The NEBRASKAland Foundation will celebrate Nebraska’s 152th birthday at the Statehood Day Dinner on March 2 honoring three distinguished NEBRASKAlanders, Dr. Sara Crook, Ernie Weyeneth, and Ray and Jennifer O’Connor.
Sara Brandes Crook’s love of history goes back to her youth growing up on a farm, going to a country church, and attending a one-room country school.  
A professor of History at Peru State College, Nebraska’s first college, since 1984 she created several educational and entertaining programs on Nebraska history.
Crook has served as president of Nebraska State Historical Society and received several professional honors.   
She was elected chair of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission that organized and directed the fantastic year-long celebration of Nebraska’s 150th Statehood Anniversary in 2017.
“The NEBRASKALand Award is truly treasured,” said Crook. “My opportunities to promote Nebraska have resulted from the support I get from my family and friends, as well as my colleagues, students and administrators at Peru State College.”
“The Nebraska Sesquicentennial efforts were certainly a collaborative effort of the members of the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, the First Lady’s celebrating Nebraska Foundation staff, and members of the Nebraska 150 Foundation,” she said. “It was an honor to work with such dedicated and inspirational individuals.”
Weyeneth has used his financial investment expertise to serve Nebraska for 40 years.
As president and CEO of the Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation, he has organized and promoted many educational, agricultural and human services projects.
The Kregel Windmill Factory Museum, a treasure of history in Nebraska City, is one example of his vision and resourcefulness.
Weyeneth serves in many civic capacities, including the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Trustees.
The O’Connors have transformed Central Nebraska, particularly the Highway 281 corridor in and around Grand Island, into an economic force with amenities that attract talent and businesses to the area.
The NEBRASKAland Foundation was formed in 1962 under the leadership of Governor Frank morrison and continues to promote Nebraska through programs and awards that celebrate the state’s social historical, cultural, educational and economic heritage.
The Statehood Day Dinner is a formal event held in the Rotunda and Great Hall of The Nebraska State Capitol Building.
Reservation information is available at 402-499-7897.  Seating is limited.