Tag Archives: Houston Alexander Foundation

Felines, fashion, and a festival

January 17, 2019 by
Photography by contributed

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Thursday, Jan. 17: Allen Strickland Williams will perform at Infusion Brewing Company tonight! And you can see him for only $10 (if you hurry!). You may have seen him on Conan O’ Brien or Tosh.0. and he can currently be seen in Cooking On High on Netflix and Corporate on Comedy Central. Allen will film his Comedy Central special in early 2019. So if you like laughing (and who doesn’t?), then you don’t want to miss this show! Buy your tickets here asap.

Friday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, Jan. 20: Hop in the truck, or Subaru Outback, and head to the Pheasants Forever: River City Hunting, Fishing, Boat and RV Expo, happening all weekend at the Mid-America Center. They’ll have more than 100 exhibitors on hand showing off their latest products. Attend a seminar on anything from bear hunting to dog training. Or just get a little advice on your next family trip from one of the outfitters or lodge owners. And bring the kids so they can test their archery skills and learn how to call turkeys. Get all the details here.

Friday, Jan. 18: Feel good dancing, feel good drinking, feel good doing good—catch Twista Unplugged at The Waiting Room this Friday and all of this can happen for you. Twista will be performing backed by a live band. Enjoli will also take the stage. Houston Alexander will be hosting, as this show is a fundraiser for the Houston Alexander Foundation (I know, he’s everywhere right now!) to support the Culture Shock Tour. You’ll also be treated to music by DJ Shor-T and DJ Mista Soull. Get your tickets here now.

Saturday, Jan. 19: Fashion, turn to the left; fashion, turn to the right—and now you’re dancing! Which is what you can do at the upcoming Dance Party + Fashion Show with Anastasia at Scout: Dry Goods & Trade. See the latest ’90s minimalist styles from Anastasia, have some drinks (did you know Scout now has a liquor license?), and do some voguing, courtesy of the sweet tunes DJ Crabrangucci will be busting out. Learn more here.
Photo by: Maranda Loughlin 

Sunday, Jan. 20+: What’s more relaxing than yoga? Maybe petting a purring kitty? Well, now you can do both every other Sunday when you attend Yoga and Cats at the old Wag location on 24th and Harney. Don’t forget your yoga mat, or you’ll be rolling around in cat hair! Just kidding, you’ll be doing that regardless. Best of all, all proceeds go towards the Felius Cat Café and Omaha Wags to Riches non-profits. Sign up here now, and remember this event is ongoing, so if you can’t make it this round just set yourself a reminder. Everyone needs a little relaxation.

Sunday, Jan. 20: Debating what you want for Sunday dinner? Let us help you out. Head to the first Pad Thai Fest! at Thai Esarn, where you can get a pad thai dinner for the special price of just $8. This is the Thai American Society’s first event, and all proceeds benefit the organization. You can watch traditional dances at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., but we recommend buying a ticket beforehand if you want to be sure to catch the show. Find out all the details here.

 

Finding Hope in the New Year

January 3, 2019 by

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Thursday, Jan. 3: Start your new year on the right foot at the Omaha Magazine Launch Party for our January/February “Health” edition. The party is free, but please RSVP here. Free appetizers and adult beverages are compliments of Sol’s Jewelry and Loan. The new issue’s big story looks at organ donation and its effects on both the recipient and the donor/donor’s family. Houston Alexander of the Houston Alexander Foundation (who donated a kidney to his daughter) and Dr. Alan Langnas, the director of the Center of Transplantation at will share some words on organ donation. Continuing the health theme, there will be a performance by flautists with The Nebraska Medical Orchestra (a collaboration between UNMC and UNO School of Music). There will also be special opportunity to meet community influencers featured within 60Plus in Omaha Magazine’s “Prime Time” story, highlighting the fashion and wisdom of local seniors. To RSVP, please click here.

