Contact: Lois Johnson, 402-456-7687
ABeeCs is a women’s group of Herman Community Church that meets the third Tuesday of each month at the education center. The group’s purpose is to promote Christian unity. The group’s name stands for Always Be Christian.
Alternative Growers Group
Contact: Sandy Grove, president, 402-468-5598
Informational meetings are at 7 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month. The group promotes alternative agriculture and enterprises in Washington County and the surrounding areas. Anyone who is currently involved in alternative agriculture or enterprises or is looking for more information (including acreage owners) is welcome. The group also organizes the Acreage Owners Conference. Call for the meeting location.
American Assoc. of University Women
Contacts: President Jeene Hobbs, 402-426-4404.
The AAUW is open to graduates of four-year colleges. The group raises money for scholarships for women. Activities include an annual international dinner and a biennial garden walk which serves as a fundraiser for the group. Informational meetings are held monthly, fall through spring. AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research.
Any veteran who has been in the armed services of the United States during any war may apply to become a member. Area Legions annually sponsor junior and midget baseball teams; and send area youths to Boys State and Junior Law Cadet School.
• Post 71, Arlington; Contact Stan Misfeldt, 402-478-4636
• Hain Flynn Post 154, Blair; Contact Steve Rounds, 402-426-3108
• Jackson Peck Post 274, Herman; Contact Leroy Stevens, 402-533-3662 or Carl Lorenzen, 402-505-1530
The Post raises funds through steak feeds, fireworks sales and a gun show the first weekend in December. The hall is also available for rentals.
• Fort Atkinson Post 348, Fort Calhoun; Contact Gayle Maine, 402-468-5758
The Post meets on the first Tuesday of each month.
• Post 366, Kennard; Contact Merritt Klotz, 402-427-7330
American Legion Auxiliary
The organization’s purpose is to assist the American Legion in their service to veterans and their families. Any granddaughter or daughter of a veteran can be a junior member until age 18. The wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter or sister of a veteran who qualifies as a Legion member can be a senior member.
• Post No. 71, Arlington; Contact Karen Keenan, 402-478-4274
The group meets the first Monday of every month.
• Post No. 154, Blair; Contact Joan Clements, 402-426-2773
The group meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of every month at the Legion Club, 12th & Washington streets, Blair. The building is available for events and the auxiliary is available to serve at those events.
• Post No. 274, Herman;
•Fort Atkinson Post 348, Fort Calhoun
The group meets on the first Tuesday of each month.
• Post 366, Kennard; Contact Becky Schmit, president, 402-427-7466
Arlington Community Fund
Contact: Mindy Misfeldt, 402-478-4107 or Shawna Koger, 402-478-4171
The Arlington Community Fund was established in 1998 as an affiliate of the Fremont Area Community Foundation for the purpose of receiving, administering and disbursing funds for community improvement. Donations to the fund are tax deductible. Meetings are held the second Monday of every odd-numbered month.
Arlington Education Foundation (AEF)
Contact: Melissa Spangler, 402-525-1476
The purpose of the AEF is to promote the welfare of the children in the Arlington Schools and the Arlington community and to improve the standards of education, in all aspects, in the Arlington Public School system. AEF has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to Arlington seniors; a student grant fund has been established to aid students with personal needs, such as winter clothing, eyeglasses and backpacks.
Arlington Lions Club
Contact: Verna Parde 402-478-4415
The Lions are a service organization in the community. They provide help to individuals or organizations in the community financially or through manual labor. They hold fundraising projects to provide these services. They have provided eyeglasses, hearing aids, glucose monitors, funds for cancer victims, cataract surgeries, etc., in addition to providing a Multiple Screening Unit bus to Arlington Schools, which tests hearing and vision. The group meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday each month at the Arlington Community Room. Anyone interested in joining may contact Verna Parde.
Arlington Multi-Purpose Senior Center
Contact: Cheryl Abbott, 402-478-4774
The Senior Center is partially funded by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Other funds come from donations, fundraising, memorials and rentals. Services are provided to all persons age 60 or older (and their spouses of any age) regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability. The Center is a resource for nutrition and socialization with programs promoting health and wellness. Congregate meals are served daily at the Center, except for the first and third Tuesday of each month when the Center offers a supper club, which is served at 5:30 p.m. Reservations for meals must be 24 hours in advance.
Arlington Sons of the American Legion
Contact: Harold Schafer, 402-478-4936
Open to anyone who is a son or grandson of any member of the armed services. The group meets at 7 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every month at the Arlington VFW Club.
Arlington Youth Foundation
Contact: Jeff Burianek, 402-478-5153 or 402-719-4087
The mission of Arlington Youth Foundation is to support the youth of our community by providing the most opportunities possible to succeed in all walks of life. AYF has, does, and will perform activities to generate monies to support local charities and organizations which are youth-based. The support of these local charities and organizations is dispersed through a grant process. AYF has established a scholarship program through the use of an endowment fund to be awarded to graduating seniors from local high schools.Currently, a $500 scholarship is awarded to three male and three female graduates from Arlington High School.
Arlington Youth Sports
Contact: Brad Soll, 402-478-5633
Arlington Youth Sports (AYS) was established in 1992 to provide participants with a positive introduction to youth sports by promoting an organized and supervised environment to encourage participation and sportsmanship, teach fundamentals and develop friendships.
Beta Sigma Phi
Beta Sigma Phi is an international sorority with headquarters based in Kansas City, Mo. On April 29, 1982, 16 women were initiated as the charter members of Epsilon Iota chapter. From the original Epsilon Iota chapter, Beta Sigma Phi in Blair grew by chartering three more chapters, two of which are still active: Xi Gamma Phi and Preceptor Alpha Omega.
