Around and about: Brownell-Talbot gala raises $596,640 -
Published Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 2:43 pm
Around and about: Brownell-Talbot gala raises $596,640

Brownell-Talbot School celebrated its grand 149-year tradition of educational excellence with more than 500 friends on April 5.

This year’s gala, “Illumination: A Time to Shine!” at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, raised $596,640 to support Brownell-Talbot’s general operating budget.

Gala chairmen were Laura and Brad Crosby, Pam Finn and Kevin Jackson. Honorary chairman was Bill Beavers, who made an additional $100,000 gift to the school for the Brett B. Beavers Memorial Scholarship Fund.

During the silent auction, guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as they bid on nearly 500 items. As they entered the ballroom for dinner, the Upper School Choir performed while photos from the school’s first ever Walk/Run for Scholarships, held that morning, were projected.

Students raised more than $10,000 to support scholarships at Brownell-Talbot and an additional $10,000 in matching funds to donate to Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

At the gala, Brownell-Talbot graduate Scott Moore was the evening’s auctioneer. Items bringing in top bids included scholarships ($66,000), reserved school parking spaces ($58,000) and a New York Fashion Week trip ($44,000).

Also auctioned off was the original commissioned artwork for a Peggy Karr plate ($4,000). The plate was commissioned in honor of the school’s 150th year, which will be celebrated during the 2013-2014 academic year, beginning on Founder’s Day, Sept. 17. The plate will be available for sale here.

* * *

More than 120 wish kids and their families made a surprise appearance at Make-A-Wish Nebraska’s Blue Jean Ball on April 6 at the Mutual of Omaha Dome.

The 15th annual event drew more than 350 people and raised a record $275,000 to support granting wishes for Nebraska children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Dawn McIntosh was event chairwoman; John and Susie Nelson were honorary chairs.

Jennifer Griswold was emcee for the event, which featured silent and live auctions, a raffle and an elegant but casual dinner of beef tenderloin and salmon.

Highlights of the evening included a special performance from “pop star” wish kid Cayden and a talk by wish kid Hope.

“It was great to see everything and everyone come together,” said Michele Martin, Friends Council president. “When the wish families flooded the venue, it was beyond moving. It put into perspective exactly who the event was benefitting.”

The Blue Jean Ball is the group’s largest fundraiser of the year, said Brigette Young, president of Make-A-Wish Nebraska.

* * *

“Of all the boards on which I have served, the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary is closest to my heart,” says Phyllis Toebben.

She and her husband, Del, will be honorary chairmen for the auxiliary’s “Tastes and Treasures” annual fundraiser, which will be held at the Field Club of Omaha at 6 p.m. Friday.

Phyllis Toebben is a past president of the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and was recipient of the Evangeline Award, given to an auxiliary member for outstanding service. The Toebbens are being recognized for exemplary philanthropic and community service.

The auxiliary supports many of the Salvation Army’s programs, including Winter Night Watch, Back to School and Summer Feeding programs. In addition to the silent auction, there will be an oral auction, and the evening will feature music from the Chris-Warren Duo. Guests can have fun with the Photo Booth Dudes.

Patrick Combs will be master of ceremonies. Auctioneer is Andy Liakos.

For information or reservations, contact Kathy O’Connor at or call 402-898-6000.

* * *

“Bash 2013: A Greek Odyssey” will be held Saturday in Creighton Prep’s Heider Center. The Grecian-themed event will begin at 5 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, live auction and raffle. Prep also ran an online auction throughFriday.

Executive committee chairmen of the school’s largest annual fundraiser are Pat Barrett, John Belford, Jan Braun, Kristi Kellen, Suzanne Kotula, Tom Nichting, Jill Petersen and Christina Piperis.

For event information, visit or contact Amy Knight at 402-548-3858 or

To share information about benefits or social news, or to add an item to the calendar, send the information to



Reception-fundraiser for the Kim Foundation, Corkscrew Wine & Cheese.


“Blue Jeans and Dreams” fundraiser for Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy, Five Star Stables.


• Silent Auction and Dinner for the Open Door Mission, Embassy Suites La Vista.

• Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala, Holland Performing Arts Center.


Lauritzen Gardens Spring Luncheon, at the gardens.


“Feather Our Nest” fundraiser for Fontenelle Forest Nature Center, Mutual of Omaha Dome.


• Friends Forever “Dining With Dogs” fundraiser for the Nebraska Humane Society, Doubletree Hotel in downtown.

• “Buckaroo Bash” for Omaha Mounted Patrol and the Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund, Omaha Mounted Patrol Facility.

• Torchlight Ball to benefit DREAM youth programming, University of Nebraska Medical School Truhlsen Events Center.

• Gross High School’s Celebration 29, at the school.


“A Comedian, a Choir and a Cantor” fundraiser for Beth El Youth Scholarships, Beth El Synagogue.


Domestic Violence Council’s annual breakfast, Thompson Alumni Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha., 402-210-2195

MAY 17

American Red Cross Cornhusker Chapter’s 12th annual Tribute to Heroes dinner, Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln.

MAY 10

Girls Inc.’s Lunch for the Girls with Chelsea Clinton, CenturyLink Center Omaha.

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