Member Spotlight – Alysia Radicia

Alysia is an Interior Designer at RDG Planning & Design. She’s been there since graduating and really enjoys it. Alysia said the firm treats everyone like family and is extremely supportive in helping individuals succeed and pursue their interests. Like being involved in the community!

Speaking of community involvement, Alysia stays busy! Having been born and raised in Omaha (technically Elkhorn), she has a deep passion for investing in the community and helping make it a better place for everyone. She currently serves as the President of the Friends of Nebraska Children, serves on the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Young Professional Council, sits on Opera Omaha’s Community Advisory Panel, volunteers for the American Heart and Stroke Association … ALL while being an active member of the Junior League.

Alysia considers herself a cat lady, but not a crazy cat lady. Gus is her main squeeze, and she’s constantly teetering on whether or not to adopt another passive aggressive cuddle bug. Check back in a few weeks.

She thoroughly enjoy party planning and dinner parties. Which is also why she enjoys working out. Life is all about balance.

This year she is taking some sort of creative class each month. She previously enrolled in pottery classes at the Union for Contemporary Art and cooking classes Metro Community College. Have any suggestions? Send them her way!

Junior League of Omaha announces new focus area

The Junior League of Omaha wrapped up the year and the decade with the announcement of an exciting new focus area: hunger and access to healthy foods. On December 2, the Board of Directors decided on this focus area after assessing criteria including membership interest, opportunity in the community to make an impact, sustainability, variety of volunteer opportunities and potential barriers. 

The decision comes as a result of a tireless process led by the Community Research and Development (CRaD) committee. They assessed needs in the Omaha metro in three different areas: hunger and access to healthy foods, abuse of women and children and opportunity youth.

The CRaD committee worked to set up and host around 30 service learning opportunities in these three areas between June and November. Members completed the service learning opportunities and provided valuable feedback which was compiled by the committee. This feedback was critical in making a decision on a new focus area.

“The CRaD team has been working diligently all year to ensure that education and volunteer opportunities were available for members to learn and participate in with the three focus areas. The focus area and research teams have collaborated with local organizations to envision future strategic goals and programming for years to come. We are grateful to have such passionate women involved in this process and for the participation and feedback from all of our membership,” said Emily Barr,| Junior League of Omaha Community Research and Development Chair. 

Building on the impact made over the last 100 years, the Junior League of Omaha is entering this new decade with an exciting area of focus and renewed commitment to voluntarism. 

Third Annual Bargain Bash

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The Junior League of Omaha (JLO) hosted its third annual Bargain Bash at the Ralston Arena on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and Sunday, August 11, 2019. The event raised funds which help JLO to support community programming throughout the year.

The rummage sale featured designer and name-brand clothing, shoes and jewelry for men, women and children as well as baby supplies, toys, kitchenware, home decor and furniture. One of the standout items for sale this year was a 10 piece, hand-painted bedroom set.

For a $20 donation, early bird shoppers could shop 90 minutes before the official opening to get their first pick of the items for sale and enjoy coffee with donuts.

Bargain Bash co-chairs said the committee sold 50 presale tickets and they were elated to see a line of customers waiting Saturday morning when the event officially opened to the public. In total, shoppers purchased $14,000 in merchandise throughout the weekend.

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Also of note, nothing went to waste. JLO donated unsold inventory to Heartland Hope Mission, where items will be donated directly to flood victims who lost their homes and personal belongings.

Still not sold on shopping secondhand? Here’s a little more motivation to thrift:

  • Find unique pieces and valuable items at great prices
  • Reduce waste through reusing gently loved goods
  • Think of thrifting as a treasure hunt – you never know what you might find
  • One-of-a-kind goods that tell a story

Are you feeling motivated to shop secondhand?

Comment with some of your favorite thrifted purchases below!

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Ladies Who bRUNch

The Junior League of Omaha is hosting a new fundraiser this year and planning committee members are passionate. This April, the League will host a 5K fun run that combines two events that League members just love: running and brunching. The concept is pretty simple, really: run 3.1 miles, eat brunch, support the League’s child-minded community projects. And everyone’s invited. We asked the committee members what keeps them running.

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Lisa Tronchetti will tell you she is an indoor runner. She remembers doing a 5K before, but lately she hasn’t made it past the one mile mark. Even though her distance has shortened, she keeps plugging away, because she has motivation. “I run to stay healthy and prevent Type II Diabetes,” she says. “Type II Diabetes is common for women in my family as they grow older and my hope is that by living a healthy lifestyle NOW with a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule that includes a little running, I will greatly delay or prevent any onset of Type II Diabetes in my own health,” Lisa says. When the Junior League of Omaha announced a 5K run this spring, Lisa saw an opportunity to volunteer and get back on a training regimen. “I’m in my favorite Athleta pants and listening to the second season of Serial while I train,” she says. 

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It took Stacey Sellers a little time to warm up to the idea of loving a run. “I started running in middle school when I started cheer and dance, but it wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started to enjoy it,” she says. “Living in Charleston, SC at the time, the scenery and weather were perfect; and running outside was a must!” Stacey runs for enjoyment, opting out of a music playlist, no formal training program and no set distances. There is one thing she does commit to, a lacrosse ball she uses to massage her muscles after good run. 

