Dave Huelsmann and Barb St. John

Dave Huelsmann and Barb St. John marked the 17th anniversary of their marriage with a $170 donation to Goodfellows.

The path Dave Huelsmann and Barb St. John traveled to Omaha was a circuitous one.

They met about 23 years ago when she was the director of admissions at a hospital in Kankakee, Illinois, and he was the hospital’s new director of the lab and, later, radiology.

As a newbie director, Dave was assigned a mentor, who happened to hold “Girls’ Night Out” sessions with her hospital friends. He didn’t really meet the membership requirements, but the mentor invited Dave to one of the nights out.

“That’s where I really got to know my now-wife,” he said.

After about three years, Dave got a job as executive director of some labs in Manchester, New Hampshire. He and Barb were just dating, but she said, “I’m going with you” and sold her house.

About three years after that, in January 2000, Dave took a job at Omaha’s Methodist Hospital as the director of the laboratory. Barb found work as office coordinator of a family medicine clinic.

Dave retired nine years ago, and Barb retired the year after. They decided to stay in Omaha.

Dave had donated to The World-Herald’s Goodfellows charity before, but this year he told Barb that he wanted to donate in celebration of their wedding anniversary. The two had been married 17 years as of June, so he suggested they donate $10 for every year they have been married. Barb was fine with that.

Dave said he recognizes that the newspaper pays the overhead and that all the donated money is distributed to people in need. The couple also donate to Food Bank of the Heartland, the Salvation Army and the Open Door Mission.

Bob Glissmann helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow him on Twitter @BobGlissmann. Phone: 402-444-1109.

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