Tag Archives: sports

Johnny Rodgers

August 26, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Johnny Rodgers turned 65 this year. He looks great. The 1972 Heisman Trophy winner and Husker football legend is also busy. He likes it that way.

“Well, I think that retiring, to me, is being in the position to do the things you want to do. I don’t think that retiring is getting somewhere and doing nothing,” Rodgers says. He then adds with a chuckle: “The law of use says, ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it.’ And I’ve found that a lot of people, as soon as they retire and start doing nothing, they die.”

Rodgers is far from retired…and he’s aiming to live to age 100. He works as vice president of new business development for the U.S. and Canada at Rural Media Group Inc., which operates both RFD-TV (the huge rural-focused television network) and Rural Radio on SiriusXM. He also recently published a book and audio book, titled, Ten Minutes of Insanity. The self-help book and audiobook provide insights into moments when a person can “mess themselves up” or “set themselves up.” Rodgers speaks from youthful personal experience coupled with an older man’s perspective.

Referring back to his college years, a “mess yourself up” situation is “like the gas station fiasco that I was involved with,” he says. The opposite, positive kind of moment is “like the punt return against Oklahoma. You’ve got to be pretty insane to stand back there and wait for them to come.” He adds that each scenario “presents dramatic results, just in a different way.”

Johnny-Rodgers1Rodgers has a website in the works (which should be live this fall) aimed at providing help and perspective to business leaders, entrepreneurs, and athletes. “What I really want to do is to help athletes—professional athletes of football, basketball, baseball, all of them—transition from sports to public speaking,” he says. “And to be able to set up mechanisms for them to be able to tell their stories.”

Denny Drake, who has worked with Rodgers for more than 20 years on a variety of charitable and business projects, says Rodgers has always been open to trying new ideas, and to receiving critiques and wisdom from others. Drake is the president and CEO of the marketing company Performance Solutions Worldwide. He is also connected to the Jet Award (named after Rodgers), which honors the top return specialist in college football, and the Johnny Rodgers Youth Foundation. Rodgers serves as the youth foundation’s president; Drake is its CEO.   

“Johnny is a really good idea guy. He’s a good visionary of things,” Drake says. The two men are also working together on Authentic Collegiate Jeans, a venture to provide jeans with school and university logos that should launch this fall.   

With all that is going on in his life, Rodgers says he remains thoughtful about maintaining himself, too. When he was young man, it was about being a high-caliber athlete. Now, it is about being a quality person. He’s a fan of fish and organic chicken, but might only eat one traditional meal a day. For additional nutrition, he consumes kale and greens, frozen cherries and blueberries, and other healthy foods in liquid form in the morning, and fruit or protein bars in the afternoon, prior to dinner. He also tries to drink at least a half a gallon of lemon water every day. 

Rodgers plays tennis, golf, and racquetball weekly, and plays at a higher level now after having knee replacement surgery this past year. Rodgers says (with a smile) that 60 is the new 40.

“At 60, you’re smarter than you’ve ever been,” he says.  “And at 20, you’re about as dumb as you’ve ever been.”


Johnny Rodgers has long been known for his unique take on many subjects. Below are some of his quips to reporter Tim Kaldahl.

On Mike Riley, the University of Nebraska’s head football coach:
“Mike is probably a mix between Osborne and Devaney, as I see it.”

On the future of Nebraska football:
“I think our future is so bright that we’ve got to wear shades.”

On current concerns about the safety of football:
“I can’t think, overall, that it’s any more dangerous than it always has been, and I think that that risk factor is what people liked all the time. The possibility that, you know, you could get jacked.” (Rodgers chuckles.)

On good habits for life:
“And you don’t want a habit that’s taking you down. You want to create the type of habits that build you up, so you have to make a change.”

On staying mentally focused and goal setting:
“Thoughts are not just things. Thoughts are the cause of things. So if you can hold a thought long enough, you can have it.” 


Visit thejetaward.com for more information. Sixty-Plus

The Perfect Game

February 24, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Originally published in March/April 2015 Omaha Magazine.

If you have boys, and if you and those boys love baseball, and if those boys were cursed enough to be right-handed, you likely would have a hard time not day-dreaming on what-ifs while watching Pat Venditte throw a bullpen using his left hand.

Left-handed pitchers are gold in baseball. (While 10 percent of people are left-handed, 22 percent of pro pitchers are lefties). They make the team even if their fastball can’t break stemware. Pat Venditte was born a right-hander like most of us. But his dad, Pat Sr., followed through on that grand scheme that other dads of righties invariably abandon: When Pat junior was 3, Pat Sr. senior had him throw with both hands when they played catch, kick a football with both feet, and eat with both hands at dinner. In time, he was a genuine switch-pitcher, able to pitch from whichever hand gave him the biggest advantage over the hitter. “It was an experiment,” says his father as he watches Pat throw at Creighton’s Kitty Gaughan Pavilion. “But it wouldn’t have gone anywhere without Pat’s persistence. Any success is all his.”

So now, 25 years later, thanks to both rare nature and persistent nurture, Pat stands on this mound in Creighton’s baseball facility on the verge of the major leagues. He throws from three different arms slots from the left side and three more from his right like some six-armed Hindu deity. “I don’t overpower people,” Venditte says after his south-paw two-seam fastball draws a faint pop from the catcher’s mitt. “But I get people out. I’ve done that consistently all my career. If I keep getting people out, I should get my shot.”

For baseball fans in Omaha, especially Creighton fans, the Venditte story is pretty well known. He walked on at Creighton after a “nothing special” career at Central High School, struggled early, then had a breakout season in 2007. He held opposing batters to a .185 batting average, the fourth best in the nation. Still, scouts treated him as little more than an oddity. He was picked in the 40th round that year.

After his 2008 season, scouts took him more seriously. He went in the 20th round to the New York Yankees. Still, he was the 620th pick that year. Do the math. His chances of reaching the majors were considered slim.

Thanks to his custom-made ambidextrous glove, Venditte switches hands depending on the batter he faces. Early in his career, he met a switch hitter who switched sides every time Venditte switched to his opposite hand. There is now the “Pat Venditte Rule” [8.01(f)] that says he must declare which hand he’ll use and stick with it. He has a ruled named after him. That’s how rare he is.

