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 Continuing the Omaha Works Holiday Traditions
by the Omaha Works Volunteers - 2015
reported by Dick Maxwell

                               Bell Ringing - 2015

The bell ringing season starts each November and runs through Christmas Eve, when the red kettles are packed away for the season. Volunteers are the difference between an empty kettle and one that raises about $30 per hour – enough to provide a family with two bags of groceries, or shelter an individual for a night.

Co-chair Dick Maxwell reported that the Omaha Works Volunteers were able to continue ringing bell again this year, but were able to cover on three Saturdays in December at the Sam's store located on the old front lawn East of 132rd and L Street.  Dick reported that they were able to raise almost $1662.00 dollars through their efforts this year.

The Omaha Works Volunteers Bell Ringing team for 2015 was:

CAPTAIN: George Parkerson Linda Jurgens Darwin Fager
RINGERS: Bill Peters Bill Peters Bill Peters
  Frank Markesi Bill Fleming Darla Plymala
  Rose Markesi Carol Fleming Lois Brittell 
  George Parkerson Linda Jurgens Ann Drebot
  Jery Goldmanavich Sylvia Jones Kevin Arnold
  Betty Goldmanavich Doug Thoms  
  Don Dirks Paul Pickrel  
  Verneta Dirks    


Dick says a big thank you to all and to those that  were store captains and
to Darwin Fager for opening and closing each Saturday


Through the partnership of The Salvation Army and Star 104.5 FM, hundreds of families in the metro had  the chance to be “adopted” for the holidays. This year 2,550 families qualified for assistance through the Adopt A Family program.  Since the program began 13 years ago, 24,637 families have been adopted by local donors.

The Adopt A Family Radiothon was broadcast live on December 5 and 6 from 6 am – 6 pm from The Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters, 10755 Burt Street.  Star 104.5 FM listeners were invited to adopt a family or a senior citizen for the holidays.

Donors choosing to adopt must make three commitments: provide a toy or clothing for each child; provide a gift coupon for a holiday meal; coordinate a time to deliver gifts to their assigned family by December 23.

Chairman Dick Maxwell reported that the Omaha Works Volunteers were able again this year to continue our tradition of supporting the Adopt-A-Family again this year with volunteers.  The volunteer shift for them was Saturday morning from 6 am to 12 noon.  Our volunteers this year were, Barb and Lloyd Gray, Betty and Jerry Golmanavich, Joan and Ron Siwa and  Dick and Cathy.  

A Omaha Works Tradition

TurkeyFest Continues in 2015


Turkeyfest started more than 25 years ago when each member of the Heartland Pioneers, a volunteer group in Omaha, would cook a turkey and fixings and deliver them to senior citizens in need around Omaha.

Turkeyfest has grown over the years, from serving 300 meals 25 years ago, to a record 1,562 meals this year. The Heartland Pioneers also developed a partnership over the years with the Salvation Army.

Director of Senior Services at the Salvation Army, D.D. Launderville, said that partnership has proved beneficial to the entire community. She said it starts with the helpers that prepare the food at the Kroc Center in South Omaha.

“That group that puts together the food on Wednesday night from the pioneers, they are so dedicated,” Launderville said. “The same group, the same people show up every year and they love doing it. There is such ownership in what they do. They put together this delicious meal, they can see it being put together and then they come the next day and then they serve it.”

Launderville said seniors in the Omaha area apply and register for Turkeyfest annually. She compared all the work that goes into Turkeyfest to an orchestra playing a symphony.

“Everything has got their own pieces and their own times. And I just sit there and pray it goes well, and it usually does,” Launderville said.

Douglas Thoms, a member of the Heartland Pioneers, said he has been volunteering for Turkeyfest for nearly 20 years. He said he has gotten his kids and grand-kids into the mix as well.

Launderville said the demand for Turkeyfest meals and volunteers continues to grow after all these years. She said the Salvation Army is determined to continue to serve what she calls a forgotten part of our society, the elderly.

The Heartland Pioneers now the Omaha Works Volunteers have turned the entire operation over to the Salvation Army but our volunteers still show up on Wednesday night and Thursday morning to continue our TurkeyFest Tradition.