In 1956 Western Electric Co. announced plans to construct a manufacturing facility in Omaha to produce dial equipment and telephone cable. Construction began in 1957 and production began two years later they became a top provider of exchange cable, cross bar and PBX equipment for the Bell system. In the early 70’s the Works had 7,700 employees. Avaya sold the Connectivity Solutions Business and the Omaha Works to CommScope in 2003 and they closed the Works in July 2011.
The chapter is located in the western United States, and consists of three (3) councils: Heartland Council, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Mountain Range Council, headquartered in Denver, Colorado and Western Horizon Couincil is headquartered in San Jose, California. Our members are active employees (regular members) and retirees (life members) of Western Electric, AT&T, Lucent Technologies, Avaya, Agere, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia whose “parent” was Western Electric Company.
At this time we have to report that the Mountain Range Council and Western Horizon Council under New Frontier Chapter are in the process of merging into the chapter.
All Bears are handcrafted by this 9 step process and done by the Heartland Omaha Works Volunteers and friends.
1. Purchase of Vellux © brand blankets and wash/cut
2. Bears front and back are Die Cut for consistency on Accu-Quilt© fabric cutter
3. Bears front hand assembled with noses and eyes and are ANCHORED so eyes and nose will NOT come off with industrial strength clips inside the bear
4. Front and back combined by hand machine sewing
5. Bears are turned inside out by hand
6. Bears are hand stuffed with a soft fill material donated by 3M
7. Bears are hand sewn at the fluff entry point
8. Dressed up with a bow
9. Sealed in a (plastic bag) for transportation by volunteer
Donation information and more details contact Steve Dawkins at 402 319 3602 CELL
The following services receive Hug A Bears:
1. Bergan Mercy Children’s
2. Children’s Hospital
3. Children’s Center At Village Pointe
4. Madonna House at Village Pointe
5. Dr. Bill Rucker for Children’s and Parents Therapy
6. Project Harmony
7. Boys Town Behavioral Unit
8. Fire Department #43,
9. Fire Department # 44
10. Police on Weise Street
11. Open Door Mission
12. Charles Drew Clinic
13. Douglas County Sheriff Department.
14. Rainbow House
In 1999 Steve Dawkins took over the bear project. As of June 30, 2019 the project has made and delivered over 47,000 bears in the Omaha community since then. The Bear Den is open every Tuesday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm every week with 12 to 16 retirees making bears. A large basement room at Maple Ridge Retirement Center has donated the space for the group to continue when we had to leave the Omaha Works over 10 years ago.
The Hooks and Needles secretary Jean Belmudez retired. Elaine Hobbs continued as the leader for the group in 2018. The group kept right on where they left off from the previous year. The chair, Elaine Hobbs kept them on track throughout the year. Everything the ladies make is donated to different organizations in the metro that passes out to the needy. The women continue to make all these things at home and meet once a month to turn in the things that they have made. This year they displayed some of the Cancer quilts made for children that have cancer. Below is a list of the items that they made in 2018.
Items made by the group this year ended in 2018
Lap Robes 140
Ear warmer 21
Pet mat 97
Baby Blanket 40
Fleece blankets 91
Kids quilt 63
Pet quilt 14
Doll quilt 23
Cancer quilt 35
Veteran Quilts 20
W. Slippers 44
C. Slippers 5
M. Slippers 4
LML – Life Member Luncheon & Food Drive
At the last Life Member Luncheon on Thursday, April 25th, 2019 the attendance was 98 people with five grocery carts of food for the Salvation Army. There are three LML each year and the next two August 22, 2019 and December 5, 2019 @ Presbyterian Church of the the Cross with more details to follow. Questions – Judy Coffee 402-669-3678
Bereavements: Judith Anthony, Keith Fink, Claude Welch, John Armbrust, Jacklyn Larkin, Charles “Bell” Sharpe, Kenneth Wright, Frank Centamore, Jerry Mabbitt, Melvin Popham, William Zorko, Vernon Dschaak, Thomas Baye, Gary Blohm, Donald Dai, Linda Meyer, Richard “Dick” Nielesen, Walter Smith. Total Life Members are 2,604.