Besides an injury that upended his 2013 season, Venditte put up call-up worthy numbers thoughout his minor league career (an impressive 2.46 ERA as a reliever in 384.2 innings). But even with those numbers, even though he is a fan-favorite who always draws onlookers when he warms up in the bullpen, the Yankees never gave him a shot. Near the end of last season, with the Yankees out of contention and Venditte yet again getting batters out, fans and some baseball writers were clamoring for him to get a chance. Once again, he didn’t.

He wasn’t bitter, he says. Just disappointed—again. “I saw the amazing guys around me, I had an idea of what the organization’s plans were, I knew it wasn’t going to happen,” he says. “I’ve had a lot of things go right in my life. A lot of things. But sometimes it’s just not your day. This time it didn’t quite happen.”

Which brings us to the news in the Pat Venditte story. In the fall, Venditte was signed by the Oakland A’s. If you’ve seen Money Ball, you know why Venditte calls his signing “the perfect fit for me.”

The A’s management is famous for looking deep inside statistics to find under-valued, under-appreciated players. They embrace the unconventional. If you get guys out, you’ll get a shot. Venditte feels he has a real opportunity to play for manager Bob Melvin. “Honestly, I’ll probably end up in AAA (in Nashville) coming out of spring training,” Venditte says. “But if I show them I can be consistent—do the job I know I can do—I really think I’ll be given a shot. It’s a great opportunity.”

Many in the baseball world agree. Dave Rawnsley, national director of scouting for the scouting service, Perfect Game, says the A’s are the best organization in baseball for Venditte’s skillset.

“The A’s think outside the box and do creative things with their MLB roster,” he says. “With that is his great story. I think the Yankees made a mistake not giving Venditte a cup of coffee last fall once they were out of it. He’s such a great story. The positive publicity they could have gotten from that would have been a plus with all the bad stuff going on there. You can’t measure that in dollars.”

If Venditte finally reaches his dream this year, it is likely he will become a national story. Television cameras and fans will gravitate toward him. He will be star.

And then, no doubt, dad’s eager to give their boys an edge in the sport will start their own Venditte family program.

But, honestly, both father and son suggested boys and their fathers not get their hopes up too much. Rawnsley, who has tracked a nation of ballplayers for more than two decades, also says dads should temper their hopes.

“There are switch hitters, sure. But it’s so much more complicated to throw a ball than hit a ball. Dads wanting it to happen won’t impact the fact it’s extremely rare.

“That’s why Venditte is close to unique,” he says. “That’s why he’s such a great story.”

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Invasion of the Hudlies!

January 19, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Hudl, the Lincoln-based sports video editing company, is now making its presence felt in Omaha and shows no signs of slowing down.

In September, Hudl opened a new location in the Old Market at 1013 Jones St., in the space that used to be the Nomad Lounge. The expansion to Omaha has proved a popular move for both Hudl employees and potential employees. So now, company spokesperson Alli Pane said, the company already has plans to employ more people at the Omaha site.

“It’s been great, we actually have people who work at our Lincoln office but love this new Omaha office so much they come up and spend a day there,” she said.

Hudl has been generating plenty of buzz recently. The company was recently named by Inc. Magazine as Nebraska’s fastest-growing company for a second straight year. Hudl was created by three classmates from UNL’s Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management and has two Lincoln locations in addition to the new Omaha office.


Hudl began when Omaha native and Millard North graduate David Graff started working with the Nebraska football team in 2003 to improve their use of video. The company now boasts more than 20 professional teams, including the New York Jets, Detroit Lions, Boston Celtics, and Washington Capitals, as well as more than 80 percent of college football teams, as clients.

The Omaha office has more than 20 employees. Pane said that while the company has hit their hiring goal for the year, they hope to double their hiring next year. She said the company has planned to have 75 to 80 “Hudlies”—Hudl employees—to fill the new Omaha office.

Pane said the company’s hiring goal for 2015 calls for 80 to 90 new members for their product team alone. The product team is made up of designers, developers, and engineers.

Company officials saw the need for the Omaha presence after finding there were potential new hires who didn’t want to make the commute to Lincoln. Pane says the company also recognizes there is a rich talent base in Omaha and great universities to draw from. Employees love the Old Market location because it’s new and flashy, Pane said, and is “wide open.“

“It looks great, we have the brick walls, large wooden posts throughout the space, and have taken out and opened up the ceilings,” Pane said. The company has installed a new Wi-Fi system, meeting rooms, and numerous tech updates throughout the 8,000 square feet of space.

Employees also enjoy having access to all the funky amenities the Old Market is known for, Pane said. The Omaha site hosts software developers, sales team members, designers, and other employees. Pane said company officials are excited that the new space has plenty of room for their plans to continue to grow the company, which bodes well for both the company and city. Omaha, Pane said, should get ready for a major influx of  “Hudlies.”

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Aguek Arop

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Aguek Arop will blow out the candles on three more birthday cakes before he dons a Big Red basketball jersey for the first time. The 15-year-old Omaha South sophomore is the youngest player ever to commit to the University of Nebraska basketball program.

In the meantime, he will be recuperating from another kind of blowout—this one to his knee. Arop suffered a season-ending injury in a recent pre-season practice.

At least his downtime will give the native of South Sudan an opportunity to work on rehabilitating his nickname.

“You know the scene in the old Disney movie where Bambi slips and slides on the ice?” asks South High Coach Bruce Chubick Sr. in describing the vision of a spindly, wobbly, all-elbows-and-knees form of chaotic locomotion. “He seems to spend most of every practice on the floor,” Chubick adds with a chuckle. “Part of it is his all-out style of play and part of it is the fact that his other senses haven’t caught up with the fact that he has grown so rapidly to…almost 6-foot-5 now. We hope he has a couple more inches to go before he hits Lincoln.”

Arop, flashing a wry grin, explains that coach has it all wrong.

“My nickname—the one I like—is just Gwookie. That’s all…just Gwookie,” says the young man whose name is pronounced uh-GWOOK uh-ROPE. “Coach is always joking with me that I need to ‘watch out for the line,’” as if the white grid outline of the court’s floor were some insurmountable obstacle to vault. “I run hard. I play hard. Sometimes I end up on the floor,” he adds with a so-what’s-the-big-deal shrug.

Living down a nickname and learning to get around in a cast may seem like significant challenges for any teen, but that’s nothing compared to the danger Arop and his family faced in war-torn South Sudan before fleeing to find refuge in the United States before eventually settling in Omaha.

