Gifford Park Neighborhood Association
In 1988 a group of people saw the need for improvements in Gifford Park and in the
business section on 33rd Street between California and Cass and decided to do
something about it. The group held a meeting at the home of Dave and Marge Hawkins
on North 32nd Street. Those attending were Jim and Ruth Windorski, Marge and Dave
Hawkins, Charles Kilgore, Bernie Sunberg and Ron Yates. Jim Windorski was elected
president; Dave Hawkins, vice president; Marge Hawkins, treasurer; and Ruth Windorski,
recording secretary of what would be called the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association

An event named “The Great Yates Debate of ’88,” organized by Jim Windorski, had
piqued the interest of the neighborhood. This was a City Council candidates debate held
at Yates Elementary School. Chuck Kilgore was moderator and Subby Anzaldo was a
first-time candidate along with John Lindsey and Mark Holzafel. About 75 people were in
attendance. Early developers of the GPNA besides the founders were: Denise Hall, Jean
Cameron, Ed Hendershot and family, Jeanette Martin, Hubert and Edna Reuss, John and
Diane Reuss, Smokey and Elaine Stober, Gloria Wecher, Terry and Sue Wilwerding,
Keith and Dottie Munhall, Mike and Judi Caban, Tom and Kathy Rose, John and Jackie
Lynch, Rich Liddick, Barb Schroeder, Cynde Yates, Leo Wilwerding, and Whitney
Johnson. Most are still active members and supporters.

In March 1989 the first newsletter was published detailing the mission and boundaries.
The following mission statement was established: “To raise the standards and quality of
life in the community, to bring into closer relationship the person and the community, so
that our persons and our institutions may cooperate intelligently in the redevelopment
and preservation of our community; to develop between public officials and the
community such united efforts as will secure for all a better environment in which to live,
learn, work and play; to promote the unique assets of the Gifford Park area as an inner-
city blend of residential, educational, commercial and recreational opportunity.”
Boundaries were established as approximately 30th Street on the east, 36th-37th Street
on the west, Dodge Street on the south and Cuming Street on the north.

Cox Cable of Omaha, in an effort to recognize organizations such as the GPNA
established their “Neighborhood Salute” in the summer of 1989. The contest invited
Omaha groups to describe why their neighborhoods were special places to live. John
and Jackie Lynch wrote the winning entry. A panel of five judges awarded the top prize of
$1,000 to the Gifford Park Neighborhood Association. We were off and running!

Presidents of the GPNA

Jim Windorski – 1988-1990
Ron Yates – 1990-1993 and 1994-1996
John Lynch – 1993-1994
Leo Wilwerding – 1996-1997
Jim Wilwerding – 1997-1999
Chris Foster – 1999-present

Many more people have been active in the association but, regretfully; we could not
name each and every one. The Gifford Park Neighborhood Association has been a
tremendous force in the preservation of our area and deserves everyone’s thanks and
appreciation for the ongoing well being of our neighborhood life.


Foster, Chris, chronological list of events
Gifford Park’s Pride, issues from 1989 to 2000.
The GPNA Scrapbook
Gifford Park Neighborhood Association
P.O. Box 31462, Omaha, NE 68131-0462
Gifford Park
History Book