Around & About: Tjaden will lead Women’s Ball Committee - Omaha.com
Published Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:24 am
Around & About: Tjaden will lead Women’s Ball Committee
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Ann Tjaden has been named Women’s Ball Committee chairwoman for the 117th Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Ball by Terry Kroeger, ball chairman.

“The Coronation Ball is a celebration of philanthropy. Volunteerism is a key component of a thriving community and this annual event allows us to celebrate our community pride,” Tjaden said. “The ball is a unique event in the Heartland in its long-standing traditions and regionalism.

“I am so proud to be part of an organization that values the impact of education and is able to award college scholarships to those who might not otherwise be able to attend.”

The ball will be held Oct. 19 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha.

As the Women’s Ball Committee chairwoman, Tjaden will lead a 19-member group that will begin meeting in January. She will oversee all events and festivities surrounding and leading up to the ball and will be responsible for selecting and developing a theme, finding new members for the committee and the Court, and setting the budget and goals for the event. She also will sit on the Coronation Ball Committee, Endowment Committee and Investment Committee.

Tjaden, who succeeds Kelly Thedinger, will announce six new members of the Women’s Ball Committee at a Jan. 3 luncheon at the Happy Hollow Club.

“The WBC is an amazing group of talented, dedicated and remarkable women, each bringing a wide array of talents, experiences and backgrounds together to achieve a common goal,” she said. “The three-year commitment creates a long-lasting bond of respect and friendship among the members.”

The Omaha native is married to Kurt Tjaden, a trust, estate and tax attorney at Koley Jessen Law Firm. They have three children: Liz, 29; Hannah, 19; and Will, 14. Liz was a princess in 2005, and Will was a page in 2006.

Tjaden has a nursing degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and was an oncology certified nurse at Methodist Cancer Center.

She served four years on the Omaha Symphony Debutante Ball Committee, most recently as chairwoman and adviser; she is a past president of the Christ Child board of directors and the Omaha Law League. She also has been co-chairwoman of Duchesne Academy Conge, Catholic Charities Irish Fest and Project Harmony’s Speaking of Children Luncheon.

“I was truly humbled and honored to be asked to be chairman of the Women’s Ball Committee,” she said. “The past two years have been full and rewarding. I look forward to the challenge of leading this dynamic group of women.”

* * *

The Durham Museum Sentimental Journey Gala on Nov. 16 drew 300 people to the museum and raised nearly $140,000.

The theme for the USO-style affair was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” with festivities paying homage to men and women who have served in the armed forces. Dick Holland was honorary chairman.

The event began at 6 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the Swanson Gallery. Guests were welcomed by the museum’s executive director, Christi Janssen, who thanked participants for their continued support. Laughter erupted as guests enjoyed a special video presentation featuring humorist Mary Maxwell and Holland.

Guests enjoyed an elegant dinner, catered by Abraham Catering. A swinging musical performance by Michael Lyon was followed by the lighting of the Durham’s magnificent Christmas tree.

The festive evening concluded with dancing in the Swanson Gallery to the sounds of the Omaha Big Band.

* * *

Partygoers stepped into the past to take the Methodist Hospital surgical suites into the future.

On Nov. 9, the Happy Hollow Club was the groovy setting for “The Beat Goes On …,” a 1960s-themed fundraiser for the hospital’s operating room expansion and renovation project. It was presented by the Methodist Volunteers In Partnership (V.I.P.).

The ’60s scene was captured at the entrance where guests passed through an archway of large flowers, peace signs and happy face decals. Themed decorations throughout reminded everyone of what was cool back then. During the cocktail hour, the 220 in attendance bid on items in a super silent auction and purchased puzzle pieces for a 4-foot-by-4-foot “Operation” game puzzle.

At the dinner tables, guests discovered love beads decorating their place settings, and records and albums from the ’60s artfully designed as a part of the centerpieces.

The party’s very own Sonny & Cher (aka Josh and Analisa Peyton) sang a special rendition of “The Beat Goes On” with lyrics highlighting the surgery renovation project. After dinner, everyone took to the dance floor to twist and shout to the music of the Rumbles.

“The Beat Goes On” raised approximately $96,000 for the surgery project. Honorary chairmen were Drs. John and Kathleen Mitchell. Event chairwoman was Terri Sortino, V.I.P. president. Physician chairmen were Dr. Mark D’Agostino, Dr. Michael Giitter, Dr. Charles Olson, Dr. D.R. Owen, Dr. Rebecca Reilly and Dr. William Shiffermiller.

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