“I never could have seen myself here and in this position when I was a little kid,” Arop says. “I started playing basketball in the 4th grade after we got here and now it is really important to me to be successful. I went down to Lincoln when I was in 8th grade. I was already excited about the program and coach, and that was all it took to know I wanted to play for Coach Tim Miles” (see related story on page 172).

Arop is a polite, well-mannered sort of young man, but that doesn’t mean he is incapable of some playful theatrics. He revealed his decision to commit to Nebraska in a meeting with Miles in Lincoln. With his parents in tow, bear hugs all-around followed after Arop dramatically peeled off one T-shirt to reveal another.

“It said ‘All In’ on that shirt,” Arop beamed. “I’m all in for Coach Miles and Husker basketball.”

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Head Shots

January 13, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Megan Scott turned downfield to get into a better position.

Smack!

A soccer ball nailed her in the back of the head. Megan blacked out for 30 seconds, finally mustering the effort to get to her feet. But then she fell back down into the grass. “I want to play,” Megan said to the referee crouched next to her. “You can’t,” he informed her.

Her club team, Omaha Futbol Club 9798, won 5-1 in the state finals. Megan doesn’t remember much of that game.

Headaches. Confusion. Fatigue. Megan felt all of these for the next month and a half. For two weeks, she attended school for only half the day.

Megan had sustained a severe concussion; a major brain injury suffered in a sport many parents may still believe is immune to the damaging violence of the gladiator games like football and hockey.

According to a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) study two years ago, football players have the highest rate of concussions among high school athletes, with 11.2 concussions reported per 10,000 athletes. However, many other sports account for the 3.8 million sports-related concussions per year as reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The NAS saw soccer, for example, as the most dangerous for head injuries among girls, with 6.7 concussed cases per 10,000 athletes. Lacrosse, meanwhile, has 6.9 concussions per 10,000, while basketball has also seen an increase over the years.

Dr. Tarvez Tucker, a neurologist at the Oregon Health and Science University, says concussions add up over a lifetime and can lead to dementia as an adult. She also mentions people’s brains are not fully developed until later in life, especially those of males. “An injury that occurs while the brain is not developed can be more serious,” Tucker adds.

Jacque Tevis, Millard West High School’s girls’ soccer coach, says she does not remember a time when she has gone a year without someone on her team having a concussion.  Tucker says most concussions are not even ball related, but rather head-to- head injuries.

Nick Brasel can relate. After sprinting for a fly ball during baseball practice with his youth baseball team, he hit his own teammate head on.

“Where am I?” Nick asked his father when he woke up in a car heading to the hospital.

Nick’s next memories are sporadic. He recalled being rolled into the hospital on a stretcher and receiving multiple tests, including a CAT scan. He has no memory of the incident.

He was left with a bloody baseball hat, swollen cheek and eye, and a severe concussion.

Like Megan, Nick fell behind in school and was able to go only half days for the next week and a half.

“I had trouble paying attention and kept falling asleep,” Nick says.

Across Nebraska, Including in Omaha Public Schools, districts have begun adopting new concussion-related policies. Millard Public Schools, for example, has a new concussion policy this year in compliance with the Nebraska Concussion Awareness Act, which allows students time to make up missed work since cognitive functions can cause an increase of symptoms.

Most doctors, including Tucker, believe students should have flexible schedules until fully recovered. Tucker says it is the responsibility of parents and coaches to get athletes “the heck off the field” when a concussion happens.

Megan’s father, Tim, knows there is always a concern or risk, but says it is tough to take away something his daughter loves. If Megan has a third concussion, Tim may encourage her to stop playing.

Tevis, though, says that, many times, she can’t see her players from across the field. She also has difficulties with athletes not informing her when a blow to the head happens.

“Hopefully, these young athletes will start to recognize, as we learn more about how serious even a ‘mild’ concussion can be, that they have to be honest with us because literally their lives could be at
risk,” Tevis says.

Tucker notes that getting kids to self-report symptoms of a head injury can be difficult. There exists a “suck it up and swallow your injury” attitude that infuriates her, she says. She worries students will be prone to second impact syndrome (SIS), which can result when a concussion injury is not fully healed and an athlete is hit in the head again soon after. The brain can swell acutely, and from there, everything can spiral downward with severe consequences. Even death.

But, as any parent knows, it’s tough to tell a son or daughter they need to give up the sports they love.

“I don’t think I could manage life without sports,” Nick Brasel says. “It’s a big part of my life.”

Cricket

September 8, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann
It’s a warm morning as the sound of cracking bats soars across a dirt pitch. A man dressed in a uniform of blue, straight-leg pants, and collared shirt winds up his arm to throw a fastball down the long, rectangular slab, his right arm stretching in a 45-degree salute to the sky before he unleashes the orb to a waiting batsman. Crack! The batsman whacks it with his flat-paddle bat, and the ball rockets through the air.


It’s Saturday in Omaha. Time to play some cricket.

Sound obscure? Perhaps. But the Omaha Cricket Club boasts over 100 members and has been batting on its own pitch at N.P. Dodge Park since 1991. Vijay Yajjala, a transplant from India, joined the team after he first immigrated to Omaha seven years ago. “When I was on the flight to the U.S., I was like ‘Okay, my cricketing days are done,’” Yajjala says. “But I actually play more cricket here.” Yajjala, a microbiologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, plays three games every spring and summer weekend, and sometimes during the week, too.

Fifteen years ago the OCC had about 20 members. Today, the club has three competitive teams—the Challengers, Hunters, and Chargers—and the Nebraska Cricket Club (a combined Omaha/Lincoln team) brought home the Midwest Championship trophy in 2003 and 2007. The club is made up primarily of immigrants who trace their heritage to the British Commonwealth, but the sport has a long history in America. And these players are hoping to bring back the grandfather of baseball.

As OCC head Bhaskar Setti explains, when the first Englishmen sailed for America in the 1600’s, they set out on their voyages with cricket bats in hand. On board the ships, pummeling a cricket ball into the floor wasn’t turning out very well. So the pitchers began throwing straight to the batsman. And of course, without a field, the batters let the balls sail into the ocean—some of the first home runs. At least, that’s the origin story Setti prefers. In fact, the beginnings of baseball are largely in dispute. (Some believe Abner Doubleday invented the game in 1839; others believe it’s a descendant of rounders, a popular game among English schoolgirls).

