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Our cover features (from left) Jace Cates, Tamara Hunt, Dale Johnson and Tara Nerud outside Nebraska Community Blood Bank’s 84th and O streets building, which has housed the NCCB since 2002. It serves as NCCB’s corporate offices and is its busiest donor center.

Started by the Lancaster County Medical Society 50 years ago on Oct. 14, 1968, NCBB was the first community-based blood bank in Nebraska. Before NCBB’s formation, each hospital operated its own blood collection and donor base. When blood was needed, donors were called in to the hospital, and the blood was transfused soon after. Having a community blood bank allowed for large quantities of blood to be collected, tested and stored so hospitals could provide more services.

See Jodi Fuson’s cover story about the NCCB’s 50-year history and anniversary on this website. Her story includes insights from Sandy Cazplewski, a retired registered nurse who spent 45 years on staff with the NCCB. Current Director of Donor Services Cheryl Warholoski and NCBB President Ellen DiSalvo provide perspectives on how much the NCCB has grown over the years and what it offers today.

You’ll also read about KFOR News Director Dale Johnson, who became a regular blood donor after receiving 16 units of blood due to injuries from a 2016 motorcycle accident that nearly claimed his life.

We thank John F. Keller for contributing this month’s cover photo.

Around town …

Suffice it to say that I’ve been eating and drinking well during this season of outdoor events. Among events I covered for L Magazine last month was Brews at the Zoo, where I and my family enjoyed brats and craft beers from local breweries while listening to the AM/FM band and checking out all the animals. My favorite brew was Lucky Bucket’s Tropic Wonder, which blends a tropical mango flavor with a kick of habanero heat. Whew!

This year the zoo hosted two Brews at the Zoo events during the summer. Both events sold out, said zoo President and CEO John Chapo, and raised $54,000 for year-round animal care. See details and photos on this website.

We also enjoyed the Nebraska Pork Producers' 22nd annual Capital City Ribfest, sampling from Ground Zero’s top two vote-getters – Desperado’s, which won the Best of Show award, and runner-up Fine Smoke BBQ. The Here Come the Mummies funk band from Nashville added an exclamation point to climax the three-day event. See details and photos on this website.

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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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