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LOCAL BRIEFS - April 1, 2005


Dinner to benefit Holy Cross pupil

A spaghetti dinner will be held April 10 to benefit 11-year-old Ke'Ann Laffinette, a fifth-grader at Holy Cross School in Omaha.

Laffinette has been receiving treatment for kidney failure since January, when a transplanted kidney she received from her mother when she was two had to be removed. When she is strong enough for a second transplant, she will be placed on a kidney transplant list.

"Keep Loving!," a fundraising committee created to assist Laffinette and her family, is sponsoring the benefit, scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. in the Holy Cross gymnasium and cafeteria at 48th Street and Woolworth Avenue.

Proceeds from the event, which in addition to the dinner will include live entertainment, a bake sale, wrist band sales and a raffle, will go to help Laffinette's family with medical expenses.

Freewill donations will be accepted at the dinner, and cash donations may be made at any Omaha State Bank location or mailed to Holy Cross Catholic School, 1502 South 48th St., Omaha, NE 68106.

$550 donated to Mexican orphans

Children at an orphanage in Ocotlan, Mexico, were the beneficiaries of a recent donation of $550 made possible by the efforts of pupils at St. Thomas More School in Omaha.

For two weeks in January, the Omaha pupils collected pop cans and cash donations in an effort to raise funds for the Mexican orphans.

The money is being used to repair the bathroom facilities at the orphanage.

The pupils became aware of the Mexican children's need after Msgr. Frank Chiodo, administrator of St. Thomas More Parish in Omaha, returned from a December visit to Mexico for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Ocotlan is near the site of Mary's 1531 appearance to Blessed Juan Diego.

SALSA benefit to spice up scholarship fund

The third annual benefit dinner for "Supporting All Latinos in Spirituality & Academics" (SALSA) is scheduled for May 6 at the Livestock Exchange Building in South Omaha.

SALSA, a non-profit corporation formed in 2002, supports the Latino Catholic Scholarship fund of Omaha, which provides financial aid to help Latino students in Omaha attend Catholic schools.

The benefit begins at 6 p.m. with margaritas and live music by Trilogia and will feature silent and live auctions. Parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Omaha also will be honored for their continued support of Latino scholarships.

Honorary chairs are Doug and Kay Munter with Sean and Pier Mulhall in charge of planning the event. Tickets are $100 and may be reserved by calling Karen Hotz at 554-8493.

Bible Bowl tests Scripture knowledge

Luke Cunningham, a pupil at St. Bernadette School in Omaha, took top individual honors, and the team from St. Margaret Mary School in Omaha won the team competition March 12 at the 14th annual St. Bernard Bible Bowl.

Cunningham claimed the top sport over 66 other pupils from 11 Catholic schools for the top spot in the competition at St. Bernard School in Omaha. Katie Emig of Omaha's St. Margaret Mary School took second.

The winning St. Margaret Mary team included Michael Lebens, Frankie Hamburger, Katie Emig Rachel Lukowski, Maddie Meyer and Michael Tritz. St. Bernadette School's team of Joey Murnan, Luke Cunningham, Josh O'Brien, Mitch Reed, Doug Grace and Colm Larkin placed second.

Judy Hermsen and Marcia Regan directed the competition, which was based on the "Wheel of Fortune" game show, with pupils rolling for point values and then guessing letters while trying to solve Biblical puzzles.

Children's author to visit Omaha school

Laura Huliska-Beith, an illustrator and author of children's books, will visit Holy Cross School in Omaha during National Library Week, April 10-16.

Huliska-Beith is a former Holy Cross pupil who now resides in Kansas City and works as a freelance illustrator. Her mother is a teacher at the Omaha school.

During the April 14 visit, Huliska-Beith will demonstrate her methods of illustration to the pupils at an all-school assembly and will talk about her work as a children's book author and illustrator.

She is the illustrator of "The Recess Queen," a current nominee for the Nebraska Children's Choice Literary Award – the Golden Sower Award.

Pro-life contest winners selected

Winners have been announced in the 11th annual Knights of Columbus Pro-Life Essay Contest, sponsored by the Knights' Archbishop James Hugh Ryan Council 3019.

The six winners and seven second and third place finishers representing six Omaha schools met with Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss March 16 at the Chancery in Omaha.

First-place winners for sixth grade were Katie Totusec of St. Bernadette, Kelsey Eubanks of Holy Ghost and Andrew Marinez of St. Stanislaus.

Brittany Hamilton of Our Lady of Lourdes won the top spot for seventh grade and Steven Hoff of Catholic Academy took home first for the eighth grade. Susie Greni of Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School won the high school division.

Because of the quality of this year's essays, the Knights choose first place winners from the sixth, seventh and eighth grades as well as a first place winner from the high school division. In past years, only two first place winners were chosen, one to represent grades six, seven and eight, and one for high school.

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