Sunday, December 27, 2009

Thank you Homestead Congress Blog 2009 Contributors

The Friends of Homestead National Monument thank the readers of the Homestead Congress blog for their continued support. As of this writing there have been over 12,000 hits to our educational postings on the purpose of the Homestead Act and its many fascinating stories. Readers range from Beatrice, Nebraska, hometown of the Monument, to both the east and west coasts of the United States, as well as, every continent in the world.



Without the talents, efforts, and contributions of our many volunteers and supporters the Homestead Congress blog would not be possible. Happy holidays and thank you to:
  • Todd Arrington, Homestead National Monument of America Historian
  • Merrith Baughman, Homestead National Monument Chief Ranger
  • Jesse Bolli, Homestead National Monument of America Resource Management Specialist
  • Susan Cook, Homestead National Monument of America Ranger
  • Jerry Davison, Homestead Congress Volunteer
  • Rhonda Eddy, Homestead National Monument of America Volunteer
  • Denise Elmer, Homestead Congress Volunteer
  • Gene Finke, Homestead National Monument of America Volunteer
  • Lori Herrera, Southeast Community College Student
  • Jason Jurgena, Homestead National Monument of America Museum Curator
  • Lindsey Katz, Southeast Community College Student
  • Stacy Kristek, Southeast Community College Student
  • Bernadette Korslund, Homestead National Monument of America Volunteer
  • Allison La Duke, Homestead National Monument of America Park Guide
  • Doris Martin, Homestead National Monument of America
  • Penny Musco, Homestead National Monument of America First Artist in Residence
  • Travis Nielsen, Southeast Community College Student
  • Christopher Newman, Southeast Community College Student
  • Amanda Neville, Southeast Community College Student
  • Anne Paquette, Homestead Innovation Congress Sponsor
  • Shaina Peters, Southeast Community College Student
  • Elissa Schotte, Southeast Community College Student
  • Jenna Specht, Southeast Community College Student
  • Karol Tharnish, Southeast Community College Student
  • Jarred Thimm, Southeast Community College Student
  • Diane Vicars, Homestead National Monument of America Volunteer
  • Amy Yetter, Southeast Community College Student

 Homestead Congress is a communication program for the Friends of Homestead National Monument of America. It is a 501(c)(3) educational, charitable organization recognized by the IRS to receive tax deductible gifts directed to the use of Homestead National Monument. The Homestead National Monument of America is the source of accurate information on the Homestead Act. Our authors contributions can be found at: http://homesteadcongress.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends Recognize Baehr's Service


At the annual board meeting, held November 30, 2009, The Friends of Homestead recognized and thanked Darin Baehr for his six years of service as treasurer (2003 – 2009).

In other business the Board approved new members Tamara Weers, as treasurer, and Jim Stanosheck. Don Weldon, Laureen Riedesel, and Vicky Cowan were approved to continue in their respective offices.

The next annual meeting is scheduled for October 18, 2010.

The Friends Board 2010

Governing Board
Friends of
Homestead National Monument
of America

Dr. Don Weldon: President Friends Board

Laureen Riedesel: Vice-President Friends Board
Beatrice Public Library
http://www.beatrice.ne.gov/library/index.html

Renee Bauer
Rural Comprehensive Care Network
http://www.rccn.info/

Ross Bauman
Retired CEO of BAS

Dennis Carmichael

Vicky Cowan: Secretary Friends Board

Jerry Davison
Consultant

Denise Elmer: Editor Homestead Congress blog and Board web site
Southeast Community College
http://www.southeast.edu/

Don Ferneding

Bernadette Korslund

Bill Noll

Jim Stanosheck

Diane Vicars
Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center
http://www.beatricecommunityhospital.com/

Tamara Weers: Treasurer Friends Board
First National Bank Omaha

John Zarybnicky
Homestead Land Company, Inc.
http://www.homesteadland.com/

Superintendent Mark Engler: Park liaison to Friends Board
Homestead National Monument of America
www.nps.gov/home

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Embodiment of the Homestead Journey: Friends Thank Donors

Dan Freeman Jaffe and Kansas City jazz musicians Mike Ning, keyboard, and Victor Perelmuter, drums, entertained the new Charter Participants of the Homestead Innovation Congress Saturday, October 10, 2009. Jaffe’s poetry and the jazz combo honored homesteaders past and present with a five part blues movement that embodied the journey of homesteaders from the late eighteen-eighties to today. The dinner, hosted at Beatrice Valentino’s restaurant, was the Friends of Homestead way of saying thank-you for supporting the new Homestead Innovation “160 Acres-160 Dollars” program.

