Guests at the 16th annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Promise Gala hit a big home run Feb. 23.
At least 620 were on hand to raise more than $700,000 at the baseball-themed event at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. “Hit T1D Out of the Park, We're Bringing Home a Cure” was the night's catchphrase.
Honorary chairmen were Susanne Shore and Pete Ricketts; event chairmen were Kelli and Scott Draper, Jeanie and Lance Jones, and Gabby and Matt Mormino. TD Ameritrade was corporate sponsor.
Following a silent auction, guests moved into the ballroom for dinner, an oral auction and a video featuring research advances made possible by the foundation.
The Fund-A-Cure video presentation featured members of the Rater-Johnson family, who shared their story of three generations of type 1 diabetes. Nine-year-old Jillian Rater, a third-grader at St. Albert Elementary School in Council Bluffs who has had type 1 diabetes since she was 5, narrated the video and spoke on how the foundation's funds have created significant advances since her father, Mark Rater, was diagnosed 40 years ago.
An after-party featuring the Crazy Keys dueling pianos brought the evening's festivities to a close.
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The Omaha Academy of Ballet continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary at a Decades of Dance Gala from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at the OPPD Atrium.
The date was chosen to coincide with the Omaha Performing Arts' presentation of the Joffrey Ballet's “Le Sacre du Printemps — The Rite of Spring.” Academy faculty, alumni, board members and others will celebrate before heading across the street to watch the ballet at the Orpheum Theater.
“So much of Omaha's dance history begins with the academy,” said Catherine Demes-Maydew, president of the nonprofit school's board of directors. “The city's first professional ballet company, Creighton University's dance program, and hundreds of professional dance performers and teachers all got their start from this single institution.”
Chairwomen for the anniversary events were Demes-Maydew, chief financial officer of the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation; Mary Quinn Weber, an Omaha attorney; Wendy Larson Cooper, president of Larson Cement Stone Co.; and longtime Omaha philanthropist Sharon McGill. All four had trained, performed or taught at the academy.
Tickets for the gala, which includes admission to the Joffrey performance, still can be purchased at the door. They are $150 for patrons, $100 general admission and $50 for students.
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The weekend before the curtain went up on Opera Omaha's production of “The Magic Flute,” an event was held to honor Ree and Jun Kaneko and celebrate the Omaha performances.
The Magic Flute Gala drew 270 guests Feb. 16 to the Kaneko Bow Truss. Hosted by Richard Holland, the event raised more than $120,000 for Opera Omaha.
Karen and Robert Duncan served as honorary chairmen.
Costumed characters from the Opera joined guests during the cocktail hour. California chef Katsu Michite created sushi for the cocktail hour and the evening's dinner was created by Hap Abraham.
Entertainment included a performance by soprano Emily Hindrichs, who portrayed the Queen of the Night in the Opera Omaha performances. She was accompanied by pianist Eric Andries.
A screening of “Fear and 'The Magic Flute'” by NET/Joel Geyer Productions closed the evening's entertainment.
“We are all thrilled with this memorable evening fueled by an enthusiastic crowd of long-time supporters of Opera Omaha and many new faces as well,” said Roger Weitz, Opera Omaha general director. “It was a harbinger of the innovative and exciting future ahead for Opera Omaha.”
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ON THE CALENDAR
TODAY: American Girl Fashion Show, Junior League of Omaha, Happy Hollow Club, www.jlomaha.org
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: Table Art “A Knight and Day of Excellence,” Omaha Symphony Guild, www.omahasymphonyguild.org
WEDNESDAY: Speaking of Children Luncheon with Ashley Judd for Project Harmony, CenturyLink Center. www.projectharmony.com
SATURDAY: Cathedral Comedy & Cuisine, St. Cecilia Cathedral Grade School, Monsignor Ernest Graham Center, Beth Klug at 402-551-2313
Kaleidoscope, University Hospital Auxiliary at the Nebraska Medical Center, LaVista Conference Center, 402-559-4150
MARCH 23: The Gathering, Christian Urban Education Service, Embassy Suites La Vista, Kimberly Ramsey at 402-451-5755
APRIL 4: Omaha Press Club Show, Holland Performing Arts Center, www.opcshow.org
APRIL 5: MAD Fashion, Omaha Law League, Hilton Omaha, www.omahalawleague.org
— Send calendar items to email@example.com.