Big Red Block Party Celebrates Husker Spirit

This year, the Junior League of Omaha’s Big Red Block Party fundraiser hosted 108 people at the Scott Conference Center. The silent auction was a favorite among attendees with 62 fun, unique packages with a wide range of starting bids, appropriate for all spend levels! Attendees also enjoyed a delicious buffet with rotating, heavy appetizers, two bars, and yard games.

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This was the final year for this special event, and Lauren Anderson, the Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, stated, “The most meaningful moment during the event was honoring the previous Chairs and talking about the fundraiser. This event has raised $176,000 for the League over the last nine years, and that deserves to be celebrated.”

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Collaboration and communication were two key elements that contributed to Big Red Block Party’s success. As Lauren Anderson, Big Red Block Party Co-Chair, described, “Our committee worked really well together…between our (almost) weekly committee hot sheets and our committee meetings, we were able to efficiently plan our event.” Anderson also credited working with Jen Bartlet, their JLO Sustainer Advisor, and a past Big Red Block Party Chair, as a vital resource who gave both Co-Chair Hunter Taylor and herself additional insight into making the event a success.

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When asked if she had any advice for future Junior League of Omaha fundraisers, Anderson responded, “Yes! Create a timeline and stick with it. Check in with your committee, but don’t bombard them with emails. Say thank you. And most importantly, seriously evaluate your event every year to make sure it’s still relevant.”

For more information about upcoming Junior League of Omaha events or to become a member, visit our website at http://www.jlomaha.org.

 

JLO Past Presidents & Sustainers Luncheon

The Junior League of Omaha Foundation hosted the annual Past Presidents and Sustainer Luncheon on a beautiful October day at Champions Run. Kathy Martin, Junior League of Omaha Foundation Board President, welcomed a large group to the luncheon, introducing past Junior League of Omaha Presidents and past Foundation Presidents. Current Junior League of Omaha President Lindsey Tonniges updated the Sustainers on the exciting projects with which the League is currently involved.

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The 100th Anniversary Co-Chairs, Patricia Stillmock and Bethany Bannister, spoke on the upcoming events for the centennial celebration of the Junior League of Omaha in 2019.  Foundation President Kathy Martin shared, “All the Sustainers are looking forward to attending the March 15th luncheon celebrating our 100th anniversary!” In addition, the Junior League of Omaha Cookbook Co-Chairs, Ashley Rich and Jamie Schneider, were there to promote A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook.

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For more information regarding the Junior League of Omaha, visit the website at www.jlomaha.org. Learn more about the Junior League of Omaha Foundation at https://www.jlomaha.org/foundation/. To order a personal copy of A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook.

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Town Hall Forums: Conversation & Collaboration

This fall Junior League of Omaha members had the exciting opportunity to participate in town hall forums that sought to both educate members on the new community impact focus areas and gather feedback regarding membership engagement. Approximately 130 Junior League of Omaha members attended, and almost 50 shared feedback through surveys!

The Community Research and Development Committee and President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett, on behalf of the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee, organized these meetings for Junior League of Omaha members as a way to engage in powerful conversations about League experiences and shared visions for the future. According to President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett, “members really are excited about building a more diverse and inclusive League experience. JLO leadership is committed to participating in AJLI’s Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives, so we are excited our membership is already supportive of these efforts.”

In January, League members will be voting on one of three areas in which to focus future Junior League of Omaha programs: Disenfranchised Youth; Hunger and Access to Healthy Foods; or Abuse in Women and Children. Additionally, the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee’s focus is to ensure that the Junior League of Omaha continues to attract and retain members by providing enriching opportunities. With such significant topics of interest, it was the perfect time to coordinate conversations and seek feedback from the many perspectives shared by the membership.

As a result of the conversations, questions, and suggestions garnered by the town hall forums, the Membership Engagement Ad Hoc Committee will present a report to the Board, which will feature current information on where the League stands, as well as recommendations from other Leagues and from AJLI. Specific ideas and concepts to bear in mind while planning for the 2019-2020 year will also be included.

The town hall forums have provided a wonderful way for League members to meet and engage with other League members in a smaller setting. President-Elect-Elect Katie Triplett stated, “I’m so appreciative so many of our members joined us for these forums and shared so candidly! In addition to receiving great details about how to make League membership even more amazing, we also had an opportunity to meet and visit with members we hadn’t met before. Members also shared with me how much they liked the forums – we are going to try to work these town hall forums into future years! We want to ensure the Junior League of Omaha stays transparent, relevant, and influential for years to come!”

Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.  

Project Hope Pack Transitions into Leadership of CASA

Over the years, Project Hope Pack has positively impacted the lives of thousands by distributing necessities and comfort items to children ages 3-18 who are taken out of crisis situations. These backpacks are donated to several agencies around the Omaha metro. In addition to hygiene products, these backpacks also include items such as stuffed animals, blankets and activities, which help to boost children’s spirits during challenging times.  

