Holiday Message From the Board and Management

Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season!

December is upon us. It’s a wonderful time when St. Ann’s becomes a magical place, with gorgeous Christmas trees on every floor, cheerful decorations around every corner and a calendar full of concerts, movies, programs and entertainment. St. Ann’s is well known for its celebration of this special time of year. We are a tight community that tries to ensuredscn8980 a happy, inclusive and engaging time for everyone. An air of positivity permeates all that we do, such as our Tree of Kindness in the lobby, where all are welcome to write blessings to the world, pledges of good deeds, or uplifting messages to friends.

Join us on December 15th when we come together for our Resident & Staff Appreciation Party. There will be music, food, prizes and lots of good cheer! Santa and Mrs. Claus will also stop by.

If you would like to help support our holiday festivities, or general St. Ann’s projects and facility updates, we are happy to announce that our Donation Center has been set up in the main lobby. Just look for the beautiful, roll-top desk where you can easily make your monetary contribution to St. Ann’s.

We are also excited for the debut of our new TV commercial! It will be airing on WDIO and features some of our own residents who generously and patiently gave us their time.

As we go about decorating our halls and lobbies, one place will be very special this year. We were able to paint and update our Chapel thanks to a very generous donation. The fresh new look will set a beautiful backdrop for the memorial poinsettias and white glow of the Christmas lights.

Be sure to keep an eye on the bulletin boards for any additions or changes to the entertainment schedule, and pray for good weather so no acts get cancelled. We all want a white Christmas, but only with the understanding that it should not mess with our celebrations!


A safe and Happy New Year to you all!


St. Ann’s Management & Board of Directors

Planning for the Future

It’s hard to believe that it’s already the month of October. We are already seeing donations coming in for our rummage sale, and our building is beautifully decorated for fall. St. Ann’s is known in the community for their events, which are steeped in tradition, and require great planning and teamwork. A lot of behind the scenes work goes into all that we do here.

St. Ann’s Christmas Party

One behind the scene project we have been working on, is creating a formal “Fund Development Plan”. This plan is designed to help St. Ann’s have a full calendar of programs and events, assist with ongoing improvements to our facility, and to help St. Ann’s continue for many years into the future.

We are blessed to have Celeste Zuniga on our Board of Directors. Celeste has experience in Fund Development planning and has been meeting with us and helping us implement some ideas and plans.

Enclosed in this newsletter is a donation envelope to help kick off our “Holiday Giving” program. Several residents and families have asked, “How and where can I donate to St. Ann’s?” If you would like to donate, please fill out the envelope and turn it into the Front Desk or Jan Lappy. The plan, at this time, is to continue to have Jan handle the donations. We are working on getting a “Donation Center” in our lobby. We will make this center attractive, with a beautiful piece of furniture. It will have a secure donation box and information on projects to donate to, and information about St. Ann’s. Hopefully this center will make it more convenient to donate and thereby generate more funds.

There are many areas that are in need of your help. The Holiday Season can be expensive and we want it to be the best that it can be. There is an area on the envelope included with your Annlines that lets you donate to “Where needed most” or you can designate to a specific area, such as:

  • Our beautiful chapel
  • Special programs (Like the Christmas Party)
  • Staff Christmas Gifts
  • Equipment Purchases
  • Holiday lighting and decorations

    St. Ann’s Chapel

If you cannot donate, it would be greatly appreciated if you could, possibly, pass your envelope to someone that can.

You may have noticed in our marketing lately, that we are using the word “nonprofit”. St. Ann’s is the only nonprofit, assisted living facility in the area. We are proud of this fact and the ability it gives us to uniquely care for our residents. We want to let the community know how this sets us apart.

The importance of donations and gift giving to St. Ann’s has a long history. It is mentioned by Sister Aloyse Flynn, the St. Ann’s Administrator from 1966-1977, in her book “A Biographical History of St. Ann’s: The First Fourteen Years”. There are long lists of donors that started giving, and believed in making St. Ann’s a great place. Our goal is to continue that tradition, and to thank everyone for all the support and efforts, that are made every day, to make St. Ann’s the great place it is!

Scott and Jan

“Keeping Connected” by Creating Moments

Most people have fond memories of family gatherings from somewhere in their past; summer weekends at the cabin, holidays at grandma and grandpa’s, Labor Day picnics or just bustling households full of impromptu moments of humor and love. When one of our loved one is away from us, and lacks the ability to travel, finding these moments becomes more difficult. Time spent together must be planned and plotted, and the spontaneous moments fall by the wayside as life tugs us across the center-line of the highway-of-life.
Families and friends come together at our picnics on the patio.

Families and friends come together at our picnics on the patio.

How do we find a way to gather together when mom’s mobility decreases, when wandering out into a wintry day means taking a chance on a fall or an illness? St. Ann’s strives to give our residents as many chances at special moments and celebrations as possible. Our holidays are filled with parties, planned months in advance. Two yearly picnics on our patio combine music, food and space for all our residents, family, friends, volunteers and staff to join together. Approximately 250 people are seated, served and spoiled so that they can spend time with their friends and family.

Families and Friends love our dances!
Families and Friends love our dances!

