Category: News and Events

Silver Lining

Take a look at this Facebook post shared on March 14, 2020

I work for Guardian Angels Senior Services in Fund Development.
Today is the date of our annual gala. This year, our monetary focus is for an upgrade to the kitchen of one of our facilities in order to provide more meals, more often, for more senior citizen.

As of Wednesday, we had 400 paid tickets and sponsors. The video presentation went through its final edit. The auction items were prepared and ready for electronic bidding, the food and venue were confirmed, over 100 raffle prizes were lined up, and the program was at the printer.

Over the last few weeks, protocols have rapidly changed for our senior residents, employees, the world. As we slug it out for toilet paper, our seniors are now shut in with no visitors as we manage to protect their health.

As of Thursday morning, the decision was made to cancel the gala. Just like most other events in this country. For the safety of everyone. The next 8 hours were spent disassembling this event and figuring out how to salvage what we could and think outside the box.

In the details of that process came extraordinary human kindness from volunteers, donors, sponsors, vendors employees, and business leaders.

Although there will be no “organized gala” it is going on in spirit. The auction has been placed online for the entire weekend with great activity already.

Although the venue will sit empty, the meals to be served this evening will be delivered in sealed containers to the two of our Independent Senior housing centers (these residents would normally take care of their own meals) along with gala programs and table favors.

A stressful week of rapid change and uncertainty turned into one of the most gratifying. I am reminded daily why I came to work for Guardian Angels.

If you want to take a break from Netflix this weekend, check out the gala video on the website!

Tenants enjoying the delicious meal!

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Reflection Room Renovations

Several years ago, two families of Guardian Angels Care Center made generous donations to enhance the Reflection Room – a designated place for all residents, residents’ families, and Guardian Angels’ staff – to use as a quiet place for prayer and meditation. It’s available all hours of the day and all are welcome to visit.  George and Joan Zabee donated a stunning stained-glass window in memory of Joseph and Frances Zabee and Thomas Zabee.  The Wilson family donated a beautiful altar in memory of Roland and Edith Wilson. The stained-glass window and altar added such  beauty to the room and Guardian Angels will be forever grateful  to the Zabee and Wilson families for their donations.

Dan Dixon, Donita Grell, Chaplain Joe Calandra and Joan Zabee, current Care
Center resident and donor of stained-glass window.

As time passed, we found our Reflection Room in need of renovations. With the assistance and sponsorship of the Friends of Guardian Angels, led by Chair Donita Grell and a group of auxiliary volunteers, the project began. After many updates our Reflection Room is once again a welcoming space for all who seek a quiet place to spend time with family or private meditation. This summer the Care Center hosted a consecration for the Reflection Room and Chapel where Guardian Angels’ Chaplain Joe Calandra resided over the blessing.

Thank you to all the Friends of Guardian Angels’ members for making these renovations possible. Your continued hard work and fundraising efforts allowed for this beautiful renovation and new items for the Chapel. We are sincerely grateful for your many years of volunteer efforts and commitment.

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Angels in Action!

I remember many trips to the Guardian Angels Care Center to celebrate birthdays and Mother’s Day with my Grandma Schlechter. The whole family would be there. It was a large gathering. Those are really good memories! –Ron Stricker

L to R: Kelli Horner, Adam Horner, Gloria Stricker, Audrey Horner, Ron Stricker.
Front: Katherine Horner

For Ron and Gloria Stricker, Guardian Angels has always been a part of their family. Grandma Victoria Schlechter (Ron’s Grandmother) made her home here and brothers, sisters, cousins, and family from all over would join in celebrating birthdays and Mother’s Day. Gloria’s dad moved into Guardian Angels after living in Jamestown, ND for 90 years. “As difficult as the situation was, the move went well and Guardian Angels staff was amazing with him,” said Gloria with tears in her eyes. Currently, Ron’s mom Mary is living in a Guardian Angels community. “When you go there to visit your family, you see a whole generation of people who need care,” said Ron “Then you start to realize the significance of Guardian Angels in our community and the importance of ensuring they are able to carry out their mission of providing exceptional care to seniors and their families.”

Neither Ron nor Gloria grew up in wealthy families, but their families did teach them the importance of giving back. They are faithful church supporters, blood donors, and always look out and care for others. This is something Ron and Gloria passed on to their children.

“We obviously grew up with Guardian Angels always being a part of the Elk River community,” said Adam Horner. Adam and Kelli Horner are the daughter and son-in-law of Ron and Gloria Stricker. For Kelli, Guardian Angels was always part of holiday celebrations and trips to see her grandparents and even great-grandparents. Adam and Kelli then started coming to the Guardian Angels Spring Galas and soon realized the importance of sustaining this important mission. When the time came for the couple to create a will, it only seemed natural to include Guardian Angels in it as one of their beneficiaries. Kelli said, “Growing up, generosity was always modeled for Adam and me, and we want to set that same example for our children.”

Both the Stricker and Horner families wish more people would understand the importance of leaving a legacy gift because it’s so easy. Anyone, at any age or income level, can make a legacy gift and make a lasting difference in the lives of seniors through Guardian Angels. To make a difference with a legacy gift, contact Deb Weston at Guardian Angels at 763-635-4485 or visit our website at and click on Ways to Give.

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