November 2021 - Volume 1, Issue 1
Welcome to our first issue of Enhance!
We're excited to share our first issue of Enhancea quarterly email newsletter dedicated to keeping you informed about how your gifts to Benedictine Foundation - Rochester/Byron enhance the lives of our residents and staff every day. Whether it's a donation to our new local Employee Emergency Program or to our Walking Path Campaign, the staff and residents on our three campuses (Madonna Towers, Madonna Meadows and Byron) feel your love and support with every dollar or gift-in-kind given.

If you would like to make sure this newsletter reaches your inbox, please add my email,, to your contacts. If you would rather not receive this newsletter, you can unsubscribe using the link at the bottom of the page. We sincerely hope you will stay connected with us and learn about how your gifts help fulfill our mission of helping those we serve to live fully and live well.

In gratitude,

Sandy Molenda
Foundation Executive Director
NEW LOCAL Employee Emergency Program now accepting gifts
We are excited to announce our NEW LOCAL Employee Emergency Program, which benefits our Rochester and Byron employees in need. Despite working longer hours due to unprecedented staffing shortages, some employees are still one unexpected emergency away from a financial crisis. With a gift to this program, you can help pay the rent, or buy groceries for employees who face a financial strain due to an event outside of their control. Gifts of any size will make a meaningful impact.
Walking Path Campaign update
Thanks to your gifts to our Walking Path Campaign, we have raised nearly $60,000 over the past year towards our $150,000 goal to extend or improve walking paths on all our campuses. With your generosity, we've already completed a walking path at Madonna Meadows that allows residents to walk a full circle around the building—which especially benefits those involved in our physical therapy programs. Thank You!

We hope to continue to raise funds to extend smooth, looping, concrete walking paths at our Byron campus, as well as repair existing paths at all campuses, including Madonna Towers. To help provide our residents with a safe place to exercise, relax and enjoy nature’s beauty, click the give now button below.
First-ever all-associate giving campaign rallies staff to give
While in the past, each Benedictine Living Community would hold its own annual associate-giving campaign, now those campaigns will all be held during the same two weeks using the "We Give 321" theme. Associates have 3 ways to give (online, checks, or payroll deduction), during 2 weeks, for 1 Benedictine. This year's campaign ran from October 11 through October 24 when the more than 30 Benedictine Living Communities in five states joined together in one unified effort to raise funds to benefit their seniors and staff. This combined effort raised nearly $200,000 to be used toward local projects on each campus. Benedictine Foundation Rochester/Byron designated our gifts to our Campus Walking Path Campaign and Employee Emergency Program.
Donor-centered Foundation puts power of your gift in your hands
Did you know you can choose the project, fund or item you'd like to support with your donation? Your gift. Your choice! Benedictine Foundation - Rochester/Byron is donor-centered. That means you choose where you would like your gift to be used. You can designate your gift toward one of the existing funds listed below, or you can designate toward a need not listed here that would benefit any of our three living communities.

Fund choices:
  • General Fund/Walking Paths
  • Rochester/Byron Employee Emergency Program
  • Chapel
  • Benedictine Care (charity care)
  • Transportation (vehicles)
  • Resident Massage Therapy (memory care/nursing care)

When giving online, choose your fund designation from the drop-down menu. If your project of choice isn't listed, please write it in the box titled "Other information regarding my gift." If writing a check, simply write your intention on the memo line and return your gift to Benedictine Foundation - Rochester/Byron, 4001 19th Ave NW, Rochester, MN 55901. To discuss a unique project or item you would like to fund, contact Sandy.
Thank you for your in-kind gifts!
Fleet Farm - Outdoor games
37th St. Hy-Vee - 1,090 roses for our residents
Elena Henderson - 25 crocheted afghans and shawls
Renning's Flowers, Jim Whiting Nursery and Garden Center, Home Depot, Greenwood Plants and Beth Krolak -
Flowers and outdoor plants
37th St. Hy-Vee - 20 dozen cookies for our hardworking staff
Target NW & South - Outdoor games
Presentation on elder abuse and scams provides valuable information to Madonna Towers residents
Residents at Madonna Towers learned about elder abuse and scams on October 28 from Julianne Kocer, a local elder law, estate planning, and disability planning attorney at the Elder Law Office of Julianne Kocer. Thank you, Julie, for keeping our residents informed about the latest scams to watch out for, including email phishing, fake government agencies, and tech support scams. Residents' families were also invited to participate via Zoom.
We are so grateful for these gifts given since August in honor or in memory of a loved one who is/was cared for at one of our three communities:

