August 25th Club Outing – new dinner location

August 25th Club Outing – Ashland, NE Art Walk:  Meet at Parker’s Smokehouse, 16880 US-6, Ashland, NE 68003, at 4 p.m. for an early supper, then stroll the streets of downtown Ashland as part of their Art Walk. No fee to participate; you are responsible for your own meal and any purchases you make.

Note: The previously announced meeting place was Cheri O’s in downtown Ashland. 

Summertime 2018 happenings

Between our club outings and Meet and Eats, we’ve got a full line-up of summertime activities and walks planned. Come join us!

June 23rd – Meet and Eat – “5k Giving Walk”:   Meet at the Gallup Parking Lot at 10 a.m. for a 5k walk celebrating our club’s 39th birthday. The twist? We’re giving the presents! Extras to give will be available.  Lunch afterwards TBD.  Fun Walkers pay $1.50; Credit Walkers pay $3.00.

July 4th Club Outing – Nebraska’s 4th of July City – Seward, NE 5k/10k: Meet at Seward’s Civic Center, 616 Bradford St, Seward, NE 68434 at 9 a.m. to walk the 10k, 9:30 a.m. to walk the 5k.  Lunch afterwards at 11 a.m. at the Civic Center. Stay for a day of parades and fireworks!  Fun Walkers pay $1.50; Credit Walkers pay $3.00.

August 25th Club Outing – Ashland, NE Art Walk:  Meet at Cheri O’s, 1404 Silver St, Ashland, NE 68003, at 4 p.m. for an early supper, then stroll the streets of downtown Ashland as part of their Art Walk. No fee to participate; you are responsible for your own meal and any purchases you make.

September 7 – 9 Regional Roundup – North Central Region’s 6 walks and evening socials near Minneapolis, MN:  Our club’s Butch Spaulding will be speaking in his role as the AVA’s Deputy Regional Director for the states of ND, SD, MN, WI, IA and NE during the Saturday evening social.  Brochure available here: NC Regional Roundup – 2018

September 10th Club Meeting – Morning Star Lutheran Church:  7 p.m. club meeting starts with a speaker, is followed by club business and concludes with treats and social time. Lower level of the church at 331 S 85th Ave, Omaha, NE 68114.  No fee.

September 15th – Malvern, IA Art Walk 5k/10k:  Register between 8 and 11 a.m. at Classic Café, 315 Main St, Malvern IA to do either route. Stroll through a charming small town (Malvern) and open countryside (Wabash Trace Nature Trail). Walk past artist venues participating in the Southwest Iowa Art Tour, through the restored historic downtown and see many beautiful historic homes. Trail has both paved and crushed rock sections.  Fun Walkers pay $1.50; Credit Walkers pay $3.00.

Club Events emails

Our club has added a biweekly email “Nebraska Trailblazers Club News” to remind you of upcoming events.  Did you get yours yesterday? You can email us at to be added to the list.   If you’re not on the list, the current email is  available at our hosting service, MailChimp:  

We don’t want you to miss out on the upcoming great opportunities to walk – tomorrow’s Meet and Eat, Saturday, April 21st in Shelby, Iowa or the regular walk on Saturday, May 12th in far southwest Omaha. Subscribe today – and never miss a walk with the Trailblazers!

Happy New Year! 2018 walking opportunities

Happy New Year! Was one of your resolutions to do more walking? Our national organization, AVA: America’s Walking Club, has been promoting an online challenge called.  “Invest in Your Health: 401k”. Look for more details at AVA.

Locally, you can join one of our Meet and Eats in January indoors at the Westroads Mall at 8 a.m. on January 20th. Walk 5k or 10k – then join the group for a Food Court late breakfast, early lunch or brunch!

Later that day, the NWFT holds its Annual Meeting and Dinner at 5:30 p.m. (social time for the first 1/2 hour – don’t miss it!) at Valentino’s Pizza at 5022 S 108th St, Omaha, NE 68137.  Members pay only $12, non-members pay $17. Reservations are due to Butch Spaulding by January 12th, so make your reservation today! Enjoy a lovely evening with friends, celebrate with our 2017 Walker of the Year and close out last year’s business with the installation of our slate of club officers for 2018.

Members should be looking in the mail for their 20 page booklet full of walks and activities for 2018. What’s a non-member to do? Wait for an email – or better yet, join today! A membership form is available here.

Traditions – Old and New

Our club is fast approaching its 39th birthday in March 2018 and has established traditions over the years.  For example, there’s the March Soup Walk, the September Breakfast Walk, going to Lincoln for their annual Wyuka Walk, the November Pie Walk* and the December Lights Walk.  There’s the annual “Walker of the Year” award, voted on by club members as having made a significant difference in the club’s operations that year. (Hey, have you sent your nomination to club president Lee Frantz yet?)

(If you know of or have access to a location that would be a great place to hold our Soup or Pie Walks, please let Sandy Spaulding know right away. The Committee is planning the club’s roster of 2018 walks and those are the 2 hardest walks to schedule, due to needing a kitchen and/or sinks and tables.)

