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Category: Region News

Heartland Pioneers Helping Those In Need Beat The Heat

Salvation Army Annual Fan Drive

You probably have a way to stay cool this summer but not everyone does.

That’s why the Salvation Army is kicking off its annual fan drive this year with Ace Hardware from June 3 to June 20, 2021. Because of COVID-19, the organization is asking for monetary donations, which will allow them to buy new fans for those in need. This year you can donate to the drive at all ACE Hardware locations in the Omaha Area.

The Heartland Council Pioneers of Omaha, NE purchased 60 box fans for the needy and elderly in the Omaha area. Bob Wolkins volunteered his pickup truck and the pioneers sent out a call for more help to pick up the fans at the Ace Westlake Hardware store and deliver them to the Salvation Army.

On Friday afternoon Heartland Council Pioneers President Bob Wolkins came with his truck, Joe,1st Vice President showed up with his cargo van, Steve, 2nd Vice President showed up with his cargo van and Jerry, past president showed up with his cargo van. After loading Bob’s truck Mike, the store manager said, “Hey guys let me help you out here. Let me deliver the rest of the fans to the Salvation Army up on NW Radio Highway for you.” It was over 90 degrees out and getting hotter and all said that is a great idea Mike and thank you.

Last picture L to R; Jerry Golmanavich, Bob Wolkins, Joe Bonaiuto and Steve Dawkins

Last Frame; These fans are being donated this year by the Heartland Council Pioneers in honor of Dick “Max” and Cathy Maxwell. They volunteered for the Heartland Pioneers for over thirty years with the Salvation Army. Dick “Max” Maxwell passed this last fall from covid-19.

Submitted by Gordy Viner Treasurer and also the photos

The Cozy Wrap Group Make a Spring Deliver to the Open Door Mission

On Wednesday afternoon, May 5, a couple of ladies Dixie and Sharon that are knitting with the Cozy Wrap Group dropped off some items that they had knitted to add to what Carolyn had been working on. Then on Thursday afternoon her and Bob loaded the SUV to deliver the items to the Open Door Mission.

On the way up to the ODM Carolyn gave them a call and Kristin answered the phone. Carolyn told here that they were be there shortly to deliver 22 baby blankets,1 cocoon and 4 baby hats this morning. Kristin said that she would accept the itema on behalf of Lydia House.

Kristin met them in the parking to accept the items and to thank Carolyn and the Cozy Wrap Group for the items. She said that the items were always needed at the Lydia House.

A few days after Bob and Carolyn make a trip to deliver some knitted items to the Open Door Mission Trina delivered 12 blankets in 4 boxes. Later on that day Pat delivered 11 blankets, 9 cocoons and 15 hats. Trina and Pat have been making a lot of items for the needy and Carolyn has been donating the items to Lyndia House at the Open Door Mission. When they arrived at the ODM the receptionist Nancy accepted the items and Bob took a picture of Nancy giving Carolyn a receipt.

After making the delivery of the finished items to Linda House (Open Door Mission) Carolyn and Bob returned to Michele’s in Papillion and purchased more yarn to distribute to the ladies in the Cozy Wrap Group.

Submitted by Carolyn and Bob

Heartland Council To Resume Life Member Luncheons

Life Member Luncheon are Back

The Pioneers Life Member Luncheons are back. We have a NEW location (German-American Society) NEW menu and a great PRICE. If you haven’t been for awhile now is a good time to come and visit with friends from work. We hope to see you July 29, 2021. The officers of the Heartland Council

Submitted by LML Chair Judy Coffey

New Outlook Pioneers Scholarship Awards – Cleres/Sage – May 12, 2021

This Certificate of Scholarship Award was given to each of the Scholarship Finalist of the Cleres/Sage Scholarship by the Scholarship Committee.

Dear Scholarship Winners

Thank you for applying for the New Outlook Pioneers’ Joe Cleres-Don Sage Memorial Scholarship Award for 2021 which is named in recognition and remembrance of Joe Cleres’ and Don Sage’s Pioneer leadership and service, and especially, their long commitment to education, youth and the scholarship process. 

Congratulations!  It is my pleasure to report that you have been selected to receive an scholarship award. Your academic achievement and service to others are outstanding.

Please submit a copy of your tuition bill with payment information by September 1, 2021 to This bill must identify the institution and its address. Be sure that the tuition bill includes your name and student number.  This information should be received by September 1, 2021.

If you will not have this information by September 1, please send email with a date when you will have this data.

