September is the anniversary month of Strictly Business in Omaha. Our history dates back to 1993 when my husband Shayne and I, along with some amazing friends, founded Strictly Business in Lincoln. We knew we wanted to eventually expand into Omaha to promote local businesses here as well, especially since so many people do business in both markets. When we hit the 15-year mark in Omaha, that was really special and it’s amazing to be going beyond that now into 16 years. All of these years would not be possible without our amazing advertising clients. I’m also thankful for all the committed employees I’ve had over the years and the friends and family who make up my support system.

What has been fun in recent years are the new relationships we’ve formed with more businesses and organizations through some different features and stories we started implementing in the magazine. Notably, the Employing Omaha feature and the Women-Owned Businesses feature have been great additions to the many ways we tell peoples’ stories and meet the needs of our clients. A feature that remains strong and enriches our publication is the Supporting Nonprofits feature. This feature has allowed us to form relationships with so many wonderful nonprofits and give them an affordable way to share their mission on a big scale.

Something that has always been important to me and my team is giving back to the community. In fact, this year Strictly Business is celebrating the 10-year milestone of our annual fundraiser, Party in the Garden. We help organize this event throughout the year and host it at our office in Lincoln. For the first four years, we partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association of Nebraska to support the amazing work they do to care for individuals and their loved ones in the area who are living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. In 2017, we were introduced to another wonderful local nonprofit, Domesti-PUPS. This organization trains and places therapy or service dogs with people who have disabilities, typically young children who suffer from seizures. We have had the blessing of working with the founder of Domesti-PUPS, Michelle O’Dea, and her fellow volunteer team ever since. This year, our 10th Annual Party in the Garden Fundraiser benefitting Domesti-PUPS, is on Friday, September 9.

These last 10 years of hosting Party in the Garden have been truly humbling. It’s a one-of-a-kind event. In addition to aiding the mission of an impactful organization and raising money that ends up changing and saving lives, I love how this fundraiser has brought together so many businesses and people in the community over the years. Connecting people is one of our pillars at Strictly Business. Putting on the Party in the Garden Fundraiser is one of the ways we do this while giving back at the same time. This is why it’s one of my favorite events of the year!

As local business, we have a responsibility to enhance the community we do business in—the community our clients, partners, and employees live in. I know there are many other businesses that do their part to give, like Strictly Business does through Party in the Garden and various other activities. I would love to hear your story! How do you and/or your business support local nonprofits? If you send me your story, we’ll share it on our Facebook!

This is a wonderful time to talk about the spirit of giving as we creep up on the holiday season. Even if our time and resources are limited, I think of the words of Anne Frank: “No one has ever become poor from giving.” I encourage anyone reading this to take these words to heart and look around for ways to give back.