Friendships were renewed at the Junior League of Omaha Foundation's annual Past Presidents and Sustainers Luncheon on Nov. 19 at Happy Hollow Club. More than 60 sustaining members attended to celebrate the past and present impact the league has had on our community.
League President Becki Wiechman updated guests on current projects of the group's active members. Angela Kros, a Project Hope Pack committee member, reported that more than 750 backpacks filled with age- and gender-specific necessities and comfort items have been distributed to children unexpectedly removed from their homes during a crisis.
A presentation by Anna Brewer and Kathy Thomsen from the FBI's Innocence Lost Task Force underscored the importance of the Association of Junior Leagues International's fight against human trafficking.
League Foundation President Phyllis Choat thanked the past presidents in attendance for their commitment and leadership. They were Jen Bartelt, Anne Bothe, Dawn Buchanan, Linda Chloupek, Brenda Christensen, Janis Enenbach, Gail Graeve, Shannon Hoy, Leslie Mayo, Barbara Musselman, Christine Nikunen, Jeanne Salerno, Deb Schmadeke and Connie Spellman.
Choat also recognized recipients of the Sustainer Distinguished Service Award present for their community service. They were Sue Conine, Jan Falk, Marcia Jones, Ruth Keene, Dee Owen, Jeanne Salerno, Connie Spellman and Anne Thorne Weaver.
“Since 1919, the Junior League of Omaha has worked to identify and meet the community needs with sustainable projects and has established charitable organizations that operate independently today,” Choat said in her remarks.
The Foundation provides a permanent source of income to the Junior League of Omaha and operates exclusively to support the mission of the Junior League of Omaha. The JLO is a women's organization committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. For more information, visit www.jlomaha.org.
A special Holiday Tea was the theme for the Doctors' Wives Club of Omaha meeting on Dec. 2 at the home of Mary Jane Ingrahm.
The group enjoyed a presentation by Mona Christensen, a volunteer with the Douglas County Historical Society and founder of the Midlands Tea Society. The program, Learning About Tea, informed guests on the general history of tea and the tea service, traditional tea components and tea etiquette. Co-hosts were Lorrie Burdeny and Debbie Lindsey. The next meeting will be March 3.
Child Saving Institute Guild President Laura Worick presented a check to CSI President and CEO Peg Harriott and CSI Chief Development Officer Wanda Gottschalk for $145,000, a record-breaking amount. The funds were raised through the guild's 2012-13 philanthropic events, which included Golf Fore Kids, PurseOnalities, Touch-a-Truck and Substitute Santa.
“We are deeply grateful to the guild for their generosity and dedication on behalf of at-risk kids in our community. We couldn't provide the programs and services we do without their extraordinary support,” said Harriott.
Child Saving Institute is a child welfare organization dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. For more than 120 years it has provided service based on the premise that all children should have homes where hope is kindled and dreams can be achieved. For more information, contact 402 553-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Girls Nite Out, a benefit for Girls Inc. Omaha, will be held Jan. 30 at the Ramada Convention Center, according to event chairwomen Heather Russell and Kelley Stuckey. The honorary chairwoman for 2014 is Lisa Gotsdiner. The benefit is sponsored by the girlFRIENDS guild.
The well-received event, celebrating its 20th year, will include cocktails, shopping at 35 vendor boutiques, a raffle and performances by the girls of Girls Inc. Cocktails and shopping will begin at 5 p.m. with a plated dinner served at 7 p.m.
Kelly McFarland will be the featured comedian. She is an experienced performer in comedy clubs and theaters and has made numerous television appearances, notably on Comedy Central's “Premium Blend” and “Stand Up in Stilettos” on the TV Guide Channel. McFarland is also an experienced humor-wellness speaker and shares her life experiences with refreshing candor.
Proceeds from Girls Nite Out go directly to Girls Inc. programs, which inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. The organization serves more than 1,000 girls age 5 to 18 each year, with transportation, counseling services, healthy meals and snacks, and computer access programs. For more information or to make reservations, contact 402-457-4676 or www.girlsincomaha.org.
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”
— Ebeneezer Scrooge in the Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol.”
If you have news for Around and About, contact Maureen at email@example.com.
ON THE CALENDAR
Omaha Symphony Debutante Ball, Embassy Suites La Vista, omahasymphonyguild.org.
Reflection Ball presented by Midlands Community Foundation, Embassy Suites La Vista.
Girls Nite Out, featuring comedian Kelly McFarland, Girls Inc., Ramada Convention Center, 402-457-4676 or www.girlsincomaha.org.
Rosie Rocks the Roaring '20s, Omaha Theater Company, Hilton Omaha, firstname.lastname@example.org, 402-354-4849.
Carnival of Love Gala, Heartland Family Service, Embassy Suites La Vista, email@example.com, 402-552-7424.
17th annual Promise Gala — That's Amore!, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-397-CURE.
Heroes in the Heartland, American Red Cross, Embassy Suites La Vista, www.redcross.org/ne/omaha.