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The Salvation Army

The Tree of Lights Tribune

Western Division Headquarters 10755 Burt Street Omaha, Nebraska 68114-2065

Major Paul Fleeman, Divisional Commander Joanne Bemis, Development Director Susan Eustice, Public Relations Director Victoria Jones, Public Relations Intern

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID The Salvation Army

Bellevue’s Big Red Kettle Event for The Salvation Army

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A Special Edition on The Salvation Army Tree of Lights Greater Omaha Campaign - 2012


Kicking Off The Season Right

A Big Thank You to the Participating Businesses and Organizations listed below: AAA Life Insurance Company AAFO-American Advertising Federation of Omaha ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) Access Ackerman Elementary Aksarben Cinema Alegent Health American Interstate Bancorp Army National Guard Avantis Bag N Save Bailey Lauerman Baker’s Beauty First Bergan Mercy ICU Girl Scout Troops: #42425, #44318, #43815, #42103, #44319, #42104 & #42193 Brueggers Bagels Burke High School Deca Club Cassling Clark Chiropractic Clinic College of St. Mary Community Covenant Church

Cornhusker International Trucking Cracker Barrel Crave Restaurant Creighton EMS Education Creighton ROTC Creighton School of Law Creighton School of Nursing Crossroads Mall CVS Pharmacy Dollar Store Echo Electric Egan Supply Execu-Suites Farm Credit Services of America First State Bank Florence Elementary School’s 2nd grade class Fremont High School G & G Manufacturing Company Griffin Pipe Company Harland Technology Services Hewlett Packard Holstine-Pierson Family Husker Express/The Dugout St. Inflection Jazzercise

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Keeping It Warm The Kroc Center joined Centris Federal Credit Union and Radio Lobo for a radiothon to collect winter hats, coats, gloves and blankets for the homeless and near homeless of Omaha, Nebraska.

Kellogg Co. Lockwood Development Lowes Lund Company Menlo Worldwide Midland’s Business Journal Midwest Tae Kwon Do Millard Lioness Club Millard West High School Montclair Elementary No Frills Supermarkets Northwest Bank Oakview Mall OfficeMax Omaha North Rotary Omaha Symphony Payroll Maxx Physician’s Mutual Pottawattamie County Court Proxibid RFD TV Roto-Rooter Sam and Louie’s Pizza Select Specialty Hospital Spiritual Life Group (St. Cecilia’s) Streck, Inc.

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Super Saver Sweet Adelines The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary TJ Maxx Travel & Transport Treasure Mart TSYS Two Men and a Truck U.S. Bank Union Pacific Child Development Center UNMC College of Medicine UNMC Standardized Patients UNO & UNO Fraternity (Kappa Alpha Phi) Upstream Brewing Company Valentino’s Vetter Health Services Village Inn Walmart Warren Distribution Weber Orthodontics West Asset Management/Phi Beta Kappa Westlake ACE Hardware Westroads Mall Wynne Transportation

Mark Your Calendar! Tuesday, May 7, 2013 ~ 11:45 AM The Salvation Army ~ D.J.’s Hero Awards Luncheon CenturyLink Center Omaha

The temperatures started to dip while the volunteers stood in front of the Centris Federal Credit Union at 35th and L streets adding urgency to the important mission of Winter Night Watch. Radio Lobo listeners and Centris Federal Credit Union members showed up with coats and winter wear to share with the community. This year The Salvation Army is in their 24th year of helping make winter nights bearable by taking aid directly to the streets, providing the homeless and near homeless with a hot meal and warm clothing via the Winter Night Watch canteen truck.

Radio Lobo promotions director, Melissa Schoonover, and on-air personality, “El Tlaxcalteca”, in front of coat drive sponsor, Centris Federal Credit Union, helped kickoff the 1st annual Radio Lobo Winter Night Watch Radiothon.

