Create Change with Your Vote

For over 100 years, the women of The Junior League have put our values into action in Omaha and across the nation. We believe that the empowerment of women is a necessary requirement to create positive, lasting societal change.

There’s no better way to increase the power of women’s voices in decisions that affect society, and to honor the suffragists who won the fight for women’s right to vote 100 years ago, then to register and vote.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Are you ready to cast your vote?

You have to register to vote before Election Day in Nebraska, and deadlines are quickly approaching, while in Iowa, you may register and vote on Election Day.

Both Nebraska and Iowa allow early voting and absentee ballots.

Nebraska voter registration deadlines

Online: Oct. 16

By mail: Postmarked by Oct. 16

In person: Oct. 23

Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: Received by Oct. 23

Return by mail: Received by Nov. 3 by 8 p.m. CT

Return in person: Nov. 3 by 8 p.m. CT

Early voting

Oct. 5-Nov. 2, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

Iowa voter registration deadlines

Online: Oct. 24

By mail: Received by Oct. 24

In person: Oct. 24 by 5 p.m.

You can also register and vote on Election Day.

Absentee ballot deadlines

Request: Received by Oct. 24 by 5 p.m.

Return by mail: Received by Nov. 3 by close of polls

Return in person: Nov. 3 by close of polls

Early voting

Oct. 5- Nov. 2, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live

For more information on voting, including eligibility requirements and in-person voter registration locations, visit the Nebraska Secretary of State website or visit the Iowa Secretary of State website.

Information is courtesy of howto.vote, powered by Democracy Works, and the Nebraska and Iowa Secretaries of State. Please contact blog@jlomaha.org if you believe there is an error.

Amazon Smile: You shop. Amazon Gives to The Junior League of Omaha!

Did you know that you can set up your Amazon account to automatically donate to The League in under 5 minutes? Most Amazon purchases are eligible for AmazonSmile and help you pay it forward in our Omaha community. AmazonSmile donates 0.5% donation of all eligible purchases to your chosen organization. From the ease of your phone or computer, you can make a difference in our Omaha community by giving back while you shop for everyday products to the unique Amazon finds!

How does the Junior League of Omaha use donations in our Omaha community?

With over 100 years of meeting volunteer service and experience, the Junior League of Omaha is turning that experience and enthusiasm to address one of Omaha’s most critical and unmet needs – hunger and access to healthy food. According to the Food Research and Action Center, Nebraska is 7th in the nation for food insecurity, and 1 in 6 Nebraska children struggle with hunger (Map the Meal Gap). Fortunately, Omaha has many organizations doing outstanding work to alleviate hunger and provide access to healthy foods. We’re putting our volunteer power behind these community organizations to help grow, harvest and distribute healthy food, and most importantly, provide critical education about nutrition and cooking to the most at-risk populations. In partnership with these organizations, the League is able to amplify their impact, while building out new support and education programs that we are uniquely qualified to tackle.

Our community partners include:

– The Heart Ministry Center

– The Abundance Garden at the Union for Contemporary Art

– The Big Garden

– No More Empty Pots

– Together Omaha

– The Intercultural Senior Center

In addition to working with our community partners to address food insecurity in our Omaha community, the Junior League of Omaha issues local community assistance grants annually. Over the course of the 2019-2020 League year, we were able to issue $5,250 in grants to local programs or projects that support and pertain to the needs, benefits, enrichment and enlightenment of women and/or children.

Since 1992, each May, the League also has the pleasure to award three $2,000 scholarships to female high school seniors who demonstrate outstanding volunteer performance in the community. 

How do you set up AmazonSmile? 

From the Amazon App:

  1. Open your Amazon App. 
  2. Open the Main Menu (three horizontal lines at the top left).
  3. Scroll down and select “Settings”
  4. Select “AmazonSmile”.
  5. Change Charity to “Junior League of Omaha Inc”, if you have not already added AmazonSmile to your account via your browser.
  6. Turn your phone settings from “OFF” to “ON”.
  7. Congratulations! You did it! Start donating while you shop right away! Now you’re all set to donate while you shop from Amazon on-the-go!

