FRF Director of Development, Jodi Teal

The First Responders Foundation is pleased to officially announce the addition of Jodi Teal as the Director of Development. Jodi joins the Foundation with 15 years of nonprofit experience and is assisting with moving the Foundation toward the vision of providing a direct impact on the mental and emotional wellbeing of first responders. In her previous position, as Development Director at Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy, she served in various positions including donor relations, grant writer, event manager, fundraising, and was the liaison to outside funding opportunities in the community. Jodi has presented on fundraising, grant writing, and capacity building topics at regional and state conferences.

Jodi earned her degree in Human Resources and Family Science from University of Nebraska at Omaha and post-baccalaureate Certificate of Paralegal Studies from College of St. Mary. She completed UNO’s Certificate in Fundraising Management and Strong Nonprofit Program from the Fremont Area Community Foundation. Jodi believes in the positive nature of therapies received beyond the clinical setting. She maintains her certification as an equine specialist in Mental Health and Learning and a therapeutic riding instructor certification through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. She is currently a Board of Director member for the Little Giants Foundation.

Born and raised in Omaha, Jodi is proud to support first responders.  The Foundation is excited to have her as part of the team.  Welcome, Jodi!

Enterprise Security Risk Management Seminar & Vendor Fair

Registration is now open for the Enterprise Security Risk Management Seminar and Vendor Fair, Dec. 2nd and 3rd at the Scott Conference Center. First Responders Foundation is proud to be co presenting with ASIS International. ASIS is the largest organization of security professionals in the world, with over 37,000 members. Register now at here


JAVELAN receives a Helping Heroes Grant from the Petco Foundation

Monday was a great day for First Responders Foundation’s JAVELAN program . The Petco Foundation awarded JAVELAN a $2500 Helping Heroes grant, on October 21, 2019 for service dog training.

Executive Director of the JAVELAN program, Tim McAlpine accompanied by Golden Retriever, General Patton, and his wife Mary, along with Patrice Monnier, of the First Responders Foundation accepted the check from Petco.  The team of handler, Larry Mattson, and his service dog, Sadie, a 90lb King Silver German Shepherd, who will benefit from the grant were at Petco to show their appreciation, as was Russ Dillion from Dillon Dog Training. The check was presented by Matthew Weida, Store Leader, and Shirley Woolsoncroft, Service Experience Leader, from the 13660 W Maple Rd. Petco, and Shawna Weida, Store Leader, from the 7110 Dodge St. Petco.  When Petco guests donate at the register, this act of generosity allows the Petco Foundation to do big things.  To date, since 2012 the Petco Foundation has invested more than $14 million to support the life-changing work of the Helping Heroes service dog program and more than $260 million over all in support of organizations dedicated to creating a better world for pets and the people who love them.

Larry, who is a Marine veteran, has been working with Sadie for five months.  Larry’s exact words are “Sadie has changed my life”.  Larry suffers from PTSD with anxiety and depression and has severe knee and back issues.  He also has high blood pressure and Sadie is trained to alert him when his blood pressure goes above 130/60.  A special twist to the relationship with Larry and JAVELAN is that Larry met with JAVELAN on official business as the NE State President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.  Larry met to discuss the Eagles raising funds for JAVELAN to help veterans.  During the meeting Tim asked Larry if he had ever thought about a service dog for himself.  Larry said yes, but due to the cost, and so many other veterans having a greater need, it was out of the question.  Tim strongly encouraged Larry to apply to JAVELAN, and now Larry and Sadie are a team.  Russ Dillon who contracts with JAVELAN to train the handlers and the dogs, shared some of the exciting details as to how Larry and Sadie became a team.  Sadie had been part of another service dog program but the home where she was living had another dog who was extremely aggressive towards Sadie.  The owners contacted Russ and said they needed to find a new home for Sadie immediately.  Russ called Larry, who had been accepted into the JAVELAN program by this time, and asked if he could come to Omaha from Kearney “now”, to meet Sadie. Larry and Sadie met and the connection was fantastic.  Unique to JAVELAN is that Russ teaches the handler to train the dog while the dog and handler live together and get to know each other, the dogs are not given to the recipients trained.  This reduces the cost by tens of thousands of dollars and helps strengthen the bond between human and canine.  Another unique feature is that the JAVELAN program continues to work with the team in the future as needs arise. Larry would benefit greatly from balance help.  Once Sadie is mature enough, at approximately 2 years old, she will be fitted with a custom-made stability vest.  The vest and handle will allow Larry to use Sadie’s help for balance while walking, standing up, sitting down, and more. Russ will work with Larry at that time to teach Sadie what she needs to help Larry with balance.  The Helping Heroes grant will help with this training.  In the future if Larry would develop another need, such as diabetes, Russ would be able to help train Sadie to alert for that as well.  JAVELAN is a program for the life of the dog, and when needed will help with a new dog – funding, training, and support.

