This time of year is all about the spirit of giving and helping others. Union Bank is celebrating the thirteenth 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:
- The Lincoln Children's Zoo
- The Lincoln Children's Museum
- The Lied Center for Performing Arts
- Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm
- Midwest Myotherapy
- Body Overhall
- Capital Cleaning Company
- Lincoln Furniture & Mattress Company
- Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
- Action Plumbing & Heating
- Lost in Fun
- Massage Envy
- The Saltdogs
The Kowalski Family's Story
Heather Kowalski and her five children like to refer to her husband, and their father as “Superman.” In the 14 years that Joe and Heather have been married, Joe has always said, “Don’t worry honey, I will take care of it.” He is a strong, hard-working, fun-loving, dedicated husband and father. Heather works full time as a staff assistant and Joe as a cement mix driver to support their five children, Skye (13), Mason (10), Shaye (9), Saige (7), and Maddux (3).
Life changed drastically for the Kowalski family not long ago. Joe was riding his son’s bicycle trying to show him some tricks. He stepped off of the bike wrong and both his tibia and fibula broke all the way through and came out of the front of Joe’s leg. He had to be rushed for emergency surgery where they placed a steel rod from his knee to his ankle. He also has multiple plates and screws around his ankle. Questions ran through Joe and Heather’s mind. Will he ever walk right again? Will he ever be able to go back to driving a concrete truck? What will his leg look like when it heals? Will he always have pain in his knee? Will he be able to golf again? Will he be able to play with the kids? And of course, how much is this going to cost? Through all the heartache, Joe and Heather consistently have remembered as long as they have each other by their sides and their five healthy beautiful kiddos they will be okay.
Joe has been out of work for four months now and has no income. He didn’t have disability through work. Since he gets laid off every winter, his unemployment account has been drained. He is the bread winner for the family, and Heather’s checks do not cover the bills. To top it off, their furnace stopped working in mid-November.
In these difficult times, UBT wanted to give a Magic Moment to this tight-knit family.
Magic Moments, along with very generous help from Action Plumbing & Heating, was able to provide the family with a new furnace to keep them warm during the winter.
Their oldest daughter Skye is an eighth grader. She is a straight-A student who is involved in band, chorus, soccer and is captain of her school step team. With her passion for music, she was given with a new CASIO musical keyboard. She also loves to read and received The Selection Series Books 1-4. With the rest of her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and talking on the phone. She was also provided with some new perfume and lip gloss.
Mason is a fifth grader. He is autistic. He is smart and can build anything with nothing, so he will enjoy his new helicopter laser pegs. He loves playing basketball and was provided with a new door basketball hoop. He likes spending time with friends, playing video games, and loves collecting hot wheels. He received a Nerf Zombie Strike Dominator and some hot wheels to add to his growing collection.
Shaye is in fourth grade and is the love bug of the family. She always wants to help out when she can and be involved. She enjoys baking, doing arts and crafts, and is involved in Girl Scouts. She received a new CD player and the One Direction CD to listen to. She also received some new jewelry, a Shopkins coloring set, and a Doodle.
Saige is in first grade and is the little actress of the group. She has quite the imagination and loves to play with her toys. Saige received a Doodle, just like Shaye. She loves playing with her little brother, and pretending that she is a mommy. She was given a new Barbie and horse play set, a Woodzee Camper play set, a quilt making kit, and a bed frame for her very own bed!
Maddux is three and the boss of the house. Being the youngest of five, he has a vast vocabulary and is tough. He loves to wrestle with daddy and cuddle with mommy. His favorite thing in the whole world right now is Wild Kratts. To make his day, he was given a new Wild Kratts game and a Wild Kratts Plush Chris. He also received some new clothes, a bedtime Disney story book, a Crayola craft kid, and a fun Wubble.
