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BIEN FANG // JAKE GUENTZEL // THE BIG GIVE // GUSTO CUBAN // BENSON HISTORY SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

A Love Letter in Photos THE MISSING PIECE, GRIEF, AND SOCIAL MEDIA


11406 S 120 Ave, Papillion

$ 683,620

Executive 1.5 story plan with “Craftsman” front elevation. Under Construction! Features include a main floor master suite with spa like bath, three 2nd floor bedrooms-all ensuite, gourmet kitchen, huge 3 car side load garage.

Susan Hancock • 402.215.7700

20949 State St, Omaha

$ 6 35,000

An amazing 6 acre property with breathtaking views and a newer 2800 sq ft outbuilding. The 4 BR, 3 BA ranch home with an updated kitchen, and beautiful hardwood floors. Master bath includes new heated tile flooring. Oversized deck and pool.

$669,950

Something special and unique privately situated on almost one full acre in the Westside School District. 6 bedrooms, 4 bath with over 6,200 sq ft. Spacious and gorgeous interior.

Mickey Sodoro • 402.677.9495

2 3 2 9 S 219 St , Omaha

$ 599,000

6 bedroom, 6 bath t wo stor y walkout . Hear throom in kitchen and w / pantr y. Birch cabinets. Hickor y floors, granite counters, dbl ovens and screened in porch. Beautiful home in ver y quiet neighborhood. Neighbors on ei ther side have in-ground pools.

$ 6 3 4, 5 0 0

S tunning Crow n L td. 1. 5 s tor y wi t h comfor t plus energy ef ficiency! Dramatic 18 foot stone fireplace in grea t r oom ! L ar ge gar age is 1, 2 3 0 S F w i t h f loor drain . Neighbor hood pool and clubhouse. Photos of previous model.

Jackie Wallis • 402.960.1818

10707 S 174 Ave, Omaha

$ 569,900

Royal Homes spacious walkout ranch on private wooded lot. 10 and 11 foot ceilings, Bosch appliances, Quartz countertops, covered deck, 4 bedrooms & flex room. Certified high-performance home. Interior photos are of similar floor plan.

John Greguska • 402.612.0594

14 Ginger Cove Rd, Valley, NE

$ 59 9,0 0 0

Huge double lot is 0.69 acre lake front lot with sand beach right on the main lake. Fabulous views. Walkout 3 BR ranch st yle home with over 2,500 sf f t. Combined lots $ 8241.62 annual lease fee. Boat storage garage.

Sandra May • 402.981.4042

980 County Rd W S-12 34, Fremont, NE

$ 649,000

Magnificent zero entry walkout ranch. Bring your animals, hobbies, and swimsuits. Million dollar views - enjoy all 4 seasons from the screened in back deck. All doors wheelchair wide. Ready for horses. Home has 2 parcels totaling 8.32 acres.

3 6 0 6 N 2 6 4 S t , Waterloo, NE

$ 6 10, 0 0 0

Private acreage on 4.86 serene acres. Enjoy the private lake with great fishing right out your front door. Hundreds of trees and wildlife. Plenty of room to add an outbuilding. No covenants and low taxes. Lake and addl 4.74 acres available for 150K.

Jeff Villotta • 402.598.4252

2159 3 Hawley Rd, Glenwood, IA

$ 595,0 0 0

Rustic exterior and sophisticated interior!!! A rare acreage in the Loess Hills of SW Iowa on hardsurfaced road. Beautiful landscaping on over 14 acres. Shop building is 42’ x 80’ constructed of insulated concrete has air and power distribution, radiant heat.

Ed Cambridge • 712.366.5737

$ 55 8,000

This fabulous Woodcliff Lake home with views! You will find granite, newer appliances, newer tile, 5BR /3BA, soaring ceilings, 2 fireplaces, private deck off master. Hot tub room, media room with big screen, and surround sound. The list goes on!

Kori Krause • 402.679.0007

25250 Lookout Ln, Honey Creek, IA

Susan Noland-Hunter • 402.689.8212

Sandie McPadden • 402.871.5343

Tiffany Gray • 402.677.1635

19467 Walnut Circle, Omaha

610 S 76 St, Omaha

20 9 65 Corral Rd, Omaha

$ 5 4 9,9 0 0

Beautiful Skyline Estates 1.5 story home. Wonderful open kitchen, gorgeous pool area, feels like you are on vacation every day. Large main floor master suite with updated bath. 2 large bedroom suites upstairs. Oversized 3 car garage.

The Rensch Group • 402.391.5333

V I R T U A L TO U R S A N D M O R E AT NPDODGE.COM


sitors Visitors spend end $1.1 Billion in Omaha 1every billion year Omaha THAT’S WHAT TOURISM LOOKS LIKE. Learn how tourism benefits you at WhatTourismLooksLike.com.


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contents THE USUAL SUSPECTS 06

From the Editor

08

Between the Lines

11

Calendar of Events

54

History Battle for Benson

194 Obviously Omaha

Fall 2017 Brew Tour

217 Explore! 221 Instagram 222 Not Funny If

ARTS + CULTURE

34 24 34 38

Music Bien Fang Goes Rock-A-Bye?

48

Comedy Richard Reese

PROFILES

FEATURES

20

THE MISSING PIECE AND A JOURNEY TO HEALING Tim Guthrie’s Film and Photos

MARY ZICAFOOSE Cancer, Hope, and Healing

MEANSTREETS OMAHA

40

Sports Armana Chanel

44

Gen O Ryan Sedlacek

50

Sports Jake Guentzel

GIVING 120 Aksarben Coronation and Scholarship Ball Introducing the Pages

122 Profile

Lenzel Khayes-Brown

124 Calendar OMAHA HOME

Social Media Scanner

H129 Omaha Home Opener H132 DIY

Dress(er) for Success

H134 Spaces

Staircase to a Magical Mural

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 4 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM

H129


H138 Neighborhoods

202 Profile

H144 At Home

206 Dining Guide

Such Great Heights

Expanded Content On Your Digital Device Watch videos and view photo galleries of select stories from this issue of Omaha Magazine for FREE.

Roberto Meireles

Little Steps

SPECIAL SECTIONS

H150 Architecture

Neil Astle: Omaha’s Midcentury Modern Man

H154 Architecture

Two Homes, One Architect

58

Sponsored Art Profiles

62

The Big Give

Page 222

H168 Omaha Home City Market

H162 Harvest

Page 21

Now That’s a Spicy Pickle

H170 Transformations

60PLUS IN OMAHA

Page 37

ABOUT THE COVER Local artist Tim Guthrie maintains a vast collection of photographs of his wife (along with photographs of those photographs) all organized methodically in the home that they shared, where Guthrie still resides. Seeking the essence of Guthrie’s day-today immersion in recollections of his wife and their time together, Omaha Magazine Creative Director Bill Sitzmann’s portrait captures the artist surrounded by images of his “missing piece.”

Radiant Replacements

179

179 60PLUS Opener 180 Nostalgia

Old Fashioned Candies

8 e4 g Pa H E

182 Profile

Anne Marie Kenny

TH

184 Active Living

O EC

D ME

IA

N

IN

T

The Flower Lady of Leavenworth

188 Profile

The Rev. Gregory O’Meara, S.J.

DINING 196 Review

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100

200

300

400

500

635 trees have been reforested due to the printing of this publication. Learn more at printreleaf.com

Umami

200 Profile

Trio Cocktails and Company

196

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Letter

FROM THE EDITOR EXECUTIVE EDITOR DOUG MEIGS

THE ART OF BABY CATCHING

STORK DELIVERIES & PUBLICATION DEADLINES

STORY BY BLAIR EMSICK // PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED

Around the time when our July/August “Food Issue” arrived in subscribers’ mailboxes, special deliveries from “the stork” arrived for the families of two Omaha Magazine staffers.

pon arriving at the hospital to give birth to their third child, Josh and Stephanie Peterson had two questions: Can we deliver standing up, and can Josh catch the baby?

Then with baby No. 2, Connor came six weeks early and had to be rushed to the NICU right after being born. Yet again, Josh and Stephanie missed that special post-birth cuddle with their newborn. Instead, they watched doctors insert an IV into their newborn’s head. With their third, Josh and Stephanie wanted to do it right. “I thought, ‘Well, there is no way this can go worse than our past births,’” Josh says. He was right. When Stephanie went into labor, and after the doctor gave the go-ahead, Josh gowned and got into place.

Because of our staggered editorial deadlines, these births coincided with the middle of production on this September/October issue.

The husband and wife had discussed these possibilities with their doctor previously, but she was out. The on-call doctor quickly responded, “No,” to both questions. Josh didn’t want to push (no pun intended), so he let it go. However, upon learning that Josh was an EMT and was interested in learning the skill (just in case he ever had to deliver a child in the back of an ambulance), the on-call doctor agreed to let him “catch” his child.

Because Josh is a more experienced parent— and he had the audacity to hand-deliver the baby—we share his story here.

Experiences during the childbirth of their first two boys influenced Josh’s desire to catch baby boy No. 3.

One of those families is my own. My wife and I became first-time parents with the birth of our baby girl, Faye-Marie. The next week, an office-wide e-mail shared good news from a colleague in advertising. Omaha Magazine branding specialist Josh Peterson welcomed his third son into the world.

*Note: the hotel edition of Omaha Magazine has a different cover, and it does not include all of the editorial content included in the magazine’s full city edition. Subscribe to the full magazine at omahamagazine.com/subscribe.

U

Twenty-five hours into labor on baby No. 1, doctors realized that Andy was stuck and had to be delivered via C-section. Stephanie’s platelets were low, so she had to be anesthetized for the procedure. She was unconscious for the first few hours after the birth as well. Although Josh was the first to hold his baby, he missed those first special moments between mother, father, and baby.

“Now, I know what crowning really means,” Josh says with wide eyes, remembering the experience. Then, after what felt like a nanosecond, Rory was right there in his arms—alive, healthy, breathing, and crying. Josh quickly passed the baby to his wife, but that first moment, to be the first person to touch his newborn, is something he will never forget. Mother, father, and baby were finally together—happy and healthy. It was just like they had imagined. Perhaps the third time really is the charm. Catching baby Rory, Josh says, was “the coolest thing I’ve ever done.” 

Doug with baby Faye-Marie

From left: Josh suiting up, after catching baby Rory, and baby Rory fast asleep

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 6 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER 2017 VOLUME 35 // ISSUE 4 Publisher

TODD LEMKE

EDITORIAL

ELEGANCE

Executive Editor

DOUG MEIGS

Managing Editor: B2B Omaha, Family Guide, special projects

DAISY HUTZELL-RODMAN

REIMAGINED

Managing Editor: Encounter

ERIC STOAKES Editor-at-Large

TARA SPENCER Editorial Assistant

LINDSAY WILSON

SHOPPING HOURS

Interns

MARGARET DAVENPORT · BLAIR EMSICK · CALLIE OLSON

Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm | Saturday 10 am-7 pm | Sunday 12 pm-5 pm

Contributing Writers

Individual store hours may vary

J.D. AVANT · LEO ADAM BIGA · TIM GUTHRIE GREG JERRETT · JOSEFINA LOZA · LISA LUKECART ALEC MCMULLEN · CAROL CRISSEY NIGRELLI WILL PATTERSON · LINDA PERSIGEHL · NIZ PROSKOCIL KIM REINER · KARA SCHWEISS · MAX SPARBER OTIS TWELVE · SARAH WENGERT

STORES Ann Taylor | Anthropologie | Borsheims | Christian Nobel Furs Evereve | Francesca’s Collections | Garbo’s Salon & Spa Learning Express Toys | LOFT | Parsow’s Fashions

CREATIVE

Pottery Barn | Pottery Barn Kids | Rhylan Lang | Tilly White House Black Market | Williams-Sonoma

Creative Director

BILL SITZMANN Art Director

DINING

MATT WIECZOREK Senior Graphic Designer

Bonefish Grill | Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Paradise Bakery & Café

DEREK JOY

Graphic Designer

RegencyCourtOmaha.com

MADY BESCH

Contributing Photographers

KEITH BINDER · COLIN CONCES · SCOTT DRICKEY JOSHUA FOO · SARAH LEMKE · AMY LYNN STRAUB Contributing Videographers

CHRISTOPHER MARSHALL · JEREMY WADE RODMAN

ACCOUNTS

2017-18 SEASON

Publisher’s Assistant & Omaha Home Contributing Editor

SANDY MATSON Vice President

GREG BRUNS

TOSCA

Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing

Puccini

GIL COHEN

Senior Sales Executive & 60Plus in Omaha Contributing Editor

NOVEMBER 3 & 5, 2017

GWEN LEMKE

ORPHEUM THEATER

Senior Sales Manager

ALICIA HOLLINS

Branding Specialists

KYLE FISHER · GEORGE IDELMAN MARY HIATT · JOSHUA PETERSON Sales Assistant

DAWN DENNIS · SHERRY LORENCE · STACY TILLS

OPERATIONS Vice President of Operations

TYLER LEMKE Accountant

HOLLEY GARCIA-CRUZ Distribution Manager

MIKE BREWER

For Advertising & Subscription Information:

402.884.2000

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

402-345-0606 | TICKETOMAHA.COM THE FRED AND EVE SIMON CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

SEPTEMBER

// OCTOBER • 2017 / 7 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


Between A LOOK AT FOUR LATEST OMAHA MAGAZINE TEAM MEMBERS MARGARET DAVENPORT - Editorial Intern Margaret is a journalist who dreams, breathes, and lives food. An avid reader and writer as a child (when she wasn’t helping her mom bake), she first fell in love with food while reading A Medieval Feast by Aliki. Born and raised in Lincoln, she currently is a double major in journalism and geography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Margaret is the food critic for the Daily Nebraskan and has written for other local publications, such as Edible Omaha, and Hear Nebraska. Whenever she is not eating at one of the newest restaurants, she can be found at a concert, art gallery, reading in the coffee shop, or studying what exactly makes pizza so great.

BLAIR EMSICK - Editorial Intern Blair spent the most part of the past millennia inside a mealy wormhole. In a fortuitous event, the wormhole was snagged on an asteroid and Blair fell to Earth. She remained inert, lifeless until a pen was placed into her hands and she came into being: an enigmatic sailboat floating in a prosaic sea, an insect napping in the spider’s web of life. She’s a graduate student by day, whiskey loving poet by night—searching for an antidote in this great age of anxiety through her writing and that of others.

CALLIE OLSON - Editorial Intern Locally grown learner and attention-deficit observer of The Universe, Callie uses writing to transform her existential dread into a much more concrete and manageable anxiety disorder. When not losing her train of thought or making self-deprecating jokes, you could probably find her at the climbing gym, at Green Beans Coffee, or asking someone if she can pet their dog. She is a spring 2017 graduate from UNO with a (totally logical) double major in English and neuroscience, enjoying that “new degree” smell, and starting grad school at UNO (where she teaches English composition in the English department). Oh—And she’s finally watching Game of Thrones for the first time. No spoilers!

CHRISTOPHER MARSHALL - Contributing Videographer Christopher attended college at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, where he first honed his skills working behind the camera. After gaining a degree in media communication, he has produced freelance for the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha Magazine, and various other clients. He is a videographer consultant with the Minnesota Humanities Center and also works with youth in the Omaha Public Schools system. When not behind the lens or sealed in an editing room, he likes to spend time with his loving and hilarious wife, and their adorable son, in Omaha.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 8 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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C A L E N D A R 8

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OMAHA NORTH HILLS POTTERY TOUR

Oct. 7-8 at various locations. The annual North Hills Pottery Tour starts at the Florence Mill before continuing northward to Dennison Pottery in Ponca Hills, Too Far North Wines in Fort Calhoun, and Big Table Studios in Herman. The tour features 19 local and national clay artists. The Florence Mill also features a pumpkin patch and bake sale. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. —omahanorthhillspotterytour.com

ZOOM INTO NANO

of

Oct. 7-Jan. 7 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This new exhibit will magnify the microscopic world of nanotechnology by 100 million times with interactive exhibits, such as a virtual RNA molecule. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3. 402-444-5071. —durhammuseum.org

EVENTS

ART AND MUSEUM EXHIBITS

A MOMENTOUS COLLECTION: PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN BYRON REED’S LIFETIME

KINETIC

Through Oct. 14 at K ANEKO, 1111 Jones St. KINETIC at K ANEKO explores the art and science of movement, and the perception of motion. This collaborative exhibition will feature visual art, interactive sculpture, and experiential learning opportunities developed to strengthen the understanding of kinetics in everyday life. Admission: free. 402-341-3800. —thekaneko.org

MARKS OF GENIUS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY DRAWINGS FROM THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART

Through Jan. 14 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. Byron Reed established the first real estate agency in Omaha before Nebraska achieved statehood. In his spare time he had a passion for collecting rarities. Today, he is thought to be one of the greatest collectors of the 19th century. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3. 402-444-5071. —durhammuseum.org

Oct. 7-Jan. 7 at Joslyn Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Drawings, watercolors, oil sketches, and pastels dating from the Middle Ages to the present day reveal the distinct hand and inspired touch of the most important artists from the past five centuries, including Guercino, Tiepolo, Delacroix, Degas, Kollwitz, Nolde, Hopper, and Ruscha. Tickets: $10 adults (18+), free for members, children, and college students with ID. 402-342-3300. —joslyn.org

“MOVE OVER, SIR”: WOMEN WORKING ON THE RAILROAD

Through Oct. 28 at Union Pacific Railroad Museum, 200 Pearl St., Council Bluffs. This exhibit traces the contributions that women have made to the railroad industry throughout the past 150 years. Admission: free. 712-329-8307. —uprrmuseum.org

A CENTURY OF OMAHA STEAKS: THE STORY OF AMERICA’S ORIGINAL BUTCHER

Through Nov. 11 at The Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St. This exhibit celebrates 100 years of one of Omaha’s most well-known businesses. Founded in 1917, today Omaha Steaks sells over 14 million pounds of beef annually to their 3 million active customers around the nation. The exhibit will showcase photographs, archival documents, and historic facts from the company archive. Admission: $11 adults, $8 seniors (62+), $7 children (3-12), free for children under 3. 402-444-5071. —durhammuseum.org

CHRISTINA NARWICZ

Sept. 1-Oct. 20 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St. This exhibit displays several works by local abstract painter Christina Narwicz. Admission: free. 402-595-2122. —artscouncil.nebraska.gov

SEPTEMBER

Sept.

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BENEFIT ART AUCTION EXHIBITION

Oct. 14-27 at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 724 S. 12th St. Preview works from more than 250 local, regional, and national artists selected to participate in this year’s benefit auction, the Bemis’ annual fundraiser. 402-341-7130. —bemiscenter.org

// OCTOBER • 2017 / 11 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | CALENDAR

IPerforming Arts BABE THE SHEEP PIG

Sept. 8-24 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Babe the piglet is brought to Hogget Farm, where, with some help from a dog named Fly, he discovers he has a unique talent for herding sheep. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $10 for members, $20 for nonmembers. 402-345-4849. —rosetheater.org

THE UNDERWATER BUBBLE SHOW

MOMENTUM: FOSSE STYLE

FINDING NEVERLAND

SHATNER’S WORLD: WE JUST LIVE IN IT

Oct. 7 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St. This story follows the adventures of downtrodden businessman Mr. B as he is miraculously transported to a place called Bubblelandia. This show blends drama, mime, dance, puppetry, juggling, contortion, visual effects, and more. 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 and up. 402-345-0606. —ticketomaha.com

Oct. 20 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St. Broadway legend Ann Reinking is coming to Omaha to stage a Bob Fosse medley. Fosse’s iconic choreography set new standards for theatrical dance, and Reinking is a principal authority on his style and work. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $22-$53. 402-345-0606. —balletnebraska.org

HOW VERY UNFAIRY: INTO THE WICKED WOODS

Sept. 14-23 at Apollon, 1801 Vinton St. This dinner and show presents fairy tales in their true forms. Created to scare children into good behavior, these pre-Disney fairy tales are full of gore and terror. Tickets: $29. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. 402-884-0135. —apollonomaha.com

BIG CANVAS IMPROV

Sept. 16 at Apollon, 1801 Vinton St. An entirely improv show from family-friendly comedy troupe Big Canvas. This unique show is created from a series of improv games and scenes. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. 402-884-0135. —apollonomaha.com

EVERY BRILLIANT THING

Sept. 21-Oct. 15 at Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 S. 10th St. This solo show, performed by Bluebarn founder Hughston Walkinshaw, tells the tale of a 7 year old who attempts to cheer up his mom, who’s in the hospital, by making a list of every brilliant thing about the world. Tickets: $30 general admission; $25 students, seniors (65+), TAG members, and people in groups of 10 or more. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 6 p.m. Sundays. 402-345-1576. —bluebarn.org

MAMMA MIA

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. Packed with favorite ABBA songs such as “Dancing Queen” and “Take a Chance On Me,” it is no surprise that this musical is one of the top 10 longest-running Broadway musicals. 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $42 adults, $22 students with valid ID. $10 discount for TAG members. 402-553-0800. —omahaplayhouse.com

O c t . 11-15 a t O r phe u m T he a t e r, 4 0 9 S . 16 t h St . L e a r n t he s tor y b e h i nd one of t he world ’s mo s t b e love d t a le s: Pe t e r Pan . T h i s mu sic a l fol low s J. M . B a r r ie’s re a l l i fe e x per ie nc e a nd i n s pi r at ion b e h i nd t he m a g ic a l w or ld of Ne v e r l a nd . 7: 3 0 p. m . We d ne s d ay a nd T hu r s d ay ; 8 p.m . Fr id ay ; 2 p.m . a nd 8 p.m. S at u rd ay ; 1:3 0 p.m. a nd 7 p.m. Su nd ay. Ticket s: $35 a nd up. 4 02 -3 45 - 0 6 0 6. — t icketoma ha .c om

Oct. 26 at Holland Performing A rts Center, 1200 Dougla s St. Wa lk down memor y lane with William Shatner in this t wo-hour show where he poignantly ref lects on life’s tria ls, roma nce, a nd some of his w ildest memories from a lifetime in show business. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $35 a nd up. 402-345 - 0606. —ticketomaha.com

music BENSON FIRST FRIDAY FEMME FEST

Sept. 1 a nd 2 in Benson. Up to 80 fema lef ronted ba nd s w i l l t a ke over t he Benson strip during this t wo-night event. The headliner Friday night is Frea k about; t he Saturday nig ht head liner is Pleiades a nd t he Bear. Tickets: $10 per night. 402-953-8849. —bensonf irstfriday.com

G2K CINDERELLA

Sept. 22-Oct. 1 at Chanticleer Theater, 830 Franklin Ave., Council Bluffs. In this specially created G2K (Getting To Know) version, all the beloved songs and familiar characters are present. The script has been condensed to better suit young attention spans, and the plot has been slightly altered to highlight some important lessons. 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $20 adults, $16 seniors, $10 students. 712-323-9955. —chanticleertheater.com

MADAGASCAR

Oct. 6-22 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St. Watch Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Gloria the hippo, Melvin the giraffe, and King Julien the lemur make their way from the Central Park Zoo to the mysterious land of Madagascar. 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $10 members, $20 nonmembers. 402-345-4849. —rosetheater.org

LYNYRD SKYNYRD

Sept. 3 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluf fs. These iconic Southern rockers will play fan favorites from “Sweet Home A labama” to “Saturday Night Specia l,” but t he ba nd a lso announced they will play some of their forgotten jams from the past four decades. 8 p.m. Tickets: $54 -$295. 712-329- 6000. —ticketmaster.com

STUPID F@#%ING BIRD

Sept. Oct. 13-Nov. 12 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St. A wacky and brazen adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s The SPOON Seagull, written by Aaron Posner, who presSept. 11 at Sokol Aud itoriu m, 2234 ents a story of art, love, and success. 7:30 p.m. S . 13t h St . L ong t i me i nd ie roc ker s Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. SunSpoon emba rk on a world tou r for t he days. Tickets: $42 adults, $22 students with valid relea se of their ninth a lbum, Hot Thoughts, ID. $10 discount for TAG members. 402-553-0800. lauded by New York Magazine a s “a not her —omahaplayhouse.com k noc kout.” 8:30 p.m. Tic ke t s: $29.50 i n adva nc e, $35 d ay of show. 402-3 4 6 -9802 . –ticketmaster.com

SEPTEMBER

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SEPTEMBER

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | CALENDAR

ED SHEERAN

Sept. 12 at the CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter comes to Omaha to promote his latest album, Divide. The setlist may include such favorites as “Photograph,” “Thinking Out Loud,” and “Castle on the Hill.” 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $87-$280. 402-341-1500. —centurylinkcenteromaha.org

TIM MCGRAW AND FAITH HILL

Sept. 22 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N. 10th St. Country music’s famous couple is touring together for the first time since 2006. Expect to hear fan favorites, radio hits, and some new songs from their debut album as a couple. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $87.50-$117.50. 402-341-1500. —centurylinkcenteromaha.org

OMAHA SYMPHONY: OH, WHAT A NIGHT! WITH THE DOO WOP PROJECT

Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Holland Performing Art Center, 1200 Douglas St. The stars of Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical electrify audiences with their tight harmonies and dance moves singing hits from the Temptations and Four Seasons through Michael Jackson and beyond. 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $19-$79. 402-345-0606. —omahasymphony.org

THE AVETT BROTHERS

Oct. 5 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs. This will be The Avett Brothers’ fourth performance at Stir Cove. The Grammy-nominated ensemble will bring their alternative folk sound that merges musical genres from bluegrass to EDM. 8 p.m. Tickets: $40-$153. 712-329-6000. —ticketmaster.com

GET THE LED OUT

Sept. 15 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St., Ralston. Get the Led Out is a Philadelphia-based group deemed “The American Led Zeppelin.” The group is dedicated to recreating the music of Led Zeppelin. Fans can expect favorites and some Zeppelin songs rarely played live. 8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$35. 402-934-6291. —ralstonarena.com

THUNDERCAT

Sept. 16 at The Slowdown, 728 N. 14th St. Bassist Stephen Bruner is making waves with his third studio album, Drunk. The star-studded album features Kenny Loggins, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, and Pharrell Williams. 9 p.m. Tickets: $18 in advance, $20 day of show. 402-345-7569. —theslowdown.com

FARNAM FEST

Sept. 16 at The Blackstone District, 40th Street between Farnam and Dodge. This year’s musical lineup features Tennis, Shannon and the Clams, and White Mystery. Essentially a block party, the events’ purpose is to celebrate the Blackstone District, it’s business’s, and all of the people that make this unique neighborhood what it is. Festival also features local craft breweries and food vendors. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. Music starts at 4 p.m. —farnamfestival.com

NEW GENERATION MUSIC FESTIVAL

Sept. 16 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St. This music festival, which began last year, features legendary rappers Rakim and Talib Kweli, along with lots of local musicians and artists. 1-11 p.m. 402-496-1616. —newgenerationmusicfestival.com

NEEDTOBREATHE WITH GAVIN DEGRAW

Sept. 21 at Stir Cove, 1 Harrah’s Blvd., Council Bluffs. Christian rockers NEEDTOBREATHE and special guest Gavin DeGraw bring their “All the Feels” tour to Omaha. The performance will include songs from their latest album, Hard Love, and other fan favorites. 7 p.m. Tickets: $34-$113. 712-329-6000. —ticketmaster.com

J BALVIN

Sept. 24 at Ra lston A rena, 7300 Q St. This Colombian artist is one of the top Latin pop stars of today. His most recent a lbum, Energia, was listed on Rolling Stone’s “10 Best Latin A lbums of 2016.” His musical style is described a s “reggaeton”— a combination of hip-hop, L atin A merica n, a nd Ca ribbea n music. 7 p.m. Tickets: $49-$99. 402-934 - 6291. —ralstonarena.com

HERB ALPERT AND LANI HALL

22

FLEET FOXES

S e pt . 29 a t T he Wa it i n g R oom O utdoors, Milita r y Avenue a nd Maple Street. The Wa iting Room will move outdoors for Fleet Foxes’ f irst per forma nce in Oma ha. A f ter a six-year hiatus, the indie-folk ba nd is back with the release of their new a lbum Crack-Up. 7 p.m. Tickets: $36. 402-884-5353. –waitingroomlounge.com

S e pt . 3 0 a t T he Wa it i n g R oom O ut door s , M i l it a r y Ave nu e a n d M a ple S t r e e t . T he B a lt i m or e - b a s e d b a nd i s on t ou r t o pr o mote t heir latest a lbum, The Far Field . Fut u r e I s l a nd s e nt e r t a i n s a u d i e nc e s w it h a n ener g e t ic , f u r iou s , a nd b a re -b one d p erf or m a nc e f r om f r ont m a n S a mu e l T. He rr i n g. 7:30 p.m. Tic ke t s $35. 4 02 - 88 4 -5353. –wa it i ng room lou nge.c om

SEPTEMBER

Oct. 12 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Dubbed “the greatest female country singer since Patsy Cline” by Rolling Stone, Wynonna Judd, with her band The Big Noise, delivers a show that’s part nostalgia, part comedy, and all rich, soulful music. 7:30 pm. Tickets: $35 and up. 402-345-0606. —ticketomaha.com

Oct.

Sept. 28 at Holla nd Performing A rts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Iconic trumpeter, composer, and record label executive Herb A lpert joins forces with his partner in music and life, Lani Hall, to bring 50 years of hits like “Tijuana Ta xi” and “A Taste of Honey” to Oma ha. Tickets: $29-$85. 402-345- 0606. —ticketoma ha.com

FUTURE ISLANDS WITH EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY

WYNONNA AND BIG NOISE DUBBED

SYMPHONY SPOOKTACULAR: SUPERHEROES

Oct. 22 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Dress up as a superhero and enjoy an afternoon of music, spooky fun, trick-or-treating, and other surprises. 2 p.m. Tickets: $15. 402-345-0606. —ticketomaha.com

DEER TICK

Oct. 25 at The Slowdown, 728 N. 14th St. Deer Tick will release two albums Sept. 15. The albums, titled Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2, will showcase the band’s diverging sounds. From gritty garage-punk to folky jams, their live show is sure to be an unexpected culmination of the two genres. 8 p.m. Tickets: $20 in advance, $23 day of show. 402-345-7569. —theslowdown.com

THOMAS RHETT

Oct. 28 at CenturyLink Center, 455 N 10th St. Thomas Rhett comes to Omaha for his “Home Team Tour” with World Dominion and Walker Hayes. Rhett will perform new songs along with fan favorites. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25-$54-$75. 402-341-1500. —centurylinkcenteromaha.com

THE BRITISH INVASION WITH BILLY MCGUIGAN

Oct. 28 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Relive the mania in an all-new show when Billy McGuigan and his band perform the music of the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Animals, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, and more. 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $19-$79. 402-345-0606. —omahasymphony.org

// OCTOBER • 2017 / 14 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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// OCTOBER • 2017 / 15 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | CALENDAR

Family & More CANOE THE GREAT MARSH

A world premiere by an Omaha playwright.

The smash-hit musical featuring the music of ABBA.

A comedy that explores the complications of life, art and success.

Through Sept. 30 at Fontenelle Forest, 1111 Bellevue Blvd. North. Canoe the wetlands and explore the great marsh and its amazing array of wildlife. Canoers can find beavers, owls, and much more. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Advanced registration required. 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays; 5:40-7:40 a.m. Saturdays. $5 for members, $15 for nonmembers. 402-731-3140. —fontenelleforest.org

GARDEN YOGA

Sundays in September at Joslyn Art Museum’s sculpture garden, 2200 Dodge St. Instructors from Omaha Yoga and Bodywork Center will guide people through basic poses to lengthen and strengthen the body and center the mind. In case of rain, this event will be held in the fountain court. 10:30 a.m. $5 suggested donation. 402-342-3300. —joslyn.org

SEPTEMBERFEST

Aug. 25 –  Sept. 17, 2017

Sept. 15 –  Oct. 15, 2017

Sept. 1-4 at Century Link Center, 455 N. 10th St. The 40th annual SeptemberFest includes live music in the beer garden, a carnival, arts and crafts, food, a mobile game theater, a steak cook-off, and more. 5 p.m-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday-Monday. Admission: $5 adults and children ages 6 and up, free for children 5 and under. —septemberfestomaha.org

Oct. 13 –  Nov. 12, 2017

LABOR DAY WEEKEND

6915 Cass St. | (402) 553-0800 | OmahaPlayhouse.com FR

EE

Sept. 2-4 at Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium. The zoo says goodbye to summer with bounce houses, airbrush tattoos, special animal presentations, and gate prizes. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $19.95 adults, $18.95 seniors (65+), $13.95 children (2-11), free for children 2 and under. $1 discount for military members and their families. 402-733-8400. —omahazoo.com

GE

CHUCK BERRY: HAIL HAIL ROCK AND ROLL NE

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LA

DM

ISS

ION

Sept. 3 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St. A 1987 documentary featuring a concert to celebrate the 60th birthday of Chuck Berry, who died in March 2017. The film features performances from Linda Ronstadt, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Etta James, and Julian Lennon. 7 p.m. Tickets: $9 general admission; $7 for students, teachers, active military, and those arriving by bicycle. 402-933-0259. —filmstreams.org

46TH ANNUAL ART FAIR

Sept. 9-10 at Rockbrook Village, 108th and Center streets. More than 140 national, regional, and local artists will display and sell their one-of-akind works of art. Spend the day browsing quality art and chatting with those who create and appreciate it. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: free. 402-390-0890. —rockbrookvillageartfair.com

JOSLYN ART MUSEUM features works from antiquity to the present with an emphasis on 19th- and 20thcentury European and American art. A fun, relaxing, and artful destination for the whole family.

MIDTOWN CAR SHOW Café, Museum shop, and free parking. Open Tuesday – Sunday. Just west of downtown Omaha.

explore AT

NOW

Sept. 10 in Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, 3110 Farnam St. The Midtown Car Show features the area’s finest one-of-a-kind cars in a show-and-shine format. Chicago Dawg House will serve grilled hot dogs and cold beverages in the park. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: free—to show a car or attend. 402-934-9275. —midtowncrossing.com

October 8, 2017–January 7, 2018 Marks of Genius: 100 Extraordinary Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Art (ticketed)

2200 Dodge St. | Omaha, NE | (402) 342-3300 | www.joslyn.org SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 16 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


SECOND ANNUAL FOOD TRUCK RODEO, PART 2

Sept. 15 outside of Reverb Lounge, 6121 Military Ave. This event includes 15-20 food trucks, a DJ, beer gardens, outdoor seating, and multiple outdoor bars. 4-11 p.m. Admission: Free. 402-884-5707. —reverblounge.com/events

108th & Center | rockbrookvillage.com

GIFFORD FARM FALL FESTIVAL

Sept. 16 and 17 at 700 Camp Gifford Road, Bellevue. For a weekend of old-fashioned farm fun, this festival offers the Starlab Planetarium, exotic animals, pony rides, old-time vendors, raffles, and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission: $5 for ages 2 and older, $2.50 for military personnel with ID. Pony rides are $5 extra. 402-332-5771. —gosarpy.com

Omaha’s First Brewing Company with Unique Jalapeño and Raspberry Beers. Thank You Omaha for Voting us the Best Indian Restaurant for 10 Years!

NIGHT MARKET POP-UP FESTIVAL

Sept. 22 at Turner Park in Midtown Crossing, 3110 Farnam St. Highlights of this event include a mini food festival, giant outdoor games, moonlight yoga, live music from local musicians, and 20+ local vendors. 6-10 p.m. Free for the public and dog-friendly. 402-943-9275. —midtowncrossing.com

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Sept. 30 at Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus, 5300 N. 30th St. This celebration of Native American culture honors the traditional dance, music, artistry, oral history, and foods of various tribes across Nebraska and the surrounding region. 1-7:30 p.m. Admission: free. 531-622-2253. —mccneb.edu

OMAHA RAMEN FEST

Sept.

30

Oct. 1 at Stinson Park in Aksarben Village 2285 S. 67th St. This noodle fest will feature Omaha’s top chefs crafting traditional and creative bowls of the delectable Asian soup. There also will be local breweries serving beer and artists crafting colorful ceramic bowls for your ramen. 2-7 p.m. Admission: $5 (does not include food or drink). 402-496-1616.

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GOVERNOR’S LECTURE IN THE HUMANITIES

Oct. 3 at the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner T.J. Stiles will speak at the 22nd annual governor’s lecture in the humanities. He will draw from his work on historical figures, such as General Armstrong Custer, to address Nebraska’s centrality to American history. 7:30 p.m. 402-474-2131. —humanitiesnebraska.org

Why Helix is Better Most machines work front-to-back. Why Helix Istradition Better The Helix turns on its side— Why Helix Is Better literally. Withwork lateral (or side-to-side) Most machines front-to-

movement, you usetradition more muscles, which MostThe machines work front-toback. Helix turns on means you burn more fat than during back. The Helix turnsWith tradition its side— literally. lateralon a traditional workout—in the same its side-to-side) side— literally. With lateral ( or movement, you amount of time. ( or side-to-side) movement, you use more muscles, which means use which means youmore burn muscles, more fat than during a THANK YOU you burn more fat than during a traditional workout– in the same OMAHA! traditional workout– in the same amount of time. amount of time.

HAUNTED SAFARI

Oct. 6 and 7 at Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, 16404 N. 292 St. Take a hayrack ride down to Wolf Canyon to enjoy a hot dog supper, roast marshmallows, and play ghostly games for candies in the great outdoors during Haunted Safari. 6-9 p.m. Tickets: $23 general admission, $18 for zoo members. 402-738-2058. —wildlifesafaripark.com

IN ROCKBROOK VILLAGE 402.991.2300 10923 PRAIRIE BROOK RD OMAHA, NE - 68144

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 17 


OMAHA BUG SYMPOSIUM 2017

Oct. 7 at Midtown Art, 2578 Harney St. Dave Crane and Andy Matz deliver heart-pounding, mind-blowing entomological and microscopy lectures. Event includes musical entertainment, insect art and costume contests, and delicious edible insects. Refreshments provided. Admission: $5, age 21+ only. —facebook.com/events/Omaha Bug Symposium

Four Old Market

JAPANESE AMBIENCE FESTIVAL

Oct. 7-8 at Laurtizen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. The Omaha Sister Cities Association helps host this event with a variety of activities to celebrate Japanese culture. Activities include calligraphy, origami, koinobori, traditional Japanese games, food tastings, and more. Performances will include martial arts demonstrations, traditional Japanese music, and dance. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members. 402-346-4002. —lauritzengardens.org

Unique holiday décor, ornaments, collectibles and gifts for every season.

Chocolates and fudge made in our own kitchen, plus many other sweet temptations.

oTannenbaum.com • 402-345-9627

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PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOS

Travel essentials plus downtown’s largest selection of souvenirs and Nebraska-made gifts.

Authentic Italian desserts, coffee, and FlavorBurst TM soft serve ice cream.

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Oct. 7-8 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, Ashland. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and trick-or-treat at various stations while learning about various modes of transportation. The event will include five aircrafts, 20 unique muscle cars, and trains. Admission: $12 adults, $11 senior citizens and military with valid ID, $6 children (4-12), free for children 3 and under. 402-944-3100. —sacmuseum.org

FALL CHRYSANTHEMUM SHOW

Oct. 7-Nov. 17 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Discover a fascinating fabrication of f lowers. Bold mums combine with brilliant colors, rich fabrics, diverse textures, gifts from the people of Shizuoka to the people of Omaha, and other exotic design elements representative of Japanese culture. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6 and members. 402-346-4002. —lauritzengardens.org

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 18 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | CALENDAR

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

Oct. 21 at Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum, 28210 West Park Highway. This event includes behind-the-scenes access to aircraft and robotics activities. The keynote speaker, astronaut Clayton Anderson, will speak at 5 p.m. 5-8 p.m. Admission: $12 adults, $11 senior citizens and military with valid ID, $6 children (4-12), free for children 3 and under.402-944-3100. —sacmuseum.org

HUTCHFEST

Oct. 21 at Midtown Crossing, 3110 Farnam St. HutchFest is a celebration of Midwestern artisans. The event includes food, drinks, live music, and 100+ vendors, selling everything from homemade jewelry to elegant hand-designed stationary to beard balm. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: $5 adults, free for children under 12. 402-926-6747. —hutchfest.co

PUMPKIN PATCHES AND MORE:

Fall isn’t complete without a visit to at least one of the area’s many pumpkin patches. They offer many attractions such as corn mazes, hayrack rides, bonfires, scrumptious treats, giant jump pillows, spooky trails, and more. • Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch (11001 S. 48th St.) Opens Sept. 17. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Sundays. • Harvest Moon Farm (1410 US-77, Oakland, Nebraska) Opens Sept. 18. noon-6 p.m. Saturdays; noon-8 p.m. Sundays.

• Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch (3935 NE-133, Blair, Nebraska) Opens Sept. 8. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. • Wenninghoff’s Farm Pumpkin Patch (6707 Wenninghoff Road) Opens Sept. 23. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. • Vala’s Pumpkin Patch (12102 S. 180th St.) Opens Sept. 14. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Event times and details may change.

Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

GHOULISH GARDEN ADVENTURE

Oct. 29 at Lauritzen Gardens 100 Bancroft St. Come to the garden in costume for the annual Ghoulish Garden Adventure. Explore the visitor and education centers, visit the gardens, and trick-or-treat at different activity stations. Noon-4 p.m. Admission: $10 adults, $5 children (6-12), free for children under 6. 402-346-4002. —lauritzengardens.org

HAUNTED HOUSES

Omaha’s haunted houses deliver an array of thrills from the maze-like Mystery Manor to the Haunted Hollow Theme Park which is located on a seven-acre farm. Camp Fear is one of the most immersive and horrifying attractions in Nebraska. The organizers encourage only the bravest souls to camp overnight. • Camp Fear (Riverwest Park 23301 West Maple Road) Opens Sept. 22. dusk-10 p.m.Thursdays and Sundays; dusk-midnight Friday and Saturdays. • Carnival of Terror (1209 Jackson St.) Opens Sept. 22. 7-10 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. • Haunted Hollow Haunted Theme Park (12501 Giles Road) Opens Sept. 22. 7-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 7 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. • Mystery Manor (716 N. 18th St.) Opens Sept. 15. September: dusk-midnight Friday and Saturday only. October: dusk-10 p.m. weekdays, and dusk-midnight weekends. • Ranch of Terror (11001 S. 48th St.) Opens Sept. 23. 7:3011:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7:30-9:30 p.m. Sundays. • Scary Acres (17272 Giles Road) Opens Sept. 15. 7 p.m.12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays in September; 7-10:30 p.m. Sundays, Tuesdays-Thursdays; and 7 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October.

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Between Exits 439 & 440 on I-80

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 19 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | A+C // MUSIC STORY BY LISA LUKECART // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

From left: Rachel Tomlinson Dick (with baby Linny), Katherine Courtney Morrow, and Nate Luginbill SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 20 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


BIEN G N A F

Goes RockA-Bye?

BAND

WITH

C O N TI N U E S ROCKING NEW BABY

Scan this page with the LayAR app to see video of Bien Fang’s music.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 21 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | A+C // MUSIC

Rachel tomlinson dick’s

pregnant belly moves her Fender Jazzmaster guitar sidesaddle. Headbanging, her short brown hair slaps the mom-to-be’s face while fingers fly over guitar strings at an April 28 show. Her co-writing and vocal partner, Katherine Courtney Morrow, jams next to her on a Fender Mustang bass. Morrow sings and sways in jeans, a black T-shirt, and a baseball hat.​Nate Luginbill adds his own flair on drums with an understated head nod as his sticks slam along with the beat, not really aware of his surroundings as he tunes into the rhythm. The trio combines forces in the grungy, stoner-metal band Bien Fang. “We get all sticky when we talk about our genre,” Luginbill says. The band came together two years ago when Tomlinson Dick was asked to do a solo Nirvana cover show. She wanted to add in bass and drums, so she asked Luginbill and Morrow to join her. Everything just clicked. “It is the smoothest songwriting process,” Luginbill says. Morrow or Tomlinson Dick will bring in a riff or some lines. The group collaborates and contributes until it works, like putting the finishing pieces of a puzzle together. Tomlinson Dick says it is all about having conversations through music. Their first six-song EP release, Garbage Island, is a mixture of sarcastic vocals, distorted guitars, and heavy drum riffs. Rather than angst-filled lyrics, many of the songs are unusually uplifting.

Morrow’s songwriting deals with body agency, or being in control of one’s choices, and not letting other people take advantage. “Push” explores the idea that when someone is shoved into the deep end, “I’ll scream like this.” She was once terrified to step on stage and sing, but gained confidence with Bien Fang. Morrow, 29, picked up her first bass just a few short years ago. “Now I can have a good time,” Morrow says. “I’m happy to do it for others or for myself now.” Tomlinson Dick, a sexual assault survivor, writes about real traumatic experiences. Leading with a murky guitar and a slower tempo, “Real Bad Man” is all about taking back power and healing with fierce lyrics like, “You can’t wash your hands clean of what they did to me.” She hopes her message will help other young women. Bien Fang has spread the word at such events as Rock Against Rape Culture: A Benefit for Voices of Hope. “The element of playing shows is connecting with other people,” Tomlinson Dick believes. Tomlinson Dick once hustled for other people’s approval, picking up her first guitar when she was a freshman in high school. Now that she is older, her perspective has changed. She has something to say and “whether people like it or not doesn’t matter.” It was difficult at first for a woman in a male-dominated bratty punk world. Tomlinson Dick felt she had to nail each performance for all women. This impractical pressure was short-lived. She realized imperfection is messy and normal.

Luginbill, 27, isn’t intimidated spending time with two strong women and balances it by shredding guitar in his all-male punk band, Bogusman. He started his musical career at 15 years old when he “got in with the wrong crowd.” He traded his two South Park dolls for a Terminator guitar with a built-in amp and two nine-volt batteries. After a little web-searching, he learned Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water.” Drumming came later, after tinkering on his friend’s kit after sets. Whether it is at the 1867 bar in Lincoln or O’Leaver’s in Omaha, Bien Fang tries to gig at least two times a month. But they have been on pause recently. Tomlinson Dick, 30, gave birth on June 11 to a daughter, Tomlinson “Linny” Thunder Darlington. Tomlinson Dick looks every bit the rocker-mom as she cradles her newborn: tattoos (including a skull which covers one entire knee), a nose ring, and old-fashioned cat glasses. Will Linny pull a Yoko Ono? “Stefan didn’t break up the band, so why would a baby be much different?” Luginbill asks. “Yeah, and Stefan is pretty needy,” Tomlinson Dick agrees. Stefan, her black cat, glances up from his cardboard box.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 22 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


Tomlinson “Linny” Thunder Darlington

Tomlinson Dick feared she would have to give up everything as a mother-to-be. She performed her last show when she was eight months pregnant, and she created a zine, “Moms in Bands,” for the Omaha Zine Fest to encourage herself before the big due date. “Music brings wonderful people into your life,” Tomlinson Dick adds. Corin Tucker, a vocalist and guitarist for Sleater-Kinney, relates to the struggle of being a musical mother. “I don’t think men who are fathers in bands are being asked the responsibility questions about touring with kids—up until recently,” Tucker says (quoted in the zine). Tomlinson Dick has a very encouraging partner and bandmates who remind her she can still be a complete person as a mother. The group planned to head back into practice in late summer.

TOMLINSON DICK FEARED SHE WOULD HAVE TO GIVE UP EVERYTHING AS A MOTHER-TO-BE. SHE PERFORMED HER LAST SHOW WHEN SHE WAS STILL EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT, AND SHE CREATED A ZINE, “MOMS IN BANDS,” FOR THE OMAHA ZINE FEST TO ENCOURAGE HERSELF BEFORE THE BIG DUE DATE.

“When you love the music, sweating it out is so worth it,” Tomlinson Dick says.  Visit facebook.com/bienfangband for more information.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 23 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE

ESSAY BY TIM GUTHRIE // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN AND PROVIDED // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 24 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


Tim Guthrie, an art professor at Creighton, produced the award-winning documentary

Missing Piece. The documentary details Guthrie’s journey to find peace with the death of his wife, Beth, from complications of Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 25 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE

Sometimes I can’ t believe I can go on without her. The loss feels too great, too heavy. We didn’t simply have each other as companions. We had each other to lean on when we needed one another—when I was struggling with work or my master’s degree, when she was devastated over a pregnancy that ended in an emergency room, or as her diseases put her through increasingly more pain. Now she’s gone. She’s not here to lean on. I’ve done everything I can to find ways to live without her, to find a way for life to be a little less difficult and painful. I spend a lot of time revisiting pleasant memories, working to get to a point where I can feel happy—to a point where those memories can overpower the persistent image of finding her that awful morning. I want to do anything to erase that vision from my memory bank. I wish for a willful and controlled amnesia. I made a film about, and for, her—my wife, Elizabeth Broderick. Showing the film has been a challenge. I don’t attend most of the film festivals, but during the screenings of the few I have attended, I usually leave the theater before her film begins. The film is my love letter to Beth, but it’s also painful for me to watch. Sometimes, I think the film, and the Missing Piece photos I took, are too personal for me to talk about. Mostly, though, everything from Beth’s death until now has been extraordinarily painful and personal to talk about, so why should the film or photos be any different?

“I

don’’t attend most of the film festivals, but during the screenings of the few I have attended, I usually leave the theater before her film begins. The film is my love letter to Beth, but it’s also painful for me to watch.”” SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 26 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


Original photo taken at Tim Guthrie’ s apartment (early 1990s); revisited

in their house (2017).

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 27 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE

At Fontenelle Forest (early 1990s); revisited at Red Rocks Park in Vermont (2016)

“She

may not be here to lean on in times when I need her most, but I’ll keep the good memories, which the photos help me recall” I started a blog, “Traveling with Virtual Beth,” for family and friends who wanted to track some of what I have been doing, and where I’ve been going—especially for my parents, who wanted to follow my travels. I’ve openly shared both the physical and emotional journey. I’ve opened up on the blog. I’ve opened up on my Facebook page, as well. Most people are respectful. I don’t mean to make people uncomfortable. I don’t mean to make my grieving process seem worse than anyone else’s. I know I’m not unique in losing a loved one. It’s a pain that is unfortunately universal. I’m aware that I’ve been grieving pretty publicly, which was an issue as I began to be approached by reporters. One by one, I turned all but one away. Everyone expected that I wanted to talk more about everything, but it has always been a struggle. It adds to the challenge when someone else who didn’t know her, or even me, wants to tell a story I’m still struggling with myself. I somehow still want to protect her, even in death.

One reporter, who assumed I’d want to talk more openly than I did, wanted to write about details I have never talked about online or in the film. When I pointed out that if that’s what she wanted to include in the story, I ultimately wasn’t interested, her response was, “I’m the reporter, I decide the story.” And like that, I was done with the interview and never talked to her again. Granted, months later, another writer, Kim Carpenter with the Omaha World-Herald, gently got me to open up, finally, so a story was eventually written from someone’s perspective other than my own. Still, it was a challenge. It actually felt a bit as though she was my therapist over months of talking with her. I don’t talk about it often, but I actually saw a therapist. It was helpful for about a year, but I stopped going this past summer, mostly for financial reasons. I think spreading Beth’s ashes, revisiting places and taking photos, keeping the blog, and making the film probably helped more than a therapist could. In the first six months of this journey, I kept arguing with people who insisted the photos were works of art. For me, they weren’t art, but a very personal process that was helping me deal with the loss. I initially loathed thinking about them as art. I never, ever, ever wanted to reduce Beth to an art project, and calling them art somehow felt insulting to her memory and shameful to me. Grief makes one say and think absurd things.

I’ve thought about ending the blog many times, and, even though I know I will ultimately bring it to a close by the end of the year, I find myself recalling comments I’ve received—like the many messages from people who have thanked me for sharing— comments that expressed gratitude because sharing my journey has helped others deal with their own grief. The comedian/writer/ actor Patton Oswalt even sent me a message after his wife died, and after he discovered and read every post on the blog. It felt like an odd honor, but also like being part of a widowers’ club. Such messages have made the blog worthwhile, though. Knowing it has helped others is strangely comforting. It’s one thing for me to get through this myself, but the thought of it helping anyone else actually motivated me to continue for as long as I did. I thought I’d only continue the blog for a year. It will have been two years by the time I bring it to a close. When I imagine it has assuaged anyone else’s grief by sharing my own, it makes her death a little less difficult to bear. If anything good can come from her death, it eases my mind and soothes a broken heart to think she is helping others, even long after she’s gone. Yet, as I run out of photos and work to move forward, it feels like the right time to end it.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 28 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


Honeymoon at Llandanwg, Wales (1994); same location (2016)

I know I can’t return to the person I was, but if I can get to a place where I can at least move forward again, and spend less time curled up alone, then maybe that’s something. To be honest, everything I’ve done to honor her these past couple of years has been worth it. She may not be here to lean on in times when I need her most, but I’ll keep the good memories, which the photos help me recall. I can’t move on without her, but maybe I can move forward with our shared memory, learning to carry it all with a little more ease. Hopefully the loss will someday be a little less heavy, more bearable. The simple fact is, I miss her so damn much; that’s one thing I know I’ll carry until the day I die.  Visit virtualbeth.wordpress.com to view Tim Guthrie’s blog. A screening of the documentary, Missing Piece, is tentatively scheduled at Film Streams on Nov. 7 (7 p.m.). Photographs will be exhibited at Gallery 72 in November with an opening reception Nov. 9 (5-9 p.m.). A special preview at the gallery will follow the Nov. 7 screening.

At Durham Museum (early 1990s); same location (2016)

Acclaim for Missing Piece Missing Piece was accepted into several nationa l and internationa l festiva ls. Here is an abbreviated list of screenings and recognitions. Omaha Film Fest Best Short NE Documentary Audience Award for Best Short Film Global Independent Film Festival Best Documentary Short Film 2017 Humanitarian Award Winner Sydney Film Festival Best Documentary Short Film Canada World International Film Festival Best American Film High Coast Film Festival, Sweden Honorable Mention Sweet As Film Festival Honorable Mention Hollywood International Independent Awards Festival Finalist

Honeymoon at Dolwyddelan Castle, Wales (1994); same location (2016) SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 29 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


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Every day, people throughout Nebraska and Western Iowa experience the extraordinary care and compassion of our outstanding nurses. Help celebrate nursing excellence and the achievements in research, education, quality patient care, innovation and leadership of these outstanding medical professionals. We are honored to partner with Omaha Magazine to bring you the 2017 Nurse of the Year Awards, proudly sponsored by Methodist Health System.

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- CANCER, HOPE, AND HEALING -

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STORY BY KIM REINER // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE


OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE

The story of

MARY ZICAFOOSE— and her “Hope & Healing” tapestries—is one of unwavering focus, intensity, family tragedy, and a simple red scarf.

While at work on the project, Zicafoose says her thoughts often turned to family. To her brother. The one she lost. Her brother died of cancer. The five panels of the two tapestries were, after all, destined to hang in a cancer center.

The world-renowned weaver’s two tapestries, each measuring 12 feet long and more than 9 feet wide, were recently unveiled in Omaha.

Zicafoose explains that his death fueled her perception of illness, and in a way, led to a mission that was years in the making.

Not in a gallery. They’re in a hospital.

“If there’s any way I can facilitate healing as an artist, I want to do it,” she says while seated in the contemporary lobby of the cancer center.

“Hope & Healing” hang in the lobby of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center. The words “hope” and “healing” are woven in 16 languages. The two tapestries greet those entering through the center’s front doors.

She did not take a direct route to get to this point.

“It’s very powerful to put all who come into the cancer center at ease—from our patients, their families, staff, students, and visitors,” says Amy E. Jenson, executive director of the Healing Arts Program at the Buffett Cancer Center. The Healing Arts Program aspires to reduce pain perception, anxiety, and depression in cancer patients.

Cancer took Zicafoose’s brother while they were both in high school in Michigan. Following the tragedy, everyone assumed she would be inspired to become a nurse, like her mother. But Zicafoose wasn’t interested in healing the world that way. Coming from a family of many artists, she gravitated toward creative therapy.

It took Zicafoose, with the help of three studio assistants, almost one year to create the two tapestries. They worked up to seven days a week in her separate wet and dry studios in Omaha. They worked daily in front of dye pots and looms. Her process, called ikat, which means “to wrap,” is methodical and intense. Ikat is a meticulous “resist dye” textile technique, measuring and stretching individual threads, grouping them into bundles, and wrapping portions of the bundles with fabric into a specific design. The threads are immersed in a dye bath, where the unwrapped areas soak up the dye while the wrapped areas resist it. All this happens before they are woven into a fabric. Precise measurement in the project was crucial, as the words “Hope” and “Healing” had to be wrapped, dyed, and woven exactly where the design specified. In the end, 1,000 skeins of yarn were used.

She studied photography as an undergraduate at St. Mary’s College/University of Notre Dame and then moved to Chicago, working in clay as a graduate student. While still in graduate school, she married and moved to Nebraska. The young couple lived on her husband’s family farm outside of Mead.

“Watch Mary working at her loom for just a couple of minutes, and you’ll witness this incredible connection between maker and material that a lot of young artists dream of achieving,” says Karin Campbell, Phil Willson Curator of Contemporary Art at Joslyn Art Museum. “She is deeply invested in not just the outcome of her weaving, but also the process. This commitment to the handmade and her willingness to toil sets Mary apart.” In an artist statement on her website, Zicafoose describes the process as a “meditative activity that draws you in, not out. One that has triggered my memory of who I am and what I came to do.”

One prophetic day, a studio neighbor invited her to sit at a loom. Her first piece was far from perfect (“It was a simple little red mohair scarf,” she says). Nevertheless, seated in front of the loom, Zicafoose felt she had discovered her destiny. She describes the artistic epiphany as a switch turning on. “I’m glad it was so clear,” she says. Knowing nothing about weaving, she learned the way everyone else has for the past 2,000 years: one baby step at a time. From weaving simple scarfs she moved to blankets, then she began to make tablecloths—approaching each piece as a fine artist rather than a craftsman. Early on, she had big ideas but lacked the ability to realize them—at least not yet. She joined the Hand Weaver’s Guild of Lincoln for guidance, and, through several years of hard work, her abilities finally caught up with her ideas.

Zicafoose’s work hangs in U.S. embassies around the world, and in galleries, corporations, and homes throughout the country, including the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles. They also hang in museums closer to home at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha and the Museum of Nebraska Art in Kearney. She teaches, writes articles, and has held leadership positions, including eight years as co-director of the board for the American Tapestry Alliance. “In her leadership role with ATA, Mary spoke passionately and eloquently as an advocate for contemporary tapestry,” says Mary Lane, executive director of the American Tapestry Alliance. “She inspired a level of professionalism and commitment in those with whom she worked...Despite her very successful and demanding career as an artist, Mary is always willing to give more.” Others echo similar sentiments about Zicafoose’s work and dedication. “She’s someone who’s enjoyable to work with because of her intensity to her art,” says John Rogers, owner of Gallery 72, where Zicafoose’s work once hung. “Every conversation I have with Mary reminds me of why I became a curator,” Joslyn’s Karin Campbell says. “She is skilled, generous, insightful, and, perhaps most importantly, she possesses an unwavering faith in the power of art.” Zicafoose explains her approach to the Buffett Center tapestries: “If you’re going to devote a year of your life to creating art for a building, the work must be powerful and the process so worth it.” Zicafoose looks around the lobby of the cancer center, pausing to think about the work she’s done. “We know that healing is a very complex paradigm, and Western medicine can only take us so far,” she says. “The arts are doorways to access subtle energy fields, that is what they do best. And if per chance the arts can carry and stimulate subtle energy for healing, then fill this place up with great art.”  Visit buffettcancercenter.com/facility/art-healing for more information about the Buffett Cancer Center where the “Hope & Healing” tapestries hang. Visit maryzicafoose.com for more information about the artist.

“I envisioned doing large-scale, graphically impactful tapestries. That was always the mission,” she says. “And today I am there, which is really satisfying.”

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 36 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


“IF THERE’S ANY WAY I CAN FACILITATE HEALING AS AN ARTIST, I WANT TO DO IT” - MARY ZICAFOOSE

Scan this page with the LayAR app to see Mary’s work. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 37 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | FEATURE STORY BY ALEC MCMULLEN // DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION BY MATT WIECZOREK

Social Media Scanner

MeanStreets Omaha “FORECAST: RANDOM MID-AIR

explosions with a chance of the neighbors setting your house on fire.” This post from July 4 captures the sarcastic-but-informative tone of MeanStreets Omaha, “a group of passionate volunteers live-tweeting the Omaha Police and Fire scanner” since May 2013. The clandestine MeanStreets Omaha organization consists of a small number of anonymous individuals who translate police and fire scanners into tweets, covering issues ranging from weather, to traffic, to crime, to “free” couches left on the side of the interstate. The handle @MeanStreetsOMA boasts more than 118,000 followers on Twitter—between @WOWT6News’ 104,000 and @KETV’s 130,000—effectively making it a leading social media news source in Omaha. A similar account in a much larger Midwestern city, @Chicago_Scanner, has roughly 40,000 Twitter followers.

MeanStreets Omaha’s digital presence also consists of meanstreetsoma.com (an aggregate site with answers to frequently asked questions, an online store, and links to a plethora of resources), a GoFundMe page (which shows they’ve nearly reached their goal of $5,500), Instagram and YouTube accounts, and a Facebook profile with 67,000 followers.

So, what ma kes Mea nStreets Omaha so popular? “It’s amazing all the ‘little things’ that go on every single day in our community that nobody ever hears about from the big guys,” wrote Brad Williams, posting on an eOmahaForums thread about Mean Streets in March. “I find all the real life every day [expletive] that OPD has to deal with interesting and @MeanStreetsOMA is great at pointing that stuff out.” Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, a professor with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Social Media Lab and author of the newly revised Social Media Communication: Concepts, Practices, Data, Law and Ethics, thinks the size of the Omaha community contributes to MeanStreets Omaha’s popularity. He also cites the organization’s “creative aspects of communication” (e.g., their callbacks, humor, memes, etc.), but it is their engagement with the community that really draws people to them. “They’re not afraid to engage with their audience,” explains Lipschultz. “So, when people tweet at them—it might be a retweet, or it might be a reply, or a like, or a comment—but people know they’re out there, and that’s a kind of social connection, this building of online community through their identity, and presence, and interaction with others.”

Twitter user Ryan Allen (@NexusNcontext), an avid @MeanStreetsOMA follower, agrees. He cites the “collaboration that seems to exist between followers, as well as people in the media, and those in police departments” as one of the reasons he checks @MeanStreetsOMA multiple times a day. “An event will happen, people in the area will tweet pictures, local media accounts will request permission to use those pictures on the news, and police officers will chime in, too.” Allen relates an anecdote where he overheard a police helicopter in his neighborhood, tweeted an inquiry at @MeanStreetsOMA, and received an explanation within minutes. In addition to the community and media, MeanStreets Omaha also collaborates closely with Omaha police officers and departments. “[Police departments] have become aware that social media are a tool for gathering information about potential criminal activity,” explains Lipschultz, “and also for exercising community policing.” Given the number of @MeanStreetsOMA followers, it makes sense for the Omaha Police Department to get involved; however, representatives of the Omaha Police Department declined to comment for this article. The kind of grassroots, crowd-sourced news that MeanStreets Omaha provides appeals to those distrustful of the mainstream media and those looking for news with a more local and personal focus. Another commenter (using the name “jag42”) captured the sentiment with the following addition to the eOmahaForums thread: “I consider MeanStreets Omaha to be Omaha’s leading news source.”

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 38 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


“I think it serves as a curator for raw, unconfirmed information that’s swirling around on the internet.”

-Jeremy Harris Lipschultz Their popularity is undeniable, but what motivates MeanStreets Omaha? “I think it serves as a curator for raw, unconfirmed information that’s swirling around on the internet,” Lipschultz explains. Acknowledging that they aren’t monetizing their efforts beyond what’s required to maintain them, Allen argues that MeanStreets Omaha is about accountability and transparency. “They provide you with the ability to put things into context and to take information that is raw, fluid, and truthful,” he explains. “There’s no hiding the scanner.” In contrast to their crowd-sourced, grassroots approach to news, the volunteers of MeanStreets Omaha go to great lengths to maintain their anonymity. In February 2016, when asked why they choose to be anonymous on a Reddit AMA (which stands for “Ask Me Anything”), the organization explained that “It is more fun that way!” Lipschultz believes that their anonymity is something they feel is necessary for the way they function, while Allen thinks it protects them from corruption and lobbyists. In response to an e-mail query, MeanStreets Omaha declined to comment for this article. So, what’s in the future for MeanStreets Omaha? “We have a LLC created now and a business plan,” they explained in their Reddit AMA. Lipschultz suspects the organization may have a long-term plan to evolve into a local news site. This hypothesis is supported by a comment by MeanStreets Omaha on their AMA: “There may be a time in the future where we are a ‘legitimate’ media entity where all will be revealed.”  Find MeanStreets Omaha on Twitter and Facebook at @MeanStreetsOMA. Visit meanstreetsoma.com for more information.


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SPORTS STORY BY GREG JERRETT // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

Armana Chanel Driving Her Way into the LPGA

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 40 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SPORTS

G

OLFER LORII MYERS once said that true sportsmanship means taking the high road and walking off the course with pride whether you win or lose. Omaha’s Armana Chanel is definitely walking the high road to golfing success on the national mini-tour circuit (the minor leagues of professional golf).

Born and raised in Omaha as Armana Chanel Christianson, Chanel has always been an athlete.

“I played pretty much every sport you can think of before the age of 12: racquetball, basketball, soccer, swimming, volleyball, tennis, track, taekwondo, softball,” Chanel says. “Golf was the last sport I tried before going to high school, and it just kind of clicked.” The Millard North graduate got her major start in golf playing Division I at Creighton University, later playing Division II golf at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. “For me, golf is one of the most frustrating but rewarding things I have ever done,” Chanel says. “I am competitive, so I really enjoy and look forward to tournaments.” Chanel says, as do most golfers, that the game is a way of life. “You can practice every day for hours and still have things to work on the next week or next month,” says Chanel, a self-described perfectionist who loves a fun challenge. “It’s a constant learning process; it never ends. A lot of what I get from golf is internal.” Chanel says she has been fortunate to not encounter many external setbacks, but being a female athlete in any sport comes with its own unique frustrations. “There are little things that have made it difficult to be a woman playing a sport seriously. In high school it was subtle things like my name not being announced after I won state. Now it’s things like, if I want sponsorships or exemptions, it’s important to have a really strong social media following,” Chanel says of her growing and supportive fan base. “I have a pretty good following on social media, and I’m pretty open about my journey and how I play. I get a lot of messages of support; it’s pretty nice to see.”

“For me, it feels like it’s not a matter of IF I make it, but WHEN I make it. I have partial status on the Symetra Tour [previously known as the LPGA Futures Tour], which is a stage below the LPGA.”

Many athletes are goal-oriented by nature, and Chanel hopes to see herself progress athletically and professionally. “Right now, my goal is [entering the] LPGA. I’m working hard on my game, my equipment, my fitness, and my mental game to make sure I make it there. For me, it feels like it’s not a matter of if I make it, but when I make it. I have partial status on the Symetra Tour [previously known as the LPGA Futures Tour], which is a stage below the LPGA. I’m hoping to be able to play in a few of those events towards the end of the season.” Chanel also sought to improve her status at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament (also known as Q-School) in August. Stage I of the tournament began at Mission Hills Country Club on August 21-27 at Rancho Mirage, California. Stages II and III follow in Florida during October through December. Until she advances to the LPGA Tour, she remains fighting to break out of the minors. “Playing on mini tours is a lot of hours, a lot of traveling, and for very little money,” Chanel says. “I played well enough last year that I was able to break even. But I love the game and the competition, and have such a strong desire to play at the highest level, so I’ll continue to do what I need to keep competing and getting better.”  Visit armanachristianson.com and follow Chanel on Twitter, @ArmanaChanel, for more information.

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | GEN-O STORY BY JOSEFINA LOZA // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 45 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | GEN-O

R

YAN SEDLACEK’S FAMILY farm—90

Never mind that Ryan and his father are allergic to bees. Such inconveniences don’t stop him from caring for 18 hives on the Sedlacek Farm and two neighboring farms.

acres of gently rolling fields and wooded Nebraska land—sits barely a mile outside of Gretna’s busy shopping district. Life is much simpler there, with the beauty of mature corn stalks, the sweet-tart blueberries and raspberries ready for picking, and the steady buzzing of honeybees.

Their bees are key in pollinating the crops and orchards for miles around. “Bees travel eight square miles,” he explains. “All the bees you see here are mine.”

Beekeeping, for the Sedlaceks, is not a novelty but a way of life.

Out of 14 grandchildren, Ryan is the only one to take to beekeeping. Since age 8, Ryan has learned about honeybees and the Russian and Italian varieties that he and his grandfather keep.

Ryan is the sixth generation of his family to keep bees. In fact, his grandfather, Bill Sedlacek, says his own grandfather cared for bees long before the Sedlacek farm was settled 75 years ago. “My interest in bees has been around my whole life,” Ryan says. “My earliest memory is making frames for the bees to live in for their hives and checking on them with my grandpa.”

My earliest memory is making frames for the bees to live in for their hives and checking on them with my grandpa.

Last year, the farm’s hives produced 34 gallons of honey, which was a good year. The year before, only 12 gallons of honey were harvested, as wet and rainy conditions limited the availability of pollen and kept the bees in the hives.

“I love watching and caring for bees just because you’re making a difference in everything around you,” he says. “You might not have bees in the area [but you] might have a fruit tree. It grows nothing every year. Then you put a beehive next to it and the tree grows the biggest apricots… so big and healthy.” Ryan shares his passion and knowledge of bees with others through the 4-H Agriculture Innovators Experience program, which has focused on honeybees and pollinators. At a national conference in Washington, D.C., during 2016, he learned more about pollinators and their role in agriculture. Since then, he has worked with the 4-H program statewide to offer the Honeybee Challenge and educate other youth. For his work and excitement about bees and agriculture, Ryan was named 4-H King of Douglas and Sarpy counties. On what seemed the hottest day of summer, Ryan’s faithful dog Tucker— whom grandma calls Bingo—follows his every move. And, boy, does Ryan move fast, going almost effortlessly from one chore to the next, from repairing fences to feeding his pets (goats, pigs, horses, geese, chickens, and ducks). After quickly filling watering cans for the animals, Ryan goes to check on the bees. Beekeeping kicks off in the spring as the bees start to produce honey after the first f lowers bloom. The worker bees gather pollen and water for the hive, and they generally live four to six weeks in the spring and summer months.

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“Bees will literally work themselves to death,” he says while opening the lid of a white wooden box. “You must be gentle when going into a hive. Otherwise, you can kill bees. Always be gentle and be aware of your surroundings.” Ryan wedges a metal tool between wooden slats, sliding a frame out of the hive to reveal the bees at work. Inside the hive, bees build a comb of wax where the queen will lay eggs and honey will be stored. Each hive has one queen, which can live for up to five years. The other bees are workers and drones—all of which serve a purpose to build a healthy and active hive. Ryan and his grandfather check the hives periodically over the summer to see how they are producing. As fall begins, the family harvests honeycomb and makes honey. The pasteurization process separates the comb and other impurities from the honey, which the family then sells at the farm. In winter, the bees live off the honey stored in the hive and a tray of a sugar-water mixture the Sedlaceks make to supplement the bees’ diet. Life in rural Gretna with his parents, Mike and Trish Sedlacek, has been good for the 18-year-old recent Gretna High graduate. His parents and grandparents demonstrated how farmers are stewards of the land. They taught him to conserve water, repair farm equipment, and protect the environment while maximizing the land’s sustainable yield. Few of his classmates share such passion for agriculture, however. Of the 243 Gretna seniors in Ryan’s 2017 graduating class, Ryan says he’s the only one to pursue a career in agriculture (not including three who plan to pursue veterinary science degrees). In the fall, Ryan starts an undergraduate degree in animal science at the University of Nebraska-­L incoln, and he plans to continue his family’s beekeeping legacy.  Visit extension.unl.edu/statewide/douglas-sarpy for more information about 4-H in the Omaha metro.


THE COMEDIAN IN THE

Scan this page with the LayAR app to see video of Richard Reese’s standup.


OMAHA MAGAZINE | A+C // COMEDY STORY BY GREG JERRETT // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION BY MATT WIECZOREK

IN JUNE OF 2000, Richard Reese took his first

tentative—but eager—steps into the brutal, addictive world of standup comedy on the stage of what was then Jokers Comedy Club in the Old Market. After just a few minutes of performing a tight set of long-practiced material, he got his first positive public response. After that, he was hooked. “My best friends and family filled the audience to watch me do a whopping three minutes,” Reese says of that first small step into a larger world. “It went really well, which I guess is the reason I’m still doing it 17 years later.” Born in Chicago, Reese moved to Nebraska in 1994 to live “the good life.” “My mother and I moved from Chicago in 1994 to get away from the rising crime rate in our neighborhood,” Reese says. “I grew up in Lincoln. I’ve lived in Omaha for about 10 years.” Inspiration came from Reese’s comedy heroes Steve Martin and Buster Keaton. They helped set him on the road to comedy, but it was the Prince of Pop who inspired him to be an entertainer in the broader sense. “From an entertainment standpoint, I love the innovation that Michael Jackson was able to create during his peak,” Reese says. “When I got to Nebraska, I started typing jokes and stories onto an old IBM computer with a green monochrome monitor. Little did I know, I would perform stand-up comedy for the first time on stage six years later.” “Intellectually silly” and “a bit unpredictable” is how Reese describes his style. “I definitely like to experiment when given the chance. I have some wordplay and one-liners in my act, and I like to touch on current events every so often.” Other than the usual career hurdles, Reese says he has taken a pretty smooth but circuitous ride along the “scenic route.”

“There have been the usual roadblocks you face when pursuing a career in entertainment,” Reese says. “I didn’t get my first paid work at a comedy club for three years…two years after that when I received my first standing ovation. Three years after that I got my first road gig at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago… another four years after that I recorded my first comedy special independently…another two years I recorded another one. Another year when I recorded an album. [This year] I’ve had more paid gigs than any other year of stand-up. Like I said, the scenic route.” Comics have their reasons for performing, but one that comes up frequently is the healing power of public self-expression.

“ FOR ME IT’S DEFINITELY THERAPEUTIC TO SPEAK MY MIND IN FRONT OF “ PEOPLE,” REESE SAYS. IT’S A THRILL TO BE ABLE TO THINK OF SOMETHING IN YOUR HEAD AND HAVE AN AUDIENCE RESPOND TO IT ACCORDINGLY.” “Sometimes that response is a laugh, sometimes it’s applause, and, unfortunately, sometimes it’s silence. That’s just a part of the rush that comes with public speaking.” A regular at the Omaha Funny Bone, Reese also performs at comedy clubs and theaters around the country. One day Reese hopes to find himself writing for film and television. “That would be awesome,” he says. “But mostly I would like to be the first comedian to perform for the Super Bowl halftime show.”  Visit richardreeselive.com for more information.

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FORMER UNO HOCKEY star Jake Guentzel

OMAHA MAGAZ

INE | SPORTS

left school in 2016, after junior year, to pursue his dream of playing professionally. No one expected what happened next. The boyish newcomer with the impish smile went from nondescript rookie wing prospect to elite scorer during two seasons with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the American Hockey League. Upon joining the parent Pittsburgh Penguins in November, he made an immediate splash. In his NHL debut, he scored a goal with his first shift. He followed with a goal on his third shift. Two shots—two goals.

STORY BY LE O ADAM DESIGN AND ILLUSTRATION BIGA S BY DEREK JO Y

By January, Guentzel secured a permanent seat in the NHL team’s locker room. The club showed faith, placing him on its top-scoring line alongside captain Sidney Crosby. The Crosby-Guentzel pairing proved pivotal in Pittsburgh’s second straight Stanley Cup win. Their team defeated Nashville four games to two in the finals. Guentzel would make NHL playoffs history before hoisting the Stanley Cup overhead: His 13 postseason goals made him the first rookie to lead the NHL playoffs (five of those goals were game-winners); his 21 points tied the league rookie record for a postseason; and he became the second-ever rookie to score a hat trick in the playoffs. UNO has produced several NHL players but Omaha hockey historian Gary Anderson says, “I don’t remember any who have had the same impact.” Indeed, the Maverick who signed with Pittsburgh as a third-round, 2013 draft pick (77th overall) became the talk of the hockey world. He paired with future Hall of Famer Crosby to form a lethal scoring tandem on the NHL’s best team. He was in the running for playoffs MVP (Conn Smythe award) won by his superstar teammate. His former coach at UNO, the recently retired Dean Blais, marvels at Guentzel’s exploits. “It’s hard to explain,” Blais says. “I don’t think anyone would have forecast that. He played well in the American League, but he was up and down, and when that happens you don’t expect great things.” Not from someone who would have been playing his senior year at UNO. “Then he goes into Pittsburgh, has a pretty good season, and in the playoffs he’s a couple goals or points away from maybe winning the Conn Smythe. For Jake to step in and do that is pretty special,” Blais says. Sharing it all was former UNO and current Penguins teammate Josh Archibald. They became the first Mavs to have their names engraved on the Stanley Cup.


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SPORTS

“What makes him a special player at the highest level is his ability to think his way around the ice,” Blais says. “His biggest asset is his playmaking ability and his ability to get to the net.” Former UNO teammate Justin Parizek says Guentzel has long-mastered the mental aspects of the game: “He thinks the game really well. He’s always a couple steps ahead of the play.” UNO hockey broadcaster Terry Leahy admires Guentzel’s pedigree: “He just knows the game, and that comes right from his father and his brothers. He was just built from the ground up. His dad had a huge influence on that. His two brothers were really good college hockey players.” Parizek envies the extra push Guentzel got at home: “His whole childhood he was pushed trying to keep up with his older brothers. Keeping up with bigger, stronger guys gave him that competitive edge. His dad’s a really good coach, and having that 24-7 extra coach in his ear has given him insights into how he can do things better.” Archibald says it’s no wonder Guentzel was ready to shine: “He’s been preparing his entire life for that moment. Everybody along the way has put their piece in with him, and he’s taken it all in.” “He was definitely groomed well,” says another former UNO linemate, Austin Ortega.

Securing the championship against Nashville, he says, was “a night I’ll remember for the rest of my life.” Archibald says the occasion of two Omaha hockey products being part of a title team didn’t escape them. “For both of us to play together at UNO and then to take that next step together in Pittsburgh was a great experience,” Archibald says, adding that as the Stanley Cup got passed around, “there was a moment on the ice when we were standing next to each other, and Jake looked at me and said, ‘I can’t believe we’re here. To do this together is the best thing in the world.’” Mind over matter As the playoffs wore on, more hype came Guentzel’s way. Except for texts referencing his newfound celebrity, he says, “I tried to stay away from that stuff. You don’t want to get caught up in what people are saying. I just try to focus on what’s at hand.” As for media, he “gives them what they want” and moves on. The well-grounded athlete applies a pragmatic approach to the game. “Each level you go up, the competition gets harder,” Guentzel says. “You have to do whatever it takes to get there—if it’s staying late after practice, doing extra work. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. Growing up, you go through bantams, high school, juniors, and college. I’ve just stayed with it. I’ve tried not to think ahead of what’s happening in the moment. It’s the way you have to think. If you don’t think that way, you don’t really want to play, and you don’t really love the game.”

Guentzel’s performance recalled what local icon Bob Gibson did as a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher in World Series competition half a century ago. Like Gibson, Guentzel is now an Omaha sports legend. The city has a legitimate claim on him, too. He was born in Omaha when his father coached the Omaha Lancers. His two older brothers, Ryan and Gabe, also played collegiately.

Even Guentzel’s father, University of Minnesota associate head coach Mike Guentzel, says the moment is “never too big” for his son.

He’s the second Omaha native to reach the NHL (Jed Ortmeyer in 2003 was the first).

He’s grateful they shared in his shining moments—from that memorable first NHL game to hoisting the Stanley Cup.

The local connection extends to Guentzel’s father assisting one season at UNO under Blais (in 20102011), while the younger Guentzel also helped lead UNO to its only Frozen Four in 2015.

“It’s definitely a family thing. I realize all the sacrifice they put in for me over the years in everything they did. They’re always there for me,” he says.

Mere weeks removed from gaining hockey immortality with his improbable heroics, he unwinds from the spotlight with family in his other hometown of Woodbury, Minnesota.

Guentzel’s dad and siblings never got this far in hockey, but they’ve been with him each step of the journey.

Archibald knows well the sacrifice: “It doesn’t come easy. You have a lot of pressure on your back. But he pushed through everything. I think one of the things that helps him is being one of the hardest workers in the room.”

“It’s hard to put into words what happened,” he says. “It was hard to soak it all in at some points. With each win, the media got more and more crazy. It was definitely a crazy journey.”

“Whenever I need something, I can look up to them and realize they’ve been through similar situations over their hockey careers,” he says. “They’ve definitely been huge for me, and it’s definitely cool to share this with my family.”

Guentzel feels his approach is consistent. “It hasn’t changed much,” he says. “People are going to be coming after you, so you’ve got to make sure you’re ready every day for everyone’s best.”

Preparation meets success Guentzel’s skill and mindset proved well-suited for hockey’s biggest stage.

When dreams come true Growing up, Guentzel dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup, just like thousands of other kids.

Mike Kemp, UNO associate athletic director and former Mavericks coach, praises his “high hockey IQ.”

“But to have it come true my first year in the NHL is definitely crazy. I mean, I never would have expected that. It’s pretty special,” he says.

What some term “pressure to perform in the clutch,” he considers “a chance to do something special. I think as a player you like those moments. They’re fun to be a part of,” he says.

The rising star credits his family for giving him what he needed to excel. “They instilled ‘you gotta work every day.’ It definitely implanted in my brain,” Guentzel says.

Others attest to his dedication. “Everything he’s accomplished is due to the hard work he put in himself,” Ortega says, “and he got rewarded.”

