Happy 4th of July

July Resident Newsletter

In this Issue:

  • Summertime patio fun at Auburn Meadows
  • Call to Care Classic Tournament, July 11th 
  • Lois from Auburn Manor and her rehab story
  • Waconia Staff Spotlight on Candy Eckert
  • Auburn Staff Member's School Supplies Drive
  • Fishing with Auburn Courts
  • Meet resident, Gina, from Auburn Meadows
  • Auburn Manor residents conduct egg experiment
  • Chaska Staff Spotlight on Erin Kramer
  • Waconia Marching Band Plays for Auburn Meadows in Waconia
  • July Activities
  • The Pastor's Corner with Reverend Doctor Jennifer Moran

Patio Fun at Auburn Meadows


Summertime at Auburn Homes & Services means lots of fun, outdoor activities, including taking advantage of the beautiful patios we have on each campus. Auburn Meadows residents were treated to root beer floats on the patio served by the Carver County Dairy Princesses. What a perfect way to spend a sunny day!

The 26th Annual Call to Care Classic


Auburn Homes & Services is hosting it's 26th Annual Call to Care Classic Golf Tournament on Monday, July 11th, and we would love for you to participate!

Join us at the gorgeous Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee to help us raise money for the enrichment of the lives of our residents and the work environment for our amazing staff.

Bring your friends and enjoy the fellowship of our community coming together for a worthy cause; play includes a boxed lunch, buffet dinner after tournament and award ceremony.

There is still time to register to play, be a sponsor or simply donate. Click here for more information.

Celebrating it's 26th year, Auburn Homes & Services is proud to once again offer an opportunity for our community to come together for the common cause to raise money for the enrichment of our residents and staff's lives at Auburn.

 Stonebrooke Golf Club offers a beautiful setting for 18 holes of golf, including their legendary 8th hole pontoon ride across the lake to the fairway. It is not to be missed!

Form a team of two, three or four players and join us to raise money for Auburn Homes & Services residents and staff. Want to come alone? No problem! We will place you on a team.

Lois from Auburn Manor has a great

rehab story to tell!


Lois first came to Auburn Manor in May of 2020 after a back surgery that left her with substantial pain and much needed rehab. It was the height of the pandemic and a scary time in her life as she had been living independently prior to coming to Auburn.


During this time, she found that sleeping upright in a chair alleviated her back pain, so she did so, for two years. She learned that while she slept upright, her neck favored her right side and

her head would hang to the right; eventually this position took it's toll on Lois's body. It started with her right hand having a swollen sensation although it wasn't swollen; the sensation traveled up her arm and then started in the left hand and arm. Eventually, she lost the movement in both of her arms, losing her ability to feed herself, along with her legs becoming very weak and she could no longer walk.


Doctors could not figure out what was causing these conditions; some described it as the same illness that the late actor, Christopher Reeves, suffered from and any sudden move of her body could be devastating to her physically.


She was referred to Dr. Kim, a neurologist at the University of Minnesota. After reviewing her x-rays, Dr. Kim told her, "you need to have emergency surgery tomorrow" to repair the 2nd vertebrae in her neck that had turned sideways. He cautioned her that the surgery could cause death or paralysis; Lois stated that death didn't scare her, but paralysis did. 


After a day long surgery, 

when Lois was coming out of anesthesia, Dr. Kim asked her to wiggle her toes...and she did! The procedure of fusing her 1,2 and 3rd vertebrae together was a success, but required a long recovery ahead. Lois had to wear a neck brace for 11 weeks and take part in extensive physical therapy, but she is happy to report that today she can walk, sleep in a bed (something she couldn't do for years due to back pain) and almost has full recovery of her hands and arms (her hands still feel a bit "swollen"). Lois credits her excellent care team at Auburn Manor, including Evita, RN, and her physical therapist, Amanda, from Pro Rehab for her amazing recovery. She calls the staff at Manor her "extended family" and is grateful for their care.


Keep up the great work, Lois, you are a true success story! 


Lois is the proud mother of daughter, Karen, and grandmother to three, grown grandchildren.

We love Lois's big smile!

Waconia Staff Highlight on Candy Eckert


I started working at Auburn Homes as a nursing manager 3.5 years ago and I have loved working for this company every day since! Here at Auburn, you get to know the patients very quickly and have the opportunity to play an important role in their lives. We know all the residents likes and dislikes as well as get to know their families. I love working in this small, cozy facility because everyone is very caring and works together as a team; if someone needs time off, the staff are very willing to help each other out. It is nice to work for a company that creates a culture that makes me excited to come to work every day. 



