The Oma Noma Heritage Festival this year brings back Lilli Shields to portray Oma and a new face to the festival, Sarah Bruna, to portray Noma. Oma and Noma Degraffenreid were the first people to cross Bagnell Dam after it was build in the year 1931.
Lilli Shields has had a love for performing arts since she was three years old. She trained as a dancer at STEPS Dance studio, sang with the Camdenton High School Concert Choir and participated in the Bel Cantos Show Choir as well.
She spent her senior year of high school abroad as a foreign exchange student in France. After graduation in 2010 she moved to St. Peters, Missouri and attended Sanford-Brown College to become a medical student. While attending school she worked at a local daycare and learning center teaching 2 and 3 year olds. After graduation from Sanford-Brown, Shields returned to the lake area. Soon after, she decided to pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education and enrolled in Missouri State University in January 2012. She is currently a sophomore and thoroughly enjoying the college life while living in Springfield, Missouri. Shields has roots on the Bagnell Dam Strip as both of her maternal grandparents, Mary Miller Smith
and Melvin Smith and her paternal grandparents, Judy and Bill Shields owned and operated businesses in Lake Ozark.
Shields' mother, Nora Smith Shields, teaches French at Camdenton High School. Her Father, Time Shields, works at Ozark Yacht Club. Both parents are graduates of School of the Osage. Her brother Adam is also a graduate of Camdenton High School and is affiliated with LakeTV as well as several other performance arts programs.
Sarah Bruna, 24, grew up in Sunrise Beach, and is a 2007 graduate of Camdenton High School. While in high school she was a member of the Bel Cantos Show Choir and the Camdenton Student Television Network.
Sarah attended the Osage Beach Branch of Columbia College and later transferred to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri and received her B.S. in Business and Marketing with a minor in Integrated Media. Her parents are local business owners Robert and Linda Smithey of Sunrise Beach. Robert is the President of the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District.
While attending Columbia College, she worked for her parents at Accurate Pest Management and last year she acted as the treasurer for the successful campaign to re-elect Gary Blackwell to the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District board.
She has always loved telling stories through video and photography and started her own wedding photography and cinematography company, Apple Wine Films & Photography at the end of last year. She married Architectural Engineer Peter Bruna of Ottawa, Kan. on September 22, 2012 and they currently live in Overland Park, Kan. with their two dogs, Lady and Brophy.
Page 2 of 2 - Lilli and Sarah have been friends for quite some time and Lilli is also affiliated with Sarah's Video and Photography business. The two are very excited to portray the sisters Oma and Noma and look forward to the day's festivities.
This years Oma Noma Heritage Festival is Saturday, May 18 on the Bagnell Dam Strip in Lake Ozark.