The Junior League of Omaha is proud that this program has come full circle and that so many members have seen Project Hope Pack from its inception to the community launch to the Service Board of CASA of Douglas County, which will take place in May 2019.

The 2018-2019 League year has been filled with launch milestones, such as a complete move of products from our inventory to CASA. All of our project shifts now take place at CASA, located at 2412 St. Mary’s Avenue in Omaha.

The CASA Service Board members have been paired with Project Hope Pack committee members to ensure a smooth transition. So far, we have distributed 620 backpacks to organizations such as Project Harmony, Youth Emergency Services, Partnership 4 Kids, Lutheran Family Services, Completely Kids, Heart Ministry, Boys Town, and more!

The committee looks forward to  the continued success of Project Hope Pack through the hard work and volunteerism of CASA Douglas County Service Members!

Project Hope Pack Fall 2018
Project Hope Pack Committee Members

“JLO Class of the Century” Welcomes 86 New Members

The New Members kicked off their League year with their first meeting on Aug. 28 at Security National Bank, where the women got to know their core groups and learned about their upcoming year.

September’s New Member Meeting focused on Community Impact. The women enjoyed a football and fall theme with beer and pizza.

The Communications Council presented at the October New Member Meeting with a Halloween theme.

November activities included a social at the Makery and meeting at The Mattress Factory. New Members learned more about the 100th Year Anniversary Celebration and guest Marian Andersen shared her volunteerism background with the New Member Class.

Additionally so far this League year, New Members celebrated and acknowledged the significance of their membership class, complete with a hashtag they chose (#JLOClassOfTheCentury) and a special class logo.

New Member Committee Chair Megan Horn focused on creating a theme and tone of building League relationships and sharing the experiences and community impact opportunities available. The committee has revised the format of the meetings and focused more on providing experiences and helping build connections.

Recruitment for next year’s New Member group begins in February. For more information about joining the Junior League of Omaha, visit https://www.jlomaha.org/join-us/.

Bargain Shoppers Triumph at Bargain Bash 2018!

Omaha’s 2nd Annual blowout rummage sale, Bargain Bash, kicked off on August 24, 2018. This year’s event was a huge success, not only regarding League participation but also community engagement and returning shoppers from last year’s event. Over the three days the sale was running, including sorting and setup on Wednesday and Thursday, 50 volunteers helped set the stage for record crowds on Saturday, August 25, when the sale opened to the public.

“At the start of the bash on the first day, there was a line of people waiting that led out the door,” said Macey Morgan, Bargain Bash Inventory and Pick- Up Coordinator, “Many of the attendees were excited when they received their Borsheim’s bag for shopping, and we believe it encouraged them to purchase more as they shopped!”

The sale couldn’t have been as big of a success without all the donations from new, active, and sustaining members.  The more than 3,500 items donated, included home goods, clothing, kitchen appliances, decor and even a tanning bed.

“Not only were we able to impact the community through our sales, but we partnered with other non-profits who collected our leftover items,” Morgan explained, “This partnership with other non-profit groups helps the league continue to lend a helping hand in our community. Overall the event grossed an amazing profit to help the League continue to impact the community with our projects and league engagement. Nothing could have been possible without the committee and commitment. A huge shout out goes to the entire committee for their hard work and for making it genuinely fun!”

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The Cookbooks Are Here!

The Junior League of Omaha’s fourth cookbook, A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook, has more than 200 mouthwatering recipes, from cocktails to desserts and every course in-between. This book will help you turn any meal into an occasion. Did you know, if every League member bought seven cookbooks or encouraged seven people to buy, we would hit our 2018-2019 goal? Bring one to work, your kids’ sporting event, or a friend gathering. Let’s work together to rally the Omaha community and celebrate 100 years of The Omaha Junior League!

The cookbooks are on sale now at general membership meetings and the JLO Holiday Social for $35 plus tax. You can also purchase online at https://www.jlomaha.org/cookbook/. You’ll even get a 10% discount if you purchase a case of 10, online only! Online orders should be placed by Dec. 8 to ensure delivery by the holidays.

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Here is one recipe to highlight: 

Junior League of Omaha – A Century of Serving: A Centennial Celebration Cookbook

Turtle Bars

# Servings: 3 dozen Category: Desserts

Serving Size: Pan Size: 9 x 13 baking pan

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • ¾ cups packed brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½  cups chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1 cup brown sugar and ½ cup melted butter in a bowl and mix well. Press over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle with the pecans.

Combine ¾ cupbrown sugar and ⅔ cup plus 3 tablespoons butter in a heave saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour evenly over the pecans. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Let stand to cool completely before cutting into bars.

