A crowd of 475 gathered in Gretna on May 2 for the 15th annual Blue Jeans and Dreams, a benefit for the Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy, or HETRA.

The organization helps people with disabilities improve the physical and emotional quality of their lives through therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving, veterans services and other programs.

"We couldn't be more pleased with the turnout at the event and the support for HETRA's students and families," said Edye Godden, the organization's executive director. "This was a special year for HETRA to host the event at our own location."

The event included dinner, dancing, a live auction, derby hat sales and awards for Best Derby Hat, Best Boots and Best Bling Buckle.

A highlight of the evening was a demonstration by HETRA student Jacob Rivard riding Waldo; the pair demonstrated what Jacob's weekly hippotherapy sessions are like. Hippotherapy uses horses and their movement to help participants improve balance, coordination and posture.

A post-dinner video included an interview with HETRA board member and marine veteran Ben Wormington, who explained how he benefited from HETRA's Equine Services for Veterans.

Proceeds from the event support the organization's Student Sponsorship Program.

Jamie and Ted Friedland were the host couple.

Blue Jeans and Dreams raised $90,000.


Cabaret 2015, "It's a Mad, Mad, Madigan World," attracted 600 to Embassy Suites La Vista for an evening of humor with Kathleen Madigan, a finalist and judge on NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

The May 9 event was a benefit for the Child Saving Institute.

During the event, longtime CSI volunteer Sue Nemer-Haddix reminded guests that many older children need adoptive homes. She also mentioned that although the following day was Mother's Day, many such children have no one to call "Mom."

Honorary chairmen for the event were Nemer-Haddix and George Haddix. General chairmen were Laura and Dick Worick, with co-chairmen Lucy and Scott Newberry.

"It's a Mad, Mad, Madigan World" raised nearly $300,000. Proceeds will support the institute's programs and services, including foster care, adoption, early childhood education, pregnancy counseling, parenting classes and therapy.


Development of a new maternity unit at the Nebraska Medical Center is one of the projects that will benefit from Fusion: A Blend of Fun and Philanthropy, a Nebraska Medicine Guild luncheon at the Omar Building.

Guest speaker at the event was Jeff Lewis, star of "Flipping Out" on Bravo TV. The real estate developer and interior designer took part in a question-and-answer session that involved the audience.

Decor for the event, designed to evoke Lewis' design sensibilities, featured a stage backdrop that resembled stripes on cans from his self-named paint line.

The April 23 luncheon attracted 500 and netted about $50,000.

Missy Longo and Angie Thorell were event chairwomen.


The Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary annual Tastes & Treasures, held April 23, began with an hour-long patron party at the home of Susan Westerholm. Guests were entertained by fiddler Mike Godfrey.

Activities continued at the Omaha Field Club with silent and super silent auctions, and pre-dinner music by pianist Anna Yuz-Mosenkis.

During dinner, guests watched the videos "Fulfilling Wishes in Action" and "How Our Funds are Utilized." The guests also saw a performance by flamenco dancers from the Kroc Center.

Tastes & Treasures drew 170 and raised $60,000. Proceeds will provide items to fulfill the Salvation Army wish list. Items from the list are used by the Salvation Army metro corps, Adult Rehabilitation Center and Omaha-area social service programs.

Karen Jacobi, Karen Wilson and Wanda Utecht were chairwomen for the event. Honorary chairmen were Hal and Mary Daub. In honor of the Daubs, the auxiliary will award six Kroc Center Summer Camp scholarships to children in need.



Madonna Golf Classic,Madonna School, Champions Run, $750/ golfer, 402-556-1883.

Midlands Community Foundation Golf Tournament,MCF Children in Crisis Field of Interest Fund, Platteview Country Club, $125; 402-991-8027 or www.MidlandsCommunity.org.

MAY 28

Christ Child Summer Soiree,Christ Child Society of Omaha, Happy Hollow Club, $100, 402697-1877.


Omaha Home for Boys Golf Classic,Omaha Home for Boys, Indian Creek Golf Course, $150, www.omahahomeforboys.org


Outlook Nebraska Inc. golf tournament,Camp Abilities Nebraska, Indian Creek Golf Course, $125; 402-614-3331, ext. 221.

"SPICE Around the Clock,"Christ the King Educational Trust, Christ the King Parish Center at 654 S. 86th St., $100, 402-391-3606.


Military associations golf tournament benefiting the Navy League, Reserve Officers Association, U.S. Submarine Vets and the Association of Naval Aviation, Willow Lakes Golf Course, $60, 402-571-4506.


Bob Bartels/Leonard Nelson Memorial Golf Classic and Dinner,Millard Lions Foundation, Oak Hills Country Club, $95; Allen Darell, 402-895-6613.


Second annual charity golf outing,LuMind Foundation, The Players Club, $200, 402-779-7775 or lgrieff@hayesmechanical.com.


Strike a Chord,Heartland Family Service, Mid-America Center, $80, 402-552-7426.


Joseph's Coat Second-Annual Golf Tournament,Washington County Food Pantry, River Wilds Golf Club in Blair, $500 per foursome, 402426-0440.

RiteCare Classic,Munroe-Meyer Institute RiteCare Language Clinic, Shoreline Golf Club, $100, 402-342-1300.


Golf4Grace,Grace University, Indian Creek Golf Course, $150, 402-449-2811, www.graceu.edu/ golf.

Golf Fore Kids 2015,Child Saving Institute, Shadow Ridge Country Club, $950 per foursome; Dawn Hovey, 402-553-6000.

If you have news for Around and About, send it to Howard K. Marcus, aroundandabout@owh.com. Follow him on Twitter @ OWHhoward.

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