u yo gu Thank nd for votin ning. a run years, ar 4 years b sports

1620 S. 10th 1 mile south of Qwest Center 345-8313 • november/december  •  2011  


We’ve perfected the wing. No need for the prayer. Nine tasty sauces. Cold beers on tap. And more than 40 big-screens featuring NFL Sunday Ticket. 402.614.7300

L Street Marketplace

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(12240 L Street)


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Gerda’s German Restaurant & Bakery 402-553-6774 (Omaha)

5188 Leavenworth St (402-553-6774) Omaha’s only Authentic German Restaurant. A little piece of Germany in Omaha. Gerda herself makes homemade spaetzle, schnitzels and rouladen. Fresh made soups, red cabbage, sauerkraut and dumplings are a few other treats. Stay for dessert of black forest cake or grab fresh bakery for breakfast on your way out.

Greek Islands 402-346-1528 (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

Jaipur Brewing Company 402-392-7331 (OMAHA)

10922 Elm St. Rockbrook Village. A casual restaurant in a ralaxed atmosphere. Lunch; Chicken Tikki Naan with Chutney; Tandoori Chicken & Muligatanny soup. Dinner entrees include fresh vegetables dishes, grilled colorado lamb sirloin, Sushi grade Ahi, Tandoori marinated grilled salmon, Tandoor grilled beef tenderloin, to name a few. Wide selection of wines & liquor, on site brewed beer. Lunch: Thurs. & Fr. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dinner: Sun.-Thurs. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri & Sat. 5p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Nosh Wine Lounge 402-614-2121

‘tis the season for



1006 Dodge Street. A diverse boutique wine list from around the world, culinary delights using locally grown organic produce and impressive drink menu. Nosh is the place for friends to gather, relax and celebrate good times. Located in The Capitol District in Downtown Omaha.

Red Mango (402) 933-8815 (13th & Cuming) (402) 884-3795 (103rd & Pacific) (402) 334-4774 (168th & Center)

Red Mango combines its refreshingly tangy frozen yogurt with fresh and exciting toppings to create a nutritious dessert that can be enjoyed guilt free all day. Red Mango Frozen yogurt is all-natural, nonfat, gluten-free, and kosher most importantly it taste great! Locations at 13th & Cuming, 103rd & Pacific and 168th & W. Center.

Let us make the holiday gathering perfect. Reserve our

pRivate dining Room or let us cateR the celebración at your location.

get 10% off catering over $100 booked by 11.30.11 midtown crossing

120 South 31st ave omaha 402.345.6000 140 

  november/december  •  2011

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

Serving Lunch & Dinner




TED & WALLY’S ICE CREAM 402-341-5827

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.


The Official Restaurant of the Holland Performing Arts Center’s Broadway Series

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

Enjoy a distinctive & tempting menu of upscale Italian dishes, including Lobster Ravioli, Classic Carbonara & Mediterranean Lasagna. Offering an Extensive Wine List, Full Bar, Outdoor Garden Patio, Catering Follow us on... & Desserts To Go. NICOLASINTHEOLDMARKET.COM

801 Chopouse at the Paxton 402-341-1222

1403 Farnam St. Designed with a 1920’s era New York Chophouse in mind, 801 is the epitome of elegance. You will not forget the crisp white tablecloth fine dining experience. From their USDA prime grade beef and jetfresh seafood from all over the world, 801 Chophouse is truly the best Omaha has to offer. Open 7 nights a week.

phone number




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


Cascio’s Steak House 402-345-8313

Since 1946, Cascio’s Steak House has been Omaha’s #1 steakhouse. The Cascio family established high standards of top quality food which is carefully prepared and promptly served by the friendly staff. Minutes south of the old market. The perfect place to hold your entire banquet and party needs Cascio’s has 7 party rooms handling groups of 10-400 people.


Legend (average price per entrée)

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

222 S. 15th Street, Omaha, NE 68102 r e s e r va t i o n s 402.342.0077 w w w . s u l l i va n s s t e a k h o u s e . c o m


november/december  •  2011  


Louis & Helen Rotella Sr.

