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.

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.

 

#OptOutside Walk coming soon!

Reminder of our November 24th #OptOutside walk:

#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.

Can’t make it to our event because you will be out of town?  Try locating a walk near where you will be by searching the AVA’s website for walks all across the United States:  OptOutside – AVA website link  There are some fabulous walks out there. Don’t miss out on your opportunity to #OptOutside with the Trailblazers or with the AVA!

 

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.

Upcoming Events – late August, early September

Our Breakfast Walk is coming up on September 9th in Plattsmouth’s Memorial Park.  The Harvest Festival will be happening at the same time, so an exciting atmosphere will surround our walkers on that day.  Remember that it starts at 8 a.m., registration runs until 11 a.m. and to bring a pre-cooked breakfast item to share, plus $3 for Credit Walkers, $1.50 for Fun Walkers.  Breakfast available at the Volunteer Fire Department Pancake Feed from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. plus many food vendors.

What if you’ve volunteered to work the walk on September 9th or can’t make it that day? Well, the Workers’ Walk on Saturday, August 26th at 9 a.m. is for you!  Leave the breakfast items at home, but come 15 minutes early to fill out paperwork and to pay.

Mary Ptacek of Tater Tours is bring 51 walkers to walk the Downtown Omaha walk on Monday, September 11th, scheduled to arrive at 11 a.m.  Would you be willing to walk with these out-of-towners that day and give them a warm welcome to Omaha? 5k and 10k walkers are both welcome.  Like being an ambassador? Tater Tours will be in Lincoln the next day (Tuesday, Sept. 12th) to start the walk around 8 to 8:15 a.m. and off the trail by 11 a.m.

Speaking of September 11th, that’s the date that club meetings resume.  84th Street is STILL not open from Methodist Hospital south to Pacific Street, so plan your route in advance to arrive by 7 p.m. at Morning Star Lutheran Church at 331 S 85th Ave, Omaha, NE 68114.