Heartland Family Service took home two awards and $10,000 on Thursday, Jan. 19 at metroMAGAZINE’s annual The Big Event, an evening that honors local non-profits and their events.

 

The 2016 “Carnival of Love” Gala, which invited guests to take a stroll down the boardwalk, was named Best Theme.

As a category winner, Heartland Family Service was then eligible for The $10,000 BIG Connection prize, which goes to the top vote-getter out of all 12 category winners. Thanks to all of our supporters, HFS had the most votes and won The $10,000 BIG Connection, which consists of a $5,000 donation and $5,000 in free advertising.

Finalists for all 12 categories were determined by nominations from the public. Category winners were then determined by a vote by the public.

For 2016, the Friends Guild President was Sheri Shonka and the Gala co-chairs were Danna Barnhart, Ann Kutilek, and Natalie Petersen. The honorary chairs were Dr. Rudy and Suzanne Kotula. The 2016 Gala raised a record $264,000, which benefits all 50 of Heartland Family Service’s life-saving programs for children and families.

Other finalists for the Best Theme category were:

  • Make-A-Wish-Nebraska, Superheros Blue Jean Ball
  • Omaha Children’s Museum, For the Kids Benefit: Get Down, Get Derby
  • The Rose Theater Rocking Rosie, Rosie Rocks the Golden Age of Theater
  • Women’s Center for Advancement, TGIF