The Drover 402-391-7440

2121 S. 73rd Street (just 1/2 block of Doubletree) Famous for the original Whiskey Steak. Truly a one of a kind Midwestern experience. Excellent food, wine, service and value. Rare……..and very well done. Reservations accepted. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11am – 2pm. Cocktail Hour 3-6pm Dinner nightly at 5pm. Reservations accepted. AE,Dc-MC-V $$$


Thank You Omaha

Johnny’s Café – Since 1922 402-731-4774 (Omaha)

From the Rotella Family

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. $$

Omaha Prime 402-341-7040 (Omaha)

415 S. 11th St. (Old Market). Only restaurant featuring complete Prime beef. Open six days a week, Mon.-Sat. 5 p.m.-close. $$-$$$

Ciabatta Line

Rotella_Nov.Dec 2011.indd 1 142    november/december  •  2011

9/27/11 1:58:34 PM

Race cars and Motorcycles hanging from the ceiling! Corvettes in the dining room! Over 30 T.V.s to watch your favorite games. We have a full menu with Ribs, Salads, Burgers, Sandwiches and of course Steak! We feature Jumbo size Chicken Wings with 18 different types of Award-Winning sauces. Our Atomic hot sauce is so hot that you have to sign a waiver to eat them! Piccolo’s Restaurant 402-342-9038 (Omaha)

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

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.

Spencers for Steaks and Chops 402-280-8888

102 South 10th Street. Aged, hand cut and seared to perfection. Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops is the ultimate steakhouse restaurant. Featuring USDA prime beef from Stockyards Beef of Chicago, Spencer’s restaurant offers sizzling hot porterhouses, juicy filet mignons and the bone-in ribeye. Located in The Capitol District in Downtown Omaha.

Over 750 Single Malts 500 Kinds of Liquor • 230 Kinds of Beer Omaha’s Best Fish & Chips 5007 Underwood • Omaha, NE 68132 • (402) 553-9501 •

Sullivan’s Steakhouse 342-0077 (Omaha)

2222 S. 15th St. Sullivan’s is a vibrant neighborhood steakhouse featuring hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood and an award-winning wine list – all served up with unparalleled hospitality. Sullivan’s is located just blocks away from Omaha’s Old Market District. The restaurant features a lively bar, intimate dining room and open patio where guests can enjoy live jazz nightly. The beautiful wine cellar is the perfect setting for private dinners and business presentations.

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

3821 Center 346-1528

Visa, MC, Diners & AMEX Accepted

november/december  •  2011  


Omaha FOOD restaurant profile Story by Carol Crissey Nigrelli • Photo by

Manager Mechele Burry, left, with owner Demetris Kotsalis and wife Vana

Grisanti's Italian Restaurant


Celebrating a quarter century of hospitality

group of 13 people walked into Grisanti’s without a reservation on the same Saturday night as local homecoming celebrations and a Husker victory. Good luck with that one, right? “Okay, just give us a couple of minutes and we’ll get you a table,” said the young woman behind the restaurant’s host desk. No rolling eyes. No ridiculously long wait. No doodads with flashing red lights that vibrate when your table’s ready. Just calm efficiency. Grisanti’s has been serving Italian favorites for 25 years now at 10875 West Dodge Rd. in Omaha’s Old Mill section. The service runs like a well-oiled machine, which may partly explain its longevity. The casual atmosphere and moderate prices also factor in. But Grisanti’s current owner,


  november/december  •  2011

Demetris Kotsalis, distills the restaurant’s success down to one simple reason: Mama’s recipes. “Michael Grisanti started this concept in 1986 with original, authentic Italian recipes from Mama Grisanti,” Kotsalis explained in careful, measured words. “When people go out, they go out for the taste they like. Taste overtakes every other aspect, including price and calories.” W hen Kotsa lis bought the last two of Michael Grisanti’s national chain of restaurants four years ago, in Omaha and in Lincoln, he stayed true to the original, successful vision. He tells his chefs, “No creativity. Just follow the recipes!” Grisanti’s chicken parm remains its biggest seller, while the signature penne gorgonzola comes in a close second. Both dinner entrees cost under $15. The restaurant also boasts a vast wine selection. While Kotsalis didn’t change the menu, he did add to it. About a year ago, he decided to beef up the beef line. Grisanti’s now serves a variety of steaks and prime rib. And not just any prime rib. “We elevated all our beef to certified angus beef status. It’s the best there is, “ Kotsalis stressed. In honor of the restaurant’s 25th anniversary, every Thursday is 25 percent off Prime Rib. Absolute confidence oozes out of this native of Greece—the result of a lifetime in the restaurant business. Kotsalis came to the United States right out of high school and attended George Mason University in Virginia. While studying biochemistry full time, he also worked in dozens of mom-and-pop

