Christmas at Concordia weekend offers two community events

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SEWARD, NEB. (11/16/2017) Christmas at Concordia weekend Dec. 1-3 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, Nebraska.

The open house is 4:30-6:30, Sunday, Dec. 3, in the Janzow Campus Center, with caroling and a tree lighting of the 40-foot outdoor Christmas tree at 6 p.m. on the C.G. "Kelly" and Virginia Holthus Family Plaza. The event is sponsored by Concordia University, Nebraska, and Cattle National Bank & Trust Company.

Prior to the open house, community members are encouraged to participate in the 22nd Annual Scholarship Parade of Homes 12:30-4:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3. The parade will feature homes owned by Mark and Christine Blanke, Jim Neuberger and Nicky Engel, David and Amber Fiala, Mike and Jeanie Hecker and Scott and Tammy Kocian.

Proceeds from the annual event support high school students of Seward County who attend Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, and Concordia University, Nebraska. The Scholarship Parade of Homes has raised more than $65,000 in cumulative scholarship funds since it began in 1995. Last year 15 students received almost $4,000 in scholarship awards from the Parade to attend either Concordia University, Nebraska or Southeast Community College-Milford.

Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance for $12 at Concordia University in Weller Hall room 206, Jones National Bank & Trust Co., Union Bank & Trust Co., Cattle National Bank & Trust Co. or online at Tickets may be purchased on the day of the event for $15 in the Seward High School lobby or Concordia's Weller Hall lobby.

The annual event is sponsored by Concordia University, Nebraska and Cattle National Bank & Trust Company.

Additional information about the homes:

Mark and Christine Blanke

189 Wildwood Road

Chris and Mark Blanke's "neo-Craftsman" style home was built in 2005 by Pike and Vandenberg to allow Mark's mother to move in with them. Mark, Chris and Emma lived in the upper stories of the home while Verna (who passed away in 2015) lived in the lower level, which has its own garage and is designed to be handicap accessible. Verna chose the finishes on her level, which means that the two levels have a very different feel.The home has been a work in progress for the 12 years since it was built, including the finishing of a final space just this year on the top level. Mark and Chris like to collect unique furniture and they have a selection of Stickley furnishings they've acquired over the years

Jim Neuberger and Nicky Engel 206 Seward Street

This Seward home was built in 1936 and was purchased by Jim and Nicky in July 2016. Most of the interior doors and woodwork were made from walnut trees found on the original property. The home is a two-story limestone with an addition built on in 1990 featuring stone from the original quarry. At Christmas it is decorated with numerous Christmas village displays.

David and Amber Fiala

411 N. Columbia Avenue

Dave and Amber Fiala moved into their home in May 2016. This house has been in the family since 1977. It was previously owened by Robert and Maxine Fiala who were blessed with many wonderful years there as they raised their sons, Dave and Jon. Dave and Amber began to remodel the house in October 2015. Their goal was to maintain the original charm of this 1912 home. The hardwood floors and woodwork are prominent after removing carpet and wallpaper. This house features a beautiful wrap-around front porch, lead glass windows, 8-foot solid oak doors, and two fireplaces. The new garage and driveway were completed in 2016.

Mike and Jeanie Hecker

2432 N. Columbia Avenue

Mike and Jeanie Hecker started working with friend and contractor, Jim Avery in the fall of 2015 to build their new home. Their goal was to have a modern, open concept floor plan with traditional finishes that would incorporate some cherished family antique furniture. They moved into this house in December 2016 and have enjoyed settling into the rapidly growing neighborhood. A favorite feature of the home is the family room with daylight windows and gas fireplace with an oak mantle, custom-built by close friend Marty Telecky. During warmer weather they enjoy relaxing on the covered porch. Jeanie was glad to add a sewing room dedicated to quilting.

Scott and Tammy Kocian

2443 N. Columbia Avenue

This beautiful 1550 square foot ranch home built by Vodicka construction in 2016 has four bedrooms and three baths, including a walk-in tiled shower. It has 11-foot ceilings in the living room that give this house an open feel. The basement is fully finished with lots of room to spare.

Concordia University, Nebraska, founded in 1894, is a fully accredited, coeducational university located in Seward, Nebraska, that currently serves more than 2,700 students. Concordia more than 100 undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in an excellent academic and Christ-centered community that equips men and women for lives of learning, service and leadership in the church and world. For more information, visit