For more information, please contact:

Patti Cameli ~ 402.898.7700 ext. 111 or register at

The event included performances by “S. Claus and His Friends”, The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble, the Stepper-Ettes Baton and Dance Team, and a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus. The Bellevue East ROTC Cadets assisted Santa by giving out candy canes and keeping an eye on the good little boys and girls. Santa’s helpers included twins, Tayden and Becca Smith, dressed as little kettles, and Ben Larsen dressed as the Marathon Peanut. Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders delighted the audience with an appearance by wearing her fashionable “Santa Rita” outfit. Pictured with the big red kettle from left to right are Ben Larsen as the Peanut; Madeline Madden, director of annual fund and advancement of The Salvation Army; Santa Claus; Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders; and John Larsen of Marathon Ventures.

The Salvation Army has a long tradition of kettles and bell ringing to help raise the funds to support those in need within our communities. Bellevue now has begun its tradition, thanks to Marathon Ventures, of supporting The Salvation Army’s efforts to help those in the city of Bellevue.

Young Professionals Gathered At The Zin Room

Hosted by American National Bank on 90th and Dodge streets, the special lighting ceremony was emceed by Tyson Pearsall and Matt Serwe, Meteorologists with KETV News Watch Seven. During the ceremony, the public was treated to Jimmy John’s snacks courtesy of Mike Simmonds, warm drinks, and entertainment from the Westside Chamber Singers, Santa and his reindeer and a visit from Scrooge and Jacob Marley from “A Christmas Carol” which was being performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse! A big thank you to all who made the event a wonderful time and a huge success!

On November 10th at the Zin Room in downtown Omaha, the Young Professionals Kettle Klub Cabinet hosted their first annual fundraiser. The event was promoted as an opportunity to watch the Nebraska Huskers play the Penn State Nittany Lions, bid on auction items, and leave with the feeling of having fun for a worthwhile cause.

Young Professionals enjoying themselves at the Zin Room!

Lt. John Fetzer, IV performed with The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble before making close eye-contact with his daughter, Baillie Fay Fetzer.

The Salvation Army Omaha City Commander, Paula Fleeman, with the Tree of Lights Campaign Leaders. Pictured from left to right are Joleen David, Bellevue Mayor Rita Sanders, Nick Taylor, Major Paula Fleeman, Connie Ryan and Joe Kavan.

Thanks to Ryan Gish of the Zin Room, the hors d’oeuvres kept coming and the Husker fans were kept happy. Molly Kavan, Chair of the Young Professionals, said, “Can’t wait to do this again in 2013!” True to their word, they are planning their next event for February.

Omaha’s Realtor Ring Day Is A Success!

Jacob Marley and Scrooge from the cast of “A Christmas Carol.”

On Friday, December 7th, from 10 am to 6 pm, more than 313 Omaha Metropolitan Realtors rang bells and manned the red kettles at locations across Omaha. Realtors across Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota joined together to raise money for The Tree of Lights Campaign. Nebraska is one of 15 states to join the Realtor Ring Day movement which debuted in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2010 and helped raise approximately $200,000 that year.

2012 Tree of Lights Campaign Rings In The New Year Elections, hurricanes, and the continuing economic uncertainty did not stop Omaha from making the 2012 Tree of Lights Campaign a success. Under the leadership of Tree of Lights Honorary Chair Connie Ryan, President of Streck, Inc., Paul Hogan Honorary Vice-Chair, and the Kettle Klub Cabinet, the Omaha Salvation Army raised the necessary funds to help many in the Omaha community. As Chair, Connie Ryan reflected on her campaign experience by saying, “The red kettles and bells are familiar sights and sounds of the holiday season. For me, they now represent so much more than a simple way to make a contribution. My experience with the Tree of Lights campaign has given me the opportunity to be involved with a great organization. I have a new level of admiration for The Salvation Army’s work, and I appreciate the fact that the generous support provided by the Omaha community stays right here – doing good at home. I also have greater admiration for the commitment of the organization’s long-term staff and volunteers. Wow, what dedication! It’s been a blessing and an honor to participate in this year’s program.” Part of this year’s fundraising success came from the addition of young professionals to the Kettle Klub Cabinet who helped reach a new and vital group of professionals within the Omaha area. The young professionals and the Kettle Klub Cabinet rang bells, raised funds, and garnered good will for The Salvation Army among their peers.