Hug-A-Bears have delivered 1220 bears since Spring Newsletter making a grand total of over 47,000 since 1999.
Hooks and Needles have made 102 items since Spring Newsletter. They have not met much this year. If anyone has or finds yarn or heavy material, drapery or tapestry for walker or dignity bags, that the Club can use please contact Betty Golmanavich @ 402 390-9834.
A Go Fund Me page was set up to raise funds or Hug-A-Bears supplies and Hooks and Needles. It has been decided that we will remove the link from the website.
Events in the fall of each year
On Saturday, September 28, 2019 the Salvation Army’s Volunteer Appreciation Awards and Breakfast will be held at the Kroc Center located at 2824 Y Street. Last year the Presentation was held on May 19th, 2018 at Renaissance Village located at 3612 Cuming Street.
The second L. M. Luncheon is Thursday August 22nd at Presbyterian Church of the Cross located at 1517 South 114th Street. There will be a great needed food drive for the Salvation Army. Please be generous. Food will be collected at the lower North entrance and placed in Bob Wolkins truck. Reservations are due August 16th and you can find the form at www.heartland pioneers.com under Omaha or with this newsletter.
During the last of October thru November, Dick Maxwell will contact last year’s helpers for Bell Ringing and maybe Adopt a Family. If you would like to be a Bell Ringer please contact Dick Maxwell @ 402 572-8474 or email@example.com. Hopefully you all can help again this year.
During the month of November Deb Grady will contact last year’s helpers for Turkey Fest. Hope everyone can help again this year. If you like to help with this project, please contact Deb Grady @ 402 333-2557 or email her @ firstname.lastname@example.org. On Wednesday evening the 27th of November we will be filling bags of items to go with the Turkey dinners which are assembled and delivered the following Thursday morning from the Kroc Center.
Bell Ringing for the Salvation Army will be Saturdays the 7th, 14th, and hopefully the 21st of December at Sam’s Club as in the past. Two-hour shifts from 10:00 a. m. till 6:00 p. m.
The last L M Luncheon for 2019 will be Thursday December 5th.
Each Tuesday from 9:00 a. m. till 1:00 p. m. we stuff bears in the Maple Ridge Adult Living Center basement located at 3225 N 167th Cir. Please contact Steve Dawkins @ 402 740-2475 if interested in helping.
Recently each third Saturday of most months except July, August, December, January and February the Hooks and Needles meet at the Ralston Library located at 5555 S 77 St at 1:30 to turn in items made, discussion, show and tell, and a snack. Please contact Elaine Hobbs @ 712 328-2580 or Tricia Bonaiuto @ 402 896-2014 or email@example.com if interested in helping with this project.
George Parkerson retired from the Omaha Works on January 1996 and started this email group. As information was needed by retired and active employees George began harvesting email addresses of current and retired associates to help inform them when they needed answers.
We try to keep the most current things that affect us here as a reference for those to refer to. Our benefits and legislation actions are of the most important to us right now. Georges work with keeping abreast of many differnet issues was very important. He developed this email address spreadsheet and emailed to us. At one time after the retiree committee ended here they forewarded their email addresses to him to add to his list.
George kept everyone up-to-date that wished to receive the emails and did this volunteer work for about 20 years. George moved to MI in January 2018. It was at that time he passed the updating on to his backup Gordy Viner. Gordy then decided to make the notices a more formal type of notice and created the Western Electric Retiree Group Notices. As the majority of the retirees started with WE but most retired under different corporate names I decided to use the parent company name of Western Electric.
As the issues change from that were important 20 years ago the service is still in place to update those that wish to know about events that affect them and current information. You may view a current newsletter notice at the Omaha Works Retiree Group.
New Frontier Chapter 137
President: Sherry Lynn Riddle
2527 N 76th St.
Lincoln, NE 68507
President: Robert (Bob) Wolkins
906 Bayberry Dr.
Bellevue, NE 68005
5680 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 500
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
T: 800.872.5995 F: 888.477.3351