The Community Partner Award was given to the GI Forum at the SHSAA Hall of Fame ceremonies in 2019.
The GI Forum’s mission is helping veterans and their families, providing scholarships to college and trade school students, and helping youth programs. As part of that mission, they are proud to join their neighbors in bettering the community. Neighbors they have worked with are the South High Magnet School, the South Omaha Boys and Girls Club; Our Lady of Guadalupe Church; Spring Lake Elementary Magnet and Gomez Elementary Schools; Marrs Magnet Jr High; and the Museo Latino along with others.
They have been hosts to several steak dinners honoring the South High boys basketball and soccer teams when they won their State Championships. They allow events and meetings pro-bono at their pavilion for South High teachers, the Boys and Girls Club staff, and fundraisers for various individuals including the recent flood victims.
The GI Forum has given over half-a-million dollars in scholarships to young students pursuing higher education. They have also funded various music programs and equipment to various schools and organizations. They have a program where they receive donated musical instruments that they refurbish and re-distribute to children who can’t afford the costs; and have donated instruments to South High’s music department.
For the past 50 years, they have hosted a turkey dinner in December with gifts and entertainment for local senior citizens. They also have an “Angel Tree” at Christmas for Veterans at Victory House apartments for homeless and disabled vets donating clothes and household items. They also give Christmas gifts and food baskets to the Juan Diego Center. They provide a monthly lunch to the veterans from the Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home and other elderly veterans at the restaurant. They also have an annual lunch and program on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, engaging the South High Honor Guard for these celebrations.
Their most recent endeavor for a vet was the Miguel Hernandez Keith honor. A statue in his honor was placed at the Kroc Center. They also hosted a fundraiser at the restaurant to help with the costs, and then hosted everyone from California who came for the dedication of the statue, plus all those at the ceremony.
The GI Forum relies heavily on fundraisers to include – a car show, dinners, golf tournaments and other events to raise money to support all of their endeavors; which is a never-ending job, staffed by many volunteers and club members. They’re contributions and outreach into the South Omaha community are magnificent. Their club members should be very proud of all of the accomplishments that they have achieved over the years. The South High Alumni Association is honored to name the GI Forum the 2019 South High Magnet School Community Partner.