Keynote Speaker: Retired NFL player and Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith

The Big Red Kettle was made possible by a donation from Marathon Ventures in Bellevue, Nebraska. It was constructed at Woerner Wire in Omaha and delivered to Bellevue just in time to have The Salvation Army lettering placed on the kettle’s Salvation Army shield.

“It is truly my pleasure to be part of The Salvation Army organization and this historical occasion in our community. In Bellevue alone, the Army has helped more than 1,500 people this past year,” said Mayor Sanders.

Standing 75 feet tall, weighing three tons and adorned with lights worthy of the Rockefeller Center, the Tree of Lights was a sight to behold at the Annual Tree of Lights Campaign Kick-Off on Friday, November 9th. The ceremony came with a major announcement: a celebration in 2013 of The Salvation Army’s 125th anniversary in Omaha built around the theme “125 Years Caring for Omaha.”

Angel Tree 2012

On an overcast Saturday night with the possibility of snow showers, a nine-foot, 800-pound Salvation Army Kettle was unveiled on December 15th at Bellevue’s first Big Red Kettle Event to the delight of all who were present. Witnesses to this event said, “My gosh”, “Unbelievable”, “Wow!”

More than 300 realtors rang bells at the red kettles on December 7th in Omaha.

Another Success for the Red Kettle Run!

Molly Kavan, Chair of the Young Professionals Kettle Klub Cabinet, said, “Being a young professional volunteer for The Salvation Army has been a wonderful experience. Growing up in Omaha I have always associated The Salvation Army with the Tree of Lights campaign without fully understanding the programs the organization funds. Volunteering has given me new insight into the many needs of our community and the great programs The Salvation Army has developed to reach struggling individuals and families while also forming a sense of community and belonging. I had no idea about the layers and depth of the organization, and I am so grateful to be a part of it. It is truly an organization that does not discriminate and knows no limits.” Thank you to the Tree of Lights Campaign leadership. You are greatly appreciated for all your time and support during the campaign. With your friendship and leadership, The Salvation Army rings in the New Year!

The 2012 Tree of Lights Leadership kicked off the Tree of Lights Campaign at American National Bank. Pictured from left are Tree of Lights Honorary Chair, Connie Ryan; and Tree of Lights Honorary Vice-Chair, Paul Hogan.

This year, the Omaha Metropolitan Realtors raised more than $13,900.00 for The Tree of Lights Campaign. The idea to hold Realtor Ring Day came from a realtor in Fargo, North Dakota who wanted to give real estate professionals an opportunity to support a cause that is dear to them: housing. The Salvation Army offers transitional and scattered site housing programs in Omaha and across the division.

Tim Harrison of Northwestern Mutual, the lead sponsor of the Red Kettle Run, and Red Kettle Run founder, Allie Baxter.

The Tree of Lights Campaign got off to a running start with the third annual Red Kettle Run. This year’s chairperson and founder, Allie Baxter, was thrilled with a record 875 participants and 44,000 items of food collected for The Salvation Army food pantries. This year’s lead sponsor, Northwestern Mutual, supported the campaign and brought nearly 50 volunteers to the event held October 27th at Lake Zorinsky Park in Omaha. The winner was 13 year old Seth Hirsch of Omaha. The Des Moines and Lincoln Salvation Army Corps also held runs benefiting their programs.

Participants shoot from the starting line at the 2012 Red Kettle Run.

Red Kettle Blitz

Behind The Scenes of a Red Kettle Campaign Everyone sees the red kettles out each year with the bell ringers singing or ringing the bells, but few think about how those kettles get to all those locations. We have over 150 kettle sites across the Omaha metro area, along with another 100 counter kettles out at convenience stores and fast food locations. How do we manage that? It must take a whole fleet of vehicles to get all those kettles delivered.

An all-star cast of guests made an appearance at Nebraska Furniture Mart for the twopart KFAB Red Kettle Blitz on November 30th. All came to help raise awareness of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles and the Tree of Lights Campaign.