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Of his Penguins debut, Guentzel says, “There were nerves for sure, but you just gotta stick with what got you there. There was a lot of emotion running through me that night. I was just trying to make the most of the opportunity, and remembering that all the hard work I’ve put in has finally led to my dream coming true.” He felt at home in his new digs. His space in the Pittsburgh locker room was just beside Crosby, who took the rookie under his wing. “It’s cool that they all kind of take you in and make you feel comfortable right away,” Guentzel says of his veteran teammates. “I think that’s why they have so much success.” His own even-keeled attitude helped with the season grind, too. “You want to be a good player in the league, so you’ve got to do the little things and keep working on them every day,” Guentzel says. “You’ve just got to stay with it, stay positive, because you’re going to go through tough patches.” Coming up big In the playoffs, he kept making big assists and goals. “I watched all the games at home with my family,” Parizek says, “and sometimes we were like, ‘Are you kidding me, he did it again?’ It was a surreal run for him, and I couldn’t be more happy and proud.” Guentzel’s scoring binge was out of character for someone reluctant to shoot in college. “When I was at UNO, coach got upset with me that I was passing too much,” he says. “I was kind of a playmaker, and I always looked for the next play. As my career went on, I started to shoot more. I think I finally realized if I shoot more maybe I can score some more goals.” “He’s a pass-first guy,” Blais confirms. “For three years we tried to get him to be a little bit more selfish, and when the opportunity’s there, shoot it.” Making that transition in the NHL is unusual. “That’s a credit to Sidney Crosby,” Guentzel says. “You’re just trying to find areas on the ice where he can get you the puck because he can pretty much get it to you wherever you’re at. I was very fortunate.” Blais agrees Guentzel found the right mentor. “I think when it really clicked is when he started playing with Sidney Crosby,” Blais says. “It’s one thing playing for Pittsburgh, but it’s another thing for Sidney Crosby to want this 22-year old kid to play with him. That’s pretty special when the best player in the world wants Jake Guentzel as his linemate because he knows Jake plays the same way.

And I’m sure Sidney Crosby said, ‘Hey, Jake, when I get a pass from you, I’m going to shoot, and when you get it from me, you shoot.’ I mean, that’s the way it works. I think when Jake learned how to move and shoot the puck at the highest level is when he took off. Credit to Jake and his coaching staff but probably the most influential was Sidney Crosby.” Finding a coach and expanding his game Despite not being the scorer his coach wanted, Guentzel treasured playing for Blais: “He was huge for me. I can’t thank him enough for all he did for me. He rounded out my game. He made me realize that to play every day you have to be at your top. That’s a big thing he impacted me with. I wouldn’t be the player I am today if I didn’t play in Omaha for him.” Leaving after his junior year did not come lightly. “It was tough leaving Omaha for sure,” he says. “I just thought I was ready for the next challenge. It all worked out.” Blais says being the close hockey family the Guentzels are, they made the decision jointly and he fully supported it. “Jake’s always been that player that has reached the highest level. He did it in college and now he’s doing it in the NHL. He’s one of the top players I’ve coached in all my years of coaching.” UNO broadcaster Terry Leahy recalls Guentzel “began his college career the way he began his NHL career. “He had an assist right off the bat his first game as a Maverick—and he was on his way. The biggest memory I have of him is that his anticipation and passing skills were unbelievable.” “He started out like gangbusters,” Blais remembers. “He broke Greg Zanon’s assist record his first year. Even though other teams were keying on him with their best players, Jake still managed to get his points. Even in the NHL, playing against the other team’s top line, Jake still managed to make plays and to get his goals.” “He’s a complete package mentally and physically,” Leahy says. “He can fly, shoot, pass. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him wearing a [captain’s] letter for the Penguins in the nottoo-distant future. He’s very mature…and he’s a pot-stirrer. He can chirp [trash talk] with the best. He was a little restrained his first year in the NHL, but there were moments in the finals you could see him starting to get under some Nashville skins. That’s definitely a part of his game. He’s got that baby face, but he can spring those horns pretty quickly after a whistle.” His UNO hockey family Guentzel is happy his playing, not talking, is raising UNO’s national profile. “I only think it’s going to make the school become even more of a hockey place and have people realize Omaha’s on the rise,” he says. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 53 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

“It’s a huge step for UNO hockey,” Archibald agrees. “It kind of puts it on the map in an unprecedented way.” Leahy says with Guentzel and Archibald in the finals “UNO was on display through the whole run.” The fact that they are Stanley Cup winners “will be huge for recruiting.” UNO’s Mike Kemp and new hockey head coach Mike Gabinet have echoed such sentiments. Austin Ortega takes inspiration from Guentzel’s example. “Seeing him do so well has definitely given me a little extra motivation and expectation to reach that goal and do what he’s done,” Ortega says. Guentzel has not forgotten his UNO hockey family. “I keep in touch with them almost every day. They’re close friends. They’re definitely special to me,” he says. “He has a lot of support back in Omaha and wherever his old teammates are,” Ortega says. “Myself and two other guys saw him for games three and four in Nashville. He was just the same old kid that we knew.” “He’s not going to change, he’s not going to be cocky or arrogant about it,” Justin Parizek says. “He’s still going to go about his business and be the great guy he is and treat everyone the same.” Making his mark Dean Blais can still hardly believe what transpired. “To get his name on the Stanley Cup, to get a championship ring, to go from making $80,000 to $800,000, plus the Cup bonus. Not bad for a kid right out of college,” Blais says. “Everything looks bright for his future.” Guentzel doesn’t think he’s arrived yet. “I’ve still got to establish my spot,” he says, speaking with Omaha Magazine in June. “I’m still a young guy. I’ve got to go and try to make the team out of camp. You never know what’s going to happen, so you’ve just gotta try and make a name for yourself and do what it takes to stay at that level. You can’t take it for granted because there’s someone right behind who’s going to try to take your spot.” Archibald senses Guentzel is hungry to “go back out there and prove to everybody he can do it again—I have all the faith in the world he’s going to be able to do it.” “You gotta enjoy it, because it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Guentzel says.  Visit nhl.com/penguins for more information.


OMAHA MAGAZINE | HISTORY STORY BY LINDA PERSIGEHL // PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY DOUGLAS COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

BATTLE FOR

BENSON the 100th the 100th anniversary anniversary of its of its annexation annexation

1917

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The original Benson Methodist Church in 1901, with Benson Central School in the background on 63rd and Maple streets

T

HE COMMUNITY OF Benson, maybe best known today as a hub for live music, craft beers, and trendy restaurants in north-central Omaha, marked a significant anniversary this summer—100 years since its annexation to the City of Omaha. This year also marks the 130th anniversary of the once-independent community’s establishment, a milestone celebrated during the July 29 Benson Days festivities. Benson was initially founded by land speculator Erastus Benson as Benson Place in March 1887. Its annexation was one of many community takeovers by Omaha between 19151917 (including South Omaha, Dundee, and Florence) during an aggressive push by business leaders and public administrators, including Omaha Mayor James Dahlman, to grow the city and its tax coffers.

In January 1915, an estimated 120 people convened in Fireman’s Hall in Benson and passed a resolution against “forcible annexation.” Later that month, an angry group of residents converged on Benson City Hall to announce their intention to protest at the state level. Then on January 28, 1915, along with dozens of residents from other proposed-annexation communities, about 50 “Benson pilgrims” who opposed the action filled nine Burlington train cars and headed to the capitol in Lincoln to protest passage of the Howell Bill in the Nebraska Legislature. The bill allowed for Omaha’s unilateral annexation of neighboring communities, so long as they lie adjacent to current city boundaries, fall within Douglas County, and have fewer “I THINK THAT BENSON HAS EVERYTHING TO than 10,000 residents. residents’ main GAIN BY MAINTAINING HER INDEPENDENCE… The fear: annexation would AND WE WON’T BE ANNEXED UNLESS mean that needs for civic improvements and WE ACT ON OUR OWN INITIATIVE.” services in their commu-Benson Mayor Ed Sorenson, March 1915 nity, situated on the far outskirts of Omaha, would be ignored and suffer.

As with most annexations, the move to absorb Benson—whose borders were approximately 52nd Street to 72nd Street (east-west) and Pratt Street to Blondo Street (north-south)— was controversial and met with fear and anger by many homeowners and local businesses. Some of the residents, whose number was estimated to be about 5,000 in 1917, were not willing to lie down and let annexation happen without a fight. One notable opponent was Benson Mayor Ed Sorenson, who declared in March 1915, “I think that Benson has everything to gain by maintaining her independence…and we won’t be annexed unless we act on our own initiative.”

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | HISTORY

Sam Swanson, digital archivist with the Benson Historical Society, says this fear ushered in a rush of civic projects, including construction of a new combined fire station and city hall in late 1915. In the months that followed, road paving and grating work, and installation of water fountains and new ornamental street lights, were also completed. “[Benson civic leaders] passed bonds and spent as much money as they could, fearful the city would not make the improvements,” Swanson says. By completing the improvements ahead of annexation, they’d also be able to incur debt they could then pass onto the city.

Many in Benson’s business community were in favor of annexation. The Benson Commercial Club, headed by Benson Times publisher E.M. Jacobberger, sent a committee of four to advocate for the Howell Bill during a hearing. They also sent a petition to the legislature bearing 64 names of businessmen and representative citizens of the town in favor of the move, citing it as a “progressive measure” and “to the benefit of the great majority of the people.” At the same time, many members condemned the “force feature of the bill” and spoke about their preference to have the annexation happen only with “the consent and will of the people.”

One factor working in opponents’ favor “[BENSON CIVIC LEADERS] PASSED was that a narrow BONDS AND SPENT AS MUCH MONEY tract of unincorporated land separated AS THEY COULD, FEARFUL THE CITY the city limits of Benson and Omaha. WOULD NOT MAKE THE IMPROVEMENTS,” This territory, made SWANSON SAYS. BY COMPLETING THE up of Elmwood Park District and Clontarf IMPROVEMENTS AHEAD OF ANNEXATION, Precinct, made THEY’D ALSO BE ABLE TO INCUR DEBT Benson exempt from annexation, accordTHEY COULD THEN PASS ONTO THE CITY. ing to rules stated in -Sam Swanson, digital archivist with the initial Howell Bill. To opponents’ the Benson Historical Society dismay, in March 1915 the state senate municipal affairs committee attached a provision to the bill, allowing Omaha to annex municipalities that lie within two-thirds of a mile of Greater Omaha. The strip of land just a few blocks wide was no longer considered the buffer that protected them.

The prospect of Benson’s annexation was seen as a major positive to the Northwestern Railroad, which saw great opportunities for land development along its new track line, nicknamed the “Greater Omaha Outer Belt Line.” Railway executives felt the annexation would facilitate growth of industries and housing in the 160 acres of land that lie adjacent to the line and gave them “great confidence in the growth of the Nebraska metropolis.”

benson100

In the end, the Howell Bill was passed in the Nebraska senate and signed into law by Governor Keith Neville in March 1917, and Benson, along with Florence, was unilaterally annexed to the City of Omaha without Benson residents ever having a vote in the matter. Initially planned to take effect in late May, the city made a small concession at the request of the board of education to postpone official annexation until June 5, 1917, after graduation ceremonies at schools in Florence and Benson could be held. In the years that followed annexation, Benson flourished, building a strong business district, as well as robust residential market offering many affordable housing options. “Maple Street became the core of the central business district, with family-owned shops, doctors’ offices, a lumber yard...” Swanson says. “And Benson had a mix of blue-collar workers and professionals, and seven churches.” Krug Park, an amusement park on North 52nd Street in Benson, became a popular destination for Omaha families seeking a day of fun. And a host of neighborhood parks and schools, including Benson High School, made the neighborhood attractive to young families. The 1980s and 1990s brought more challenges to Benson, as many commercial buildings and public areas began to show their age and fall into disrepair. Efforts to reinvigorate Benson Business Improvement District, which was established by the City of Omaha in 1977, got a jumpstart in 2010 and again in 2015 with a $1.3 million investment in a streetscape project that involved replacing curbs, widening sidewalks, adding traffic-calming devices, and installing safety lighting in alleys. Also added downtown were sidewalk benches, landscaping, and a street bicycle corral, the only one of its kind in Nebraska. Sarah Johnson, owner of Omaha Bicycle Company at 6015 Maple St., which opened in 2012, is enthusiastic about of all the civic improvements made in recent years. (She spent a year on the BID board herself.) She’s also optimistic about Benson’s future. So much so that she purchased her commercial building and moved to the neighborhood last year, settling just a few blocks from her shop. “I really appreciate that there are so many owner-operated businesses here, and that we can bounce ideas off each other. There’s a neat sense of community. I also love the walkability of the area, and the fact that I can ride my bike to work. I’m hoping to stay for a while.”

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Johnson says she takes advantage of Benson’s lively entertainment district, often enjoying First Fridays art walks, various music events at the Waiting Room and Reverb Lounge, and evenings at the Benson Brewery. “There’s so much to do, I feel spoiled. I love it here now.”

NEBRASKA’S ULTIMATE RESORT FOR PETS

Liz Moldenhauer, vice president of the Benson Neighborhood Association, says the organization meets nine to 10 times annually, looking for ways to make life better for the 13,000 households that call Benson home. “We have about 300 members in the association, but it’s really a core group of committed local residents who are always working to make positive change in the area. “We’re working to make sure services are provided such as trash pickup, addressing code violations, and asking for more citizen patrol and bike patrol services to deter crime. And we’re now using a City of Omaha mobile app to report issues like potholes and graffiti. That has been very popular and effective.” The association also uses the Next Door app, Twitter, and a Facebook page to communicate concerns and happenings with residents. Moldenhauer says the association has raised funds for the renovation of several Benson public parks, as well as worked to expand participation in community events. “There are a bunch of events we sponsor, from Benson Days to the Benson Boo Bash every October, to spring cleanup, for which we partner with Keep Omaha Beautiful.” The biggest testament to Benson’s revitalization is the return of families to the area, she says. “When I moved back to Benson 11 years ago, there weren’t as many kids on my street. Now I see lots of kids. Houses are selling fast. That’s an identifier of a strong neighborhood.” Just as it was a century ago, Benson is a family-friendly community on the rise.  Visit bensonneighbors.org for more information. Archival news sources about Benson are available online at the Omaha Public Library (omahalibrary.org).

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MAIN STREET STUDIOS

Main Street Studios owner Tyler Curnes saw a

need for a vibrant artists’ community in Elkhorn, not only as an area native but also as an artist. He knew the area was ready for a gallery featuring local artists producing stunning art in a variety of media. He was right—the venue is so sought-after that Main Street Studios has a waiting list for artists’ studio space. The artists who currently have studio space at Main Street Studios represent an eclectic group: an acrylic painter, a bronze sculptor, a silversmith, and a glass artist. The varied media represented is intentional. “The gallery is appealing to walk through and see,” says Curnes, explaining that he selected each artist by first ensuring they “have high energy and quality art.” High energy is important for Main Street Studios artists, since they all work around a rotating schedule to ensure an artist is always present at the gallery to answer visitor questions or even to demonstrate their work in action. Guests can watch Curnes manipulate glass, turning it into art right before their eyes. “People can see artists work and talk with them about their art since there is always an artist on duty,” says Curnes,

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omaha magazine • may/june 2015

adding that there is something special and powerful about meeting an artist before purchasing a piece as it adds to the overall experience. A monthly meeting of the Main Street Studios artists ensures that everyone has a say in how the gallery is presented. They frequently change the look of the gallery to present a new experience to everyone who walks through the door, even if they are frequent visitors. “We recently redid the entire gallery,” says Curnes—the process took 20 hours. Creativity can flourish in a place where artists work together. “It’s less like a job and more like a community or a family,” says Curnes. “It’s amazing. It’s a dream come true. The other artists are like a sounding board to critique my work.” He said that it’s easy for artists to experience stagnation in their work when they don’t have input from other artists. “I can pull something out of the kiln and ask everyone else, ‘What’s missing?’ The other artists help me step out of my comfort zone and become a better artist.” Curnes also says that he and the bronze artist soon plan to co-op some art,

collaborating in a way that only happens when a group of artists form a tight-knit group. There is simply nowhere else like Main Street Studios in the Elkhorn/West Omaha area. It’s a place that is worth a visit by anyone who appreciates art—in particular, art that is locally produced. Speak with the artists and find out about their inspirations and muses, elevating each piece to a more personal level. Another artist will join the group in September, bringing the total number of artists with work space at Main Street Studios to five. Their spring and winter open houses are excellent opportunities to meet all the artists and view their work. Other events are held throughout the year, or one can simply stop in during regular business hours to chat with an artist and view all the amazing art at Main Street Studios. 2610 NORTH MAIN ST. ELKHORN, NE 68022 402-452-3088 MAINSTREETSTUDIOS2610.COM

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MAGAZINE | ARTISTARTIST PROFILES OMAHAOMAHA MAGAZINE | SPONSORED PROFILES

ARDITH STAROSTKA: THE ARTIST OF STAR STUDIO ARTS

A

rdith Starostka is an internationally recognized, award-winning figurative artist who creates stunning portraits out of her private art studio. Although her work appears in prestigious museums and collections (including the White House), her work could be commissioned to adorn the walls of your home or office.

array of awards and recognitions from the arts community. Her accolades are listed on the “about” page of her website.

within the “realm of figurative,” she can paint anything and anyone—including children, pets, and posthumous portraits.

Starostka’s gallery is not open to the general public, but she allows access to her private art studio by appointment.

Art connoisseurs can contact Starostka to discuss commissioning a painting or having a look at completed pieces from her impressive collection now available for purchase.

The Nebraska-based artist’s work—sought after for its realistic yet romantic qualities— has been published in magazines and books; meanwhile, Starostka has received a dizzying

She is available for commissioned paintings, specializing in portraits that are “men or women, formal or creative,” she says, adding with a laugh that as long as it falls

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omaha magazine • may/june 2015

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 59 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

402-910-0647 STARSTUDIOARTS@GMAIL.COM STARSTUDIOARTS.COM


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SPONSORED SECTION TH Annual 0 1

Big Give 2 0167

Presented by Omaha Magazine

O

MAHA MAGAZINE’S “BIG GIVE” is our annual directory of charitable causes. We are proud

to help connect volunteers and philanthropists to the many area nonprofits. Each page in this sponsored special section is devoted to a different organization. Read on to learn more about their mission statements, organizational backgrounds, points of pride, upcoming events, and ways that you can make a difference. 

63

100 Black Men of Omaha, Inc.

64

Aksarben Foundation

65

American Red Cross

66

Angels Among Us

67

Assistance League of Omaha

68

Ballet Nebraska

69

Bellevue Public Schools Foundation

70

Boys Town

71

Boys Town National Research Hospital

72 73 74 75

Cancer Alliance of Nebraska

76

Completely Kids

90

77

Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership

The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition

91

78

Family Housing Advisory Services, Inc.

New Visions Homeless Services

92

Notre Dame Sisters

79

Gesu Housing, Inc.

93

80

Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force

Omaha Children’s Museum

81

Grief’s Journey

82

Heartland Family Service

83

International American Relief Society

84

Justice for Our Neighbors Nebraska

103 The Salvation Army

104 Sammy’s

Superheroes Foundation

105 Santa Monica House

106 SAVE Program 107 Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue

94

Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance

108 Senior Dreams

95

Omaha Home for Boys

109 Servants of Mary

96

Omaha Public Library Foundation

110 Siena/Francis

97

Omaha Public Schools Foundation

111 Stephen

98

Open Door Mission Outlook Nebraska

Central High School Foundation

85

Merrymakers

86

NARI

99

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha

87

Nebraska Children’s Home Society

100 Parkinson’s

City of Omaha Human Rights & Relations Department

88

Nebraska Humane Society

89

Nebraska Independent College Foundation

Nebraska

101 Project Hope 102 Ronald McDonald House Charities Omaha

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Foundation

House Homeless Shelter Center, Inc.

112 Tangier Shrine Center

113 A Time to Heal 114 Wounded

Warriors Family Support

115 YMCA of Greater Omaha


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To improve the quality of life in Omaha by helping our youth reach their fullest potential. We seek to achieve our mission through mentoring, education, health & wellness and economic empowerment programs.

» Mentors, Mentors, Mentors » $100 sponsors one mentee at Annual Fundraiser » $1,000 sponsors ACT prep classes for mentees » $2,500 provides workshops and learning activities for a school year » Computers » Laptops » iPads » Gift Cards » Sporting or cultural event tickets

UPCOMING EVENTS Striving for Success Summit Sept. 19, 2017

BACKGROUND Mentoring is the foundation and value of what the 100 provides to our community. The 100 is engaged in innovative one-toone and group mentoring that serves young men and program participants. By exposing our youth to successful men, mentees develop healthy personal relationships, and are taught to pursue positive life-long goals. The 100 offers the following programs: Mentoring » Leadership and Mentoring Academy » Pathways to Success/ Financial Literacy » Striving for Success

Education » 100 Saturday Academy » African American History Challenge » Real Men Read » Real Men Greet

PAY IT FORWARD Volunteer to give one hour a week to make a difference in a mentee’s life.

BRAG LINES In 2016: » Served over 7,000 individuals through our programs » Impacted 1,255 individuals through our mentoring programs » Continued to have a 100 percent high school graduation rate with over 50 percent of our mentees receiving full ride scholarships » Served 130 students in 100 Saturday Academy SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 63 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

100 Saturday Academy a Math & Reading Tutorial Program Sept. 15, 2017, through April 28, 2018 African American History Challenge Feb. 3, 2018 Annual Fundraising Dinner April 20, 2018

100 BLACK MEN OF OMAHA, INC. 2221 N. 24th St. Omaha, NE 68110 402-934-7065 100blackmenomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

AKSARBEN Foundation’s mission is to leverage collective business leadership to build a prosperous Heartland.

Support of the Heartland Career Initiative will assist with getting young people into meaningful jobs in the community, where they can contribute economically and add to the richness of the Heartland.

UPCOMING EVENTS AKSARBEN Stock Show Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017 AKSARBEN Stock Show Purple Ribbon Auction Oct. 1, 2017 AKSARBEN Coronation & Scholarship Ball Oct. 28, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

Established in 1895, AKSARBEN Foundation represents the premier employers in Nebraska and western Iowa. AKSARBEN Foundation works as a unified network to influence change for the betterment of youth, the economy, and Heartland communities. They advance their mission to leverage collective business leadership to build a more prosperous Heartland by funding and guiding best practice, needs-based scholarship programs, promoting the Heartland’s cultural heritage through top-ranking community celebrations, and honoring community leaders who carry on the Heartland’s tradition of philanthropy and volunteerism.

AKSARBEN Foundation will award over $1 million in college scholarships in 2017. Their signature events, the AKSARBEN Coronation & Scholarship Ball and the AKSARBEN Stock Show, promote, recognize, and celebrate volunteerism, philanthropy, and community pride. AKSARBEN Foundation honors individuals and families across the Heartland through programs such as the AKSARBEN Court of Honor, Pioneer and Heritage Farm Awards, and the Good Neighbor Award. AKSARBEN Foundation, Avenue Scholars, and Metropolitan Community College have formed

a special alliance called the Heartland Career Initiative to help students from low income families transition from high school into career training and into meaningful careers.

PAY IT FORWARD » Host one-day events for career exploration » Send staff to participate in mock interviews, career consultation, and/or job fairs » Present opportunities to job shadow for a half or full day » Offer part-time or seasonal entry level work opportunities » Offer skill-building internships » Interview and employ workready program participants for full-time employment

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AKSARBEN FOUNDATION 7101 Mercy Road Suite 320 Omaha, NE 68106 402-554-9600 aksarben.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

» Volunteers » Blood donors » Platelet Donors

UPCOMING EVENTS Heroes in the Heartland March 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

For over 100 years the American Red Cross has served the Omaha metro in times of need, turning compassion into action through its strong network of volunteers, donors, and partners. We provide comfort and care to those affected by home fires, severe weather, and local disasters. We serve members of our armed forces and their families. We provide first aid skills training, and we ensure that people everywhere have access to lifesaving blood and blood products.

American Red Cross provides nearly 40 percent of the US blood supply, making us the single largest supplier of blood in the nation. Last year Red Cross volunteers served the Omaha metro by providing help, hope, and comfort to 274 families (715 individuals) who were affected by disasters.

» Become a volunteer. It’s simple. Click on the volunteer segment of the website, or call 800-733-2767. » Donate blood. There is always a need and each blood donation can save up to three lives. To make an appointment today, visit redcrossblood.org. » Make a donation. An average of 91 cents of each dollar donated is invested in humanitarian services and programs. To make a $10 donation to Disaster Relief text the word REDCROSS to 90999, or visit the website.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 65 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

AMERICAN RED CROSS 2912 S. 80th Ave. Omaha, NE 68124 402-343-7700 redcross.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Angels Among Us exists to provide financial and emotional support to families battling pediatric cancer who are living-in or being treated in Nebraska.

» Fuzzy socks ages 3-19 » Coloring books » Crayons » Markers » Small portable games » Gift cards for gas, fast food, coffee » Books for ages 1-19 » Plastic expandable files » Cotton fabric to be used for journal covers » Small toys, puzzles

UPCOMING EVENTS Angels Among Us Gala Aug. 26, 2017 Wine Event at Flemings Steakhouse Oct. 28, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Angels Among Us started in 2006 by two women who wanted to give back after their own childhood cancer experience. In the last eleven years, Angels Among Us has assisted over 300 families with $1.3 million in support. Families are identified through the social work offices of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. Bills are paid directly to the identified creditor ensuring that funds are used for their intended purpose. Angels Among Us has assisted with mortgage and rent payment, car payments, utility bills, and more.

Yes, Angels Among Us supports families financially, but more importantly, Angels Among Us has helped more than 300 families read bedtime stories and play board games without the allconsuming worry of paying rent, insurance or utility bills. We are a community of people helping people. There is strength in numbers. There is also hope, help and monetary relief.

There are so many good causes that could use your help.We understand that. But if you could give a cancer family just a little relief and allow them to worry less about where their mortgage, rent or utility money will come from – well then, would that tip the scale? Life isn’t fair. But with your help, life just got a little fairer. Doing good is, well, good. Doing good for others….well that makes you an angel.

Angel Flix at Aksarben Cinema Dec. 2, 2017

ANGELS AMONG US 3516 N. 163rd Plaza Suite 3 Omaha, NE 68116 402-934-0999 myangelsamongus.org

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Assistance League volunteers transforming the lives of children and adults through community programs.

» Monetary donations » Volunteers » Tax deductible donations of housewares, adult clothing, and accessories to the Thrift Shop » Books for young children » Printing services

UPCOMING EVENTS Operation School Bell Oct. 3 - 15, 2017 Christmas Caravan Preview Party Nov. 1, 2017 Christmas Caravan Nov. 2, 2017 Style Show April 10, 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Assistance League of Omaha is an all-volunteer organization serving Omaha since 1974. The organization returns 100 percent of proceeds (after expenses) to the community through its philanthropic programs.

The organization has achieved Platinum level in GuideStar. ALO received a 2017 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. Their signature programs include: » Operation School Bell® » Operation Recovery » ACT/PSAT Review Sessions » Assault Survivor Kits® » Operation Teen Parent » Operation Bear Hug » Operation Literacy

There are many ways you can support Assistance League’s work: » Become a member and use your time and talent to support ALO’s philanthropic programs » Provide a monetary donation—$85 clothes one schoolchild » Attend the Christmas Caravan and Preview Party » Support the Assistance League Thrift Shop with your donations and patronage

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 67 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE® OF OMAHA 3569 Leavenworth St. Omaha, NE 68105-1907 402-342-4288 alomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Ballet Nebraska provides enrichment through quality professional dance performances, educational programs, and community outreach.

» Season sponsorships » Production sponsorships » Education and outreach sponsorships » Artist, costume, and scenic sponsorships » Individual donations » In-kind donations » Guild volunteers

UPCOMING EVENTS Ballet Nebraska presents Momentum: Fosse Style! Oct. 20 and 22, 2017 The Nutcracker Gala Dec. 1, 2017 The Nutcracker Nov. 19, and Dec. 2 and 3, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Ballet Nebraska’s talented professional dancers hail from around the nation and abroad, making the Midwest their home to share the excitement of dance with others. Through the company’s expressive performing artists, acclaimed choreographers, and skilled teachers, Ballet Nebraska plays a key role in the cultural vitality of the region.

» Founded by visionary artistic director Erika Overturff » The Nutcracker attracts 7,000 mainstage viewers » Outreach programs attract an additional 7,500 students » Coming season highlights Broadway superstar Ann Reinking to stage a Bob Fosse medley for its fall Momentum » Spring performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream » Repertoire includes Swan Lake, Giselle, and Valse Fantaisie » Outreach tickets and learning opportunities for 1,000 underserved » Partnerships with 23 social service agencies » Collaborations with other leading organizations

Ballet Nebraska is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. » Become a season subscriber » Donate as an individual or corporation » Become a sponsor » Join the Ballet Nebraska Guild » Attend a performance » Partner with the company to bring dance to your audience » Follow Ballet Nebraska on social media for updates and news

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream May 5 and 6, 2018

BALLET NEBRASKA P.O. Box 6413 Omaha, NE 68106 402-541-6946 balletnebraska.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Bellevue Public Schools Foundation partners with the community to provide financial support otherwise not available to help enhance educational opportunities for the students and staff of the district.

» Donors of unrestricted funds are always at the top of the BPSF Wish List! » Gala sponsors for the BPS Foundation Purple Apple Gala » Auction items for the BPS Foundation Purple Apple Gala » Volunteers for the BPS Foundation Purple Apple Gala » Sponsors for the BPS Foundation Community Breakfast » Volunteers for the BPS Foundation Community Breakfast » Office Volunteers

UPCOMING EVENTS

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Bellevue Public Schools Foundation relies on contributions from the community, staff, alumni, and others to expand what is possible for Bellevue Public Schools. Earned income pieces like Kids’ Time beforeand-after-school daycare and the internal operations of the BPS Lied Activity Center help cover overhead expenses and currently offer the opportunity for 100 percent of donor dollars to directly fund programs and services.

Since January of 2016, the Bellevue Public Schools Foundation has awarded: » more than $55,000 in Classroom Innovation Grants » $24,000 in Student Scholarships » nearly $12,000 in National Academic Trip Assistance » nearly $3,000 to Operation Read Quiz Bowl Challenge » nearly $4,500 to Bellevue’s 8-12 Spring Choral Festival » more than $3,000 toward Bellevue Alumni Association assistance » more than $85,500 in a variety of student, teacher, district, and community supports

Thanks to sponsors, donors, and volunteers, Bellevue Public Schools Foundation is able to provide widespread support to Bellevue’s growing needs in education. A favorite win-win is being able to promote people and businesses as event sponsors— either for the Purple Apple Gala in the fall or the Community Breakfast in the spring. Other opportunities to show support throughout the year include the BPSF Annual Campaign, Giving Tuesday, and Omaha Gives.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 69 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

BPS Foundation Purple Apple Gala Oct. 26, 2017 BPS Foundation Community Breakfast April 19, 2018

BELLEVUE PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION 2820 Arboretum Drive Suite 603 Bellevue, NE 68005 402-293-4000 bellevuepublic schoolsfoundation.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Changing the way America cares for children, families and communities by providing and promoting an Integrated Continuum of Care® that instills Boys Town values to strengthen body, mind and spirit.

» Monetary donations » Trade Life aftercare program donations SM

» School supplies » Backpacks

UPCOMING EVENTS Boys Town National Hotline: Fine Wine and Hors D’oeuvres Fundraiser Oct. 12, 2017 Boys Town National Research Hospital®: Pure Inspiration Art Exhibit & Food-Wine Pairing Event Oct. 19, 2017 Community Event: Christmas Family Festival Dec. 9, 2017 Youth Athletic Program: Booster Banquet May 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Since 1917, Boys Town has given thousands of at-risk girls and boys the love, support and education they need to succeed. Every day, abused and neglected children and broken and struggling families find help at Boys Town. The care Boys Town provides is uniquely effective because it is driven by our unwavering belief that every child and every family has the potential to succeed, regardless of their circumstances. When Boys Town saves a child, the positive effects ripple through the community, contributing to greater progress for society as a whole.

» Boys Town is celebrating 100 years as a leader in child and family care. » In 2016, Boys Town served 508,817 children across the country. » Crisis Counselors at the Boys Town National Hotline® prevented more than 450 suicide attempts last year. » Boys Town programs and services touch the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide every year. » Boys Town conducts applied research that focuses on understanding the problems children and families face in today’s world and identifying the most effective ways to help them.

You can help a child break free from the cycle of abuse and neglect and enter adulthood prepared to succeed. Get involved and help spread the word—Boys Town kids are everywhere. They are teachers, parents, engineers, and artists. Given a second chance, they have triumphed. Now Boys Town needs your support to continue the amazing work our organization does every day—and has been doing for 100 years.

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BOYS TOWN 14100 Crawford St. Boys Town, NE 68010 402-498-1490 boystown.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

R

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The Center for Childhood Deafness, Language & Learning serves the mission by ensuring positive outcomes for children with hearing and communication-related challenges. The services are dedicated to helping children experience the sounds and sights of the world.

Donations specifically for the Center support: » Printing costs associated with preschool documentation for outreach and dissemination » Light tables for preschool classrooms » Flat screen monitors for therapy observation rooms » A new outdoor nature and art classroom » Translation fees for a new Spanish version of babyhearing.org » In-kind donations of auction items for Pure Inspiration Art Event

UPCOMING EVENTS

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

The Center for Childhood Deafness, Language & Learning at Boys Town National Research Hospital has served children who are deaf or hard of hearing, and their families, for more than 30 years. The Center’s staff provides medical care, conducts research, offers clinical services, administrates educational programs, and develops outreach programs. These services are shared with individuals worldwide through innovative state-of-the-art distance technology.

» Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) is the industry standard for training and rating sign language interpreters for educational settings. » Auditory Consultant Resource Network is an on-site and distance training resource on best educational classroom practices for children who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. » The preschool program for children ages 3-5 who are deaf and hard-of-hearing has been modeled across the country. » Researchers actively supported the implementation of universal newborn hearing screening for early identification of hearing loss, which is now mandated for newborns in the U.S.

Donations for general operations ensures that the level of specialized care, instruction, and technology required at the Center can continue for the children and families served. Become a member of the Friends of the CCDLL to provide support on an annual basis and receive regular updates from the Center. Attend Pure Inspiration and the Memorial Day Run to see the mission at work and get to know others who support the Center. By sponsoring these events, a company gains public recognition and opportunities for employee involvement.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 71 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

Pure Inspiration Art Exhibit & Food-Wine Pairing Oct. 19, 2017 Memorial Day Run May 28, 2018

CENTER FOR CHILDHOOD DEAFNESS, LANGUAGE & LEARNING 425 N. 30th St. Omaha, NE 68131 402-452-5000 boystownhospital.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To offer clinical trials to all cancer patients in Nebraska.

» Financial contributions » In-kind printing for a program brochure » Sponsors, donations, and auction items » Gas cards and hotel gift cards for patients » Participants for the annual sand volleyball tournament » Social media followers

UPCOMING EVENTS Screw Cancer July 2018 Blockout After Dark Co-ed Sand Volleyball Tournament July 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Cancer Alliance of Nebraska (CAN) collaborates with experienced physicians, hospitals, cancer clinics, and patients across Nebraska and provides breakthrough cancer treatment via clinical trials directly from the National Cancer Institute and pharmaceutical companies to cancer patients in the comfort of places they call home. The purpose of a clinical trial is to find ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. Through cancer clinical trials, our physicians continuously test new drugs and new drug combinations.

Cancer Alliance of Nebraska (CAN) was founded in 1993. The network of clinics and hospitals continues to expand. Through the successful collaboration of their research team and the support of physicians, clinics, and hospitals across Nebraska, CAN has, to date, administered 725 cancer clinical trials impacting over 8000 patients in Nebraska. When this research is shared—across the state and around the globe—we get closer to the cure even faster.

Help get closer to the cure! Make a donation, share CAN’s story in your newsletter, host the organization for a presentation at your next meeting, attend the annual fundraiser “Screw Cancer,” join the sand volleyball tournament, follow CAN on social media, and help spread the word about the organization’s important work. Every dollar stays in Nebraska to support cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials.

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CANCER ALLIANCE OF NEBRASKA 6818 Grover St., No. 301 Omaha, NE 68106 402-991-8070 canceralliance ofnebraska.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To improve the education of present and future students at Central High School.

» Become a member of Generation “C” » Join the Central High School Alumni Association » Silent auction items » Sponsors for the Golf Fore Eagles Golf Outing » Scholarship funding » Printing services

UPCOMING EVENTS Soar with the Eagles in the Sand Hills at Dismal River Club Sept. 17-19, 2017 CHS Hall of Fame Ceremony Oct. 5, 2017 Passing Periods Alumni Luncheon Oct. 6, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Central High School Foundation was established in 1996 to provide support for present and future CHS students to ensure that the tradition of excellence continues. Contributions of time, energy, and resources are essential to preserving and enhancing the timeless values of a Central High School education. CHSF supports the school through a variety of activities including alumni relations, fundraising, grant writing, student scholarships, capital projects, and teacher and classroom grants.

Central High School Foundation recently broke ground on a $22 million 50,000 square foot Arts and Library Addition for Central High School. The addition will house a new digital library, a 300seat black box theater, visual and performing arts, instrumental and vocal music and drama classes. The existing building space will be repurposed to meet the needs of a variety of educational programs, including Special Education and English Language Learners.

We are proud of the accomplishments that our students, staff and 35,000 alumni worldwide achieve every day. Your support helps make Central the finest downtown high school in the nation. With your support, the foundation can continue to honor the past, live successfully in the present, and plan for the future. To become a member of Generation C, the foundation’s annual giving campaign, or join the mailing list, please visit our website.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 73 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

Rock the Nest Trivia Night March 2018

CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL FOUNDATION 1823 Harney St. Ste. 203 Omaha, NE 68102 402-556-1996 chsfomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

BACKGROUND

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha provides tuition assistance scholarships so children from low-income families can access the private or parochial K-8 education of their choice.

» Scholarship funding

northeast Nebraska. A crucial piece of the CSF program is the commitment we make to our families, and the long term commitment we require from them in return. Provided a CSF family continues to be financially eligible, CSF provides scholarships to each student in a family every year until they graduate eighth grade. In return, each CSF family must contribute $500 toward their children’s education and their children must achieve a 90 percent attendance rate each year.

Children’s Scholarship Fund of Omaha (CSF) believes that all families, regardless of income, should be able to choose the best educational setting for their children. By providing low-income families with K-8 scholarships, CSF empowers parents to choose their children’s school during the time their educational foundation is being established. CSF awards scholarships solely on the basis of financial need, following guidelines similar to the National School Lunch Program. CSF is destination BRAG LINES neutral. Scholarship recipients attend approximately 80 different CSF is the only provider of K-8 schools throughout Omaha and scholarships in the state. For the 2017

UPCOMING EVENTS CHANCE Luncheon 2018 TBA

-18 school year, CSF has awarded nearly 1,800 scholarships totaling $2.7 million. Since 1999, relying solely on private donations, CSF has awarded over 33,000 scholarships totaling nearly $34 million dollars to families in the community.

PAY IT FORWARD While CSF is able to assist many families, the demand for scholarships outpaces CSF’s funding. For the 2017-18 school year nearly 500 scholarships went unfunded. If you or your company would like to provide scholarship funding, please contact the CSF office.

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CHILDREN’S SCHOLARSHIP FUND OF OMAHA 7101 Mercy Rd., Ste. 150 Omaha, NE 68106 402-819-4990 csfomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT The Human Rights and Relations Department has two major responsibilities for the City of Omaha: Civil Rights Investigations and Enforcement Support Services, and Economic Equity and Inclusion Program Administration. The department is responsible for the investigation, elimination, and prevention of all forms of prohibited discrimination in the areas of housing, employment, public accommodation, and contracting based on race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other form of discrimination prescribed by ordinance or resolution. Towards its goal of ensuring equal opportunity and equitable access to city contract opportunities for all citizens of the city, this department additionally oversees the operation of two appointed boards: the Human Rights and Relations Board and the Civil Rights Hearing Board, and one appointed council: the Economic Inclusion Council.

UPCOMING EVENTS Human Rights Day December 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 2018 Fair Housing Month April 2018

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OHRRD encourages businesses, organizations, association groups, and the like to contact the Department regarding any questions, concerns, or requests for participation and/ or interest in educational efforts. Everyone is protected in Housing, Employment, Public Accommodations and under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Training disclosing legal concerns, civil rights, housing, employment, and more is always available and is always offered free of charge.

The Investigative team at OHRRD investigates and/ or mediates charges of discrimination alleging a violation of the Omaha Municipal Code, Chapter 13- Article III, entitled: Civil Rights Anti-Discrimination. In addition, the team conducts intake screenings of persons wishing to file a charge, monitors settlement agreements, and assists on special projects as needed.

OHRRD collaborates with many organizations and businesses in the community. They can provide information about the rights of citizens, break down language barriers, subvert discriminatory disparities, and much more! Not only does the department host a wealth of services for the public, they often attend and support events with organized efforts and similar aspirations.

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OMAHA HUMAN RIGHTS AND RELATIONS DEPARTMENT 1819 Farnam St. Suite 502 Omaha, NE 68183 402-444-5055 humanrights. cityofomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Completely KIDS educates and empowers kids and families to create a safe, healthy,successful, and connected community.