There is still time to join the program as a charter member as all donors giving gifts of $160 or more during 2009 will be known as Charter Participants. Gifts will be recognized on the Levels of Giving Recognition Board at the entrance of the Homestead National Monument Heritage Center.

The Homestead Innovation Congress is a group within the Friends of Homestead organization that is dedicated to increasing communications and awareness of Homestead National Monument of America. The sponsor gift for the Homestead Innovation Congress is $160 per single (couple). Please make checks payable to the "Homestead Congress" and mail to:

Friends of Homestead
8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice, NE 68310


Ning at left on keyboard, Jaffe center mic, Perelmuter at right on drums

BmMk Press Interview with Don Jaffe
http://web2.umkc.edu/bkmk/interviews/jaffed.html

Playing the World jazz poems by Don Jaffe
http://web2.umkc.edu/bkmk/catalogue/1-886157-34-0.html

Jazz Times
http://jazztimes.com/articles/19855-blues-for-bird-martin-gray

Familiar name visits Homestead
By Chris Dunker/Daily Sun staff writer
Monday, Oct 12, 2009 - 10:23:43 am CDT
http://www.beatricedailysun.com/articles/2009/10/12/news/local/doc4ad3462206255035776306.txt

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Friends Board 2009

Governing Board
Friends of Homestead
National Monument
of America





Dr. Don Weldon: President Friends Board

Laureen Riedesel: Vice-President Friends Board
Beatrice Public Library
http://www.beatrice.ne.gov/library/index.html

Renee Bauer
Rural Comprehensive Care Network
http://www.rccn.info/

Ross Bauman
Retired CEO of BAS

Dennis Carmichael

Vicky Cowan:  Secretary Friends Board

Jerry Davison
Consultant

Denise Elmer: Editor Homestead Congress blog and Board web site
Southeast Community College
http://www.southeast.edu/

Don Ferneding

Bernadette Korslund

Bill Noll

Wayne Ossowski

Diane Vicars
Beatrice Community Hospital and Health Center
http://www.beatricecommunityhospital.com/

John Zarybnicky
Homestead Land Company, Inc.
http://www.homesteadland.com/

Superintendent Mark Engler: Park liaison to Friends Board
Homestead National Monument of America
www.nps.gov/home

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Way To Be a Part of the Homesteading Story: KS, ND, NE, OK

The Homestead Act of 1862 gave people an opportunity to own 160 acres of land.

Now, a new program is under way to give people a chance to support the Homestead National Monument of America, a National Parks Service site, with a gift of $160 that will support activities that will continue to tell the homesteading story.

“It will provide a sustaining source of funds for ongoing projects and enhancements,” said Dr. Don Weldon, president of Friends of Homestead. “We want to build partnerships to continue to grow the ways in which we can tell the homesteading story.”

Homestead National Monument, located west of Beatrice, Nebraska, is the only National Park Service site dedicate d to the commemoration and interpretation of the Homestead Act of 1862 and the many changes it initiated in the United States and the world. Ten percent of U.S. land was given away under the Homestead Act, and there is an estimated 93 million homestead descendants alive today.

Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Oklahoma are four of the 30 states where homesteaded land is located. According to Homestead National Monument records:

• There were 89,945 successful homesteading claims in Kansas, responsible for developing 25 percent of the state’s land.

• There were 104,260 successful homesteading claims in Nebraska, responsible for developing 45 percent of the state’s land.

• There were 118,472 successful homesteading claims in North Dakota, responsible for developing 39 percent of the state’s land.

• There were 99,557 successful homesteading claims in Oklahoma, responsible for developing 34 percent of the state’s land.

Anyone interested in becoming a $160 donor (single or couple) will be known as a Homestead Innovation Congress Participant. All gifts of $160 or more provided during 2009 will be known as Charter Participants. Gifts will be recognized on the Levels of Giving Recognition Board at the entrance of the Homestead National Monument Heritage Center.

A recognition dinner is being planned for those participating. Checks should be made to Friends of Homestead and sent to the Friends of Homestead National Monument of America, 8523 West State Highway 4, Beatrice, NE 68310.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Venture Crew 82 is Forming Now

Young adults from the Beatrice area seeking new challenges may find just what they are looking for with Venture Crew 82.
 
Venture Crew 82 is for young men or women ages 16 to 21 who enjoy socializing, camping, travel and educational opportunities and are interested in high adventure and electronic communication with other National Parks.
 