Omaha Prime Quartet and Omaha Wild Clown-Dum members entertain shoppers at Nebraska Furniture Mart during live broadcasts by KFAB’s Crash Davis and Scott Voorhees.

In the morning, 1110 KFAB host Scott Voorhees took up the microphone as The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble rang in the event. Major Todd Thielke of the Kroc Center and its mascot, Captain Kroc, made an appearance to discuss the importance of giving during this time of year, followed by the Omaha Storm Chasers’ mascot “Stormy” and Storm Chasers’ development director, Ben Hammen, to talk about their partnership with the Omaha North Corps. The McGuigan Brothers from the Omaha Community Playhouse production of “Yesterday and Today” also stopped by, followed by a musical performance by The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble.

In the afternoon, 1110 KFAB host Crash Davis took over and welcomed the band Voodoo Method, John Wehrle, director of donor relations for The Salvation Army Kroc Center, and Connie Ryan, Tree of Lights Honorary Chair. The Girl Scouts and Omaha Wild Clown-Dum members Sparkle, Shamrock, Loli Pop, and Basil were among the volunteers who donated their time and talent to entertain the store’s patrons, posing for photos and ringing their bells. The night ended with a stirring mix of Christmas songs from the Omaha Prime Quartet! Thank you to KFAB and all who came out and donated their time as well as those who donated to the red kettles. Your contributions will be used to help thousands in the community.

A Thanksgiving to Remember

A labor of love was behind this Thanksgiving dinner at the Omaha North Corps. More than 200 people were guests at the corps dinner held just before Thanksgiving Day.

The Omaha North Corps served approximately 243 Thanksgiving meals to those in need on November 21, 2012. The meal consisted of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries and, of course, pie for dessert. Individuals were given the opportunity to come in, sit down and relax before the meal was served. Many individuals in the north Omaha community cannot experience Thanksgiving Day like other individuals due to lack of income or proper housing in order to cook. This meal was Thanksgiving for many of the clients who visit North Corps on a daily basis for the noon feeding program. North Corps could not have served this meal without the generous help by employees of Upstream Brewing Company who cooked and deboned 13 turkeys and the African American Firefighters Association and employees from Longhorn Steakhouse who helped serve the meal. One client who was very thankful for the meal stated, “I will not have a Thanksgiving meal, and I really appreciate you doing this.”

The mission was realized…the Kroc Center’s Mammel Assembly Hall was built to be filled with music. In 2012 this mission was defined by partnerships with the Omaha Conservatory of Music and The Omaha Symphony. The Conservatory instructors started musical instruction with the fall semester, and Kroc Center members enthusiastically signed up to participate. Two Conservatory concerts have been held, and the program continues to grow. The Omaha Symphony, conducted by Music Director Thomas Wilkins and joined by the Highland Elementary School chorus, also delivered beautiful music when they took the stage at the Kroc Center on December 18th and captured the audience with holiday favorites. The addition of the Omaha Symphony concert to the Kroc Center’s holiday festivities helped realize Joan Kroc’s dream of life-changing experiences and enriching lives.

All donors who chose to adopt made three commitments: provide a toy or clothing for each child, provide a gift coupon for a holiday meal, and coordinate a time to deliver gifts to their assigned family by December 23.

Without these vehicles, The Salvation Army would not be able to get the job done. Our special thanks to the following for their support in helping us deliver the red kettles. • Atchley Ford • Baxter Ford • Beardmore Chevrolet • Gregg Young Chevrolet • Lexus of Omaha • O’Daniel Honda • Performance Chrysler • Performance Ford • Performance Toyota • Performance VW • Todd Archer Hundai

This Christmas season, more than 2,400 metro Omaha families and the elderly were matched in the Adopt-a-Family program. Since the program began 13 years ago, more than 25,380 families have been adopted by local donors.

Star 104.5 on-air personalities Nikki Boulay, Kurt Owens, and Chris & Ricky keep the momentum going during the 2012 Adopt-a-Family Radiothon for The Salvation Army.