But origin story aside, even during Abraham Lincoln’s time, cricket was still popular in America. In 1844, what is believed to be the oldest international rivalry began with a cricket game between the U.S. and Canada, and a decade later, the Philadelphia Cricket Club was founded. That club is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

In Omaha, Setti hopes to encourage a new generation of cricket-lovers in the Midwest. Over the past four years, the OCC has visited nearly 4,500 school kids in Omaha, Lincoln, and Council Bluffs, introducing them to the game. And this year, Setti hopes to establish Omaha’s first cricket youth league. Setti says cricket is perfect for the children he dubs “sideline kids”—those who’d love to compete in sports, but may not be tall enough for basketball, or strong enough for football. “You don’t have to be super-physical to play this game,” Setti says. “Any regular kid can play.” Sure, there’s baseball, which Setti admits is a fierce direct competitor. But even baseball can be so competitive that only the “super-kids” get a chance to play. “You don’t have to be a star,” Setti says, “and you can still do really well.”

Cricket is a game of strategy and discipline, says Hemandh Malempati, an Omaha Challengers player, also from India. “If you’re not disciplined, you can’t excel in this game,” he says. Players need to “keep it cool, keep it controlled. “Cricket also provides lots of opportunities for kids to run (back and forth on the pitch—see sidebar for more), and long stretches of time to play. Kids play a shortened version of the game, which can still last up to four hours: 20 overs instead of the usual 50. That faster pace is gaining popularity, and has been elevated to international competition by the International Cricket Council.

The U.S. does have a national cricket team, which competes against countries like Canada and Japan at the associate level, one below the Commonwealth teams. If the team improves, American cricket could, in theory, be bumped up to the big leagues. But for that to happen, Setti says, the sport needs to be streamlined so players can rise in competition from schools to colleges to leagues and nationals. Soccer, a much younger sport to the U.S., has grown wildly in popularity over the last two decades, and Setti attributes much of that to kids learning to love the sport at a young age. “That’s what we learned from other American sports,” Setti says, to “dedicate our time not only for playing, but taking it to the kids.”

Even if cricket doesn’t soar on the national stage, the team says introducing a game they love to new players is reward in itself. “It gives me great satisfaction that I’m able to give something to the sport,” says Yajjala, “and give something to the kids that puts a smile on their face.

“We’ve been playing this for a long time,” he says. “It’s time to give it back to the community.”

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Play Ball!

August 23, 2014 by and

The initial excitement of having a son or daughter play on their first sports team can sometimes be counterbalanced by concerns that a child may not be fully prepared to enjoy the experience.

Dan Chipps, Creighton University Women’s Head Rowing Coach and assistant coach of his son’s Little League team, has advice on how parents can help their kids have fun, beginning with good sportsmanship. Chipps has found over more than 13 years of experience that he wants to teach both his collegiate and youth athletes similar life skills.

Knowing that his athletes have had a good experience is a top aim, says Chipps, but so is the idea that his players have learned important lessons in how to “communicate and interact with their peers in a way that they probably wouldn’t have gotten in a non-sports activity.”

Here are some tips Chipps has for parents, especially those with kids just starting their rookie seasons in youth sports:

Talk to the coach early on about expectations.
Chipps and his fellow Little League coaching staff try to set boundaries early with parents about what behavior they deem acceptable and unacceptable at games.

Before your child’s first game, talk to coaches about what they expect from
parents and players before, during, and after the game.

Don’t be harder on your child than anyone else.
Chipps gives this particular piece of advice to parents who are coaching their own child, but it also applies in the bleachers. “As coaches, we obviously want our kids to be the best,” he says, “but we’ve still got to remember that they’re just kids.”

Act as a role model.
While Chipps’ goal is to teach his players how to interact with others, he believes parents should emulate these skills. Handle disagreements at the appropriate time—don’t start arguments in the middle of a game. “We’ve had teams we play against,” he says, “where they are literally calling balls or strikes, or getting on 14-year-old kids (serving as umpires) about a call. What are we teaching our athletes?”

Parents should have fun, too.
“If you have fun, your kid will have fun,” says Chipps. “If you’re stressed out, freaking out about it [the game], your kid’s going to freak out about it, and they’re not going to enjoy the experience.”  

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Party of Six

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

You might think that Shauntel and Delon Tobin of Northwest Omaha live for Tuesday nights. It is the only night of the week that their dance card is not full with their children’s practices or games. But the family actually enjoys the barely-controlled chaos, according to their daughter McKenzie, a fourth grader at Picotte Elementary.

“I don’t like staying at home. I’m just one of those people that likes to go about and travel a lot, “ says the 9-year-old.  McKenzie is a dancer. And her talent, and many evenings away at practice, has made her quite the star.

McKenzie and her 10-year-old sister Gabriella’s dance team recently won the Rainbow Dance Competition. Their prize? A once-in-a-lifetime “meet and greet” with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes in New York City in July. The sisters attend Next Step Dancing with Maren and practice multiple times a week.

McKenzie, who is nicknamed “Macaroni,” appreciates the support she gets from her parents taking her to lessons. “I feel encouraged when they do that. I’m happy,” she says.

Besides the two sisters, there is also 9-year-old New York Yankee fan Jaiden, who is Gabriella’s fraternal twin. He plays baseball and also loves playing games on his PlayStation. Finally, there’s little 3-year-old Madison, also a dancer and a “Doc McStuffins” fan.

“We are a close-knit family and I love it,” says their mother Shauntel, who works full-time as an insurance representative with Traveler’s Insurance.

Each day begins with Shauntel rising alone in the darkness at 4:30 a.m. so she can take her time getting ready. “I also make sure everybody’s stuff is lined up for the day,” she says.

The organized mom’s preparation involves laying the kids’ clothes out and making sure their backpacks are filled with the proper homework, any papers that need to be signed and their homework folders.

Next, she wakes up husband Delon, who works as a pharmacy technician at Alegent Creighton Lakeside Hospital. After he is ready to go, the couple wakes up all four kids at 6:30 a.m. They shower and get dressed, then head for breakfast. “While I’m cleaning, he’ll be doing breakfast for the kids. They love waffles and pancakes from scratch.”

Then, presto, it’s off they go for their day in their Diamond white Toyota Sienna, the minivan they consider a home-away from home. “We live in our car sometimes. We’re always running here or there,” Shauntel says.  Each kid has their own ipad and regularly plays educational games on the popular learning app Agnitus.