» Backpacks » Pencils (No. 2) » Colored pencils » Boxes of tissues » Scissors » Erasers » Construction paper » Lined paper » Glue sticks/bottles of school glue » Board games » Puzzles » Sports equipment » Gift cards (grocery store or gas station) » Toiletries » Household cleaning products » Swimsuits/towels (new)

BACKGROUND Completely KIDS assists more than 2,000 children and families each year in overcoming barriers to their success. Research shows that growing up in poverty can have a significant impact on a child’s cognitive development, emotional well-being, and physical health. Completely KIDS has consistently seen the impacts of poverty on families and has developed program components that specifically address each area of need. Completely KIDS: » Provides a safe environment with caring adult mentors. » Teaches kids and families about healthy choices. » Provides hands-on learning opportunities to reinforce what is being taught in the classroom and help students achieve success.

» Strengthens families through classes and by connecting them to the resources they need. Our organization’s face is executive director Penny Parker. She leads a talented and highly educated staff, which includes alumni of Completely KIDS.

BRAG LINES Completely KIDS was the first Omaha nonprofit to provide afterschool services for children in homeless shelters and a weekend backpack food program. As a primarily school-based agency, we have many unique partnerships with area school administrators and other local agencies. Last year, we served more kids in our weekend and after-school food programs, enhanced services for families, and launched an employment program for teen alumni. Additionally, volunteers provided nearly 7,500 hours of

service. In-kind gifts, many of which provided budget relief, totaled nearly $228,800.

PAY IT FORWARD Completely KIDS offers many ways to get involved through time or financial contributions, including: » Reading Buddies/Centers » Weekend Food Program » Fundraising Drives There are always more kids and families in Omaha who need our help. We can’t do it without the backing of our donors and volunteers—people just like you. Please contact us to find out more information about giving opportunities.

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» Coats/hats/ gloves (new) » Volunteers

UPCOMING EVENTS Night in the Neighborhood Sept. 28, 2017 Author Luncheon April 11, 2018 Pinot, Pigs & Poets May 30, 2018

COMPLETELY KIDS 2566 St. Mary’s Ave. Omaha, NE 68105 402-397-5809 completelykids.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To eliminate the causes of poverty by strengthening individuals, families, and communities through self-sufficiency initiatives in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

» Household cleaning supplies » Work-ready clothes for men and women » Travel size toiletries » Greeting cards » Art for the lobby area » Garden tools and supplies » Calculators and notebooks » Pots, pans, and cooking utensils » New or used backpacks » Measuring cups » Mixing bowls » Soups » Canned nuts » Beans » Hot breakfast cereals » Hot cocoa mix » Low-sugar or sugar-free items

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Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership (ENCAP) first opened its doors in 1965 in the heart of North Omaha. ENCAP is one of more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies across the country charged with eliminating the causes and conditions of poverty. Serving both Douglas and Sarpy Counties, ENCAP offers critical services to those living in poverty by providing access to the education, resources, and tools they need to help themselves achieve a more stable future.

ENCAP: » Provides critical services in the areas of family development, food distribution, support for seniors, transportation, behavioral health, and youth empowerment. » Provided services to nearly 7,000 individuals and over 2,500 families last year. » Builds relationships with clients based on mutual respect and accountability. » Has the people they serve help lead their work. One-third of ENCAP’s board of directors must come from the lowincome community. » Has services that reach rural and urban communities in its twocounty service area.

» Give the gift of your time and volunteer. » Order screen-printed materials from the Mini-Pro’s Screen Printing Lab and help fund youth entrepreneurship. » Purchase a $20 food voucher. » Give $35 to pay for someone’s ride to work on an ENCAP bus. » Give $50-$100 to help keep a family’s electricity or heat running. » Donate garden seeds or plants for ENCAP’s community garden. » Like ENCAP Nebraska on Facebook.

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» Spaghetti sauce » Granola bars » Frozen food items » Peanut butter and jelly

EASTERN NEBRASKA COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP 2406 Fowler St. Omaha, NE 68111 402-453-5656 encapnebraska.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To improve quality of life and eliminate poverty by helping people achieve housing stability and financial security. They provide homelessness prevention, homebuyer education, foreclosure assistance, financial education, affordable mortgage lending, fair housing assistance, and volunteer income tax assistance.

» Gifts cards to provide foster care youth with the opportunity to purchase personal hygiene items » Toiletries to fill welcome baskets for new tenants » T-shirts for volunteer tax preparers to wear during tax season » Digital video recorder with microphone to develop training videos for volunteer tax preparers » Office supplies

UPCOMING EVENTS Please visit fhasinc.org for upcoming events: » Homebuyer Education Courses

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Family Housing Advisory Services helps families improve their housing, finances, and quality of life. Assisting about 10,000 individuals and families annually, FHAS offers a comprehensive menu of cohesive services to address poverty and provide tools for success. We educate homeowners, provide foreclosure prevention options, develop financially-wise consumers (including youth transitioning out of foster care), offer affordable mortgage lending options, eliminate housing discrimination, and reduce poverty through taxpayer access to tax credits.

In 2016, FHAS provided the following comprehensive services: » 105 families increased their assets through homeownership. » 547 individuals received financial education and coaching. » 835 families received rent and utility assistance. » Earned Income Tax Coalition volunteer tax preparers filed 5,237 tax returns. The Fair Housing Center investigated 378 cases of discrimination, negotiated 1,017 housing resolutions, assisted with 70 reasonable accommodations for the disabled, provided fair housing training to 1,399 individuals, and received $313,192 in relief.

$10/week provides: Financial education course workbooks for 34 participants. $5/week provides: An electronic platform of our menu of 500 additional financial services, screenings, and continuing education. $3/week provides: A family with rental counseling and affordable housing options. $2/week provides: Mortgage documentation review to help a family avoid foreclosure. $1/week provides: 260 copies of fair housing materials to non-English speakers in their primary language at the Fair Housing Center.

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» Financial Education Courses » Tenant Courses » Toastmasters Meetings » Volunteer Initiatives

FAMILY HOUSING ADVISORY SERVICES, INC. 2401 Lake St. Omaha, NE 68111 402-934-7921 fhasinc.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

Gesu Housing, Inc. Non-Profit Affordable Housing

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of Gesu Housing Inc. is to provide economical, energy-efficient housing to North Omaha families. Our hope is that building these homes will continue the efforts of other non-profit organizations that seek to stabilize and restore neighborhoods throughout the city.

» Financial donations can easily be made online on our website or Facebook

UPCOMING EVENTS Sandy’s Escape Reunion Featuring The Chevrons A Benefit for Gesu Housing Sept. 29, 2017 Help Build a House at Champions Run Golf Event July 30, 2018

Gesu Housing, Inc. • 5008½ Dodge Street, Suite B • Omaha, NE 68132-2920 Office Phone: 402.614.4776 • Fax: 402.614.4178 • www.gesuhousing.com

EQUAL HOUSING

OPPORTUNITY

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Since 2002, Gesu Housing, led by Brother Mike Wilmot, S.J., has built 47 Energy Star 3.0 Certified homes in the Clifton Hills South neighborhood of North Omaha The area is racially diverse and economically challenged. The goal of Gesu Housing is to address the issues of poverty and neighborhood decline in North Omaha by turning renters into first-time homebuyers with an affordable mortgage payment; as well as in-filling vacant lots with new three-bedroom homes.

Gesu Housing was given the 2016 Community Excellence Award from the State of Nebraska as well as from the City of Omaha.Studies have shown that the best way to stabilize a neighborhood is to provide families with quality, energy-efficient homes in a neighborhood that is racially and economically diverse. Removing vacant lots and blighted houses and replacing them with new homes impacts the stabilization of neighborhoods with permanent residents.

The need for our services is great— and we need your help to make sure we can continue to help worthy families within our communities. While other initiatives regarding community redevelopment and jobs are beginning to successfully take hold in North Omaha, affordable housing is the foundation without which other North Omaha economic recovery projects cannot succeed.

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GESU HOUSING, INC 5008 Dodge St., Suite B Omaha, NE 68132 402-614-4773 gesuhousing.com


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force is dedicated to increasing the number of lives saved from colon cancer through education, early detection, and prevention.

UPCOMING EVENTS Rhonda’s Team— Burpees for Time April 22, 2018 Rollin’ to Colon June 17, 2018 Boxer 500— A SHORT Run to FIGHT Colon Cancer August 2018 Monthly Meetings The Task Force meets the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 a.m. at the American Cancer Society, 9850 Nicholas St., Suite 200. All are welcome to attend. For more information, email the Task Force at coloncancertaskforce@ gmail.com.

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The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force was formed in 1999 to increase public awareness of colon cancer and the importance of early detection and prevention. Health organizations, businesses, colon cancer survivors, and volunteers throughout the community engaged in a comprehensive effort to get the community talking about colon cancer and to provide free colon cancer screenings.

In 2017 the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force: » Distributed over 1,083 free fecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening kits at 100 distribution sites in Douglas and Sarpy counties with a 44 percent return rate and 10 positive results, helping to potentially save lives from colon cancer. » Successfully launched the Leave Colon Cancer Behind campaign.

The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force, an all-volunteer nonprofit, is funded through grants, sponsorships, memorials, and direct contributions. The Task Force encourages others interested in assisting the organization to attend their monthly meetings or consider making a contribution.

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GREAT PLAINS COLON CANCER TASK FORCE P.O. Box 3434 Omaha, NE 68103 402-354-6333 coloncancertaskforce.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow) provides excellent and compassionate FREE grief support services as well as professional education and training so that no one has to walk their grief journey alone.

» Sturdy paper plates and bowls » Plastic cups » Trash bags (large) » Instant lemonade mix » Coffee and coffee creamer » Copy paper » Snack and entree preparation/provisions *Please call for details.

UPCOMING EVENTS Comfort Food Classic Oct. 1, 2017 Grief Awareness Conference Nov. 17, 2017 Remembrance Walk August 2018

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As the region’s cornerstone for grief support, Grief’s Journey (formerly Ted E. Bear Hollow) provides free peer support programs as well as training, education, and consultation in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, rural southeast Nebraska, and rural southwest Iowa. Research indicates that healthy coping leads to long-term successes for children, families, and communities. Our programs are designed to increase resilience and develop healthy coping skills in children, teens, and adults.

» Program participants report significant improvement in affect and behavior, increased hope, and perception of support and resilience. » We served 1,603 program participants in 2016. » All of our grief support programs are offered at no charge. » People can come as often as they like, and we provide food as well as transportation and language assistance.

Grief’s Journey does not receive any federal or state support. We rely on private donations, special events, and volunteerism. In 2016, we used more than 300 volunteers. 150 of them served as support group facilitators. Others helped with special events and prep for our programs. Please consider giving us a gift of your time or resources. You’re providing compassion and hope for grieving children and families when you make an in-kind or financial donation of any size. Memorials, honorariums, and sponsorships are fantastic opportunities to show support and leave a positive legacy.

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GRIEF’S JOURNEY 7811 Farnam Drive Omaha, NE 68114 402-502-2773 griefsjourney.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Heartland Family Service’s mission is to strengthen individuals and families in the community through education, counseling, and support services. They serve more than 35,000 people annually from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa.

» Casual and career clothing » New underwear and socks » Scarves, gloves, winter hats » Diapers, formula, baby items » Suitcases and duffle bags » Toiletries » Blankets » New pillows » Bottled water/ sport drinks » Non-perishable food » Single-serving snacks » Craft supplies » Bus passes » Gift cards » Tickets to events and activities

UPCOMING EVENTS Safe Haven Golf Tournament Sept. 22, 2017 SOS: Saving Our Sisters Oct. 28, 2017 Salute to Families Nov. 16, 2017

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Since 1875, Heartland Family Service has been creating the path to a better tomorrow for children and families. They continue that legacy today at more than 15 locations throughout eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa by providing essential services to individuals and families of all ages—from infants in their family works programs to seniors in our generations center— through the following program areas: Child and Family, Counseling and Prevention, and Housing and Financial Stability.

Eighty percent of clients have annual incomes of $20,000 or less. Heartland Family Service believes in, and practices, trauma informed care. They ask, “What has happened to you?” and not, “What is wrong with you?” to each and every client that walks through the doors. Their expert staff and licensed therapists work with individuals and their families to help break damaging intergenerational cycles in order to become more self-sufficient.

Help improve the lives of children and families through the gift of your time, in-kind donations, or financial support: » Join volunteer groups: To learn more about volunteering contact volunteer@ heartlandfamilyservice.org or 402.552.7418 » Purchase holiday gifts for the Adopt-a-Family program » Attend the monthly Good Works 101 Lunch and Learn sessions » Follow them on their social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn » Attend their annual events

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“Carnival of Love” Gala Feb. 10, 2018 Strike a Chord June 15, 2018

HEARTLAND FAMILY SERVICE 2101 S. 42nd St. Omaha, NE 68105 402-552-7400

heartlandfamilyservice.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

IARS mission is helping people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives by working with those in poverty, and with local and international partners, to create just and peaceful societies where the poor can exercise their rights.

» » » » » » »

Office supplies Cleaning supplies Toilet paper 13-gallon trash bags Canned goods and coffee First aid supplies Gift cards to local vendors, especially grocery stores » Postage stamps Women moving out of Fresh Start: » Gas vouchers » First aid supplies » Umbrellas » Gift cards to local vendors Services/inkind donations: » IT/printing services » Recycling bins and service » Volunteers

UPCOMING EVENTS Board of Directors Retreat September 2017

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The International American Relief Society (IARS) is a humanitarian, 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Eradicating poverty is one of the greatest global challenges facing the world. While the number of people living in extreme poverty has dropped by more than half since 1990, from 1.9 billion to 836 million, too many still struggle for the most basic human needs. Globally, those 836 million live on less than $1.25 per day.

IARS is passionate about participating in innovative efforts by helping vulnerable people, creating long-term solutions to ending poverty. They assist all refugees and immigrants in Nebraska with access to services and providers. They facilitate the resettlement of refugees and immigrants, helping them to become selfsufficient, productive members of the community. They provide programming towards self-reliance, including employment programs, social services, and transportation.

Volunteers for IARS make a big difference in people’s lives by helping people learn to manage money, keep healthy, and participate in community activities. » Tutoring refugees and immigrants in their homes or at the library » Providing transportation to and from work, appointments, and agencies » Translating and interpreting for people » Serving as a mentor » Assisting with IARS website » Contributing to the daily ins and out of the resettlement offices

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Fundraiser at Midwestern African Museum of Art Sept. 16, 2017 Financial literacy training for low-income families Oct. 20-26, 2017 Evaluation of our feasibility study in South Sudan and Republic of Benin NovemberDecember, 2017

IARS 1935 Q St., Suite 4 Lincoln, NE 68503 402-219-4414 iarsociety.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska welcomes immigrants into our community by providing free, highquality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.

» Monetary and in-kind donations » Language translations

UPCOMING EVENTS Food Truck World Tour Sept. 14, 2017

BACKGROUND The foundation of the nonprofit’s work is to provide immigration legal services in an inclusive and compassionate sense—welcoming and helping vulnerable immigrants who are often scared and confused by the U.S. legal system, and who cannot afford immigration legal assistance from the private bar. JFON-NE serves the most vulnerable immigrants who have the fewest resources: those living in extreme poverty; victims fleeing domestic violence; children who have been abused and abandoned; refugees; and asylees who would suffer from inhumane persecution if returned to their home country. Services are offered in Omaha,

» JFON-NE attorneys and staff protected immigrants’ career dreams and livelihoods by providing legal expertise and technical support in drafting LB BRAG LINES 947 (safeguarding professional licenses for work-authorized » The JFON-NE legal team immigrants), delivering worked on 2,726 cases in 2016 committed testimony, and for clients from 44 countries with issuing action alerts to make a 98 percent success rate. Clients Nebraska LB 947 law. received free professional services from 10 full-time, licensed PAY IT FORWARD attorneys and six legal staff. » The Nebraska site is contracted » Subscribe to our newsletter by National JFON to engage in » Follow us on Facebook & Twitter impact litigation surrounding » Sponsor and attend our Food immigration law and policy Truck World Tour fundraiser by working on cases that have » Donate the potential to correct and/or change immigration laws. Crete, Grand Island, Lexington, and South Sioux City in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in southwest Iowa.

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JUSTICE FOR OUR NEIGHBORS-NEBRASKA (JFON-NE) 2414 E St. Omaha, NE 68107 402-898-1349 jfon-ne.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Merrymakers improves the quality of life for seniors by encouraging active participation, increasing social interaction, and sparking memories through professional musical entertainment.

» Monetary donations of any size » Volunteers to serve on event planning committees

UPCOMING EVENTS Toast to Hal Daub Nov. 9, 2017 Omaha Gives! May 23, 2018 Songs & Suds TBA 2018

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The Merrymakers Association consists of 19 professional musicians who serve more than 50,000 seniors each year, traveling to 141 nursing homes, hospice houses, veteran homes and other senior communities each month. Merrymakers: » play music geared to the seniors’ age group, sparking fond memories » create a comfortable environment where expression is encouraged » provide an opportunity for socialization » offer a genuine personal connection » Executive Director Sandy Lemke is supported by an enthusiastic and dedicated board of directors, along with Friends Group president Sally Stalnaker.

Merrymakers consistently achieves a high level of success with its programs. Its results are quantified through annual surveys of partner facility activity directors. These surveys show that Merrymakers music: » improves quality of life, » decreases feelings of anxiety and/ or depression, » decreases feelings of loneliness and/or isolation, » gives an overall increase of enjoyment and happiness, » gives a chance to express feelings, and » gives an opportunity for social engagement.

Individuals can serve on event planning committees throughout the year or make monetary donations of any size. A contribution to Merrymakers is a meaningful way to support culture and socialization for senior citizens. Merrymakers has a waiting list of facilities who would like to receive our services. Merrymakers can’t achieve its mission without the support of donors and volunteers. Please contact them to find out more information about ways to help!

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MERRYMAKERS ASSOCIATION 12020 Shamrock Plaza Suite 200 Omaha, NE 68154 402-697-0205 merrymakers.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Greater Omaha Remodelers Association—NARI is committed to serving the remodeling industry by promoting ethical practices, providing educational opportunities, and encouraging networking.

» Monetary donations to skilledlabor.org, created to help the rising demands for highquality, skilled labor » Hire a NARI Contractor to advance the professionalism of the remodeling industry » Support local high school and college construction and remodeling programs

UPCOMING EVENTS 11th Annual NARI Remodeled Home Tour 12 p.m.-5 p.m. April 7 & 8, 2018

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NARI is committed to building a strong remodeling community. We are focused on educating consumers to make smart remodeling decisions. NARI members are more professional, ethical, trained, and skilled at delivering quality. » NARI enhances the professionalism of the remodeling industry and serves as an ally to homeowners. » NARI members must go through an application process and approval through the NARI Board of Directors. » The NARI professional remodeler pledges to uphold the association’s strict code of ethics and is dedicated to advocate professionalism and integrity.

» Each year NARI holds a remodeled home tour in the Omaha metro, where a portion of funds raised from ticket sales are donated to a local charity. » NARI is a preferred continuing education provider by the City of Omaha licensing requirements. » NARI completes a local community service project every year and has been a recipient of the NARI National Community Service Award for the past 5 years.

» In October 2016, NARI members gathered materials and volunteers to provide facility updates for the South Omaha Victory Boxing Club, as part of our commitment to give back. » The 2017 10th Annual NARI Remodeled Home Tour raised $500 in ticket sale donations for Make-A-Wish Nebraska. » Each year, NARI raises over $1000 in funds to provide a scholarship for a student or students entering the remodeling industry.

NARI 11204 Davenport St. Ste 201 Omaha, NE 68154 402-331-1718 omahanari.org SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 86 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Nebraska Children’s Home Society provides safe and loving care to children of all ages.

» Blankets » Diapers » Gift cards » Infant toys » Learning toys » New infant & toddler clothing » New youth clothing, underwear and socks » Pack ’n plays » Toddler toys

UPCOMING EVENTS Homegrown Oct. 13, 2017

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“I love how much they each genuinely care for my children. I appreciate all Nebraska Children’s Home In the words of those who know us... they do for my children daily. They Society (NCHS) is changing lives “The services, support, and love have a passion for children and it through child-centered, famiprovided at NCHS has truly been shows. They are unlike any center I’ve ly-focused programs. When you a blessing.” ever come in contact with.” support the Children’s Home, -Pregnancy Services Client -Infant and Preschool Parent women and teens facing the “This is a positive environment for the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy girls from all stages of life. It gives them PAY IT FORWARD have information and support in someone to talk to in times of trouble.” developing a plan for parenting or -Teen Chat Mother With a firm commitment to the adoption; abused and neglected “The education we have received about belief that a child’s needs must children find safety and permaadoption, especially open adoption, has come first, Nebraska Children’s nency in safe and loving homes; been life-changing.” Home engages in advocacy for parents overcome barriers and -Adoptive Parent vulnerable and at-risk children. All nurture their children’s growth ““NCHS has a wonderful program children deserve safe and loving and development; children begin and is a huge support before, during, care. The work of the Children’s school ready to learn; adoptive, and after placement! Thank you Home depends on the support and biological, and foster families for helping us expand our family generosity of people like you. are strengthened and supported; through adoption!” youth set and achieve educational -Adoptive Parent goals and become confident young “NCHS is the best! I don’t think I adults; and members of the adop- could handle the ups and downs, tion circle (adoptive parents, birth frustrations, and stressful times parents, and adopted persons) without the support of everyone who receive guidance, counseling, and works at NCHS.” support in their lifelong journey. -NCHS Foster Parent SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 87 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

National Adoption Awareness Month November 2017 Project Elf Holiday Gift Drive December 2017 125th Anniversary 2018 Celebration Year, with events June 9, 2018 (Omaha) and Aug. 11, 2018 (Kearney) National Foster Care Month May 2018

NEBRASKA CHILDREN’S HOME SOCIETY 4939 S. 118th St. Omaha, NE 68137 402-451-0787 nchs.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The Nebraska Humane Society protects, enriches, and saves the lives of animals in the communities we serve.

» Blankets » Towels » Canned cat food » Vienna sausages » Canned chicken » Canned Tuna » Soft dog treats » Kong Toys » Peanut Butter » Kitty Wand Toys

UPCOMING EVENTS Margre Durham Walk for the Animals Sept. 24, 2017 Purses 4 Paws Nov. 2, 2017

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The Nebraska Humane Society is a world class facility offering safety and care for animals in our community who need our help. NHS also provides animal control services to Omaha and all of Sarpy County, upholding the laws enacted for the protection of people and animals. As an open entry shelter, we don’t turn anyone away who needs a place to go. Ever. We provide education, encourage adoptions, and promote responsible pet care for our community.

In 2016 NHS: » Adopted out 11,093 pets » Spayed/neutered 6,635 cats and dogs » Performed 1,566 specialized surgeries » Fostered 1,989 pets in 344 foster homes » Provided free behavior help to 2,350 callers We also returned more than 3,100 pets to their owners, offered affordable training classes, low cost spaying and neutering, and a free pet food pantry; were a safe haven for animals of domestic violence, and provided pet safety and animal care presentations to schools.

NHS is a private nonprofit corporation. Animal Control is funded through the cities who contract for those services, but all shelter programs including rehabilitating and rehoming of animals are funded through private donations. Our volunteers donate time and talent to walk dogs, enrich cats, counsel for adoptions, help market pets, and foster those needing TLC in their homes! Your help becomes hope when you donate: » In honor or memory » Monthly » Planned giving » Corporate sponsorships Details at nehumanesociety.org

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Black Tie and Tails April 28, 2018

NEBRASKA HUMANE SOCIETY 8929 Fort St. Omaha, NE 68134 402-444-7800 nehumanesociety.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

For more than 60 years, NICF has played a decisive role in helping Nebraska’s independent colleges serve their students. NICF impacts more first-generation students, a more diverse student body (age, race, career goal), and more adults seeking new opportunities than any other Nebraska organization.

» Marketing consulting » Website design » IT equipment » Printing services » Event sponsors » Event volunteers

UPCOMING EVENTS NICF Donor Appreciation Event Dec. 7, 2017 15th Annual NICF/ O’Keefe Elevator Company Art Show April 2018 19th Annual NICF Golf Tournament July 30, 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Our colleges have a legacy of integrating a strong liberal arts curriculum with solid values, and graduating students prepared to work, live, serve, and lead in a world that offers complex challenges. NICF colleges are increasingly successful in attracting students from low-income and minority families—students who might otherwise be lost amid the rush of life. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college—the first to make a dream become a reality.

Return on investment. It’s an important consideration and one we don’t shy away from discussing. Independent colleges are among the state’s top 10 private employers. The statewide spending impact of independent colleges is approximately $1.42 billion each year. On average, independent colleges save Nebraska taxpayers more than $5,000 per student each year. That’s more than $100 million in annual savings. An investment in NICF is an investment in the state of Nebraska.

Investing in NICF helps secure the future for many students searching for a quality college education. For example: Bellevue University has nationally recognized alternative higher education programs. York College has a superb teacher education program. Union College is becoming very well known for its physician’s assistant study. And Hastings College has a strong heritage of quality education in liberal arts. These colleges, along with other independent colleges in Nebraska, offer a strong future for our students and our state.

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NEBRASKA INDEPENDENT COLLEGE FOUNDATION | NICF Nebraska Independent College Foundation | NICF 4940 S. 114th St., Ste. 5 Omaha, NE 68137-2310 nicfonline.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

NUIHC’s mission is to elevate the health status of urban Indians to its highest possible level.

» Monetary donations » Hygiene items » Food items » Socks » Slippers » Raffle prizes » 15-passenger van » Undergarments (male/ female various sizes)

UPCOMING EVENTS Empowerment 4 Life Native Youth Conference Nov. 10, 2017 Hoops 4 Life 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament Nov. 11, 2017 National HIV/AIDS Awareness Day March 16, 2018

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition (NUIHC) is a private, 501(c)(3) organization. They provide health care and services targeting the urban American Indian and Alaska Native population in the greater Omaha metropolitan area, LincolnLancaster metropolitan area, and Sioux City, Iowa. They have been serving the community since 1986. Although some services and programs are offered only to eligible tribal members, many programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or ability to pay.

NUIHC is very proud of their programs and services that include: Inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, transitional housing, Soaring Over Meth & Suicide Youth Program, Tired Moccasins Elders Program, transportation, and STI testing. They have an amazing board and staff. The communities they serve, and their funders, support them. They are grateful for the opportunity to serve.

There are many ways to help NUIHC and give back to the community. They accept not only financial gifts but the time of generous individuals. Share talents/expertise or volunteer with clients, elders, or at Wellbriety family nights or community outreach events.

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THE NEBRASKA URBAN INDIAN HEALTH COALITION 2240 Landon Court Omaha, NE 68102 402-346-0902 nuihc.com somsne.com


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, heal the hurting, and touch the lives of all those in need.

» Canned fruits and vegetables » Cleaning supplies » Diapers » Disinfectant cleaners » Hamburger » Hygiene supplies » Household goods » Laundry soap » MAT bus tickets » Monetary donations » Paper towels » Razors » Salt, pepper, and other seasonings » Socks and underwear » Toilet paper » Towels » Turkeys » Wash cloths » Household goods

UPCOMING EVENTS BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

New Visions Homeless Services was founded in 1995 in Council Bluffs as MOHM’S Place to provide meals to the hungry. In September 2008, the New Visions Complex in Council Bluffs was built. In 2012, New Visions Omaha Campus was built to address the specific needs of veterans that are experiencing homelessness. These services include 40 fully furnished apartments to street level veterans, transportation, daily meals, and access to on-site mental health and substance abuse therapists.

In 2016, New Visions provided 37,253 nights of shelter to 710 men; served over 90,000 meals to 2,400 hungry men, women, and children; provided 9,360 nights of housing to 32 chronically homeless men and women; and provided 14,600 nights of safe housing to 62 veterans that were experiencing homelessness on the streets of the Omaha metro. All New Visions services are related to addressing basic needs and helping to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in our community.

New Visions depends upon the community’s generosity and are grateful for all who pay it forward, and invest in those who are experiencing homelessness and hunger. People can partner with New Visions to provide over 90,000 meals a year to the hungry; hope to over 700 seeking a safe place of refuge from the harsh conditions of the streets; and a home to 94 men, women, and veterans who found safe housing in one of New Visions’ apartments.

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New Visions Community Wide Christmas Celebration Dec. 19, 2017

NEW VISIONS HOMELESS SERVICES 1435 N. 15th St. Council Bluffs, IA 51501 newvisions.cc


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

We accept from God the call to reach out to people with unmet needs, to nurture in them a conviction of God’s love that they may recognize their own gifts in and through their limitations and pain.

» Mini bus » Food staples » Toiletries » Office supplies » Craft materials » Fabric, thread and yarn

UPCOMING EVENTS NDH 20th Anniversary Celebration Sept. 21, 2017 Celebration of Spirit Dinner March 18, 2018

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

The Notre Dame Sisters are celebrating their 100th Anniversary in Omaha in 2017. As we continue to respond to the call of Christ, we commit ourselves to building a world Christian community of love and support for each person by meeting unmet needs. We work to educate, inform, enlighten, and advocate. We are teachers, nurses, chaplains, pastoral ministers, and spiritual directors. We care for and work with the ill, infirmed, minorities, marginalized, and those affected by poverty, violence, and social disadvantage.

Through our Safe Homes program, we provide start-up funds for people escaping domestic violence situations. Since 2009 this program has helped more than 700 individuals. We collaborate with area organizations through the Coalition on Human Trafficking, working to increase awareness and provide education and training. The coalition has trained more than 1,000 hotel/ motel workers in the Omaha metro on how to identify and respond to this crime. (notrafficking.org) Notre Dame Housing provides safe and affordable living for older adults. Residents are offered supportive services to improve their quality of life, allowing them to live independently and age in place. (ndhinc.org)

The Notre Dame Sisters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Sisters do not receive ongoing financial support from the Omaha Archdiocese. Your support helps them in their work of meeting unmet needs when you donate: » In honor or memory of loved ones » Monthly » Planned giving » Corporate sponsorships » In-kind

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NOTRE DAME SISTERS 3501 State St. Omaha, NE 68112 402-455-2994 notredamesisters.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To engage the imagination and create excitement about learning.

» Omaha Children’s Museum greatly appreciates donations that enhance and support our exhibits and programming throughout the year.

UPCOMING EVENTS Great Friends to Kids Luncheon Sept. 11, 2017 A Haunting at Hogwarts October 2017 Forever Forest exhibit Oct. 14, 2017-April 15, 2018 Santa’s Magic exhibit Nov. 24-Dec. 23, 2017 For The Kids Benefit May 5, 2018 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles exhibit May 26-Sept. 2, 2018

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

One of the great things about Omaha Children’s Museum is our ability to create change. Whether inside the museum walls or out in the community, we truly believe we can impact the youth in the metro area and beyond through fun and educational family programming that stimulates growth and development. Our talented and creative staff members combined with generous support from the Omaha community is what makes Omaha Children’s Museum a unique place to visit for young children.

In 2016, Omaha Children’s Museum had a record-breaking 40th year. There were 316,915 visitors in 2016, which was 10,000 more general visitors than the previous record set the year before. This makes us the most visited museum in Nebraska. The museum served nearly 800 summer campers and more than 17,000 students on field trips. In summer 2016, the museum began a three-year partnership with the Nebraska State Fair to bring an educational and fun exhibit to the fair each year. Our staff served as consultants for the Nebraska 150 Celebration’s Mobile Children’s Museum, which launched its sixmonth, statewide tour from the museum in April 2017.

What can you do to help? Come visit us! The best way to support Omaha Children’s Museum is by walking through our doors and seeing the many ways that children can learn through play. Other ways you can support the museum are through the purchase of an annual membership, volunteering your time, or making a financial contribution. You can also donate to the Welcome Fund, a donorfunded subsidized membership for families who otherwise could not afford to visit the museum.

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OMAHA CHILDREN’S MUSEUM 500 S. 20th St. Omaha, NE 68102 402-342-6164 ocm.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance (OHKA) is to improve children’s health through Healthy Homes.

» Green cleaning supplies » Buckets » Swiffer mops and cloths » LED lights » Paper towels » Carbon monoxide detectors » Gift cards for home improvement stores » New sheets for children’s beds » Rubber gloves

UPCOMING EVENTS “What’s Lead Got To Do With It?” luncheon fundraiser Oct. 23, 2017 Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Oct. 22-26, 2017

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

OHKA’s Healthy Homes program works to create a healthy home for every child. Their main goal is to bring awareness and education to families in the city about environmental hazards, green and healthy homes, and lead poisoning. They hope to create a local infrastructure to support safe and healthy housing, to measure cost savings in costs through proactive interventions, and to provide construction repairs for families. To learn more about lead, please visit the Omaha Lead Registry at omahalead.org.

OHKA Healthy Homes specialists conduct in-home assessments, including lead-risk assessments, lead dust clearance, and radon testing. They conduct allergen sampling; investigate mold, moisture, and gas levels; and measure energy efficiency. OHKA works with the city and a group of housing service providers to maximize resources. OHKA outreach efforts focus on the most disadvantaged populations in Omaha. Programs include the Asthma In-home Response (AIR), the Lead Education Action Program (LEAP), and Championing Healthy Energy Efficient Rehab (CHEER).

Donations are always welcome, and volunteers are needed to assist families or to be trained as Healthy Homes assistants. OHKA has an internship program for students interested in hands-on learning about healthy homes in Omaha. OHKA representatives can come to an event and speak. Anyone can host a “Healthy Home House Party” at home, where OHKA staff can speak about their work in the community and help raise funds for a specific family.

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OMAHA HEALTHY KIDS 5006 Underwood Ave. Omaha, NE 68132 402-934-9700 omahahealthykids.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of Omaha Home for Boys is to support and strengthen youth, young adults, and families through services that inspire and equip them to lead independent and productive lives.

» New or gently used furniture and household items

During his graduation address, Kyle remarked,

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Omaha Home for Boys.” BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

Founded in 1920, Omaha Home for Boys has served as a pillar of hope for at-risk youth across the state for more than nine decades. The lives of more than 300 young men and women are changed and saved every year through Omaha Home for Boys’ three core programs: Inspiration Hill Residential Care, Jacobs’ Place Transitional Living, and Branching Out Independent Living. Through education, behavioral support, employability classes, and basic life skills coaching, Omaha Home for Boys empowers young adults to transition from a state of crisis to one of safety and growth. As Omaha Home for Boys approaches its 100th anniversary in 2020, we will continue to evolve to meet the needs of children and families throughout the state.

Thanks to the commitment of supporters like you, the impact of Omaha Home for Boys is evident through the accomplishments of our youth. These youth come from a history of trauma and before working with Omaha Home for Boys, they lacked a stable support system, education, employment, and basic life skills. But look at them now! » Zack increased his reading level from that of an eighth grader to that of a high school senior. » Bethany secured a full-time job in her chosen career path. » Karina graduated high school and is applying for college. » Jasmine learned how to budget for groceries and comparison shop.

You can make a positive impact on the lives of youth in our community through your tax-deductible gift to OmahaHomeForBoys.org/donate. Your investment in the youth served by Omaha Home for Boys can also be made by attending or sponsoring one of our events or by including the Home in your planned giving. Youth Mart is a donation center housed on the Omaha Home for Boys’ campus that serves current and former foster care youth. Youth Mart collects and redistributes new and gently used household essentials, furniture, hygiene items, and clothing. Your donations are greatly appreciated by the more than 300 young men and women who shop free-ofcharge at Youth Mart every year.

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» Gift cards for clothes, shoes, backpacks, or school supplies » Ticket donations for youth to attend various sporting, music, or theater events in the community » Nonperishable household items, such as hygiene products, cleaning supplies, or kitchen wares » New mattresses » Household essentials, such as vacuums, bedding, and towels » Clothes for young adults ages 14 to 24 » Essentials for children ages newborn to 5

UPCOMING EVENTS Imagine Our Youth Fundraising Celebration featuring Ice-T Sept. 29, 2017 T.P. the Prez Dec. 4-8, 2017 2018 OHB Golf Classic June 6, 2018

OMAHA HOME FOR BOYS 4343 N. 52nd St. Omaha, NE 68104 402-457-7000 omahahomeforboys.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The Omaha Public Library Foundation raises funds and advocates for Omaha Public Library.

An unrestricted gift to the Omaha Public Library Foundation is the best way to demonstrate your support. The Omaha Public Library Foundation accepts cash donations, bequests, memorials, stock transfers, and planned gifts. For more information email foundation@ omahalibrary.org or call.

UPCOMING EVENTS Omaha Reads featuring “The Bones of Paradise” by Jonis Agee Sept. 1-30, 2017 Literature and Science with “Lab Girl” Author Hope Jahren at the Institute for Culinary Arts Sept. 19, 2017

BACKGROUND Since 1985, the Omaha Public Library Foundation (OPLF) has provided significant private funding totaling nearly $10 million for one purpose: enhancing Omaha Public Library. The Omaha Public Library Foundation believes a healthy and vibrant public library system contributes to the betterment of our community, aids in economic development, provides public gathering spaces, and creates a sense of community pride.

BRAG LINES Through the generosity of the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation and our more than 200 donors during Omaha Gives, the Omaha Public Library Foundation has purchased

the digital archives of the Omaha Star newspaper (1938-2011) for Omaha Public Library. Cultural history should not belong to only those who can afford online subscriptions. Purchasing the Omaha Star digital archives for Omaha Public Library is more than an act of preservation. It is an act of community sharing. The Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Omaha Star Digital Archives now belong to Omaha Public Library (and the public) forever. The possibilities for usage extend beyond genealogy, from teachers’ lesson plans, to community heritage events, and overall community enrichment.

PAY IT FORWARD As an organization wholly separate from Omaha Public Library and

the City of Omaha, OPLF seeks private support for improvements and enhancements which cannot be provided through local government funding. Designations are always welcome, but a gift given wherever most needed provides Omaha Public Library the flexibility to respond to critical needs or special opportunities that arise. OPLF provides funds for remarkable programs and projects thanks to general or unrestricted donations. Giving categories include: » Childhood literacy, programming, and services » Teen literacy, programming, and services » Adult literacy, programming, and services » Technology » Community outreach » Summer Reading Program » Genealogy

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1877 Society hosts Animus: Film vs. Book at Aksarben Cinema featuring “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Oct. 19, 2017

OMAHA PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION 215 S. 15th St. Omaha, NE 68102 402-444-4589

omahalibraryfoundation.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Omaha Public Schools Foundation enriches students’ lives by funding learning experiences that inspire hope, open doors, and help students to achieve their dreams.

Funding for OPS Capital Campaigns: » Bryan High Urban Ag Career Academy » Benson High Career Academies » South High addition for the visual and performing arts » Burke High stadium renovations and facilities upgrade » District career center » North High stadium Funding for Programs: » Early childhood education programs » Kids Club » Classroom field trips » Student transportation Grants and Scholarships: » Teacher classroom grants » Educator scholarships » Super 13 scholarships » Honors and memorials

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

Governed by a board of directors and fostering broad-based community support, Omaha Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) is dedicated to funding the development of innovative curriculum, scholarships, teacher recognition awards, Early Childhood Education Programming, and Kids Club, a before and after school program for OPS students. As a 501(c) 3 organization, all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law and go directly to the intended program, project, or scholarship. No administrative fees are deducted from any donation.

Our mission is defined by the needs of the students and their families. The district enrolls 52,000 students from various ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. The majority of graduates go on to college or technical schools. In 2016-2017, OPSF awarded over $149,000 in grants in support of the students. The foundation operates Kids Club, a before and after school program offered in 42 elementary schools throughout the district. This service is offered to parents at a nominal fee and revenue goes to administrative costs and program maintenance as well as funding special projects. “Stepping Up” is an annual study

and ranking of K-12 education foundations. OPSF has ranked in the top five in the nation three years in a row, coming in at No. 2 most recently.

PAY IT FORWARD Donations can be made by contacting Toba Cohen-Dunning, executive director, at 531-299-9600, and also through their website.

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OMAHA PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOUNDATION 3215 Cuming St. Omaha, NE 68131 531-299-9600 OPSFpossible.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

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Open Door Mission is a Gospel rescue mission that meets the basic needs of individuals and families while inspiring HOPE for lasting change.

» Board games » Men’s socks and underwear » Hair dryers and curling irons » Make-up sets » Canned vegetables » Canned fruit » Instant potatoes » Canned meat » Boxed meals

UPCOMING EVENTS Auction & Dinner Sept. 28, 2017 Ladle of Love Oct. 22, 2017

BACKGROUND Open Door Mission is a Gospel rescue mission that meets the basic needs of individuals and families while inspiring HOPE for lasting change. Our desire is to be a bridge for people trying to reclaim the basic necessities of life, restore their God-given dignity and hope, and rejoin the community as full and active participants. Candace L. Gregory, president/CEO, is a national advocate for the homeless. She uses her extensive experience in community prevention programs to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. She longs to build a bridge of hope to others and

develop innovative ways to make it happen through partnerships and collaborations.