• Epsilon Iota; Contact Steffenie Morine, 402-426-1967
This chapter conducts monthly activities with an adopted ENCOR family; has assisted at the county recycling center; helped with the bloodmobile; participated with a team in the American Cancer Society’s Washington County Relay for Life; and supports the Crisis Center.
• Xi Gamma Phi; Debbie Kaslon, 402-533-8780
Membership is by invitation only. Projects promoted by the group include ENCOR, Post Prom, YMCA, Blair Public Library and the Beta Sigma Phi Endowment Fund.
Contact: Betty Wolsmann, 402-426-4465
The Betty Club, started in March 1999, is a social club composed of women with names from which Betty is derived (Elizabeth, Betsy, etc.). Members are from Omaha, Council Bluffs, Herman, Blair and Kennard. The women usually meet the second Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at the Carter House. All Bettys are welcome. The club is involved in a number of community service projects, such as the food pantry, the Crisis Center, remembering special events such as holidays and anniversaries, hosting guest speakers on health issues, donating to the Washington County Recycling Association and food pantry, collecting can tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, and any other special needs that develop over the year. In February, residents at the Carter House are visited and given treats.
Black Elk-Neihardt Park
Contact: Carole Bagby, 402-426-3305 or the Blair Chamber of Commerce, 402-533-4455
Members of this nonprofit group work with the Blair Parks Department to enhance this hilltop park — the highest point in Blair — west of the former Dana College. The park had its origins in the 1970s when F.W. Thomsen of Dana’s art department and John G. Neihardt, Nebraska’s poet laureate and author of “Black Elk Speaks,” became friends. The 45-foot Tower of the Four Winds and four pedestals along a hoop-shaped trail feature mosaics that are Prof. Thomsen’s interpretations of Black Elk’s vision, the brotherhood of all peoples. Today’s volunteer friends of Black Elk-Neihardt Park, in addition to enhancing the park, are also dedicated to carrying out Black Elk’s vision through multicultural events. The purchase of engraved memorial paving bricks helps fund improvements in the park; order forms are available at the above website address and at the Blair Chamber of Commerce.
Blair Area China Painters
Contact: Katy Adams, president, 402-533-2174
The Blair Area China Painters Club is a member of the Nebraska Chapter of the World Organization of China Painters and promotes the art of painting on porcelain. Membership is open. The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month in the meeting room at the Blair Police Department.
Blair Area Community Band
Contact: Jeff Mount, 402-426-1769
The Blair Area Community Band rehearses twice monthly, October through December, and March through June. Attendance at all rehearsals is not required. The group holds concerts in December and in connection with Blair’s annual Gateway to the West Days in June. Members do not have to audition to be accepted in the band.
Blair Area Community Choir
Contact: Sherry Everhart, 402-426-9698
The Blair Community Choir is open to any one with a desire to sing in a group. The community choir prepares one concert a year, in early December. Rehearsals take place once a week for approximately 6 weeks leading up to the concert. Singers range in age from high school through 100.
Blair Area Community Foundation
Contact: Mike Ferm, president, 402-616-7263 or Bob Coffey, 402-426-2810
The Blair Area Community Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life we all enjoy as residents of Washington County. The foundation benefits our communities by enabling donors to make tax-deductible gifts to a variety of local charitable organizations. To date, the BACF has provided funds to benefit more than 80 groups and organizations. Funds come from a variety of sources, including direct gifts, corporate campaigns, estate gifts and proceeds from the BACF’s Visa card.
Blair Bike Club
Contact: Trudy Arndt-Woksa
The Blair Bike Club is a noncompetitive club that promotes wellness and is open to all ages. The group participates in organized rides throughout the year, and members also participate in other events in the metro area.
Blair Bunch Quilters
Contact: Katy Adams, 402-533-2174
The group meets informally each month in the community room of the Blair Police Station. It is a time for informal classes, quilting for charity and working on your own projects. Anyone is welcome to attend. Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. the first Monday of each month.
Blair Community Schools Foundation
Contact: Diana Stier, secretary, 402-426-4680 or Blair Schools Administration, 402-426-2610
The Blair Community Schools Foundation was established to ensure excellence in education through sustained support to the Blair Community Schools. We support purposeful giving for scholarships, innovations in education, alumni connections, community engagement and captial improvements. The foundation knows to be successful in our mission, we need strong relationships with our alumni, the Blair community and our business leaders. The Blair community has supported excellence in education for generations. Through the foundation, we have the power to preserve, strengthen and build on this great educational heritage. The foundation provides opportunities for our entire community to express support for its children and for its future. Contact the foundation or any of our board members to discover how you or your business can support the continuation of Blair Community School’s excellence in education.
Blair Fine Arts Boosters
Contact: Heather Mead, 402-426-0393
The volunteers in the Blair Fine Arts Boosters are supporters of Blair High School’s Fine Arts program. The group assists teachers and students with activities such as speech, visual arts, drama, vocal music and instrumental music. The group seeks to work cooperatively and promote the Fine Arts by chaperoning activities, raising funds for activities not covered within the school budgets, assisting with coordination activities and communicating activities to the community.
Blair Firefighters Auxiliary
Contact: Sarah Backman, president, 402-426-9619 or Brandi Nicholson, vice president, 402-426-5021
Members can be a resident of the Blair community who is interested in supporting the Blair Volunteer Fire Department. The group annually provides a scholarship to a graduating senior in addition to helping with several other community projects.
