Here are some great post holiday events to celebrate the temps finally increasing and being able to get out of the house.



The Annual Chili Cookoff is at the Plattsmouth Community Center on Friday, January 15th from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Please call 296-5800 to register your tastiest chili in the categories of hottest, most unique, tastiest, or best white.  After the tasting and judging, burn off the calories by dancing the night away.  All this for only $8 per adult and $4 for children under 12.  A Cash Bar will be done by DC's Waterhole as part of the festivities.

A good play is always a great way to spend a winter evening especially when they sound as much fun as this one does:

"Marriage is Murder" at the Mahoney State Park   Ashland, NE [January 11, 2010]-  KBC Productions announces that their winter theater season continues at Mahoney State Park with the Nick Hall's romantic comedy, "Marriage is Murder."  Directed by Kathryn Cover, the story revolves around a divorced couple who write murder mysteries together.  Paul and Polly Butler act out the crimes in Paul's apartment; complete with poisoned chocolates, lethal martinis and daggers.  Nobody gets hurt, but their egos take some hits as each attempts to outdo the other.    Starring in the show are Noelle Bohaty and Kyle Lorenze  of Lincoln.  Both actors are currently employed in Lincoln at the Community Playhouse.   

Performance dates are January 23-24, 29-31, February 5-7, 11-14 and 19-21.  Showtimes are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Adult tickets are $8.  Admission for children 12 and under is $6.  Special promotions for this event include a dinner theater package ($20 for adults, $10 for children), and a Valentine's Day Package.  From February 11-14 you can get special rates that include lodging, meal and complimentary gift package.    Mahoney State Park is located between Omaha and Lincoln on the interstate.  Please call the Mahoney State Park reservation desk for tickets and package details, (402) 944-2523 ext. 7330.  A state park entry permit is required to attend all shows.    

Pictured below:  Noelle Bohaty and Kyle Lorenze star in KBC Productions "Marriage is Murder" at Mahoney State Park





The Open Hearts Kitchen is also open every Thursday night from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the United Methodist Church on Main Street.  Thank you to the dedicated volunteers who keep this important ministry running in order to offer good food and good fellowship to anyone.


 Congratulations to Norm and Betty Henry on their 50th wedding anniversary on January 15th.  Here's wishing you many more years of happiness!

Best Wishes to Della Sullivan and Mary Jane Beins on their respective retirements. Many thanks to both of you for your years of service to the citizens of Cass County. 

Thank you to Kim Carrera for this last article.  What a heart warming way to end this cold week and please note CASA is always looking for volunteers-contact information is at the bottom of the piece.

Abused and Neglected Children Will Benefit from Jewelers for Children Grant to the Cass County CASA Program

The news today is filled with articles describing the stiff competition among retailers, and this is particularly true for the jewelry industry. But one thing that can bring these fierce competitors together is the safety and well being of children.  One local beneficiary of this industry's commitment to children is the Cass County CASA Program of Cass County, NE. Our CASA program was recently awarded a $12,500 grant from Jewelers for Children (JFC) to increase the number of volunteers who represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. The award to Cass County CASA Program is part of a $500,000 grant that JFC made to the National CASA Association, of which this Program is a member.

Jewelers for Children-the charitable arm of the jewelry industry, composed of jewelry retailers, manufacturers, watch companies and trade associations-has been one of National CASA's largest private supporters since 2003. According to David Rocha, executive director of Jewelers for Children, the organization has made National CASA one of its two "super legacy charities," along with the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

 "We are proud to be able to continue our support for CASA despite the impact of the economic downturn," says Rocha. "By helping to fund CASA volunteer advocacy, we know we are helping to ensure our nation's most vulnerable children find safe permanent homes and hope. And, as we look out to the future, we cannot think of a sounder investment."

The process of awarding JFC funds by National CASA was thorough and highly competitive. "Because we know that many of our member programs are struggling through lean times, we decided that every dime of the JFC award should go to local community CASA and GAL programs," says Michael S. Piraino, CEO of National CASA. "These programs effectively recruit, train and supervise the volunteers who advocate for children in foster care."

CASA volunteers are appointed by judges to watch over and advocate for abused and neglected children, to make sure they don't get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system or languish in an inappropriate group or foster home. They stay with each case until it is closed and the child is returned safely to his biological family or, when that can't happen, adopted into a permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence-the one adult who cares only for them while in foster care.

Last year, nearly 70,000 CASA volunteers served more than 240,000 abused and neglected children through 1,018 program offices throughout the country.

As of September 30, 2009, there are 395 CASA volunteers advocating for 695 of Nebraska's abused and neglected children.  There are an additional 1,527 children are on a state waiting list for CASA services.  We are always seeking new volunteers in our effort to provide a voice to every abused and neglected child.

"Imagine what it would be like to lose your parents, not because of something you did but because they can't-or won't-take care of you," says Kim M. Carrera, Executive Director of the Cass County CASA Program. "Now, into these children's lives come dozens of strangers: police, foster parents, therapists, social workers, judges, lawyers and more. Hopefully, one of these strangers is a CASA volunteer. Funding from Jewelers for Children will help us recruit and train additional volunteers and enable us to serve more children."

To find out how you can help the Cass County CASA Program as a donor or a volunteer, please call 296-9520 or go to

National CASA Sustainability Grants are made possible by funding from the Department of Justice - Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and Jewelers for Children (JFC).  The National CASA Grants Program is supported by Grant # 2009-MU-MU-K003 awarded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

Have a great week everyone and I will see you around town!


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