Winter Warm Up Coat Drive Thanks to the generosity of the Omaha Fire Department, Rains Chimney Sweep, and Two Men and A Truck, the second annual Winter Warm Up Coat Drive was a big success. The four-week drive collected more than 1,531 coats and winter clothing items in December. Donations to the drive went to the Winter Night Watch program and to people in need through local Salvation Army Community Centers.

The Salvation Army THANKS the owners, managers and employees of these Tree of Lights bell ringing and counter kettle sites

5 Guys Burgers and Fries A B’s 66 Gas Station Aksarben Cinema Alegent Primary Care Amsterdam Falafel & Kabob American National Bank Bag N Save Baker’s Barrett’s Barleycorn Barry O’s Bass Pro Shop Blimpie Restaurants Bohemian Café Cabela’s Center Hardware China Buffet China Palace Delice European Bakery Dillon Brothers Harley Davidson Fantasy’s Food & Fuel Fareway Foods FarmHouse Café & Bakery Garbo’s Salon

! u o Y k n a Th Gordman’s Hobby Lobby Husker Hounds Hy-Vee JCPenney Kmart La Casa Pizzeria Lakeside Family Medicine Le Peep Restaurant Mama’s Pizza Mangelson’s Metabolic Research Center

Midtown Crossing Nebraska Furniture Mart Nobbies No Frills Supermarkets Omaha Area Board of Realtors Omaha Hair Choice Omaha Trans Video Orsi’s Bakery & Pizzeria Papa John’s Pruitt Outdoor Power Ragazzi’s Pizza Runza Restaurants Sam & Louie’s Pizza Sam’s Club Sears Shopko Security National Bank Sgt. Peffer’s Italian Café Subway Super Saver WheatField’s Eatery & Bakery Walmart Westlake ACE Hardware

The Salvation Army would like to thank Star 104.5 and their hosts Chris & Ricky, and Nikki Boulay and 2012 sponsors Windstream Communications, L Street Marketplace, and Woodhouse Auto for supporting the Adopt-a-Family Radiothon.

The 2nd annual Winter Warm Up Coat Drive launched at the Omaha Fire Station at 48th and Mayberry streets on November 27th. Pictured are Omaha Firefighters with sponsors Two Men and A Truck and Rains Chimney Sweep.

A special thank you goes out to Omaha Fire Department Captain Tim McCaw who heads up the Public Information Office and to Lance and Cheryl Rains of Rains Chimney Sweep for their heartfelt support. Two Men and A Truck employees picked up donations throughout the month from metro Omaha fire stations. Without our transportation partner, this drive wouldn’t have been possible.

“Fill-The-Truck”: A Merrier Christmas for Children in Need Saturday, December 8th, Walmart and The Salvation Army partnered for the “Fill-The-Truck” toy and coat drive to help provide Christmas cheer to local children as part of the 122nd Red Kettle Campaign. All metro Omaha Walmart locations, along with more than 2,500 additional Walmarts from across the country, took part in the drive. Local donations of new toys and coats were gathered from gracious shoppers providing more than 1000 items for Christmas. In addition, Walmart and Sam’s Club continued their tradition of hosting red kettles and volunteers to collect much-needed funds to support the Army’s social services programs at Christmas and year-round. Also, Walmart made a national $1 million donation to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign to be split among the four Salvation Army Territories to provide support for feeding programs that include meal programs for youth.

#RingItOn! Beautiful music rang out from the Kroc Center on December 18th when the Omaha Symphony performed a holiday concert with children from nearby Highland Elementary School.

Kroc Center Holiday Events Santa Claus joined members of the Kroc Center community for a fun filled morning on December 15th with breakfast and the message that the greatest gift every Christmas is the gift of our Savior. Two hundred and fifty attendees joined Santa for a delicious breakfast, entertainment and a keepsake photo. Other holiday events for Kroc Center families included a special treat just for kids at the Gingerbread Decorating Party where they applied icing and candy to decorate their own gingerbread houses. On December 13th, The Omaha Conservatory of Music Young Musicians Showcase took to the Kroc Center’s stage to deliver a musical treat which highlighted the work they had done over the past few months of learning and practicing music. The Children’s Christmas Musical this year, a time-travel “Back to the Manger”, provided a perfect holiday celebration for the whole family. A special holiday concert with the Omaha Symphony and Christmas Worship Services topped off the holidays for the Kroc Center.

