Tag Archives: Special Olympics Nebraska

2018 January/February Giving Events

December 27, 2017 by
Photography by Contributed

Featured Event:
Feb. 10 (7-9 p.m.)
Dancing With the Omaha Stars
Ralston Arena
dancingwiththeomahastars.com
It’s back! Omaha stars Tony Veland, Chinh Doan, Jared Robinson, Miss Omaha, and others will strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges that includes Tom Osbourne, Mayor Jean Stothert, and Todd Schmaderer. While the Mirror Ball goes to the dancer who scores the highest, the other revered trophy in this contest is the Bella Award, given to the star who raises the most money for TeamMates.


Jan. 10 (6-9 p.m.)
Outland Trophy Award Dinner
Benefiting: The Greater Omaha Sports Committee
Location: Downtown DoubleTree
showofficeonline.com

Jan. 12 (6-9 p.m.)
Celebration of Life Dinner Fundraiser
Benefiting: Nebraskans United for Life
Location: DC Centre
nebraskansunitedforlife.org

Jan. 19 (5-7 p.m.)
Victory Boxing Club Seventh Annual Banquet
Benefiting: Victory Boxing Club
Location: Bellevue Christian Center
victoryboxingclub.org

Jan. 20 (6-10:30 p.m.)
Midlands Community Foundation Reflection Ball
Benefiting: Midlands Community Foundation
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista
midlandscommunity.org

Jan. 25 (5-9 p.m.)
Girls Nite Out
Benefiting: Girls Inc.
Location: Hilton Downtown
girlsincomaha.org

Jan. 27 (5:30-10 p.m.)
Rockin’ Rosie
Benefiting: The Rose Theater Guild
Location: Omaha Marriott Downtown
rosetheater.org

Jan. 28 (5-9 p.m.)
GLOW
Benefiting: Essential Pregnancy Services
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista
friendsofeps.org

Feb. 2 (5-10 p.m.)
MarianFEST 2018: Life is Sweet at Marian
Benefiting: Marian High School
Location: Omaha Hilton
marianhighschool.net

Feb. 3 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Ultra Chic Boutique and The Dress Flip
Benefiting: The Alzheimer’s Association
Location: A View on State
maxiwalker.com/ucb

Heart and Stroke Ball

Feb. 3 (5 p.m.-midnight)
Omaha Heart & Stroke Ball
Benefiting: American Heart Association
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista
heart.org

Feb. 10 (6-9 p.m.)
Carnival of Love Gala
Benefiting: Heartland Family Service
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista
heartlandfamilyservice.org

Curly Tails and Cocktails

Feb. 10 (6-10 p.m.)
Curly Tails and Cocktails
Benefiting: Pug Partners of Nebraska
Location: Arbor Hall
pugpartners.com

Feb. 10 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Heart Bombing
Benefiting: Restoration Exchange Omaha
Location: TBA
restorationexchange.org

Feb. 10 (6-11 p.m.)
Swing Under the Wings
Benefiting: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
Location: Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum
sacmuseum.org

Feb. 10 (6:30-10 p.m.)
Winter at the Beach
Benefiting: Wings of Hope
Location: Mid-America Center
wingsofhope.org

Feb. 10 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.)
Polar Plunge
Benefiting: Special Olympics Nebraska
Location: Lake Cunningham
sone.org

Feb. 10-11 (starts 10 a.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. Sunday)
Heartland Winter Games, Floor Hockey
Benefiting: Special Olympics Nebraska
Location: UNO Campus
sone.org

Feb. 13 (6-9 p.m.)
Ten Outstanding Young Omahans Banquet
Benefiting: Omaha Jaycees
Location: Scoular Ballroom
omahajaycees.org

Trek up the Tower

Feb. 17 (7 a.m.-noon)
Trek Up the Tower
Benefiting: WELLCOM
Location: First National Bank Tower
trekupthetower.org

Feb. 17 (4:30-10 p.m.)
Mercy: The Gold Standard (Fiesta 2018)
Benefiting: Mercy High School
Location: La Vista Conference Center
mercyhigh.org