From your Browser:

  1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
  2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
  3. Select a new charitable organization to support.
  4. Scroll Down to the “Other Programs” Section. Click Change your Amazon Smile Charity.
  5. Search for “Junior League of Omaha Inc”.
  6. Select “Junior League of Omaha Inc” as your charity.
  7. You did it, again! Make sure you never miss an opportunity to donate while you shop & add AmazonSmile to your bookmarks! Click the star where the URL is and that will allow you to add a bookmark from most web browsers!

Cool Down With Cocktails

Looking for a light and refreshing drink to cool down in the summer heat? Check out this recipe for Whiskey and Bubbles! The Champagne and whiskey base with a splash of lemon will give you the cool down you’ve been looking for and is the perfect drink for Labor Day Weekend! 

Whiskey and Bubbles is one of the recipes in the Junior League of Omaha’s A Century of Serving cookbook, available online and in stores now. 

Whiskey and Bubbles

# Servings: 2 Category: Beverages

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon warm water
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 ounces whiskey
  • ½ ounce yellow Chartreuse
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 2 ounces Champagne
  • 2 spiral-cut lemon twists

Directions

Combine the honey and warm water in a small dish and mix well. Fill a cocktail shaker with the ice. Add the whiskey, Chartreuse, lemon juice and honey mixture. Cover and share vigorously. Strain into 2 chilled double old-fashioned glasses or Champagne flutes. Add 1 ounce of the Champagne to each flute and stir. Place a lemon twist on the rim of each flute and serve.

Member Spotlight – Ashley Rich

Learn more about Ashley Rich, Corresponding Secretary  

Ashley is originally from Milwaukee, WI, and moved to Omaha 12 years ago. She joined the League a few years after moving here, because she has always had an interest in volunteering and was looking for a way to meet new friends. 

Rich’s and her husband Brandon have been married for six years and together for 14. Growing up, Ashley competed in pageants and met Brandon 16 years ago because of it. They became friends as they both worked for the pageant and dated long distance while they finished college before Ashley moved to Omaha. 

Being active is one of Ashley’s passions. She teaches Pure Barre classes and also loves indoor cycling and running. She has run seven half marathons and one full marathon. 

Traveling is one of Ashley and her husband’s favorite things to do. Their favorite place to travel to is St. Maarten, but some of their favorite things that they have done on vacation were attending the French Open in Paris and hiking in Cinque Terre. 

Besides Ashley and her husband, they have a three year-old son named Preston who loves swimming, reading and playing with trains. Back in November they welcomed their second baby boy, Fordham Haskell. On the weekends you can find they playing at the park or museum. They also have two maltipoos, Giavanna and Madison. 

President’s Perspective – February 2020

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
February was busy,
And lots of fun, too! 
 
As I mentioned last month, the League has many resolutions and goals for 2020. The Strategic Task Force, led by President-Elect Katie Triplett, met in February to finalize the draft of the 2020-2023 Strategic Plan. We are very excited about the new things coming for our League! Once the plan is approved, we will be sure to share it with all of our members. 
 
Restructuring took place in February, thanks to the help of Placement Chair Jen Teusink. We have many exciting placements for Active Members next year! We are also excited to announce the approval of the Sustainer Engagement Committee, which will gear up this spring and provide opportunities for Sustainers all year long. This committee will sit on the Management Team and will be chaired by current Member-at-Large Lisa Buckentine.  
 
A huge thank you goes to Corresponding Secretary Ashley Rich for the support during this busy time of year as we begin to wrap up 2019-2020 and prepare for 2020-2021. If you have not yet paid your dues, or want to learn more about your membership options, please reach out directly to Ashley at secretary@jlomaha.org. She can also assist you with payment options and payment plans as well. 

Speaking of membership options, New Member recruitment is up and running! We hope you will consider spreading the word to any potential New Members! Informational sessions will take place this spring. New Member Committee Vice Chair Courtney Kastalic is eager to welcome another group of amazing leaders to our community. If you have someone you would like us to connect with, please send her name to join@jlomaha.org!

In hopes to communicate with our growing membership, President-Elect Katie Triplett  and I will be hosting informal conversations this spring as well. Please join us at one of the following “Convo’s with Katie and Kerri” to provide feedback, bring suggestions and ask questions. RSVP on Digital Cheetah: Thursday, March 26 – 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., HQ and Tuesday, April 14 – post GMM, Field Club of Omaha. As we move out of the cold month of February and into the (hopefully) warmer spring weather, don’t forget to set aside your donations for Bargain Bash from spring cleaning! The committee would greatly appreciate marking the bags/boxes of items as specifically as possible.

