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LOCAL BRIEFS - February 18, 2005


EPS cuts ribbon for new clinic

Omaha's Essential Pregnancy Services celebrated the official opening of its new medical clinic with a ribbon cutting and blessing held Feb. 1 at the EPS office, 6220 Maple St.

Nancy Foral (left), executive director of EPS, and Dr. Steven Kruszka (right), the clinic's physician, cut the ribbon while Brian Williams, president of the EPS board, looks on.

While the clinic doesn't serve as a substitute for regular prenatal care throughout a woman's pregnancy, viability ultrasounds are offered, basic prenatal education is provided and prenatal vitamins are available. The clinic is open 9 a.m. to noon each Wednesday.

Serran of the Year

Michael McAlister (center) shows off the plaque recognizing him as Serran of the Year for the Serra Club of Omaha. Mark Bonkiewicz (at left), club president, and Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss offer their congratulations. McAlister, a member of Christ the King Parish and a Serran for 24 years, was cited for his efforts in coordinating the television Mass for Shut-ins for many years and serving a number of terms as club secretary.

Sixth grader wins Metro spelling bee

Eleven-year-old Shea Hendren, a sixth grader at St. Matthew the Evangelist School in Bellevue, earned top honors Feb. 7 in the 2005 Metropolitan Catholic School Spelling Bee.

He was among 59 contestants from 32 schools competing in the spelling bee at St. Bernard School in Omaha.

By spelling the word "bastion," Hendren won the right to represent the metro Catholic schools at the Midwest Bee in March.

Beth Meisinger, a 12-year-old seventh grader at Mary Our Queen School in Omaha, placed second, and Wyatt Troia, 13, a seventh grader at Christ the King School in Omaha, was third.

The top three finishers received trophies in addition to the certificates that went to all contestants.

Kool & the Gang headlines Irish Fest

Kool & the Gang, '70s music sensation, will bring their blend of jazz, funk and R&B to Catholic Charities Irish Fest 2005 March 19 at Qwest Center Omaha.

The annual benefit, with the theme "Caed mile failte: One hundred thousand welcomes," will include dinner, silent and oral auctions and dancing. A total of $15,000 will be awarded during the evening's raffle.

Tickets are $150 per person with corporate tables and sponsorships available. For more information contact Kathy Fitzgerald Grandsaert at 402-829-9261.

Proceeds from Irish Fest 2005 support Catholic Charities programs serving more than 70,000 people this year, providing food pantries; addiction, adoption and counseling services; and shelter for those affected by domestic violence.

Concert raises $50,000 for tsunami victims

The international effort to aid victims of December's tsunami disaster has been increased by $50,000 thanks to an Omaha recording artist.

Heidi Joy and her band donated their time and talents for a Feb. 4 tsunami relief benefit concert emceed by WOWT Channel 6's John Knicely.

The benefit, held at Joslyn Art Museum, was underwritten by Gail Werner-Robertson and 100 percent of ticket sales, cash donations and silent auction proceeds went to the relief effort.

Roncalli Catholic names volunteer of the year

Vanessa Ramm was honored as Roncalli Catholic High School's 2005 "Volunteer of the Year" during a Jan. 31 school assembly as part of Catholic Schools Week.

Ramm, whose husband Jerry was a 1979 graduate of Roncalli, began her service to the school when her son, Drew, who is now a senior, enrolled as a freshman in 2000. Since that time she has been active in the Booster Club and with Roncalli's major annual fundraising event, Festa del Leone.

The award recognizes an individual who has volunteered at the Omaha school over a period of several years in more than one area, and does so in the spirit of volunteerism, receiving little recognition for the work.

Mount Michael Honors Volunteer Coaches

Mount Michael Benedictine School honored five volunteer elementary or junior high level coaches with the Benedictine Award Feb. 5 at the Elkhorn school's Sports Night.Recognized for outstanding service to youth athletics were Bernard Lorkovic, Dennis Mailliard, Kevin Miller, Dan Mueller and Scott Stanard. The Benedictine Award is, in part, presented in memory and honor of Jim Kane, Mount Michael's coach of 40 years.

Lorkovic coached girl's softball and basketball teams for 21 years at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Omaha. He also served as president of the parish athletic club.

Mailliard is in his 32nd year of coaching junior high sports at St. Margaret Mary School in Omaha. Prior to that, he coached flag football and basketball at St. Joan of Arc School in Omaha.

Miller has been a basketball coach at St. Stephen the Martyr School in Omaha for six years.

Mueller has coached numerous teams since 1967, including Fremont's Archbishop Bergan Junior High football and basketball.

Originally with the Gladiators Youth Football Program, Stanard has coached football for 15 years, most recently with KWAA Youth Football as a head peewee coach.

ESPN sports analyst Lee Corso delivered the evening's keynote address. Also in attendance at the event was Jeff Jamrog, 1983 Mt. Michael graduate, who is a former Husker player and more recently a coach himself.

The Sports Night, sponsored by the Mount Michael Alumni Association and Booster Club, was the first of what Mount Michael officials hope will be an annual event.

Creighton Prep wins state science bowl

Omaha Creighton Prep High School won the 11th annual science bowl Feb. 5 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Creighton Prep lost its second match, but won seven in a row to take first out of the 38 teams competing from 26 high schools. The competition, sponsored by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, features four-person teams going head-to-head in timed question and answer events.

Omaha Central and Bellevue West High Schools were second and third respectively.

As the champions, the Creighton Prep team receives an expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the national science bowl in May.

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