The Owl and the Pussy Cat


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



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



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”

Planning The 1935 Follies



Arthur Seeling, left, and Wesley Totten, both of New York, meet with Junior League members Mrs. H Malcom Baldrige, seated, and Mrs. Loring Elliott, standing to the left, and Mrs. Bernard Wickham, standing to the right, to discuss plans for the 1935 Follies at the Central High School Auditorium. Junior Leagues across the country partnered with Cargill Company to produce Follies-style shows in the 1920s and 30s to raise money.

The Cargill Company would send an advance team to Omaha to scout locations, audition League members and produce the show from their pool of choreographers and linguists. After tow weeks of intense rehearsal, the Junior League cast would put on the Follies. Revenue grew from netting a reported $3,000 in 1920 to around $17,000 in the final years.

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 …

Cutler_Angela name-title-since

Congratulations to Angela for being named a 2014 TOYO (Ten Outstanding Young Omahans) Recipient.

Tell us about your family:  I have a new husband Bill Cutler IV, a pair of loving and supportive parents, two brothers, 4 nieces and 4 nephews and a bunch of awesome in-laws.

Cutler_Angela  (3)

Hometown: Omaha

College: University of Nebraska at Omaha

Job/Business: Director of Development for Major and Planned Giving for Children’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation

Why did you join the Junior League?

I joined the league so that I could combine my love for making a difference in our community with a social aspect.  The league allows you to make a difference with incredible women and form future leaders in our community all while having lots of fun together!

What was your favorite placement and why?

I loved being able to be a part of the infancy years of Project Hope Pack.   There are so many passionate people involved in the committee and you get so much gratification knowing you are helping a child in a crisis situation.  Our projects are truly amazing in JLO!

Continue reading “Connecting with …”

Connecting the Community…Project Hope Pack Collections

Every year my office, The Asthma and Allergy Center in Bellevue, chooses a different local charity to support through a holiday drive. In the past we have donated to the Siena-Francis House, Heartland Family Services, and the Wounded Warrior Project among others. This year, we chose to collect items for Project Hope Pack.

As a New Member of the Junior League of Omaha, I have spent my year learning all about the good the Junior League accomplishes for our community. While all of our projects are worthwhile, Project Hope Pack holds a special place in my heart. My first ever project shift was a PHP inventory shift; it was the first time I ever got to see the specific need the  League addresses in our area. It was also the first time I felt I had a grasp on what the organization was all about. Until that point, it had mostly been socials, a fair amount of wine, and learning the basics of the group. I only truly understood what a great difference the Junior League makes at that project shift. So, it was only natural that when my work’s annual holiday effort rolled around that I would think of PHP. I’m so honored to be a part of an organization that promotes philanthropy and promotes it so well. And I’m lucky that I have supportive coworkers who were willing to learn about the League, and chose Project Hope Pack as our holiday drive beneficiary.

Connection Contributor - Katy Spratte

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



Connecting with …

Joey Gaines

Congratulations to Joey for being named 2014 TOYO (Ten Outstanding Young Omahans) Recipient.

Tell us about your family?

I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Adam, for 17 years.  We have 5 kids:  Jack 15, Lucy 14, Vivien 11, Jay 10, Eddie 9.  We are a foster family and three of our kids were adopted from the foster system.


Of course I have pets J  We have Tex, a dog I brought home from an ultrasound training class in Texas, Tinkerbell, a Chihuahua a client begged me to take, and Scarlett, a cat we were given to take care of when she was 3 days old.


I grew up in Omaha until the beginning of high school, when we moved to Salina, Kansas.

CollegeKansas State for both undergrad and veterinary school

Sorority: Delta Delta Delta

Job/Business:  Owner and veterinarian at Ridgeview Animal Hospital, owner at Walnut Creek Veterinary Clinic

Joey Gaines Photo 3

Why did you join the Junior League?

I joined the Junior League of Omaha to learn more about agencies serving the Omaha community and to become an active volunteer.

What was your favorite placement and why?

I have loved both of my committees!  I became very involved in A Book of My Own as a new member and continued on that committee for two active years.  I love the busy work and the impact it has on individual lives in our community.  Now on Done-In-A-Day, it is great to get out in the community and do work!  I feel I have been placed right where I belong all of my years in the League so far.

Continue reading “Connecting with …”

Connecting with …

 Nancy Whitted

Tell us about your family?  I’ve been married 42 years to my attorney husband Warren.  We have two children – Kristin and Warren III.  Kristin and her husband Shawn live in Indianapolis and have three children – Kaitlin – 11, Megan – 8, and Will – 6.  Our son Warren will be married in May to fiancée Christina Dunham.

Hometown:  Fairmont, NE

CollegeUniversity of Nebraska at Lincoln

Sorority:  Gamma Phi Beta

Job/Business: I taught Kindergarten until I had children.  I was a stay at home Mom and did some substitute teaching for several years.  I worked part time for the Children’s Scholarship Fund for nine years.  I volunteered for many organizations and enjoyed every minute of it!

Why did you join the Junior League? 

Growing up in out-state Nebraska, I wanted to become involved in the Omaha community and make new friends.

What was your favorite placement and why? 

Puppets.  Every week was different – performing at elementary schools all over the metro.

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

Meeting and marrying my husband and moving to Omaha.

What is your favorite thing about living in Omaha? 

There is so much to see and do with the wonderful array of restaurants, museums, the Henry Doorly Zoo, Lauritzen Gardens and Omaha Community Playhouse to name a few.

What are your favorite restaurant(s) in Omaha? 

Jam’s, Taxi’s, Omaha Prime, Pasta Amore

What other organizations are you affiliated with?

Immediate Past President of the Joslyn Art Museum Association and current board member; JLO Foundation – President-Elect; Omaha Community Playhouse – Act II –  Past President and current member of the 90th Anniversary Committee; Omaha Town Hall member and Past President; Gamma Phi Beta Sorority Alumnae Group – Past President;  AK-SAR-Ben Friends – Past President;  Durham Museum – On Track Guild – current Parliamentarian; Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show and a current member of the Archbishop’s Committee for Education.  I have also served on the AK-SAR-BEN Women’s Ball Committee and the Omaha Symphony Debutante Ball Committee and am a past chairman of the Arthritis Woman of the Year Gala.

Continue reading “Connecting with …”