This time of year is all about the spirit of giving and helping others. Union Bank is celebrating the 15th year of “Magic Moments,” a program granting special gifts to ten individuals or families in the Lincoln community who are less fortunate than others or those who deserve special recognition. Thank you for helping us help others.
Special thanks for media support from:
Companies who have shown support for the Magic Moments program:U-Stop
Courtyard Marriott Hotel
Spilker's Pine Ridge Tree Farm
Sun Valley Lanes
Prairie Life Fitness
Sarah Siedler, LMT
Johnny Manhattan orchestra
Bed Bath & Beyond
Colby Ridge popcorn
inMOTION Auto Care
Kendra Stevens Photography
Vital Health Massage
The Yost's Story
Helping small voices be heard.
Aubrey Yost works as an advocate for those in our community at the Child Advocacy Center, where small voices can be heard. The Child Advocacy Center is an organization that supports victims of child abuse whose goal is to reduce trauma, seek justice, and foster hope for those victims of abuse.
Not only is Aubrey providing a valuable service to our community, she is also the mother to a wonderful 6-year-old son, Beckham, and is expecting a new baby in March. Aubrey has always worked hard to support her family while also being there for her son. She worked full time during the day and went to college at night to support her and her son. Aubrey also works part time teaching dance.
Aubrey was chosen by Union Bank to receive a Magic Moment because not only does she provide a valuable service to the children in our community through her work at the Child Advocacy Center, but she is also a great example of a single mother who works hard to provide for her family. The family was presented with:
- An Instant Pot to help Aubrey cook quick meals for the family
- Lincoln Children’s Zoo & Children’s Museum memberships
- Gift certificates for gas from U-Stop and Super C
- Movie passes to Marcus Theatres to enjoy a family movie night
- A manicure and pedicure from Tranquility Spa for Aubrey
- A new car seat and other items for the new baby
- A gift card to Paint Yourself Silly
- Winter coats, hats, and gloves for Aubrey and Beckham
- A Denver Broncos fleece blanket
- Legos, Transformers, and Teen Titans toys for Beckham
We wish the Yost family a very Merry Christmas!
The Borings' Story
Sue Boring is a dedicated wife, mother and daughter. She and her husband, Neil, are parents of two boys, Matthew (who is grown and no longer lives at home) and Casey (21). Casey has Cerebral Palsy and requires full-time care. The Boring family also cares for Sue’s mother, Ardeth, who moved into their home. Sue spends her days tending to her mother’s medical needs by running her to appointments, rehab, and several trips to the ER over the past year. On top of that, she also cares for Casey, all while her own health is slowly declining.
Sue suffered a stroke this last year while caring for her mother and child. She is unable to work and the family survives off Neil’s full-time job. Over the last year, Sue has made several trips to the ER herself, been on bedrest, and is currently in need of heart surgery. Sue has a tumor on her heart, and while doctors are monitoring her health and changes, she is waiting for the right time to have the surgery. While it is dire that she has the procedure done, Sue worries how she will be able to make time for it as the full-time caretaker for her son and mother. They cannot afford to have Neil miss work, yet do not have the financial means to pay for caretakers in her absence.
Given all the obstacles this family has endured over the last few years, you would never know the family is in need of much. They are always greeting everyone, smiling, and constantly giving gratitude to those around them. Sue is the first person to share a smile with a stranger, and never misses a beat with her family. Neil is constantly asking what he can do to help others, and beams with pride for his family. They all have such a positive outlook despite the hard times they have been through. Sue says their family theme is “BELIEVE”; they believe in each other, they believe in others around them, and they believe as long as they are together, all is well.
Sue Boring and her family were nominated for a Magic Moment by 4 separate individuals: Kari Hoeft, Justy Hagan, Cathy Martinez, and Michelle Bowen. Sue and her family have touched the lives of each of her nominators from organizations they are involved with through their son Casey. Each nominator could not say enough inspiring things about this family. All the nominators wanted to see them smile and enjoy a Magic Moment together this holiday season.
