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Monday, January 28, 2013

pop-we Dinner Club Reviews Lo Sole Mio Ristorante Italiano

Lo Sole Mio entrance.
The great Dean Martin once said, “That’s amore!” In South Omaha, located at 3001 S. 32nd Ave., Conrad took us to a family-run Italian restaurant called Lo Sole Mio Ristorante Italiano. It sits in a neighborhood, they don’t have a parking lot and they are always busy. It was opened in 1992 by Don and Marie along with their children. They wanted a charming, "Old World" type of place that was a destination for people to come and people always do. Every year Omaha hosts the College World Series (NCAA baseball championship), the sports radio show I listen to always ask national sports writers what restaurant they are going to first? Lo Sole Mio is always first or second on their list while in town.

When you arrive at Lo Sole Mio, you can walk straight ahead into the bar area. The dining room is to the right of the entrance and is L shaped. There is seating in the basement, too. As you look around the room there are painting and statues for the Italian décor.

I ordered the Baked Lasagna for $17. The lasagna is layered with ground beef, ricotta cheese and a hearty marinara sauce. I like the dish for its flavors and how cheesy it was, I would recommend. One thing that is easily noticeable looking around the table is how big the portions are…go hungry! Conrad ordered, The Don, which is beef tips served with green peppers, onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms in a white wine sauce over a bed of pasta. He highly recommends, as it is his favorite dish on the menu. Another hit was Michelle’s Pasta Con Aragosta and Gameri, which is lobster, shrimp cooked in a cream sauce with asiago cheese and basil over pasta.

After compiling the surveys from the other foodies the pop-we Dinner Club gives Lo Sole Mio: 4.18 star average on a scale of 1-5.
Lo Sole Mio Baked Lasagna entree.

Atmosphere/Decor – 4.41

Cleanliness – 4.5

Wait Staff – 3.9

Menu – 4.25

Food Presentation – 4.33

Food Portions – 4.66

Food Taste – 4.58

Cost (was the cost worth meal?) – 3.66

Noise Level – 3.33

Overall Experience – 4.16

For more information regarding directions or their menu you can go to their website at

Fellow population-we™ readers, if you've been to the Lo Sole Mio leave us a comment and tell us what you thought?

Want to do this yourself? To review how to start your own dinner club, visit our January post about doing just that. Remember it is a template; tweak it to fit you and your friends’ tastes. pop-we Dinner Club: good food…good friends…good times.
Lo Sole Mio Ristorante on Urbanspoon

-population-we™ blog post by Brian Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, January 21, 2013

WIN Seeks Winning Ideas from Nebraska Nonprofits

Residents in Nebraska don't have to look far to see women reshaping their state through philanthropy. A Nebraska child advocacy center and mobile nurses project benefited from a pooled philanthropy effort in 2012 spearhead by this group of Nebraska women, Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN).

WIN was established in 2011 by the University of Nebraska Foundation and its women in philanthropy committee to connect women and involve them in local philanthropy. Members of WIN pledge to make a gift each year for three years. Its members then pool their resources and collectively grant 50 percent of their annual contributions to a Nebraska nonprofit organization and 50 percent to a University of Nebraska organization.

The 2012 WIN grant recipients included the Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers and University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing's Mobile Nurse Managed Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment Project. The Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers WIN grant helped launch a statewide training initiative focused on preventing and reporting child abuse. The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing WIN grant helped improve healthcare services to the elderly who live in rural areas around Kearney.

"Women Investing in Nebraska is pleased to announce its second grant funding year," said Lisa Smith, chair of WIN's executive committee. "We especially hope to hear again from organizations with bold, innovative ideas or ventures."

Nebraska nonprofit organizations striving to address critical community needs or wishing to make a significant local or state impact are invited to submit their funding ideas to WIN. For information and to submit an online letter of inquiry, go to by Friday, March 1.

WIN will award two grants this year of equal value. One grant will be awarded to a Nebraska charitable organization and another grant will be awarded to an organization or group directly affiliated with the University of Nebraska. Last year, WIN awarded two grants of more than $75,000 each.

Qualifying Nebraska organizations must be designated as nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities. Organizations and groups affiliated with the University of Nebraska may also submit inquiries. All organizations must submit an inquiry online by March 1 and will be notified about eligibility to submit a formal grant proposal.

