Volume 3 Issue 11 - March 2015

Mrs. Nebraska Titleholders Celebrate Nebraska's Birthday

The most significant NEBRASKAland Foundation event each year is the Statehood Day dinner held at the State Capitol around the time of Nebraska’s statehood anniversary which was March 1, 1867. At this event, the Foundation recognizes Nebraskans who have distinguished themselves and the state. The Capitol rotunda is the setting for this elaborate dinner seating over 350 people and the occasion celebrates the State of Nebraska and Nebraskans. In years past, our reigning Mrs. Nebraska has been invited to this event, to assist with the presentation of a gift to one of the honorees and serve as the hostess. She also attended the cocktail party, held prior to the dinner, at the Governor’s Mansion to meet the  honorees, the Governor, and other dignitaries.  Over the years the award designations have changed. The Pioneer, Wagonmaster, and Trailblazer became part of the NEBRASKAland awards in 2011. The list of awardees beginning in 1982 is impressive and includes artists, politicians, military generals, clergy, academicians and other influential people from across the state who have left their mark on Nebraska.

[pictured] Mrs. Nebraska 1983-Deb Essex ready to attend the 1984 Statehood dinner

Nebraskalander: V.J. Skutt
Wagonmaster: Harold Warp
Trailblazers: Nancy Foreman, Jim Hartung, and Sam Cornelius
Pioneer: Dr. C. Bertrand Schultz


Birthdays and Anniversaries


• Peggy Phillips - March 1st

• Kim Daniels - March 1st

• Ann Lacey-Kerrey - March 7th

• Debra Gray - March 24th

• Susie Sochor - March 26th

• Michele Strom - March 28th


• Amanda and Brady Reinert - March 26th

• Deb and Dick Essex - March 27th


Road to the Crown: "IMAGINE with all your mind, BELIEVE with all your heart, ACHIEVE with all your might."


Mrs. Nebraska 1984-Deb Badeer with honoree and Governor Bob Kerrey at the Governor’s mansion.
Nebraskalander: Robert Keith Gray
Wagonmaster: Dr. Willard Turnbull
Trailblazer: Harold Edgerton
Pioneers: Tom Allen, Marvin Kivett

Mrs. Nebraska 1984-Deb Badeer makes presentation to honoree at the Statehood dinner held in the Capitol Rotunda

Mrs. Nebraska 1987-Rita Rocker presents flowers to Governor Kay Orr at the Statehood dinner held at the Capitol Rotunda.

Mrs. Nebraska 1987-Rita Rocker and friend-Dory Passolt at the Governor's mansion cocktail party.

Nebraskalanders: Harold Anderson and Marian Andersen

Wagonmaster: Jim Able

Trailblazer: Jack McBride

Pioneer: Elinor Brown

Mrs. Nebraska 1988-Terri Krolikowski with NEBRASKAland Foundation President -John O’Hanlon

George Foreman, Governor Kay Orr, Senator Clayton Yeuter, Mrs. Nebraska 1988 at the cocktail party held at the Governor’s mansion

Nebraskalander: Clayton Yeuter
Wagonmaster: Charles Peebler, Jr.
Trailblazer: Chip Davis
Pioneer: Jack Van Berg

Mrs. Nebraska 1993-Kim LaBorde with honorees and Governor Ben Nelson at the Governors mansion.

Kim presents book to honoree.

Nebraskalander: Peter G. Peterson

Wagonmasters: Virgil Eihusen and  Dr. Lee Guyton Simons. Jr.

Mrs. Nebraska 1993-Kim LaBorde presents painting to one of the honorees

Nebraskalander: Peter G. Peterson
Wagonmasters: Virgil Eihusen and  Dr. Lee Guyton Simons. Jr.
Pioneers: Alice Dittman and Dr. Robert Manley

Mrs. Nebraska 1992-Ann Lacy-Kerrey at the Governor’s mansion with honorees and Governor Ben Nelson.

Nebraskalander: Bob Devaney
Sower: Christina Hixson
Wagonmaster: Don Bryant

Mrs. Nebraska 1996-Tosca Lee and Governor Ben Nelson at the Statehood dinner held in the Capitol Rotunda

Nebraskalander: Senator James J. Exon

Pioneer: Ruth Amen

Wagonmaster: Admiral Charles Larson

Mrs. Nebraska 1988-Terri Krolikowski, Don Stenberg, Mrs. Nebraska 2000-Kelly Smith, and Mrs. Nebraska 1983-Deb Essex at the 2001 Statehood dinner.

Mrs. Nebraska 1983 with Congressman Mike Johanns and his wife Stephanie

Mrs. Nebraska 1983-Deb Essex with 2001 Pioneer recipient-Terry Pettit

Mrs. Nebraska 1988 with U.S.S. Nebraska Navy commanders

Mrs. Nebraska’s-Terri, Kelly and Deb Essex

Nebraskalander-Dick, Mary, and Jim Cabela

Sower: Gene Mahoney

Mrs. Nebraska 2001-Debra Gray with Trailblazer, Michael McCarthy and his wife Nancy

Mrs. Nebraska 2001 with Wagonmaster, C.G. “Kelly”  Holthus and his wife Virginia

Mrs. Nebraska 2001-Debra Gray with Nebraskalander, James Stuart Jr. and his wife-Sue

Governor Mike Johanns, Deb and Scott Gray