Union Bank was happy to provide this hardworking, loving, and deserving family with a Magic Moment to brighten their home and hearts this Christmas.
- The family needs many home repairs and will be receiving a new back patio door, insulation of their front window, and the installation of a vent fan in their bathroom in the future.
- The family loves musical performances and received tickets to the “The Sound of Music” at the Lied Center, and also a season pass to the “Jonny Manhattan Orchestra”.
- To help with rehab needs, they received a Family membership to the YMCA.
- To help with the travel expenses to doctor appointments, the family received $150.00 to Super C and $100.00 to U-Stop. They also received a warm blanket to keep in the car while traveling.
- To help put together a fabulous Christmas meal, the family was given a $100.00 gift card to Hy-Vee.
- They were also given a family photo session.
- The family has not been able to put up Christmas lights for the past few years, so they were given a full set of Christmas lights, light timers, and extension cords to light up their house this Christmas.
- The family also received gift cards to local restaurants to enjoy a night out as a family.
- Sue received an Instapot and cookbook to help save time and make dinner prep easier for her. She also received a new coat and scarf, and a gift certificate for a haircut and style. Lastly Sue received a wooden “BELIEVE” sign to display their family theme.
- Neil received 2 pairs of work jeans and a pair of warm gloves.
- Casey received Phillips Hue lights to go along with this google home, as well as bath and body soaps (as these are his favorite sensory item). He also received a new coat, and Nike sweat pants. Lastly Casey received a Disney Frozen snow globe.
- Ardeth received a haircut and style, and a coffee cup filled with gift cards to a local coffee shop.
- The family also has a new puppy, so we couldn’t leave the puppy out of the fun! The puppy received a FREE neutering from a local veterinary clinic, Christmas toys, bath rags, back door rug and a tennis ball thrower.
We wish the Boring family a Very Merry Christmas!
The Root's Story
Caring for each other.
Through amazing emotional support, financial assistance, and the dedication of their time and energy, Randy and Sue Root have given lovingly and selflessly to their family. After their daughter Kari was diagnosed with a debilitating, life-altering disease, they put their own lives on hold to make sure she and her children received the encouragement and support they needed. Nominated by their ever-grateful daughter, Kari, Randy and Sue received a Magic Moment to recognize the sacrifices and care they’ve given for their family. Kari, a single mother of three children, Reese (17), Kaprese (12), and Ty (7), was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2008. Ever since the day she was given this devastating news, her parents, Randy and Sue, have been nothing but supportive to her and her kids. As the disease progressed and her health declined, Sue spent hours each day searching for alternative treatments for MS. In 2015, after months of searching, Sue found a clinical trial called HSCT which involved chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, all of which would take place in Chicago. Without Sue’s diligent research, phone calls, record-keeping and persistence, Kari may never have been considered for this treatment.
At the end of 2015, Sue and Kari took a four-day trip to Chicago where it was determined Kari would be accepted into this treatment trial. Randy and Sue gave up all their savings to pay for the numerous trips to and from Chicago and the treatment itself. Randy, a Kawasaki employee of 40 years, not only delayed his retirement to save additional funds, he also reserved all his vacation days and forfeited an annual hunting trip to stay with Kari in the hospital.
Sue stayed in Lincoln to care for the three children while Randy took Kari for her extensive procedure and month-long hospital stay. Randy stayed right by Kari’s side, holding her hand during her difficult recovery. He slept on a small couch in the hospital room the entire time in Chicago. After returning home, Randy and Sue did all they could to help Kari heal and to tend to their grandkids. Everything from transporting Kari to doctor’s appointments, to cooking and cleaning. After a minor setback that involved another lengthy stay for Kari in the hospital, Randy and Sue willingly jumped in to look after their daughter’s home, her children, and assisted in paying some of her expenses.
Kari, who describes her parents as “her rock,” says Randy and Sue have never complained or declined to help her when she was in need. They have given up trips, experiences, and other necessities in the name of caring for their family. In honor of their selflessness, the Magic Moments Committee was honored to present them with their very own Magic Moment.
