Category Archives: Traditional Events

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.

WHOOPS! Correction to directions to Bird Seeds to Trails Walk

VERY IMPORTANT – Earlier information about construction on Harrison Street was incorrect. Use 168th Street from north or south, or come from the WEST on Harrison, as it is closed between 144th and 156th Streets. 156th Street is closed between Harrison and Giles, too.

Another route available, other than the screenshot shown from Google Maps:  Q Street is a good east-west alternative route and is about a mile north of Harrison.  Drive on Q St to 168th St, then south to Audrey St. just south of Harrison St. (on right).

Welcome to Nebraska’s unofficial 5th season: Road Construction Season.   

Harrison St. is closed between 144th and 156th Streets, east of the walk.

May – June 2018 Newsletter

The May-June 2018 newsletter is available here:  NWFT May-June 2018 newsletter   You’ll find club news, photos and a list of upcoming events. 

Note for those coming to the Bird Seeds to Trails Workers’ Walk on Saturday, April 28th at 2 p.m. and for the walk itself on Saturday, May 12th from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.: It’s not quite so easy to get there.  The best route suggested from the east is to use Q St. from 144th  Street.  Or use 168th Street north  from Hwy 370 to the start point shopping center. Harrison west from 144th will remain closed all summer – so don’t go that way!

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!

April Club Meeting notes and news

Speaker: Elmo Diaz, blacksmith

Our April club meeting featured an engaging speaker on the topic of blacksmithing, club business and tasty treats. Our next club meeting is May 7th at 7 p.m. at Morning Star Lutheran Church, in the preschool room at 331 S 85th Ave, Omaha, NE 68114.

The April 7th Pete Dowling Memorial “Spyngo” Walk features two 5k loops, one of which overlaps with a run that morning, so folks are being asked not to use that loop until 10 a.m. Luckily, Claudia Dowling and friends will have treats for walkers and a display showing Pete’s contributions to the club over his nearly 35 years of association.

Plans for the 4 County Walks the first weekend of October are in place. We’ve decided to call it “Discover Small Town Nebraska 2018” and you can read all about it here.  Sandy Spaulding and the Coordinating Committee have put together 4 walks, 2 dinners, wine tastings and entertainment over 3 days and 2 nights.  

Looking for a walking partner to do our club’s Year Round Events?  Contact Sandy (or send us an email at and she will put you on the list of walking partners.  A Year Round Event (YRE) is a self-registered walk that you can do any day of the year. It is not staffed and the trail is not marked, but good maps and directions are included in every Walk Box that contains all the info you need to walk a YRE.

Our next club event is the April 21st “Meet and Eat” in Shelby, Iowa. Meet at The Corn Crib (right off I-80, on the northwest side of the off-ramp) at 9:15 to do paperwork and use bathrooms. After the walk at 9:30, come back for lunch with the group at The Corn Crib.

March-April 2018 Newsletter and upcoming events

Club members received the latest NWFT Newsletter a week ago.  Consider becoming a member by printing out this form and bringing it to an event, a meeting or mailing it in.

Here is a list of club events coming up through May 12th.  More details on walks can be found in the newsletter or email us at

Mar 15-22:  Online  – AVA Fundraiser  “Big Give”.  AVA is our parent organization.  See:

Apr 2:   Omaha  – Monthly Meeting  at Morning Star Lutheran Church

Apr 7:  Gretna – Pete Dowling Memorial “Spyngo” Walk

Apr 21:  Shelby, IA  – Meet and Eat – Stone Arch Trail (47 minute drive from Omaha)

May 7:   Omaha  – Monthly Meeting  at Morning Star Lutheran Church

May 12:  Omaha – Bird Seeds to Trails Walk

June 2:  Omaha – National Trails Day Walk

Oh, What a Night! Lights Walk 2017

Holiday Island 2017

Our December 2, 2017 Night of Lights Walk was successful beyond all our imagination!  By the numbers:

689 walkers:  41 were for credit, 658 were “Fun Walkers”, who were from 66 towns and cities in 7 states (CO, KS, MO, SD, MN, IA and NE)

For New Visions (Council Bluffs) and Siena/Francis House (Omaha) homeless shelters, we collected:

  • 967 rolls of toilet paper
  • 300 pairs of socks
  • 12 pairs of children’s socks
  • 250 pairs of gloves
  • 200 hats
  • 80 scarves
  • 4 new winter coats
  • 60 misc. items, including toiletries
  • 23 extra packages of cookies
967 Rolls of Toilet Paper!

