by Linda Pollard, Endowment Assistant/Staff Writer, Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation
In loving memory of Shelly Nogg Pichik, her parents Ozzie and Donald Nogg, brother and sister-in-law Tony and Patty Nogg, sister and brother-in-law Kathy and Larry Halleran, sister Marsha Nogg, and sister-in-law Shari Little recently established the Shelly Nogg Pichik Field Trip Fund at the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. Shelly passed away on Feb. 28, 2015, and is survived by her husband Michael Pichik, daughters Alexandra and Natalie, and many friends. The Shelly Nogg Pichik Field Trip Fund will honor her memory and her legacy of helping others. The income generated each year by this new endowment fund will allow Rose Blumkin Jewish Home residents to have outings or field trips outside of the Home that they might otherwise not be able to experience.
When asked about her sister, Kathy Halleran said, “Shelly was a loving mother and wife, sister and daughter, and caring friend. Shelly had a long, successful career at Nogg Paper Company, selling retail packaging and gift wrap which was ideal for her. She was passionate about giving beautifully wrapped gifts and loved the retail experience. She was affectionately known to her siblings as ‘The Shopping Queen’.”
Marsha Nogg continued, “While living in the Blumkin Home, Shelly’s eyes would light up and her spirits lift at the mention of a shopping trip to Target or dinner at her favorite restaurant. Even with her illness, she wanted to be out in the community, experiencing normal life. But as her illness progressed it became harder for Shelly to leave the Blumkin Home and extremely difficult for family and friends to safely help her. She had the will and a desire for adventure, but her condition eventually required skilled assistance and special transportation to do so safely.”
“Our family established the Shelly Nogg Pichik Field Trip Fund to provide that specialized assistance to those in the Blumkin Home community who also seek adventure,” Patty Nogg said. “Our hope is to eliminate the obstacles that would prevent RBJH residents from experiencing their own meaningful and special outings. We wish Shelly could have spent many more days and years enjoying the activities and people she loved so deeply. What better way to honor ‘The Shopping Queen’?”
The Shelly Nogg Pichik Field Trip Fund will assure that residents of the RBJH are able to take outings or field trips to the destination of the resident’s choice — a day of shopping, museum and art gallery visits, dining at a restaurant, a live theater production, a movie or sporting event, a visit to the Henry Doorly Zoo or Lauritzen Gardens. The outing would include the cost for a qualified companion to accompany the resident and transportation, where applicable, in consultation with the resident’s primary physician.
Michael Silverman, Executive Director of Jewish Social Services, stated, “We are all so thankful to Shelly’s family for establishing this fund. The ability to create lasting memories for our Residents and having the resources to keep them active and engaged is vital to our mission. This fund will allow us to think out of the box and have a greater impact on quality of life.”
Shelly was a tireless volunteer giving much of her time to the National Council of Jewish Women and to her children’s school. Tina Meyers recalled Shelly’s work with the National Council of Jewish Women, “Shelly and I served as co-Presidents of NCJW Omaha section from 2007-09, and we also worked together on the NCJW Board for years prior to that in various Board roles including Fundraising, Community Service and Executive VP. Shelly’s focus was promoting the NCJW mission of improving the quality of life for women, children and families through programs of research, advocacy, community service and education in our local community. She always had creative ideas for fundraising and community service projects that would have positive impact right here in Omaha.” Tina added, “A couple of examples of programs that were developed by our section with Shelly’s leadership include: Totes for Tots: a project with Child Savings Institute that was near and dear to Shelly because of her advocacy of adoption and the needs of children waiting for forever families. Reading Pups: a project that brings therapy dogs to local elementary schools to encourage kids to read aloud to improve their confidence and reading skills. Reading Pups is still an on-going project for our NCJW section.”
Andee Scioli added, “Shelly and Tina Meyers were co-Presidents the year before Nikki Kirshenbaum and I became co-Presidents of NCJW, and Shelly and I worked together for many years on various NCJW projects. Shelly was smart, kind, determined, capable, caring, fun, funny and a fantastic leader. I feel fortunate that I was able to learn from and work with her.”
“Shelly continued her family’s incredible legacy of giving. Like her mother and father, she was a class act and was respected and admired by everyone who knew her. I will always remember her positive attitude, strength and commitment to her family and her community. Her legacy lives on in all of our hearts,” Andee concluded.
“Shelly’s family has created an enduring memorial,” said Howard Epstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. “Each year, for generations to come, the Foundation will make distributions from the Shelly Nogg Pichik Field Trip Fund to benefit the Blumkin Home residents. What a terrific legacy.”