The following are fundraisers, donations and charitable events happening in the Midlands. Email your information about good deeds to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-444-1040.
Stocking the shelves: Employees at Rand Worldwide, which provides technology solutions, recently gave back to their local communities by gathering nonperishable items for food banks in North America. The second annual Rand Worldwide Food Drive Challenge raised 7,987 pounds of food from nine offices. The average donation per employee at the Omaha office was 38 pounds.
Going to the movies: Aksarben Cinema's Free Family Flicks are back. Families can enjoy a free movie at 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays at the theater, 2110 S. 67th St. Admission is free with the donation of a canned good, nonperishable item or $1 per person. All donations will benefit Together Inc. You can pick up tickets at Enterprise Bank locations and at these Aksarben Village locations: Jones Bros. Cupcakes, Learning HQ and Ponzu Sushi & Grill. Cinema doors will open at 10:30 a.m. for first come, first served seating. Free Family Flicks began this weekend and will run through Feb. 24. The schedule of films is available at aksarbencinema.com.
Reaching out: Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, 3607 Metro Drive in Council Bluffs, will host a fundraiser from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday for the family of Kaylee Bujarski of Omaha. The 13-year-old died Jan. 1 at Children's Hospital & Medical Center, five days after she unexpectedly stopped breathing. If customers mention the fundraiser, Freddy's will donate 10 percent of the sale to the family. A donation box also will be available. Kaylee's family will attend and have a table set up with mementos.
Prom time: The Junior League of Omaha again is giving free prom dresses and accessories to 80 Omaha-area high school teens. For the fourth straight year, league members collected the items for teen girls who otherwise may skip the dance due to the high cost of clothing and accessories. The league does this program in partnership with Goodwill.
Help for a family: A freewill donation spaghetti feed and silent auction will help with funeral expenses and medical expenses for Tori Kenniker and her daughters. The event will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Greenwood (Neb.) Fire Hall. Kenniker gave birth Nov. 13, 2012, to twin girls at Bergan Mercy Medical Center. The girls, Tatum Renee and Aubree Lynn, were born 17 weeks premature. Tatum died Nov. 16. Aubree remains in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit.
Pass the Parmesan: The Papillion Area Lions Club will host its 24th annual spaghetti dinner fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 3 in the cafeteria at Papillion-La Vista High School, 402 E. Centennial Road in Papillion. There also will be clowns and face painting. Dinner will cost $8 for adults, $4 for children (age 6-12) and free for children 5 and younger. Proceeds will support eye research, eye exams and glasses, leader and hearing dogs, diabetes research and education, drug abuse programs, youth outreach, scholarships and more.
All things Irish: The Father Flanagan Division No. 1 of the Ancient Order of Hibernians will have its annual awards banquet Feb. 9 at the German-American Society Hall, 3717 S. 120th St. The evening will include cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m. and live Irish music all evening. Proceeds will go to Irish Charities of Nebraska, the nonprofit organization affiliated with the division, which supports many causes in the Omaha area. They have included the Stephen Center, Siena-Francis House, Madonna School and Catholic Charities food pantry.
A Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Tricia Weekly of The Craoi na Tire Studio of Irish Dance. Omaha band Donnybrook will play. Dress is semi-formal or formal Celtic. Individual tickets are $35. Checks can be made out to AOH and sent to Matt McCarville, 12373 Bel Drive, Omaha, NE 68144. Specify whether you want the tickets held in your name or mailed to you.
Trivia: “Are You Smarter Than a Politician?” — a trivia fundraiser — will run from 5:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 8 at the German American Society, 3717 S. 120th St. The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha will host the event, a benefit for the league. The evening will include a barbecue dinner, Pot of Gold prize, cash bar and trivia. Local politicians will participate, but the question categories will go far beyond government and politics. Admission is $25 per person or $200 for a table of eight. Guests can sign up individually and be assigned to a team or can register a team of eight. For reservations, call 402-850-9804.
Wag your wishes: This Valentine's Day send your loved one a Wag-A-Gram sponsored by the Midlands Humane Society. Choose from several adorable dogs to deliver a personalized valentine message, single rose and heart-shaped sugar cookie to your sweetie at his or her home or business on Feb. 14. This gift is $30. Deliveries will be made to Council Bluffs and Omaha. All proceeds will go to support the Midlands Humane Society. To order a Wag-A-Gram, visit midlandshumanesociety.org.