Helping with the training gives the handler great comfort and also purpose. Many who suffer from PTSD need a purpose.  Helping to train the dog, which takes a few hours each day, gives the handler a job to do, a reason to get up each morning, and “someone” who needs them and loves them.  As in the case of Larry the dogs of JAVELAN, are often rescue dogs, from various situations.  The dogs and the handler are both rescued!

For more information on JAVELAN visit  To apply for a service dog and funding contact

Again, a heartfelt and sincere thank you to the Petco Foundation for the Heartland Heroes grant to JAVELAN and the First Responders Foundation.

For more information on the Petco Foundation click here

Pictured from left to right Patrice Monnier, Shawna Weida, Russ Dillion, Larry Mattson, Shirley Woolsoncroft, Mary McAlpine, General Patton, Tim McAlpine.  In front Matthew Weida shaking hands with Sadie.

JAVELAN & First Responders Foundation Merger

JAVELAN & First Responders Foundation MergerThe First Responders Foundation is excited to announce the partnership and merger with JAVELAN. JAVELAN “Service Dogs for HEROES” provides funding, for service dog training, to first responders and veterans.

The program is unique, as when possible, the dogs are rescue dogs, and also the first responder/veteran helps to train the dog. This successful program is a great fit with the programing of the First Responders Foundation and the goal of helping first responders and their families.

For more information visit To apply for a service dog or for more information about the application process please contact Javelan at

Thank you Omaha Area Board of Realtors!

The First Responders Foundation was presented a check this morning for $4846 from the Omaha Area Board of Realtors and Affiliates. The OABR hosted their Annual Golf Tournament on August 26, 2019 designating the First Responders Foundation as the beneficiary. The Foundation thanks the OABR for the generous gift that will help fund the many programs that support First Responders and their families in the greater Omaha area. The Foundation sends a special thank you to Chris Myers for setting up the $5 Cheat Fore Charity on his Graphite Lock sponsored hole. Chris is also a first responder, serving the Boystown Fire Department, and we thank him for his service. It was a great tournament held at the Oak Hills Golf Course at 12323 Golfing Green Dr. in Omaha. Mary Rosenthal, VP of the First Responders Foundation represented the Foundation along with members of the Omaha Police and Omaha Fire Department. Jodi Teal, Director of Development, and Mary shared information with all the golfer about the Foundation. It was a fun day for a great cause.

The Omaha Area Board of Realtors advocates for realtors and the rights of all real estate owners. The OABR is recognized as the primary advocate for the rights of real estate owners in the Greater Omaha market area, and is viewed by members as a professional association that is essential to the success of their business. For more information visit

Pictured above from left to right:Jan Eggenberg, Affliate President 2020, Jodi Teal, Director of Development FRF, Patrice Monnier, Ex. Assist. and Social Media Director FRF, Mary Rosenthal, FRF VP, and Summer Franco, OABR Golf Tournament Event Chairperson.

For more pictures from the OABR Golf Tournament visit the FRF Facebook Page.

VOTE to help the First Responders Foundation WIN $25,000!


We’ve been selected as a finalist for First National Bank of Omaha’s Community First Awards for our contributions toward the First Responders Foundation Home Safety Program and helping to keep the community safe!  We have a chance to receive a $25,000 cash donation – but we need your help.  You can help us win by voting for us today and every day through September 27.


Remember to VOTE EVERYDAY this week and tell your family and friends!  Thank you for your support!

Be Prepared Not Scared

Are you and your family prepared in the event of a disaster? Where do you go? Do you have enough supplies? How do you locate family and friends afterwards? September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. The First Responders Foundation and many others are joining Congressman Don Bacon at a free public event where you will learn the answers to these questions, and many more. Emergency Preparedness organizations and agencies will share information about how you and your family can prepare for and recover from an #emergency or disaster.

For more information visit:



Guns & Hoses 2020!