PAY IT FORWARD

From September through November, Open Door Mission BRAG LINES expects to provide more than 209,300 hot, nutritious meals to Each day, Open Door Mission’s the Heartland’s hungry—and an campus offers 816 safe shelter beds additional 71,300 in December. to homeless men, women, and We invite you, your family, children, serves over 2,300 hot, church, or business to get on board nutritious meals, and provides to help supply canned vegetables, preventative measures to hundreds canned fruit, instant potatoes, of people living in poverty. Every canned meat, and boxed meals so month, Open Door Mission partners we can stock our warehouse for with an average of 1,185 volunteers the holidays and winter months. logging over 6,000 volunteer hours, To help provide food, shelter, and making a vital difference right here care for the homeless and povertyin their community. Please visit our stricken in our community, please website and click on the volunteer visit our website. button to see how you can have a lifechanging volunteer experience today. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 98 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM

OPEN DOOR MISSION 2828 N. 23rd St. East Omaha, NE 68110 402-422-1111 opendoormission.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To positively impact everyone who is blind or visually impaired.

There are many ways to get involved with Outlook Nebraska: » Purchase our blindmade products » Support us: outlooknebraska.org/ donations » Sponsor Tee It Up Fore Sight or Vision Beyond Sight » Schedule a tour » Become a Vision Ambassador: Help us spread the word about our mission and raise awareness » Attend an Empowerment Lunch

UPCOMING EVENTS BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

Outlook Nebraska empowers anyone in the community facing vision loss to gain confidence in their capabilities and achieve their life goals. Through employment, adaptive technology training, recreational opportunities, and cultural opportunities designed specifically for the visually impaired, Outlook Nebraska strives to enhance the lives of our blind neighbors. Using a workforce that includes nearly 70 percent of employees who are legally blind, Outlook Nebraska produces and sells janitorial paper products.

There are many ways to get involved with Outlook Nebraska: » Purchase our blind-made products » Support us: outlooknebraska. org/donations » Sponsor our events that include Tee It Up Fore Sight » Schedule a tour » Help us spread the word about our mission and raise awareness » Attend an Empowerment Event

You can help the 15,000 individuals in the Omaha area who are visually impaired by sharing the word about our programs and providing financial support. Contribute to our enrichment programs fund to support services that help the blind learn to use computers and smartphones, experience live theater performances with audio description, participate in sporting and recreational activities, enjoy learning how to draw and create pottery, and so much more.

Outlook Nebraska Public Open House Oct. 13, 2017 Tee It Up Fore Sight Annual Golf Tournament Summer 2018

OUTLOOK NEBRASKA 4125 S. 72nd St. Omaha, NE 68127 402-614-3331 outlooknebraska.org SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 99 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Parkinson’s Nebraska, formerly Parkinson’s Health Development (PHD), aims to be Nebraska’s primary resource for information, education and outreach. To achieve this goal, Parkinson’s Nebraska embraces collaboration to organize events, promote awareness and raise funds for local Parkinson’s services and research.

» Referrals—Please help get the word out! Parkinson’s Nebraska is here to help patients and caregivers alike. » Charitable donations, or financial tributes to those affected by Parkinson’s disease » Like Parkinson’s Nebraska on Facebook (facebook.com/ parkinsonsnebraska/) and follow them on Twitter (@ ParkinsonsNE) » Volunteers for events and office help » Intern to assist with tech support and administrative tasks

UPCOMING EVENTS Walk the Park for Parkinson’s Sept. 10, 2017

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

Parkinson’s Nebraska is dedicated to responding to the changing needs of Nebraska’s Parkinson’s community. What began with one courageous woman’s goal of increasing access to specialized exercise classes for people with Parkinson’s in Omaha has evolved into the broader vision of empowering individuals with Parkinson’s and strengthening a community statewide. Parkinson’s Nebraska remains “By the people, for the people,” as all board members have a personal connection with the cause. Parkinson’s Nebraska: A journey shared.

Parkinson’s Nebraska relies on research and the generosity of donors to respond to local needs. Because exercise is essential for symptom management, Parkinson’s Nebraska has always worked to increase accessible options, and is proud to sponsor a record 600 classes in 2017. Also this year, Parkinson’s Nebraska has piloted two new programs (an art, and an exercise/speech therapy class), and has donated specialized equipment to YMCA of Greater Omaha and Douglas County Health Center.

Parkinson’s Nebraska is truly driven by the unwavering spirit of the local Parkinson’s community. Just as each person’s journey with Parkinson’s is unique, Parkinson’s Nebraska thrives because of the variety of contributions it receives from volunteers, local talent, and generous donors. Parkinson’s Nebraska is a small agency working hard to meet the needs of a big state with an exceptionally large Parkinson’s population. The need is great, and any and all help is much appreciated!

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Giving Tuesday (Home Instead Senior Care Foundation) Nov. 28, 2017 UNMC’s Skate-a-Thon for Parkinson’s Jan. 26-27, 2018 Omaha Gives May 23, 2018

PARKINSON’S NEBRASKA 16811 Burdette St., Suite 1 Omaha, NE 68116 402-715-4707 parkinsonsnebraska.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Project Hope exists to provide food and clothing to people in need. In response to God’s grace, they minister to people with a spirit of hope, love, encouragement, compassion, respect, and teamwork.

» Food donations: canned protein, canned fruit and vegetables, canned pasta, cereal, and pancake mix. » Personal care items: shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, bar soap, deodorant, and body lotion. » Diapers: sizes 4, 5, and 6, and Pull-Ups » Volunteers: One-time or ongoing opportunities are available. » Monetary donations

UPCOMING EVENTS Omaha Gives! May 2018

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

Project Hope has been helping people in the Omaha metro area for nearly 35 years. They work to help individuals and households, with low income and no income, through some of the toughest moments in their lives. They are designed to help people with their emergency needs in times of food and clothing insecurity. Project Hope is generously supported by donations from individuals and businesses in the area.

Project Hope truly helps with emergency situations — 53 percent of their clients are seen one time. Project Hope assists with baby care needs: providing diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, and personal care products. Project Hope offers pantry services at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church once a month. Project Hope is opening a second location at Rejoice! Lutheran Church on 138th & West Center Road in September. Project Hope is a proud partner with the Dean Fricke Food Pantry. Project Hope offers dairy products and frozen meat with their pantries, including gallons of milk.

Project Hope is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit and appreciates individual and business donations. Other ways to support Project Hope include: volunteering, donating food and personal care items, praying for our programs and clients. Follow us on Facebook.

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PROJECT HOPE 6201 N. 60th St. Omaha, NE 68104 402-453-7649 projecthopeomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Omaha is to create and operate programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children.

» On-the-go snack items » Box meals » Paper towels » Cleaning supplies » Batteries » 13-watt CFL light bulbs » Heavy duty serving utensils » Gift cards » Toiletries » Adult and youth winter coats » 30-gallon trash bags » Laundry detergent » Non-latex disposable gloves » Disinfecting wipes » Crib sheets

UPCOMING EVENTS BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

RMHC in Omaha provides a home away from home for families who travel to Omaha for their child’s medical care. Their House includes warm beds, hot meals, private bathrooms, free laundry facilities, a large kitchen, a playroom, and a built-in support system where families are able to lean on and comfort each other as they face their biggest challenges. They also partner with OneWorld Community Health Centers to sponsor the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile—a mobile dental clinic providing services to area school children in need of dental care.

» In 2016, 166 families from around the country stayed at Ronald McDonald House for a total of more than 6,600 lodging nights. » During the 2016-17 school year, the Care Mobile visited 22 area schools and provided dental care for 886 children. » This May, Mustaches for Kids Omaha (m4komaha.com) raised a record $443,286 for RMHC in Omaha. » They received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, an award only handed out to a percentage of the most fiscally responsible nonprofits in the country.

RMHC in Omaha would not be able to do what they do without the support of more than 2,600 volunteers each year. Here are some of the ways you can join in their mission: » General volunteering around Ronald McDonald House » Volunteering at signature events » Participating in the Meals That Heal program to make dinner for the families Ronald McDonald House also accepts pop tab donations yearround. The funds from recycling those aluminum tabs help to offset the cost of their utility bills.

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Wings and Wheels Sept. 8, 2017 Kids and Clays Sporting Clays Tournament Oct. 21 and 22, 2017 RMHC in Omaha Golf Tournament May 2018

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES IN OMAHA 620 S. 38th Ave. Omaha, NE 68105 402-346-9377 rmhcomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

» Gift cards for groceries and gas » Cleaning products » New school supplies (K-12) » Board games » Non-perishable food » Summer fans » Bottled water

UPCOMING EVENTS Tree of Lights Kickoff Nov. 10, 2017 Adopt A Family Radiothon Nov. 30 & Dec. 1, 2017 D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon May 8, 2018

BACKGROUND

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PAY IT FORWARD

The Salvation Army is a faith based nonprofit organization that provides social services and meets human needs without discrimination. The Omaha Salvation Army serves an average of 100,000 people annually through seven social service initiatives: food, housing, youth development, material assistance, older adult and behavioral health services, and anti-human trafficking.

For 129 years, The Salvation Army has offered programs for the most vulnerable in our community. In Omaha, 87 cents of every donated dollar is spent on program services. Recently a community resource center, the Burrows Center, opened in the Benson neighborhood, and a new social services facililty at 36th and Cuming streets will officially open Fall 2017. Last year, more than 28,300 volunteers donated 86,840 hours of time through bell ringing and other volunteer opportunities.

We have many volunteer opportunities through our various programs and services. To learn more about volunteering, contact Kay at 402-898-6000. The Salvation Army encourages donations of new school supplies, backpacks, non-perishable food, summer fans and bottled water. Donations are always appreciated and accepted year-round. Donate online at salarmyomaha.org

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THE SALVATION ARMY Western Divisional Headquarters 10755 Burt St. Omaha, NE 68114 402-898-7700 salarmyomaha.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To support child-specific research that will lead to life-saving, modern treatments for all types of childhood cancer, paving the road to a cure.

» Corporate partnerships » Monetary donations » Volunteers » Program ambassadors » Silent auction items » Services donations for events » Thoughts prayers

UPCOMING EVENTS Sammy’s Night at Granite City Sept. 7, 2017 Glow Gold Rally Sept. 10, 2017 Glow Gold Honors Night Sept. 30, 2017 Brian & Lisa Duensing Gala Nov. 17, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Sammy’s Superheroes was founded after then 4-year-old Sammy was diagnosed with cancer and wasn’t responding to protocol treatment. The family dealt with much fear and stress looking for clinical trials, and didn’t want any other families to go through such a horrible ordeal. They started Sammy’s Superheroes to help fund research and to seek out innovative programs that will make a difference for kids with cancer of any type, all over the world.

Sammy’s Superheroes has given away over $300,000 to research. For 2017, the organization will be giving away $130,000 to projects that show promise. Sammy’s has pledged $400,000 to Dr. Sue Cohn’s Pediatric Cancer Data Commons project that will allow researchers from all over the world to share research in the hopes to find a cure. Along with research, Sammy’s has outreach and resource programs to comfort families in the hardest times of their lives.

Giving to Sammy’s Superheroes Foundation means giving thousands of sick kids a chance to not only beat cancer, but also have a more normal post-treatment life. A majority of the treatments that kids with cancer are subjected to were developed as far back as the 1950s and were designed for adults. Sammy’s Superheroes not only wants a cure, but treatments that won’t affect the development of these little fighters.

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SAMMY’S SUPERHEROES FOUNDATION 14465 Sprague Court Suite 204 Omaha, NE 68116 402-560-1578 sammyssuperheroes.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To provide long term residential treatment to women with co-occurring disorders, to empower them to live productively drug and alcohol free.

» Feminine hygiene products » Razors » Cleaning products » Deodorant » Clothing/Shoes

UPCOMING EVENTS Fundraiser April 2018 Omaha Gives! May 2018

BACKGROUND Santa Monica provides a holistic treatment experience that utilizes proven practices to improve women’s mental, physical, and spiritual health. We use multiple therapeutic strategies to improve our clients’ cognitive behavioral patterns and to address their physical and psychological traumas. We help women develop a sense of personal accountability with structured programming that focuses on practical life skills, 12-step participation, and employment. Santa Monica’s halfway house program can last from six to nine months; the length of stay for each woman is individualized based on her needs

and her progress in treatment. And our step down level of care, the three-fourths-way house, provides supported transition back into the community through a three-to-six-month transitional living opportunity.

PAY IT FORWARD

Santa Monica has provided quality service to the community for 45 years. This was possible in part due to the generosity of the community through donations. Support is BRAG LINES important now more than ever due to the strain on funding Santa Monica is accredited by CARF sources in the state. There are for residential treatment of alcohol several ways to lend a helping and other drugs. Santa Monica hand to Santa Monica, whether expanded services in 2016 to it is monetary, clothing, toiletries include not only the halfway house or in kind service, we welcome program at our newly renovated your support. location, 401 S. 39th St., but also our three-fourths-way house at 130 N. 39th St. This will allow women a step down process to help them transition into the community.

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SANTA MONICA HOUSE 401 S. 39th St. Omaha, NE 68131 402-558-7088 santamonicahouse.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

To connect underserved youth with opportunities and resources to be successful students and active individuals.

» New/lightly used school supplies » New/lightly used winter accessories » Cases of bottled water » Pre-packaged snacks (granola bars, animal crackers, Chex Mix, cookies, chips, etc.) » Monetary donations

UPCOMING EVENTS SAVE Basketball Tournament Nov. 10-12, 2017 SAVE Basketball Tournament Feb. 23-25, 2018 Graduation event May 2018

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

The SAVE Program was created in 2009 to address the needs of underserved youth in the Omahametro area through academic and extra-curricular activity support. Unlike any other organization, the SAVE Program brings over 150 students in third-eighth grades onto university campuses, implementing an effective mentoring program in the lives of its participants through partnerships with Creighton University’s Intercultural Center and the multicultural affairs departments of the University of NebraskaOmaha and Bellevue University.

Adding three schools during the 2016-2017 school year, the SAVE Program more than doubled its enrollment and now serves over 150 students from five schools in the Omaha-metro area. On average, students participating in an outof-school program experience a 0.5 GPA increase and a 64 percent decrease in unexcused absences. SAVE participants not only complete homework, but develop mentor relationships with college students and envision themselves on a college campus in the future.

Join the SAVE Program in providing positive opportunities for youth in the Omaha-metro area. Whether making a donation of time, school supplies, or money, the SAVE Program invites others to observe an Academic Mentoring Program session during the 2017-2018 school year to see their mission in action. Together, we will work to create a supportive environment for maximum learning, both in school and the community.

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STUDENTS ACTIVITIES VALUES EDUCATION INC. 6304 S. 23rd St. Omaha, NE 68107 402-339-1291 saveprogram.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Saving Grace’s mission is to connect perishable food from local food purveyors to local nonprofits that feed our hungry, while raising awareness and educating the community on food waste and hunger.

Our greatest need is monetary support to help us rescue even more perishable food to feed the hungry. Make a recurring or one-time donation online or send a check to Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue, 4611 S. 96th St., Suite 112, Omaha, NE 68127. » A $50 donation provides healthy meals for 250 hungry neighbors. » A $100 donation pays for two months of routine truck maintenance. » A $500 donation pays for one month’s fuel for one refrigerated truck. » A donation of any amount makes a difference.

UPCOMING EVENTS

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

One in seven people in Douglas County struggle with food insecurity, while food is the largest contributor to landfill waste. Saving Grace partners with restaurants, event venues, grocery stores, caterers, and other food purveyors to donate their excess food. Professional drivers/ food handlers pick up the food and deliver it—free of charge— to senior centers, shelters, food pantries, children’s centers, and other nonprofits. Saving Grace also educates the public about ways to reduce food waste.

» Since October 2013, Saving Grace has rescued more than 1.6 million pounds of food to feed the hungry. » In 2016, Saving Grace redistributed 608,893 pounds of food: 44 percent produce, 33 percent grains, 11 percent meats, 11 percent dairy, and 1 percent other. » Saving Grace received the Business Excellence Award for Innovation from the Greater Omaha Chamber in 2016. » The number of regular food donors now totals 36, and Saving Grace serves 25 nonprofit agencies.

» Make a financial contribution: Support Saving Grace’s work to feed the hungry with excess perishable food that would otherwise go to waste. » Stay informed: Sign up on the organization’s website to receive emails from Saving Grace and follow them on social media. » Support Saving Grace while you shop: TAGG purchases at participating businesses, and use Amazon Smile. » Join Saving Grace’s grassroots effort: Reduce food waste at home and in the community.

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Food for Thought: A Rescued Food Experience Fall 2017 Winter 2018 Exhibitor at Food Day Omaha Sept. 30, 2017

SAVING GRACE PERISHABLE FOOD RESCUE 4611 S. 96th St. Suite 112 Omaha, NE 68127 402-215-6718 savinggrace foodrescue.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Senior Dreams Foundation’s mission is to provide financial assistance, goods, equipment, and services to seniors in need. Senior Dreams foundation is committed to assisting these senior citizens in maintaining dignity, enhancing the enjoyment and improving the quality and comfort of their lives.

» Cash gifts » Gifts of stock » Naming Senior Dreams Foundation as a recipient of memorial gifts » Including Senior Dreams Foundation in wills and trusts » Adding Senior Dreams Foundation as a life insurance beneficiary » A Charitable Remainder trust » A Charitable Lead trust » Gifts using qualified retirement plans » In-kind contributions

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

Senior Dreams Foundation raises money as a nonprofit to help seniors age 55 and up with their specific needs.

Senior Dreams Foundation donated a security system for a senior veteran living in Kansas City who had been robbed twice. They have helped with various items like walkers, wheelchairs, and rent, and donated to veterans organizations.

Anyone can give to the Senior Dreams Foundation: For instance, people who are aging in their senior years, adult children, corporate giving and anyone who wishes to leave a lasting impression on the lives of seniors.

SENIOR DREAMS FOUNDATION 11506 Nicholas St. Suite 100 Omaha, NE 68154 402-493-2800 seniordreams foundation.com

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of the Servants of Mary is to manifest God’s compassionate presence in the spirit of Mary.

Monetary gifts to fund: » Sisters’ Retirements » Holiday/Feast Day/ Jubilee Celebrations » Building Maintenance/ Repair (including new phone system by end of 2017, roof repair and air conditioning repair for the Chapel) » Motherhouse Grounds management » Durable Medical Supplies » Comfort Items

UPCOMING EVENTS Servant Leader Award and Dinner Sept. 14, 2017

BACKGROUND

prayers and support programs for those affected by cancer Background: The U.S./Jamaica and other serious illness either Community of the Servants as a patient or care-giver. of Mary, established 125 years » Created the Servite Center ago, has its Motherhouse of Compassion (2006) to (headquarters) at Our Lady of offer programs focused Sorrows Convent in Omaha. The on spirituality and faith leadership team is responsible development, wellness and for overseeing the spiritual, healing, women and families. community, and ministerial » Created Grief Work, (2013) needs of the Sisters, Associates, a national bereavement and the community. ministry, to offer spiritual support and healing comfort, BRAG LINES provide resources and training programs to support ministries » Helped establish Holy Name of consolation both locally and School 100 years ago across the U.S. » Founders and Sponsors of » Board members for the Marian High School (1955) establishment and continued » Created the St. Peregrine leadership for the Coalition on Ministry (1992) to offer Human Trafficking (2015)

PAY IT FORWARD The Servants of Mary are celebrating 125 years in the U.S. starting in January 2018. Over our 125 years, our ministries have been varied in nature to help ensure that we are reaching a wide range of people in our communities that need our assistance. Teaching, school administration, food banks, counselling, hospital staff, and education on human trafficking issues are some of the ways we have reached people in our communities across the country, along with our ever-present ministry of prayer. Your generous gift ensures that the Sisters continue advancing their ministries.

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Year of Celebration for our 125th anniversary in the U.S. » 125 Days of Prayer Beginning first quarter 2018 » Celebration of Mass with Archbishop George Lucas August 2018 Host site for International assembly Summer 2018

SERVANTS OF MARY 7400 Military Ave. Omaha, NE 68134 402-571-2547 osms.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

BACKGROUND The Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter, with six facilities at 17th & Nicholas Streets, is the region’s largest provider of emergency housing for women, youth, infants, and single men. The Siena/Francis House is a community-based, non-denominational, 501 (c)(3), charitable organization, and is not affiliated with any national or “parent” organization.

»

» »

BRAG LINES » The Siena/Francis House has two model emergency shelter facilities which provide safe, clean, and secure housing for its guests. » It is the case that—each and every day and evening of the year—the Siena/Francis House serves more meals and provide more nights of shelter to our

»

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

The mission of the Siena/Francis House is directed toward a concern and care of the poor following the example of the scriptures. This mission is realized in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and clothing the needy. This mission extends beyond merely answering physical needs to the acceptance and affirmation of the human person, the creation of an atmosphere of hospitality, and the provision of purpose and meaning in the lives of people who struggle for survival. It is also the mission of the Siena/ Francis House to call the greater Omaha community to a social consciousness and to enlist help and support in the care of the homeless and the indigent.

» Canned fruits » Canned vegetables » Cold-weather clothing (used) » Individually wrapped, pre-packaged food items (for sack lunches) » Toilet paper » Powdered laundry detergent » Cooking oil » Tennis shoes (for men, all sizes) » Tennis shoes (for women, sizes 5 to 8) » Salad dressing (all flavors) » Razors (for men and women) » Shaving cream » Bar soap » Disinfectant cleaners (e.g. Pine Sol) » Styrofoam cups » Paper towels » “Zip-Lock” bags (all sizes) » Silverware (used) » Pain relievers » Hair brushes » Socks (for men) » Underwear for men and teens (sizes 28, 30 and 32) » Underwear for women (sizes 5 and 6) » Work boots (for men)

community’s homeless men, women, and children than any other homeless shelter in the Omaha metropolitan area. The Siena/Francis House operates Nebraska’s largest residential mental health/ chemical addictions treatment program, administered by licensed professionals. The Siena/Francis House has a 110-person employment training program. The Siena/Francis House’s Rehousing and Reintegration Services program is administered by licensed mental health and addictions specialists. The Siena/Francis House’s Rehousing and Reintegration Services team helps over 200 families and individuals each month with veterans benefits, Social Security assistance, education assistance, domestic violence matters, child care, family reunification,

transportation, and obtaining identification. » The Siena/Francis House has developed a vast network of suppliers who donate the food to enable us to provide over 420,000 meals in 2107.

PAY IT FORWARD The Siena/Francis House provides basic human services of emergency shelter, food, and clothing at no cost to the homeless families and individuals needing our services. As such, we rely primarily on the generosity of the community for operational expenses. Having sufficient supplies is crucial. For example, each month we need 2,600 rolls of toilet paper and enough soap for 5,760 loads of laundry.

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SIENA/FRANCIS HOUSE HOMELESS SHELTER 1702 Nicholas St. Omaha, NE 68102 402-341-1821 sienafrancis.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Stephen Center partners with the community, families and individuals to overcome homelessness, addiction and poverty.

» Bottled water » Pillows/blankets (gently used or new) » Razors (shaving) » Deodorant » Toothpaste/ toothbrushes » Toilet paper » Paper towels » Volunteers » Monetary donations

UPCOMING EVENTS Gobble 4 Good Turkey Drive Nov. 1, 2017 Cruise Away 2018 Fundraiser March 2018 Fireworks Stand June 25-July 4

BACKGROUND Stephen Center has served homeless and low-income individuals in Omaha since 1984. The organization was founded by Sharon and Dick McNeil, who recognized a distinct need to assist those living in poverty in south Omaha. In partnership with the McNeil family, the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Omaha’s Holy Ghost Church purchased a 103 year old building on Q Street for $10,000. From those humble beginnings in a rundown former pool hall and bar, Stephen Center has grown to include a multi-facility campus designed to

support vulnerable men, women and children as they seek to overcome homelessness, addiction and poverty.

BRAG LINES Stephen Center is the only substance-free homeless shelter in the metro, providing a safe environment for individuals and families. Meals available three times per day/seven days a week. Clients meet with a case manager within 72 hours of arrival to define barriers and set goals. The center runs a background check on all residents who request shelter. Residents shop at NO COST at our thrift

store, located at 24th and Q streets. Stephen Center is grateful to receive over 33,000 volunteer hours annually. Administrative costs are 7.5 percent of operating budget.

Golf & Give August 2018

PAY IT FORWARD Whether it’s serving meals, working the front desk, or even lending marketing talents to the agency, Stephen Center can always use more help and volunteers. They believe that together we can end homelessness, addiction, and poverty one parent, one child, one person at a time. Like Stephen Center on Facebook to stay in the loop on all the ways to help.

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STEPHEN CENTER, INC. 2723 Q St. Omaha, NE 68107 402-715-5471 stephencenter.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

TANGIER

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Tangier Shriners are a brotherhood committed to family, engaged in personal growth, and dedicated to providing care for needy children and families. They come from diverse backgrounds and interests but share values and a desire to have fun, do good, and build relationships.

» Participate in the Walk for Love 5K to support Shriners Hospital for Children. Register at lovetotherescue.org/ walk-for-love » Support the Feztival of Trees by donating a decorated tree with gifts or attending. Each tree and its gifts will be raffled off at the end of the Feztival. Call the office for more information. » Donate to Tangier Shrine Transportation Fund » Join the Shriners! Call the office or visit beashrinernow.com

UPCOMING EVENTS Spaghetti Dinner Sept. 10, 2017 Walk for LoveTM Oct. 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

Tangier Shriners is an organization with over 2,000 members. Many Shriners activities are designed to involve family members, promote shared values, and help develop the next generation of community and business leaders. The Tangier Transportation Fund, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, provides transportation, lodging, and meals at no charge to the patients and their families traveling to one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

The Shriners date back to the 1870’s. Tangier Shrine was founded in 1889, and has been in its present location since 1973. It is one of nearly 200 Shrine Centers in the United States and several foreign countries. Shriners Hospitals for Children was founded in 1922 with the goal of providing expert medical care for children with no financial burden to the patients or their families. Today, this philanthropy has grown to a network of 22 hospitals for children treating orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal injuries and cleft lip and palate. Additionally, the hospitals help educate medical professionals and conduct research to help develop better medical treatments.

At Tangier, about 90 volunteer Roadrunners help transport (via ground or air) patients and families to their hospitals. Tangier currently serves nearly 300 patients. Tangier Shriners are a highlight of many parades in Nebraska and Iowa. The beautiful banquet halls in the Shriners building are available for rent.

Feztival of Trees Nov. 19-25, 2017 Tangier Shrine Circus Feb.15-18, 2018 Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner March 17, 2018

PAY IT FORWARD There are various ways you can support Tangier’s work: » Provide a monetary donation via the website » Attend the Spaghetti Feed » Attend the Feztival of Trees » Ask a Shriner how to be a Shriner and learn how to help achieve Tangier’s goals.

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TANGIER SHRINE CENTER 2823 S. 84th St. Omaha, NE 68124 402-392-0404 tangiershrine.com


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

So that cancer survivors and their caregivers may create their best lives, we provide support, education and empowerment.

» Volunteers to work as an administrative assistant, intern, mentor, or speaker. » Support, or volunteers, for fundraisers, special events, and community outreaches.

Research results show ATTH cancer support programs: Increase Hope

» Medical professional volunteers to facilitate or speak at programs.

Increase Resilience

UPCOMING EVENTS Increase Happiness

Increase Quality of Life

Decrease Depression

Visit our website to see current schedules/locations for these programs: » 12-Week Holistic Wellness Recovery Program

Decrease Anxiety

» Brain Fog Program » A Time to Heal 2 » The Art of Living with Cancer Conference

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

A Time to Heal offers recovery programs for cancer survivors and family caregivers, helping them regain physical and psychological strength. » The programs support people who have finished cancer treatment, whose cancer has re-occurred, or who have chronic or metastatic cancer. » A Time to Heal helps cancer patients rebuild health, boost hope, and manage stress and fear. » Sessions enhance nutrition, exercise, relationships, and emotional strength. This model empowers participants to make choices that enable them to live well.

» Psychologist Dr. Stephanie Koraleski and Dr. Kay Ryan, a nurse/cancer survivor, developed A Time to Heal in 2005. They committed to help survivors regain their health and create their best lives possible after cancer. » The organization offers the area’s only metastatic cancer and brain fog programs. » A Time to Heal has provided over 45,000 hours of free education and support to cancer survivors and caregivers. » A Time to Heal supports caregivers as well as cancer survivors.

» $10 funds a CD for a Spanish-speaking survivor » $60 funds 1 week of a 12-week program for 1 participant » $120 funds supplies for 1 participant » $500 underwrites an annual conference speaker » $800 funds an 8-week brain fog program » $1,500 provides supplies for a class » $2,400 funds a metastatic support group for a year » $7,500 funds a 12-week wellness program

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A TIME TO HEAL 6001 Dodge St. Suite 219C Omaha, NE 68182 402-401-6083 atth.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

BACKGROUND

MISSION STATEMENT

WISH LIST

Our mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured, or killed during combat operations. The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically.

» Monetary donations

» Family Programs that give wounded veterans a chance to Wounded Warriors Family Support heal and reconnect with their is an Omaha-based nonprofit loved ones in a peaceful, stresswhose mission is to improve the free environment, strengthening quality of life for the families of our the bonds of their families and combat wounded. Our organization making lasting memories. supports combat-wounded veterans » Veterans Training, in partnership and their families, even after with UAW-Ford, to give military physical needs are met, to help veterans opportunities to train for them heal, recover, and reconnect. and pursue careers in welding. Wounded Warriors Family Support » Mobility is Freedom, a program provides the following services, that provides grants to qualified locally and nationally, free of charge combat-wounded veterans for the to combat-wounded veterans and purchase of Ford vehicles adapted their families: to suit their unique needs. » Caregiver Respite Services to ensure that family members BRAG LINES who are thrust into caregiver roles are provided with the Wounded Warriors Family Support support they need to keep their has earned CharityNavigator.org’s families intact while keeping highest four-star rating. Serving themselves healthy. combat-wounded veterans in

Nebraska and across the country, Wounded Warriors Family Support has blossomed into a national organization from humble beginnings as a simple pass-the-hat campaign benefitting U.S. soldiers at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, the first stop for wounded military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan before returning home.

PAY IT FORWARD There are many ways you can help Wounded Warriors Family Support positively impact the families of combat-wounded soldiers in Nebraska and across the nation, including donating to our organization, hosting an event benefitting our cause, or becoming a volunteer and contributing your unique skills to our mission.

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WOUNDED WARRIORS FAMILY SUPPORT 920 S. 107th Ave, Ste. 250 Omaha, NE 68114 402.991.0857 woundedwarriors familysupport.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | THE BIG GIVE

MISSION STATEMENT To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.

BACKGROUND

BRAG LINES

PAY IT FORWARD

The Y is so much more than a gym. It’s a cause, dedicated to youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. The Y works side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.

» Youth Development In 2016, nearly 28,000 metro Omaha children were directly impacted by the Y’s early learning centers, swim lessons, youth sports, STEM programs, before and after school programs, summer day camps, and kindergarten readiness classes. » Healthy Living Our nine health and wellness facilities close the exercise gap by supporting all people seeking a greater well-being, making healthy living accessible and affordable. In 2016, 93,191 Omaha area adults and children made 1.4 million visits to our wellness facilities. » Social Responsibility The YMCA of Greater Omaha provided $1.7 million in financial assistance in 2016, impacting the lives of 18,460 individuals in the metro Omaha area.

The success of the Y is due to a passionate group of volunteers. YMCA volunteers include board members, coaches, readers, mentors, and campaigners. Support from donors and volunteers strengthen our impact in the community and changes lives throughout the Omaha metro area. To learn more about how you can make an impact, reach out to Cara Wiese, cwiese@metroymca.org.

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YMCA OF GREATER OMAHA 430 S. 20th St. Omaha, NE 68102 402-977-4357 metroymca.org


OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION


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OMAHA MAGAZINE | SECTION

At Methodist, our patients know the power of a multidisciplinary team of specialists bonding together to achieve a common goal: beating cancer. Combine that with the support of family, and you have a powerful force—a team committed to your health today and continually advancing cancer care for future generations. bestcare.org

©2017 Methodist Health System

ARE YOU READY

FOR FALL? Counseling Services for All Ages Medication Management Substance Abuse Services EMDR Therapy GeneSight Testing

ccaomaha.com . 402.932.2296 444 Regency ParkwayDrive #104 Omaha, NE 68114

Koca Chiropractic can get you on the right track to keep your energy up and experience life to the fullest.

THE FIRST STEP IS TO MAKE HEALTH YOUR #1 PRIORITY 11420 Blondo St, Ste. 102 402.496.4570 www.YourFamilysChiropractor.com SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 118 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


A N E W LO CA L WAY t o t i c ke t yo u r eve n t

Local Stubs offers full-service ticketing for nonprofits’ events. > Secure > Local Support & Service > Extensive Customer Management Tools > Easy Set Up For Events Included with your online Local Stubs portal, your event will receive a marketing partnership in Omaha Magazine, B2B Magazine, Encounter, Physicians Bulletin, Omaha Magazine’s Family Guide and on Omaha Magazine’s website and social media. Local Stubs has local support, call or email Josh today to set up a meeting Joshua@omahapublications.com

402-884-2027

>Localstubs.com

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SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 119 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | GIVING

AKSARBEN 2 017

CORONATION & SCHOLARSHIP BALL

T

HE AKSARBEN CORONATION and Scholarship Ball is one of Omaha’s premier events. The ball recognizes families who

make significant contributions to our community. Pictured here are the pages, all second and third-grade students, who were selected based on their parents’ volunteer involvement throughout the metro.

The ball is a fundraising event for two Aksarben Foundation scholarships: the long-standing Aksarben/Horatio Alger State Scholarship and the new Aksarben/Horatio Alger Career Scholarship in partnership with Aksarben, Avenue Scholars, and Metro Community College. The 121st Aksarben Coronation and Scholarship Ball will be held Oct. 28 at Baxter Arena.

Jonathan M itchell A lloway

A melia M ae A rnold

son of Jennifer and Mitch Alloway

daughter of Tara and Dr. Ryan Arnold

Blaire K ay Christensen

L auren H annah C opple

daughter of Stefanie and Erik Christensen

daughter of Traci and Dr. Bradley Copple

O wen M atthew Fogarty

Parker L athrop Gibson

son of Suzie and Bennett Fogarty

son of Brady and Ryan Gibson

C ole Thompson Barrall

Lucas M ichael Boyer

son of Cindy and Matt Barrall

E mily E lizabeth Boyd

daughter of Sara and Matt Boyd

Grace Olivia Demulling

Charles Blake Dencklau

A rianna Simone Detisch

daughter of Aimee and Trent Demulling

Augusta P eterson H arr

daughter of Jennifer and Sen. Burke Harr

son of Holly and Mike Boyer

L ayla K ay Burmood

daughter of Karen and Brent Burmood

M eyer David Feinstein

Jolie Claire H efflinger

daughter of Hillary Nather-Detisch and John Detisch

daughter of Hillary Nather-Detisch and John Detisch

L eo Smithberger H arr

A ddison Vernelle H awkins

C olin M ichael Monson H awkins

daughter of Amy and Kenneth Hawkins Jr.

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daughter of Kelly and Kevin Buscher

H elena C orinne Detisch

son of Tiffany and Corey Dencklau

son of Sarah and Brian Harr

E lizabeth A nn Buscher

son of Kayla and Christopher Hawkins

son of Jessie and Jamie Feinstein

daughter of Kim and Joseph Hefflinger


M arley James H elvey daughter of Sarah and Dr. Jason Helvey

C onor A ndrew L angan

Robert C asey Hockney son of Julie and Robert Hockney

K endall McK ay L auritzen

A nna C assidy Jetter

daughter of Cassie and Matthew Jetter

Santino L orenzo L erda

son of Elizabeth and Tim Langan

daughter of Emily and Clark Lauritzen

son of Shannon and Emiliano Lerda

Lucille E lizabeth McDevitt

Audrey Isabelle M eyerson

M addux James Mosser

daughter of Gina and Michael McDevitt

D ylan A rthur Pogge son of Erin and Joseph Pogge

Paige E lizabeth Stalnaker

daughter Debra and John Stalnaker

daughter of Jamie and Troy Meyerson

A nne E lizabeth R eed daughter of Torey and John Reed

Brody Thomas Sudbeck son of Rebecca and Rory Sudbeck

John M arshall K elley

Thomas John K lemke

M allory A nn L iakos

William John L indsay

son of Kara and Thomas Kelley

daughter of Trisha and Andrew Liakos

son of Shelli and John Klemke

son of Amy and Steve Lindsay

K athleen C atherine Muhs

Avery K athryn Nogg

Clayton M axwell Ruback

James Eugene Russell

Giselle Grace Schneider

Violet Sophia Sumner

Evan M atthew Wahl

A ndrew Douglas Webb, Jr .

son of Samantha and Mitchell Mosser

son of Teresa and Andrew Ruback

daughter of Patsy and Dave Sumner

daughter of Regan and Gary Muhs

son of Lisa and Gregory Russell

son of Drs. Samantha and Andrew Wahl

daughter of Kelly and Jeff Nogg

daughter of Heather and Bryan Schneider

son of Laurie and Andrew Webb

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 121 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

Parker James H enderson Kosse

E mery C atherine K roeger

son of Amy Henderson and Jeff Kosse

daughter of Wendi and Scott Kroeger

Sullivan Thomas L ivingston

Sloan L eona M ackintosh

son of Sarah and Joshua Livingston

Charlotte M adeleine Oberto

daughter of Christie and Gustavo Oberto

Troy M ason Shefsky

daughter of Regan and Mike Mackintosh

H arrison Jack Ochsner

son of Bethany and William Ochsner

James Todd Smith

son of Jessica and Andrew Shefsky

son of Carmen and Todd Smith

David L ee Welch, Jr .

L eyla Spethman Z ier

son of Anna Lee and David Welch

daughter of Peggy and Larry Zier


OMAHA MAGAZINE | GIVING PROFILE STORY BY J.D. AVANT // PHOTOGRAPHY BY SARAH LEMKE // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

LENZEL KHAYES-BROWN A PROUD AVENUE SCHOLAR

HONESTLY, WITHOUT THE AVENUE SCHOLARS I DON’T KNOW WHERE I WOULD BE TODAY, MY FAMILY DOESN’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY, AND WE DON’T LIKE TO OWE ANYONE. I WANTED TO GO TO COLLEGE, BUT THE AMOUNT OF DEBT I WAS FACING SCARED ME.”

AT 20 YEARS old, Lenzel Khayes-Brown

sees a bright future ahead of him. An Omaha native who can claim former residences across the metro from North Omaha to Bellevue, his goal was to attend college straight out of high school. Fortunately, he was introduced to the Avenue Scholars Foundation. He credits the program’s college and career support for providing him with a clear path towards his future.

Lenzel was required to attend an Avenue Scholars class daily, while maintaining a course of study that would lead to on-time graduation. He participated in activities related to his preferred career, part-time job coaching, and dedicated summer activities. By his 2015 senior year, Lenzel had identified his desired career path as a welder and was provided help completing his FAFSA and application to Metro.

“Honestly, without the Avenue Scholars I don’t know where I would be today,” Lenzel says. “My family doesn’t have a lot of money, and we don’t like to owe anyone. I wanted to go to college, but the amount of debt I was facing scared me. Going through the Avenue Scholars Program played a big role in helping me to realize my goals.”

Transitioning from high school to college was an easy process thanks to the Career Talent Advisors and College Success Navigators provided to him by Avenue Scholars. Throughout his time in the program, Lenzel has come to appreciate the many partnerships the foundation has acquired to assist students in reaching their goals.

Lenzel was fortunate to be one of the first recipients of the Aksarben/Horatio Alger Career Scholarship. Established in 2015, it rewards recipients with $8,000 over two years funded by the Aksarben Foundation and Metro Community College. It starts with Avenue Scholars classes for high school junior and seniors, then provides low-income families like Lenzel’s with beneficial scholarships in career and technical education. He says the Avenue Scholars were there to help him every step of the way.

“I’ve seen single mothers receive donated cars from the Avenue Scholars’ partnership with Chariots for Hope,” Lenzel says. “I’ve heard that they provide housing and additional financial aid for students. They even helped me find a great job at Aldi’s. I’m proud to be one of five out of 11 students from my class to be on course to graduate from the program in 2018.”

“I found out about the program during a presentation my sophomore year at Bryan Senior High,” Lenzel says. “I signed up, and starting my junior year the Avenue Scholars Program became part of my daily routine. Because of the program, I kept my GPA up and just took school a bit more serious.”

Lenzel now balances his options for post-graduation. He’s considering a technical-trade degree in welding that would allow him to teach, or he may pursue an altogether different degree (social work). Either way, he appreciates the guidance and support the program has provided. Proud to call himself an Avenue Scholar, Lenzel is grateful for the program’s help in forging his future.   Visit avescholars.org for more information.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 123 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


GIVING

CALENDAR SEPTEMBER / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

Oct. 5

MARCH OF DIMES’ SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION 2017 Embassy Suites-La Vista

signaturechefs.marchofdimes.org

Local chefs will prepare culinary delights to raise money for research, education, and prevention of birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality. Eat and support a good cause while participating in the Live Auction and Fund the Mission at Embassy Suites-La Vista on Oct. 5 (5-9:30 p.m.). Sept. 7 (5-9 p.m.)

Sept. 8 (7-9:30 p.m.)

Sept. 9 (9-10:30 a.m.)