If you have not previously applied for a WIN grant, applicants will need to create an account to apply. Full instructions or to view an applicant tutorial, is available at this link.  All previous applicants have been assigned user names and passwords and can retrieve their password via a link on the log-in screen. Please contact Ruth Tewes at 402.458.1235 or with questions.

WIN is also accepting new members. To learn more about membership and upcoming events, go to or call Tracy Edgerton at 402.458.1160 or 800.432.3216.

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, January 14, 2013

Take the Icy Polar Plunge for the Special Olympics Nebraska

The Polar Plunge benefits Special Olympics athletes and programs.
Something Midwesterners can count on at this year’s Polar Plunge, there will be no polar bears and all proceeds raised go towards a very good cause. Do you have what it takes to be a plunger? A plunger can be anyone brave enough to dip more than their toes in some icy water for the annual Polar Plunge. The water temperature in Nebraska this time of year is usually between 35 and 40 degrees.

All of the money raised from the Nebraska Polar Plunges benefits Special Olympics athletes and programs in the state. In 2013, there are several Polar Plunge sites in Nebraska: Auburn, Kearney, Lincoln, Meadville, Omaha and Scottsbluff.

This bone-chilling event invites plungers, to collect pledges from family, friends and coworkers for plunging into the freezing waters. While there are no age restrictions; prizes are awarded to the oldest and youngest plungers. Anyone can take the plunge: adults, teens and kids. Teams are welcome! Teams might include public servants, sororities, fraternities, rotary clubs and Special Olympics athletes.

Event staff does offer some warnings and advice to plungers. The Polar Plunge is a crazy event, so fun is encouraged. Many of the plungers form teams and plunge in costumes or come up with a team theme. This is the fifteenth year for the event, some costumes and themes that have won prizes at the plunges or impressed the crowd are: SpongeBob, togas, Blue Man Group, Gilligan’s Island, pirates and penguins.

As far as warnings plunge staff cautions, we do want you to be sensible about plunging. Bring a change of clothes, towel and a stocking cap to keep your head warm. It is a very safe event, as we do have divers in the water, but it is an extremely cold event. The plunge will happen quickly, people are only in the water for about a minute or less and then run to a heated tent or facility.


  • Meadville – Jan. 26 at Niobrara River

  • Auburn – Feb. 9 at Legion Memorial Park

  • Omaha – Feb. 16 at Lake Cunningham

  • Lincoln – Feb. 23 at Holmes Lake

  • Scottsbluff – Feb. 23 at the YMCA Camp

  • Kearney – March 2 at Yanney Heritage Park

Money is raised by plungers going out and soliciting pledges from friends, family and coworkers. You can register for the plunge online at
(Editor's note: photos and content courtesy of Special Olympics Nebraska).

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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Monday, January 7, 2013

How Will YOU Act if There is a Fire?

Recently there was a fire in an apartment complex behind our gym (LA Fitness, formerly known as Urban Active). The Hillsborough Pointe fire, reminded me of the time my husband and I wandered across a garage engulfed in flames in our old Benson neighborhood. Similar to whoever alerted firefighters to this apartment fire, we didn’t hesitate to take action. We pulled around to the front of the house. My husband jumped out of the car and ran to the door. I whipped out my cell phone and called 9-1-1. When the door opened, a kid came bolting out of the house followed by a much older lady, very shaggy German Shepard dog and little girl with pig tales (who was crying). The grandma who was babysitting had no idea of the fire.

Brian ran to the back of the house to attempt to put out the flames in the garage. All the while the young boy was in a thither. Brian and a neighbor who happened upon the blaze would soon find out why. The boy was the one who had set the fire with a firework. The flames continued to grow starting to reach the house when finally we could hear sirens in the distance. Brian and I ran to the front of the house; however, the only place to park by the fire hydrant was where we had parked. So, we jumped in the car and drove off knowing they were in safe hands.

Our intentions that night were to eat at Sizzler (this is no joke); however, the husband and I vetoed that suggestion and we were meeting my in-laws at the Outback. When we walked in and told Jan and Wayne our tale they were in disbelief. On the ride home we drove by the charred garage and noticed the siding on the south of the house had melted from the residual heat. At that moment, I told my husband we should’ve stayed and spoke to the fire department because we may have gotten a commendation or something. He took his hand away from the steering wheel and patted himself on the back. Saying, “That is all the commendation I need.”

I wanted to use this platform to thank whoever made the 911 call for their valiant effort in helping others in this Northwest Omaha apartment fire, too. You know who you are – kudos!

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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