After Delon finishes his shift at 3:30 p.m., he picks up the kids from daycare and returns home for snacks and homework time. Then, bing-bang-boom, they are out the door again after Shauntel arrives home from work an hour later.

It is a 20-minute drive from their home in Northwest Omaha to Jaiden’s baseball practice across town at John G. Neihardt Elementary School.

Navigating the busy Omaha streets at rush hour requires patience and often, a deft turn of the radio dial. As a stress-breaker, the family all joins in on a country musical sing-along. “We just let everything go and everybody sings in the car.” The girls love Taylor Swift, while Shauntel prefers Jason Aldean and Rascal Flatts.

“Some nights you catch every red light and it’s like ‘ugh.’ Or you get stuck behind an accident. Then you have those nights where the traffic is perfect and you’ve caught almost every green light and you’re there in a little bit,” she says.

On nights that Jaiden has baseball practice, they first drop him off and then drop the girls off at dance. Next, begins a series of ping-pong-ish driving moves for daddy.  “Then Delon will leave and go pick up Jaiden and come back and watch the rest of the girls at dance,” Tobin says.

The day finally wraps up around 9 p.m. “There’s just no way we would get it all done if it wasn’t a team effort. So we come together and we pull it off, and it comes off every day,” she says.

The two met while they were employees of the Cracker Barrel in Chicago and were married in 2006. After visiting Shauntel’s family in Omaha, Delon knew he wanted to make Nebraska their home.

“The thing I will remember to this day is the first time at night when I saw all the stars. It was like a crystal, clear night. The air quality to me was superb. I looked at her and I said, ‘we’re going to have to move here.’”

Having lived on the edge of Chicago, an area prevalent with steel mills, the Tobins prefer the cleaner air available to them in Omaha, especially since their children also have asthma.  Given the opportunity to transfer with his job, they jumped at the chance.

As a dad, Delon loves being part of his kids’ myriad activities and seeing them progress by overcoming shyness. “To see them come out of their shell and just grow personally, that is amazing,” he says.

They also have a lot of support from Shauntel’s mother, Kim Konig and her husband Jeff, who attend all of Jaiden’s games. “They are very busy with four kids. I don’t know how they do it. It would drive me nuts,” Konig says.

For Shauntel and Delon, all the effort is time well spent. “We just want to make sure the kids have the best possible experience growing up. We don’t force them to do any of their activities. We just take them and support them,” Tobin says.

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Creighton vs. Villanova Win at Home

February 18, 2014 by
Photography by Joe Mixan Photography

Calendar of Events: September/October 2013

September 3, 2013 by

ART & MUSEUM EXHIBITS

A Bug’s World
Through September 8 at Omaha Children’s Museum, 500 S. 20th St.
A larger-than-life interactive exhibit that allows children to experience what it is like to be a bug. Tu-F/10am-4pm; Sat/9am-5pm; Sun/1pm-5pm. $9 adults & kids, $8 seniors, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-342-6164 – ocm.org

A T. Rex Named Sue
Through September 8 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Visit one of Chicago’s Field Museum’s traveling exhibitions, Sue, the largest, most complete, best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex in the world. M/10am-5pm; Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Ron Parks at the Fred Simon Gallery
Through September 20 at Fred Simon Gallery, 1004 Farnam St.
Sculptor Ron Parks showcases this craftsmanship in this exhibition of contemporary Nebraska visual artists. M-F/8am-5pm. Free admission. 402-595-2142 – nebraskaartscouncil.org

Baseball at Boys Town
Through September 30 at Boys Town, 14100 Crawford St.
Highlights the history of baseball from 1917 to today at Boys Town and features autographed baseballs and memorabilia from Hall of Fame players Babe Ruth, Ozzie Smith, and Hank Aaron. Daily/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-498-1186 – boystown.org

The Lorax
Through November 3 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A showcase of selected Dr. Seuss preliminary crayon drawings and final pen and ink line art for this iconic book from the collection of the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

Featured artists Daharsh, Ocken, and Vande Voort
September 3-29 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by glassblower Frank Daharsh, painter Virginia Ocken, and painter Dar Vande Voort. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

Rockbrook Village® 42nd Annual Art Fair
September 7-8 at Rockbrook Village Shopping Center, 108th & W. Center Rd.
Omaha’s premier art fair since 1971. Over 160 national, regional and local artists will display and sell their one-of-a-kind works of art. 10am-5pm. Free admission. 402-390-0890 – rockbrookvillage.com

Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear
September 28 – January 5 at Durham Museum, 801 S. 10th St.
Created by The California Science Center, Durham Museum presents the many sides of fear. Test yourself against four common fears. Observe how fear changes and learn simple ways to combat stress. Tu/10am-8pm; W-Sat/10am-5pm; Sun/1-5pm. $9 adults, $7 seniors (62+), $6 ages 3-12, free for members and children 2 & under. 402-444-5071 – durhammuseum.org

Legacy: The Emily Fisher Landau Collection
September 28 – January 5 at Joslyn Art Museum, 2200 Dodge St.
A selection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from a historic gift pledged to the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2010 by Emily Fisher Landau. Her collection features some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Andy Warhol, Glenn Ligon, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, John Baldessari, Kiki Smith, and Ed Ruscha. Tu-W/10am-4pm; Th/10am-8pm; F-Sat/10am-4pm; Sun/12-4pm. Free admission. 402-342-3300 – joslyn.org

Featured artists Johnston, Methot-Swanson, Stizman
October 1-27 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by painters Judith Anthony Johnston and Katrina Methot-Swanson, and sculptor Tom Sitzman. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

Featured artists Akers, Fetter, Gaines
October 29 – November 24 at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery Ltd., 405 S. 11th St.
New works by mixed media artist Sean Akers, painter Joan Fetter, and weaver Agneta Gaines. Tu-Th/11am-5pm; F-Sat/11am-10pm; Sun/12-6pm. Free admission. 402-342-9617 – artistsco-opgallery.com

CONCERTS

End of the Summer Concert Series
Through September 27 at Midtown Crossing, 31st to 33rd, Farnam to Dodge sts.
A weekly concert series to end the summer, featuring Billy McGuigan and a joint concert with the Omaha Symphony and Opera Omaha. F/7:30pm. Free admission. 402-598-9676 – midtowncrossing.com

