The Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha hosted the 8th annual Friends of Scottish Rite Dinner and Auction on October 7, 2016 an event which supports the RiteCare Speech and Language Clinics, Ethics on Trial, UNO scholarships as well as the House of the Temple Preservation Foundation. Rob Corsaro, 32° and wife Marnie served as Chairs for the Friends committee this year.
The Friends of Scottish Rite DInner was a wonderful success, boasting of a record-setting nearly 200 guests in attendance. Beginning with having photos taken by Mervyn Reese Photography, guests bid on silent and live auction packages, which included a handmade rocking chair by A.J. Johnson, a football tailgate package donated by the Lodge of Perfection line officers, football tickets, jewelry, golf outings, wild game basket, spa packages, and much more.
Our emcee for the evening was Chris Baker, a Mason and talk show host for 1110 KFAB radio. Chris welcomed our RiteCare speakers, Amy Wetjen and husband Matt, who spoke about their son Mason's progress through speech and language therapy with clinician Leslie Van Winkle at the UNMC Munroe-Meyer evening. They showed "Masons Journey to Speech," showcasing his progress through therapy.
Afterward, Chris was joined by Micah Evans, who recognized our 2016 Friend of Scottish Rite award recipient, Dr. Wayne Stuberg, Associate Director from the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute. Besides a long list of credentials, Dr. Stuberg serves as Associate Director for the Munroe-Meyer Institute and has fostered a collaborative atmosphere at MMI, helping children receive the best care from all the departments and services. To continue the collaborative atmosphere within MMI, Dr. Stuberg was joined by Munroe-Meyer Director, Dr. Karoly Mirnics and the directors and medical professionals from MMI.
RiteCare mom and 2015 Friend of Scottish Rite recipient Denise Gehringer also reminded guests why they were here, speaking about how her three sons have received services from Munroe-Meyer, including son Jacob who is becoming certified as a teacher's aide at MMI.
Great Plains Auction Company auctioneer Randy Fleming raised thousands of dollars through the live auctions, and guests bid on a guitar autographed by (Brother) Brad Paisley, a handmade Nebraska Cornhuskers firepit made by Jim Ryan, 32°, autographed concert posters from the Beatles and Johnny Cash, a case of exquisite red and white wines, and a VIP Jazz and Dining Experience in New Orleans. Afterward, Paul Rutherford led a special appeal, which raised an additional $8,000 for RiteCare services!
Catering Creations catered the evening, serving an excellent mixed green salad with roasted butternut squash, candied walnuts, and fresh parmesan cheese in a port wine raisin vinaigrette. Dinner was a grilled petite beef tenderloin and pan-seared salmon with a lobster cream sauce, served with spaghetti squash and kale, followed by a pear torte with cinnamon and cream. For the fourth year, the Friends Dinner featured a hosted wine tasting with six extraordinary cabernets, zinfandels, and chardonnays, and four exquisite Scotches.
The Knights of St. Andrew provided support for the evening, bartending, helping host the Scotch and wine tastings, and monitoring the auctions. Randy Fleming, 32° and Great Plains Auction Company supported the registration and check out with expertise in running the live auction.
The Friends of Scottish Rite Dinner is also indebted to the students from the UNO Nebraska Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NSSLHA), whowere on-hand to help during the evening, serving wine, hors d’oeuvres and volunteering during the live auction.
In addition to raising funds for the Scottish Rite philanthropies, the dinner has been a catalyst for membership. Several guests have petitioned Lodges and joined Freemasonry. The evening is a great event to introduce potential members to other Masons and the philanthropies we serve.
Next year’s dinner is scheduled for October 13, 2017. If you are interested in serving on the Friends of Scottish Rite committee or donating items for the auction, please e-mail micah@SRNE.org.