President Kerri Palmesano

Junior League of Omaha Celebrates 100 Years

The 100th anniversary of the Junior League of Omaha is upon us, and the League has planned two events to mark this special occasion. The 100th Anniversary Celebratory Luncheon was held on March 15, at the Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District, and the 100th Anniversary Annual Meeting & Cocktail Reception will be on May 3, at the Joslyn Art Museum. These two events are truly “A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future.”

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Bethany Banister and Patricia Stillmock are the co-chairs of the 100th Anniversary committee, and they have been creating and executing the plans that surround the festivities for nearly three years. When asked how the history of the League influenced their preparations, they responded, “The team of historians and our committee did an amazing job looking into the history of the League, and it inspired all aspects of our planning.” The Joslyn Art Museum, for example, not only has historical connections to the Junior League, but the architecture of the building dates back to around the same time as the Junior League of Omaha’s establishment.

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A great deal of time has been spent on making the 100th anniversary celebrations special, and this includes research into the past, as well as interviews with Sustainers and past members of the League. In addition to studying the records at Junior League of Omaha headquarters, the committee has worked with the Omaha World-Herald, the Durham Museum, and the Douglas County Historical Society to locate anecdotes, photos, and stories from the past. Sustainers have been generous with sharing their archives, and Banister and Stillmock agreed that these interactions have been “the most fun and rewarding part of this journey.”

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Highlights from the luncheon include guest speaker, Yesterday’s Lady, Sue McLain, who shared the history of the little black dress. A ten thousand dollar gift was made to The Rose Theater, an organization with whom the Junior League of Omaha has a strong history. And lastly, the anniversary video debuted an interview with the oldest living Junior League of Omaha Past President, who also attended the event!

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As we enjoy these special events, we remember the theme: A Celebration of the Junior League of Omaha’s Past, Present and Future. Bethany and Patricia hope that the “League continues to be a strong organization that teaches women how to be great volunteers while making great friendships.”  

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New Learning and Networking through Junior League Training Opportunities

The Junior League Training Committee is halfway through their 2018/2019 event calendar, but far from finished with offering exciting trainings. I recently sat down with Training Chair, Mary Burnett, to recap the events held in the fall and see what exciting events they have coming this spring.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about the Training Committee and the committee’s role in the Junior League?

A: I always go back to the fact that the Junior League is first and foremost a training organization. We like to offer a combination of events that are focused on training women to be leaders in professional and volunteering roles, as well as trainings that offer a chance for League members to learn a fun new skill and network with other League women. This year we’ve already held trainings on financial acumen, parliamentary procedure, Google Drive, CPR/First Aid, cooking classes, mending clothes, and decorating ornaments with kids!

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Parliamentary Procedure training prepared these leaders for future meetings.

Q: How do you and your committee members come up with the types of training events offered? How many do you try to schedule in a year?

A: We use recommendations from multiple sources. We look at annual survey results, talk with League membership, and at the January General Membership Meeting we actually did live polling to help pick some events to plan for the spring. Since our committee has grown, we try to have each coordinator plan one or two events. This year we will have completed twelve trainings by May!

knife skills
League members sharpen skills.

Q: What events do you have coming up this spring that you’d like our membership to be aware of?

A: We are super excited about the events this spring. Our big finale is going to be our “Margaritas and Mulligans” event on May 19. This will include a mini golf training and then a sign-up for a Nine-Hole Scramble. We are opening up this training to Sustainers as well. Also based on the live polling from the January General Membership Meeting, we are going to do a training on wine (that was by far the most popular choice) and meditation. “Meditation and Mimosas” will be held on March 8 and March 23. Mark your calendars! We also have one more event that we will plan for April that is TBD! So keep your eyes posted on the Hot Sheet and Facebook for updates.

women's finance
Growing financially savvy through Women’s Finance Training.

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/.  

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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5 Questions for the Placement Fair

It’s that time of year again to start thinking about your 2018-2019 Junior League placement. With the League engaged in so many exciting projects and fundraisers, it’s hard to decide which placements to consider. As you flip through the Placement Bulletin (which will be published later this month), it is helpful to have a little direction. The placement committee has put together five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask at the upcoming Placement Fair on Monday, March 12th before the General meeting.