Hullabaloo Music & Camping Festival
September 5-8 at Sokol Park, 905 Allied Rd.
A celebration of music featuring live music from regional and national bands and DJs. Acts include the Aaron Freeman (former lead singer of Ween), Blackalicous, Monophonics, The Floozies, Kris Lager Band, Samantha Fish, DJEM, Lovedrunk, and much more! Food, drink and local vendors will be on hand. $20-80. 402-210-4747 – hullabaloomusicfestival.com

Scotty McCreery
September 13 at Stir Concert Cove, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs, IA
Scott “Scotty” McCreery is an American country music singer from North Carolina and winner of the tenth season of American Idol. Doors open at 6pm; show at 8pm. $35 general admission. 712-329-6000 – harrahscouncilbluffs.com

Bret Michaels
September 20 at Stir Concert Cove, Harrah’s Casino, Council Bluffs, IA
Rock out the end of the summer with actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and reality television personality Bret Michaels, formerly of the band Poison. Doors open at 6pm; show at 8pm. $33 general admission. 712-329-6000 – harrahscouncilbluffs.com

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
October 10 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy gained national attention when “You & Me and the Bottle Makes Three (Tonight)” and “Go Daddy-O” were featured in the film Swingers. Their concerts feature big horns, wild jungle-jazz rhythms, zoot suits & dancing flapper girls. 7:30pm. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Keith Urban – Light the Fuse Tour 2013
October 18 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
One of the industry’s most electrifying live performers, four-time Grammy Award winner and American Idol judge Keith Urban is bringing his “Light The Fuse Tour 2013” to Omaha. Special guests include: Little Big Town and Dustin Lynch. 7pm. $37-61.50. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

Avenged Sevenfold with Deftones and Ghost B.C.
October 22 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Avenged Sevenfold, a rock band known for their diverse rock sound and dramatic imagery in album covers and t-shirts, has toured all over the United Kingdom, as well as mainland Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. 8pm. $18.50-73. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

World Blues: Taj Mahal and Vusi Mahlasela
October 25 at Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.
Grammy®-winning composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Taj Mahal with ‘The Voice’ of South Africa Vusi Mahlasela. One of the most prominent figures in late 20th century blues and roots music, his music draws inspiration from virtually every corner of the world. 8pm. 402-345-0202 – omahaperformingarts.org

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
October 29 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Premier hip-hop duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis previously showcased their talents at The Waiting Room and Sokol Auditorium, but are now taking their music to Omaha’s main stage, CenturyLink Center Omaha. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis recently made Billboard history as the only duo to send their first two singles to No. 1 on both the Hot 100 and Top 40 Radio charts with new single “Can’t Hold Us” and breakout hit “Thrift Shop.” “Same Love,” a song and video in support of marriage equality, galvanized young fans and voters, and is certified a Gold single. 7:30pm. $29.50-82. 402-341-1500 – centurylinkcenteromaha.com

FAMILY EVENTS

Young Frankenstein – Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series
Through September 12 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
With support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, Film Streams presents Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series – Summer 2013 with Mel Brooks’ infamous Young Frankenstein. See website for showtimes. $9 general, $7 seniors, students, teachers, military, bike-friendly, $4.50 members, $2.50 12 & under. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Dinosaurs Alive: The Lost Valley
Through October 13 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Animatronic dinosaurs intermingled with other animals transports the zoo back 65 million years to when these prehistoric beasts roamed the planet. Daily/9am-5pm. $4 with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

Knuffle Bunny
September 6-22 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
Enjoy a hilarious musical version of the beloved Caldecott Honor book and get your family giggling. $18 general admission, free for members. F/7pm; Sat/2 & 5pm; Sun/2pm. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Forbidden Planet – Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series
September 14-26 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
With support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation, Film Streams presents Forever Young Family & Children’s Film Series – Summer 2013 with the Oscar-nominated Forbidden Planet. See website for showtimes. $9 general, $7 seniors, students, teachers, military, bike-friendly, $4.50 members, $2.50 12 & under. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Family Fiesta at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
September 22 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St.
A fiesta for the whole family featuring soccer mascots, a live mariachi band, face painting, and more. 12-5pm. Free with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

ARTsarben
September 28-29 at Aksarben Village, 67th and Center Sts.
Bring the whole family for fun, games, good food, live music, face painting, KidZone with bouncy houses, and most importantly the ART! Sat/10am-7pm; Sun/10am-4pm. Free admission. 402-345-5401 – artsarben.com

MathAlive!
September 28 – January 5 at Strategic Air & Space Museum, 28210 W. Park Hwy
Exhibit that brings to life the real math behind what kids love most—video games, sports, fashion, music, robotics, and more—and creates interactive and immersive experiences. Daily/10am-5pm. $12 adults, $11 seniors & active/retired military, $6 ages 4-12. 402-944-3100 – sasmuseum.com

Robin Hood
October 11-27 at The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam St.
The legendary tale bursts into fresh & fiery new life in this unique, fast-paced adaptation. Robin Hood stands up for justice as he cleverly evades the Sheriff of Nottingham. Be enchanted as a band of merry men (and women) bring familiar characters to life in surprising new ways. F/7pm; Sat/2 & 5pm; Sun/2pm. $18 general admission, free for members. 402-345-4849 – rosetheater.org

Spooktacular at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium
October 18 at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, 3701 S. 10th St.
Bring your little ghouls and goblins to this safe and fun Halloween event. 5:30-8:30pm. $8 with regular paid zoo admission. 402-733-8401 – omahazoo.com

FUNDRAISERS & GALAS

Zoofari 2013
September 7 at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St.
Fundraiser supporting the Omaha Zoo Foundation with a trunk show, dinner, live and silent auctions. 402-738-2073 – omahazoofoundation.org

Touch a Truck
September 7 at First Data, 6855 Pacific St.
Free family event with trucks, police cars, and firetrucks supporting Child Saving Institute. 11am. 402-504-3664 – childsaving.org

36th Annual Archbishop’s Dinner for Education
September 12 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Dinner recognizing teachers and administrators in the Archdiocese of Omaha schools. 402-827-3757 – archomaha.org

7th Annual Brew HaHa
September 12 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St.
Beer and food sampling event supporting Omaha Habitat for Humanity. 5pm. 402-884-4370 – habitatomaha.org

6th Annual Wine and Beer Event
September 12 at The Shops of Legacy, 168th & Center sts.
Support ALS in the Heartland by drinking, stolling, and shopping. 6pm. 402-592-2374 – alsintheheartland.org

Global Voices: Faith in Action
September 15 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Event recognizing faith-based community leaders and supporting Lutheran Family Services. 402-978-5646 – lfsneb.com

