» At the Girls Inc. luncheon Tuesday with first lady Michelle Obama, the 2,500 or so guests were informed that there was no sugar on the tables.
Roberta Wilhelm, the organization's executive director in Omaha, said Girls Inc. has pledged not to serve sugared beverages to girls who come to the social service agency.
“No chocolate or strawberry milk,” she said. “No Kool-Aid. No soda. Sorry, Warren!”
That was a side comment to Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. holds a large investment in Coca-Cola.
A number of girls attended the luncheon at the CenturyLink Center, and Roberta said they have accepted the policy better than some adults.
“Girls, I'm not going to mention any names,” she deadpanned, “but one of our board members — whose initials are Susie Buffett — has suggested sneaking sugared lemonade into the building for board meetings. No way, right?”
Susie, Warren's daughter, was instrumental in securing an Omaha visit from the first lady, who is national honorary chairwoman of Girls Inc.
» With the Broadway touring production of “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Orpheum Theater this week, Paul Rosenberg was struck by how the show's story paralleled that of his own family.
In the first decade of the 20th century, his ancestors had to leave a village in Ukraine, taking what they could.
The family name was Lambert, and they escaped to the Bavarian town of Rosenberg, Germany. So they could not easily be traced, the family changed its name to that of the town. They made it to America in 1908.
Paul's father, David Rosenberg, had managed a Village Inn restaurant toward the end of his career, and at age 68 won the Iowa Lotto — $1.5 million.
That would have been a blessing for Tevye, the poor milkman in “Fiddler,” who sang, “If I were a rich man ...”
Paul, 67, who is retired from his business, Crystal Foods, was a local actor and is a member of the Omaha Bowling Hall of Fame. Today he drives a limo for VIP Limousine and has escorted members of the cast of “Fiddler on the Roof.”
In recent years his passengers have ranged from Paul Harvey to Lady Gaga. Others have included Henry Winkler, Janet Jackson, Roger Daltrey, Carol Burnett and many others.
» The norovirus that sickened hundreds of children and adults last week at Mary Our Queen Elementary School left a young couple with a temporary queasy feeling.
After months of planning, Grant Farrell and Morgan Fitzpatrick feared that their Friday night wedding, April 20, at Mary Our Queen Church might have to be moved at the eleventh hour.
They began looking for alternatives. But Grant's grandpa Sam Marasco said the couple received a go-ahead at Mary Our Queen. The couple got hitched without a hitch.
Maybe butterflies in the stomach, but no sickness.
» Former residents of the Nebraska towns of Greeley and Spalding will gather Saturday for their annual reunion in Omaha.
It's a great tradition, dating back several decades. About 150 miles from Omaha, the towns sit 12 miles apart and were longtime rivals.
Retired Lt. Col. Gerard Pritchard of Bellevue said there may even have been fisticuffs in the years after World War II. But then there was a lot of inter-marrying between the towns, and now the rivalry is friendly.
Nearly 200 people are expected for the 6 p.m. event at Castle Barrett, the Irish-themed banquet hall at 4330 Leavenworth St. That's a fitting location because Spalding and Greeley are statistically two of the “most Irish” towns in Nebraska.
Gerard grew up in Spalding and later piloted Air Force planes in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as in tours of Japan and Thailand. At times he ferried celebrities ranging from singer Johnny Cash to then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson.
The pilot was assigned to Offutt Air Force Base in 1976 and retired five years later after a 30-year career.
The Spalding-Greeley reunion, he said, has begun attracting younger generations of families that migrated to the Omaha area. The rivalry now, he said, is to see which town has the better turnout.
» The Coalition for Lifesaving Cures on Monday honored Fred and Eve Simon of the Omaha Steaks family.
Fred is executive vice president of the iconic Omaha company, which puts the hometown name on its national and international business in much the same way as Mutual of Omaha.
Fred and Eve are longtime contributors in various ways to the arts, medicine, business and other aspects of the community.
Mary Woolley, president of Research America and the featured speaker at the luncheon, says she knows something about beef — her grandparents in Illinois raised cattle.
With the Simons being honored, she quipped, she thought surely that the luncheon's main course would be steak. It was chicken — which she added was quite good.
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