Community Connection Newsletter | July 2020 | News & Announcements
Meet Our New Residents
By: Jacqueline Dillinger
After a very quiet winter and spring, we have emerged into the summer with several new residents. We are so pleased to welcome such wonderful people into our community. Let me introduce the new residents to you.

First, from New York State are the Boardmans. Their daughter Lauren lives here in Elk Rapids. They are both hearing impaired, and so it has taken a while for them and us to adjust. We are learning new ways to communicate; one way is with small white boards. During our activities, we pass the white boards back and forth with questions and answers. It has been a joy to invite them into our community. After meeting them, one of our residents learned how to say something in sign language, and excitedly tried it out on the next activity where they both attended.
Next was Irene Goodrich. She comes to us from Allegan, MI where she was born and raised. She has three children, with a daughter who lives in the area. Irene has a beloved cat, whom may be seen walking on a leash in the hallway. When asked what she is looking forward to once things get back to normal, or a “new normal”, she said music.

Our next resident Essie Pringle moved in soon afterwards. She came to us from a community much like ours in Sterling Heights, Michigan. She has one daughter, who lives in Traverse City. When asked what she was looking forward to in our “new normal”, she said meeting new people. Essie likes to be around people, and misses her friends from Sterling Heights. She loves all kinds of music, so she’s excited to see and hear what we have in store for our future musical programming.
The last resident to move here in June was Sister Noreen Tenbusch. She lived in a senior community in Roseville, MI. She has a brother who lives in the area, and lots of nieces and nephews. She was a teacher in the Catholic School system in the Detroit area. Her last assignment was in a public school. She felt she was able to reach into the lives of the children there and make a difference. Sister Noreen is looking forward to sitting down and meeting people, she loves to socialize.

When asked about what each of these individuals liked most about Samaritas since they have been here, three of them said that the “people are so friendly” here. One said that the staff takes the vision of “Loving others as an expression of Christ” seriously and with sincerity.
Betty Wallace
The best memory of Independence Day was the days when they were at their cottage on Elk Lake. They had a deck they could sit on and observe the fireworks that were being set off all around the lake. They would go to Shady Pines and have a potluck picnic with the folks who lived in the cottages around the lake. Everyone knew each other.
Betty’s favorite fireworks were the ones that would burst open in the sky and the squiggles would float down.

Betty says that freedom means the ability to make your own decisions without the right to impose those belief systems on others.

During WWI, she would make packages and send them out. She did it all by hand because there were no machines. There were group gatherings to make a lot of rations, food stamps, etc.

To Betty, the best part of being an American are the luxuries, economic future, ability to experience options and choice. No possibility of invasion hanging overhead.
Betty has a hard time believing that the American Dream is still attainable. She worries about her grandchildren during this pandemic.
Wanda Humphrey
Wanda’s best memory of Independence Day was celebrating her grandson’s birthday. They lived on Torch Lake and had a dock three times the normal ones. Her family would watch the fireworks on the dock.

Freedom means to Wanda that she can do what she wants.
Freedom used to be the best part about being an American, but that is not the case anymore. There are too many protests and arguments going on in our country.
Shirley Barker
Shirley’s best memory of Independence Day was about her cousin who was a cop and lived on a big farm. It was a town up North that only had 250 residents and was named after the family. They would have a parade and throw out candy. There were firetrucks, police, law enforcement and, bike riders, etc. It was a short two-block stretch so the parade went around twice. Then they would have a big “shin-dig” out at the farm. One year, when she was 73, she won the leg race, because she was the only one in her age category!

When asked what Freedom means to you, Shirley answered KNAPP. When she got divorced, her husband took everything from her, which means she had no credit. KNAPP gave her a credit card with $50 that she used to build her credit back up and start her life over. Since then, she still buys anything she can through KNAPP because they gave her back her freedom.
Shirley really enjoys Independence Day because there is good food!
Jeanette Kage
Jeanette’s first memory of Independence Day was not a good one. She was 7 years old and went with her parents to the fireworks in Roscommon. She was so scared. She still does not like the small local fireworks people light off. She and her husband like to watch the fireworks on PBS in Washington DC.

When asked about freedom, she said “What would we do without it?” Freedom means being able to go places and be safe with your family. It means not having people tell you what to do. Sadly, freedom is something that people lose as we get older.

The best part about being an American is being able to speak your mind, vote and come and go freely. To enjoy life in general.

When asked if she believes that the American Dream is attainable, she said yes, with some changes in our political situation.
Samaritas Backpack Drive for Kids
This drive will help needy students get the school supplies they need for the new year.
Samaritas is launching the Annual Backpack Drive for Kids to collect school supplies for the students in its care.

Starting Wed., July 15 through Sat., Aug 15, Samaritas is asking the public to donate 1,400 backpacks and the school supplies to fill them. 

Due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, in-person donations will not be allowed this year. Instead, the backpacks and school supplies may be purchased from this Amazon Wish List available at and shipped to the Samaritas Detroit Office located at 8131 E. Jefferson Avenue, Detroit 48214. Monetary donations to help purchase school supplies can also be made online at . Visit to learn more about specific items needed for various age groups. 
See what else is going on at Samaritas this month!
It is not a secret, but not everyone is taking advantage – Are you?
Are you like Dan and Barbara? They worked and saved carefully throughout their lives. Each year they made annual contributions to their IRA’s (Individual Retirement Accounts), knowing their funds would grow over time and help provide additional income when they retired.  

If you have an IRA, you know IRS regulations require you to start taking Required Minimum Distributions from your IRA starting at age 70-1/2 (unless you have a ROTH IRA).  

Here is the important IRA option not everyone has discovered.
A few years ago, Dan and Barbara’s financial advisor clued them in on an opportunity to make a Charitable IRA Rollover to help support the programs and services that are important to them. 

Dan says, “We absolutely LOVE this option. Yes, it is good to be wise stewards of what we have, but it is not just about saving on our taxes. It is more about maximizing the use of those funds at their FULL VALUE. We have been blessed, and giving back brings us a true sense of satisfaction and JOY!”

If you want to join Dan and Barbara, there are a couple of important things to know:

  • No. 1 – Talk with your financial advisor to decide what works best for you and your situation.
  • No. 2 – If you decide that this is a good option for you, your IRA Plan Administrator can provide a short form to ensure the funds you give go DIRECTLY to the charity/ties of your choice. This bypasses the income tax you would otherwise pay on that distribution. 

You may be aware that there is a 2020 exemption to IRS Required Minimum Distribution rule due to the COVID 19 crisis. Many, like Dan and Barbara, have already decided to continue to use their distributions the same way again this year - knowing they can continue to provide help and hope for those who are most in need.  

If you have questions or would like more information, please connect with us to learn more.

Samaritas Resources include:

DeeDee McVety, Director – Major & Planned Gifts
248.953.1944 or

Visit our website: , then click on “Tax Saving Option to Give”
Samaritas offers retirement living for seniors with five communities throughout Michigan. Whether you want independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support or rehabilitation therapy, you’ll find a home that feels right.

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