Papio’s Town and Country celebrates 40th anniversary of helping pets
Pulling up the driveway to Town and Country Humane Society fills you with the nostalgia of a visit to grandma’s farm.
Beyond the welcoming trees, you’ll find a no-time-limit animal shelter and rescue operated by dedicated staff and volunteers. It provides adoption options for animals that would otherwise be euthanized, such as bully breed dogs and FIV cats.
“All of our animals are well-cared for and loved,” said Diana Briggs, operation manager. “We are humbled to be able to provide a no-time limit environment, allowing all of our animals to stay as long as they need until a loving, appropriate home can be found. Town and Country once housed two black labs for eight years and a pit bull for 14 years — all successfully adopted. Every life matters.”
On May 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Town and Country will hold a 40th anniversary celebration at the SumTur Amphitheater. A group dog walk will start at 10 a.m.
People are also reading…
Town and Country Humane Society nonprofit was opened in 1983 when Sarpy County was overloaded with stray dog complaints and needed an answer for animal control. It was founded by Judy Johnson and then her daughter Lori Reidler took over until her retirement in 2016.
Since 2017, Town and Country has found forever homes for more than 3,500 dogs, cats and critters.
Town and Country has a foster program, too. One animal, Wolfie, was expected to live only a very few months when it was taken in by Diane and Bob MacCraw. He lived another four years.
There is also a boarding facility.
Diane McGraw has been with Town and Country for most of the entire 40 years as a volunteer and was instrumental in keeping Town and Country in successful operation.
Go to townandcountryhumanesociety.org for more information about the 40th celebration.
Kunkel honored for work with Boys & Girls Clubs
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone as dedicated to the Boys & Girls Clubs movement, youth development or the local community as Tom Kunkel, officials there say.
Tom Kunkel celebrates 40 years of service to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands this year.
From the moment he graduated college, Kunkel has spent his entire professional career at Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands, serving the youth of this community.
On Friday, Kunkel celebrated his 40th anniversary with the organization.
“Generations of Omaha’s youth have greatly benefited from Tom’s passion in youth development. Tom is the consummate professional, well respected in Omaha and nationally,” said Tim Holland, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands chairman of the board. “Clubs throughout the country come to Omaha to observe and learn from the impact of Tom’s process and outstanding facilities.”
Kunkel has served the Clubs under all six administrations. He has risen through the Club ranks from a camp counselor, to a full-time sports and fitness director, a unit director at multiple locations, director of operations and now serves as the chief operations officer, a position he has held for more than two decades.
“Tom is our institutional memory, our problem-solver, trusted ally, and sounding board,” said Josh Towey, director of operations.
Kunkel has won many awards during his tenure. He’s also volunteered for several other organizations such as the United Way. He’s been a member of the local Optimist Club for 25 years.
“Building relationships and consistency is a key for success in any part of youth development. Tom has continued to showcase his time, energy, and passion to serve many of our current and future leaders within our communities,” said Richard Webb, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands president and CEO.
To donate to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands in Tom’s honor, visit bgcomaha.org/kunkel.
CSM plans Holocaust events
College of St. Mary will host a traveling exhibit and several other events in honor of Yom HaShoah and Holocaust Remembrance Month.
“Stories of Survival: Object. Image. Memory.” will be displayed through April 30 in the CSM library, 7000 Mercy Road. An opening reception will be 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday. The exhibit, on loan from the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, reflects upon the individual stories of 32 survivors of the Holocaust and genocides, including Armenia, Bosnia, Cambodia, Iraq, Syria, Rwanda and South Sudan, told through photographs and personal reflections.
“Antisemitism is on the rise in the United States and worldwide, and we live in uncertain times,” said Dr. Mark Gudgel, assistant professor of education. “As part of an ongoing effort to combat antisemitism, hatred and genocide, CSM is commemorating Yom HaShoah during April.”
“The State of Holocaust Education Today,” presentation by Dr. Mark Gudgel, noon to 1 p.m., April 11, Hill Macaluso Hall Room 21
Yom HaShoah community commemoration, Institution for Holocaust Education, 7 to 8 p.m., April 19, 333 S. 132nd St.
“Liberators: Allied Forces and the Relief of Nazi Camps,” presentation from Dr. Mark Celinscak, noon to 1 p.m., April 25, Hill Macaluso Hall Room 21
Ava’s Army hopes for help to expand funds
Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance have awarded Jaffery Insurance & Financial Services a 2023 Make More Happen Award for its volunteerism with Ava’s Army, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding life-saving pediatric Leukemia research. The award includes an initial donation of $5,000 for Ava’s Army, which can be doubled to $10,000 just by having community supporters vote online.