restaurants full time, doing everything from dishwasher to maître d’. After graduation, he tucked his degree away because he had found his passion. “I begged McDonald’s to hire me for management training because it had a disciplined approach to structure and growth,” recalled Kotsalis, whose gray hair and goatee make him look more like a professor than an entrepreneur. From McDonald’s, he went to Long John Silver’s for 16 years until a new opportunity presented itself. Kotsalis brought Panera Bread to Omaha, along with his business partner, wife and son. “We chose Omaha because it had higherthan-average income and education levels and lower-than-average real estate prices.” The two original Paneras eventually grew to 13 stores within seven years. When his well-honed business instincts kicked in, Kotsalis sold them in 2006 and moved on to his latest venture. His philosophy about employees never wavers: treat them with respect. “I worked with Demetris at Panera for years,” said Mechele Burry, who now manages Grisanti’s. “I was head of the bakery staff. After I left Panera, he offered me some shares in Grisanti’s and I came over. I had a five-year plan when I got here but I don’t see myself leaving.” Burry acknowledges it can be tricky to find Grisanti’s, especially for a first-time customer. It is bordered on two sides by dead-end streets in the Old Mill office complex. The Dodge Expressway overpass to the north of the restaurant blocks any view of it from the street. Burry tells people to just “take the Old Mill exit and head south.” But the future is looking up—literally. “T.D. Ameritrade is building its 12-story global headquarters right next door to us. That will add a lot of lunchtime patrons,” Kotsalis said with a smile. So to the next 25 years—salute! Grisanti’s Celebrate Italian 10875 West Dodge Rd. 402-330-0440 Open seven days a week including Sunday brunch.


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Wine & FOOD Story by John Fischer



More than a Holiday Beverage hampagne is a versatile beverage that should be served more than to simply

toast the holiday season. It’s a great beverage to serve year round. What’s more, this beverage excels in its ability to pair with a wide variety of foods, yet you seldom see it used in combination with meals. It’s quite uncommon to see a bottle of Champagne sitting at the dinner table in a restaurant setting. This is not because of price. Good Champagne will cost you little more than a quality bottle of red or white wine. I suspect that the reason for this folly is the fear of looking silly by making a poor Champagne-food match. Where does Champagne stand in wine-food pairing? Foods that are puffed up or have an airy quality work wonderfully with ‘sparklers.’ The wine echoes its character to the food, as its mousse is light, airy, and also puffed up. Try it with dishes that incorporate ingredients such as puffed pastry, filo dough, toast points, and meringues. Champagne is a wonderful match with crispy, crunchy, or fried foods, especially batter-fried foods. Foods like shrimp tempura, breaded fried fish, fried clams, or fritto misto represent 146 

  november/december  •  2011

perfect matches. Champagne’s crisp acidity and bubbles cut through and lighten such rich, oily dishes. One should always make an attempt to match the weight of food to that of the wine. However, full-bodied foods such as Lobster Newberg or New England-style clam chowder can become cloying when matched with big, soft, full-bodied, and often low acid wines like many Chardonnays, but they spring to life with sparklers. Champagne’s tart, refreshing acidity cuts richness and boosts flavors, while its creamy mousse reflects to the creaminess of the dish. Moreover, the cascade of sparkling bubbles serves to refresh and clean the palate. Lightweight wines—and Champagne is one of the lightest—have the ability to pair with all weights of food. (However, never serve heavyweight wines with light foods; they will pulverize the food and usurp its flavors.) If you wish to serve a wine for breakfast or brunch, Champagne is unquestionably the wine of choice. Sparklers are superb beverages for a wide variety of breakfast dishes. Consider Eggs Benedict: toasted English muffin topped with a slice of ham and poached egg and then covered with a dollop of hollandaise sauce. To demonstrate how Champagne matches this dish, let’s dissect the parts of the dish and see how they pair with Champagne. Champagne’s creamy mousse ties in beautifully with the creamy egg yolk and hollandaise sauce, while its refreshing bubbles and crisp acidity serve to brighten food and cleanse the palate. The saltiness of ham calls for wines with solid levels of acidity, and Champagne has tartness in abundance. Don’t forget Champagne’s affinity for the crunchy, puffed-up nature of the English muffin. What a spectacular match! Because of its natural lightness and fresh, tart, crispness, sparklers are also a great match for a wide variety of light-bodied foods, especially if they are cold. Serve Champagne with dishes such as cold cuts, sushi, oysters on the half-shell, or rich and creamy dips. It is unfortunate that this marvelous beverage is so often relegated to the status of a beforedinner quaffing wine or a wine simply to toast the holiday season. Do celebrate the holidays with Champagne, but keep it in mind for other occasions. It’s a very resourceful wine. Happy Holidays!


We’re Your Midwest Connection The Midwest now has 5 new & existing Public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Fill Stations available to service your fleet vehicles from Omaha and Lincoln to Kansas City.

Contact our Marketing Department at 402-504-7185 •

November/December 2011 Omaha Magazine  

November/December 2011 Omaha Magazine

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