A new refrigerator donated by Schaefer’s TV and Appliance, leaf blower, and floor steamer were provided for Randy and Sue’s home. Gift certificates for a night out include Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill, Marcus Theaters, and tickets for the Glenn Miller Orchestra at the Lied Center. Gas cards, a Scheels gift card, and a family membership donated by the YMCA will also go to this incredible family. Clothing for the grandchildren, some toiletry items, a vacuum, and new towels for Kari’s home were provided at Randy and Sue’s request.
We wish the Root family a Very Merry Christmas!
The Mariscal's Story
A Loving Father
Rick Mariscal is a loving father and grandfather who has always taken pride in providing a home for his family and two grandchildren. His wife Nicole, daughter Tessa, and two young granddaughters Lilly and Ania all live together in their home. Recently Rick was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, otherwise known as pre-leukemia.
Rick started chemotherapy treatments in September. Chemo is unbelievably draining and in the last few months he has lost almost twenty five percent of his body weight. During testing his doctors have uncovered what could be potentially more health problems in addition to the cancer, which complicates what is already a complicated treatment process.
Constant pain and fatigue have made everyday things like getting dressed and taking a shower exhausting, and with the combination of the disease and treatments Rick is not currently physically able to work to support his family.
Nicole, his wife, nominated him for this Magic Moment. With Rick not normally being the type to ask others for help, Nicole wanted the chance to bring some joy to both Rick and the rest of their family this holiday season, and UBT was happy to select them and provide a special Christmas this year.
- To help Rick keep his mind occupied both at home and during stays at the hospital, Rick received a Nintendo Switch game system, games and a new TV. Rick was also presented with a hoodie with a motivational, cancer-fighting message.
- Nicole was gifted a Marcus Theatres gift card for a fun night out at the theatre, and some gas cards from U-Stop to help with the drives to Omaha for Rick’s treatment.
- Tessa received a new fuzzy blanket and a pair of new fuzzy slippers to help stay warm and cozy this winter.
- Nicole and Tessa also received matching cross necklaces.
- Lilly was presented with a large Hatchimal and fingernail painting set.
- Ania also received a large Hatchimal, as well as a Minnie Mouse playset with various books and crafts.
- Some caring Union Bank employees also donated a gently used couch and loveseat to help make their home more comfortable.
We wish the Mariscal family a Very Merry Christmas!
The Inness' Story
Family Comes First.
Jenny Inness married the love of her life, Chris, in 1999. After getting married, they wanted to start their family and dreamed of having a house full of children. They tried to have children for six years and suffered through several miscarriages, and were finally blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Haley! Jenny endured an extremely high-risk pregnancy to bring Haley in to this world at 29 weeks. A year after she was born, Haley was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and was told that she needed to be in a wheelchair.
Still dreaming of a house full of children, Jenny and Chris continued to try and grow their family, and then Isabel was born in 2011! She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder after birth.
With both of their daughters having special needs, Jenny stays at home so she can care for and home-school them. Their days are filled with school, therapy sessions, and doctors' appointments. Chris is employed full-time and provides for his family. He is having knee surgery on December 21st and will be out of work for a few weeks.
Union Bank was happy to provide this wonderful family with a Magic Moment and help bring them some holiday cheer.
- Chris received a recliner, so he can take it easy after his knee surgery. He also received a leaf blower/vacuum mulcher so that he can do yard work more easily, and a Roku stick.
- Haley received a reaching aid to help her grab things by herself, since she wants to be more independent. Haley enjoys spending time outside, but with the weather change, her legs get cold easily, so she received a heated mattress pad and fleece-lined leggings, so she can stay warm! She also received an abundance of Harry Potter items since she loves the series, and a Fire Tablet so she can play games and read books!
- Isabel received a Harkla Pod Hanging Sensory Swing so she can have an area to relax in their home. She also received My Little Pony toys, a Hatchimal, and an Ice-Cream Cart play set. Jenny and Isabel enjoy painting together, so they were provided with canvases, acrylic paint, and paintbrushes.
