Junior League of Omaha Members Out and About Enjoying Autumn Events

Vivid colored leaves still hang from trees in Omaha. The ones that have made their way to the ground, crunch and crackle under step. It is autumn, or fall, in the heartland and there is one thing on which we can all agree…

Autumn leaves are most beautiful when being raked by someone else.

There was a steady cool breeze in the air this weekend and many Junior League of Omaha members reached for their tall boots and vests officially marking the start of Han Solo Season.


The cool air inspires many League members to fire up the oven or the slow cooker and whip up something delicious. Tracy Cartwright baked a batch of Mini Pumpkin Poppers.

Tracy Weis made a batch of yummy taco soup and cornbread. (Make something similar with this recipe.) And now that the slow cooker is working overtime, make sure it stays squeaky clean.

Melissa Carlberg and her husband Zach hosted a fall-theme dinner party for friends featuring recipes that gave a nod to the season including: roasted walnuts, apple parsnip soup and baked apple roses.

Other League members ventured out and about this weekend.

Many members attended the Women’s Center for Advancement TGIF event. Angela Cutler was one of three co-chairs for the western-themed event and Veronica Wortman served on the silent auction committee. Many league members put together silent auction items and attended the event that raised money to help women in the Omaha area out of domestic crisis.

Junior League of Omaha members attended the 2015 Women's Center for Advancement's TGIF event include: Angela Kros Cutler, Veronica Wortman, Melissa Hoeman Carlberg, Kate Hansen, Jen Olson Alloway (sustainer), Meghan Hope, Shelly Marsh, Tina Nelson, Chaley Smith Chandler, Mary Jane Tritsch, Lindsey Snyder, Alysia Radica and Liz Akert (not pictured)
Junior League of Omaha members attended the 2015 Women’s Center for Advancement’s TGIF event include: Angela Cutler, Veronica Wortman, Melissa Carlberg, Kate Hansen,  Jen Alloway (sustainer), Lindsey Buchanan, Meghan Hope, Shelly Marsh, Tina Nelson, Chaley Chandler, Mary Jane Tritsch, Lindsey Snyder, Alysia Radica and Liz Akert (not pictured)

League sustainer Catherine McAllister and her friend served as co-chairs for Omaha’s Great Pumpkin event this weekend. The event supports Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska‘s adoption and foster care awareness. Catherine has been involved in supporting the organization for five years.


Done in a Day project organized volunteers to assist with the Omaha Symphony Spooktacular. League members helped decorate the lobby of the Holland Performing Arts Center, set up trick-or-treat stations, run pre-concert activities including instrument petting zoo, costume contest, and a Halloween-themed craft. Thank you to Kristen Bladt, Kelly Brooks, Melissa Hoeman Carlberg, Beverly Gorman, Kimberly Johnston, Racheal McMahon, Meghan Bothe, Caroline Drumm, Erin Fairchild, Megan Gerwick, Katie Lange Allebone, Leigh Shea, Sarah Smith, and Ashlee Young for participating.


Other League members were in the Halloween spirit. Megan Riebe and friends went to the Ranch of Terror at the Bellevue Berry Farm.


Heather Vanourney ran the Bones 5K this weekend. The Omaha Running Club sponsored the run through the moonlit trails of Standing Bear Lake. Runners’ hearts raced in fear of all things that go bump in the night, according to the event page.


Katie Triplett and Veronica Wortman spent an afternoon decorating Halloween and fall cookies to share with friends and colleagues.


Before heading out to Trick-or-Treat with the kiddos, the Omaha Fire Department suggests several safety tips, such as adding a strip of reflective tape to trick-or-treat bags or clothing and costumes for greater visibility.

Going to a costume party? Revisit recent pop culture phenomenon for inspiration in creating a costume. Kelly Giese and her husband Matt, created this Double Rainbow costume.
(It was soo beautiful.)


The party doesn’t stop when we put Halloween 2015 in the books. Tickets to the 3rd annual Barn Bash are available now through the Junior League of Omaha website. The event features a chili cook-off, BINGO, cash bar, pumpkin pie martinis, bonfire and s’mores. Members, significant others and friends welcome at the event.


Connecting with …

Ashlee Young

Tell us about your family? Justin – husband, Harrison – son

family photo

Pets: Shelties, Finley and Sophie

Hometown: Columbus, NE

College: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Master of Education in Higher Education Administration from University of Missouri – St. Louis

Sorority: Pi Beta Phi

Job/Business: Advisor for the University of Nebraska at Omaha Thompson Learning Community



Why did you join the Junior League?

I truly believe it is important to give back to the community and I found Junior League to be a group of talented and amazing ladies who have the same ideals. I knew instantly that I wanted to belong to such an outstanding organization for women.

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?

One of the biggest turning points in my life involved our decision to move back to Nebraska. My husband and I both grew up in Nebraska but left to pursue our graduate degrees. We really enjoyed our time in St. Louis and spending our first couple years of our marriage being able to create our own traditions.  Moving back meant we would be near more of our friends and families but the tradeoff being that we would be giving up some of that independence. Three years later we are happy we moved to Omaha and definitely see ourselves staying for the long term. We are excited to raise our family here.

What is your favorite thing about living in Omaha?

I love living in midtown. It is so nice being within walking distance to entertainment.  Always something new to explore.  I also love my job. In my current role I am an advisor to freshmen in the Thompson Learning Community (TLC).  Our learning community specifically works with students receiving the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship at UNO. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work for TLC because I firmly believe education has the ability to change not only the lives of the student receiving their degree but also of their families, friends, networks, etc. Getting to help students fulfill their goals is the ultimate reward.

What are your favorite restaurants in Omaha?

Salween Thai, Lot 2, Block 16, Dixie Quicks, Pitch

What other organizations are you affiliated with?

Nebraska Beta Chapter of Pi Beta Phi Chapter House Corporation, Countryside Community Church Family Activities Committee

What is your strongest talent?

I have a really great memory for music. I can usually recall lyrics, artist, beat, etc. after hearing a song maybe once or twice. Makes me really invaluable during trivia nights.

Ashlee Young (2)

If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?

I was adopted at 4 months old from South Korea. A goal of ours is to travel to Korea for a few weeks and really explore the culture. My husband and I plan to take our son Harrison when he is old enough to remember the experience.

If you had a theme song, what would it be?

Wheel by John Mayer. I particularly love this lyric: “I believe that my life’s gonna see, The love I give, Return to me.”

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.” – Mario Andretti