Blair Historic Preservation Alliance
Contact: Dawn Nielsen, 402-426-4825
The mission of the BHPA is to be an advocate for the protection and appreciation of the city’s historic assets. Projects have included development of a local historic property registry, brick street preservation and the development of historic walking tours within the city of Blair. BHPA worked with the city of Blair and other organizations in developing the “Depot in the Park,” a multi-use facility in Lion’s Park trailhead at the center of the Blair Trail Systems. The project is centered around the historic 1880 railroad depot, the last remaining structure from Blair’s “age of rail,” which was moved to the park in 2007. One of the group’s fundraising projects has included production of a Blair historical picture calendar.
Blair Horticulture Society
Contact: Judi Seaver, 402-468-5700
The purpose of the group is to learn and share knowledge about growing things. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend the meetings and join. Programs include special presentations and demonstrations, as well as field trips to gardens at local and regional homes and sites.
Blair Kiwanis Club
Contact: Royce Sperry, 402-426-9302
The main objective of Kiwanis International and the local chapter is to provide service to the community with a focus on the needs of the children. Club projects include funding for a Halloween party, attendance at a weeklong camp, and scholarships for higher education. The group meets at noon on Mondays at Fernando’s restaurant in Blair, and each member has a chance to socialize with other community leaders.
Blair Lions Club
Contact: Bob Epperson, 402-426-5891
The Blair Lions Club is active in local, state and national public service projects, such as recycling, highway trash pick-up, scholarships and has several members as mentors in the TeamMates program. The Blair Lions Club is the charter organization for Blair Boy Scout Troop 143. However, the major thrust of Lions is to eliminate preventable blindness in the world. Most of their fundraising projects are geared toward this endeavor. The group also brings in the Mobile Screening Unit annually in the fall to screen sight and hearing in the high school and middle school students, and helps support Leader Dogs for the Blind. Membership is open to anyone, and the group meets the first and third Mondays of the month at 7 p.m. at Fernando’s Café and Cantina in Blair. The group sponsors an annual golf outing in the spring; as well as an annual Colorado Peach Sale in the summer, both of which are fundraising activities.
Blair Optimist Club
Contact: Jen Stolz, president, 402-426-2121 or Ellie Richardson-Vakiner, 402-533-0142
The Optimist Club is part of an International Civic Organization dedicated to promoting the youth of their respective communities and as a result, the individual projects chosen by the Blair Optimists reflect the changing needs of our community. New members are encouraged to become involved in current projects and help recognize and develop new ones. The group meets the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month at noon at Godfather’s Pizza.
Blair YMCA Senior Center
Contact: Agnes Willis, 402-533-9622
Located at the Blair Family YMCA, 1278 Wilbur St., the Blair YMCA Senior Center is a place where senior citizens can meet, gather and socialize with other people of the same age group every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Come joing us for fun and conversation, bingo and other activities of your choice. We also have day trips for a minimal fee to cover trip fees, lunch and the bus ride.
Blair Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
Contact: Kristen Blattert, 402-426-7143
Blair PTO is dedicated to enriching the educational experience of Blair K-3 and Arbor Park students through fun social activities bringing parents, students and teachers together. Through volunteer parental involvement, we provide educational and financial support to all primary schools and promote a loving, safe learning environment for our children so they may excel in all aspects of their educational career.
Blair Public Library Foundation
Contact: JoEllen Maras, 402-533-8126
The Blair Public Library Foundation is a charitable, non-profit organization whose goal is to enhance the services, offerings and facilities of the Blair Public Library beyond the budgetary constraints of local government. The foundation assists people in the community by providing a vehicle to support projects through fundraising activities, gifts and estates; providing appropriate tax benefits for gifts to the foundation; helping make dreams come true for the Blair Public Library. The foundation is actively involved in securing funds for future projects to benefit people using the Blair Public Library. We are currently in a capital campaign to raise funds for a new library.
Blair Rotary Club
Contact: Dave Ladwig, 402-426-2111 or Denise Dein, treasurer, 402-533-9655
Rotary is a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world. Approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 31,000 Rotary clubs located in 166 countries. Locally, the Blair Rotary Club provides scholarships to Blair High School seniors who have shown strong academic and leadership qualities. The club also supports local charities and community projects. People 18 years of age or older may be considered for membership in Rotary. The Blair Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at noon at Fernando’s Cafe and Cantina, 16th and Washington.
Blair Special Olympics
Contact: Dixie and Don Trevarthen, 402-960-4338
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
Blair Trails Project
Contact: Dave Nannen, 402-426-3488
The group’s mission is to continue to raise awareness, support and funds for the expansion of the hiking/biking trail system connecting Blair’s neighborhoods, schools, parks and recreational facilities; increasing safety, improving health and wellness, and conserving energy. The main fundraising activity is support of the annual Gateway to the West walk/run. Volunteers are welcome.
Blair Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department
Contact: Kent Nicholson, chief, 402-426-5021 or Jerry West, president, 402-426-9258
Established in 1870, the Blair Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department services the Blair area and surrounding communities. In addition to emergency services, the department also provides training and safety seminars, and fire prevention programs at the area schools. The department responds to more than 750 fire and rescue calls each year. Applications for membership are available from the board of directors; teaching curriculum is required and new members are added on a monthly basis.
Boy Scouts of America
Contact: Boy Scouts of America (Omaha), 402-431-9272
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Washington County has a number of troops that meet in Blair, Fort Calhoun and Arlington.