Mark your calendars for April 17, 2020! We are excited to announce the date for Guns & Hoses 2020! Friday, April 17th at Baxter Arena is the big day for the Red vs. Blue, Fire vs. Police, Guns N Hoses Boxing Challenge 2020!

Who will take home the prize? Will the Police WIN Again or will Fire take the PRIZE?! Tickets go on sale December 2nd. To learn more, visit Make sure to like & follow the official Guns & Hoses social media as we are planning several specials and giveaways during the holiday season!

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Thank you for all who attended The Third Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor

Thank you to all who attended the FRF Third Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor. What a wonderful event and way to honor and remember First Responders, and those who support First Responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Special thanks to keynote speaker Secretary Chuck Hagel for sharing his insight on 9/11. Congratulations to our honorees, First Responders Foundation Co-founder Jerry Hoberman, Robert Nelson, Charles Sederstrom, Mike Fahey, Mayor Jean Stothert, and Sec. Chuck Hagel. The MC, Al Batschelet, FRF President & CEO shared details about the foundations programs, events, and fundraising efforts.

Making the event extra special was the Central High School Singers rendition of the National Anthem and the Presentation of the Colors by the OPD Honor Guard and Pipe and Drums.  Thank you to our sponsors, First National Bank, Valmont, OPPD, Nebraska Medicine, WoodmenLife, Holland Foundation.

To lean more about the sponsors, bios for each of the honorees,  and more pictures from the luncheon click here.

Honoring Jerry Hoberman – Co-founder of the First Responders Foundation

Honoring Jerry HobermanThe First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Jerry Hoberman by inducting him into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Saint Michael, the protector is the patron saint of police and Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.  The First Responders Foundation recognizes Jerry Hoberman for supporting first responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Jerry Hoberman and Ray Somberg Co-founded the First Responders Foundation in 2009.  We are thankful for both Jerry and Ray.  This year at the Third Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor we will be recognizing Jerry for all he has done for First Responders.  Leading up to starting the Foundation Jerry had an opportunity to spend some time with individuals from the Omaha Fire Department and the Omaha Police Department.  Here are some reflections from Jerry.

My reflections of First Responders
by Jerry Hoberman – Co Founder of the First Responders Foundation

My neighbor John Stolinski is a Omaha firefighter. In visiting with John, I was impressed by his, as well as his fellow firefighters, dedication and caring for the citizens of our city who found themselves in need of medical attention or rescue.

I had the privilege of participating in a “practice burn” of a building. As i watched the flames curl up the wall and envelope the ceiling, as I experienced the intense heat, as the protective gear I wore became enveloped in smoke so dense I could n to see my hand in front of my face…. panic took over! All I could think was….. I HAVE TO GET OUT!

Firefighter Dan Stolinski, who was assigned to keeping me unharmed, instructed me to crawl on all fours as he lead me out of the building. When I reached the fresh air, I thought about the First Responders who risk their lives by going into burning buildings to save ours. It gave me a lasting appreciation of their courage and dedication.

I was paired with Omaha Police Officer Nyugen to go on a “Ride Along” in the late hours of the night. My heart was racing and my anxiety maxed out as I watched Office Nyugen pull over a suspected drug dealer. I sat in the cruiser as I observed him cautiously approaching the driver’s door…. never knowing what to expect, as he proceeded with the arrest.

Another call came in and we were dispatched to a domestic violence incident where a man drove his key fob into the head of his girlfriend. As we took off, all I could think about were the stories of officers who were wounded or killed responding to routine domestic violence calls.

We count on First Responders to care for us….. to protect us. These exceptional men and women, on a daily basis, put their lives in jeopardy to protect ours.

My lifelong friend, Ray Somberg had similar experiences, and together, we founded the “Firefighter & Police Appreciation Foundation” later renamed “The First Responders Foundation”

All of us at the First Responders Foundation are grateful to Jerry and Ray for starting the foundation that for 10 years has been serving and appreciating First Responders and their families.

We are very proud to be honoring Jerry Hoberman at the Third Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor, for all he has done for First Responders and the Foundation.

Jerry started Tires, Incorporated in 1969 and worked there until he sold the business in 1998. He is the past chairman of Del Nat. a national tire association. He is currently on the board of the Holland Foundation.  Jerry is retired.

Jerry and his wife, Cookie, just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.  They have three daughters, Jennifer lives in Omaha, and Robin and Lisa both reside in Chicago.  They also have and are very proud of their “FFG”, five fabulous grandchildren.

Jerry, we thank you!