Joe was given a new gas grill, a Scheel’s gift card, and some new cologne. Heather received a Kohl’s gift card, some new gloves and a scarf, a new cooking pot, a one-hour massage, and some goodies from Bath and Body Works. Joe and Heather together received a gift card to have their favorite dinner, sushi, for a well-deserved date night.
To give the Kowalskis a family night out, they received a gift card to Douglas Theatres, including snack passes. They also were presented an annual membership to The Lincoln Children’s Zoo, an annual membership to the Children’s Museum, and a gift card to Lost in Fun.
Magic Moments wishes the Kowalski family a warm and cheery holiday season!
To watch their story, visit KLKN's Website.
The Blowers Family's Story
Jodi Blowers is the admissions coordinator for St. Jane de Chantal Long Term Care at Madonna. Every day Jodi works with people who've suffered spinal cord injuries however, it’s a whole different dynamic when that person is your spouse. Last July, Jodi's husband, Jerome, dove into their swimming pool and sustained a paralyzing spinal cord injury. Jodi, Jerome and their 16-year-old daughter, Camden, have been on a life-changing journey since that time as many things have changed for the family as they have worked through this devastating event together.
Jodi’s co-worker Tami nominated this special family because they continue to be a positive influence by demonstrating their courage, grace and dignity as they face this trial together. They are such a positive family and admired by many because they choose to be thankful for what they do have – love of family and living in the moment.
That is why Union Bank wanted to provide the Blowers family with a Magic Moments.
The family was presented with an iPad Air and case for the entire family to enjoy. Jerome and Jodi received an overnight stay and breakfast to the Lied Lodge in Nebraska City to enjoy a little get away. For movie night, the family also received a microwave popcorn popper.
Camden has recently made great progress in focusing on her health and received a Fitbit to track her fitness journey and a heated blanket to enjoy after her workouts. Jodi and Camden will get to enjoy some mother-daughter time as each received a gift certificate for a mani/pedi with some lotions and bath gels. In addition, Jodi received a robe and slippers to relax in after her massages. She will also receive a break from housework with cleaning services donated by Capital Cleaning Company. Jerome received a backpack for his wheelchair that was packed full of goodies and included a gift card from Scheels to pick out something special, gas cards from USTOP and a Walgreens gift card were also provided to help with medication costs.
Union Bank was happy to help bring some holiday cheer to this wonderful family!
To see the news coverage of this story, visit KLKN 's website.
The Tilson Kids' Story
How would you describe a grandparent? Do you picture a warm loving couple, a grandmother baking cookies or a grandfather telling stories to the kids? While my picture of a grandparent may differ from yours, one thing is for sure, Kim and Glen Hill are some of the most dedicated and loving grandparents and wish nothing but the best for their 4 grandchildren this holiday season!
Kim and Glen Hill have graciously stepped into a guardianship role for Makayla who is eight, Riley who is three, Taylor who is two and Ashton who is two. Their grandchildren have struggled with sensitive family issues for the past 15 months, which left them without the care of their parents as their parents worked to obtain the treatment necessary for a fresh start.
While providing for their newly expanded family, Glen became injured at work and was unable to return until June of 2015. Upon his return, Glen then experienced an injury with his knee that has kept him from working, leaving this family of six dependent upon a single income. Kim and Glen have not only provided their love and support for their family but are also responsible for ensuring that every child is receiving the proper nutrition, clothing and education.
The hardships that these young children have endured and the selflessness of their grandparents are the reasons Union Bank wanted to provide the Tilsons with a Magic Moment.
Makayla, the oldest grandchild, enjoys arts and crafts, as well as all things “Frozen,” as most kids do. We were able to combine both of Makayla’s interests by providing her with a “Frozen” inspired activity tote filled with markers, stickers, coloring pages and various art supplies, which she immediately opened. A little girl’s wardrobe would not be complete without “Frozen” themed clothes and we were happy to provide Makayla with pants and shirts with her favorite characters. Along with “Frozen” themed items, we wanted to provide Makayla with additional items to spark her creativity, which included a Crayola Light Designer and a digital camera to capture all of her family memories!