 

Questions to ask yourself:

 

  • What am I hoping to get out of the upcoming League year?

 

Everyone comes to the Junior League with a different objective. Some join to grow their social circles, to network or to make new friends. Others want to learn a specific skill or get experience in a certain role within the League. Asking yourself this important question can help you narrow down placements to consider. Some examples: If you are wanting to meet new people, consider a larger committee. If you are looking to gain experience asking for donations, then consider a fundraiser.

 

  • What skills can I contribute and what skills do I want to develop?

 

The League is lucky to have women of many talents. When you think about next year’s placement, make a list of your current skills and which positions could help you expand upon those skills. The Placement Committee strives to match League member’s skills with the skills needed for the placement. For example: If you are proficient in excel and want to learn more about asking for donations, consider a placement on one of the Fundraising Council committees.

 

  • Am I seeking out a leadership role?

 

There are numerous leadership roles within the League. These leadership roles are a great opportunity to demonstrate and develop your leadership skills. However, these roles come with greater responsibilities, and may involve greater time commitments.. If you are interested in a specific leadership role, reach out to the member who currently holds that role or to members who have held the role in the past. Ask them about their experiences, the challenges and the opportunities. This will give you a good idea of the commitment that the specific leadership role would take.

 

  • Am I seeking a placement on a small or large committee?

 

See your answer to question #1. Ultimately, this comes down to your personal preferences and what you’re hoping to get out of the upcoming League year. If your objective is to get to know more members, on a more personal level, look at some of the smaller committees. If you’re looking to expand your social circle or do some networking, go for a placement on a larger committee.

 

  • How much time do I have to devote to my placement?

 

While this is the last of our five questions to ask yourself, it’s one of the most important. It requires you to take an honest and realistic inventory of your time. What are your professional, personal, social, and other community commitments? Junior League is a volunteer organization, so it is important that you identify how much time you have to give to your placement. Some placements require work that is “hands on” or “boots on the ground” work. Other placements might allow you to work remotely. Some placements require attendance at committee related events – such as sorting shifts, fundraising drop-offs/pick-ups, etc. Ultimately, by identifying how much time you have to give to Junior League, you can avoid overcommitting or feeling overwhelmed in a placement. (See also, question #3 below).

 

Questions to ask committee chairs:

 

  • What is the committee’s goals for the 2018-2019 year?

 

Each committee has a unique set of goals that they are looking to achieve. Perhaps the fundraiser is looking to hit a new revenue goal or a project is looking to expand its reach. Knowing the goals of the committee can help you identify if you have the skill set the committee would need to help achieve their goals.

 

  • When and how often does the committee meet?

 

Attendance at committee meetings is vital to the work of all committees. When considering a placement, it is important that you assess whether or not your own schedule will conflict with the committee’s meeting schedule. If the committee’s meeting schedule is not included in the Placement Bulletin description, be sure to ask the chair.

 

  • What is the time commitment like for the placement?

 

Asking this question can help you get a good feel for how much time you are likely to devote to your placement on a weekly or monthly basis. Be sure to also read the job description in the placement bulletin to get a feel for the expectations of the role. You can also check out the “Volunteer Hours & Placements” spreadsheet on the Google Drive. To access the spreadsheet visit the shared “JLO Members” Google Drive folder, then click the “Resources” folder. Keep in mind that these hours are for the duties and responsibilities associated with the placement for the specified League year.

 

  • Are there times of the year that the placement is more time consuming and/or does the committee require attendance at special events or work days?

 

Typically, committees meet on a monthly basis, however some committees may meet more or less frequently during certain times of the year. It is also good to ask about requirements for attending special events or work days. It is better to know about the requirements ahead of time instead of being caught off guard when you learn your attendance is required.

 

  • Does the committee have socials?

 

The women of Junior League work hard but they also enjoy time for socializing and celebrating a job well done. Many committees organize social events. If socialization is high on your priority list, ask the chairs if they plan to hold socials throughout the League year.

Hopefully these questions will help you through the placement process. Remember, advocating forms will be due by 7:00 p.m on Friday March 16 and open placement form will be due by 7:00 p.m. on Friday April 6, 2018. If you can’t make the placement fair, you can always reach call or email the committee chairs for the placements in which you are interest