~ Candy Eckert, RN


Key Responsibilities: Managing Rehab, MDS’s, Care Conferences

Family: 4 children- Jenny, Jason, Justin, and Jordan, 8 grandchildren

Favorite Past-time: Spending time with the grandchildren and watching them grow up. I like spending time at the beach and recently started kayaking.

Favorite Travel Destination: Hawaii

When I retire I hope to: Live somewhere that is warm all year round. I HATE SNOW!!!


Auburn Manor staff member, Nikki B.,

hosting Schools Supplies Fundraiser


Nikki Becker, TMA in Auburn Manor, not only has a big heart to offer our residents, but she also likes to give back to our community by creating fundraisers for those in need. This summer, she has created a fundraiser to receive donations for back-to-school supplies for teachers. Nikki decided to focus on teachers because, "I feel like they get forgotten and spend hundreds of their own money on supplies for their students. So I

thought, why not get teacher supplies this year. I'm in contact with an elementary school in Chaska and Waconia; the supplies donated at each campus can then go to their town elementary school."


If you would like to review the donation list and donate, please click here. Thank you, Nikki, for your generous spirit and all that you do!

Nikki Becker

Fishing with Auburn Courts Residents


It was a beautiful day to go fishing on Lake Minnetonka and our Courts residents had a swimmingly good time! A pontoon cruise and stops for fishing was the perfect way to enjoy the summer sun.

Meet resident, Gina, from Auburn Meadows



Virginia was born in Brooklyn. Her family moved a lot and she lived in Singapore until she was six years old where she learned Malay. Her family ended up moving to the United States where her father taught religion and philosophy at the University of Oregon.

Virginia spent summers in the Cascade Mountains with her father as a fire lookout and in high school she worked as a recreation supervisor. She was attending college at the University of Oregon for Liberal Arts when she had a change of heart and decided to change her major to Parks and Recreation. At that time, there were only five universities in the United States that offered that major. So she transferred to the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a degree in Parks and Recreation.

After graduating college, she got a job with the Richfield School District coordinating their community education classes and events. She worked for the school district for six years putting together swimming classes, intermural sports events and even a tropical fish club.

Virginia married her husband Lyle in 1957, they had two children and resided in Richfield. Virginia’s husband was invited to join a garden group and decided to go back to school for Horticulture. One of his classmates was Stan Bachmann. Lyle started working at Bachmann’s as an African Violet grower. They later decided to start their own greenhouse and purchased Ziemer’s, a 10,000 square foot greenhouse and apple orchard on seven acres on the edge of Waconia. Waconia became home and it is the longest place Virginia has lived in the same town.

Virginia was interested in joining a church in the area and talked with her father, who studied religion. He said the Moravian Church was a main line denomination and thought she would be happy joining. She was welcomed into the church and started volunteering. Virginia was approached to be on the Moravian Care Board and was an active member for 15 years. She was a member of the board when the property for Auburn Home was purchased and Auburn Meadows was approved.

Virginia was also on the advisory board for The Boundary Waters and said, “it was a great experience” and she learned so much. After her children started college she was asked to open a floral shop in Chaska. Virginia owned and operated Floralview, the local floral shop in downtown Chaska, for 18 years.

Virginia appreciates volunteering, gardening, and traveling.

Auburn Manor Residents Conduct

Classic Egg Toss Experiment


Auburn Manor residents had some fun experimenting with the classic "Egg Drop" challenge to see what is the least amount of protective material you can use to keep the egg safe from breaking. Residents took a raw egg and built protection around it with different types of materials to see if it would remain intact after being dropped from the roof of the Manor building; Jim Stai, Maintenance Director, had fun helping out by tossing them off from the roof top. How many broke? Surprisingly, all survived except for two due to the great engineering of our residents!

Manor Residents show off their egg creations.

Chaska Staff Spotlight on Erin Kramer


My name is Erin and I am a Registered Nurse at Auburn. Over 20 years ago, I started working at Good Samaritan in Waconia. I worked my way up from Dietary Aide to CNA, TMA, Universal Worker and then RN.