Since the award is to be applied toward tuition only, the check will be made out and mailed to the school or institution which you will attend as soon as the necessary information is received.

We plan to have the Scholarship Program next year.  Applications for next year’s program will be available by January 1, 2022 on the New Outlook Pioneer website at this link

I look forward to hearing from you regarding your tuition information.  I wish you success in your educational pursuits and best wishes in your future endeavors.

Sincerely yours,
Fred Salomon And Elaine Housley Directors
New Outlook Pioneers Scholarship Committee


Pioneers Don MacKenzie Grants and New Outlook Supplement Grants

TelecomPioneers Charitable Foundation (TPCF) Grants Renamed Don MacKenzie Grants

TelecomPioneers Charitable Foundation (TPCF) Grants, now named the Don Mackenzie Grants, are grants for educational and/or charitable community service projects that make a significant impact in local communities and generate substantial recognition for the Pioneers. The annual Foundation grant awards are determined by the prior year’s investment earnings. The distribution allocation percentage to each group will be based on year-end membership numbers.

Pioneers takes a grassroots approach towards volunteerism, responding to the unique needs of our hometowns. Pioneers submit grant applications on behalf of the local schools/school systems and/or community service projects they support. The Foundation will fund local Pioneers educational and charitable activities, and not merely serve as a distributor of funds to unaffiliated schools/school systems or other organizations.

The strength of Pioneering is the volunteer. Pioneers projects are as diverse as the communities we serve. We take a grassroots approach towards volunteerism, responding to the unique needs of our hometowns. The Pioneers Charitable Foundation Fund (Foundation) provides grants for educational and/or charitable community service projects that make a significant impact in local communities and generate substantial recognition for the Pioneers

ChapterGrant NameRequested $ContactGrant funded New Outlook funded
131Forever Friends – Hug a Bears$500Teresa Gagnon $     500.00 $                              –  
131Holy angels St Lukes Food Pantry$350Teresa Gagnon $     350.00 $                              –  
131Masks for all$500Teresa Gagnon $     500.00 $                              –  
131Operation Platoon Mom$5,000Dudley Farquhar $  1,800.00 $                   3,200.00
132Backpacks$10,000Pat Fields $  2,144.00 $                   5,000.00
135Helping Hands$750Jerry Dunbar $     550.00 $                      200.00
135Twin Valley Hospital$800Jerry Dunbar $     600.00 $                      200.00
135Stand down$300Jerry Dunbar $     300.00 $                              –  
136Camp Rhythm$1,500Judy Herbst $  1,000.00 $                      500.00
136Comforting Crafts$2,250Judy Herbst $  1,200.00 $                   1,050.00
136Military/USO/Veterans Project$3,500Judy Herbst $  1,600.00 $                   1,900.00
136Food Pantry Project – was over looked$2,200Judy Herbst                 – $                   2,200.00
137Hospice House$700Bob Wolkins $     550.00 $                      150.00
137Care Bears of Lincoln$2,000Helen Loyd $  1,200.00 $                      800.00
137Hooks and Needles$3,500Bob Wolkins $  1,600.00 $                   1,900.00
137Hug A Bears$2,000Bob Wolkins $  1,200.00 $                      800.00
137Cozy Wraps$2,450Bob Wolkins $  1,250.00 $                   1,200.00
137Turkey Fest$1,000Bob Wolkins $     800.00 $                      200.00
Total of Grants Requested$39,300requested    
Total of Don MacKenzie Grants Funded$17,144available funding $17,144.00
Total Funded by New Outlook Region$19,300NO Funding $                 19,300.00

Submitted by New Outlook Directors Elaine Housley and Fred Salomon

Heartland Pioneers Continue Thanksgiving Dinner 2020

TurkeyFest Check Presentation

The Heartland Pioneers continued their alliance with the Salvation Army and the Thanksgiving dinner they started with them around thirty some years ago.  In the beginning the pioneer volunteers prepared the dinners at their homes and then delivered everything to the Kroc Center on the night before Thanksgiving.  The pioneer cook, Bill Sucha, then prepared the potatoes and green beans while the volunteers sliced up the turkeys and all was ready to go early on Thanksgiving morning.  The first few years 300 meals were prepared and delivered by volunteers the Salvation Army assembled.  Now the Thanksgiving dinners are delivered to 1500 families in the Omaha Metro.  Other volunteers have taken over a lot of preparation of the meal.  The Heartland Pioneers have continued to supply volunteers over the years and this year the Heartland Pioneer Council presented a check for $1000.00 on November 19, 2020 to purchase turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner.  The Pioneers plan to continue this Thanksgiving Dinner tradition with the Salvation Army.