Sept. 15-17 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Benefiting: The First Responders Foundation Location: Omaha Design Center

Benefiting: Ronald McDonald House Charities Omaha Location: Signature Flight Support

Benefiting: Siena/Francis House Location: Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Benefiting: Lauritzen Gardens Location: Lauritzen Gardens

FOURTH ANNUAL 9/11 MEMORIAL BENEFIT

—firstrespondersomaha.org/ event/4th-annual-911-memorial-benefit

WINGS & WHEELS

—rmhcomaha.org/fundraising-events/ wings-wheels

23RD ANNUAL SIENA/FRANCIS HOUSE 5K WALK/RUN

—siennafrancis.org

Sept. 9 (6-9 p.m.)

DESTINO DINNER 2017

Location: Baxter Arena Benefiting: Latino Center of the Midlands —501auctions.com/destino

Sept. 10 (8 a.m.)

FIGHT FOR AIR CORPORATE CUP Benefiting: American Lung Association Location: Aksarben Village —action.lung.org

Sept. 10 (noon-4 p.m.)

OUT OF THE DARKNESS WALK Sept. 7 (5-9 p.m.)

Sept. 9 (5-9 p.m.)

Benefiting: Habitat for Humanity Location: Stinson Park at Aksarben Village

Benefiting: Autism Action Partnership Location: La Vista Conference Center

11TH ANNUAL BREW HAHA

—habitatomaha.org/brewhaha

VINTAGE AFFAIRE GALA

—autismaction.org/events/ vintage-affaire-gala

Benefiting: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Location: Lewis & Clark Landing —afsp.donordrive.com

Sept. 10 (1-5 p.m.)

TASTE OF FLORENCE

Benefiting: Senior Health Foundation Location: Florence Home Healthcare

LAURITZEN GARDENS ANTIQUE & GARDEN SHOW —omahaantiqueshow.org

Sept. 15 (5:30-9 p.m.)

ZOOFARI 2017: NIGHT OF THE TIGER

Benefiting: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Location: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium —omahazoofoundation.org

Sept. 22 (6-9 p.m.)

OPEN SPACE SOIREE 2017 Benefiting: KANEKO Location: KANEKO —thekaneko.org

Sept. 22 (6-9 p.m.)

HALFWAY TO ST. PATRICK’S DAY Benefiting: Project Harmony Location: Champion’s Run —projectharmony.com

Sept. 22 (6-9 p.m.)

30TH BIRTHDAY GALA

Benefiting: Voices for Children Nebraska Location: Omaha Design Center —voicesforchildren.com

—tasteofflorence.net

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 124 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | GIVING CALENDAR Sept. 15-24

OMAHA RESTAURANT WEEK

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Benefiting: Food Bank for the Heartland Location: varies Sept. 28 (5:30-9 p.m.)

NIGHT IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: CELEBRATING 10 YEARS

2016 Winner

Benefiting: Completely KIDS Location: Founders One Nine —completelykids.org/events

Sept. 28 (5-8:30 p.m.)

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR ANNUAL AUCTION & DINNER

A+ Rating 20 Consecutive Years

8 Consecutive Years

402.399.9233 | www.sparklingklean.com

Benefiting: Open Door Mission Location: Embassy Suites Conference Center —opendoormission.org/news-and-events

Sept. 29 (6:15-9:30 p.m.)

IMAGINE OUR YOUTH FUNDRAISING CELEBRATION Benefiting: Omaha Home for Boys Location: Embassy Suites La Vista —omahahomeforboys.org

A member of

WELCOMES DR. KRISTEN STEIER JOHNSON! Graduated from St. Wenceslaus Grade School, Marian High School and Creighton University Professional interest include:

● Comprehensive eye exams for the entire family

● Treatment of eye diseases such as glaucoma and dry eye ● Pre & Post-operative care for Cataract & LASIK patients

Sept. 30 (6-10 p.m.)

BLACK TIE HARVEST FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

Benefiting: Iowa Western Student Scholarships Location: Iowa Western Kanesville Arena

402.330.3000

—foundation.iwcc.edu/blacktie

Sept. 30 (6-9 p.m.)

NEBRASKA ATAXIA ENGAGEMENT PARTY Benefiting: Nebraska Ataxia Location: Creighton Preparatory School

146th & West Center Road | OmahaEyeCare.com Dr. Marsha Kubica, Dr. Corey Langford & Dr. Kristen Johnson

—nebraskaataxia.org/events

Oct. 1 (4-7 p.m.)

1120 FORT CROOK ROAD, BELLEVUE, NE 68005

BLUES & BARBECUE HARVEST PARTY

Benefiting: No More Empty Pots and Florence Mill Location: Florence Mill —nmepomaha.org

Oct. 5 (5-9:30 p.m.)

SIGNATURE CHEFS AUCTION

Benefiting: March of Dimes Location: Embassy Suites La Vista —signaturechefs.org/omaha

Oct. 6 (7-10 p.m.)

HOPS & GRAPES FALL FESTIVAL, A SPECIAL BENEFIT FOR PARTNERSHIP 4 KIDS Benefiting: Partnership 4 Kids Location: Founders One-Nine —p4k.org

50 YEARS STILL THE BEST IN SHOW Since 1967

800.756.7344 | 402.292.1455 | APACHECAMPER.COM LOCATIONS ALSO IN LINCOLN & KEARNEY

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 125 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | GIVING CALENDAR Oct. 8 (7-10 a.m.)

KOMEN NEBRASKA RACE FOR THE CURE Benefiting: Susan G. Komen Great Plains Location: Baxter Arena —komengreatplains.org

Oct. 10 (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.)

CHANGEMAKERS 2017

Benefiting: Nebraska Children and Families Foundation Location: Embassy Suites La Vista —nebraskachildren.org

Now Offering Grooming! Mention this ad for deals

Oct. 13 (5-9 p.m.)

HOMEGROWN

Benefiting: Nebraska Children’s Home Society Location: Nebraska Brewing Co. Taproom —nchs.org

Oct. 14 (3-8 p.m.)

Boarding • Daycare • Grooming 13706 C St. Omaha, NE 68144 402.933.4007 BarkAvenueOmaha.com

HEALS TO THE PAVEMENT FOR PREGNANCY AND INFANT LOSS Benefiting: HEALing Embrace Location: Lake Zorinsky —healingembrace.org

Oct. 13 (6:30-11 p.m.)

LEGACY GALA 2017

Benefiting: Women on a Mission for Change Location: DC Centre —womenonamissionomaha.org/legacy-gala

Oct. 19 (6-9:30 p.m.)

44TH WOMAN OF THE YEAR GALA, HONORING MELISSA MARVIN Benefiting: Arthritis Foundation Nebraska Location: Omaha Marriott —arthritis.org/nebraska

Oct. 21 (10 a.m.-noon)

QUARTER MANIA

OUR LADY OF LOURDES

CHURCH 2100 South 32 nd Ave. Omaha, NE 68105

Benefiting: Open Door Mission Location: Garland Thompson Men’s Center —opendoormission.org/news-and-events

Oct. 21 and 22 (8 a.m.-3 p.m.)

KIDS AND CLAYS SPORTING CLAYS TOURNAMENT Benefiting: Ronald McDonald House Charities Location: Oak Creek Sporting Club —rmhcomaha.org/clays

Oct. 22 (11 a.m.-2 p.m.)

LADLE OF LOVE OUR LADY OF LOURDES ANNUAL FALL FESTIVAL

Sunday, September 24th from 12:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Silent auction, raffle, live music all day including Polka Joy and The George Heaston Experience, beer gardens, Stoysich sausages, tacquitos & enchiladas, games, rides, and much more.

DON’T MISS THIS TRADITIONAL OMAHA FESTIVAL – IT’S FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

Benefiting: Open Door Mission Location: Garland Thompson Men’s Center —opendoormission.org/news-and-events

Oct. 27 (5:30-9:30 p.m.)

BENEFIT ART AUCTION

Benefiting: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts Location: Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts —bemiscenter.org/benefit

Oct. 28 (6-9 p.m.)

AKSARBEN CORONATION AND SCHOLARSHIP BALL Benefiting: Aksarben Foundation Location: Baxter Arena —aksarben.org

Oct. 28 (7-11 p.m.)

MASQUERADE AT THE CASTLE Benefiting: Joslyn Castle Trust Location: Joslyn Castle —joslyncastle.com

Event times and details may change. Check with venue or event organizer to confirm. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 126 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


SOLID DATA

NEW

REAL LIFE STORIES

The Landscape is a new resource that reveals how we are faring in the most essential areas of life. Solid data is paired with stories from local residents to reveal an insightful view of the Omaha-Council Bluffs area. While some of us are doing well, others are struggling. How does it all add up?

Dig into the data: TheLandscapeOmaha.org

PLEASE JOIN US!

September 29, 2017 5:30 - 9 p.m. • Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista A fundraising celebration in support of the youth, young adults and families served by

Reserve your tickets now!

Keynote Speaker

Ice-T Orphaned at a young age, Ice-T became involved in Los Angeles gangs. He overcame many obstacles to become a groundbreaking rapper, talented actor, author, reality star and cultural icon. Currently starring in NBC’s hit television drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ice-T’s talents span music, film and television. Please join us as he brings his inspiring message as an influential spokesman for America’s youth to the Imagine Our Youth Fundraising Celebration.

OmahaHomeForBoys.org • 402.457.7014 SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 127 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


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Thank you for voting us Best Credit Union eight years in a row.

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OMAHA HOME opener Sandy Matson Contributing Editor, OmahaHome

ALWAYS LOCAL, ALWAYS BEAUTIFUL

S

IMMERING CIDER, SWEATERS, and boots—what a breath of fresh air this season brings after a hot and humid summer. Should we take a cue from the shedding foliage to realize less is more? That’s the direction I’m leaning these days, as I try to downsize my home-remodeling projects. Hopefully, the clutter (and the associated stress) will be a thing of the past when the projects are complete. Speaking of simplicity, what a treat awaits within these pages. Neil Astle—an awardwinning architect who was based in Omaha—was a major innovator of midcentury modern style. Although the architect is no longer alive today, two of Astle’s Omaha homes continue to inspire homeowners. Home legacies have a funny way of coming into the lives of new homeowners. I was pleasantly surprised reading the story of artist Eugene Kingman’s home and the murals he painted inside. The home’s new residents were instrumental in retrieving a different mural from The New York Times, which now hangs in the downtown branch of the Omaha Public Library. Guess what iconic Nebraska scene appeared in the home’s private mural? Cornfields! Cornfields were also the perfect backdrop for my fall DIY project: the fifth installment of my year-long dressing room remodel. The outdoors setting for the photos make me nostalgic, reminding me of my childhood home on the farm in Iowa. Now, cuddle up by the bonfire or under your favorite cozy, fuzzy throw and enjoy our latest fall issue.

Sandy OmahaHome

SANDY'S DIY

Dress(er) For success

“Autumn carries more gold in its pockets than all the other seasons.” —Jim Bishop


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EDITORIAL Executive Editor DOUG MEIGS

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BUILD MORE THAN MUSCLE

When you join the Y, you’re committing to more than simply becoming healthier. You are supporting the values & programs that strengthen your community. At the Y, children learn what they can achieve, families spend quality time together, & we all build relationships that deepen our sense of belonging.

YMCA OF GREATER OMAHA • www.metroymca.org / H130 /

OmahaHome • September/October 2017

Comments? SEND YOUR THOUGHTS TO: SANDY@OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM 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 OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM/SUBSCRIBE For Advertising & Subscription Information:

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DIY

DRESS(ER) FOR SUCCESS

/ H132 /

OmahaHome • September/October 2017


CLASSIC CHARM RECAPTURED story by Sandy Matson

In my house— if I hold onto a piece long enough— furniture will, sooner or later, take on a new purpose.

photography by Bill Sitzmann

design by Mady Besch

S

ome might consider it strange to use an antique buffet as a dresser, but this piece of furniture simply suited my needs: space to store all the smaller and delicate items in my bedroom—while also looking exquisite.

I’ve had this piece for a long time. Over the last several years, I felt it didn’t quite fit in any particular room; however, I couldn’t stand giving this gem away. The sad antique buffet migrated around the house before it eventually settled in a corner of a basement storage room. In my house—if I hold onto a piece long enough—furniture will, sooner or later, take on a new purpose. And that is just what happened. I have always wanted a dressing table and thought this would be a perfect addition to

the yearlong makeover of my dressing room. It has perfect little drawers (originally used for silverware) convenient for makeup and brushes. Pretty baskets of my necessities take the place of fine china. My dilemma was to conceptualize seating in front of this antique treasure. Where would my legs go? Luckily the two bottom cabinet doors open, so I would just have them open when in use. As far as the color choice, I contemplated the options for almost a year before finally deciding on a soft gold. Since gold is the accent color of this otherwise white-on-white room, the color combo just screams elegance. Every room needs that signature piece, and the dressing table is that signature for this room. Below are the items and steps that I used to complete this DIY project. OmahaHome

instructions Step 1: Remove all hardware, including drawers and cabinet doors, from your furniture. Save it if you are using them later. Step 2: Either sand until you remove the glossy finish, or you can use a primer/stain-blocker with a bonding agent (depending on the condition your piece is in). Step 3: Once you have sanded, or put on several coats of the primer-bonding agent, use your hand sponge applicator to get in the hard-to-access areas and detailed spots. You can then use the foam roller to cover the entire piece. I painted the base of the piece before painting the drawers and doors.

ITEMS NEEDED Step 4: Now you are ready for the top coat. Use the same process as with the primer to coat the entire piece. I discovered it may have been easier to have my primer tinted closer to the gold color, but I did not do this, so I had to paint an extra coat. Note: If you are not quite comfortable going by these instructions, search YouTube for wooden furniture painting tutorials. Sandy’s year long DIY remodeling series began with an introduction to the room in the January/February issue. The first of five projects, a hanging cof fee filter lamp, debuted in March/April issue. Rustic wall vases followed in the May/June issue. Vintage classic chairs were in the July/ August issue. Stay tuned for the next installment. Visit readonlinenow.com to review back issues.

• 1 classic piece of furniture (or something you would like to breathe new life into) • Sandpaper in medium grit • 1 sponge roller (this is for the smooth finish) • 2-3 hand sponge applicators • 1 can of Zinsser Cover Stain Interior Latex Primer (available at Home Depot or Lowe’s) • 1 can of Modern Masters Metallic Paint in “pale gold” (purchased in Omaha at The Color Store Inc.)


A

HOUSE HUNTING EXPEDITION 30 years

ago, spurred by the needs of their growing family, eventually led Maureen and Jim Waldron to tour a Spanish-style home of ivory stucco on South 56th Street between Farnam and Harney streets in Omaha’s historic Dundee-Happy Hollow neighborhood.

The size and openness of the living room with its honest-to-goodness slate floor—a testament to 1925 architecture—decorative tiles, carved wood, and wrought-iron accents throughout the house, not to mention several bathrooms, appealed to both their aesthetic and practical senses. But nothing prepared the couple for what they saw when they passed by the dining room and reached the stairs leading to the second floor. A mural of a cornfield, in shades of green and accented with gold leaf, filled the east wall adjacent to the staircase and followed the wall’s narrow angle upwards. A second mural of a barn and rustic / H134 /

OmahaHome • September/October 2017

WHO PAINTED IT AND WHEN? THE WALDRONS DIDN’T KNOW, BUT THEY BELIEVED ONLY fence covered the entire wall facing the bottom of the stairs. The artist camouflaged the light switch by making it a part of a fence post. Connecting the two oil paintings, there is a continuation of the field along a narrow strip of wall between the ceiling and the frame of a door leading to the kitchen. Who painted it and when? The Waldrons didn’t know, but they believed only a professional hand could have created something so unique, so vibrant, and so unexpected. Not everyone touring the house that day shared their sentiment. “Well, this thing is going to have to go in a hurry,” a woman sniffed to her husband, waving her hand dismissively toward the mural.


The Waldrons prevailed and so did the painting. Shortly after moving into their new home, a neighbor, who happened to be an art appraiser, walked across the street and asked Jim and Maureen, “You haven’t touched that mural, have you?” She had good reason for concern. >

STAIRCASE TO A MAGICAL MURAL

Maureen remembers closing her eyes and thinking, “Oh please, don’t let this woman get this house. We may not get it, but she doesn’t deserve this house.”

H A P P Y H O L LO W H O M E H O L D S F I N E A R T T R E A S U R E

A PROFESSIONAL HAND COULD HAVE CREATED SOMETHING SO UNIQUE, SO VIBRANT, AND SO UNEXPECTED.

Spaces story by Carol Crissey Nigrelli photography by Bill Sitzmann / design by Mady Besch


Spaces Spaces < The staircase cornfield, the neighbor informed them, was drawn by artist Eugene Kingman. He and his family moved to Omaha in 1946 and lived in the house through the early ’70s, during his tenure as director of the Joslyn Art Museum. The name Eugene Kingman didn’t ring a bell with either Maureen or Jim. But from that day forward, the couple’s son and daughter, ages 2 and 4 at the time, heard “don’t put your hand on the painting!” every time they climbed the stairway to their rooms. For the next 24 years, Jim built his law practice and Maureen worked in corporate public relations before co-founding the online ministries program at Creighton University, their alma mater. In 2011, Maureen finally found the time to “Google” Kingman’s name and write letters. She realized that he painted more than just walls in Omaha—her research and perseverance proved a catalyst for a chain of events that still resonates from Omaha to New York City.

“HE ABSOLUTELY LOVED THE OPENNESS OF NEBRASKA AND LOVED TO PAINT CORNFIELDS.” — MAUREEN

WALDRON

Kingman, she discovered, had already won awards as a cartographer, painter, and muralist when (in 1946) then-publisher of The New York Times Arthur Hayes Sulzberger commissioned him to paint a 20-foot-long mural for the newspaper giant’s newly renovated lobby on West 43rd Street in New York City. That same year, Omaha came calling with a job offer at the Joslyn. “He asked for—and got—permission from the Joslyn, his new employer, to do the high-profile mural for the Times,” Maureen says. “We have pictures of him painting the mural in the Joslyn. We now believe he painted it in one of the Joslyn’s galleries, not the basement.” Kingman’s iconic post-war mural, a depiction of the Northern Hemisphere as viewed from space, greeted famous newsmakers and crusty news reporters in the Times lobby for more than 40 years before winding up in storage for another three decades. With the help of the muralist’s two daughters, Elizabeth Kingman and Mixie Kingman Eddy, Maureen and a group of Omaha friends persuaded the Times to part with the mural. In 2014, a rolled up, dusty, and nicotine-filled canvas arrived in Omaha, donated by the Times to the nonprofit Joslyn Castle Trust. Kingman’s newly restored work now hangs in the W. Dale Clark Library downtown.

the Interior commissioned him to paint seven national parks while he was an undergraduate at Yale,” Maureen says. “He absolutely loved the openness of Nebraska and loved to paint cornfields.” So when his wife, Betty, lamented that their little daughters were leaving dirty fingerprints on the ivory stucco walls along the staircase, Kingman did what any selfrespecting muralist would do: He painted what Mixie would later call “magical cornfields” to hide their fingerprints, thus enabling Mixie and Elizabeth to continue touching the wall—a luxury the Waldron children never had; nor does the next generation.

Having shined a light on an under-appreciated talent, Maureen, in turn, became enlightened on the origins of the staircase mural.

When the Waldrons’ four-year-old granddaughter recently visited with a little friend, the tot issued a warning of—you guessed it—“don’t put your hand on Nana’s painting!” OmahaHome

Kingman, a native of Rhode Island, “fell in love with the Midwest and West when the U.S. Department of

Visit eugenekingman.com for more information about the artist.


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September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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Roger and Jody duRand

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OmahaHome â&#x20AC;¢ September/October 2017


NEIGHBORHOODs story by Sarah Wengert / photography by Bill Sitzmann / design by mADY BESCH

VIE

“MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW IT’S THERE THIS LITTLE GOLD MINE IN THE HILLS,” —JODY duRAND

ORGEOUS G S R E F F O WYMAN HBORS G I E N D E T C WS , CO N N E HE FIRST THING you notice about Wyman Heights

is the beautiful view facilitated by the storied neighborhood’s riverside, hilltop perch. The petite enclave, situated on the cusp of Florence and Ponca Hills, spoons with a deep bend in the Missouri River where views of the adjacent waterway and nearby city provide an entirely unique perspective. Speaking of perspective, Jody duRand has an interesting one, having grown up in Wyman Heights in the ’60s and ’70s, and returning to live there in 2010 when she and husband Roger duRand bought their dream home. “Most people don’t know it’s there—this little gold mine in the hills,” she says of Wyman Heights. Her parents left the neighborhood in 1991, and the self-described “North O girl at heart” lived for a time in a Florence home designed by her father, Del Boyer of Boyer & Biskup Architects. The duRands nearly closed on a house in the Memorial Park area when her favorite Wyman Heights home—the one she’d admired since childhood, the proverbial belle of the neighborhood real estate ball—came up for sale. “I loved this house more than anything in the world,” duRand says of her 1933 home. “When we got the chance to buy it, it was day one, full offer, we’re taking it as is. It’s a really special, beautiful house with so much charm and a view you just can’t get anywhere else in the city. Plus, this [neighborhood] is my home.” >


NEIGHBORHOODs

< Kristine Gerber, executive director at Restoration Exchange Omaha, agrees that Wyman Heights is a “hidden gem.” “Very few know where it is,” Gerber says. “Its views of the Missouri River to the east and downtown Omaha to the south are incredible. Neighbors love that it’s this quiet oasis, yet in minutes they can be on I-680 to get to wherever they need to go.” In 1905, Omaha real estate agent/banker Henry Wyman took a shine to the hills north of Florence—then known as Florence Heights and Valley View Heights. Wyman envisioned the area, with its breathtaking views, as the perfect spot for “an idyllic retreat for Omaha’s elite,” according to research gathered by Restoration Exchange Omaha in preparation for the organization’s 2017 neighborhood tour. Wyman spent two decades gathering land, planting trees, and grading and paving North 29th and 30th streets before the neighborhood was replatted and rechristened “Wyman Heights” in 1925. Tudor Revival homes populated the area from the late 1920s into the 1940s, when World War II and a national housing shortage slowed development. But by the mid-1960s, Wyman Heights was fully developed, with midcentury modern homes filling in the gaps. “I always have to explain that the house numbers are totally out of order,” says resident Cathy Katzenberger, who loves the area’s peace and quiet, perfect views, and combination of seclusion and accessibility. “It’s because the neighborhood started with great big lots. Then, through the years as people sold off parts of their lots, new numbers were put in.” Katzenberger has lived in the neighborhood for 27 years, in two different houses. She grew up in nearby Minne Lusa and was always determined that someday she would live “up on the hill.” Her current abode is informally known as the Hayden House (not to be confused with the welcome center on UNO’s campus), named for Dave Hayden, proprietor of Omaha restaurants from days of yore, such as the Birchwood Club and Silver Lining Restaurant. >


YMAN HEIGHTS RETAINED ITS ALLURE INTO THE ’ s , ATTRACTING PROMINENT RESIDENTS LIKE MAYOR GENE LEAHY AND ARTIST TOM PALMERTON.

September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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Cathy Katzenberger

NEIGHBORHOODs < “This [neighborhood] originally started off as the weekend country retreat for people who lived in central Omaha—now we’re talking back in the old days,” says Katzenberger, who recalls the hill being home to “all the fancy people.” Between the stunning views and architectural diversity, Wyman Heights was indeed a magnet for Omaha’s interesting and elite, just as Wyman envisioned. According to Restoration Exchange Omaha, the neighborhood was home to many a local movers and shakers, including Claude Reed, owner of Reed’s Ice Cream; William Sealock, president of the Municipal University of Omaha, originally located at 24th and Pratt streets and now known as University of Nebraska at Omaha; Harry Shackelford, Nebraska State District Attorney; and Genevieve Detwiler, prominent socialite and local proponent of the Girl Scouts.

“W VE E N E RY ’ V E P I G G C OE O G H O O OT HE N PL BO D —C R NE E A RS A T H E ,” C T R . YK ED E AT Z EN B ER GE R

Wyman Heights retained its allure into the ’60s, attracting prominent residents like mayor Gene Leahy and artist Tom Palmerton. “[The neighborhood] was filled with successful, smart, interesting people,” duRand recalls. While the neighborhood has become more economically diverse, duRand says Wyman Heights hasn’t changed too much— still offering its lovely views and solid, neighborly network. “If you can find a house up here, you’re lucky. It’s a safe neighborhood and the neighbors are wonderful,” duRand says. “It’s nice to be able to look back all these years and see how it’s changed yet how it’s stayed the same.” Katzenberger is pleased to see traditions like the annual neighborhood party endure, while several young families have moved into the neighborhood and livened it up with a new generation of kids at play.

“We’ve got very good neighbors. People are connected here,” says Katzenberger, noting that despite the lack of through traffic, children’s lemonade stands always do very well, as the neighbors all make a point to stop for a glass. Katzenberger and duRand appreciate the unique blend of pastoral respite and urban access that comes with living in Wyman Heights. “We’re so close to everything, yet we can sit outside and hear nothing but birds…see a fox running through the yard, or deer walking up the middle of the street,” duRand says. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

Despite Wyman Heights’ affluent roots, duRand says there’s no pretension here. “People here are really just being themselves— and we all are very different,” she says. “It’s classy, but very eclectic. We all have love for the neighborhood and that’s what stabilizes us. If one person has a tree fall in their yard, all of us are there to help; we’re all watching out for each other.” Restoration Exchange Omaha’s Wyman Heights neighborhood tour takes place Oct. 1 from noon to 5 p.m. Visit facebook. com/restorationexchange for more details. OmahaHome


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September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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AT HOME story by Lisa Lukecart photography by Bill Sitzmann design by Mady Besch

BUILDING THE HAGMANN FAMILY HOME


This Blue-Eyed, Blonde-Haired Beauty Missed the First Few Times, Stumbled, but Didn't Give U p.

LAIR HAGMANN WANTED

to help redecorate the house. One chubby hand snatched the cream-colored privacy curtain near the front door. This blue-eyed and blonde-haired beauty missed the first few times, stumbled, but didn’t give up. She grasped the cloth in one tight fist—and pulled. It tumbled down. Mission accomplished. Blair, who just turned 1, has done this before. Her mother, Kristin, laughs and lifts her daughter into her arms. The Hagmann’s ranch-style house is ideal for little ones just learning to walk. “We are lucky. We only needed one baby gate,” Kristin explains. A house wasn’t really on the agenda after the former Kristin Stensland married Nick Hagmann, but a four-bedroom and three-bath residence in Elkhorn caught their attention. “I fell in love when we walked through it,” Nick recalls.

The Hagmanns saw potential in the brick and light tan house, built in 2006. Yet Kristin felt the dark-green walls upstairs and the baby-blue basement just did not feel like home. The drab decorations didn’t embrace a comfortable and cozy feeling. Five months later, enter interior designer Lindsey Anderson. The family is not into impulse shopping. “My husband is a perfectionist. We do things right the first time,” Kristin explains. Nick knows he is in trouble when his wife finds an item because she waits until it is just the right fit. The couple saves money this way, but it also makes them appreciate each scrutinized purchase. Anderson was a compatible match as well. Nick originally opted for a travel theme, but his wife had other ideas. She wanted unique and individualized items. Anderson helped the couple find eye-catching lamps, end tables, and furniture. Storage space is ample and necessary, especially with a child exploring every nook and cranny. A smooth wooden trunk at the

base of the sofa is filled with fluffy blankets and baby books. A flat screen television sits on a black hutch, which hides electronics, more books, and remotes. A gas fireplace warms the space on chilly days. It is ideal for these two homebodies who like to relax after a long work week and watch Friday night movies with pizza or snuggle while watching The Real Housewives on Bravo. “We make use of the space,” Kristin says. Empty space in the glass-paneled cabinets in the kitchen were replaced with bright white decorative glassware. A snowy runner brings out the dark wood of the dining room table, along with a cotton bouquet and candles. The kitchen island countertop is a mixture of blacks, golds, and grays. Blair’s high chair is hooked on. She isn’t a fan…yet. Kristin added weaved storage baskets with a pillow proclaiming “Home” in the front entryway. The walls in the living room, kitchen, and basement were painted a light beige. Each room is understated and utilized. >

September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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AT HOME


AT HOME < Kristin, 37, and Nick, 39, planned ahead for a possible family addition. The guest bedroom walls were coated a neutral light blue. Once Blair came into the picture, it was transformed into a nursery. Two small, lime green chairs are hand-painted with pink roses. A wide mirror provides needed depth. The chairs and mirror were created by Robin’s Nest in Springfield. Kristin’s great-great-grandmother’s rocker was reupholstered in Sioux City with a navy and white checkered cushion. Originally, the big basement was meant to be a man-cave for Nick. The couple decided on a pool table and a floating bar, but it was never ordered. The couple is currently thinking of the space as a play area for Blair, with possibilities of a toy chest and cabinets in the room. >

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AT HOME < “She will probably want to move down here as a teenager,” Kristin jokes. Right now, it is the “mother-in-law suite.” The grandparents can relax in the guest bedroom. The bed is an antique from a relative, as is the distressed dresser. The bathroom and kitchen gives guests moments of privacy. The basement still has hints of a man-cave, with a bar area​that​includes modern wooden stools. Nick saw the same stools at Blatt Beer and Table and searched the internet to find them. They can also drink beers with friends while watching Husker football on the 75-inch television. The soft tan, L-shaped sofa sinks in luxurious comfort. A yellow throw and purple checkered pillows add just the right pop of color. The three, though, still spend most of their time upstairs—cooking, hanging out, or grilling outside. The deck overlooks a small wooded area and a creek. A fence might be the next addition since Blair is getting older. Adding improvements a little at a time to the house helps the pocketbook and makes every choice meaningful. “It just feels complete,” Nick says. “Like it’s our home.” OmahaHome


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September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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U NT E IDC AN M M A’ S E R N H A D OM MO

RY

Ball House

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OmahaHome • September/October 2017


ARCHITECTURE story by Alex Priest design by Mady Besch

photography bill sitzmann & provided


Architecture

Daniel Naegele, associate professor of architecture at Iowa State University and co-author of the soon-to-be-published Astle & Omaha, says his buildings are “highlights of architecture.” Bruce Wrightsman, assistant professor of architecture at Kansas State University and the other co-author adds, “Astle had a profound effect upon architecture in the state of Nebraska.”

B en e (Sch dictine uyl e M r, N ission ebr a H ska) ouse

Tollefson House (Wausa, Nebraska)

t is not often that an Omaha architect is featured in the New York Times and Architectural Digest, but the reputation of Neil Astle is noteworthy for much more than mere publication clippings. His local homes and buildings remain architectural treasures in the Omaha metro.

HIS LOC A L HOMES A ND BUILDINGS REM A IN A RCHITEC TUR A L TRE A SURES IN THE OM A H A METRO.

In 2008, A stle was posthumously awarded the Harry F. Cunningham Gold Medal for Architectural Excellence in the State of Nebraska—the highest honor that the regional chapter of the American Institute of Architects can bestow in recognition of distinguished architectural achievement. This path to praise was laid in a dedication to material detailing and modernist ideologies. Astle was born in Salt Lake City in 1933 and earned a degree in architecture from the University of Utah in 1958. The next year, he earned a Master of Architecture and Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The department was then chaired by Pietro Belluschi, designer of many high-profile buildings, including the Pan Am (now MetLife) Building in New York City. At MIT, Naegele says, “Astle would have been seduced by Eero Saarinen’s extremely popular Kresge Auditorium and Chapel and by Alvar Aalto’s Baker House auditorium.” The concrete-and-glass structure auditorium and brick dormitory with a large S-curve would later be reference points to many of his projects in Nebraska. In 1964, Astle moved to Ralston; in 1965, he founded Neil Astle and Associates and began teaching architecture and community design at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


From 1968 –1981 his Omaha-based firm received six AIA Nebraska Design Awards, five Central State Awards and two Architectural Record Awards of Excellence. In 1983, he became a fellow in the AIA. Then in 1999, Astle received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Utah Society of Institute of Architects— the first and still only Utah recipient of this award. Astle died in 2000, receiving the Cunningham Gold Medal from AIA Nebraska posthumously eight years later. Why such lingering admiration for this Omaha-based architect? A stle’s architectura l st yle, now k nown as midcentur y modern, confronts the expa nsive nature of suburbia with a c ou nter solut ion: intense materia l and spatia l investigations, a long with honed detailing. A s Naegele says, “The transition from man-made suburbia to Neil-made suburbia is one of A stle’s great accomplishments.”

“ THE TR A NSITION FROM M A N - M A DE SUB UR B I A TO N E ILM A DE SUB UR B I A IS ON E OF A S TLE’S GR E AT ACCOM PLISH M E NTS.” — DA NIEL N A EGELE

Searching for authenticity in materials, Astle’s architecture was primarily fabricated in cedar and concrete—aging with the landscape of the site—finding continuity of interior and exterior space. Through their specific placement, these structures cascade on their sites. Like other architecture of the period, searching for simplicity was not simple. With a focus on micro details (for example: hinging on cabinets and closet cladding) and using natural light and architectural space, many of his projects (including several Omaha-area homes and the DeSoto Wildlife Center in Missouri Valley, Iowa) strike an uncompromising balance of form, function, and the environment.

The (Mi DeSot ss o u o W r i V il d l alle ife C y, I o wa e n t e r ) Fla n

In 1980, Architectural Digest described A stle’s award-winning work as “an architectural gem” and “unmistakably modern.” This respect continues to be felt by many of his contemporaries. Ross Miller, architectural designer at HDR, speaks to Astle’s legacy by simply stating, “he is a true architect.” OmahaHome

sbu r

gH ou s

e

Visit aiane.org for more information about the regional chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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ARCHITECTURE story by Alex Priest / photography by Bill Sitzmann / design by mADY BESCH

Ball House


Flansburg House

September/October 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ omahamagazine.com

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Flansburg House

CANNING ANY ARCHITECTURAL

ARCHITECTURE

[ASTLE’S] HOUSES ARE ALL WOOD AND BECAUSE OF THIS, THEY SEEM TO EXUDE AUTHENTICITY.” — DAN NAEGELE / H156 /

periodical or blog, there are endless examples of buildings with clean lines, simple spaces, and minimal material pallets. Contemporary architecture owes much of this ethos to the modernist architects of the mid-20th century. Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe encapsulated the design philosophy with his famous quote: “less is more.” While turn-of-the-millennium McMansions of suburban Omaha represent the antithesis to the minimalism of midcentury modernism, the Omaha metro is home to several notable modernist residences designed by architect Neil Astle. Two local homes designed by Astle came available on the market over the summer: the Flansburg Residence (located at 2205 S. 111th Circle) and the Ball Residence (located at 2525 S. 95th Circle). Astle lived in Omaha between 1965 and 1981. During that time, he completed many awardwinning architectural commissions, only a handful of which were homes. For his residential work, Astle said, “It is all part of refining a design in a complete way so that clients have few decisions to make—even about furnishings.” Dan Naegele, associate professor of architecture at Iowa State University, says, “They are more than houses. They are dwellings and are to be valued, cared for, basked in, and appreciated.”

OmahaHome • September/October 2017

Theoretically, Astle was challenging something greater with his suburban homes. Naegele explains that the architect “removed the garage from the house, allowing its presence as a separate entity to create a complex. The remote, innocuous, naturally clad garage, though convenient to the house, was not part of the house itself. It allowed for the house to be low, and to be stretched across the site, rather than piled up in one place.” The Flansburg Residence, located in the Rockbrook neighborhood, is a 2,500-squarefoot home completed in 1969. Nancy Flansburg Novak, senior designer and partner at Alley Poyner Macchietto, grew up in the home and recalls her parents commissioning Astle to build the structure. She says, “my newlywed parents [Steve and Mildred Flansburg] were looking at homes, drove past Neil’s house, and stopped to ask who the architect was. He said it was him.” After a short exchange, the Flansburgs became Astle’s first residential clients. They also became lifelong friends. At the end of cul-de-sac, the split-level home sits surrounded by foliage. A carefully crafted foyer between the garage and home creates the first of many spectacular spaces. The patina of vertically clad western red cedar, a favorite material of Astle, fully wraps both units. According to Naegele, “[Astle’s] houses are all wood and because of this, they seem to exude authenticity.” This darker space sits in contrast to the light-filled living spaces.


THE 3,900-SQUAREFOOT HOME FEATURES A DETACHED GARAGE, WHICH CONTRIBUTES TO THE DRAMATIC VIEW OF A COURTYARD WHERE CEDAR AND BRICK WRAP THE EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR PLANES.

Entering the front door, creamy wool carpet and gray slate blanket the first level, which contains the living room and kitchen. An angular ceiling, clad in horizontal knot-free cedar, fills the entertaining areas with natural light. While the space is incredibly simple, phenomenal woodworking details by Bill Hayes are still in place. Subtle surprises are omnipresent. Astle once said, “I try to get into families’ needs and express them thoroughly.” Going up or down a half or full level in the Flansburg Residence, Astle’s design philosophy becomes clear. Flansburg Novak recalls the home being “her jungle gym,” with plenty of nooks and crannies for her and her siblings. “It always felt big and open,” she says.

Less than two miles away on the edge of Towl Park, the Ball Residence extends many of Astle’s architectural tropes. Built in 1975 with the same cedar, owner Tami Doll (co-owner and vice president at Doll Distributing LLC) calls the home “a work of art.” The 3,900-square-foot home features a detached garage, which contributes to the dramatic view of a courtyard where cedar and brick wrap the exterior and interior planes. >

Backyard court, Ball House living room

While Astle had free reign on the home’s design, the tight budget necessitated creative design solutions that come off as effortless. The efficient f loor plan unfolds with neatly tucked away bedrooms, storage areas, exterior patios, and library. On the lower level, the ceilings were raised to allow the home’s patriarch to practice table tennis—many of his trophies remain in the library. The Flansburg’s home went on to win several awards, including a 1969 Residential Design Merit Award with the Nebraska chapter of the American Institute of Architects.


Upon entry, light fills the space, pulling full-scale picturesque views inside—suggesting continuity between human, architecture, and nature. Three bedrooms and entertaining spaces are neatly organized in an open f loor plan and the same cedar covers much of the interior.

ARCHITECTURE

< “When I walk in, there is a peacefulness about the home,” Doll says.

The original homeowners, Dale and Sylvia Ball, were quoted as saying, “The single most important decision in the whole process was selecting Neil as the architect.” Their instincts rang true when the home won the Honor Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Architecture in 1975, as well as being written about in many national and international publications. Recently featured in The New York Times (June 14) and academic literature, it is obvious that Astle’s work is significant, but as Doll notes, “I don’t think people realize homes like this are in Omaha.” Astle’s works are “rare gifts to Nebraska,” Naegele says. These two residences—the Flansburg and Ball residences—offer a chance to ref lect and remember how good his work was (and continues to be). OmahaHome

“THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION IN THE WHOLE PROCESS WAS SELECTING NEIL AS THE ARCHITECT.” — THE BALLS


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September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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Now That's

a Spicy

Pickle


HARVEST story by Patrick McGee photography by Bill Sitzmann design by MADY BESCH

a

VID GARDENERS IN the Midwest are familiar with this pickle of a problem.

Kitchen countertops are cluttered with cucumbers; family and neighbors have had their fill of cucumber salad; and the refrigerator cannot possibly hold any more garden-fresh produce. It’s a good problem to have, but a fleeting one. It’s time to pickle your leftover cucumbers. Pickling your crop of cucumbers will preserve them. Anyone can go to the grocery store and buy a jar of dill pickles, so make yours different. Make them spicy.

The key is to add spice to the brine, which consists of water, vinegar, salt, and seasonings. For example, garlic, peppercorns, and dill can all spice up an otherwise plain salt water.

Patrick McGee

So can hot peppers. This is the perfect opportunity to use those Carolina reapers your friends and family don’t want to eat. Ghost peppers, scorpion peppers, habaneros, or even plain old jalapeños are solid options. The infusion of the peppers into the pickle brine can make them hotter than hell, depending on how much you use. Don’t forget to wash your hands before touching your eyes—or worse. Your tongue isn’t the only body part that can feel the spicy heat. Some people wear gloves. Use soap and lots of water to wash hot peppers from your hands. Be warned. Even a thorough washing with suds and water may not wash away all the heat. The cucumbers are best pickled when young. Slicing off the flower end prevents cucumbers from becoming rubbery. Overdeveloped cucumbers are often woody, wide, and turning golden yellow. They do not make ideal pickles. The seeds are hard and pithy. Ideal cucumbers are crisp, break with a snap, and do not have prevalent seeds. A few quart-sized mason jars with canning lids are ideal for storing your pickles and are visually pleasing. They also make handy drinking glasses when your pickles are no more. When your pickles are made, you can leave them in the refrigerator or can them. I prefer to can them so I can pull out a spicy batch on some unsuspecting guests who claim they can eat fire. Make sure there is plenty to drink because it will be needed. >

September/October 2017 • omahamagazine.com

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HARVEST

HARVEST

Recipe

Scan this page wi the LayAR app to see a morel recipe

< Scale up according to batch size. Four cups of vinegar is usually suitable for 12 pint jars containing 3-4 cucumbers sliced length-wise with ends trimmed to fit the jar. Smaller cucumbers can be canned whole. Ingredients ½ to 1 cup vinegar (depending on overall acidity) 1 cup water 1 clove of garlic, crushed 1 tablespoon peppercorns Salt to taste (usually about 1 tablespoon) Grape or oak leaves (optional, for crispness) Cucumbers Canning jars and lids Sliced hot peppers

Steps Boil the water, vinegar, and salt to make a brine. The acidity is especially important when processing with a water-bath canner (which makes storage outside of the refrigerator possible). Steep peppercorns in brine. Sterilize canning jars and lids by submerging them in boiling water. Pack canning jars with a few leaves (if using), then carefully place cucumbers, garlic, and hot peppers into jars in a visually appealing way. Pour in hot brine. Finish processing by either canning or allowing to cool and storing in the refrigerator. The pickles are ready to eat within a few days, but they do improve with time. OmahaHome


ith o e.

a few quart-sized mason jars with canning lids are ideal for storing your pickles and are visually pleasing. they also make handy drinking glasses when your pickles are no more.