Contestant, Judy Grace, rang the bell for 28 straight hours at Baker’s in Bellevue.

Santa paid a visit to the Kroc Center for the 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa. Santa captures the attention of two young guests.

This year, Salvation Army volunteer Judy Grace took up the challenge of creating awareness for bell ringing, raising money and, yes, The Salvation Army World Record Bell Ringing Contest. She fought fatigue and sore feet for 28 hours and 13 minutes to raise an amazing $1,682.23. After two days of standing and ringing, Judy was looking forward to going home and life returning to normal. Judy declined further public appearances saying, “I want the focus to go back onto the other bell ringers in Omaha and across the U.S.” She was not in the competition for personal glory, she was in it to create awareness of the need for bell ringers and to donate to The Salvation Army to support its mission and programs. She did offer one last challenge that next year someone else in Omaha take up the bell and try to beat her “local record”.

The Boy Scouts also volunteered to help The Salvation Army on that day. Pictured are Andy Kutilek and his son.

The public is graciously thanked for their donations during this time of giving to those in need this holiday season.

Celebrity Bell Ringers and Carollers in Midtown Crossing In a partnership with The Salvation Army and Midtown Crossing, celebrities roamed the streets during the first three Fridays in December. Over 20 of The Salvation Army’s advisory board members, local media, and city leaders were invited to gather around Midtown Crossing’s 25-foot Christmas tree to ring bells and sing Christmas carols to raise awareness of the Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

402.898.7700 ext. 121

“Carollers and other talented volunteers entertained and attracted the attention of shoppers and diners and helped raise donations for The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign,” said Susan Eustice, director of public relations for The Salvation Army’s Western Division. “We are grateful for the partnership with Midtown Crossing,” said Eustice.

The Salvation Army Brass Ensemble joined celebrity bell ringers and carollers at Midtown Crossing to raise awareness of the Tree of Lights Campaign.

tree of lights 2012

Omaha Symphony Concert

The Adopt-a-Family Radiothon went live on December 1st and 2nd at The Salvation Army Lied Renaissance Center. Star 104.5 FM listeners were invited to adopt a family or a senior citizen for the holidays. Over 200 volunteers, many representing local businesses such as First Data, Farm Credit Services of America, Hewlett Packard, The Hartford, and AIM Institute, took up a post to match donors to those in need.

“Without these vehicles to deliver kettles, The Salvation Army would not be able to have nearly the number of kettle locations out each year,” said Kadrlik. “On a busy Saturday, we’ll deliver kettles to over 100 locations, all of which have to be in place by 10:00 am,” said Kadrlik.

Paul Adams, general sales manager for Atchley Ford, said, “The Salvation Army is a great organization and Atchley Ford is proud to partner in the effort to do the most good.”

A very special Thank You to Simmonds’ Jimmy John’s for donating snacks for the Tree of Lights Campaign Kick-Off held on November 9, 2012!

It was a heartwarming sight to see other people helping those less fortunate during the holiday season. A tradition that’s lasted for over a decade, still manages to astound with its participants’ selflessness.

Each year we are blessed to have numerous auto dealerships in town that support The Salvation Army by donating vehicles for us to use to deliver the red kettles. Greg Kadrlik, director of volunteers, has the task of coordinating with the auto dealerships to obtain vehicles on loan to deliver the kettles.

Paul Adams of Atchley Ford and Salvation Army director of volunteers, Greg Kadrlik, check on a passenger van on loan to The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

John Wehrle, director of donor relations for The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center, and KFAB’s Crash Davis converse during a live broadcast.


2012 Tribune Newsletter  

2012 Tribune Newsletter