Building Blocks Boutique
Contact: Karene Ryan, 402-426-3313
Building Blocks Boutique is a program intended to promote healthy lifestyles for pregnant women and those with children under the age of 3. Members are allowed to earn points and purchase items such as diapers, clothes and miscellaneous baby items. The Boutique is open on the second Tuesday and the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Blair United Methodist Church.
Christian Motorcycle Association
Patty Martin, 402-533-8700
Members of the CMA have organized a Blair chapter called Disciples of Truth (DOT). CMA is an interdenominational ministry who serve primarily, but not exclusively, the motorcycling community. CMA is involved with poker runs, bike rallies, parades and Sturgis events; as well as activities within the chapter such as fellowship rides, church visits and Bible studies. Members are made up of Christians of all ages, married and single, those who have or ride a motorcycle – as well as those that don’t. DOT meets the first Saturday each month at Pizza Hut, with dinner at 6 p.m. followed by a meeting at 7 p.m.
Cottonwood Quilters Guild
Contact: Terry Paulsen, 402-426-2402
The Cottonwood Quilt Guild promotes the art of quilting through monthly meetings, workshops and road trips. With close to 300 members, Cottonwood is a very active and progressive organization. Members range from beginning quilters to national competition winners.
Cru High School
Contact: Gary Warrick, 402-468-5345 or Jacob Loftis, 402-533-0728
Cru High is the high school and middle school ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, Intl. The group’s mission is to reach out to high school students with a message of love and hope through Jesus Christ, helping “at risk” students receive the encouragement they need to resist involvement in “at risk” behavior. All high school students are welcome. The Blair High School group meets every Monday night at Blair High School. The Blair Middle School group meets Mondays after school at 624 N. 11th St. in Blair. The Fort Calhoun Senior High group meets on Monday nights at 3645 Hidden Acres Ln. The Fort Calhoun Junior High girls group meets at 3241 Penny Ln. on Monday nights.
The Danish American Archive and Library
Contact: Jill Hennick, executive director, 402-426-7910
The Danish American Archive and Library contains a wealth of historical and genealogical documents related to Washington County residents and their ancestors. The Einar Vig collection, one of the Archive’s largest, includes letters, papers, clippings, documents, pictures, scrapbooks, notes, obituaries and family records of people buried in Washington County. But that’s just one aspect of the materials that the Archive preserves and makes available to historians and researchers all over the world. The Archive is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Volunteers are welcome.
Danish Brotherhood in America; Lodge 206
Contact: Judi Pedersen, president, 402-426-9875
The Danish Brotherhood in America holds special meetings to enhance the awareness of Danish heritage and culture. Open to anyone interested in the Danish culture. Lodge 206 supports activities with DBIA lodges nationwide.
Contact: Donna Lange, Queen, 402-426-3394
The Red Hat Society is a social organization where there is fun after 50 (and before) for women of all walks of life. The group meets once a month on Saturdays.
Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging (ENOA)
Contact: Esther Gunderson, 402-426-9614
ENOA’s purpose is to preserve the independence and dignity of older individuals through agency-wide services that help meet a variety of health, nutritional and social needs. Contributions made to ENOA support transportation, congregate and home-delivered meals, medication and other in-home services for the frail older population.
Contact: Kittie Stricklett, 402-426-3374
Open to all former employees of Memorial Community Hospital in Blair.
Fort Atkinson Foundation
Contact: Doug Cook, 402-594-4582 or John Slader, 402-468-5611
The Fort Atkinson Foundation was chartered in 1961 with its mission “to acquire the Fort Atkinson site and to begin its restoration.” Now, 50 years later, Fort Atkinson is a rebuilt 1820s log fort with parade grounds, soldiers' barracks, officers' quarters, blacksmith shop, kitchens, trappers cabin, Indian council house, Quartermaster shop, Sutler store and garden. The fort operates today as a State Historical Park run by the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission. The Foundation's mission today is to ensure the preservation and growth of the site through grants, donations and financial partnerships for additional projects and events.
Fort Calhoun Athletic Booster Club
Contact: Nick Wemhoff, 402-468-5591
The organization was formed to promote and support Pioneer athletics at Fort Calhoun High School. Members must be at least 18 years old and out of high school athletics. Past achievements of the group include the raising of funds to build the Pioneer Fitness Facility for weightlifting, aerobics and wrestling workouts for the high school and community, and raising funds for the concession stand bleachers and press box at the high school football field.
Fort Calhoun Enhancement Committee
Contact: Linda Welsher, City Clerk, 402-468-5303
The Fort Calhoun Enhancement Committee is a volunteer group that was initially created to enhance and beautify the city of Fort Calhoun in preparation for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and to maintain an attractive community in the future. The group works with local businesses, citizens and government to improve the appearance of Fort Calhoun.
Fort Calhoun Women’s Club
Contact: Sandra Grove, 402-468-5598
This philanthropic club has been meeting since 1906. The group meets at 1 p.m. the third Thursday of the month September-December and February–May at the Fort Calhoun Presbyterian Church for an educational program or program of special interest.
Fraternal Order of Eagles, No. 3215
Contact: Ervin Mathiesen, 402-533-4020
Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary, No. 3943
Contact: Pam Mathiesen, 402-533-4020
The Fraternal Order of Eagles are “people helping people.” The group raises money for 13 national charities and also for people in need in our communities. Membership is open to anyone, 21 years of age or older. The Aerie meets at
8 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday each month at the VFW Club, 393 River Road; the Auxiliary meets at 7 p.m. p.m. on the first and third Wednesday each month at 20276 Wirt St. in Elkhorn.