- To help Jenny relax, she received a gift certificate for a massage and to get her hair done. She also received at home spa products, Keurig coffee cups, and an assortment of chocolates.
- The Inness family enjoys spending time together, so they were provided with a family membership to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, a membership to the Lincoln Children’s Museum, Lied tickets, and a Super Saver gift card. Spilker’s Pine Ridge Tree Farm donated a Christmas tree from their farm - and Haley and Isabel were able to go pick a tree they wanted! They also received gas gift cards from Super C and U-Stop for when they are running around to their many appointments.
We wish the Inness family a Very Merry Christmas!
The Redmonds' Story
Honoring Lisa's dream.
Jeremy Redmond is a loving, hard-working father. His wife, Lisa, passed away from brain cancer in May of this year, leaving Jeremy and his two children (Cooper, 7 and Norah, 5) to miss her. Jeremy and the children are all native to Colorado and recently moved to Nebraska to live out Lisa’s dream of moving the family back to her hometown. Jeremy was an award-winning chemistry teacher in Colorado and is currently searching for a new teaching position here in Nebraska.
Caitlin Mason of Mourning Hope grief center met this special family upon their move to Lincoln this summer and nominated Jeremy and his children to receive this Magic Moment. Not only are the Redmonds struggling with the loss of a wife and mother, but also trying to find their feet in a whole new town, new house, and a new school for the children. This will be the first Christmas for the family without Lisa, which is why Caitlin wanted to do something special for the Redmonds and welcome them to their new Lincoln community.
Union Bank was happy to provide this wonderful family with a Magic Moment and help bring them some holiday cheer.
- To help the family experience some of the great activities Lincoln has to offer, they received memberships to Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Museum, and the YMCA.
- The family received movie passes to Marcus Theaters to enjoy a family movie night together.
- The family took their first camping trip this year and had a great time. To help make more important memories together, the family received a tent, camping gear, and a Nebraska State Park permit.
- Cooper received drum lessons and a gift certificate to Dietze music. He also received a Chromebook laptop, Star Wars Lego set, and Pokemon cards.
- Norah received a gift certificate for dance lessons and dance gear. She also received a Chromebook laptop, Hatchimal, and Shopkins.
- The family also received gas gift cards to U-stop and Super C to help with travel to activities and camping trips.
Jordan & Nick Graham's Story
"Enjoy and appreciate the little things."
When you first meet the Graham family you see the great connection and love that each of them have for each other. Jordan and Nick Graham have five children, Abriala age 15, Kalina age 10, Maddox age 3, Elise age 2, and Reagan age 1. This family has been through a lot together, and even though they have been through rough times, the hard work that both Jordan and Nick put in to help their family is in a word, inspiring!
When little Maddox was born she weighed in at 1 pound, 6.5 ounces. When Reagan was born she weighed in at 1 pound 14 ounces and was born with spina bifida. Both babies are miracle babies due to the round-the-clock care of Jordan, Nick, an amazing team of doctors, and home-health care staff. Over the past three years the family has made frequent visits to Children’s Hospital in Omaha for surgeries, emergency visits, and medical procedures for the plethora of health issues commonly associate with preemies.
With all the visits, and a lot of time spent with these children, little miracles are beginning to take place. After three years, Maddox’s tracheostomy and feeding tubes have finally been removed and she is learning to eat on her own. This fall, she also began preschool — a milestone that never seemed possible for the longest time.
Little Reagan makes frequent visits weekly to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital for physical and occupational therapy. She just graduated from her feeding and swallowing therapy, and is learning to drink from a sippy cup — a small milestone, but amazing progress for her.
With all the time spent on their children, both Jordan and Nick have managed to go back to college. Jordan recently graduated with a BA in Psychology, and Nick will soon be receiving his Associates Degree in Business. By furthering their education, they hope to create a better life for their five daughters.
