July 2018 saw 32 KdVS families gather in Ohama, Nebraska, USA. Hosted by Nicholle and Tony Reisdorff from Papillion, parents to Seth, along with Leslie and Neal Deremer from Nebraska City, parents to Ethan, and Kelly and Steve Walsh from Des Moines, Iowa, parents to Beckett.
Local artists greeted families during the kick-off event at Hot Shops where everyone enjoyed art, sculptures and handmade products that local artists created. The kick-off also included an evening meal introducing some of the first timers to a Runza sandwich.
The big event for the gathering included a day-trip to the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Tickets for the entire group were donated by the KdVS Foundation. The Omaha Zoo consistently ranks in the top 10 zoos in the world. Families enjoyed the day taking in many exhibits and attractions (despite the rain that moved thru). The highlight of the day was the opportunity to hear a speech from Kool Ethan Deremer and everyone got an up-and -personal Animal Ambassador private experience with a colorful and talented Macaw.
The 2018 Gathering closed out with a fabulous carnival hosted at the Hope Center for Kids. Everyone enjoyed the many games and activities, including face painting, a photo booth, a bounce house, an inflatable wipeout obstacle course and lots of food! KdVS families also had the opportunity to meet with kids book author William Spellmeyer who generously donated a book to each family.