In April 2015, on her 65th birthday, Bea Cerasoli gave each of her children a check & challenge. Use the money in the next year within your community and report back the next year. Find a charity and donate, host an event, enter a charity race; get involved in your community as a family. The nature and timing of the challenge couldn’t have been better. The competitive juices in me immediately began scheming with my wife Sara to outdo my siblings and it provided the perfect spark to become active in the Omaha community. My parents have always provided great role models for community involvement but I had also had several personal experiences with great people and organizations over the past two years that created a desire to get involved. My mother’s birthday challenge lit the match.
Over the fall two important things happened. First we met with No More Empty Pots. Sara & I love food, particularly food education and food sustainability. When we met with Nancy & Susan we immediately were interested in working with them. Their passion was palpable and we really identified with the mission and values of the organization. At the same time an idea began to form to host a Pheasant Fry when Sara (by chance) tested a pheasant recipe with her cousin. The plan was formed; we’d host a Pheasant Fry for No More Empty Pots. A true Midwestern meal, made possible because my wife is an amazing chef who (of course) would provide a great food experience.
As we began to plan the event I was humbled by the support that was provided. Family, friends and neighbors immediately signed up to attend, donated their time to help at the event, provided supplies for the evening and offered great prizes for the raffle. The evening was a great success and we raised far more than my stretch goal! It wouldn’t have been possible without the initial birthday gift challenge, the support of our family and friends and the amazing support of our Omaha community.
Since the event I’ve had the opportunity to get my young sons involved in the community garden and I’ve been honored by a request to join the No More Empty Pots board. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience and introduction to community service. I am truly looking forward to working to fulfill the mission of No More Empty Pots and keep my family active in this wonderful Omaha community.
Deputy Treasurer, First National Bank
Partner & Husband to Sara DeMars Cerasoli
Dad to Rocco & Mercer