Donor Spotlight: Margaret and Martha Thomas

Board members of the Margaret and Martha Thomas Foundation recently visited NET to tour the station and meet the production team.

From left NET’s Justin Cheney, Kay Hall, Michele Wolford with board members Dean Marples, Larry Anderson and Mike Willet.

The late sisters Margaret and Martha Thomas, were extremely active in Wymore and always looking for ways to contribute to Wymore, Blue Springs, Gage County and beyond. When Wymore science students made their annual trip to the Chimney Rock Visitors Center, they saw that Martha and Margaret had helped to fund its construction. When the Wymore Public Library needed more space, Margaret made a donation to build an extension and double its size.

The daughters of Dr. Charles W. and Emma Thomas, Martha worked at Wymore State Bank for nearly 50 years and Margaret, a University of Nebraska regent scholar, returned home after college to care for her mother. Both sisters established a foundation in 2006 to provide grants to support community projects after their passing—much as they had done all their lives.

For three years, NET has gratefully received funds from their foundation to support the television series, Nebraska Stories. Major and planned giving officer Michele Peon-Casanova, recently invited the board members to NET to tour the station and meet the team behind the production. Dean Marples, Larry Anderson and Mike Willet were pleased to get to know the talented producers and editors who bring the stories to life.

"Those ladies would be so proud of that program," Mike says about the series that travels around the state to showcase Nebraska's diversity and appeal.

Episodes explore local art, wildlife, geological sites and always uncover great stories in unexpected places. Beautifully shot, past episodes are available at netNebraska.org/nebraskastories.

Series producers Kay Hall and Michele Wolford, along with videographer/editor Justin Cheney, screened segments for the board members, including "The New Americans" from their special episode "Free Land" which celebrated the 150th anniversary of homesteading.

"We're very grateful that their financial support helps us produce this next season and beyond," said NET's Debbie Hamlett about season eight, which premieres in January 2017.

The sisters had another connection to NET—their love of the Cornhuskers. Mike said that they closely followed the sports scene and had season tickets to Nebraska football games and often traveled together to bowl games. They were avid NET television fans and watched Big Red Wrap-Up, news and arts programs and seldom strayed beyond their favorite public television station.

If you would like to make a gift supporting NET like the Thomas sisters did, please contact The NET Planned Giving Office at 800.634.6788 or plannedgiving@netNebraska.org.

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