While going through nursing school, I watched Auburn build the new Home and then Meadows buildings in Waconia. I told myself that I wanted to work for Auburn someday. The opportunity came for me in 2013. I was hired as a RN Manager at Auburn Meadows. I enjoyed working for Auburn for three years, but as a new nurse, I wanted to try other areas of nursing. I left to work in insurance and then a pediatric clinic. However, I missed senior living and working with a close team to serve residents and their families.


I returned to Auburn after applying for an open nurse position; I was hired and the team welcomed me back with open arms!


~ Erin Kramer, Director of Home Care for Auburn Courts and Meadows Assisted Living Communities 


Key Responsibilities: Direct the day to day functions of both assisted living communities in accordance with current federal, state, and local standards, guidelines, regulations and policies. I oversee the home care staff and operations to ensure the best quality of care for all of the residents and service to their families.

Family: Married to Mike for 17 years. Sons Caleb 12, Carter 8, and Conner 4

Favorite Pastime: Traveling and being with family

Favorite Travel Destination: San Francisco and anywhere in Utah

My Favorite Thing about Working at Auburn is: Working with a dedicated and passionate team while serving seniors in the spirit of Christ’s love.

When I Retire I hope to: Retire to Utah with my husband and volunteer.

Waconia Marching Band Performs for

Auburn Meadows and Home


Much to the delight of Auburn Meadows and Home residents, the Waconia Marching Band stopped by to greet and perform for them after participating in a parade earlier in the day. After performing songs with their Color Guard and saying "hello" to the residents, the marching band headed downtown to Minneapolis for a performance at Target Field. Next, they head to Colorado for more events. Thank you, Waconia Marching Band, for stopping by and playing for us and enjoy your time in Colorado!

July is here and that can only mean one thing, it's hot!

It's a good thing we have plenty of fun, indoor activities planned for our residents as well as some outdoor excursions.


July activities include an outing to Lola's Lake House in Waconia, entertainment all month by various musicians, Lemonade stand on the patio, picnics in the park, a Mississippi cruise and much, much more!


Check out your resident's July Activities Calendar to see which ones are available to them by clicking on the appropriate link below:



Auburn Home, Auburn Meadows, 

Auburn ManorAuburn Courts


Pastor's Corner with

Reverend Doctor Jennifer Moran


In lieu of Pastor Jenny's "Pastor Corner", this month, we would like to introduce you to our new Chaplain,

The Reverend Cathy M. Kowley

The Reverend Cathy M. Kowley

Hello! And thank you for the wonderful welcome I have received so far from the staff and residents in my first week here at Auburn. I am the Rev. Cathy M. Kolwey, and I am the new chaplain joining the team. I am delighted to be here.


I am a pastor ordained in the United Church of Christ and have served both churches and hospitals in my time as a minister. I moved to Carver County six years ago and have quickly set down roots here in the community. I come into ministry as a second career pastor, and before serving churches I was a textile designer in the fashion industry. So, I also consider myself to be an artist and a writer as well as a pastor. Creativity is a key element of my faith and I have been doing art-based workshops combining spiritual formation with the arts for over twenty years. I hope to bring that kind of arts ministry into my work here at Auburn as well.


I am originally from the East Coast (Maryland) and have quite a history with the Moravian Church as well. My great-grandfather was the Right Reverend Bishop Samuel H. Gapp, who served the Moravian Church in Bethlehem as well as the Moravian Seminary there as well. So I grew up visiting Bethlehem during the Christmas season and have a great love for all the uniquely Moravian traditions and the beautiful Moravian Star. To be in a place where I can see that star every day truly feels like I’m coming home.


When I am not doing ministry, I try to cultivate my artsy side. I write regularly for a few blogs, write poetry, and do a variety of art activities (painting, collage, weaving, sewing, etc.) I also spend a good deal of time as a “bleacher mom” because I have a son named Sam who plays lots of different sports (but loves basketball and soccer the best). He is about to enter high school at Central Schools.

I look forward to getting to know everyone here in the Auburn family and to share in the ministry with the community together.


Blessings and peace,

Rev. Cathy


The next Resident Newsletter will be

emailed on August 1,2022.


 If you have a loved one with a unique talent,

history or great story, let us know!

Email myelich@auburnhomes.org

or call Michelle Yelich at (952)361-5076


Have a great rest of the Month!



Auburn Homes & Services

Mission, Vision and Values Statement