 

The Scoop on Mentorship

As the Mentorship Program enters into its sixth year, Chair Kayla Petersen and Vice-Chair, Lakelyn Hogan, are excited to give you the scoop on what is in store for the 2018-2019 League year!

The Mentorship Program was created to provide an opportunity for League members to connect with each other on a more personal level. Mentors and mentees are matched based on their mentorship application, where they indicate what they hope to gain from taking part in the Mentorship Program. For some, they join purely to make new friends. For others, they have a goal of networking or learning more about the Junior League of Omaha.

Mentorship matches have traditionally met in October but this year, the program is kicking off earlier in June 2018. Below, Kayla and Lakelyn share the details on the changes and what you can expect for the next League year.

9_succulant groupThe Mentorship Program hosted their 2017-2018 kick-off event at The Makery with a succulent bar activity.

Q: When will the Mentorship Program start and why did it change?

Kayla: The outgoing Chair, Sammi Kaiser, and I made the decision to move up the start of the Mentorship Program for several reasons. We have typically kicked things off in October after the start of the League year. However, we felt that this did not allow mentorship matches enough time to connect and develop a relationship due to the holidays and the business of people’s League placements.

We decided that a start in June would offer matches more time to form friendships and more opportunities to connect throughout the year. Also, summer months are typically a slower time for many people in the League. Matches will hopefully be able to take advantage of the summertime to foster their new mentorship relationships.

Q: What are some of the top reasons people join the Mentorship Program?

Kayla: In the past when we have surveyed participants on what they hope to get out of their mentorship experience, overwhelmingly the response is always to make new friends and meet more people in the League. Most people who join are simply looking to create more touch points and opportunities to interact with League members. Some of the other top responses from our surveys include looking for someone who can answer League questions and provide League guidance. Occasionally we also get requests for someone with a similar career who can provide mentorship on how to advance within a particular field.  

IMG_0907Lakelyn and her mentee Allison Kousaie enjoying happy hour at Timber in Countryside Village.

Q: Do you have to know a lot about Junior League to be a mentor?

Lakelyn: You certainly do not have to be an expert on the Junior League to be a mentor.  Even after being in the Junior League for over five years, I still don’t know all of the answers. I try my best to share my experiences in the various placements I have had during my time in the League. If my mentee ever had questions that I couldn’t answer, I would help them find the answer and we both learned together. Even being a second or third year active, simply sharing your experience with your mentee can be a powerful way to provide mentorship.

Q: Who is eligible to be a mentee?

Kayla: As long as you are an active member of the Junior League of Omaha, you can be a mentee. Typically, first and second-year actives are mentees. However, second-year actives can still apply for a mentee role if they feel strongly about it. New members already have a lot on their plate and have a whole committee that mentors them through their New Member year. Once those New Members become actives, it is a great time to join the Mentorship Program so you can continue to build friendships within the League.

Lauren AndersonMentor Lauren Anderson and her two mentees Michelle Pernicek and Lauren Weber at the Olympic curling trials.

Q: What kinds of activities do matches do together?

Lakelyn: The sky’s the limit when it comes to mentor and mentee activities. One year, I had two mentees and we met every other month for lunch at Flagship Commons. This year, I have had happy hour with my mentee and we even had a puppy play date so I could meet her new pup! I have heard of other matches going to sporting events together, taking on the Escape Room challenge, meeting for coffee, crafting together and so much more. As a match, you get to decide what interests you both and have fun during your time together.

IMG_7540The spring Mentorship Program event was hosted at Whisk and Measure, where matches took part in a cookie decorating tutorial.

Q: Are there group Mentorship Program activities?

Kayla: Yes! The first group activity is a kick-off event at in June where we will reveal the mentor/mentee matches. Our goal is to plan the event around an activity where participants can learn something new while having an opportunity to socialize with their match and other participants in the Mentorship Program.

We highly encourage everyone to attend the kick-off so every mentee has an opportunity to meet face-to-face with their mentor. We also plan a wrap-up event at the end of the year to conclude the Mentorship Program. This year we are hoping to provide a few additional opportunities for mentorship participants to get together. This will give people a chance, not only connect with their match, but also allow for more connections to be formed within the Mentorship Program.

Q: How can I sign up to take part in the Mentorship Program?

Kayla: We want everyone who is interested to fill out the Mentorship Program Application. It will only take you 5 minutes or less. Applications for the 2018-2019 league year are due May 28th. 2018. Then, Lakelyn and I will meet to pair our mentor and mentees together. We will email mentorship participants with more information on the kick-off event which will be taking place in June of 2018.  

Kayla and Lakelyn hope you will consider joining the Mentorship Program and they look forward to making many mentorship matches in June!

If you have questions, please email mentorship@jlomaha.org.  

What’s to Gain from New Member Year?

As we “spring” into the final months of the 2017-2018 League year, the Junior League of Omaha New Members reflect on their experience so far.