Friends of the Blair Community Arboretum
Contact: Judy Seaver, 402-468-5700
The Friends’ purpose is to provide leadership and recommendations to advance the mission of the Blair Community Arboretum, which consists of the Ralph Steyer Park, Rhoades Park (Rose Garden), Black Elk/Neihardt Park and Arbor Park School. The group’s mission is to display plants that will improve the biological diversity of the community; educate students about the natural environment; inform the community about proper plant selection and maintenance techniques; and serve as a setting for reflection and enjoyment of nature.
Friends of the Blair Public Library
Contact: Melissa Rice, president, 402-426-8748
The mission of the Friends of the Library is to support, promote and enhance the services and goals of the Blair Public Library. Members help ensure the library continues to fulfill the needs of area residents now and for future generations. Friends’ activities include: book sales, proceeds of which go toward the “extras” needed by the library beyond what is normally included in the budget; general fundraising to supplement special library projects and services; and promoting activities which support the library and awareness of its services.
Friends of Boyer Chute and DeSoto Natl. Wildlife Refuge
The group’s mission is to support the Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge in their efforts to preserve, protect, and restore biological diversity and historical resources, while providing the opportunity for wildlife-oriented activities, education and scientific research. Their goals are to provide awareness and education to residents of surrounding communities about Boyer Chute and DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge; to provide volunteers and support to the refuge staff with environmental education and wildlife-oriented projects; and to raise funds for special refuge projects.
Friends of Fort Atkinson
Contact: Tom Wood, 402-332-1534John Slader, 402-468-5611
The Friends of Fort Atkinson (FoFA) is a volunteer group of historical re-enactors who are dedicated to bringing history to life at Fort Atkinson. Re-enactors are on-site at the fort from May through October on the first weekend of every month and for other special events. FoFA members are dedicated to presenting the history of Fort Atkinson and the early 1800s time-period in a historically accurate, educational and personal manner, with period costuming tools, music and stories. Re-enactors are available for special events at schools, civic organizations and private functions.
Friends of the Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter
Contact: Taryn Breuer, president, 402-676-3359 or 402-426-3126
The Mission of the Friends of the Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter is to serve the citizens of Washington County, Nebraska, and the surrounding areas by promoting the humane treatment of companion animals; helping reduce the number of injured and euthanized animals; increasing pet adoptions; paying for medical care for the shelter animals; supporting a safe and sanitary animal shelter; promoting spay/neutering programs; and educating the community about responsible pet ownership.
Girl Scouts, Spirit of Nebraska
Contact: Kristi Baker, 402-290-7011 or Jane Van Horn, 402-533-2530
Today’s girls are reaching out to learn about themselves and their world. Families are a very important part of a girl’s life, but as she grows she begins to reach beyond and to explore new horizons. Through Girl Scouts, qualified leaders become guides, catalysts, friends and partners to these girls. The Girl Scout program provides many learning opportunities as each girl discovers and explores the world she lives in. Girl Scouts not only volunteer in their communities and enjoy many kinds of activities, they also learn while they are having fun. All Girl Scouts in Washington County are part of the Spirit of Nebraska.
Gold Wing Touring Association, Chapter Z
Contact: Wayne and Mary Flora, 402-426-2254
The motto of the GWTA is “Destination Friendship.” Any rider of a street-legal motorcycle is invited to join in the fun by contacting a current member of the club. Members ride each week and have a dinner together. Chapter Z’s motto is “Ride to eat, eat to ride.”
Habitat for Humanity, Washington County
Contact: Dee Sylvis, 402-426-9560
Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, Christian-based organization of dedicated persons of all races and creeds. Habitat for Humanity makes it possible for people with very low income to purchase their own home. All homes are built or renovated through volunteer labor and tax-deductible donations of money and materials. Chapters build or renovate homes in an effort to eliminate poverty housing and to make suitable housing a matter of conscience and action in the community. Habitat finished its third home in 2013 in Blair; a search is ongoing for a qualified family for the next build in Blair.
Joseph’s Coat Thrift Store and Food Pantry
Contact: Kathy Brechbill, 402-426-0440
Joseph’s Coat Thrift Store and Food Pantry provides clothing and food for those in crisis situations. Joseph’s Coat is located at 1737 Washington Street in Blair, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. Donations of nonperishable food items are always welcome. Volunteers are welcome.
Knights of Columbus, St. John the Baptist Council No. 10305
Contact: Philip Tamisiea, 402-690-2072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Knights of Columbus is a men’s international Catholic lay organization with more than 1.7 million members in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and several other countries.
Ladies Bridge Marathon
Contact: Madeline Gleeson, 402-426-3581
The Ladies Bridge Marathon has been a way for women to visit, play bridge and even donate to the community. Each pair of women plays each of the other pairs in their group once during the school year, sending in their bridge scores to a secretary. The groups play either in the day or evening. In the spring, prizes are awarded at a special brunch to each group’s top pairs, with geraniums awarded to the low pairs. Dues are used for prizes and also for community benefit. Organizations that have received donations include the Blair Public Library, the Blair Rescue Squad, the Memorial Community Hospital, the Fort Calhoun Public Library and the YMCA. All women in Washington County are welcome.
LiveWise 40: A Washington County Coalition
Contact: Chandra Petersen, 402-278-1735
The nonprofit, Washington County-based subcoalition partners with Arlington, Blair and Fort Calhoun schools and several community partner agencies to provide students and community partner agencies to provide students wand community members with stategies focusing on building the Search Institue's 40 Developmental Assets in youth. We are committed to fulfilling this mission. We also have resource information for parents and youth, about alcohol and drug prevention. Our objective is to encourage positive growth in youth which is vital in building self-esteem and a strong community. Partners are always welcome; this helps with the continuity of reaching youth in our area.
