Elaine was given a photocopy of a Bear riding with a solider during her visit to Omaha, NE and the Heartland Council. All we know about the photo is that an Arkansas Pioneer Chapter sent around 200 Hug A Bears to the troops to pass out to children. That photo has served as an inspiration for the Omaha Bear group. There is a story about a little Iraq girl carrying a Bear stopping the troops from advancing on the road telling them that there were mines in the road ahead.
During this past summer, Elaine Housley Board Director for the New Outlook Pioneers entered into conversations with the Omaha Works Volunteers the old Heartland Council Pioneer group. The Heartland Council had went dark or withdrew from the pioneer organization some time back but continued to do things on a much smaller scale to make their funds last as long as they could. Her discussion ended with the Heartland Council returning to the pioneer organization.
Elaine agreed with the council to come out to Omaha and meet everyone. The meeting took place this past week on November 5, 2019. Jan Corich from the financial organization also came to the meeting and Elaine and Jan answered many questions about the pioneer organization and the financials.
The meeting took place in the permanent work area of the Hug A Bears at the Maple Ridge Retirement Center. The work space is free to the council to make bears and has been since they were asked to vacate the Omaha Works and their work area. The new work area are has been named the Bear Den.