Cruisin’ for a Cure Omaha 2013
September 15 at Methodist Hospital Parking Lots, 8601 W. Dodge Rd.
Auto show and free prostate screenings with proceeds benefiting The Estabrook Cancer Center at Methodist Hospital. cruisinforacure.com

Big Red Tailgate
September 20 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, and dinner with Completely KIDS. 5:30pm. 402-397-5809 completelykids.org or call 402-397-5809 – completelykids.org

Spotlight Gala
September 21 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Annual fundraiser for Voices for Children with cocktails, food, and more. 5:30pm. 402-597-3100 – voicesforchildren.com

Our Lady of Lourdes Annual Fall Festival
September 22 at Our Lady of Lourdes, 2110 S. 32nd Ave.
Fundraising festival with games, food, and more. 12pm. 402-341-5604 – ollomaha.com

Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes 2013
September 22 at Stinson Park at Aksarben Village, 2285 S. 67th St.
A fundraising walk supporting the American Diabetes Association. 402-571-1101 – diabetes.org

Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day 2013
September 26 at Anthony’s Steakhouse Ballroom & Patio, 7220 F St.
Fundraising event for Project Harmony with live Irish music and prizes. 402-595-1326 – projectharmony.com 

Omaha Signature Chefs Auction
September 26 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Signature dishes by 20 chefs, a raffle, and a live auction, supporting March of Dimes Nebraska. 5:30pm. 402-496-7111 – marchofdimes.com

Restoring Hearts with Bike Parts Event
September 26 at Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass St.
Omaha Home for Boys gala featuring a motorcycle raffle and special guest Marlee Matlin. 5:30pm. 402-457-7000 – omahahomeforboys.org

Jewels of Autumn
September 28 at Alegent Creighton Health Lakeside Hospital, 16901 Lakeside Hills Ct.
Annual fundraiser with food, drinks, and auctions. 6pm. 402-717-8182 – alegentcreighton.com

Walk for the Animals 2013
September 29 at Nebraska Humane Society, 8929 Fort St.
Fundraising walk with pets. 8:30am. 402-444-7800 – nehumanesociety.org

Walk to End Alzheimer’s 2013
September 29 at Turner Park at Midtown Crossing, 3220 Farnam St.
Fundraising walk for Alzheimer’s Association. 12pm. 402-502-4301 – alz.org

43rd Annual Boy Scout Golf Invitational
September 30 at Shadow Ridge Country Club, 1501 S. 188th Plz.
Golf event for Boy Scouts of America, Mid-America Council. 11am. 402-514-3011 – mac-bsa.org

50th Anniversary Celebration
October 4 at Embassy Suites La Vista, 12520 Westport Pkwy.
Inaugural fundraising event supporting Legal Aid of Nebraska. 5:30pm. 402-348-1069 – legalaidofnebraska.com

Holy Name Harvest
October 4 at Holy Name School, 2901 Fontenelle Blvd.
Dinner, raffle, and silent and live auctions. 5:30pm. 402-451-6622 – holynameschoolomaha.org

Expressions of Hope Gala
October 4 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Dinner, youth program, and silent and live auctions supporting Hope Center for Kids. 402-341-4673 – hopecenterforkids.com

Good Apple Awards
October 10 at Historic Livestock Exchange Building, 4920 S. 30th St.
Live music, cocktails, and Nebraska Appleseed community justice awards. 6pm. 402-438-8853 – neappleseed.com

HomeGrown
October 10 at Brix at Village Pointe, 225 N. 170th St.
Local wine and beer tasting supporting Nebraska Children’s Home Society. 4pm. 402-451-0787 – nchs.org

Hops & Grapes Fall Festival
October 11 at Field Club of Omaha, 3615 Woolworth Ave.
Partnership 4 Kids’ wine and beer tasting event. 7pm. 402-930-3002 – p4k.org

7th Annual Comfort Food Classic
October 13 at Ramada Omaha, 3321 S. 72nd St.
Chef competition supporting Ted E. Bear Hollow. 5pm. 402-502-2773 – tedebearhollow.org

117th Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation & Scholarship Ball
October 19 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Foundation’s annual scholarship ball. 402-554-9600 – aksarben.org

Ladle of Love Festival
October 20 at Open Door Mission’s Garland Thompson Men’s Center, 2705 N. 20th St.
Soups and baked goods served by local chefs, supporting Open Door Mission. 1pm. 402-829-1508 – opendoormission.org

Scholarship Luncheon
October 22 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Phoenix Academy luncheon with guest speaker, former First Lady Laura Bush. 11:30am. 402-390-0556 – phoenixacademyomaha.org

6th Annual Monster Bash for Brain Cancer
October 24 at Georgetown Club, 2440 S. 141st Cir.
Live music, kids activities, food, and more, supporting Leap-for-a-Cure. 6:30pm. 402-333-9370 – leapforacure.org

Fall Luncheon 2013
October 24 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Women’s Fund of Omaha event with keynote speaker Betsy Myers. 11:30am. 402-827-9280 – omahawomensfund.org

Centennial Gala
October 24 at Mutual of Omaha Dome, 3300 Dodge St.
MOSAIC event featuring keynote speaker Timothy P. Shriver, Ph.D. 6pm. 402-896-9988 – mosaicinfo.org

RECREATION

Septemberfest
Through September 2 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Featuring live bands, Spider-Man, princesses, balloon artists, magicians, Omaha Roller Girls vs. North Dakota’s Roller Derby Team, BBQ & Ribeye Steak Cookoff, Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament, and more. F/5pm-12am; Sat/12-4pm; Sun-M/12pm-12am. $4 adults, free for children 5 & under. 402-341-1500 – septemberfestomaha.com

Florence Mill Farmers Market
Through September 29 at Florence Mill, 9102 N. 30th St.
A local farmers market featuring fresh, local produce, artisans and live music every Sunday afternoon. Sun/10am-3pm. Free admission. 402-551-1233 – historicflorence.org

River City Star Friday Evening Public Dinner Cruise
Through October 4 at River City Star Riverboat, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
Spend an evening on the Missouri River while enjoying live entertainment on this 1.5 hour, two entree dinner cruise. F/6:30-8pm. $42 adults, $38 seniors (65+), $21 children 12 & under. 402-342-7827 – rivercitystar.com