Riley is three, and she loves Dora and Doc McStuffins. We were thrilled to be able to provide Riley with all that she will need to be an official Doc McStuffins Doctor including her very own Doctor Coat and Doctor Bag Set. When Dr. Riley is off work, she can then explore with Dora by carrying her Dora pillow (almost as big as her) and her Dora Explorer Backpack.
Taylor is two, and she is a big fan of Minnie Mouse, music and dancing. We were excited to be able to find gifts for Taylor that combined her favorites, including a Minnie Mouse Sing and Stroll Musical Purse. Keeping in the Minnie Mouse theme, Taylor also received a large Minnie Mouse plush doll, several books and to complete her winter wardrobe a Minnie Mouse winter coat and matching earmuffs and gloves.
Ashton is two and the only boy amongst the grandchildren. Ashton has a love for tools and pretend play; being outnumbered with three girl cousins, we wanted to make sure he had toys unique to him. Ashton will certainly be able to use his “tools” along with the Little Tikes Tough Workshop he received and couldn’t wait to open. No craftsman would be complete without the appropriate attire including a tool belt, safety vest and a hard hat. To encourage his love for hands-on and building Ashton also received a couple of Mega Block Dump Trucks filled with building blocks.
Along with the variety of toys that the children received, we wanted to make sure that the family also received gifts that they could share. This includes a membership to the Children’s Museum as well as the Lincoln Children’s Zoo. To get them from the museum to the zoo and anywhere else in between, we were able to provide the family with a $100 gift card to U-Stop. Kim and Glen mentioned that with their limited income providing the basics, such as groceries, had become challenging. To help with the grocery budget we were able to provide the family with a $100 gift card to HyVee amongst additional donations received for beef that will certainly keep their freezer full!
While this family has certainly had their share of hardships, Kim and Glen continue to focus on bettering the lives of their grandchildren and doing everything in their power to ensure that each child knows that they are loved, cared for and can always call Grandma & Poppa’s house their home.
Watch their story on KLKN's Website.
The Hindmand Family's Story
Khristina Hindmand has suffered from chronic neck pain dating back to when she was pregnant with her first child, Holly. The same neck pain was present in her pregnancy with her son, Caleb and most recently her pregnancy with twin boys Landon and Caric. As Khristina’s pregnancy with the twins progressed, so did the numbness in her fingers and arms. The pain had gone misdiagnosed for years and she decided to see a specialist in Lincoln. The doctors were alarmed at what they saw, and she was told she was going to need to do an MRI to try and figure out the root of her problem. Much to their dismay, doctors found a tumor that moved through a portion of her spine in a figure-eight manner. After hearing the news of the tumor, she was rushed to Omaha to closely monitor the growth. The doctors could not guarantee that the babies would survive if they chose to operate on the tumor at that point in time. Khristina made a tough decision that day, she chose not to operate on the tumor and risk her chances of survival so that her unborn babies could have a chance to grow and thrive in this world. By the time Landon and Caric were 32 weeks along, Khristina was paralyzed from the neck down and doctors decided it was time to deliver the twins. The boys were born on June 28th, 2015 and weighed 4lbs and 2oz. After the boys were born, she was taken to surgery to remove the tumor. Doctors were able to remove a good majority of the tumor, and the recovery process began for Khristina. From there, Khristina endured months of rehabilitation in hopes of one day being able to lead a normal life with her husband and four children. Doctors were shocked and excited about the progress Khristina made while in rehabilitation. She went from being paralyzed from the neck down to being able to walk on her own, feed her babies, and start the journey of their new life as a newly-formed family of six.
Khristina is married to the love of her life, Jason Hindmand. Khristina and Jason were married in December of 2014. Jason is an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan so he received Husker clothing so he is able to cheer the Huskers on in style!
