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Nelson Family Foundation

About the Foundation

The Nelson Family Foundation was founded in 1997 as a supporting organization of the Omaha Community Foundation. Since that time, over $2.5 million in charitable support has been granted to over 80 educational, environmental, human services, arts, and health organizations. Additionally, more than a quarter of a million dollars has been awarded since 2008 to outstanding teachers and counselors from the Council Bluffs and Lewis Central School Districts through the Excellence in Teaching Award.

H. H. “Red” and Ruth H. Nelson

History of the Foundation

The Nelson family’s commitment to giving back can be traced to H. H. “Red” and Ruth H. Nelson. They played a considerable role in their family’s and community’s life. In 1945, Red and Ruth started an insurance agency, which is now SilverStone Group. They spent a lifetime helping those in need, especially children. Red and Ruth were always very humble and never wanted or sought recognition for their many charitable works. They were loving, generous parents and grandparents and had the welfare, nurturing, and education of young people always in their hearts. Today, the Nelson Family Foundation’s efforts are led by Anne and John P. Nelson. The Foundation continues to support numerous organizations and projects in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area, as well as causes outside the region in which the Nelson family has personal involvement.

Excellence in Teaching Award

In 2008, the Nelson Family Foundation established the Excellence in Teaching Award. This award honors outstanding teachers or counselors from the Council Bluffs and Lewis Central School Districts. Award recipients are chosen based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities both inside and outside the classroom, benefiting young people, as well as the community.

2020 Awards Update

As we all continue to find prudent ways to navigate the uncharted territory of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nelson Family Foundation has decided that:

The 2020 Excellence in Teaching Awards Banquet has been cancelled.

All nomination materials submitted as part of the 2020 awards program will be maintained and considered as part of next year’s recognition program.

Although the Nelson Family Foundation is disappointed to have to forgo this year’s event and awards, the Foundation felt this was critical to ensure the health and safety of all honorees and attendees. We look forward to the return of this special recognition of local educators in 2021.

Past Award Recipients (PDF)

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Stacey Goodman

Iowa Foundations Director


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