Omaha Restaurant Week
September 13-22 at participating Omaha restaurants
Grab your forks and knives and arrive with an empty stomach for Omaha Restaurant Week, a 10-day promotion celebrating the unique, exciting culinary scene in the Omaha metro. During this festival of food, participating restaurants offer an exclusive specials menu featuring multi-course dinners at a fixed price of either $20, $30, or $40 per person. 402-850-6776 – omaharestaurantweek.com

Street of Dreams
September 14-29 at Deer Creek, 120th and Deer Creek Dr.
Tour upscale, custom dream homes while gathering cutting edge design ideas from a variety of Omaha’s Best Custom Builders. W-Sun/12-8pm. $10 adults. 402-727-1054 – streetofdreams.org

Midtown Car Show
September 15 at Midtown Crossing, 31st-33rd and Dodge-Farnam sts.
Check out some of the area’s most fabulous rides: vintage cars and trucks, project cars, hot rods, and more. 10am-2pm. Free admission. 402-351-5964 – midtowncrossing.com

Oktoberfest
September 20-21 at German-American Society Inc., 3717 S. 120th St.
Omaha’s oldest and largest Oktoberfest celebration. Enjoy great authentic foods, including schnitzel, German potato salad, sauerkraut, German tortes, a few hogs and dozens of chickens, plus authentic music for dancing. F/5pm-12am; Sat/12pm-12am. $3 Saturday admission, $4 Sunday admission. 402-333-6615 – germanamericansociety.org

2013 Loess Hills Wine Festival
September 21 at River’s Edge Park, Council Bluffs, IA.
A celebration of the Grape Harvest with a fun day of entertainment. Admission includes live music by Pink Kadillac, a souvenir wine glass, five tickets that may be used for wine tastings, grape stomp, hayride, and more. 3-10pm. $10-50. weigga.org

22nd Annual Fort Omaha Intertribal Powwow
September 22 at Metropolitan Community College, 5730 N. 30th St.
A traditional intertribal powwow featuring Native American music, dancing, crafts, and food. A family friendly event that explores the culture and traditions of Native Americans. 1-7pm. Free admission. 402-457-2253 – mccneb.edu

Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show
September 26-29 at Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.
This year, the Antique & Garden Show is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To commemorate, Harrison Howard, a California artist, was commissioned to provide several one-of-a-kind pieces of art for the show. His piece, Spring, is an exclusive for Lauritzen Gardens. Lecturers this year are Carolyne Roehm, Kathryn Ireland, Eddie Ross, and Danielle Rollins. F-Sat/10am; Sun/11am. $15 general admission, $75 luncheon lectures, $125 preview party. 402-346-4002 – lauritzengardens.org

Ak-Sar-Ben’s River City Rodeo & Stock Show
September 26-29 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
A celebration of the region’s western heritage, featuring the Justin Boots Championships Rodeo, the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Stock Show, and the Douglas County Fair. Tu-F/10am-7pm; Sat/9am-7pm; Sun/9am-4pm. Free admission, except rodeo and other selected events. 402-554-9600 – rivercityrodeo.com

Just for Her Expo
October 11-13 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
Shop boutiques, test products and services, and more at this special event just for women in Omaha. F/5-10pm; Sat/10am-6pm; Sun/11am-4pm. justforherexpoomaha.com

25th Annual Fall Home and Garden Expo
October 25-27 at CenturyLink Center Omaha, 455 N. 10th St.
The largest showcase in Nebraska and Iowa with over 100,000 sq. ft. of the latest products and services for the home – inside and out. F/5-9pm; Sat/10am-7pm; Sun/12-5pm. 402-346-8003 – showofficeonline.com

RUNS

Up & Over the River Walk & Run
September 1 at Miller’s Landing, 151 Freedom Park Rd.
An 8K run and walk that leads participants along the riverfront paths and over the Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge to Iowa and back. 8:30am. $30 runners, $25 walkers. 402-346-4800 – septemberfestomaha.com

HITS 38th Annual Omaha Marathon
September 22 at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, 1200 Mike Fahey St.
Listen to live music as you run by the TD Ameritrade Stadium, the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and through the Old Market. 7am. $80 marathon, $65 half-marathon, $45 10K. 402-546-1800 – omahamarathon.com

SPORTS

Visit Omaha 2013 Women’s Norceca Championship
September 16-21 at Ralston Arena, 7300 Q St.
Watch 10 teams from the North America, Central America and Caribbean region compete in this 6-day event. See the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, a 2-time Olympic silver medalist, defend their title as the current NORCECA Women’s Continental Champion. 402-934-6291 – ralstonarena.com

THEATRE

Other Desert Cities
Through September 15 at SNAP! Productions, 3225 California St.
This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play explores the relationships of a family with differing political views and a tragic family secret that is threatened to be exposed. 402-341-2757 – snapproductions.com

Sirens
Through September 15 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
This play follows the story of Sam, a one-hit-wonder songwriter, whose marriage with his wife of 25 years is stifled by his obsession with finding the next big hit. When he encounters a siren from Greek mythology out at sea, she helps him realize Rose was always the love of his life. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. $35 adults, $21 students. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

Bollywood and Beyond
Through October 3 at Film Streams, 1340 Mike Fahey St.
A comprehensive overview of India’s prolific filmmaking traditions that presents 10 classics from a given era of Bollywood—Mumbai-made, Hindi-language films. See website for showtimes and admission. 402-933-0259 – filmstreams.org

Les Misérables
September 20 – October 27 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
The world’s longest running and most loved musical. Set in 19th Century France, Les Mis is the epic tale of Jean Valjean as he breaks his parole and is pursued by Inspector Javert while caring for the young orphaned Cosette. W-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com

The Book of Mormon
October 12-20 at Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.
The critically acclaimed and Tony® Award-winning religious satire musical, The Book of Mormon, is coming to Omaha for a nine-day run. The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century,” and Entertainment Weekly proclaims it as “the funniest musical of all time.” Tu-W/7:30pm; F-Sat/8pm; Sun/1:30pm & 7pm. $50-140. 402-345-0606 – omahaperformingarts.com

Freud’s Last Session
October 18 – November 17 at Omaha Community Playhouse, 6915 Cass St.
An astute and witty conversation between scholar C.S. Lewis and Dr. Sigmund Freud shortly before Freud’s death, covering normally taboo topics, such as God, religion, sex and war. Th-Sat/7:30pm; Sun/2pm. 402-553-0800 – omahaplayhouse.com