Such is the case with other events as well, like our Mother’s Day celebration. This particular Saturday afternoon is eagerly anticipated by many. It’s often accompanied by a fashion show, put on by staff and performed by volunteers and residents. A couple of years ago we were able to get a four generation photo of one of our residents and her family!
Whether we are honoring our veterans on Veteran’s Day, playing bingo with grandkids on Grandparents Day, or having a fancy meal with white tablecloth’s for Easter Brunch, we welcome everyone to join our St. Ann’s family for the day. If we create just one excuse for a family to drop their other demands on their life for just an hour or so, and be here with their loved one, in the moment, then we’ve done our job. These connections are so important, and keep life worth living for everybody.

Tech Savvy Seniors at St. Ann’s Residence

We celebrate National Assisted Living Week this week, focusing on “Keeping Connected” and dispelling the myth that seniors are uncomfortable with technology. At St. Ann’s we have many residents that utilize all kinds of technology on an everyday basis. One of the most used devices among our residents are their tablets. One sees them in our lobby at times, where the WiFi is free and accessible. Some of them are playing games, some are reading books, some are keeping touch with family on Facebook or checking their email.

Donna, age 81, currently uses the St. Ann’s library computer, which is accessible to all residents. She uses it to play games, shop and pay her bills.


Karen, age 83, uses her Ipad mostly for news and information. She loves that you can find anything on the internet. You can search for anything and it’s there! She also plays games and shops.
Myrna, age 81, has a laptop, Nook, Ipad and smartphone. She uses them to play games, track her banking, read books, shop online, and access Facebook. She got used to using computers when she was at work, and continued using them after she retired.

Reminiscing on National Assisted Living Week

This month we will be celebrating National Assisted Living Week September 11th –17th, with a full week of wonderful activities. Did you know that St. Ann’s was Assisted Living before the term Assisted Living was even used?

When St. Ann’s was built in 1963, it took great foresight and vision to plan our beautiful building with itsBlack and white building.jpg magnificent chapel, five dining rooms, social hall, large commercial kitchen, private patio, our many common areas, and a variety of apartment sizes to meet different resident needs. (All with private bathrooms.)

The underlying philosophy was as important as the carefully crafted building. Sister Aloyse Flynn, the St. Ann’s Administrator from 1966-1977, wrote “A Biographical History of St. Ann’s: The First Fourteen Years”. In it, she explains the mission to include housing the homeless, the poor and the wealthy. The original philosophy was important. The goal was that residents “were to find security and happiness free from the storms of life in a congregate setting with all environmental possibilities at their command.” This included caring for the whole person. Residents would “receive meals, have opportunities for religious worship, educational and social opportunities of creative freedom but at the same time maintain complete independence and the right to privacy.”

News media at the time called the facility Duluth’s “finest home for senior citizens of the city and surrounding area…unique in providing facilities for gracious living and comfort in the spirit of peace and independence”.

In October we will be celebrating our 53rd year on this site. We continue to focus on the resident as a whole person, using innovations in technology, and new insights into senior health and living to enhance everyday life. We are thankful for all our supporters and residents!

Jan Lappy
Director of Resident Life Services

Weathering the Storm

In the early morning hours of Thursday, July 21st the city of Duluth and surrounding areas were thrown into chaos by Mother Nature. Winds of around 90 miles per hour uprooted trees, snapped electrical poles, broke trees in half, and downed limbs. In the aftermath of the storm approximately 100 power poles were down or broken, and around 85,000 people were without power.

Here in the Northland, we’re a hearty bunch. When the sun came out the growl of chainsaws permeated the air. Residents of Duluth sought out ice, water and generators. Those that could helped those that needed help. The size of some of the trees that came down was astonishing. Some houses had been damaged, sidewalks pulled up and live wires were on the ground everywhere. Streets were impassable, and traffic lights were without power. In fact, five days later, there are still folks without power.
St. Ann’s weathered the storm with no damage, and managed to avoid losing power. Thankfully, we have a back-up generator in the event that the power should go out, and an emergency procedure book should any one of many scenarios play out.
Once the immediate threat of weather has passed, one of our first thoughts, as human beings, goes to the safety of our loved ones. Seniors can have it tough in times of bad weather, if they are in their own house. Physical strength is often necessary. Health issues are a concern if medical equipment requires electricity. There are also the price gougers and scam artists that come out when people are at their most desperate and vulnerable. Often, family is either too far away to help, or trying to deal with their own obstacles and difficulties at the same time.
How nice to have a secure place, like St. Ann’s, where there is a whole community of well-prepared staff for support. Even while the roads were still hazardous, staff navigated downed wires and treacherous intersections devoid of signals;

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and even drove on sidewalks to get to work. Our dedicated staff barely “skipped a beat”. Meals were cooked, food was served, nursing care was given, and our Monthly Birthday Party was celebrated as scheduled. (Because our baker took over as cook for the day, a cake had to be purchased from the far side of Duluth, where there was electricity to enable baking, but no one was the wiser.) Most St. Ann’s residents had no idea the storm was so bad until they saw the local news, when it came back on the air. When I think of our motto “Come Home to St. Ann’s”, what better a home than one where a possible disaster ends up being but a blip on your radar.
We are all feeling blessed and hoping the families and friends of our St. Ann’s community are all safe and sound!