A big THANK YOU! to all of our walkers for their generosity.  Also, a big THANK YOU!  to all of our volunteers.  We received many compliments and good feedback on a special night and many expressed hope that we’d be doing this again.


December 2nd Lights Walk – a primer

This year’s Lights Walk has attracted a lot of attention on Facebook and we may have larger numbers of people attending than we’ve had in recent past years.  We want people to enjoy a great walk through the best of Downtown Omaha dressed up in its holiday finery for our annual Lights Walk. Here are a few pointers to help everyone have an enjoyable time, from the time they walk in the door, to the time when they come back and return their Start Card and head to the cookies table.  Those who have done this event in the past should read this too, as there are a few differences from past registrations.

Location:  The lobby of the Landmark Building, located between Farnam and Harney Streets on 13th Street.   Look for the yellow and black sign (AVA/NWFT) outside the building, directing you inside.  Surface parking and nearby parking garages are available.  The walk itself will cover the Old Market, the Leahy Mall, and other downtown Omaha neighborhoods.

Start Point for Lights Walk

Cost:  $1.50 exact change (Fun Walkers) or $3.00 exact change (AVA/IVV Credit Walkers – they stamp books at the end of the walk).  We are collecting men’s socks (new), hats, gloves, scarves (new or gently used) and toilet paper (in packaging) to take to a local homeless shelter after the walk; donations are completely voluntary.  If you want to bring cookies for the cookie table, those would be much appreciated!

Time:  Registration takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Walkers must be off the trail by 8:30 p.m., so come to register at a time according to your walking speed and distance.

Registration:  There will be no pre-registration, so that our volunteers won’t be hunting for names in a pile. Greeters near the door will hand each person a 2-part registration card. Fill this out with your name, hometown and SIGN the card (it’s a waiver that says you won’t hold us responsible if you hurt yourself while walking).  Present the card with your fee to a set of volunteers at the registration tables.  That volunteer will write a number on your card and separate the card, keeping half and giving you half.  Bring that card back when you’ve finished your walk. 

Route:  Ask for either a 5k (3.1 mile) or 10k (6.2 mile) walking map. The route will be marked with chalk where allowed; chalk may be worn away or not allowed in some locations, so the map and directions will be essential.  Please obey all traffic laws and signals as you walk.

This is a self-paced, non-competitive event. Times will not be logged or awarded.  When you get back, we’ll have cookies provided by our volunteers, as well as coffee and hot chocolate.  We’ll also have a raffle table, where a few lucky walkers will get their pick of prizes and consolation prizes will be available for everyone.

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!

Mid-September Calendar Update, plus a couple of other things

PLEASE NOTE:  November Pie Walk has been changed to Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, 15005 Q St, Omaha, NE 68137.

Pre-Walk for October’s Dem Bones Walk is Saturday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 a.m.

Dem Bones Walk is October 7th at the Girl Scout Service Center at 2121 S. 44th Street, Omaha, NE 68105, starting from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Pre-Walk for November’s Pie Walk is Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Pie Walk is November 4th at Divine Shepherd Lutheran Church, 15005 Q St., Omaha, NE 68137, starting  from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

Pre-Walk for December’s Light’s Walk is Sunday,  Nov. 26 at 4:00 p.m.

Lights Walk is December 2nd at the Landmark Building, 13th and Farnam Streets, starting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

New officer nominations are needed. Lee must be replaced as President and Trish is considering not being secretary due to a heavy class load at Bellevue University. Butch will do one more year as treasurer and then needs to give it up. Larry is always concerned about being VP with the snow-birding they do.

We need a place and plan for the March 3, 2018 soup walk by late November/early December.  Need church or community center for kitchen use.