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Our April cover features Mourning Hope’s capital campaign committee members (from left) Doug Ganz, Jason McCown, Donde Plowman, Carly Runestad, Elizabeth Hilsabeck, Holly Ostergard, Terry Hansen and Dave Hansen.

Mourning Hope’s $4 million “Make Room for Hope” capital campaign is ramping up to raise the funds needed to begin construction of a permanent home this summer instead of in the fall as was originally planned. General contractor Hampton Construction recently informed Mourning Hope that it could save on building costs by starting construction sooner.

Eight donors have given a combined $2.2 million toward the project. That puts Mourning Hope about two-thirds of the way to its goal, but it needs 80 percent of the funds to break ground.

Mourning Hope will become a neighbor to the Willard Community Center on South Folsom and West A streets, creating opportunities for the two nonprofits to collaborate.

Mourning Hope offers hope and healing to grieving families with no-cost bereavement services to about 500 clients a year from the Nebraska Wesleyan rental home that currently houses the grief center. Plans are to double that number in five years after Mourning Hope moves into its nearly 15,000-square-foot space.

See more details in Jodi Fuson’s cover story, which will be posted on this site Monday, March 25. We thank John F. Keller for contributing this month’s cover photo.

Fundraisers around town

Russ’s Market hosted its Wine and Food Experience fundraiser at Embassy Suites on Friday evening, Feb. 22 – just hours before the 8-inch snowstorm dumped on Lincoln that weekend. Adding a couple of entertainers – “Survivor” TV series finalist Alison Raybould, niece of Russ’s B&R Stores President Pat Raybould, and country music recording artist Kelleigh Bannen – helped Russ’s Market raise its total gift to more than $400,000 in 11 years to support the Lincoln Community Playhouse. See my article and photos on this site.

Despite the snowfall that weekend of Feb. 23-24, a reported 1,600 people and nearly as many dogs attended the I Love My Dog Expo at Lancaster Event Center. Their support raised $40,000 for Lincoln-based nonprofit Domesti-PUPS. See my article and son John’s photos on this site.

New in this issue

Be sure to check out Scotch whisky guru Mark Feit’s new every-other-month column about single-malt Scotch whiskies on this site. Mark and his father have taken two trips to Scotland in the last five years to visit the source and are planning two more. Mark also belongs to the Flatwater Whisky Society.

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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