Memorial Community Hospital Auxiliary
Contact: Kim Dutton, 402-426-2030
Organized in 1956, MCH Auxiliary has raised well over $1 million for Memorial Community Hospital. The organization, comprised of hundreds of volunteers, is always seeking new volunteers to help in its effort to raise money in support of the hospital’s mission. The Auxiliary currently contributes more than $100,000 annually. Annual projects include a fall rummage sale and the hospital Gift Shop, solely operated by volunteer hours. The Thrift Closet, under the direction of the MCH Auxiliary manager and Auxiliary board of directors, generates income through the resale of donated items. MCH Auxiliary also contributes to the community by awarding scholarships each spring to local residents pursuing medical careers.
Missouri River Women’s Connection
Contact: Tricia Barber, 402-426-7068, or Ruth Latto, (712) 642-3456
Make new friends and hear life-changing and uplifting stories from women who face the same challenges as you do! The Connection meets at 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday every month in Blair or Missouri Valley, Iowa. The meetings feature a catered dinner, music or demonstration and inspirational speaker. There are no dues or fees except for the cost of the dinner. The Missouri River Women’s Connection supports Stonecroft Ministries, a global group based in Kansas City, Mo. The Connection also offers small-group Bible studies. Call for meeting information.
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
Contact: Jen Sullivan, 402-426-0109
MOPS International is a nondenominational organization that reaches out to all mothers of children ages birth through kindergarten, regardless of religious beliefs. The group’s goal is to provide a time when mothers of preschoolers are nurtured, rather than being the nurturer. A typical MOPS meeting has breakfast for the mothers, an interesting speaker, small group discussion time, and a simple craft project for the mothers. The group meets twice monthly at Country Bible Church in Blair. For information, see the website at countrybible.org/adult/mops or email email@example.com.
National TTT Society, Chapter L
Contact: Linda Lund, 402-426-8426
Membership is open to women who are at least 18 years old. The group sends four girls or more to camp each year and delivers Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets to needy families.
Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership
NENCAP serves 14 counties in northeast Nebraska - Antelop, Burt, Cedar, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Dodge, Knox, Madison, Pierce, Stanton, Thurston, Washington, and Wayne. We provide the following services: Rental & Utility Assistance, Income Tax Assistance, Food Pantries, Healthy Families Program, Child Safety Seat Services, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, WIC, Immunizations, Supportive Services to Veteran Families, SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access & Recovery (SOAR), Head Start, Early Head Start, Marketplace Navigator Program, and referrals. A Family Services coordinator will meet clients at our satellite offices as well as in Blair. Call for an appointment. NENCAP's mission is "People helping people changing lives in northeast Nebraska." The main headquarters for Northeast Nebraska Community Action Partnership is located at 603 Earl Street, Pender, NE 68047 and can be reached at 1-800-445-2505. Visit our website at www.nencap.org.
Order of the Eastern Star, Herman Chapter No. 216
The group is open to members 18 and older, who have a Masonic affiliation. It is a charitable organization that supports the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children, the Masonic Home in Plattsmouth, provides an academic scholarship and a scholarship for the Masonic Band. Meetings are 7:30 p.m. the first Thursday monthly at the Masonic Lodge in Herman.
Orion Archery Club
Contacts: Beau Petersen, president, 402-350-7626; Tammy Lucht, secretary, 402-533-3875
The Orion Archery Club is dedicated to introducing boys and girls to the sport of archery and helping them learn proper archery skills. Several members are very willing to help adults and youth new to the sport. The club can provide equipment to be used while at the club. The club is in good standing with the National Field Archery Association. The club, located in downtown Blair, hosts leagues for all ages and skill levels, including 4-H leagues.
Papio Valley Preservation Association
Contact: Shawn Melotz, 402-238-2915
The group’s mission is to preserve the soil, water, and other natural resources for the people of the Papillion Creek Watershed. The organization is concerned that the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District (P-MRNRD) has proposed a series of dam sites in Washington County and northern Douglas County. These dams could affect in excess of 9,000 acres and cost taxpayers more than $980,000,000. The group believes effective flood control can be reached through less intrusive measures, such as creek channelization, responsible floodplain management downstream and demanding that those who create excess runoff (i.e. developers) should control the excess runoff at the source. To this end, the group is actively promoting Washington County’s rules on best management practices and low-impact development.
• EQ Chapter: Contact Cathy Comstock, 402-426-2536
• HL Chapter: Contact Edith Solomon, 402-426-2048
The P.E.O. Sisterhood is a philanthropic and educational organization interested in bringing to women increased opportunities for higher education.
Pheasants Forever, Washington County Chapter
Contact: Terry Schumacher, 402-426-2415
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs. Now in its 10th year, the Washington County Chapter meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the USDA Service Center, 1060 Wilbur St., Blair..
Pioneers for Education
Contact: Cheryl Miller, 402-468-4602
This volunteer group supports activities in the community and at Fort Calhoun Community Schools.
Relay for Life, Washington County
Contact: Carrie Bingham, 402-278-0839 or Jenefer Backhause, 402-360-1435
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life Washington County is a fun-filled six-hour event that mobilizes communities across the country to celebrate survivorship, remember those who have lost their lives to cancer, and raise money for the fight against cancer. This is an ACS Signature activity. For more information, visit www.relayforlife.org/washingtonne, or call the local ACS office.
