Former first lady Laura Bush was the featured speaker at the second annual Phoenix Academy luncheon held at the CenturyLink Center on Oct. 22.
Nearly 650 guests heard former Phoenix student Elizabeth Liebermann sing the national anthem to open the program.
A record $200,000 was raised for the scholarship fund. The luncheon also recognizes individuals who have made an impact in our community in the area of literacy.
The Mactier/Clark Literacy Award was presented to Del Weber for his drive to advance proficiency in literacy and education. The Holland Literacy Advocate Award was presented to John Gottschalk for his advocacy work on combating shortcomings in the U.S. educational system.
Said Sara Woods, Phoenix Academy Board president: “I know firsthand the positive impact this school can have and the promise it holds for many children.”
The luncheon was presented by Charles M. Harper, Dianne and Allan Lozier, and Ponca Hills Farm.
Phoenix Academy is a nonprofit private K-8 school founded in 1991 that helps students with learning and reading challenges. Its mission is to make a difference one child at a time. For more information, contact 402-390-0556 or phoenixacademyomaha.org.
The keynote speaker at the Mosaic Centennial Gala: A Century of Service, A Legacy of Love was Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. The event was held Oct. 24 at the Mutual of Omaha dome.
Shriver offered a message highlighting his efforts to transform Special Olympics into a movement that focuses on acceptance, inclusion and respect for people with intellectual disabilities across the globe.
Nearly 600 sponsors, guests and volunteers joined Ramona and Deryl Hamann, honorary chairmen, and gala chairwoman Judy Tamisiea to celebrate 100 years of service to people with developmental disabilities.
“If you think about a nonprofit spending 100 years serving the most vulnerable of society in times when no one else cared, you have to think some angels were involved,” Shriver said.
Mosaic was formed in 2003 by the consolidation of two Nebraska-born Lutheran ministries, Bethphage Inner Mission Association founded in 1913 in Axtell, Neb., and Martin Luther Homes in Sterling, Neb. Both became national ministries in the 1970s and their shared vision prompted the merger. Mosaic provides a life of possibilities for people with intellectual disabilities through supports tailored to the individual’s needs and desires in collaboration with local, state and national partners. For more information, contact 402-896-3884 or www.mosaicinfo.org.
Westside Community Schools Foundation held its biennial VI-VI event at Embassy Suites La Vista on Oct. 12. More than 500 supporters gathered for the silent and live auction with celebrity auctioneer Jim Kalal and emcee Mary Nelson.
Honorary chairmen were Lori and Paul Hogan. General co-chairmen were Tammi and Colin Bishop and Joy and Gordon Watanabe.
VI-VI represents District 66 in Roman numerals. The event, with a theme of Westside Rocks, served to bring together the entire Westside community. The event raised $165,000 to fund school district programs. To learn more, visit westside66.org and wcsfoundation66.org.
Vocational Development Center, or VODEC, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its ELM program with a luncheon Oct. 13 at the Ralston Arena. ELM is an assisted day program for people with disabilities.
The program was developed at the request of parents seeking an innovative approach that suited the needs of their children with multiple disabilities.
The featured speaker was Julie Klemmensen, one of the parents who helped initiate the program. The mission of VODEC is to provide services to persons with disabilities so they can live, work and participate in the community. For more information, visit 222.vodec.org.
Child Saving Institute held its annual PurseOnalities Scholarship Luncheon at the Hilton Omaha on Oct. 25. The event raised $55,000 for local children in need.
The theme, “Queen for a Day,” was chosen for honorary chairwoman Mary Maxwell. Event chairwomen were Angela Drew, Lucy Newberry and Christine Nikunen.
Designer purse packages in a silent auction enticed guests as well as a raffle featuring an onyx bracelet. Emcee for the evening was Melissa Fry.
All proceeds support CSI’s programs for at-risk youth, including the Guild Scholarship program, which awards $2,500 scholarships to students who have been served by CSI and are pursuing higher education. The scholarship recipients for 2013 are Michael Gregerson and Mary Leonard.
Keynote speaker Carol Hunter, CEO of FGI International, spoke on child trafficking.
Child Saving Institute is dedicated to the prevention, intervention and treatment of child abuse, neglect and abandonment. For more information, visit www.childsaving.org or contact 402-553-6000.
Doctors’ Wives Club of Omaha recently announced the 2013-14 officers at its kick-off meeting Oct. 7 at the home of Michelle Morrison, assisted by Janet Kroeger.
Officers are: Sandy Passer, president; Kendra Quinlan, vice president; Susan Woodford, secretary; and Gina Feely, treasurer. Committee chairwomen include Kathy Martin, courtesies; Kathy Peterson, parliamentarian; Lynette Singer, publicity; and Tami Glitter, sustaining chairwoman.
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” — George Washington Carver
ON THE CALENDAR
Wicker and Wine Basket auction, Lutheran Family Services, Mid-America Center, www.lfsneb.org, 402-978-5646.
Christmas Caravan Tour of Homes, Assistance League of Omaha, www.alomaha.org.
Creating Futures scholarship dinner, Omaha Christian Academy, Embassy Suites La Vista, omahachristianacademy.org, 402-614-5716.
Women’s Center for Advancement TGIF!, Mutual of Omaha Dome, 402-345-6555.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center Children’s Gala, CenturyLink Center Omaha, www.childrensfoundationomaha.org, 402-955-6851.
Big Red Block Party, Junior League of Omaha, Scott Conference Center, adults only, www.jlomaha.org.
Iowa Western Gourmet Dinner Fundraiser, Iowa Western Student Center, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jazzy Taste of Wine, Bringing Arts to Life, Love’s Jazz and Arts Center, 402-502-5291.
Neihardt Laureate Feast with photographer and author the Rev. Don Doll, Neihardt State Historic Site, Bancroft, Neb., 402-648-3388, www.neihardtcenter.org.
Omaha Creative Institute Annual Bash to Recognize Local Creators, International Project., omahacreativeinstitute.org.
OneWorld Milagro Dinner, Historic Livestock Exchange Building Ballroom., oneworldomaha.org/milagro-2013.
Merrymakers’ Roast of the Rev. Thomas Fangman, Embassy Suites La Vista, www.merrymakers.org, 402-697-0205.
Completely Kids Guild Annual Meeting, Happy Hollow Country Club, completelykids.org, 402-397-5809.