Colby Jensen prefers to run with a crew. “When I run with friends, we talk about our days, what’s new in our lives, etc. so no music is needed,” she says. Her friends and the training program she found with a quick Google search keep her focused when training for half marathons. “I train with friends to hold myself accountable and make the longer runs seem easier,” she says. But when no one is around, she’ll crank up a good Pandora station Jock Jams, Pop & Hip Hop Power Workout, 2000s Hip Hop – to name a few. Her Nike+ training app keeps her motivated when she runs on her own.

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

 

Lauren Hellman might just go crazy if she doesn’t hit the pavement. She takes all her frustrations and stress of the day out on the wide open road. Often she will bring her dog along for company. She uses this time to catch up on her favorite podcasts. When weather forces Lauren to run on a treadmill, she might deviate slightly from the podcasts and opt for some Taylor Swift. “My favorite item to have on a run with me is a great pair for shoes,” she says. Typically she gets her shoes from Altra Running. But she recently picked up a pair from Skora Running. “They may become my new favorite,” Lauren says. 

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Pictured League Members: Lauren Hellman, bRUNch 5k committee, Allie Bruening, and Colby Jensen, bRUNch 5k committee.

No matter what your running style- or even if you’re not a runner- Lauren, Colby, Stacy and Lisa agree that there’s a place for you at the April 16 bRUNch 5K. Families are welcome to bring their kids for a 1K fun walk around Turner Park and if you’re not up for racing, you can purchase a ticket to the after-run brunch. Registration information is now available on jlomaha.org. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Junior League Shop at Children’s Hospital

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Junior League members working in the Hospitality Shop at Children’s Memorial Hospital. The League founded the shop in 1948, giving all proceeds to the hospital. In 1956, they turned the shop over to the Friends of Children’s Hospital Guild.

Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World-Herald. This photo was part of the history in the 2006 Toast to Omaha A Cookbook Presented by the Junior League of Omaha.

Connecting with …

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Congratulations to Mary Lynn as a 2015 Junior League of Omaha Sustainer Hall of Fame award winner.

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Tell us about your family?
Husband Dick, two grown children, Todd Reiser and Sally Christensen, 5 grandchildren, Tyler, Nate, Luke Christensen, Caroline and Courtney Reiser

Pets: mixed breed hound, Cisco

Hometown: Lincoln, NE

College: UNL and UNO

Sorority: Alpha Phi

Job/Business: Director, UNO Center for Economic Education

What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
Serving as JLO President which led me in a entirely new career direction as an administrator at UNO.

Continue reading “Connecting with …”

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

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In 1933 the Junior League took over the Children’s Theater from the Omaha Community Playhouse and annually produced a play with League members in the cast. From left, children Courtney Campbell, Denman Kountze, Jr. and Sally Rullman admire Junior League members Kathryn Tukey as the cat and Josephine Coad as the owl in the April 1936 play “The Owl and the Pussy Cat” performed at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

 

Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World-Herald. This photo was part of the history in the 2006 Toast to Omaha A Cookbook Presented by the Junior League of Omaha.

 

Mad Hatter’s Ball

 

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Mrs. William Sample and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Weaver are all smiles wearing their creations for the Mad Hatter’s Ball at the Blackstone Hotel, May 3, 1947

Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World-Herald. This photo was part of the history in the 2006 Toast to Omaha A Cookbook Presented by the Junior League of Omaha.

Giant Jumble Project

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From left Ann Wachter, Katie Best, Mary Pat Kleyla and Betty Coad were among the provisional Junior League members planning a “Giant Jumble” project in February 1955. Their hope was to procure more than $1,000 worth of new and used merchandise for the leagues’s Jumble Shop. The Junior League assumed operation of the Jumble Shop from the Nebraska Society of Colonial Dames in 1947 and continued to operate the shop at 3038 North 90th Street until 2008.

Reprinted with permission from the Omaha World-Herald. This photo was part of the history in the 2006 Toast to Omaha A Cookbook Presented by the Junior League of Omaha.

Connecting the Community – Done-In-A-Day is Back

Seeds We’ve Sown: Done-In-A-Day is Back

Done-In-A-Day is a former Junior League of Omaha project that is being reborn this year.  The goal of this new project is to get in touch with organizations that JLO has worked with in its storied history, exposing members to these organizations, and getting project shifts done in a day!  This mission is two-fold.  First, it reconnects JLO with partners from the League’s past to celebrate the League’s contributions to the Omaha community as JLO approaches its 100th Anniversary in 2019.  Second, it allows members to interact and learn more about these great organizations while performing community service.  This year, Done-In-A-Day has scheduled project shifts with the Visiting Nurses Association, Rainbow House with Children’s Hospital, the Omaha Symphony, Fontenelle Forest, the Rose Theater, and more.

Done-In-A-Day Chair Joey Gaines is the member responsible for bringing this great project back to the League.  As a first year active, I am blown away by Joey’s dedication to JLO, initiative to rejuvenate a past project, and sheer excitement about the whole thing.  I decided the best way to introduce this great project was to speak to the project’s fearless leader herself. Continue reading “Connecting the Community – Done-In-A-Day is Back”