Friday, Jan. 4: The Transcendence Opening Reception kicks off the first exhibition of 2019 for The Little Gallery Benson. An invitation to delve into unsung stories more commonly shared behind closed doors, these works provide a glimpse through the cracks at these private stories. The exhibition was curated by Marie-Elena Schembri and will feature several of her pieces. Mark Andrew, Brandi Bentley, Mary Daley, Mary Ensz, Bekah Jerde, John David Munoz, and Nadia Shinkunas will also be exhibiting pieces. To learn more, please go here. Read about one of the artists showing by clicking here.

Saturday, Jan. 5: The new year doesn’t have to mean a new you—but it can mean an improved you. Help make those resolutions a reality by attending Setting Your Intentions 2019: A Vision Board Experience at the AIM Institute. Materials for your vision board will be provided, but feel free to bring any personal items or specific images you would like to use with you. Light refreshments and drinks are included in the cost. To purchase tickets, head here.

Saturday, Jan. 5: Afraid you missed out on all the New Year’s Eve fun this last weekend because you just couldn’t justify leaving the house in that cold? You’re in luck. You can still catch some NYE glitz this weekend by attending the rescheduled Downtown Omaha fireworks show at Gene Leahy Mall. The wind was just too much last week, but this week promises to bring better weather. Find out more here.

Sunday, Jan. 6: Did you know there’s a snow sculpting competition coming up in February? Well, you do now! And if you would like to participate, get over to the Snow Sculpture Workshops at Main Street Studios and Gallery in Elkhorn. They are offering these free workshops every Sunday in January. Learn more about the workshops here and more about the First Annual Nebraska Snow Sculpting Competition here.

Saving a Life, Chasing the Dream

Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Houston Alexander knew that his first-born child would be a fighter from the moment he laid eyes on her. Elan, his daughter, was born with kidney disease.

“We knew that one day she would need a kidney, and the day finally came where her kidney functions were so low that she needed a donor,” says Alexander, an MMA fighter and a radio personality on Omaha’s Power 106.9.

She was only 10 years old when that day came. Alexander already knew that he was a perfect match to be an organ donor.

“No questions asked,” he says. “There are things that you don’t think about; giving your child a kidney—or any type of vital organ—is something you don’t think about.”

Her life-saving transplant took place in 2000, a few years before Alexander’s own professional fighting debut. At the time, he was working in asphalt maintenance while pursuing his passion for hip-hop on the side.

Health and fitness continued to be a major cornerstone of Alexander’s lifestyle, which he says is essential for any organ donor or transplant recipient following a surgical operation.

In 2003, a few years after donating his kidney—around the same time he started working in local radio—Alexander began fighting professionally. His Ultimate Fighting Championship debut followed in 2007 with a huge upset, a knockout of UFC celebrity Keith Jardine within 48 seconds.

Elan was not a fighter in the same sense as her father (aka “The Assassin” in the ring). But she has been fighting health-related battles since her birth.

“My daughter is probably the toughest young lady I’ve known,” Alexander says. “I’ve never seen somebody so strong. My daughter is tougher than I am in a lot of ways.”

After more than a decade with one of her father’s kidneys, her body rejected the organ. Unfortunately, the body’s rejection of a donated organ remains a common reality for organ donor recipients. Elan is now living in New York with her name on the national transplant waiting list.

Meanwhile, Alexander often speaks about organ donation in Omaha. It’s one of many community outreach efforts with his nonprofit, the Houston Alexander Foundation (visit houstonalexander.org for more information).

Alexander will also speak at the launch party for the January/February 2019 issue of Omaha Magazine. The issue* carries a special health focus with articles on medicine and wellness topics.

One of the main feature articles  (available to subscribers and those picking up the magazine from a newsstand) is an in-depth look at the stories of organ donors, their families, and the organ recipients who received the gift of life.

The subject of organ donation carries special personal significance for me. My twin brother, Connor, was an organ donor. As a teenager getting his first driver’s license, he checked a box designating that his vital organs should be donated in the event of his death. That check mark took on real meaning after a tragic car accident in 2004.

While my brother’s life was cut short, the Connor Meigs Art Award offers other young artists help in pursuing their own artistic dreams. And, of course, the organs that he donated gave others a second chance at life.


This letter was printed in the January/February edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.