Sweetheart dinner: There will be magic in the air Feb. 10 at the 6 p.m. Valentine's Sweetheart Dinner at Classic Cafe in Malvern, Iowa. Also expect musical fun and free photos. Reservations, $50 per couple or $25 for singles, are needed by calling 712-624-8082. The Malvern Area Betterment Association is the sponsor. Proceeds will go to the future Malvern Recreation Park.
Keeping warm: The Heartland Walk for Warmth and Run for Fun will flow through midtown on Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. to raise money for local energy assistance programs. Starting Friday, all restaurants in Midtown Crossing will donate a portion of their February proceeds to the Heartland Walk for Warmth and Run for Fun. Registration is $25 for the one-mile walk, $35 for the 5K run. Register at HeartlandWalkforWarmth.org. Children younger than 12 can participate free. Both events start at Turner Park. The funds raised will be divided equally among the energy assistance programs administered by the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
Volunteers needed: Girls on the Run of Nebraska seeks positive, can-do women to help coach a Girls on the Run team this spring at dozens of sites in the metro area. The group is a nonprofit dedicated to improve young girls' lives with exercise, education, mentoring and “girl power.” Participants meet twice a week after school to play physically active games to train for a 5K run/walk. Lessons on health, wellness, self-esteem, team-building and communication are incorporated.
The spring season will run March 4 through May 15. The State GOTR 5K will be May 11 in Lincoln. Coaching opportunities are available at several sites in Omaha, Council Bluffs, Fort Calhoun, Blair, Elkhorn, Gretna, Fremont, Papillion, Bellevue and Ralston. You don't have to be a runner to get involved. Coaches must be nonsmokers, have positive attitudes and serve as healthy role models for young girls. A car is required and a background check will be conducted. Training is required. Visit GOTRNebraska.org to learn more or to sign up.
Nominations needed: The Build-A-Bear Workshop Huggable Heroes program, now in its 10th year, is taking nominations for young people ages 8 to 18 who are doing their part to make the world a better place. Ten Huggable Heroes each will receive $10,000, which includes an educational scholarship, a donation to a charity they choose, and a mentoring scholarship to support their charitable entrepreneurships. Nominations will be accepted until Feb. 28 at buildabear.com/huggableheroes or by mail. Nomination forms are also available at Build-A-Bear Workshop stores, including the one at Oak View Mall.
Bless the beasts: The Ashland (Neb.) City Pound rescued a stray female chocolate Labrador. It appeared she had been abandoned and she had huge mammary gland tumors, including one weighing 5 pounds. The volunteers at the pound hope to raise enough money to have the $3,000 surgery done to remove the dog's tumors. If it is cancer, chemotherapy will be done. The dog is not old and is very sweet. To donate, send checks payable to the Ashland Dog Pound to: Val Verde Animal Hospital, 9841 Giles Road, La Vista, NE 68128. Donors will get a receipt for a tax-deductible donation.
Saying thanks: Two Omahans have received a special thank you for their contributions to the community. William Monochie and Katie Keber were selected to receive free fuel from Tanks of Thanks, a Cenex program that rewards people who do good deeds. The program encourages people to nominate friends, family and neighbors for free fuel to say thank you for doing good. Monochie was nominated for rearranging his schedule to transport his sister to and from every chemotherapy treatment as she battles breast cancer. Keber, a mother of four, volunteers at her church and her daughters' school. Monochie and Keber each received a $50 Tanks of Thanks gift card. To nominate someone, visit TanksofThanks.com.
Valentines brighten nursing homes
February would be just another cold winter month if it didn’t have Valentine’s Day.
With no valentine card or visitor, February must seem like another January to residents of nursing homes and assisted living residences.
You can make the month special for these people by hand-making valentines for them.
Community 360° wants individuals, organizations, schools and churches to make valentines for the people who are living and working in these care facilities. Last year, Community 360° collected and hand-delivered 5,000 valentines.
So gather your materials and follow these guidelines to make cards:
» Use 8½-by-11-inch paper.
» Be as creative as you want.
» Keep the text simple and easy to read.
» Bring or mail your cards to Community 360°, St. Joseph Tower, 2205 S. 10th St., Suite 320, Omaha, NE 68108. Identify your group or organization.
Community 360° must have the cards by Feb. 12.
Also needed are volunteers to deliver the cards on Valentine’s Day.
Delivery will take place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Be at the Community 360° office around 9 a.m. Bring friends, neighbors, children, pets or a group to help.
These volunteers get their bundles of valentines, drive to the assigned facility and personally deliver each card to the residents and workers.
Even more than the valentine, these acts of kindness let the people living and working in nursing homes know that others care about and appreciate them.
Compiled by Sue Story Truax