Riverview Grange No. 392
Contact: Joe Fryman, 402-426-5773
Riverview Grange is a fraternal organization for people interested in agriculture. The group represents rural and urban America in the state and federal legislatures on a nonpartisan basis. Junior Grange members are 5-14 years old. Grange membership is granted to those ages 14 and up. The group usually meets at 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday monthly at the Washington County Extension office.
Soaring to Excellence, Arlington
Contact: Arlington Elementary Principal David Fritson 402-478-4121
Soaring to Excellence is an organization whose purpose is to foster a sense of support, pride and enthusiasm for the educational goals of our school. Soaring to Excellence supports the school through volunteer efforts, funding classroom grants for teachers, fundraising and organizing annual school-wide educational themes to enhance learning as well as Family Activity Nights.
TeamMates Mentoring Program of Arlington
Contact: Kerri Haris and Floyd Everitt, 402-478-4171
The mission of the TeamMates Mentoring Program, created by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne, is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. Arlington TeamMates pairs nominated students with a caring adult volunteer. The role of the mentor is to be a friends, a guide and a partner. Arlington TeamMates matches began with fifth-grade students, and we now have 15 matches in fifth through eighth grade. These matches will continue through high school. Activities include board games, talking, reading or sharing an interest. Volunteers are screened through references and background checks, and both mentors and students are trained for the program in Arlington. Students and mentors also meet for group activities and outings, including the Husker Spring game, bowling, cookouts and such.
TeamMates Mentoring Program of Blair
Contact: Ann Hackerott, coordinator, 402-426-5682
The mission of the TeamMates Mentoring Program, created by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne, is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. TeamMates of Blair pairs nominated students with a caring adult volunteer. The role of the mentor is to be a friend, a guide, and a partner.
Currently, the program is at Arbor, Otte and Blair High School, with 95 volunteers meeting one-to-one with students from fifth grade through high school. These matches will continue through high school. A student and mentor meet one hour a week at school, during school hours. Activities include board games, talking, reading, or sharing an interest. Volunteers receive a training session in Blair and are screened through reference and background checks.
TeamMates Mentoring Program of Fort Calhoun
Contact: Kori Grosse-Rhode, coordinator, 402-468-4547 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The mission of the TeamMates Mentoring Program, created by Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne in 1991, is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential TeamMates of Fort Calhoun pairs students with caring adult mentors. The role of the mentor is to be a friend, a guide and a partner. Currently, the program serves children at the Fort Calhoun Elementary and Fort Calhoun Junior High. We have 35 volunteers meeting one-to-one with students from fourth grade through junior high school. These matches will continue through high school graduation. A student and mentor meet one hour a week at school, during school hours. Activities include board games, talking, reading, craft projects, sports activities or sharing an interest. Volunteers receive a training session in Fort Calhoun and are screened through reference and background checks.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The organization provides aid to veterans and service to the community. Members must have served with the U.S. Armed Forces during a foreign war and have the required campaign ribbon.
• Post 1251, Blair; contact Robert Gladwin, 402-426-5802
This Post donated money to build a new concession stand at the ballpark. The group participates in many parades, mans the recycling center and provides an honor guard at all military funerals.
• Post 8332, Arlington; Call 402-478-4140
Washington County AMVETS
Contact: Jerry Ludwig, 402-498-2735
Membership is open to anyone who is currently serving, or who has honorably served, in the armed forces of the United States — to include National Guard and Reserve Components. The post meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month at V.F.W. Post 1251.
Washington County Cattlemen
The group meets monthly, November through March, at the Blair Marina for a program of interest. The annual banquet is held in April. Membership is open to any local cattle producers; business “associate” memberships are also available.
Washington County Child Care Providers
Contact: Sarah Anderson, 402-426-4023
Becky Versch, 402-426-9455
Continuing to learn about young children is the focus of the monthly meetings of the Providers. The group meets the last Tuesday evening each month (unless otherwise noted) during the school year at the Washington County Extension Office, 597 Grant Street, Blair. Most of the meetings begin at 7 p.m. and last two hours. Childcare providers can earn in-service credit by participating in the sessions covering topics such as nutrition, partnerships with parents, serving children with special needs and making playgrounds safe. Parents and others who work with children are also invited to attend.
Washington County Democrats
Contact: Chairman Dan Flynn, 402-426-4471
The group promotes the philosophy and platform of the Democratic Party by assisting Democratic candidates who are seeking election and sponsoring forums on current issues.
Washington County Fair
Contact: President, Gary Lambrecht, 402-427-7140
The dates for the 2014 Washington County Fair will be July 25-30. The fairgrounds are located along Highway 30 in Arlington. The fair showcases the talents of young and old alike. The fairgrounds are available for off-season storage for boats and campers; and an air-conditioned building is available for rent for events (call Duane Hilgenkamp, 402-478-4635 or Lambrecht, 402-427-7140).
Washington County 4-H
Contact: Steve Landon or JoAnn Jensen at the Extension Office, 402-426-9455
Washington County 4-H is an organization that provides learning-based opportunities for youth who are 8 to 18 years of age. An environment of learning is created through 4-H clubs, camps, workshops, clinics and one-on-one mentoring. All of this is accomplished with the assistance of numerous volunteers and UNL Extension office staff. The organization’s mission is to develop all youth to reach their fullest potential through utilizing the knowledge base of the land-grant university system, learning by doing, and developing life skills.