September/October 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ omahamagazine.com

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OmahaHome • September/October 2017

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Transformations story by

Anita Wiechman, ASID, CKBR, Interior Design Group photography by

Tom Grady

MEET THE DESIGNER

Anita Wiechman

Anita, who has been a designer for 38 years, specializes in remodeling kitchens and baths as well as whole house projects. Her project management skills, reliable assembly of subcontractors, and efficient use of CAD keep her projects professional and well-organized. Beyond construction, Anita completes her projects with furnishings and accessories appropriate for each home.

RADIANT REPLACEMENTS OPENING A MULTI-FUNCTIONAL SPACE / H170 /

OmahaHome â&#x20AC;¢ September/October 2017


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HE GOAL OF this remodeling project was

to transform a dark and narrow basement with separate rooms into an open and bright space with multiple functions. The improved lower level is now inviting and provides a theater area, bar, conversation/sleeping area, and a sound-proof space for the clients' teenage sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s drumming practice. Exterior alterations by Stan Construction included changing the small sliding door to a larger door and adding a sidelight for increased natural light. Elite Landscaping created the stone wall, steps, and gate for an easy, private approach for guests. >


Transformations

< Inside, the previous solid stair wall was changed and improved with an open railing to allow for additional light and better connection to the main level. Two existing bedrooms were reconfigured to become the theater area and drum room. The theater space was kept open, allowing the homeowners to use a large projection screen for crowds while visually widening the space. Ambience and comfort in the theater space was achieved through the leather reclining theater seats and surround sound, along with picture and baseboard pin dot lighting. The lights, sound system, and blackout shades are all controlled though use of mobile phones or iPads. A communications system with the front door allows the family to easily answer the door to guests while enjoying the basement. Insulation made of sound board with acoustical covering provides essential sound-proofing in the basement’s drum room. Quality sound levels in the space allow an optimum recording environment for the aspiring musician. In the bathroom, a small acrylic shower was replaced—the shower now takes the whole width of the bathroom. Frameless glass doors visually enlarge the space, displaying the limestone-look tile with pebble accents. The open vanity adds to the visually spacious feel. The bar area contains the game and shuff leboard tables. The bar is set off with an arched soffit and accented with a large granite top and ledger stone side wall displaying f loating wine bottles. The amenities include a large granite sink, a pop-up outlet to allow for serving hot dishes, a dishwasher, and an ice maker. The back bar includes a Wolf microwave, double sets of sub-zero refrigerator drawers and a sub-zero glass-front wine refrigerator. Cabinet storage and f loating shelves with backlit LED lighting adorn a plate glass mirror.

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Finishes ref lect the feeling of Montana, the family’s second home. The wood-look tile is durable and easy to care for at the patio entrance, around the bar, and in the bath. > OmahaHome • September/October 2017


FRAMELESS GLASS DOORS VISUALLY ENLARGE THE SPACE, DISPLAYING THE LIMESTONE-LOOK TILE WITH PEBBLE ACCENTS. THE OPEN VANITY ADDS TO THE VISUALLY SPACIOUS FEEL.


Warm granite colors were used as well as a dark stain on the cabinets. Furnishings were selected for their timeless appeal. The larger pieces are mostly in neutrals, with pops of turquoise and orange in the accessories and artwork. Furniture selected for the conversation area can be transformed into sleepers since the sectioned-off bedrooms were eliminated. The sofa becomes a queen-sized bed, and the oversized chair turns into a twinsized bed.

Transformations < Warm granite colors were used as well as a dark stain on the cabinets. Furnishings were selected for their timeless appeal. The larger pieces are mostly in neutrals, with pops of turquoise and orange in the accessories and artwork. Furniture selected for the conversation area can be transformed into sleepers since the sectioned-off bedrooms were eliminated. The sofa becomes a queen-sized bed, and the oversized chair turns into a twin-sized bed. The lower level is used by the whole family. The teenage son loves to entertain here while the parents enjoy having their friends over for a glass of wine, a movie, or a friendly game of shuff leboard. The coupleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adult sons and their families, who live out of state, feel comfortable inviting old friends over for fun-filled parties. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inviting, functional, and captures the needs of every age group that uses the space. OmahaHome Visit idgomaha.com/designers to learn more about Anita Wiechmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work.


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60PLUS opener

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his issue features a profile story about Anne Marie Kenny, a local Francophile who is the president of Alliance Française d’Omaha. Her story touches upon the 100th anniversary of Alliance Française in the city. Mark and Vera Mercer, and Nicholas and Jane Bonham-Carter, are honorary chairs of the cultural organization’s centennial celebration. The gala also recognizes the legacy of another prominent Francophile in Omaha—Sam Mercer.

Gwen Lemke Contributing Editor, 60PLUS In Omaha

We lost a pillar of Omaha’s cultural landscape when the 92-year-old Mercer passed away at his home in Honf leur, France, on Feb. 5, 2013. Omaha Magazine’s sister publication, Encounter, ran a tribute to the man in its May/June 2013 edition. Here is excerpted text from the tribute, written by Leo Adam Biga, who is also the writer responsible for Anne Marie Kenny’s profile.

Gwen “SAM MERCER:

The Old Market’s Godfather” excerpted from the 2013 story by Leo Adam Biga

C

ontinental bon vivant Samuel Mercer, who passed away in early February, was not a typical Nebraskan. Though he grew up to become the Old Market’s undisputed godfather, he started life as the son of prominent Omaha physician and landowner Nelson Mercer. Young Sam was born and raised in privileged circumstances in London, England, and educated at Oxford and Yale. After living in Washington, D.C., he based his law practice in Paris, where he mostly lived the rest of his life, holding dual citizenship. In Paris, Mercer cultivated relationships with avant-garde artists. A watercolorist himself, he made artist Eva Aeppli his second wife. On his handful of trips to Omaha each year, Mercer cut an indelible figure with his shoulder-length gray hair, his trans-Atlantic accent, and his waxing on far-ranging subjects. He spoke perfect French. With the death of his father in 1963, Mercer took charge of the Mercer Management company here. He appreciated the century-old brick warehouses—some Mercer-owned—comprising the wholesale produce market just southeast of downtown. By 1968, Mercer moved strategically to gain control of a collection of buildings in what is now the Old Market. It was Mercer’s idea to make the ground-f loor space of the former Gilinsky Fruit Company into a French restaurant—the French Cafe. More anchor attractions followed—Homer’s, M’s Pub, Mr. Toad, Spaghetti Works, Nouvelle Eve, the Firehouse Dinner Theater, the Bemis.

Samuel Mercer (center) discusses the Old Market with Bob Cunningham and Mark Mercer (right). Photo by Vera Mercer.

The Mercers created one of the Old Market’s most distinct features, The Passageway, and later opened their own distinguished enterprises—V. Mertz, La Buvette, and The Boiler Room. The rest is history. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 179 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


60PLUS | NOSTALGIA STORY BY MAX SPARBER // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

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o D d w e o H hion

s e i d n a C s a F d l O S

h t d t an

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Strange Flavors While Americans have long eaten sweet food, our tastes have changed over time. As an example, the first popular chewing gum in America was made from tree sap. Called “The State of Maine Spruce Gum,” it was invented in 1848 and tasted of sweetened spruce trees. Spruce isn’t the only unusual flavor used for gum. Black Jack gum, which was developed in 1871, had an anise flavor and was produced until 2013, when the machine that made it was destroyed. Fans of the gum still buy old packs of it online. Admittedly, American tastes never got as avant-garde as they did elsewhere. As an example, in Australia, musk is a popular flavor for confections, and LifeSavers even manufactures a musk version to suit tastes Down Under. Historically, Americans have demonstrated a limited taste for floral candies. In fact, the still-popular Jujube candy included lilac, violet, and rose flavors when it debuted in 1920.

e? m i fT

The Weird, the Trendy, and the Local MERICANS HAVE A taste for sweet foods. According to the American Heart A ssociation, the average American consumes three times the daily recommended intake for sugar.

We’ve been eating sweets for quite some time, due both to the prominence of sugarcane in the Americas and our tendency to mask unpleasant f lavors with sweetness, which Americans did with both substandard food before the era of the Food and Drug Administration, and with cheap liquor during Prohibition.

Pop Culture Trends Omaha Regional Sweets Aside from odd There were local candies as well, often with their own f lavors, American local spokespeople. Council Bluffs had its own company, candies have a habit of Woodward’s Candy, which made butterscotch and pure latching onto popular sugar sticks, among other items. trends and taking names from culturally significant Woodward’s used two former vaudeville performers as figures. Baby Ruth candy is spokespeople, Jean and Inez Bregant, who met when a terrific example, although it performing at Coney Island. The Bregants were “little was not named, as most suppose, people,” and according to their bio on findagrave. after baseball player Babe Ruth. com: “Jean, age 35, was 46 inches tall and weighed Instead, it was allegedly named 66 pounds; Inez was 18 years old, 43 inches tall, after President Grover Cleveland’s and weighed 45 pounds.” daughter Ruth. The Bregants spent years hawking the candy Once-common candies include wax around the Midwest, especially in Omaha, where bottles and lips, Necco Wafers, baseball they were frequently seen lauding Woodward’s cards with gum in the packaging, and other at J. L. Brandeis and Sons. current rarities on the market. Those longtime favorites began losing favor in the late The Bregants eventually went on to own a 20th century. grocery store in Council Bluffs, living in a tidy little house on Fourth Street. The house was Many pop culture references are shortadded to the National Register of Historic Places lived, likewise for the candies that in 2013, and can still be seen today. borrowed from them. As a result, we can no longer buy Domino’s Pizza brand bubble gum (which came in a pizza box); The Real Ghostbusters Slimer gum; candyWant to rediscover nostalgic candies? Try filled plastic Max Headroom heads; Super Hollywood Candy (hollywoodcandy.com) and Mario Chocolate ’n’ Crisps; or Punky’s Old Market Candy Shop (oldmarketcandy.com), collection of “ugly tangy speckled candy both in the Old Market; Candy Wrappers bites,” inspired by the punk rock movement (omahacandy.com) in West Omaha; and (and produced by Willy Wonka’s). Candyopolis (in Oak View Mall and Westroads Mall).

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 181 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


e l i h p o c n a r F

Story by Leo Adam Biga * Photography by Bill Sitzmann * Design by Matt Wieczorek

Anne Marie Kenny's Linguistic Love Affair


60PLUS | PROFILE

H

ago, while attending Merc y High School, Anne Marie Kenny cultivated a Francophile passion. At 21, she followed it to realize a dream of being a cabaret artist in France. She went from singing in Paris streets to headlining chic venues.

As the current president, she has overseen preparations for the Omaha chapter’s centennial celebration in 2017. Alliance marked the milestone with the August launch of its illustrated history book, along with an upcoming centennial gala at K ANEKO on Sept. 9.

After that yearlong taste, she returned to Omaha hungry to maintain French ties. Her conduit became Alliance Française d’Omaha, a chapter of an international organization dedicated to promoting French language and culture. She departed again, this time a married woman, to study voice and ply her craft abroad.

Alliance events often feature French food, wine, and music. But the centennial bash is going to exquisite extremes with an elegant feast of authentic cuisine and entertainment. French dignitaries will be among the special guests. Kenny will emcee and lead the attendees in singing France’s national anthem, La Marseillaise.

Kenny and her husband settled in the south of France—commuting to their beloved Paris. They lived there for more than a decade, during which time she also became a successful entrepreneur in the Czech Republic.

The events also honor the legacy of the late Sam Mercer, who divided his time between Paris and Omaha. Mercer opened the French Café and helped reactivate the city’s historic Old Market district (inspired by his exposure to French urban planning). Mark (his son) and Vera Mercer, along with Nicholas (his nephew) and Jane Bonham-Carter are the gala’s honorary chairs.

ALF A CENTURY

Since returning home permanently, she’s served as an Alliance board member and president. “It’s been my lifeline to French-going. I so missed the excitement of Paris—the language and all that,” she says, adding that when members of the local organization asked her to serve, “I felt I owed it something because it gave so much to me.”

Kenny emphasizes that the party is “a community event.” Under her two terms as president, the group has increased membership and French language class offerings. She appreciates what French f luency gives her. “Exploring the poetry of a language is an optimal way to not only learn how to speak the language but to understand its nuances,” she says. “It’s a new way of thinking and seeing.”

Learning the French language came naturally to her. Her fascination changed the course of her life when she followed her muse abroad. “I wanted to use French and apply it to who I was,” Kenny says, adding that she values the “global mindset” gained from the experience. Alliance members share a vision of having their own cultural center after a century of borrowed spaces. “We’re not able to offer as many classes as I know the community would like,” Kenny says. She says the lack of a dedicated home hasn’t prevented the Omaha branch from sponsoring “a very successful scholarship program” for students studying French. Community service is at the core of the Omaha group, which she described as “one of the older” American Alliance Française chapters. “We’re very active. After 100 years, we know we’ve got staying power,” she says. “I’m humbled and proud to be part of this lineup of figures in our city who brought French culture to the fore.” Guiding the organization through its centennial, she says, has “been a wonderful labor of love.”

Visit afomaha.org for more information.

Exploring the poetry of a language is an optimal way to not only learn how to speak the language but to understand its nuances. It’s a new way of thinking and seeing. -Anne Marie Kenny

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 183 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


60PLUS | ACTIVE LIVING STORY BY SARAH WENGERT // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

The

Flower Lady of Leavenworth

Maureen Borden:

Master Gardener and Wordsmith SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 185 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


60PLUS | ACTIVE LIVING

I I

F YOU LIVE in or frequent the Elmwood

“Malka wasn’t there when her beloved died and she’s determined to give someone a proper send-off, so she answers an ad to read to the dying, because hearing is the last sense to go before death,” Borden says. Malka’s journey features Heddy, a dynamic hospice nurse, her zany neighbor, Lily, and Tomas, a kindhearted pawnshop proprietor. Hear I Go also introduces several colorful patients and their families, and Borden’s at her best when drawing these rich, compelling characters. Scott Morrill, who designed the book cover, added the description “A Tale of Life, Death, Bar-B-Que & The Tango,” succinctly expressing the blend of bittersweet and whimsy within. Hear I Go is heavily inspired by Borden’s own experience of losing her “beloved” Micky Metz.

Park area, chances are you’ve seen her. A petite, mysterious figure frequently and fastidiously tending her impressive garden at 57th and Leavenworth streets—her face obscured by a wide-brimmed, straw hat reinforced with duct tape, her skin fully cloaked to protect from the sun. Within her well-tended landscape, sturdy sunflowers jockey for vertical position alongside fragrant, alabaster tuberose, while bright daylilies and zinnias stretch from the devil’s strip like nimble yogis to meet the street and the sidewalk.

“We were together five years, from 1983 to 1988, when he had the audacity to drop dead of a heart attack,” Borden says with witty panache. “The book is mainly fiction, but there’s a considerable amount of truth in terms of myself and the character of my beloved. To get past my grief, I started writing about Micky about a year after he died.”

“Many people don’t know me or my name, but they know that I grow flowers and I wear this duct tape hat,” says Maureen Borden, whose bountiful, 35-year gardening streak began with a single packet of zinnia seeds from Earl May.

“He died, I wasn’t there, and dammit, I had to be there for someone, so that was the impetus for the book,” she says. “I’m very much a believer in the afterlife, but Malka is still coming to terms with the question of ‘Is there really something beyond?’ She desperately wants to believe there is, and she comes closer, but there’s still some doubt.”

A low-key local celebrity of sorts, many of her admirers know her as some variation of “The Lady of Leavenworth” or “The Flower Lady,” but Borden’s much more than just your garden-variety gardener. Though the zinnias will be late to the curbside this year, due to a sidelining springtime shoulder injury, Borden’s literary career is coming up roses since she published her first novel, Hear I Go, in fall 2016 at age 72.

Like Malka, Borden wasn’t there at the moment Micky passed, after 12 days in the hospital.

Borden has a degree in theater and a teaching certificate from UNO, though she spent much of her career in copy-editing and secretarial roles. Despite her varied career and love of gardening, Borden’s lifelong passion is writing. She’s penned a bevy of poems, short stories, even three screenplays, and says she lives for plucky, impactful passages.

“I think even a single, perfect flower is just as wonderful as a bouquet. Sometimes I’ll just put one flower in a vase and when I walk past and it catches my eye for a moment, it’s sort of like breathing properly,” she says. “It’s the exact same feeling when I read or write a really good line. It’s like an arrow to your intellect, and it makes you come alive.” Borden says that while it’s a great joy to know one’s purpose early in life, it’s never too late to realize your passion and pursue that which satisfies your soul. “I think doing right work is the most important thing in life—probably even more important than having a great love. Loves can end. People die. But if you have something that’s just so deliciously your own, then that’s a great gift,” she says. “I’m a geezer chick at 73, so I say to all the sassy seniors out there: Live your dreams. Go for it.” And Borden’s still going for it. In fact, she’s currently conceiving her next book, Slipped a Micky. “Hear I Go was an introduction to Micky’s rascality, which I hope to explore more in the next book,” she says. “Everyone should be lucky enough to have a Micky in their life. He was quite a rascal, and I’m the keeper of his many stories.” Borden does a lot of thinking in the garden. She says the time spent outside “weeding and pulling hoses around like a retired fireman singing ‘Born Free’ to keep my blood pressure down” can also be fertile ground for contemplating characters and dialogue. “Gardeners have long lives, purportedly because they stick around to see what will happen the next year, if there are successes,” Borden says. “So, I hope readers have long lives waiting for books to come out.”

Visit facebook.com/maureenbordenomaha for more information.

Her debut work tells the story of “Malka,” who’s grieving the loss of her partner alongside the painful fact that she wasn’t by his side in his final moments. As a means to heal, Malka volunteers at a hospice facility, hoping to assuage her guilt and offer a “good death” to her charges. SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 186 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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“I’m a geezer chick at 73, so I say to all the sassy seniors out there: Live your dreams. Go for it.”

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60PLUS | PROFILE STORY BY CAROL CRISSEY NIGRELLI // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

the creighton priEst who prosecuted jeffrEy dahmer, the “milwaukee cannibal” SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 189 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


60PLUS | PROFILE

Through a random series of events, O’Meara, 32 at the time and known as Greg to his friends, caught the Dahmer case early. He was among the first to see the evidence. “We had missing persons reports coming in from all over the country,” he recalls. “I wrote the order to get Dahmer’s blood sample so we could separate his blood from blood found at the scenes to determine who he killed.” The blood came from attractive young men, many of whom lived on the fringes of society, kicked out of their homes because of their sexual orientation—easy pickups for a goodlooking charmer like Dahmer.

HORDES OF TELEVISION cameras and news-

paper reporters descended on Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to cover the trial of a 31-year-old serial killer whose depths of depravity defied comprehension. Details of the murders—17 in all, but he confessed to 15—proved so grisly, so grotesque, that many media outlets showed restraint in their coverage for fear of alienating a large portion of their viewers or readers.

Even today, with all the atrocities plaguing the world, the name Jeffrey Dahmer can still send shivers down spines. The terms paraphilia, necrophilia, mutilation, and cannibalism all apply—terms that baffle and horrify most lay people.

Even today, with all the atrocities plaguing the world, the name Jeffrey Dahmer can still send shivers down spines. The terms paraphilia, necrophilia, mutilation, and cannibalism all apply—terms that baffle and horrify most lay people.

“He was actually a nice guy,” says O’Meara, who talked with Dahmer many times, saw him in all his complexities, and came away with a compassion for the man most people would not understand. “He was very smart, he came from a rich family but he was horribly vulnerable [to his impulses]. His co-workers found him charming, funny, and engaging.” The funny and engaging part disappeared pretty quickly after Dahmer lured his victims to his grandmother’s house, or his apartment, and started drinking. In most of the murders, Dahmer sedated his victims by slipping a sleeping agent into their drinks. He raped his unconscious prey, strangled them, and then engaged in various sex acts with the corpses. He dismembered the bodies with a knife or chain saw and disposed of them by stripping the flesh off bones with acid, then pulverizing the bones.

The trail of carnage left by the chocolate factory worker and Army veteran during a 13-year period finally ended in July 1991 when police, alerted by an intended victim who escaped, walked into Dahmer’s apartment. Blood, body parts, a stench, and Polaroid pictures stopped them in their tracks.

He collected skulls and genitalia as trophies. He ate parts of three victims, telling psychiatrists later it was a way he could make them become a part of him. Police reports from the scenes make mention of various seasonings and meat tenderizers. The media latched onto the cannibal aspect of the case, thus coining Dahmer’s nickname.

“We really didn’t know what we were dealing with early on,” says the Rev. Gregory O’Meara, S.J., who as an attorney played a key role in shaping the prosecution’s case against the so-called “Milwaukee Cannibal.” He also assisted Milwaukee County District Attorney Michael McCann during the trial.

Dahmer’s desperate desire to acquire a permanent—and compliant—lover added yet another layer of “bizarre” to his horror story. He drilled holes in the skulls of his last four victims and poured acid into their brains in an attempt to create a sex zombie. It didn’t work.

Before becoming a Jesuit priest, a vocation that brought him to Creighton University in 2013, O’Meara spent almost seven years as an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee. The graduate of Notre Dame and University of Wisconsin Law School found his niche in the competitive world of trial work, where he racked up plenty of wins. Would he follow in his great-grandfather’s footsteps and become a judge? All signs pointed to that possibility.

“Absolutely, whatever definition of sanity we have, ” says O’Meara, echoing the prosecution’s contention that he belonged in a prison, not an institution—the question at the center of the trial.

Was Dahmer sane when he committed these depraved acts?

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 190 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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“He calculated and deliberately planned everything to the point that, when he was leaving a bar, he would never go home with someone who had a car. He would always have a taxi drop them off four or five blocks away from his apartment so no one could trace it.” After a two-week trial in February 1992, the jury agreed with the prosecution. Dahmer went to prison, where he died at the hands of another inmate a few years later. Six months after the trial ended, O’Meara entered the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits.

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“I had actually been thinking about it for a couple of years, but the timing hadn’t been right,” he says, waving off any assumption, as logical as it might sound, that the horrors of the Dahmer trial sent him straight to the priesthood. O’Meara’s good friend since 1985, the Rev. Roc O’Connor, S.J., an Omaha native and the first Jesuit O’Meara ever met, had a sense early on where O’Meara was heading. The Dahmer case solidified his feeling. “As horrible as that case was, Greg showed a lot of compassion. But he also had a lot of care for the victims and their families. He made sure they wouldn’t be lost in the flash of [Dahmer’s] terrible deeds.”

SM

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O’Meara hasn’t thought of himself as a prosecutor for 25 years, preferring his roles as rector of Creighton’s Jesuit community, tenured law professor, counselor to anyone who seeks his help, and a friend who laughs easily. Few parishioners of St. John’s Church on the Creighton campus even know of O’Meara’s involvement in that infamous case, so when he joyously and repeatedly proclaims his belief of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, they don’t realize he’s drawing from a deeper well than most.

Visit law.creighton.edu/faculty to learn more about the academic and professional background of the Rev. Gregory O’Meara.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 191 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


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BY LISA LUKECART PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 192 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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OBVIOUSLY OMAHA

STORY BY CALLIE OLSON // PHOTOGRAPHY BY DOUG MEIGS AND PROVIDED

Fall 2017 Brew Tour: Microbreweries in the Omaha Metro WHEN TEMPERATURES DROP and leaves crunch underfoot, Midwesterners crane their necks at the gray sky and try not to think of daily commutes soon to be spent in darkness. The wind is picking up, and the days grow shorter and shorter. Winter is coming, fellow Omahans. It’s time to find refuge from the cold. Where better to stay cozy than in one of the metro’s growing number of microbreweries and affiliated brewpubs? Read on for a complete list of venues producing and serving local beer (listed in alphabetical order). Choose a barstool, lest you are left out in the cold. 01. BENSON BREWERY 6059 N. Maple St. 402-934-8668 bensonbrewery.com

04. GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREWERY 1001 N. 102nd St. 402-393-5000 gcfb.com

Adorned with wood floors and hipster lamps, Benson Brewery is situated in a remodeled space that was once home to a movie theater (in the early years of the 20th century). Enjoy a cold Karha-T as your body warms inside; this English ale is spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and vanilla, and is the perfect autumn beverage. Or choose one of the other nine beers or hard cider on tap. 02. BRICKWAY BREWERY & DISTILLERY 1116 Jackson St. 402-933-2613 drinkbrickway.com Also a distillery, this brewery has the unique ability to age their beers in whiskey barrels and their whiskey in beer barrels. Brickway keeps their Oktoberfest traditional, and this amber brew is featured at their Oktoberfest event, where attendees get to drink this beer straight from the tank it was brewed in.

A national brewpub franchise, Granite City locations brew beer on location. From their Batch 1000 Double IPA to Broad Axe Oatmeal Stout, Granite City has something for everyone. They offer an Oktoberfest and a Vanilla Porter on a seasonal basis, so get it while it lasts (and maybe snag some waffle fries, too). 05. INFUSION BREWING CO. Benson 402-916-9998 6115 Maple St.

After years of traveling Europe to study the best beers, the owners of Farnam House emphasize Old World-style brews with a Belgian and German influence. Thus, it is no surprise that they are proud of their Oktoberfest brew, aged for six weeks for a wellrounded and mellow finish. Their Spiced Tripel is another fall favorite packed with gravity.

Brand new to the La Vista area in 2017, Kros Strain Brewing is “Nebraska Fresh,” a motto that is featured on their 24-foot mural that highlights beers set for release. Try one of their startup brews: Helles Creek, Dark Paradise, Fairy Nectar, and Supa Juice. 08. LUCKY BUCKET BREWING CO. 402-763-8868 11941 Centennial Road, Suite 1 luckybucketbrewing.com Lucky Bucket Brewing Company hit the ground running in 2008 with their Pre-Prohibition Lager, perfected over time spent experimenting with barrel-aged beers and unique flavors. This eventually developed into five year-round beers and four seasonal favorites (including an Oktoberfest, which they boast “even Bavarian Prince Ludwig would trade his bride for”). Their Conspiracy Series also offers limited batch beers, and the brewery’s sister distillery—Cut Spike—offers craft liquors at the tap room.

Southwest Omaha 402-934-2064 6271 S. 118th Circle infusionbrewing.com A meat market turned brewery in downtown Benson, Infusion Brewing Company prides itself on adding unique ingredients—such as vanilla or cocoa—to their beers. In 2016, they also added a second brewery/ tap room location on the edge of Sarpy County. Look out for their fall favorites: Infusionfest and Red X IPA. Vanilla Bean Blonde Ale is their top-seller through the year.

03. FARNAM HOUSE BREWING CO. 3558 Farnam St. 402-401-6086 farnamhousebrewing.com

07. KROS STRAIN BREWING CO. 10411 Portal Road, Suite 102 402-779-7990 krosstrainbrewing.com

06. JAIPUR BREWING CO. 10922 Elm St. 402-392-7331 jaipurindianfood.com

09. NEBRASKA BREWING CO. La Vista (tap room) 6950 S. 108th St. 402-934-7988

Located in Rockbrook Village, the Jaipur restaurant features a fusion of authentic Indian cuisine and onsite brewing of several unique beers. Their Jalapeño Ale offers a hot “kick” particularly appropriate for cold days. The restaurant’s owner says Jaipur has been selling beer since first opening in 1992—making it Nebraska's first and Omaha’s longest-running craft brewery.

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Shadow Lake Towne Center (brewpub) 7474 Towne Center Parkway, Suite 101 402-934-7100 nebraskabrewingco.com Nebraska Brewing Company’s six standard beers offer year-round easy drinking for those who enjoy the hoppier side of the spectrum. If that’s not your ballgame, no worries. They also offer more than a dozen seasonal brews, along with several high-end craft options in their bottled Reserve Series. For those seeking something truly unique, there is the experimental Inception Series—barrel-aged beers that come in limited supply with names such as “Ninja Gnome” and “Fuchsian.”


03

10. PINT NINE BREWING CO. 10411 Portal Road 402-359-1418 pintninebrewing.com

14. UPSTREAM BREWING CO. 514 S. 11th St. 402-344-0200 upstreambrewing.com

Named for the traditional pint and nine ounce bottles that came to us from Europe back when we had to depend on them for good beer, the folks at Pint Nine appreciate a good German lager or English ale. But that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate innovation. All you have to do is check out their Pink Peppercorn Wit or Hot Burst Blonde to realize that. The Papillion tap room just opened summer 2017. 11. SCRIPTOWN BREWING CO. 3922 Farnam St. 402-991-0506 scriptownbrewing.com Do you know about “session beers?” Scriptown specializes in these brews, which feature a lower ABV than other craft beers, allowing for hours of drinking, conversation, and fun. If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, try Dmitri’s Revenge, a Russian Imperial Stout at 9.4 ABV. 12. SOARING WINGS VINEYARD &

BREWING

17111 S. 138th St. (Springfield) 402-253-2479 soaringwingswine.com This vineyard is more than just grapes. Soaring Wings offers nine specially brewed beers, ranging from a light, American-style lager to their hefty Imperial Stout, aged in wine barrels for six months and tipping the scales at 10.7 ABV. Be sure to enjoy the covered deck and beautiful vista of the Nebraska countryside while the weather permits.

Upstream Brewing Company has been open since 1996. They boast of being Omaha’s “original brewpub,” and they offer on-site brews and a rotating selection of cask-conditioned ales. While this brewery specializes in ales, they always take the time to age their popular Oktoberfest brew, which is malty and smooth.

08

09

15. VIS MAJOR BREWING CO. 3501 Center St. 402-884-4082 vismajorbrewing.com Vis Major, Latin for “act of God,” boasts of treating craft brewing as an art form, emphasizing intricate nuances of taste and complexity. Their Proverbial Pumpkin ale is the go-to for fall, sporting hints of cinnamon and other spices. Their tap room opened in between Field Club and Hanscom Park during 2017.

11

16. ZIPLINE BREWING CO. 721 N. 14th St. 402-475-1001 ziplinebrewing.com Born in Lincoln, this 5-year-old brewery opened a satellite Omaha location next door to Film Streams’ downtown location in 2017. Zipline emphasizes adventure, sustainability, and connecting with customers. Try something dark this fall with their Coconut Stout, or go the more traditional route with their Oktoberfest inspired Festbier, a crisp lager to match the weather.

13. THUNDERHEAD BREWING CO. 13304 W. Center Road, No. 126 402-802-1600 thunderheadbrewing.com

13

15

From humble beginnings in Kearney, Nebraska, Thunderhead expanded eastward to the Big O in 2016. Enjoy beers with clever names like “Your Argument is Invalid” in their lovely indoor and outdoor spaces.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 195 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING // REVIEW

UMAMI FISH WITH FINESSE REVIEW BY NIZ PROSKOCIL PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 196 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


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SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 197 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

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UMAMI 1504 GALVIN ROAD SOUTH, BELLEVUE 402.991.8822 FOOD SERVICE AMBIANCE PRICE $$ OVERALL 5 STARS POSSIBLE

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 198 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING // REVIEW OMAHA MAGAZINE | SPORTS

M

Y FIRST THOUGHT when I

saw the crowd of customers waiting to be seated at Umami: Good thing I made a reservation. Diners occupied every table, booth, and bar stool at the city’s latest and most talked-about sushi restaurant, which opened in Bellevue in February. The restaurant’s popularity shows that many local diners are hooked on sushi, and they’re willing to drive across town and endure long waits to get their fish fix. It also shows that Chef Keen Zheng made a good move when he left behind sushi-dense New York for Nebraska. Zheng has realized his dream of opening his own restaurant and helped fill the void of sushi spots in the Galvin Road area. Zheng’s culinary background includes a stint at Sushi Nakazawa, one of New York’s top sushi establishments. The restaurant is run by Daisuke Nakazawa, a former apprentice of Jiro Ono, a world-renowned sushi chef in Japan and subject of the acclaimed documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Umami’s vast menu features a variety of delicately prepared nigiri (seafood gently pressed over seasoned rice) and high-quality sashimi (thin slices of fish such as tuna or salmon served without rice). Also available are sushi rolls, known as maki, made with raw or cooked fish, vegetables, nori, rice, and other ingredients.

Those with seafood allergies or aversions to raw fish shouldn’t let that deter them. The menu includes sushi prepared with cooked ingredients, as well as teriyaki and hibachi dinners, noodle dishes, fried rice, soups, or Thai and Chinese entrees. My dining partner and I both liked the pink lady roll, named for the pink soy paper that holds shrimp tempura, avocado, cream cheese, and asparagus. Those who don’t care for nori (seaweed wrappers) may prefer the soy paper alternative. A slightly spicy sauce drizzled on top lends a nice heat that’s not overwhelming. There are excellent versions of tiger shrimp sushi and inari sushi. The latter consists of marinated and fried tofu pouches stuffed with rice. We also enjoyed the spicy mango shrimp roll, filled with cooked shrimp, mango, tempura flakes, and just enough spice to perk up the palate. Less successful, the coconut shrimp roll—crispy shrimp and Fuji apples topped with avocado and coconut flakes—has an appealing blend of creamy and crunchy textures, but coconut sauce on top dominates and is a little sweeter than we’d prefer.

Vegetarian options include a fresh and light farmer’s roll with slivered cucumber, asparagus, bean curd skin, lettuce, avocado, squash, and oshinko (Japanese pickled radish). Zheng is an expert at preparing sushi, each item wellcrafted and beautifully presented. Diners who nab seats at the sushi bar can watch as he and his team hold command. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, but service can be slow, especially during prime dinner hours. Our server had a packed house to deal with the night we dined, resulting in long wait times to place and receive our order. Still, I’d happily return to try more of the menu. It’s hard to pass up quality, reasonably priced sushi executed with Zheng’s level of skill.  Visit umamiasianne.com for more information.

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SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 199 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


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David Diane Hayes THE BETTER HALVES OF TRIO COCKTAILS

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 200 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING // PROFILE STORY BY KARA SCHWEISS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

O

VER THE PAST 30 YEARS, “Hayes”

has become a big name in the local restaurant and bar scene. With wife Diane now behind him as his partner and “most avid supporter,” Hayes has owned some area favorites including The Winery, Monterey Café, Jams, Bebo’s, Block 16, and several Egg and I locations. He currently owns V. Mertz and is active in numerous industry organizations. He was even inducted into the Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame last year. Despite all their ventures, the Hayeses felt Omaha lacked a particular kind of establishment they came to know and love from their visits to the Midwest’s largest metropolis. "We really enjoy some of the cocktail lounges as we go through Chicago. But we couldn’t find the same thing here,” Diane says. “We felt like there was a market here for this type of concept." The couple opened Trio Cocktails and Company last December in the Sterling Ridge development near 132nd and Pacific streets. “Trio is an upscale, midcentury modern cocktail lounge. It’s sophisticated, yet it’s warm and inviting,” Diane says. “We purposely made a small, intimate setting where people feel comfortable whether they’re in jeans or dressed up.

It’s welcoming to any situation and a broad range of people.” Designed by award-winning architect Lori Krejci of Avant Architects, Trio is “a beautiful setting,” Diane says. “I think it brings a sense of sophistication.” A focal point is the 600-bottle chandelier that stretches the length of the bar and changes colors throughout the evening. “It’s absolutely gorgeous,” Diane says. Not only is it a work of art, it was a labor of love. Krejci designed the chandelier, and, after the spotless new bottles arrived from the manufacturer, the Hayeses helped her assemble the delicate fixture. No detail was overlooked. “Check out the restrooms,” David says. “They’re beautiful.” “We wanted to create an environment that was unusual and beautiful, and when you couple that with the drinks, I don’t think there’s any other place in Omaha that offers that combination, that environment, that experience,” Diane says. “Our bartenders make really good cocktails. They make the classics, but they use the best ingredients and people appreciate that. You’ll find Old-Fashioned cocktails, Manhattans, and martinis made in an exceptional way.”

Trio also offers more than 80 bottles of wine, 15 wines by the glass, and three rotating tap beers. It opens at 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, closing at midnight except Friday and Saturday, when it closes at 2 a.m. Guests can indulge in a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. weeknights, and patio seating when the weather is nice. “Omaha is a big restaurant community. There have been some exciting new restaurant concepts opening in this community, but this is something that is a little different. Trio is as fine as any cocktail lounge you’ll see in Chicago or New York,” Diane says. “It brings a different level of sophistication to Omaha. This is a destination in itself.” Another plus? “Impeccable” service. “Our manager at V. Mertz is also managing Trio. The level of service you see at V. Mertz, you will also see at Trio,” she says. “From the welcoming smile when you first walk in the door to the wonderful drinks you receive, the service is top-notch, and you will see that in all of Dave’s restaurants.”  Visit triococktails.com for more information.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 201 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING // PROFILE STORY BY WILL PATTERSON // PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL SITZMANN // DESIGN BY MATT WIECZOREK

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SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 202 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM

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ROBERTO W. MEIRELES left Cuba when

he was 14 years old. After years working as an engineer in Florida, he eventually found himself in charge of Omaha’s only Cuban restaurant, Gusto Cuban Café. Meireles’ journey to eventually owning and running a restaurant with his wife, Ana Barajas De Meireles, is a story of a man from the Caribbean falling in love with the city of Omaha. Meireles first learned of Omaha through the coupons he found in Reader’s Digest while he was a child living in Aguada de Pasajeros, Cuba. Before the magazine ceased to be available to Cuban residents, Meireles would pore through the magazine and fill out all the coupons in hopes of having something sent back to him. “That was the only thing I knew about Omaha,” Meireles says. “That it had Mutual of Omaha.” His 1966 escape from Cuba separated Meireles from his parents. He lived with an uncle in Miami while working and attending school. Meireles made his true connections with Omaha in adulthood, after meeting a Nebraskan couple on a cruise. Luis and Connie Canal first approached Meireles when they heard him speaking Spanish, and throughout the course of the cruise, they became very close—to the point that they continued to visit Meireles and his ex-wife in Florida. On each visit, Luis and Connie would invite them to come see what Omaha had to offer.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 203 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING // PROFILE

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“In 2004, we came in December. I had never seen snow before, and I wanted to see snow,” Meireles says.

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He was so impressed with the city that he purchased a home so he could visit during the winter. After his divorce, Meireles moved all his belongings to Omaha late in 2006 to take up permanent residence in his winter vacation house. Retiring from his engineering job after 25 years in the industry, Meireles set out to open a Cuban restaurant. “I wanted to live in Omaha because I didn’t want to stay in Miami anymore.” Meireles says. “When I found this, I found paradise.” He praises the Midwest’s climate and the dire need of Cuban cuisine in Omaha. He emphasizes the stark difference between Cuban food and other Latin American foods—Cuban food does not feature tortillas, and the primary meat is pork as opposed to chicken or beef. For several months Meireles’ routine consisted of waking up early in the morning to work on the restaurant and working at his other job late into the evening. After more than half a year of work, Gusto Cuban Café opened its doors Oct. 18, 2007. What truly sets Gusto Cuban Café aside from the typical restaurant is the effort that Meireles and Barajas De Meireles have poured into it. Nearly everything in the restaurant has been crafted or repaired by the Meireleses. They even built all the furniture bearing the restaurant’s logo. “We are jacks of all trades. Whatever needs to be done, wherever I need to be is where I’m at.” Barajas De Meireles says. “I go anywhere from waiting tables, being the cook, bartending, or whatever is necessary.” Another unique aspect Meireles brings to the restaurant scene is his refusal to use recipes. Instead, he measures ingredients by eye, preparing food the way his family did. Barajas De Meireles, who met Meireles through Gusto Cuban Café, works as a nurse during the day and, after her shifts, rushes to Gusto Cuban to help with the evening operations. “My wife is basically the same way as me. She likes this craziness, that is why we have so much in common.” Meireles says. The couple makes it clear that running the restaurant is an all-hands-on-deck operation, and they lend their success to their loyal customer base and desire to solve issues themselves. “Sometimes I sit here inside of the restaurant and look at everything and think, ‘I can’t believe I did all this.’” Meireles says.  Visit gustocubancafe.com for more information.

I WANTED TO LIVE IN OMAHA BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT TO STAY IN MIAMI ANYMORE. WHEN I FOUND THIS, I FOUND PARADISE.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 204 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


HAPPY HOURS

7984-2017 UpstreamAd-OmahaMagHH-2.375x2.375

SERVING

LUNCH NOW!