Khristina’s oldest daughter, Holly, is eight years old. Holly is very interested in art, Monster High Dolls, and cats. Holly received an art set to engage her inner artist, a Monster High Doll purse to custom design, new black and pink shoes, and a new outfit to wear this winter.
Caleb, who is three years old, is Khristina’s next oldest child. He is an energetic three year old that loves Paw Patrol, Thomas the Train, and playing with Playdoh. Caleb received an interactive Paw Patrol toy, a wooden train set to put together, Playdoh of all colors, a new pair of shoes, and new clothes.
Landon and Caric are the last of the four children. The twins are now five months old and are growing happy babies. Because the boys will be mobile very soon, they both received stand-up play toys. The boys also received new outfits, stuffed animals, and Christmas pajamas.
Prior to all of Khristina’s health problems, she was enrolled in classes at SCC. She was forced to take a break from classes as she went through her health scare. She has since resumed classes but was in need of a working laptop to complete homework. Khristina received a new laptop along with all the accessories to help her to be successful in her studies. Khristina also received a gift card for a manicure and pedicure for some much needed relaxation time!
To help make Christmas a little bit brighter for the family this year, Magic Moments surprised them with a new Christmas tree, tree skirt, ornaments, and stockings (complete with stocking stuffers) to give their home the holiday cheer we all look forward to this time of year. Along with new Christmas decorations, the family received a membership to the Lincoln Zoo, Husker basketball tickets, and a gift card to Lost in Fun.
Magic Moments was very honored to be able to provide the Hindmand family with this holiday surprise. We wish them continued good health, a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New year!
Watch the news coverage of their story on KLKN's website.
The Kuhn Family's Story
Rodney Kuhn is the kind of person who would do anything to help others, especially his co-workers. On November 9, 2015, Rodney and a co-worker were finished with their routes and on their way to dump their trucks at the landfill when both of their lives changed drastically. They passed a construction site where a concrete truck chute was not secured and flew into the lane they were driving in. The chute struck the co-worker’s driver-side window causing his co-worker to become unconscious behind the wheel of the moving truck. Rodney realized his co-worker was injured and quickly pulled in front of his co-worker’s truck to prevent the moving truck from entering the busy intersection of 27th & Fletcher. Rodney’s selfless actions that day saved many lives including the life of his co-worker.
Several months earlier, Rodney was on a route with another co-worker when his co-worker was struck by another moving vehicle knocking him to the ground underneath the rear tires of the garbage truck. The truck ran over his co-worker’s leg shattering it from the knee down. Rodney witnessed the accident from his side mirror and ran to help his co-worker and called for medical assistance.
Because of Rodney’s heroic actions, Union Bank & Trust was honored to present him and his 3 children with a Magic Moment.
Rodney’s oldest daughter, Haylie, loves to create works of art. She was presented with an easel to draw and paint on as well as a 250-piece art accessory kit with paints, brushes, chalk, markers, crayons, etc. She was also given a colorful outfit to wear to school.
Rodney’s middle daughter, Miley, loves Barbies so she was presented with a Barbie Dream House and Barbie dolls. She also loves to draw so she was given a Frozen-themed art kit.
Rodney’s son, Michael, is obsessed with the Cars movie. He was given a Cars game rug and several Cars to play with. He also loves to work with his dad around the house so he was given a tool bench with his very own tool set.
Rodney loves the Minnesota Vikings so he received a Vikings sweatshirt. Rodney was given a Craftsman drill driver set to help him complete his projects around the house.
As a family, they love to go fishing. Each of the children was given their very own fishing pole complete with a tackle kit that included lures, bobbers, and more. The family also received a Kindle Fire to keep the children entertained. The family will enjoy a day of fun with a gift card to Defy Gravity and their favorite restaurant, Golden Corral. Throughout the year, they will get to spend time together as a family at Lincoln Children’s Zoo with their annual family pass.
We wish the Kuhn family a very Merry Christmas, and hope they enjoy their family time together.
You can watch the news story on KLKN's website.