Christmas at Concordia will include two community events as part of Concordia University, Nebraska’s annual Christmas celebration, featuring an open house on campus and the Scholarship Parade of Homes in and around Seward.
The open house is Wednesday, Nov. 20 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Weller Circle, with caroling with the Concordia Chamber Choir and a tree lighting at 7 p.m. Hot chocolate and cookies will be provided in Weller Hall. The event is sponsored by Concordia and Cattle Bank & Trust.
Community members are encouraged to participate in the 25th annual Scholarship Parade of Homes Sunday, Dec. 8 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. The parade will feature homes owned by Bob and Sandi Dobesh, David and Shanan Kliment, David and Sherry Leising, Steve and Diane Steinauer and Ryan and Kristi Ideus.
Proceeds from the annual event support high school students of Seward County who attend Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, and Concordia University. Last year, the event raised nearly $3,000 in scholarship awards that benefitted 27 students. The Scholarship Parade of Homes has raised more than $80,000 in cumulative scholarship funds since it began in 1995. The annual event is sponsored by Cattle Bank & Trust, Concordia University and Southeast Community College.
Tickets for the Scholarship Parade of Homes are $12 in advance and $15 day of. Advance tickets can be purchased online at christmasatconcordia.net, or in person at Concordia Alumni Office (Weller 206), SCC-Milford, Cattle Bank & Trust, Jones Bank and Union Bank & Trust. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event for $15 in Concordia’s Weller Hall lobby.
Additional information about the homes:
Bob and Sandi Dobesh
2417 280th Rd., Seward
After getting married in May of 1985, the couple moved into their home and have been fixing it up ever since. The couple added a much-needed addition when their daughter was 6 months old, and they recently added on a family room where their swimming pool used to be. Both Bob and Sandi are do-it-yourself enthusiasts and love a challenge. With the addition of their family room, they remodeled their kitchen with a fresh coat of paint on the cabinets, and made their own counter tops that could pass for granite. They love to decorate for all seasons of the year, but especially Christmas.
Ryan and Kristi Ideus
1990 Rainbow Ave., Seward
Ryan and Kristi Ideus purchased their home in June 2015. The home, built in 1994, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full finished basement and backs up to Plum Creek Park. Slowly, they are putting their own touches on the home to make it more their style and have more changes planned for down the road. The couple started by painting the kitchen cabinets and removing the cabinets above the kitchen peninsula. This helped open the view from the kitchen to the park in their backyard. In the summer of 2017, they removed the original deck and patio and designed and built a larger deck, in addition to installing a larger stone patio at the basement level. The Ideus family spends a lot of time enjoying these areas during the warmer weather months and they are the perfect viewing spots on the Fourth of July for the fireworks. During the holiday season, they have a 9-foot tree in the upstairs living room that’s decorated to Kristi’s style and a tree in the basement that’s decorated to the guys’ style with shotgun shell lights, antlers and ornaments their boys have received each Christmas while growing up.
David and Shanan Kliment
605 A St., Staplehurst
The first time David and Shanan saw this house, with its original woodwork, wood floors and an open staircase, they knew it was exactly the Victorian home they were looking for. The Kliments moved in to the house Oct. 2008 and began making it their dream home. Shanan’s eclectic taste in art and antiques is displayed throughout the home, as well as collections by favorite artists. At Christmastime, the Kliments decorate a real tree with sentimental ornaments and decorate the home with Shanan’s Santa collection, a nativity scene her grandmother made and other antiques. Growing up, Shanan loved riding horses and visitors will see her passion reflected in the antique rocking horses, toy horses and pictures throughout the house. The Kliments have done all of the landscaping themselves, they can see a different flower garden from each window in the house.
David and Sherry Leising
2273 308th Rd., Seward
Sherry and her late husband Gary purchased this home 25 years ago. It was built by Southeast Community College and moved to their acreage, which was Gary’s grandparents’ home and where his father also had lived. After Gary passed away 13 years ago, Sherry and the kids continued to live on the acreage. When Sherry married David Leising six years ago, the couple made the home theirs. The home is decorated with many antiques, including dolls, toys and an enamelware collection that hangs from the basement ceiling. The Leisings have enjoyed remodeling their home, including expanding the kitchen and dining room to create more space to entertain their children and 10 grandchildren who often visit for holidays. The house features a specially designed large window on the second floor, two fireplaces and a large family room in the basement for entertaining. To get in the Christmas spirit, the Leisings decorate the home in the 1930s style, with various cedar greens, reproduction ornaments and Sherry’s large collection of Santas.
Steve and Diane Steinauer
445 N. 2nd St., Seward
Steve and Diane’s American foursquare was built in 1924. They fell in love with this house and loved the idea of raising their four children in a small town. The couple became the proud owners in 1993 and over the years have updated several rooms, including uncovering and restoring the original hardwood floors. Diane enjoys decorating, using family heirlooms as well as her own collections. Visitors will see her pride in her Czech heritage in some of the displays. The Steinauers love to entertain family and friends, so the eat-in kitchen and formal dining room are filled with wonderful memories. The front porch is decorated to celebrate each season, it’s a wonderful place to watch the Fourth of July festivities, greet neighbors and the 40,000 visitors spending their day in Seward. During the rest of the year, the porch is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy a glass of wine.