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Spotlight Gala

Voices for Children in Nebraska hosted its seventh annual fund‐raising event on Saturday, March 19,2011.  Over $125,000 was raised for the advocacy organization. Hosting a record 510 attendees, the event was held atthe DC Centre with cocktails and silent auction followed by awards and live auction.

Voices for Children in Nebraska selected the Dr. Tom and Jane Tonniges family as this year’s Honorary Family. Tom andJane along with their children Christopher and Tracie Tonniges, Emily Tonniges, and Elizabeth and Patrick Gomez hostedthe “Spotlight Gala” in recognition of their involvement and support of many civic and child‐related organizations.

Awards presented during the “Spotlight Gala” included five categories: Ky‐Antre Compton was presented with the YouthAward; Karla Schweiger‐Arnold was recognized with the Individual Award; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska was thisyear’s Organization Award winner; and the Faith‐Based Award was given to Presbyterian Church of the Cross in Omaha.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Kathy Bigsby Moore, foundingexecutive director of Voices for Children in Nebraska upon her retirement.  Kathy was also presented a proclamation ofMarch 19, 2011 as “Kathy Bigsby Moore Day” in the City of Omaha by Mayor Jim Suttle.

“This evening’s festivities are a unique opportunity to spotlight the vision and leadership of my predecessor KathyMoore and celebrate all of the people and organizations that ‘shine a light’ on the greatest needs of Nebraska’s childrenevery day,” said Carolyn D. Rooker, the new Executive Director of Voices for Children.  “Without the commitment andpassion of the honorary family, the Spotlight Gala committee, our board of directors and our sponsors, this amazingevening wouldn’t have been possible.”

Rob McCartney of KETV Channel 7 served as event emcee, and Steve Haack led the live auction as auctioneer. The“Spotlight Gala” committee members were lead by Mary Hunziker, Dee Kohler, and Monica Messer.  More than 30 other community volunteers helped plan and organize the event, serving on subcommittees including awards, facilities, food& beverage, decorations, public relations, silent and live auction, and sponsorship .

Diamond and Platinum sponsors of the event included KETV Channel 7, The Nebraska Medical Center, Alegent Health,Barnhart Press, Husch Blackwell Sanders, BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska, Copic Medical Foundation, Rhonda andHoward Hawks and Omaha Steaks.

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