Feb. 22-24 (6:30-9 p.m.)
A Tasteful Murder
Benefiting: Joslyn Castle Trust
Location: Joslyn Castle
joslyncastle.com

Feb. 17 (noon-4 p.m.)
Barstool Open
Benefiting: United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska
Location: The Old Market
ucpnebraska.org

Feb. 24 (1-4 p.m.)
Uncorked
Benefiting: Angels Among Us
Location: Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
myangelsamongus.org

Feb. 24 (6 p.m.-midnight)
Country Side of a Cure
Benefiting: JDRF
Location: CenturyLink Center
jdrf.org

Perfect Pour

Feb. 24 (7-11 p.m.)
Perfect Pour
Benefiting: Nebraska Children and Families Association
Location: Slowdown
nebraskachildren.org

Feb. 25 (1-5 p.m.)
Art & Soup
Benefiting: Visiting Nurse Association
Location: Embassy Suites La Vista
vnatoday.org

Times and dates subject to change.  Check organization’s websites for updated details.

This article appears as part of the calendar of events in the January/February 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine.

Young Hero: 
Tracy Christensen

December 9, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“I was 16 years old when I had Tracy,” says mom Rene Miller. “I was not only very young, but also going down the wrong path. He is the reason why I turned my life around.”

Around her 26th week of gestation, Rene was hospitalized due to eclampsia, a life-threatening hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. Tracy was removed from the womb in an emergency C-section, only weighing 1lb 7oz and measuring 12 inches long. “The doctors stressed the fact that he wouldn’t survive the first hour,” Rene recalls. But Tracy survived the night. And another. And another. When a week had gone by, the doctors didn’t know what to say, but they knew that his life would be a struggle from that point on.

At 2 mos., Tracy, who weighed about two pounds, underwent surgery for a hernia. Yet again, the doctors didn’t know if he would survive. “I was able to hold him for the first time before he went into the operating room. I prayed for the first time in my life that God would work a miracle for my son.” While Tracy made it through his first surgery, Rene and the doctors had a feeling it wouldn’t be his last.

Next, it was a brain hemorrhage at 3 mos. “[He] received a tube that ran from his head to a jar that drained the fluid building on his brain. The doctors were actually expecting a brain tumor to be found, but instead they just found fluid and a blood clot.”

At around 5 mos., Tracy and Rene were able to go home. “It was right before my 17th birthday,” she remembers. “It was the best present ever.” But then Tracy began vomiting and having difficulty breathing. Even more troubling, he was unable to tolerate Rene’s breast milk, which was helping him gain the very weight and strength he so desperately needed. Back to the hospital they went.

This time, Tracy underwent a fundoplication (a surgery which tightens the esophagus) and received a feeding tube (which fed him and helped him burp for several months after the surgery). And then came the multiple ventriculoperitoneal shunt surgeries to drain the fluid off his brain again.

Shortly after being allowed to go home once more, Tracy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Rene knew he would be developmentally delayed, but the biggest question in the back of her mind was whether or not her son would ever walk and talk.

Physical, occupational, and speech therapists came to Rene’s home twice a week for a year to work with Tracy, as his weakened immune system made it hard to leave the house. “Tracy proved himself once again though,” Rene adds. “He said ‘Mom’ at 1½ years, and he walked around 3 years with the help of leg braces and a walker. He also potty-trained at 3½ years and started preschool.”

The next decade proved difficult as well, what with Tracy getting meningitis and having seizures because of the damage to his brain. But he kept pushing through, as he had ever since he was a baby.

Today, Tracy Christensen is a 16-year-old student at Blair High School, where Rene says “he blossoms.” He’s involved in the Special Olympics and works at the school office, and he’s also a big brother to an 8-year-old sister, Kaidence, who helps watch out for him.

But it’s Tracy’s smile that helps Rene know her son is truly a hero after everything he’s been through—it “lights up your heart,” she explains.

“Tracy has always inspired me. He saved me,” she says. “He has shown me and given me strength and opened my eyes to the world…He is the most amazing young man, and I don’t just say that because he’s my son.”