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Local talent on display at 2nd Annual Beams & Dreams

Everybody can find something to love at a talent show.

Whether it’s an unknown singer hitting all the high notes, a dance group moving in perfect rhythm, or a woman balancing spinning plates on her nose, there is usually something for everyone to enjoy.

Most talent shows are about people realizing their dreams of becoming famous singers, dancers, comedians, or even spinning plate nose balancers.

But the Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity’s talent show, Beams & Dreams, is about helping local residents realize their dreams of becoming homeowners.

“It is similar to the popular TV show, ‘America’s Got Talent’, but in conjunction with building dreams and making stars, we are also building homes,” Habitat Board Member Mary Glowacki said in a 2017 interview with the Tribune.

“So through the efforts of this, and all of Habitat’s fundraising events we are building other people’s dreams of having a safe, affordable, heated home.”

Beams & Dreams talent show will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 at the Fremont Golf Club, with all money raised going towards Habitat’s mission to build quality, affordable housing in the Fremont area.

“Anything we raise goes to help us build houses,” Habitat Executive Director Joy McKay said in a Tuesday interview with the Tribune. “Whether it is operating expenses, or if it is to help purchase materials, whatever it is that we need.”

The event will include dinner, a silent auction and silver boutique, but the main attraction will be the talent show that features six local acts who will be competing for a $500 prize.

Contestants will include several local youth performers with unique talents including Matt Kerkaert, who will be performing a stand-up comedy routine, as well as Angelee Rump who will be showing off her black belt Taekwondo skills.

“I wouldn’t want to meet her in a back alley,” Mandy Ostdiek, Habitat Board Member and event organizer, joked.

The remaining four talent show contestants include a variety of local musical performers including Andy Reed, who will be playing guitar and singing, Kat Sodawasser who is the Assistant Music Director at Midland University and will be singing in the competition. There will also be performances by local polka band The Happy Players as well as a musical duet from Melissa Gepford and Erin Eairleywine.

The talent show will be judged by a group of four judges determining which act is the best. The judges will use a rubric to grade each performer, and the act with the highest score will win the $500 prize.

This year’s judges include Mike Robinson, Cindy Slykhuis, Dr. Nicole Dix, and Scott Jensen.

This year’s Beams & Dreams talent show, is special for another reason as it falls upon Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity’s 25th Anniversary in the community.

McKay said that along with acting as a fundraiser for Habitat, Beams & Dreams also serves as a celebration of the non-profit organization’s 25th Anniversary.

“We couldn’t do any of what we have done without our volunteers and our donors and everyone that supports us in one way or another,” she said. “That is important to remember because it’s not just us celebrating, it is us celebrating with everyone who has made our organization successful throughout the years.”

With Beams & Dreams coinciding with Habitat’s 25th Anniversary, organizers decided to include the silver boutique portion of the event which features a variety of items from the Habitat Home Store.

“We kind of have a silver theme going with it being our 25th,” McKay said. “The silver boutique just features items from our Home Store that are either silver or sliver plated and we are basically going to put a suggested donation and people can get whatever they want.”

Those interested in attending Beams and Dreams are encouraged to get their tickets fast as the event only has 5 open tables left, according to Ostdiek.

Another reason to get tickets sooner than later, is that prices are set to increase on April 1st. Currently individual tickets to the event are $65, and will rise to $75 while tables are currently $625 and will rise to $700 on April 1st.

“If people want to get their tickets or buy a table they better do it soon,” McKay said.

To buy tickets, or for more information, call Habitat’s office at 402-721-8771 or visit

Fremont Area Habitat for Humanity formed in 1993 and after completing the organization’s most recent homes, it will have built 81 houses in the community over its 25 years in existence.

Through events like Beams & Dreams the organization plans to build three new houses in Fremont this year.

“Our goal is to raise money so we can continue to build three to four houses every single year, and without donations we wouldn’t be able to help those three or four families find affordable housing,” Ostdiek said.

