(402) 597-3100


2013 Spotlight Gala Awards – Individual

The 2013 Spotlight Gala shines a spotlight on those who work to improve the lives of children and families through the presentation of the Spotlight Awards.  

Did you know that in Nebraska, an adoptive parent of a young child must be given the same leave of absence in the workplace as a biological parent?  Prior to 1999, the law that protects this right for families did not exist.   An adoptive parent’s need to nurture and bond with their young child was not recognized as equal to a biological parent’s need.   Patti Koraleski changed that. She did it with the help of State Senator Dwite Pedersen, his staff, advocates, Voices for Children, and other adoptive families.

When Patti and her husband adopted their son, she was troubled, if not shocked to find out that she would be unable to receive the same maternity leave that co-worker who had just given birth would receive.  She channeled her frustration into ensuring that other families would be able to have what she could not.

In advocacy, sometimes the most powerful voice is that of a constituent.   Sen. Pedersen passed LB 134 in 1999, giving adoptive parents equal rights in the workplace.   Thousands of families can thank Sen. Pedersen and Patti for recognizing that adoptive parents deserve the same opportunity for benefits in the workplace as biological parents.  More importantly, a child deserves the same nurturing and bonding regardless of how that child came into this world.

Patti did not stop advocating for children and families in 1999. She has continued to volunteer her time helping to improve the lives of Nebraska’s children through a variety of community involvement.  She now works full time at TD Ameritrade and dedicates her spare time to Special Olympics, Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Salvation Army, Jr. Achievement, The Ronald McDonald House, PTO at her son’s school and Voices for Children.

Patti has served on our Gala committee for six years, and the 2013 Spotlight Gala marks her fifth year chairing the event!  I want to share with you my favorite memory of Patti.  In 2012, we asked guests coming to our annual Holiday Party to bring a small item to donate for youth in Project Everlast.  Patti walked in with 2 big bags overflowing with brand new items for the youth.  I told her she was amazing and she said “Why? I just picked up a few things…” That is just who Patti is – a humble hero.

Patti, we hope the 2013 Spotlight Gala will be a wonderful night for you and your family. You deserve it.

Join us at the 2013 Spotlight Gala on Saturday, September 21!  Interested in sponsoring our event?  Visit our sponsorship page to see our amazing supporters and learn more about how you can become a sponsor.  If you can’t come in person, you have the opportunity to make a donation in honor of our award winners or honorary family.

Thank you to taking the time to share!


  1. REPLY
    Bev Macek says

    Congratulations to Patti. A great adoptive mom.

  2. REPLY
    Sue says

    Patti, I am so very PROUD of you! You deserve this along with much more. I know how motivated you get when you are passioinate about something, which I know you are about kids! Congrats again my dear friend! Well deserved!

Post a comment