This program brings together the resources of the Homestead National Monument of America, Friends of Homestead National Monument, Cornhusker Council Boy Scouts of America and local area adult advisers to provide an opportunity for expanded knowledge and enjoyment of public lands and cultural areas of the nation.
 
The membership of Venture Crew 82 will provide their own leadership and will choose which activities they want to get involved with.
 
Venture Crew 82 is forming now. To register or for more information, contact Ranger Allison La Duke at Homestead National Monument of America at 402-223-3514.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Friends of Homestead National Monument of America

In 1934, a group of citizens from Gage and nearby counties organized themselves as the National Homestead Park Association. Their purpose was to lobby Congress for establishment of a national park commemorating the Homestead Act. As a result, Homestead National Monument of America was established in 1936. In 1994, another group of citizens joined to form the Friends of Homestead in support of the only national park area in eastern Nebraska.

You are invited to join our group in our efforts to preserve and protect Homestead National Monument of America.

Why was this group formed?
Citizen groups have always been an instrumental part of national parks. Many national parks have support organizations know as “friends groups.” These groups undertake projects that the park cannot accomplish on its own due to legal restrictions or limitations of staff and funding. Friends organizations can increase community awareness of the park, organize fund raising campaigns, serve as advocates for park programs, or seek volunteers to assist park staff.

How does such a group function?
Friends groups are comprised of interested community members who support the goals of the park. Membership methods, organizational structure, and finances are the decisions of the organization. National Park Service personnel cannot be members of the group’s governing board or hold executive office.

What can the Friends of Homestead National Monument of America do?
There are a number of programs that we, the Friends of Homestead, undertake in support of the park:

Our target programs include:
Assisting the National Park Service with the 150th Anniversary of the Homestead Act of 1862, including bringing the original Homestead Act of 1862 document to the monument.

Promoting and assisting with the development of a 3.5 mile trail linking the Monument to Beatrice's municipal and regional trail system.

Managing 140 acres of land that is to be donated to the National Park Service thus enhancing the long-term protection of Homestead National Monument of America.

Raising funds for various projects, such as: new exhibits, developing educational materials & programs, research, interpretation equipment and programs, Student Conservation Association sponsorship, and student transportation

Raising visibility of the park by: Buying advertising in tourism publications, Sponsoring booths at fairs and events

Our past success!
The Friends of Homestead have a tradition of success when it comes to supporting Homestead National Monument of America. In 1962 the Homestead Park Association was key to a successful celebration of the Homestead Act’s centennial. Then in 1996 the group again met the challenges associated with funding a new orientation film. For 10 years leading up to the opening of the Homestead Heritage Center, a new world-class visitor center and museum, the Friends again responded by securing over $500,000 to ensure the success of this 10,600 square foot facility. The Friends have also received a major bequest from the Opal Shum Estate and grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust thus allowing for the purchase of 140 acres of farm land adjacent to the monument.

Our group traditionally works with the monument in funding various projects and programs including the Homestead Records Project, Monumental Fiddling Festival and many other activities.

The Friends of Homestead is a 501(c)(3) Organization. Traditionally all funds/property donated go directly towards park specific programs. Our organization spends less than 2% annually on administrative costs. Thus any donation you contribute will make a difference.

What’s in it for you?
Members of a friends group do not receive any financial benefit from their work. However, members do gain tangible and intangible benefits for themselves, the community, and the park:

Participation in preserving a part of the national heritage.

Association with the National Park Service and other Friends groups nationwide.

Pride in assisting with the preservation and recognition of a part of the community’s heritage.

Service to the local and regional business community by increasing opportunities and community development associated with national park visitation.

Service to the local community by increasing awareness of the park and the associated opportunities for the recreation, learning, and the general quality of the life associated with the presence of a national park.

Fun and friendship in working with other people.

You can Help
If you have any questions, or would like to join in, please contact us by writing:

Friends of Homestead,
8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice, NE 68310

or you can contact the park at (402)223-3514
or email us at friendsofhomestead@gmail.com

Homestead National Monument of America would not be a national park if not for community involvement. By Helping Homestead National Monument of America you are participating in preserving your heritage for your children and all Americans of the future.
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Are you a descendant of Homesteaders?

If you are a descendant of Homesteaders, send you name and address along with any family histories to the Friends of Homestead. The Friends of Homestead are collecting the names and addresses of all descendants. This information should be sent to:

Friends of Homestead
8523 West State Highway 4
Beatrice, NE 68310

or email friendsofhomestead@gmail.com

Homestead National Monument to be Featured on US Quarter in 2015