New traditions respond to new trends in communication, walking, and enjoying the outdoors.  For example, the National Trails Day Walk, the first Saturday in June, is a national walking and hiking day, which the club has put on a few times.  There are our somewhat monthly “Meet and Eats”, promoting an extra walk in a month of one of our year-round walks or that of a neighboring club.  And we’re rolling out a new “tradition”, that of #OptOutside.

#OptOutside is the hashtag, or identifier, used on Twitter to make a term searchable by other social media users. This one refers specifically to the idea of walking, hiking or enjoying the great outdoors on the Friday after Thanksgiving, rather than giving the day over to shopping.  Our club and other walking clubs across the U.S. are organizing to offer #OptOutside events.

Our event will be a group walk of the Hanscom Park/Ford Birthsite Year Round Walk, either the 5k or the 10k.  Folks will meet at the Hanscom Park Pavilion at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, November 24th to sign paperwork and pay fees.  ($1.50 Fun Walkers, $3.00 AVA/IVV credit, exact change much appreciated.)  Groups will set out at 10 a.m. to work off some of that Thanksgiving turkey. Lunch together is a possibility – the Greek Islands or the 11-Worth Café are both nearby and local favorites.

*Reminder:  Our annual Pie Walk is coming up on Saturday, November 4th at Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, 15005 Q Street, Omaha, NE from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Off the trail by 3 p.m., but those pies will be packed up around 1, so if you’re planning to come later, plan to eat pie before you hit the trail.  Where do all the pies come from? From walkers like you! Leftover pie is taken to a local homeless shelter, so non-cream pies travel best. Or eat the cream pies first!

March 2017 and more!

The Trailblazers have been busy and have more planned – just look at our March – April 2017 Newsletter!  Club members get the full version – why not join now?

123 cans of soup collected for food pantry in 2016

Our annual Soup Walk is coming up March 4th at Maplewood United Methodist Church at 3535 Maplewood Blvd in Omaha.  Please let club president Lee know if you can help – volunteers are still needed.  But when do volunteers get to walk? Well, the Workers’ Walk will be on Saturday, February 25th at 9 a.m.   The church won’t be open, so take advantage of businesses on 90th Street or on Maple before arriving.

The local walking season is just getting underway – check out walks in Lincoln, NE and Des Moines, IA, both on March 18th – and then again on the following week in downtown Omaha with one of our own fun-tastic Meet & Eats – lunch at the Old Mattress Factory.  And then again the following week (April 1st) at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in west Omaha near an outside mall that has asked us to re-route our walk to avoid their property.  The club is asking you not to shop there before/after the walk if wearing a club t-shirt, because we don’t want them to think that we are “walking” on their property.

Annual Meeting and Dinner – 2017

Past president Sandy Spaulding addresses the club

31 people attended the January 21, 2017 Annual Meeting and Dinner at Valentino’s (108th & Q area).  Incoming president Lee Frantz and wife Donna Campbell decorated the tables with a star theme in anticipation of our August 18 – 21 Total Solar Eclipse events, with Milky Way candy bars, Starbursts and Sunshine butterscotch candies.

Ann Drebot (in blue)

A highlight of every Annual Meeting is the presentation of the Walker of the Year award.  2015 Walkers Jim and Martha McGahan presented the 2016 award to Ann Drebot.  Ann arranges for speakers at our monthly club meetings and has done so for many, many years.


Want to get out of the house? We’ve got stuff for you to do!

Saturday, January 28 – group walk of Historic Fremont.  Bundle up and meet at Hy-Vee, 840 E 23rd St.  at 9:45, ready to walk at 10 a.m.  Plan to enjoy Hy-Vee’s great salad bar or buffet after.

Saturday, Feb. 4 – annual Shelby Soup Cook Off.  Always a great event (see ).  If you would like to carpool/tandem drive, meet at the old Mall of the Bluffs parking lot by 4:15 (Madison Ave. exit, turn left, at light turn right between Bucky’s and Hy-Vee, go through the stop sign.  We will be on the right in the first parking lot).  If anyone would like to set up another carpool location, let me Sandy Spaulding know. The location in Shelby is at the Cardinal Lofts gym, 304 Western St.

Monday, Feb. 6 – monthly meeting at Morningstar Lutheran Church, on the lower level.  Our speaker will be from The Wild Bird Habitat Store.  Join us at 7 p.m. for this interesting program and information on our 2017 walks.  Treats to follow!

Saturday, Feb. 11 – Des Moines Skywalk – this will be a carpool event.  If you would like to ride or drive, let Sandy Spaulding know.  We will be leaving from the old Mall of the Bluffs – see directions above.   If anyone would like to set up another carpool location, also let Sandy know.  If you are driving yourself, note the change of the start point – CAPITAL SQUARE, 400 LOCUST ST, MAIN FLOOR.  More information from AVA’s website at: Des Moines Skywalk.