In honor of
Sally Vandermus - Walking Paths

In memory of
Paul Fountain - General Fund
Lorraine Grim - Walking Paths
Robert Haggerty - Chapel Fund
Jean Kress - Employee Emergency Program
Margaret Lawler - General Fund

Mission Moment
Rehab patient appreciates Benedictine core values in action
How does the staff at our Benedictine Living Communities know they are living out our Benedictine values of hospitality, stewardship, respect and justice? Our patients just come right out and tell us! Short-term rehab patient Karel Weigel was so impressed with the recent care she received at Madonna Towers after recovering from a fall, that she wrote this summary of her experience...

During my stay, the care and concern the staff provided was remarkable! From the nursing staff to administration, occupational and physical therapy to housekeeping and dietary staff. All of them singularly and together were invaluable in helping me recover, but most important was their always warm greetings and words of encouragement. OT and PT were daily events, guiding me through exercises to build strength and confidence. If I made a mistake or didn't do something as I should, there was never a cross word, but rather a simple comment, "What did you forget?" That happened most often using the four-wheel walker or leaving my room for an early morning cup of coffee without an assistive device like a walker or cane.

While I hope never to repeat this episode, I remain very grateful for the thoughtfulness and skill of the entire staff. It is also clear to me that the phrase Benedictine values is not used lightly but taken to heart and practiced with pride by all who are a part of the team!
Benedictine Core Values
Hospitality | Stewardship | Respect | Justice

Share your BLC-Rochester/Byron story!
Have you been impressed with the care you or a loved one received at Benedictine Living Community in Rochester or Byron? Email Foundation Development Coordinator Dawn Mitchell to share your story!
Congratulations 2021 Employee Scholarship winners
Congratulations to the winners of our 2021 Employee Scholarships! Awards of $500 and $1000 each were presented in August to five local employees for continued education in long-term care fields. Congratulations to Daysi Baiza, Ashley Miller, Mary Baker, Allison More and Daniel Tesch.

We thank the William P. Wharton Family and the Emil & Mary Ann Zahasky Family for your continuing financial support of this valuable scholarship program! Contact Sandy if you would like to establish your own scholarship program bequest.
Lactation Rooms updated thanks to grant funding
Our lactation rooms for associates at Madonna Meadows and Madonna Towers recently received updates thanks to local grant funding from Olmsted Area Breastfeeding Coalition/Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition and the Olmsted County Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). Thank you!

We added washable and ergonomically appropriate chairs and desks for pumping and equipment, and painted and decorated each room to create a warm, welcome aesthetic for our associates who are juggling both work and motherhood.
Wish List: Pianos in excellent condition
Pianos are around every corner, it seems, at our Benedictine Living Communities in Rochester and Byron. From our many chapels, to activities rooms, to dining rooms and common spaces, pianos are played often to put a smile on the faces of our residents. Many of these pianos, however, are in need of an upgrade.

Do you have a piano in excellent condition that you would like to donate?

We prefer modern console upright pianos from the following reputable brands: Yamaha, Young Chang, Hamilton, Baldwin, Steinway, Kawai and Samick.

If you have a piano in excellent condition that you think we could use on our campuses for many years to come, please email Sandy or call her at (507) 206-2219.
What you can give
Did you know there are many ways to give a financial gift to Benedictine Foundation - Rochester/Bryon? Check out our legacy giving website to find out about the many different assets you can give, including stocks, retirement assets, life insurance, real-estate, personal property and donor-advised funds.
Scan this QR code with your phone's camera to give online!