Women’s Ball Committee Announces Key Partners for the 2018 Aksarben Ball

Jul 21, 2018 originally published via Omaha World Herald.

Team members for the 122nd Aksarben Ball have been assembled. The annual event will be Oct. 13 at CHI Health Center, formerly CenturyLink Center.

The Aksarben Women’s Ball Committee announced the Royal Court members who will serve in support of the fundraising efforts. The Women’s Ball Committee raises scholarship money for the Aksarben Foundation college scholarship program, workforce development scholarships and community grants. Karen Nelsen, advisor to the Women’s Ball Committee, hosted the gathering at Omaha Country Club.

Presenting details of the 122nd Aksarben Ball were as follows: Princess Chairman Anne Jetter; Heartland Princess Chairman Kim Burkhalter; Production Chairman Samantha Wahl; Court of Honor Chairman Judy Pritza; Standard Bearer Chairman Libby Stiles; Royal Court Supper Chairman Sarah McGowan; Royal Court Welcome Chairman Judy Pritza; Royal Court Brunch Chairman Sheila Nelson assisted by Ellie Grace; Regale Chairman Judy Pritza; Invitation Chairman Emily Jung; Page Luncheon Chairman Sam Hohman; and Scholarship Chairman Sarah McGowan.

Also announced were the Royal Court appointments and members of the production team.

Royal Court Appointments include: Couturier, Tilly; Designer, Jovani; Florist, Connie Leaders of Atmospheres by Design; Coiffeur, Creative Hair Design; Photographer, Dwyer Photography, MDP, Inc.; Caterer, Levy; Table Top Designer, AAA Rents and Event Services; Invitations, Diane Ames, Diane’s Stationary & Invitations; Formal Wear, Mr. Tuxedo; Entertainment, Finest Hour; and Page and Standard Bearer Clothiers, Merrily Boler and Judy Glesne.

Members of the Production Team include: Scriptwriter M. Michele Phillips and Mark Hoeger; Director Stephanie Anderson; Producer Mike Klug; Video Producer Mark Hoeger; Set and Lighting Designer Jim Othuse; Musical Director Tom Ware; Ball Announcers Cort Ramer and M. Michele Phillips; Choreographer Patrick Roddy; Sound Designer and Technical Coordinator Tom Ware; Stage Manager Lara Marsh; IMAG LED Screens & Media production by Dog & Pony Productions; Video Wall System by Acass Systems; Live Video by Mr. Video Productions; Lighting by Theatrical Media Service; and Audio by Audio Visions Pro Sound.

Christie Oberto, Women’s Ball Committee Chairman, said this year’s theme will be “Glorious Past — Vibrant Future.”

During the Aksarben Ball, tribute will be paid to the 122-year history of the event, and the Aksarben story past, present and future will be told. Time-honored traditions will be front and center, but showcased in a new format using the latest technology, Oberto said.

The Ball will have a more contemporary look as a backdrop to the program. Dramatic lighting, surprises and special guests will keep the show fresh, and entertainment will be provided by some of the area’s premier music organizations. Their collaboration signals the broad support from across the community for the work Aksarben does.

The spotlight of festivities will be on education, a celebration of volunteerism, community pride and a reverence for those who have preceded and paved the road for the vibrant future of Aksarben.

The Aksarben Foundation was established in 1895 and is a network of business and community leaders seeking to influence change in Heartland communities for the betterment of education, agriculture and growth of the economy.

The Foundation raises funds through events, including the Aksarben Ball and the Aksarben Stock Show, to support its Horatio Alger State Scholarships, the Ag Leaders and Purple Ribbon Scholarships and Career Scholars. Horatio Alger Scholarship awards 50 four-year scholarships to deserving students in Nebraska and western Iowa who have overcome great personal adversity and need financial assistance to earn a college degree. Career Scholarships recipients receive the career training and education to prepare them for high demand, high paying jobs in the Heartland.

The Aksarben Foundation also supports communities in Nebraska and western Iowa with community grants for the betterment of public spaces, parks and emergency medical equipment.

The Aksarben Ball will recognize families who help build the Heartland through volunteerism. Princesses, Escorts and Pages represent their families who are being honored for their contributions to the region. The Court of Honor Recognition is also awarded at the Ball. Recipients throughout the region are recognized for their contributions in one of the following eight categories: agriculture, arts, business and industry, education, philanthropy, professions, public service and sports.