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Our May cover features Hank Woods, member of the Love Your Zoo Capital Campaign Committee and immediate past chair of the zoo board, feeding a giraffe in the Lincoln Children Zoo’s new expansion that will open May 10.

John Chapo, zoo president and CEO, called upon three past zoo board chairs to lead the zoo’s $24.2 million capital campaign, which as of mid-April had received $22.6 million in pledges and donations to make the zoo expansion possible.

The campaign committee leaders said that asking people to support the latest expansion was easy because so many people have zoo connections. They went to the zoo as kids, and now their children and grandchildren are involved in programs like Zoo Camp, Zoo Crew and the Lincoln Public Schools Focus Program known as "Zoo School." And, of course, they simply enjoy going to the zoo.

Jodi Fuson sat down and visited with Chapo and Woods, as well as campaign committee co-chairs James and Amy Anderson, and Nick and Ann Cusick. See her cover story, "Zoo connections fuel successful capital campaign," to be posted Monday, April 22, for more details. We thank Zach Tuttle for contributing this month’s cover photo.

Table Inspirations at the Lied

My wife ReNae enjoyed seeing 29 creatively decorated table settings assembled by Nebraska interior designers and business owners while my son John and I covered the Friends of Lied’s Table Inspirations fundraiser March 19 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Nearly 700 people attended the event, which raised $35,000 to support Lied Center programs and educational outreach across Nebraska.

This year’s Table Inspirations event theme, “California Dreamin,’” was chosen in honor of guest speaker Joey Lizotte of Artisan Event Floral Décor in Palm Springs, California. Lizotte shared inspirational and often humorous stories and photos from some of the most memorable weddings and events that he helped design.

The event began March 19 with a Cocktails and Conversation reception and tour of the table designs with live music by acoustical duo Tom and Wes. It ended March 20 with a luncheon on the Lied Center’s main stage after guests heard Lizotte’s table decorating tips and tricks. I Bloom owner Natalie Elsberry won the Best of Lincoln table design award, and Paper Kite owner Meg Hasselbalch won Best of Lincoln Honorable Mention. See more in my article "Table Inspirations event raises $35,000 for Lied Center for Performing Arts" on this website.

Also in this issue, you’ll find everything from dining at Mi Tierra Mexican Restaurant to taking a trip to California’s Newport Beach and much more.

I appreciate your ideas

I’d like to know what kinds of stories you want to see and any other suggestions you have for L Magazine. Please email those to mschwaninger@journalstar.com or call me at 402-473-2644. As always, I appreciate your “Likes” and comments on the L Magazine Facebook page as well.

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L Magazine editor

Mark Schwaninger is L magazine and Neighborhood Extra editor.

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