Washington County Genealogical Society
Contact: JoAnn Japp, 402-426-4008; or Pat Hunsche 402-426-2013
The Washington County Genealogical Society’s purpose is to promote and support a mutual interest in genealogy. At the Blair Public Library, the group maintains a current obituary file, as well as on its website, along with cemetery records and marriage records. They have microfilm reels of Washington County newspapers, census and marriage licenses, and a large collection of historical reference books. The WCGS meets the first Tuesday of the month at the Blair Library at 7 p.m. We welcome all visitors and we are continually searching for new members. Also, if you love to type and would like to help out with our project, please contact Japp at 402-426-4008. You don't have to be a member to type, however, a computer with Internet is necessary.
Washington County Historical Association
Contact: Julie Ashton, executive director, or Faith Norwood, curator, at 402-468-5740
The Washington County Historical Association focuses on the preservation of the history of Washington County, Neb., and vicinity for future generations and the acquisition, preservation and exhibition of relics, mementos, historic records and other artifacts of historical interest. These include providing the public with the opportunity to experience history through programs, exhibits, historical and genealogical research and education via resources available at the Washington County Historical Museum, Frahm House and Fontanelle Town Hall.
Washington County Ministerial Association
Contact: Rev. Pam Ciulla, 402-426-4073
The WCMA is made up of pastors of all the churches in the county. The 501(c)(3) organization works to promote Christian virtues and values; meeting the second Wednesday of each month. Activities include the annual Good Friday service, assisting with the community-wide Thanksgiving meal and National Day of Prayer and the weekly devotion in the county newspaper. The Washington County Food Pantry and Joseph’s Coat Thrift Store got its start with this organization, and continues to be closely associated with it. The WCMA receives and distributes funds for the county. The Good Samaritan Fund, under the direction of the WCMA, provides financial assistance to residents of the county and to transients in crisis situations.
Washington County Performing Arts Association
Contact: Dan Hutsell, president, 402-427-2918
The Washington County Performing Arts Association is a philanthropical organization designed to support and promote the performing arts in Washington County. The organization provides financial and promotional support to the area performing organizations including the Blair Community Band and Community Chorus. The group also holds performance events at various times throughout the year. If you are interested in donating your time or making a financial contribution to the group, please contact Dan Hutsell, president.
Washington County Nurses Association
Contact: Ellie Mommsen, 402-426-2732
Members must be a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse living in and/or working in Washington or Burt counties. The group’s major focus is providing nursing scholarships; and members meet periodically for social gatherings and educational programs. The group has five meetings a year, September, October, January, March and April, on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. at Pizza Hut.
Washington County Recycling Association
Contact: Roger Hoensee, president, 402-426-4222
The Washington County Recycling Association recycles nearly 700 tons of material per year through the help of local volunteers. More than 1,500 individuals per year, from more than 35 organizations, donate their time to the center. Proceeds from the recycled materials are funneled back into the Washington County community. The center is open Saturdays from 8 a.m. until noon, and accepts newspaper, office paper, magazines and catalogs, cardboard, paperboard, tin, glass, aluminum and most plastics. The center is open for business dropoffs only on Tuesdays.
Washington County Republicans
Contact: John Orr, chairman, 402-533-2331 or 402-677-6728
The Washington County Republicans focus on supporting the Republican ideal of less government, lower taxes, a strong military, more control by local government and personal responsibility. The group does this by supporting local, state and federal Republican candidates who support these principles in each election. The group meets at least three times each year and sponsors events including parades, ice cream socials, pancake breakfasts, soup suppers and trips to the state capitol. The organization is open to all Republicans willing to volunteer their time or financial resources in support of their candidates. Membership is available at various levels. More information can be found on our website, www.thewcrp.com or find us on Facebook.
Washington County Service Unit, Salvation Army
Contact: Bill Smutko, 402-533-1039
The goal of the Washington County Service Unit of the Salvation Army is to raise and distribute money for those in need in the county, whether it is through emergency assistance due to a natural disaster or a family emergency.
Washington County Stroke Support
Contact: Ellen Ryder, 402-426-4976, or Katy Flynn, 402-426-2576
This group meets monthly and provides education and support. The group is open to stroke survivors, their families,friends and caregivers. The group meets at 7 p.m. on the last Thursday of every month at the Blair Memorial Community Hospital.
Washington County Veterans Tribute Plaza Committee
Contact: City of Blair, 402-426-4191; Carl Lorenzen, 402-505-1530; or Pat Hunsche, 402-426-2013
The Washington County Veterans Tribute Plaza is located at the crossroads of Highways 30 and 75 in Blair, and is maintained by the City of Blair. The Plaza honors the dedication and sacrifices of local veterans in Washington County, while celebrating America’s hard-fought freedom. The “absolute black granite” Wall of Honor is engraved with 6,600 names of men and women veterans who have served and are serving their country in peacetime and wartime. The original list was alphabetical, however each November additional names are added in time for November 11th (Veterans Day). The 130 names engraved in Gold represent veterans who were killed in action, died of illness, accident or war injuries. At the east entrance, a brick walkway leads up to the black granite Donor Stone. On the west end, the American Flag leads the way on the Walk of Flags, with flags of each branch of the armed services and the POW/MIA flag. City hall accepts donations and processes the brick applications.
Women’s Guild of the Washington County
Contact: Nancy Boyer, 402-468-5532
The Guild was begun in 1974 with the objective of encouraging membership in the Washington County Historical Association and assisting with activities at the museum. The Guild holds fundraising events which enables it to support the museum in various ways. The group meets at 1 p.m. the second Tuesday each month, March through November, at the museum.