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ICON Foundation History

The Imperial Court of Nebraska (ICON) is a unique group within a larger network of individual social and community organizations united in kinship under an umbrella of shared structure, policies and goals. 
Intended mostly for "camp" fun, the Court System materialized in 1965 in the legendary city of San Francisco, California. This momentous occasion gave rise to our camp titles of "Emperor & Empress, Prince & Princess", and so forth. It also ignited the signature major annual gala function - Coronation. 
Among the many positive aspects of the Court, the primary goals are: 

  • to further relationships with businesses and organizations within our local community; 

  • to hold functions and fund-raisers to benefit the community; 

  • to help those in the community who are in need of assistance through our support of service agencies like the Nebraska AIDS Project, the MCC-Omaha, UNMC Pediatric AIDS Clinic, etc. 


The Imperial Court of Nebraska has proudly served the community for 42+ years. Since its inception on July 15th, 1980, ICON has raised over $1,000,000 dollars for charities. The first several years of ICON fund-raising efforts benefited the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Jerry's Kids needed money and it was ICON to the rescue. 
HIV/AIDS did not hit Omaha, Nebraska, until around Reign 3. It was during this Reign that Emperor Ken Dillard and Empress Toadie Lee Marvelous started raising money to combat HIV/AIDS. Not long after, what we now know as the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) was born. 


In 1996, Empress XVI, Phoenix Fallentino, created the Iris Phoenix Scholarship under the Imperial Court of Nebraska Foundation, a 501c3 entity. The scholarship provided grants for individuals who self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or as a child of a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person. Funds for the scholarship were raised one dollar at a time via raffles, benefits and shows. Potential recipients provided applications which were reviewed by the members of the Imperial Court of Nebraska Foundation Board of Governors. 


In 2005, The Imperial Court of Nebraska, Inc. which oversaw the court side of the organization merged with The Imperial Court of Nebraska Foundation and took on their name and 501c3 status. Several years later, under direction of the Board of Directors, the name for the scholarship was changed to The Imperial Court of Nebraska Foundation Scholarship. Applications are now reviewed by an independent panel of local professionals who determine the amount to be received by each applicant. 


Today, the ICON Foundation Scholarship continues to raise monies and provide grants for individuals of the LGBT+ community who live in Iowa or Nebraska attending a school of higher learning or individuals from across the country attending a school in Nebraska or Iowa. To date, the scholarship has granted over $150,000 in funds to those in need. 

The ICON Foundation proudly continues dynamic efforts to raise money. Being one the oldest LGBT organizations in the state, we hold various fund-raising events each year to help benefit organizations some past examples are Nebraska AIDS Project, American Cancer Society, The Trevor Project, Rainbow Outreach GLBT Resource Center, UNMC Pediatric AIDS Research, P-FLAG, Michelle’s Fund, HRC, Susan G Komen Foundation, Proud Horizons, and many, many more! 

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