Bob Wolkins, president Heartland Pioneers and Debbie Grady, Project Coordinator present check to Major Adams of the Salvation Army

Submitted by Bob Wolkins and Debbie Grady

Click on Picture to View the Video

Volunteers step up for Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest in Omaha on Thanksgiving

By John Chapman
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 2:35 PM CST

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – This is the 29th year for the Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest, the Army delivers hundreds of meals to senior citizens in the metro area.

Because of the pandemic new event safety protocols have been put in place.

The event will look different this year, but one thing will remain the same because not even the virus can stop the spirit of giving and helping others today.

More social distancing, and fewer volunteers in the Kroc Center Kitchen this year.

“You need to help out‚ that’s just what I like to do,” said volunteer for more than 20 years Debbie Grady. “This is my town — I like to take care of it and you know everybody’s your neighbor so we need to take care of each other — especially now. It’s important to help each other out.”

This year Debbie brought her son Dan along to volunteer some of his time to help feed others.

“Giving back makes me feel good and when she asked me if I wanted to help out this year I was like yeah, definitely,” Dan Grady said.

There are hundreds of volunteers who make the Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest go.

Volunteers running an assembly line serving up thanksgiving dinner for close to 1,000 seniors this year.

“We are so very grateful for our volunteers who step up to support this event. Some of them have been doing it for 29 years and then we’re also grateful for those who financially support this effort,” said Major Adam Moore with the Salvation Army.

Outside of the Kroc Center, more volunteers were lining up to pick up meals to drop off around the city.

The pandemic may have changed the way we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, but it did not change the spirit of volunteers determined to help others.

The Salvation Army says it takes about 200 volunteers to feed close to 1,000 senior citizens this year

Heartland Pioneers Cozy Wraps Deliver Again

Carolyn reported that Bob and her delivered 33 baby blankets, 8 cocoons, 11 hats and 17 personal items (hand lotion etc.) to ODM on behalf of Heartland Pioneers Volunteers on the morning of 2 Mar 2021. Carolyn met with Kristin Dineen of Public Relations and she accepted the items in the parking lot of Open Door Mission. She opened up some of the boxes to display the items.

Carolyn and Bob then drove over to the Risen Sun Village to deliver 2 lap robes and 2 shoulder wraps. Kimberly, Administrative Assistant, accepted the items there from Carolyn.

Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins

New Outlook Pioneers Eastern Missouri Council Comfort Crafts Donations

On Friday, February 26th, our Comforting Crafts donations for January 2021 were delivered to Mercy Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center.  The following items delivered were made by the following volunteers listed:


10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Charlotte Stevens)
  5- Flannel Blankets – Rehabilitation Dept. (Donna Sturgess)
10- Palm Toys (Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)
10- Hug- a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
  5- Crocheted Baby Hats (Maryann Reitz)
  1- Crocheted Adult Shawl (Laura Shively)


10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Annette Ravens)
  5- Flannel Blankets – Pediatric Dept. (Donna Sturgess)
10- Palm Toys ( Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)
10- Hug- a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
  5- Crocheted Baby Hats (Maryann Reitz)
15- Mother/Baby Scent Pads (Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)

Our deliveries continue to be made during the COVID pandemic, thanks to Sarah Funaiole at Mercy and Laura Childers at Missouri Baptist Medical Center for meeting me at the curb to collect our donations, and getting them to the various departments. Thanks also, to all the craft volunteers for their time and talent in making the crafts.

It is our pleasure to donate these items to provide, in our small way, some additional comfort to your patients.

Paula Fox
New Outlook Pioneers
Comforting Crafts Coordinator

Submitted by Judy Herbst for Paula Fox

Hooks & Needles Pioneers Delivery

Betty Golmanavich has been a member of the Hooks & Needles group since her and Jerry transferred to the Omaha Works with the closing of the Baltimore Works in the mid eighties. Betty and a group of about 20 ladies are still making items for charities in the metro area. Last week Betty gathered up the 70 kitty blankets she had made to deliver to the Nebraska Human Society. Her husband Jerry took her there after dinner where they met Pam Wiese that accepted the kitty blankets and thanked her for the donation. Jerry was the photographer

Submitted by Jerry and Betty Golmanavich