MON-SUN 11AM-2PM

402.884.8966 16920 Wright Plz. Omaha, NE louieswinedive.com

HAPPY HOUR

4PM-7PM | MONDAY-THURSDAY

WINE THERAPY THURSDAYS

$10 BOTTLES OF WINE ALL DAY LONG

House Margarita

FOR

SUNDAY BRUNCH 10AM-2PM

21

STOP IN FOR HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS “Just a Wink from the Link” 501 N. 13th St. | 402.346.9116 www.themattomaha.com

BLOODIES & BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS /beyondgolf for more information

402.916.4PAR (4727)

120th & Giles | beyondgolfomaha.com


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

AMERICAN BEYOND GOLF BAR & KITCHEN - $

402-916-4PAR 12040 McDermott Plaza Stop in to Beyond Golf Bar & Kitchen for a craft cocktail or local brew. Our kitchen features fresh innovative food made from scratch daily. We offer gourmet salads, smoked brisket and flatbreads on your choice of bread or lavosh. Specials are served daily including Sunday brunch. Visit beyondgolfomaha.com to view our menu or for information on our party room. beyondgolfomaha.com

DJ’S DUGOUT - $

- Sponsored Content -

636 N. 114th St. (402-498-8855) 1003 Capitol Ave. (402-763-9974) 10308 S. 23rd St. (402-292-9096) 2102 S. 67th St. (402-933-3533) 180th & Q St. (402-292-9096) Hwy 75 & Oak Hill Rd. (402-298-4166) Catch all of the action at six Omaha-area locations. Featuring burgers, sandwiches, wraps, salads, appetizers, and an impressive drink menu along with HD TVs and projectors. Home to Blazin’ Pianos, Omaha’s only dueling piano concept. djsdugout.com

JAMS- $$

7814 Dodge St.(402-399-8300) 1101 Harney St. in the Old Market (402-614-9333) Jams is an Omaha restaurant legacy. An American Grill that offers a melting pot of different styles and varieties of food dishes made with high-quality ingredients that pair well with award-winning wines or creative cocktails. jamseats.com

Get a Little Saucy.

LE PEEP - $

177th & Center St. (402-934-9914) 156th & W. Dodge Rd. (402-408-1728) 120th & Blondo St. (402-991-8222) Le Peep puts a wholesome perspective on your favorite neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot. Fresh. Simple. Elegant. Inviting. We put the emphasis on people, both patrons and staff. We focus on providing each of our guests the fresh food and friendly service that they have come to expect. Open daily 6:30am-2pm. lepeepomaha.com

LOUIE’S WINE DIVE - $ MC, V

402-884-8966 16820 Wright Plz. Creative gourmet comfort food, and a funky, fun atmosphere. Great wines, many of which come from small vineyards, at a great value. Gourmet comfort food is made fresh, using eco-friendly and local ingredients whenever possible. Mon. 4-10pm, Tue.-Thu. 11am-10pm, Fri./Sat. 11am-11pm, and 10am-8 pm. louieswinedive.com

SPEZIA SPECIALTIES FRESH SEAFOOD • ANGUS BEEF INNOVATIVE PASTA • RISOTTO GNOCCHI • FRESH SALMON DAILY

LO-LO’S CHICKEN & WAFFLES - $

SATURDAY [11am–4 pm] OPEN 7 LUNCH DAYS A WEEK

$10

COCKTAIL HOUR

COCKTAIL HOUR MONDAY – SATURDAY

OFF ANY TICKET OVER $25 NO CASH VALUE. EXPIRES 10/31/2017 NO CASH VALUE. EXPIRES 12/31/16 NO VALUE. EXPIRES 12/31/2011 NotCASH Valid With Happy Hour or Any Other Promotions. One Per Check.

EVERY 4 – 6DAY PM FROM 4-6PM ALL DRINKS ARE 1/2GL PRICE ALL COCK TAILS, ASS WINE AND BEERS ARE HALF SUNDAY BRUNCHPRICE

CALL FOR RESERVATIONS • 402-391-2950 CENTRAL LOCATION • 3125 SOUTH 72ND STREET • EASY ACCESS OFF I-80 • 72ND STREET EXIT

402-991-9400 7051 Ames Ave. What came first? The chicken or the waffle? Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles has the juiciest, most flavorful fried chicken and the fluffiest, melt-in- your-mouth waffles, which has created an underground soul food revolution–one that’s slowly spreading downright deliciousness across the country. loloschickenandwaffles.com

DINING GUIDE LEGEND

$=$1-10 • $$=$10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$+$30+ MC=Master Card • V=Visa AE=American Express • DC=Discover Card

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 206 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

f o B t r a king A e T From The Rotella Family...Since 1921.

rotellasbakery.com

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 207 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

MILLARD ROADHOUSE - $ MC, V

CONNECTING WITH LOCAL FARMERS TO CREATE A FRESH AND SEASONAL MENU LUNCH 11-2PM Tuesday through Saturday BRUNCH 11-2PM on Sundays HAPPY HOUR 5-6PM every evening

(Wednesday and Sundays offering Happy Hour all evening with the addition of half priced wine)

DINNER 5-CL Tuesday through Sunday

402.991.5363 / 4919 Underwood Ave / Omaha, NE 68132 / Parking in the rear

Located “just a wink from the link”,

we have everything you might desire for lunch & dinner, a night out or in planning your next event.

402-891-9292 13325 Millard Ave. The all-American neighborhood grill Millard Roadhouse is perfect for the whole family, with huge portions, great service and even better food. From roasted chicken to fried green tomatoes, there's something for every taste, and trust us, you're not going to leave hungry. Also serving Sunday brunch and the best happy hour in the area. Mon.-Wed. 11-9pm, Thu.-Sat. 11am-10pm, Sun. 10am-9pm. millardroadhouse.com

MY PIE - $$

402-763-4900 2085 N. 120th St. Got six people with six different tastes in pizza, including red sauce vs. garlic sauce? My Pie creates custom pizzas from the sauce up, so everyone can eat what they want. Their house-made pies come in every variety from Pear-fect (pear and gorgonzola) to Very Vegan (vegan cheese and vegetables). Craving a New York ‘Roni? My Pie has that, too. pizzayourway.com

STELLA’S - $ MC, V, AE, DC

402-291-6088 106 S. Galvin Rd., Bellevue Since 1936, we’ve been making our Stella’s world-famous hamburgers the same way. The family secrets have been handed down to each owner to ensure that your burger is the same one you fell in love with the first time you ever tried Stella’s. And if it’s your first time, we know you’ll be back! Mon.–Sat. 11am–9pm., Sun. closed. stellasbarandgrill.com

TIMBER WOOD FIRE BISTRO - $

402-964-2227 8702 Pacific St. Delicious wood-fire cuisine, with a roaring hearth and warm atmosphere you’ll feel at home the moment you walk in. Enjoy our wood oven-baked sour dough bread service with herbed California olive oil or locally whipped butter or try one of our pissaladière—French style pizzas—wood fired to perfection. Select from one of our fresh-from-the-fire entrees including our housemade rigatoni with roasted vegetables, herb crusted bistro steak and cedar planked steelhead salmon. All of our meals are made-fromscratch. Mon.–Thu. 11am–9:30pm., Fri. 11am–11pm, Sat. 9am–11pm, Sun. 9am–9pm. timberomaha.com

UPSTREAM BREWING COMPANY - $$

501 N. 13th Street | 402.346.9116 theMattOmaha.com /the old mattress factory omaha

402-344-0200 514 S. 11th St. Upstream features an extensive menu of new American pub fare including appetizers, 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. upstreambrewing.com

ICE CREAM

@Matt_factory

TED AND WALLY’S - $ MC, V

402-341-5827 1120 Jackson St. Come experience the true taste of homemade ice cream in the Old Market. Since 1986, we’ve created gourmet ice cream flavors in small batches using rock salt and ice. We offer your favorites plus unique flavors like margarita, green tea, Guinness, and French toast. Special orders available. tedandwallys.com

DINING GUIDE LEGEND

$=$1-10 • $$=$10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$+$30+ MC=Master Card • V=Visa AE=American Express • DC=Discover Card

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 208 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

Thanks for Voting Us

#1 BREAKFAST 9 YEARS in a Row!

177th & Center • 934-9914 156th & Dodge • 408-1728 120th & Blondo • 991-8222 Drive-Thru Open (Center St. Only) Open Daily 6:30am-2:00pm Serving Breakfast & Lunch All Day!

Omaha’s Only

Authentic German Restaurant

Locally Owned Since 1976

Oktoberfest

September 8th and 9th! LIVE MUSIC, GERMAN FOOD & DRINKS:

Baked Chicken, Ham Hocks, Strudel Full bakery, Fresh Bread, Donuts, and Cakes! 4:00 PM UNTIL THE BEER RUNS OUT

10 min from downtown Omaha

5180 Leavenworth

402-553-6774

www.gerdasgermanrestaurant.com SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 209 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

ITALIAN DON CARMELO'S PIZZERIA - $

402-933-3190 10821 Prairie Brook Rd. Omaha's first and finest New York-style pizza, stromboli, calzones, oventoasted hoagies, Philly cheesesteaks, pasta, salads, beer, and wine. We also feature take-out and delivery and can cater your special event, large or small. Tue.-Thu., 11am-9pm Fri. & Sat., 11am-10pm, Sun., Noon-8pm. doncarmelos.com

LA CASA PIZZARIA - $$ MC, V

402-556-6464 45th & Leavenworth St. La Casa Pizzaria has been serving Omaha its legendary Neapolitanstyle pizza and pasta for 60 years now. We offer dine in, carryout, party facilities, catering, and now pizza shipments to the 48 contiguous states. Open Tues.- Sat. at 11am and Sun. at 4:30pm. lacasapizzaria.net

LO SOLE MIO RISTORANTE ITALIANO - $$

402-345-5656 3001 S. 32nd Ave. Located in the middle of a neighborhood, surrounded by charming homes. Everyone is greeted with homemade bread, a bowl of fresh tomatoes and basil, a bowl of oven-roasted garlic cloves, special-seasoned olive oil, and at night, a jug of Chianti! The menu includes a large variety of pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, and even a delicious New York steak. Traditional dishes such as lasagna, tortellini, and eggplant parmigiana are also available. Lunch also offers panini, salads, and one of the best pizzas in town. Patio seating, full bar, and a great wine list complete the atmosphere. No reservations, except for private rooms. losolemio.com

PASTA AMORE - $$ MC, V, AE

MONDAY - THURSDAY 11:00AM - 9:30PM FRIDAY 11:00AM - CLOSE

SATURDAY - SUNDAY 9:00AM - CLOSE SUNDAY BRUNCH: 9:00AM - 2:00PM

402-391-2585 11027 Prairie Brook Rd. 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 ossobuco. Filet mignon is 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 cannoli. Lunch: 11am-2pm Dinner: 4:30pm Reservations recommended. pastaamore.com

PITCH - $$ MC, V, AE, DC

8702 PACIFIC STREET (COUNTRYSIDE VILLAGE) OMAHA, NE 68114 | TIMBEROMAHA.COM

Tex-Mex. Julio-Style. LUNCH • DINNER • HAPPY HOUR • CATERING 123RD & CENTER ST. • 402 . 330. 2110

julios.com

402- 590-2625 5021 Underwood Ave. OpenTable Diners' Choice 2014 HotSpot Restaurants in America. Keeping up with the traditional way the first pizzas in Italy were made, our pizzas are cooked in a coal-fired oven. The menu also features seafood, handcut steak, housemade pastas, and a burger full of flavor! Our goal is to provide you with local, housemade, and imported ingredients. We offer a happy hour menu through the week. And our bar provides an array of in-house concoctions as well as your traditional libation. Our wine selection is well-thought and most impressive. You will enjoy Pitch! Mon. 3pm-10pm Tue.-Thu. 11am-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-11pm, Sun. 3-10pm. pitchpizzeria.com

SPEZIA - $$$ MC, V

402-391-2950 3125 S. 72nd St. Choose Spezia for lunch or dinner, where you'll find a casual elegance that's perfect for business guests, get-togethers, or any special occasion. Exceptional food, wine, and service, with a delectable menu: fresh seafood, Certified Angus steaks, innovative pasta, risotto, gnocchi, cioppino, lamb, entrée salads, Mediterranean chicken, flatbreads, and fresh salmon daily. Enjoy a full bar, Italian and California wines, Anniversary/ Lovers' Booth (call to reserve), private dining rooms, and wood-fired grill. Open Mon.-Sun. Cocktail hour: 4-6pm, when all cocktails, glass wine, and beers are half price. Evening reservations recommended. speziarestaurant.com

DINING GUIDE LEGEND

$=$1-10 • $$=$10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$+$30+ MC=Master Card • V=Visa AE=American Express • DC=Discover Card

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 210 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

6 OMAHA AREA LOCATIONS

www.romeosOMAHA.com

DOWNTOWN 10th & Capitol | 402-763-9974

MILLARD 180th & Q | 402-933-8844

AKSARBEN VILLAGE 67th & Center | 402-933-3533

BELLEVUE 23rd & Cornhusker | 402-292-9096

MIRACLE HILLS 114th & Dodge | 402-498-8855

PLATTSMOUTH Hwy 75 & Oak Hill | 402-298-4166

DJSDUGOUT.COM 11664_DJ'sOmahAMag_JulyHalfV2.indd 1

7/19/17 10:01 AM

Also, the filet is amazing!!

An Omaha Original with World Class Taste • Locally owned • Reservation accepted • Private Parties 11732 W Dodge Rd, Omaha, NE 68154 402·496·0222 | jericosomaha.com

lunch Tues-Fri: 11AM-2PM Dinner Tues-Sat: 4:30PM-Close Meals to order prepared by Chef And owner Lillo Fascianella from Sicily. Specializing in seafood and pasta dishes.

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 211 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM

(and don’t forget the cannolis!!!!)

Rockbrook Village (108th & Center) 402.391.2585 www.pastaamore.com

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

THANK YOU OMAHA FOR VOTING US BEST PIZZA 25 STRAIGHT YEARS!

ZIO’S PIZZERIA - $$ MC, V

7834 Dodge St. (402-391-1881) 12997 W. Center Rd. (402-330-1444) 1109 Howard St. (402-344-2222) Delivery, dine in, and carry out. Serving New York style pizza by the slice or whole pies, calzones, hoagies, pastas, salads, and garlic breads. Our pies are hand-stretched and baked in old-world ovens. We offer 35 of the freshest toppings; taste the freshest pizza at Zio’s! Family dining, open seven days a week. Lunch specials and beer and wine available. ziospizzeria.com

Hand-stretched New York style pizza

MEXICAN FERNANDO’S - $ MC, V, AE

391-1881 7834 Dodge St.

CALZONES · PASTA · SALADS LUNCH SPECIALS · APPETIZERS BEER · WINE · MARGARITAS

330-1444

344-2222

12997 W. Center Rd. 1109 Howard St. (Old Market)

HAPPY HOUR EVERY DAY FROM 4PM-6PM

ZIOSPIZZERIA.COM

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. Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-11pm; Sun., 4-9pm. fernandosomaha.com

JULIO’S - $

2820 S. 123rd Ct. 402- 330-2110 Local owned since 1977, Julio’s prides themselves on serving the finest Tex-Mex cuisine and offering top-notch customer service. Their loyal customers are the reason they have been around for nearly 40 years. They have an extensive menu that has both classic and innovative dishes—giving everyone the opportunity to find something they love. Salivating for Southwestern fare? They have tacos, tostadas, a dozen different enchiladas, and classic fajitas. And of course— NACHOS! julios.com

LA MESA - $$ MC, V

158th & W. Maple Rd. 156th & Q Sts.(402-763-2555) 110th St. & W. Maple Rd.(402-496-1101) Ft. Crook Rd. & Hwy 370 in Bellevue (402-733-8754) 84th St. & Tara Plaza in Papillion (402-593-0983) Lake Manawa Exit in Council Bluffs (712-256-2762) Enjoy awesome enchiladas, fabulous fajitas, seafood specialties, mouthwatering margaritas, and more at La Mesa! Come see why La Mesa has been voted Omaha’s #1 Mexican restaurant 13 years in a row! Sun.-Thu. 11am-10pm, Fri. & Sat. 11am-10:30pm. lamesaomaha.com

MARGARITA'S MEXICAN RESTAURANT - $

4915 S. 72nd St. (402-393-7515) Margarita's is a business with more than seven years in the food world. We offer authentic Mexican food where you can enjoy a nice moment with your family. margaritasmenu.com

ROMEO'S MEXICAN FOOD AND PIZZA - $

Omaha’s Premier Indoor Golf Facility, Bar + Kitchen SERVING DAILY SPECIALS INCLUDING: • Moscow Mule Monday • Tuesday Smoked Chicken Wings • Taco & Margarita Wednesday • Therapy Thursday Featuring $10 Bottles Of Select Wines

• Friday Gourmet Four Cheese Mac Happy Hour Specials $1 Off All Beers And $3 Well Cocktails

402.916.4PAR(4727) beyondgolfomaha.com DIRECTLY OFF OF I-80 EXIT 442 12040 McDermott Plaza LaVista, NE 68128

Romeo's is your friendly, family Mexican Food & Pizza restaurant! We take real pride in serving our guests generous portions of the freshest, most flavorful dishes made with the finest ingredients available. Zesty seasonings and the freshest ingredients combine to ensure the ultimate in flavor. Our savory taco meat is prepared every morning at each location. Make sure to try our chimichangas, they're the best in town! romeosomaha.com

SEAFOOD CHARLIE’S ON THE LAKE - $$

402-894-9411 4150 S. 144th St. Charlie’s is the only fresh-fish-daily seafood restaurant in Omaha. Features 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. Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri. 11am-11pm Sat., 4:30pm-11pm. charliesonthelake.net

DINING GUIDE LEGEND

$=$1-10 • $$=$10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$+$30+ MC=Master Card • V=Visa AE=American Express • DC=Discover Card

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 212 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

OMAHA’S ORIGINAL STEAKHOUSE

• Proudly serving visitor & locals for 90 years. • Featured on CNN.com Best Meat Cities in America • Serving hand cut steaks, aged on premise and slow roasted prime rib with pride.

O’Connor’s Irish Pub 1217 Howard St. • Omaha, NE 68102 402-934-9790 • oconnorsomaha.com Family Owned & Operated Authentic Italian Cuisine Party Rooms Available Carry Out Available

Serving Lunch & Dinner

Mon-Sat

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

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

Best Of Omaha 11 Years Running

WHERE WHERE GOOD GOOD FOOD FOOD AND AND GOOD GOOD SERVICE SERVICE NEVER NEVER GO GO OUT OUT OF OF STYLE. STYLE.

Thanks to our customers for voting us the “Best Burger in Omaha”

7984-2017 UpstreamAd-OmahaMag-5x4.917_FNL.pdf 1 NE 7/14/17 PM Stella’s Bar and Grill “Serving World Famous Hamburgers since 1936” 106 Galvin Rd • Bellevue, • 402-291-60881:43 • Open Monday-Saturday, 11:00 am - 9:00 pm

Best Greek

Family Owned Since 1983

Catering ~ Party Room Available Homemade, Fresh Food ~ Always 3821 Center St. 402/346-1528

GreekIslandsOmaha.com

Mandarin • Hunan Szechuan • Cantonese Shanghai 4040 N 132nd St (132 & Maple) 402.493.277 | GoldenPalaceNE.com SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER • 2017 / 213 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

SHUCKS FISH HOUSE & OYSTER BAR - $$

Old Market

402-827-4376 1218 S 119th St. Award winning, locally owned and operated. Very casual, but very good food, and reasonably priced. Featuring Po’ Boys, Poke Bowls, Fried Clam Strips, Shrimp and Calamari (thinnest breading in town). Plus Crab Cakes, house-made soups like Clam Chowda and Gumbo, and a wide selection of Salads and daily FRESH FISH specials. Mon.-Thu., 11am-9pm; Fri.-Sat 11am-10pm Sun., 12pm-8pm. shucksfishhouse.com

Benson

1120 Jackson Street • 402.341.5827 6023 Maple Street • 402.551.4420 tedandwallys.com

SPECIAL DINING 10 Years In A Row

Fernando’s Cafe and Cantina

CRESCENT MOON ALE HOUSE - $

402-345-1708 3578 Farnam St. Founded in 1996, we’ve grown into Beer Corner USA with the additions of The Huber Haus German Beer Hall, Max and Joe’s Belgian Beer Tavern, and Beertopia, Omaha’s Ultimate Beer Store. With more than 60 beers on tap and Omaha’s best Reuben sandwich, we are a midtown beer lover’s destination. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11am-2am. Kitchen hours: Mon.-Wed., 11am-1pm; Thu.-Sat. 11am-midnight. Closed Sun. beercornerusa.com

GERDA’S GERMAN RESTAURANT & BAKERY - $

Bringing Italy to Omaha Since 1919

Sonoran Style Cooking Made Fresh Daily.

Catering and Party Rooms Also Available.

380 N. 114th St. Omaha, NE 68154 402.330.5707

7555 Pacific St. 1600 Washington St. Omaha, NE 68114 Blair, NE 68008 402.339.8006 402.533.4450

fernandosomaha.com

Take a Taste of Italy Home Today! Tues-Thurs: 8:30am-8pm Friday: 8:30am-8:30pm Saturday: 7:30am-8pm Sunday: 7:30am-6pm

402.345.3438 621 Pacific St, Omaha NE orsibakery.com

5203 Leavenworth st. Omaha, NE 68106

Try Omaha’s Favorite Reuben! Omaha’s largest selection of craft beers.

3578 Farnam St • 402-345-1708 www.beercornerusa.com

402-553-6774 5180 Leavenworth St. 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 a dessert of Black Forest cake or grab fresh bakery for breakfast on your way out. Check hours at gerdasgermanrestaurant.com

GREEK ISLANDS - $

402-346-1528 3821 Center St. Greek cuisine with specials every day at reasonable prices. Well known for our gyro sandwiches and salads. We cater and can accommodate a party for 65 guests. Carryout and delivery available. Mon.-Thu., 11am-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-10pm; Sun., 11am-7pm. greekislandsomaha.com

JAIPUR INDIAN RESTAURANT AND BREWERY - $$$

402-392-7331 10922 Elm St. A casual restaurant in a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner entrees include fresh vegetables, grilled Colorado lamb sirloin, sushigrade ahi, tandoori marinated grilled salmon, and tandoori grilled beef tenderloin to name a few. A wide selection of wines and liquor, as well as on-site brewed beer. Lunch: Thu. and Fri., 11am2pm Dinner: Sun.-Thu., 5pm-9:30pm; Fri and Sat., 5pm-10:30pm. jaipurindianfood.com

J.COCO - $$$

402-884-2626 5203 Leavenworth St. The building that once housed a beloved neighborhood grocery has a new future. Built as a grocery back in 1925, it is now home to J. Coco. Our seasonal menus, rooted in tradition, showcase our natural ingredients. Local, organic, and sustainable when available. We feature craft bar tending, housemade desserts, and pastas. We celebrate traditional…with a modern twist. Lunch (Mon.-Fri. 11am-2pm). Dinner (Mon.-Sat. 5pm-close). jcocoomaha.com

Lunch Mon-Fri 11-2 Dinner Mon-Sat 5-10

www.jcocoomaha.com SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 214 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | DINING GUIDE

LIBRARY PUB - $

402.571.6262 5142 N 90th St. Omaha’s pre-eminent whisky pub! This bar boasts the Midwest’s largest whisky collection, spanning the globe and also features 40 rotating beers on tap. Their selection can satisfy any palate. They also offer private whisky tastings. thelibrarypubomaha.com.

O’CONNOR’S IRISH PUB - $

STEAKS • CHOPS • SEAFOOD ITALIAN SPECIALTIES 7 private party rooms Seating up to 400 Lots of parking

402-934-9790 1217 Howard St. Comfortable, relaxing atmosphere. Great before and after games. We offer pub style food—burgers, Reubens, daily specials, and homemade soups—as well as all the traditional Irish favorite libations: Guinness, Harp, and Irish whiskey. Grill hours: Mon.-Thu., 11am-10pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-10pm. oconnorsomaha.com

1620 S. 10th Street

402-345-8313

www.casciossteakhouse.com

THE ORIGINAL

Whiskey Steak

STEAKHOUSES CASCIO'S - $$

402-345-8313 1620 S. 10th St. Cascio's is Omaha's No. 1 steakhouse. We have been serving Omaha for 69 years. We feature steaks, chops, seafood, and Italian specialties. We have seven private party rooms, seating for up to 400 people, and plenty of parking. casciossteakhouse.com

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 11am-2pm Cocktail Hour: 3pm-5pm Dinner nightly from 5pm

THE DROVER RESTAURANT & LOUNGE - $$$

Reservations Accepted Gift Cards Available

2121 South 73rd Street | 402-391-7440 | DroverRestaurant.com

JERICO’S RESTAURANT - $$

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DINING GUIDE LEGEND

$=$1-10 • $$=$10-20 • $$$=$20-30 • $$$$+$30+ MC=Master Card • V=Visa AE=American Express • DC=Discover Card

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402-731-4774 4702 S. 27th St. Years of quality dining and hospitality make Johnny's Café a restaurant to remember. We serve only the finest beef the Midwest has to offer. Aged steaks and prime rib are the specialties, with homemade bread and pies to complete a meal. An excellent wine list adds to the enjoyment at one of Omaha's original restaurants. Hours: Mon.-Sat., 11am-2pm and 5pm-9:30pm. johnnyscafe.com

LOCA L

JOHNNY'S CAFÉ - $$$ MC, V, AE

A H BAR A M O

Q UE BE

402-496-0222 11732 W Dodge Rd. Welcome to a local Omaha steakhouse consistently voted Best of Omaha for best prime rib. Since it opened in 1978, Jerico’s has been serving the finest hand cut steaks, choice chicken, and fresh seafood in town. Known for it’s classic decor and old school manners, Jerico’s is not to be missed if you are looking for a true Nebraska steak experience. Private party room available and reservations are accepted. jericosomaha.com

Voted Best of Omaha 4 years in a row

i gl D unch &

nn

402-391-7440 2121 S. 73rd St. 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. Lunch: Mon.–Fri. 11am– 2pm Cocktail Hour: 3-6pm. Dinner: nightly at 5pm. Reservations accepted. droverrestaurant.com

402.991.9994 4702 S. 108th St. | Omaha, Nebraska @TiredTexanBBQ

twitter.com/tired_texan_bbq

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 215 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


STATE OF NEBRASKA

B-52S  Sept. 30, Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301

APPLE JACK FESTIVAL Sept. 15-17, various locations,

Nebraska City. Drawing 60,000-80,000 people to Nebraska City every year, this festival celebrates the beginning of apple harvest. Named one of the Top 10 Fall Harvest Festivals in the United States by USA Today, everything is entirely apple-themed. Apple pie, apple cider, candy apples, caramel apples, apple fritters, and more goodies will be available. 402-873-8757. —gonebraskacity.com/festival/apple-jack-festival

HARVEST FESTIVAL Sept.

16-17, Legacy of the Plains Museum, 2930 Old Oregon Trail, Gering. Now in its 21st year, this event attracts thousands of travelers from throughout Nebraska and neighboring states. There will be a pick-your-own potato patch, demonstrations of antique farm equipment, a corn maze, and more. 308-436-1989. —legacyoftheplains.org

ANNUAL OGALLALA INDIAN SUMMER RENDEZVOUS  Sept. 21-23, Rendezvous Square, 112 E 2nd St., Ogallala. The 33rd annual event features a chili cook-off, car and bike show, 5K and one-mile run/ walk, music, and entertainment. 308-284-4066. —ogallalaindiansummerrendezvous.com

PRAIRIE LIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL  Oct. 20-22, The N. 12th St., Lincoln. Known for their hit singles “Love Grand Theatre, 316 W. Third St., Grand Island. Shack,” and “Rock Lobster,” the B-52s have sold This three-day film festival promotes and over 20 million albums, bringing a party with showcases Nebraskan-made films and Sept. them to every city they visit. 402-472-4747. encourages networking and public support. —liedcenter.org This year includes the world premieres of the documentary Prairie Pints and short PRAIRIE LOFT HARVESTFEST  Oct. 1, Prairie film The Bagman Died First. 308-381-2667. Loft Center for Outdoor & Agricultural Learning, —prairielightsfilmfest.com 4705 DLD Road, Hastings. This free annual event celebrates the harvest season in Nebraska, offering kids’ activities and music, a tractor display, hayrack rides, farm animals, food vendors, and more. 402-463-0565. —prairieloft.org

30

TREVOR NOAH  Oct. 6, Lied Center for Performing

Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. The host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show will perform an evening of stand-up. He was the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. 402-472-4747. —liedcenter.org

LINCOLN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PRESENTS JOSHUA BELL & BRUCH  Sept. 26, Lied Center for

Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. Performing composer Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell will join the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra for their season-opening performance. 402-476-2211. —lincolnsymphony.org

GREAT PUMPKIN FESTIVAL 

LUKE BRYAN  Sept. 28, Bob Benes Farm, 701 S.W. 63rd

Oct. 6-8, along Main Street in Crete. Downtown Crete will be packed full of autumn fun. Highlights include hayrack rides, carnival games, food, and the Great Pumpkin Giveaway. 402-826-2136. —cretepumpkinfest.com

St., Lincoln. Billboard’s top country artist in 2016 is bringing his “Farm Tour” to Lancaster County resident Bob Benes’ farm. With special guest Jon Pardi, the show is the first of the ninth year of the tour that brings country music to rural farm fields. No phone number available. —lukebryan.com/farm-tour

LINCOLN CALLING Sept.

28-30, various locations, Lincoln. The annual non-profit music festival put on by Hear Nebraska will feature emerging artists as well as some better known ones, such as headliner Charli XCX. No phone number available. —lincolncalling.com SPONSORED

MOTOWN THE MUSICAL  Oct. 21-22, Lied Center

for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St., Lincoln. This show follows the American Dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy, who assisted in launching the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, and others. Motown the Musical features hit songs such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” 402-472-4747. —liedcenter.org

CAN YOU FIND the Great Pumpkin in Sarpy County? Bellevue Berry & Pumpkin Ranch and Vala’s Pumpkin Patch are ready to help you find the perfect pumpkin. Plan a visit (or two) starting in late September through October. Gifford Farm's annual trick or treating event with the animals is a super fun event for the kids on Oct. 21. If it’s ghouls you're looking for, visit Scary Acres or Haunted Hollow for a haunting good time. gosarpy.com

SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER •  2017 / 217 / BESTOFOMAHA.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | EXPLORE

BOO ON THE FARM  Oct. 22, Wessel Living His-

tory Farm, 5520 S. Lincoln Ave.,York. This Halloween event is for children in preschool through fifth grade. Games, treats, wagon rides, and Starbucks coffee will be available all day long. Each child will receive a pumpkin to take home. 402-710-0682. —livinghistoryfarm.org

BOO AT THE ZOO  Oct. 26-30, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, 1222 S. 27th St., Lincoln. With over 40 trick-ortreat booths, Boo at the Zoo is Lincoln’s largest Halloween event. All of the money raised directly supports the animals, and children can see their favorite critters while snacking on candy. 402-475-6741. —lincolnzoo.org/events

THE GOOD LIFE HALFSY  Oct. 29, throughout Lin-

coln. This half marathon goes through several area green spaces. Runners also pass stadiums and iconic buildings before finishing downtown. 402-937-8515. —goodlifehalfsy.com

BOLD . ELEGANT . ALLURING

Professional Jewelry Design, Creation and Repair

PUNKIN’ CHUNKIN’  Oct. 29, along Highway 32 one mile east of Petersburg. Competitors enter their machines to shoot, launch, throw, or fly pumpkins weighing 6 to 12 pounds. Pumpkins will be flung across fields all day long, and the event is held in conjunction with the World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' Association. 402-386-5551. —ci.petersburg.ne.us

402.935.4367 . 3412 South 144 St. Omaha NE 68144

844.271.6909 SEPTEMBER // OCTOBER  •  2017 / 218 / OMAHAMAGAZINE.COM


OMAHA MAGAZINE | EXPLORE!

IOWA IOWASTOCK 2017 MUSIC AND ART FAIR  Sept. 1-4, Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater, 3357 St. Charles Road, St. Charles. This new festival to central Iowa has a major goal in mind of highlighting the state’s homegrown talent. Along with music, the fourday event will feature food vendors, arts and crafts, and after-parties. 515-770-1218. —iowastock.com

HARVEST WAGON RIDES  Sept. 9, 16, and 23, and Oct. 14, Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. This evening of horse and wagon rides through fields and country roads also includes light refreshments and other autumn fun. 515-278-5286. —lhf.org

HALLOWEEN HIKE  Oct. 23, Annett Nature Center, 15565 118th Ave., Indianola. Trek down a trail lit by jack-o’-lanterns and meet several costumed characters along the way. Crafts and snacks will follow the adventure through the woods. 515- 9 61- 6169 . —warrenccb.org FAMILY HALLOWEEN 

Oct. 26-29, Living History Farms, 1121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. This non-scary family event includes horse-drawn wagon rides, storytellers, pumpkin bowling, trickor-treating, and jack-o’-lanterns. 515-278-5286. —lhf.org

STEVE MARTIN AND MARTIN SHORT  Oct. 27,

Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. An evening of stand-up, film clips, musical numbers, and conversations of their lives in show business. The comedians will be joined by the Grammywinning Steep Canyon Rangers, a bluegrass band with whom Martin performs. 515-246-2300. —desmoinesperformingarts.org

AMERICAN ALPACA SHOWCASE  Oct. 28-29, Iowa State Fairgrounds, 3000 E. Grand Ave., Des Moines. This livestock competition will feature animals from both the American Alpaca Showcase and the Illinois Alpaca Show. The event is free and will feature alpacas from farms from all over the county. 603-610-6010. —americanalpacashowcase.com KANSAS SPOOK TACUL AR WEEK END Oct.

20 -22 throughout Atchison. Visit the most haunted town in Kansas during the spookiest time of the year. Events include tours by the Haunted Trolley, and of the Sallie House, which has been featured on paranormal shows such as The Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures and BuzzFeed Unsolved. 8 0 0 -23 4-18 5 4 . — v i sit atc h i s on . c om /e x plor e - e x p er ienc e/ haunted-atchison

WORLD FOOD & MUSIC FESTIVAL  Sept. 15-17

in downtown Des Moines. This food festival celebrating cuisine from around the world is returning with live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and a fireworks show. 515-286-4949. —worldfoodandmusicfestival.org

ZZ TOP  Sept. 17, Civic Center, 221 Walnut St., Des Moines. The legendary rock band has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 . 515-246-2300. —desmoinesperformingarts.org OKTOBERFEST 

Sept. 22-23, downtown Des Moines from Mulberry Street to Grand Avenue. Featuring polka bands, authentic German food, a rooftop bier garden, beer villages, dance lessons, and a stein holding competition, the 14th annual Oktoberfest is held in the heart of the Historic Court District. 515-286-4950. —oktoberfestdsm.com

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | EXPLORE!

EDGAR ALLEN POE HISTORY MYSTERY WALKING TOUR  Oct. 29 at Atchison Theatre, 401 Santa Fe St., Atchison. Beginning with a tour of the old railroad town, the eerie evening returns to Theatre Atchison to enjoy an evening of mystery as the theater’s Encore Players recreate the drama of Edgar Allen Poe from the golden age of radio. 1-800-234-1854. —visitatchison.com

MISSOURI JOESTOCK MUSIC FESTIVAL 

Sept. 1-3, Felix Street Square, 2601 Frederick Ave., Saint Joseph. This free music festival is for all ages. Produced in conjunction with the Missouri Music Hall of Fame, the festival is a celebration of local art and music. 816-676-1112. —stjosephmusicfoundation.org

GORILLAZ 

Sept. 22, The Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City. Fresh off of the release of the band’s latest album, Humanz, Gorillaz is better known as their virtual selves. The group is known as the most successful virtual band of all time, after selling over 7 million copies of their 2001 self-titled debut album Gorillaz. 816-949-7100. —sprintcenter.com

PONY E XPRESS PUMPKINFEST 

Oct. 13-15 , Pony Express Mu seum , 914 Penn St., St. Joseph . The lighting of the Great P umpkin Mountain—where hundreds of car ved , electrically lit pumpkins come to life at the f lip of the switch—opens the Pony E x press P u mpk i n fes t . Fol low i ng the lighting ceremony, a festival feat u r i ng a ch i ld ren’s cos t u me parade, festiva l r ides , food , and craf ts ta kes place. 816 -279 - 50 59 . —ponyexpress.org/pumpkinfest-2017

Oct.

THE XX—"I SEE YOU TOUR"  Oct.

3 , Star Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City. The British indiepop band expanded their 2017 Nor th American tour following the release of their third studio album, I See You. 816-363-7827. —kcstarlight.com

3

Event times and details may change.

Check with venue or event organizer to confirm.

INDEPENDENCE UNCORKED WINE FESTIVAL  Sept . 9 , 31 3 W. Pacif ic Ave. , In dependence. Feat u r i ng 2 5 loca l w i ner ies , t he la rges t M issou r i w i ne fes t iv a l i ncludes ar t, music, and food booths. Proceeds from t he event go towa rds nationa l a nd loca l cha r it ies , a nd t he event is held on t he grounds of the historic Bingham-Waggoner Es tate a nd 18 5 2 ma n sion . 816 - 8 2 0 -21 1 2 . —independenceuncorked.com

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MIDWEST TEA FESTIVAL  Sept. 9-10, Ararat

Shrine Temple, 5100 Ararat Drive, Kansas City. An event completely dedicated to tea, the Midwest Tea Festival focuses on tea preparation, tea culture, history and tons of tea tastings. A tea market featuring vendors from across the Midwest and country will run the entire length of the festival. 816-923-1995 . —midwestteafest.com

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OMAHA MAGAZINE | NOT FUNNY

IF

COLUMN BY OTIS TWELVE PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL SITZMANN

W

HAT IF” QUESTIONS seem to

be a big thing on social media these days. Like…“What if you were dying and could listen to one more song before the end—what song would it be?”

It’s not so much the “what” that bothers me. I just avoid anything to do with “if.” Except, of course, Rudyard Kipling’s great poem of that very title, which begins: “If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs, and blaming it on you…” But then, as wise as Kipling was, no one took his advice about invading Afghanistan—don’t. So, it’s just more evidence that folks never listen to poets. If we’d listened to Kipling…well…sorry…there’s that “if ” again. But, back to the questions at hand, here’s one that was popular for a while: “If you could have just one super power, what would it be?” The top two answers by far are: the ability to fly and invisibility. You can tell a lot about someone by his or her choice in this category. Being invisible is a selfish, perverse, and unacceptable answer. We all know what you’d do if you were invisible. It wouldn’t be saving lives, or rescuing people, or anything unselfish. We know what you’d do, so don’t try to make up some scenario where invisibility is used for the common good. Just don’t. Flying, on the other hand, is a noble, useful, ennobling superpower. You can swoop in and save people in all sorts of dangerous situations—like on boats drifting toward the edge of Niagara Falls. You could take deserving people on really cool vacations while avoiding embarrassing pat downs in the TSA lines at airports. You could save kittens in tall trees and be famous because of the resultant viral YouTube video. You could speed up your friend’s move from that fifth floor walk-up apartment, stuff like that. Another posting that bothers me is, “If you could give your 12-year-old self advice, what would it be?”

Scan this page with the LayAR app to hear Otis Twelve read.

Aside from the implausibility of this whole time travel scenario, I mean, what if when I was back in time looking for my 12-year-old self, I accidentally

gave my grandfather some bad advice, and he invested the family fortune in Studebaker? But that aside—that and the fact that there was no “family fortune” to squander—giving advice to myself seems to be a pointless conceit. I never took any advice from anyone. The fact that my older self was offering counsel would not have made the slightest difference. Being the pubescent lad I was, I would have simply laughed, put on my lucky socks, and gone back to the baseball diamond shaking my head. So what advice would I try to give? Simple. Don’t sign with the Cardinals. If only I had listened. “If you could have dinner with any historical figure, who would you choose?” Lots of people say Jesus, or better yet, God. I think they’re just trying to impress. Besides stretching the definition of “historical figure,” God just wouldn’t be a good dinner companion. Think about it. What could you say that he hadn’t already heard a few billion times? And what could he say that you would understand? No. And I’m not interested in dining with Abraham Lincoln—I’ve read all his folksy jokes—or Jefferson, or Mata Hari, or King this, or Kaiser that, or any famous author—trust me, you never want to sup with a writer. “If ” I gotta pick a historical figure with whom to have a long, conversation-filled meal, I choose my dad, Vincent Henry. He’s the bit of history I’d like to spend more time with… and…and…and maybe Mark Twain, who is way beyond the category of “writer.” Dad would understand if I brought him along. Right, I haven’t answered the original hypothetical. “If you were dying and could listen to one more song before the end—what song would it be?” It depends. If I’m having one of those peaceful, romantic death scenes like Garbo in Camille, then I’d want to stretch it out a bit, and I’d go for Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony. It clocks in at around 105 minutes. If we’re talking a painful, traumatic exit, well then, The Minute Waltz if you please. But all these are just “ifs.” And as my grandfather said, “If Grandma had had wheels, she’da been a wagon.”  Otis Twelve hosts the radio program, Early Morning Classics with Otis Twelve, on 90.7 KVNO, weekday mornings from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. Visit kvno.org for more information.

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September/October 2017 Omaha Magazine  

A Love Letter in Photos The Missing Piece, Grief, and Social Media. Bien Fang, Jake Guentzel, The Big Give, Gusto Cuban, Benson History