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Back in August 2017, a group of 74 New Members came together to start their Junior League year. Since then, they have formed friendships, learned the inner workings of the Junior League and gained exposure to various organizations in the Omaha community.

In talking with several of the New Members about their New Member year, we learned that there is a lot that they have gained in such a short period of time. Here are some of the highlights:

My New Member year…

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Opened My Eyes to All the League Does

“The best part of my New Member year has definitely been learning more about what the league does and how we help the community. I had no idea that the programs we launch are then sent out to be run by other community organizations!” – Lauren Harlow Fischer

Increased My Community Involvement

“I joined the Junior League of Omaha to take the next step in my community involvement.  The best part about my New Member year is learning about all the different charities and organizations that the Junior League of Omaha impacts. It is truly amazing to know we are the difference makers within our greater community.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

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Helped Me Connect in a New City

“I joined Junior League as a way to meet new people since I’m not from the area. I moved here almost three years ago and was focusing on getting settled in our new home and my new job. I realized it was time to start connecting with other women who are interested in serving the community. I had been a provisional member in the Junior League of Memphis where I’m from and knew that it was a great way to be involved and make new friends!” -Lauren Harlow Fischer

“I am relatively new to Omaha, so I thought Junior League would give me the opportunity to meet new people and get connected to the community.” -Mo Marmesh

Gave Me the Opportunity to Give Back

“I joined the Junior League to give back to my community.  I had not done a lot of community service after coming back to Omaha.  It is the perfect combination of new friendships, community service, and professional development.” – Jess Winter

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Allowed Me to Meet Like-Minded Women

“The best part so far has been seeing the incredible potential of so many young women in Omaha. Each New Member I’ve met has something unique to offer and they’re all so willing to share their time and resources to make others’ lives better. It’s really inspiring!” – Natalie Ellis

“The reason I joined the Junior League was to make connections and friendships with other motivated and philanthropically-minded women.” – Elizabeth Kraemer

Helped Me to Discover New Interests

“In my New Member year, I have found new interests and hidden passions. The most memorable thing I have learned are all the awesome things the League does. I had no idea of the impact!” -Jess Winter

We also asked the New Members what they are most looking forward to in their first active year, this is what they had to say:

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“I’m looking forward to really plugging into a smaller group that meets consistently to work towards a goal. I hope to bring my own skills to my placement and to garner some new ones from other other women in the group.” -Natalie Ellis

“I look forward to finding my roots during my first active year and finding my passion within the League. Right now I am enjoying the education I receive on the various aspects but I am ready to jump start my ability to make a difference.” -Maggie McGlade-Palmer

“I look forward to being a part of a committee and working on a project or event. I think working towards a common goal will be a great way to get to know some more of the Junior League ladies and feel more connected to the organization’s impact on the community.” – Mo Marmesh

“I’m looking forward to getting to the point of recognizing more faces and developing closer relationships.  And figuring out my first placement where I can really make an impact!” – Elizabeth Kraemer

We are so excited to have the New Member class of 2017-2018 officially join as actives in May at our Annual meeting. Congratulations New Member and cheers to all you will accomplish in the League in the coming years!

If you are considering joining the Junior League, we are now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 New Member year. Please plan to attend one of the following a New Member information sessions to learn more!

New Member Information Sessions:

  • April 26, 2018
  • May 10, 2018

New Member information sessions will take place at Junior League of Omaha headquarters (12135 Pacific St, Omaha, Nebraska 68154) from 6:00-7:30 PM.

If you have questions, please reach out to Megan McFarlin at 402.740.1396 or join@jlomaha.org. You can also learn more about the Junior League of Omaha at www.jlomaha.org.

 

Are You Ready for This Year’s bRUNch 5k?!

Brunch 5k 2018 FB Cover Photo

Have you joined us in the past for our delicious mimosas and brunch, but feel like you want to take your new year’s resolutions up a level this year? Well, then you are in luck with these helpful tips “From Couch to 5K.”  You will be ready in no time!

Week one: For your three runs in week one, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week two: For your three runs in week two, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then alternate one-and-a-half minutes of running with two minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week three: For your three runs in week three, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then two repetitions of one-and-a-half minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running and three minutes of walking.

Week four: For your three runs in week four, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking, five minutes of running, two-and-a-half minutes of walking, three minutes of running, one-and-a-half minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Week five: There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, five minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then eight minutes of running, five minutes of walking and eight minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week six: There are three different runs this week:

Run one: a brisk five-minute walk, then five minutes of running, three minutes of walking, eight minutes of running, three minutes of walking and five minutes of running.

Run two: a brisk five-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, three minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run three: a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week seven: For your three runs in week seven, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week eight: For your three runs in week eight, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week nine: For your three runs in week nine, you will begin with a brisk five-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

Now that you are all set we can’t wait to see you at the finish line! Race ya there!