Celebrating the 10th Friends of Scottish Rite Dinner and Auction, the Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha had its best year ever for the annual event. This year, the Friends Dinner was held on Friday, October 13th, welcoming a record number of guests – nearly 250 guests filled the Scottish Rite ballroom at 20th and Douglas Streets. Guests enjoyed a hosted wine tasting and fine Scotch tasting, bid on extraordinary silent and live auction items, including a photograph signed by Apollo XI astronauts, vacation packages, fine art, and several beautiful handmade quilts.
The evening was a benefit for the Scottish Rite Foundation of Omaha’s principal philanthropy, the RiteCare Speech and Language Clinic at the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute.
Our emcee for the evening was Scott Voorhees from KFAB radio. Scott called up our 2017 Friend of Scottish Rite award recipient, Annie Bird to recognize her for her tireless advocacy for children with disabilities. Annie Bird has served as past Chair of the Munroe-Meyer Institute Board of Directors, has been a speech therapist at the Munroe-Meyer Institute, and a Board member for the Autism Center of Nebraska. In accepting the award, Annie thanked Scottish Rite Masons for their annual support of more than $680,000 each year for speech therapy, noting that many families struggle to pay for medical services for their children. “RiteCare is one service that
does not have a price tag, and families are very grateful for that,” she said.
Scott welcomed RiteCare parents Sarah and TJ (32°) Brumfield, who thanked donors for providing services for their daughter’s Apraxia, a motor disorder affecting speech. Thanks to therapy at the Munroe-Meyer Institute’s RiteCare Clinic, their daughter has been able to catch up in school and continue her education with her age group. Sarah showed a short video of their daughter’s progress, from struggling to say simple words to being able to clearly articulate words and sentences.
The Scottish Rite is indebted to the Nebraska Student Speech-Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) students at the University of Nebraska at Omaha who volunteered for the evening, setting up, serving hors d’oeuvres and dinner, and cleaning up afterward.
The evening raised more than $60,000 for speech therapy, a record sum for the 10 year old Friends Dinner. That includes $7,500 for a special appeal directly for RiteCare speech therapy and $2,000 for a scholarship for an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha studying speech therapy.
The sponsors for the evening included US Bank and the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute, with numerous table sponsors. Next year’s dinner will be on Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center.