Ava Reinert and Cyrus Jaffery, founder of the Jaffery Insurance, at the agency’s annual golf tournament. Jeffery Insurance has been supporting Ava’s Army since 2021.
Jaffery Insurance & Financial Services and Ava’s Army’s Agent Giving story will be highlighted on the official Make More Happen microsite at agentgiving.com/jaffery-insurance where supporters can vote to help the team reach their donation goal. If the featured story receives a mix of at least 500 votes and comments, the $5,000 donation will be raised to $10,000.
Nebraska ranks in the top 25% highest pediatric cancer incidence rates in the U.S. but ranks 6th in mortality rates and every four days a Nebraska child will be diagnosed with cancer. The funds will be used to continue Ava’s Army’s fight to fundraise and advocate for pediatric Leukemia research.
Supporting Ava’s Army since January 2021, the agency has participated in many of the organization’s fundraising events.
Pottawattamie parks free on Earth Day
In honor of Earth Day, Pottawattamie Conservation will hold Free Day at the Parks on April 22 across five public county park properties including Arrowhead Park in Neola, Botna Bend Park in Hancock, Hitchcock Nature Center in Honey Creek, Narrows River Park in Council Bluffs, and Olde Town Park in Macedonia.
This female elk gets up close and personal at Botna Bend Park in Hancock, Iowa.
“Free Day at the Parks is all about celebrating the spring season, appreciating the beauty of Pottawattamie County’s unique natural areas, and reconnecting to our roots through outdoor recreation,” Pottawattamie Conservation executive director Mark Shoemaker said. “Even though county park fees are minimal, they can still be a barrier for some families. Especially on a day like Earth Day, we want to make it as easy as possible for visitors to enjoy the natural world and all of its benefits.”
On April 22 visitors may bypass pay stations and enjoy fun recreational activities such as fishing or canoeing at Arrowhead Park, meeting the elk and bison herds at Botna Bend Park, hitting the Loess Hills trails at Hitchcock Nature Center, practicing their aim at the Narrows River Park archery range, taking in views of the West Nishnabotna Water Trail at Olde Town Park, and more. Please note that all other park fees, like camping, will remain in place.
For more information about park features and events, visit pottconservation.com.
Children’s Defense Fund CEO to speak at Doane
Doane University will welcome Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson, president and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund as the guest speaker for the university’s eighth Robert L. Polk Lectureship on Race and Social Justice.
Wilson will present his lecture, “If Not Now, When: Raising democracy…for the first time” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Heckman Auditorium on Doane’s Crete campus.
The event is free and open to the public. The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
“We’re very excited to bring Dr. Wilson to Doane. He brings with him an incredible amount of experience in community and child advocacy,” said Dr. Marilyn Johnson-Farr, Dwight Porter professor of education and Polk Lectureship committee chair. “Dr. Wilson will speak on how our changing demographics in the United States present to us a hope that we will be able to truly create a multi-racial democracy in this country.’’
The Polk Lectureship is one of the avenues by which the Doane community has important discussions surrounding race, racial healing and racial equity.
Duane Hansen has been dreaming of capturing a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. This summer, he finally had the perfect giant pumpkin boat to accomplish his goal.
Caerhl Irey has decided it’s time to let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, and reveal the person behind the popular TikTok account North Omaha Cat Lady.
Stronger enforcement of a Nebraska Humane Society policy to deter owner-surrendered pets except in emergency situations is creating huge problems for already strapped rescue groups in the Omaha area.
Christine Smith Collier wants to remember her family’s legacy at Dietz Memorial United Methodist Church by helping raise $125,000 to restore its 1800s era pipe organ.
Tears still come too easily for a Nebraska mom and her husband when they think about those fraught months when both she and her newborn baby nearly died.
No recruiting, no scholarships. Batting cages? Stolen the first night. But through the struggles Mary Higgins and Connie Claussen became softball pioneers for Creighton and UNO.
Fifty years ago, Title IX changed the arc of women’s sports. But not immediately. And Nebraska’s tardiness cost my high school basketball team a chance at a state championship, writes Marjie Ducey.
Since the start of the pandemic, the price of everything has gone up, from materials to labor, so $90,000 is the normal for the cost of a kitchen renovation in Omaha.
Benson baseball once could compete with the best — until the numbers started to drop. Now after three years as a co-op, the Bunnies are back. “Play hard. Try to get some wins and just have fun.”
A 23-year-old content creator from New Jersey decided to travel wherever a dart lands on a map of the United States. He ended up in Staplehurst, Nebraska, population 240.