Kim Einspahr, Jordan’s aunt, nominated both Nick and Jordan for a Magic Moment. A recent quote from Jordan beautifully expresses the family’s amazing appreciation for life. “We are blessed to have a child like Reagan. It has given us the time to enjoy and appreciate the little things, like learning to sit all by herself. A task so many take for granted, but for her it is a hard-won skill.” Kim wanted the family to have a wonderful Christmas, and Union Bank was happy to provide the family with a Magic Moment and help bring them some holiday cheer.
- The family was provided some gas to help with the constant travel with Reagan to and from Madonna.
- Jordan and Nick love to cook and bake together, so they were presented with new pots, pans, and baking sheets.
- Nick is a big Huskers and Raiders fan. He was presented with new Huskers and Raiders gear along with some tickets to some Husker sporting events.
- Kalina is starting basketball soon and she was presented with a basketball, basketball shoes, and shorts.
- Abriala is going to be starting soccer and she received a new soccer ball and a soccer net.
- Reagan, Elise, and Maddox were presented with a variety of new toys.
- Jordan and Nick were also presented with two 1-hour massages from Prairie Life Fitness.
- For the entire family to go out and have fun, they were presented a bowling pass from Sun Valley Lanes, family zoo passes to the Lincoln Children’s Zoo, and a 1-month family membership to Prairie Life Fitness
We wish the Graham family a Very Merry Christmas! Watch the News Story.
Miatta George's Story
Facing every day with a smile.
Miatta George is the lead teacher at Little Lambs Daycare. She is very loved and cherished by the kids in her class. Not only is Miatta a hard worker, but she often goes out of her way to help families in her classes. She is always willing to spend time answering questions after class, or during her free time. The parents of her students brag about Miatta’s talents so often there is even a waiting list for her class!
Miatta was a refugee in Ghana for seven long years, and was thankfully able to move to the United States fifteen years ago. She is now a mother of two, Gideon and Joy, who are her whole life. This December, Miatta will obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Education & Family Science from the University of Nebraska. While it has not always been easy to support her family, working full-time and attending school part-time, she has always remained positive and upbeat. Miatta faces each day with a smile on her face, and is always ready to lend a helping hand to her kids, at home or in the daycare. A committee from the Little Lambs Daycare at the Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church nominated her and her children because they deserved an extra magical holiday this year. Union Bank was happy to provide this wonderful family with a Magic Moment and help bring them some holiday cheer.
Gideon and Joy received a new Nintendo Switch and video games to play on their free time. Miatta regularly cooks for her family and received several new cooking appliances to help make it much easier. And with winter now upon us, the entire family also received new winter clothes and boots.
We wish the George family a Very Merry Christmas! Watch the News Story.
Teri Bullock's Story
Never give up when life turns a hard curve.
Teri Bullock is a fantastic example of a single mom who continually gives of herself and supports both of her children, Tenia and Tyler, as well as doing volunteer work in the community.
Teri is legally blind and walks with a cane. Earlier this year, she was walking on her way to volunteer when she was hit by a car. The impact from the car threw her across the road, fracturing her leg, pelvis, and skull which bruised her brain. The driver left the scene. Teri spent a week in intensive care after the accident.
Teri’s story is inspiring, she never gives up, even after great adversity. This family doesn’t harbor any ill will for the past, but instead focuses their energy on Teri, and honors her love of volunteering and coaching sports.
Teri was chosen by Union Bank to receive a Magic Moment because of her strength and courage to never give up when life turns a hard curve, in addition to her generous gifts back to our community by helping and giving hope to others.
Union Bank was happy to provide this wonderful family with a Magic Moment and help bring them some holiday cheer. Teri was presented with:
- An Amazon Alexa to help with her daily activities and iTunes to download her favorite songs
- A down jacket, gloves, scarf, and soft fuzzy blankets to keep Teri warm this winter
- Husker clothing to cheer on the new coach
- A foot massager for relaxation
- Soft fuzzy socks and slippers
- Asics running shoes for when Teri gets back to walking
- Gas cards from U-Stop and Super C gas to help with the travels to see their mom
- Movie tickets, popcorn and candy for her daughter, Tenia, to have a night out