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West Point High School finishes first in ESU 2 Quiz Bowl

Educational Service Unit (ESU) 2 hosted its Quiz Bowl at Midland University on Saturday, as 13 of the ESU’s 16 teams participated to compete for a spot at this year’s state quiz bowl.

The top two teams at this weekend’s qualifying event — West Point High School and Oakland-Craig High School — will go on to compete at the state event, which will be held on April 11 at the Nebraska Prairie Museum near Holdrege. Wahoo High School took home a third-place finish.

At the event, teams of six compete against each other, answering trivia questions on a wide variety of topics and trying to score more points than their opponent.

Diana Knaak, who oversees the West Point quiz bowl team, said her students have a wide array of interests and love learning. She credits that for their success at the ESU 2 quiz bowl.

“My kids are just curious readers. They really pursue knowledge on their own. They study maps, they read books, they all kind of have their own area of interest and they really just pursue their own area of interest, and as a result, they’ve been really good at trivia,” Knaak said. “They’re pretty excited.”

At the beginning of the event, teams participated in “pool play,” which determined seeding for the competitive bracket. West Point finished in third in pool play.

On Monday night, the West Point team also won the East Husker Conference quiz bowl, Knaak said, so the team has been on “a nice little run.”

Knaak said that going to state was the team’s goal, and that the team benefited from new team members. Most quiz bowl meets have teams of four, so this event required two others to join in. West Point sent a group of seven who took rotations.

Certainly, Oakland-Craig’s competitive performance was not surprising. Last year, the group finished in first, and it was West Point in second.

“We knew Oakland-Craig had a really strong team and we knew they’d be tough,” Knaak said. “We’ve seen these other teams before and we know that they’re strong. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting questions that kind of hit us in the areas that we’re strong in, and that seemed to happen Saturday for us.”

Courtesy Photo 

A canvas painting area at last year's Post Prom event, themed around the painter Bob Ross.

Brent Wasenius / Evan Nordstrom / Fremont Tribune 

Harrison Roeder of Fremont High School competes Tuesday during a quadrangular at the Fremont Golf Club.

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Planners recommend approval of two final plat requests

The Fremont Planning Commission held a special meeting to consider two requests for final plats, and recommended approval of both on Monday.

The first was a request of Dodd Engineering, on behalf Borisow Properties LLC, owners of approximately 11.06 acres described as Lots 1 and 2, Lincoln Park First Subdivision, Fremont, Dodge County, Nebraska, and more generally located at 2581 N. Lincoln Ave., for approval of a Final Plat to be known as the Replat of Lot 2 into 8 separate Lots and take the corner out of Lot 1, and add to proposed Lot 4, for property to hereinafter be known as Lincoln Park Second Subdivision.

“What we have is the final plat of Lincoln Park Second Subdivision,” Chief Building Inspector Don Simon said during staff report. “The recommendation (of staff) is to move to recommend conditionally approving upon the maximum street frontage being amended by both the Planning Commission and the City Council at a future date.”

A motion was made by Commissioner Mitch Sawyer to recommend approval contingent on the Planning Commission and City Council amending the maximum street frontage table at a future date.

Sawyer’s motion was seconded by Commissioner Marty Gifford and passed unanimously by a 6-0 vote. Commissioner Jarod Borisow recused himself prior to the hearing and recommendation of the item due to his involvement with the applicant Borisow Properties LLC.

The second and final item of the meeting was a request of Danny Martinez, on behalf of YMCA, owners of approximately 133.7 acres described as part of the North ½ of Section 17, Township 17 North, Range 8 East of the 6th P.M., Dodge County, Nebraska for a Final Plat known to be as YMCA Camp Subdivision.

“The reason for the request is to adjust internal boundary lines and plat previously unplatted tracks of land,” Simon said.

A motion was made by Commissioner Amber Barton to recommend approval of the Final Plat, which was seconded by Commissioner Zach Carlson, and passed by a 7-0 vote.