In This Issue:

  • Chaska Resident Spotlight on Judy, Courts
  • Visit from Children Delight Waconia Residents
  • Call to Care Classic Golf Tournament Recap
  • Waconia Staff Highlight on Allyson Becker
  • "Illuminus" Signs Management Substitution Agreement with Auburn Homes & Services
  • Chaska Staff Highlight On Jessica Dominquez
  • "Fishing with Friends" on Lake Minnetonka
  • Waconia Resident Spotlight on Joyce, Meadows
  • Water Balloon Fun
  • Auburn Homes & Services Smoking Policy
  • July Patio BBQ in Waconia
  • July Activities
  • AHS Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • The Pastor's Corner with Reverend Cathy Kolwey

Chaska Resident Spotlight on Judy P.

As a child, Judy remembers her summers well on South Bass Island, Put-In-bay, Ohio. The island was a resort town during the summer months due to the resorts located on it; Judy and the other kids would watch the large, ferry boats bring the vacationers to South Bass and then attend to their jobs at the resorts. She says that, "winter was best because we didn't have to work at the resort."

The island had one school (K-12) for all the children; Judy had a total of 5 students in her graduating class.

South Bass Island is not only memorable for it's resorts, but also because during the war of 1812, Commodore Perry won the "Battle of Lake Erie" while on the Island. Judy is proud of the commemorative statue that is on the island honoring this courageous feat by Perry.

South Bass Island is also the subject of many mystery books due to the infamous 1910 burning of The Hotel Victory located there; Judy has read many about books about the island and hotel, both fiction and nonfiction.

After she graduated from high school, Judy attended school at Bowling Green University in Ohio ("It was the closest and the cheapest."). She met her husband in Cleveland, Ohio and had three children together, two girls and a son that passed away two years ago. Judy resides in Auburn Courts in Chaska.

Visits from Children Delight Waconia Residents

Auburn Waconia residents got a special treat when children from First Years Academy, which is connected to Auburn Meadows, joined our residents on the patio to read books and share stories. 

Call to Care Classic Golf Tournament Recap

The 27th Annual "Call to Care Classic Golf Tournament" was held on July 10, 2023, at the beautiful Stonebrooke Golf Club in Shakopee, MN. This annual event raises money that will go towards the life enrichment of our residents.

With over 96 players participating, the sunshine and warm temps provided the perfect backdrop for a day of golf.

Golfers enjoyed a chance to win a car from Waconia Dodge-Chrysler-jeep by getting a hole in one, a $50 gift card in a putting contest and other games like longest drive and closest to the pin.

Auburn Homes & Services is grateful for our tournament sponsors and donors who, year over year, make our golf tournament a huge success.

The day of golf concluded with a delicious buffet dinner and the announcement of the contest winners. If you weren't able to make it this year, we hope to see you next July for our 28th outing!

Our sponsors, like the Chaska Lions, are the reason we are able to put on a golf tournament to benefit our residents every year.

Thank you to all of the AHS staff that volunteered

their time at the tournament!

Waconia Staff Spotlight on Allyson Becker

Name: Allysen Becker

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Key Responsibilities: The nurses provide our residents with high quality care on a daily basis. We are the eyes and ears for the doctors and nurse practitioners. We notice and monitor changes in resident's health to address concerns and provide a safe, comfortable environment for them.

Family: I have an almost 6 year old son named Oliver. 

Favorite past time: Making precious memories with my son. Hula hoop dancing.

Favorite Travel Destination: Anywhere by the ocean, I really love to snorkel.

When I retire I hope to: Have a happy life and a nice house to live it in.

"I started working at Auburn Home in Waconia as a CNA 13 years ago. Working at this place has inspired me to further my career. I became a TMA and many years later, I became an RN. I have now been an RN for 2 years at Auburn. I am one of few that can say I have worked every possible nursing shift and I know the ins and outs to every job. One major thing that caught my attention when I started was how incredibly friendly and inviting everybody was. And to this day, we continue to maintain a positive, loving environment for the staff and residents who live here, all these years later. I believe we value the importance of teamwork and being kind to one another. The residents are happy and well cared for, thanks to the team of staff who work with them every day including the nursing department, management, dietary, activities and maintenance. I want to give a special Thank You to all the hard working CNA's, who care for the residents on the most personal level. I want to show my gratitude to you all. Auburn is truly a special place to work and I do not plan to leave anytime soon."

Illuminus Signs Management Substitution Agreement with Auburn Homes & Services

Due to the ever-evolving complexities and challenges throughout the Senior Living and Health Care industry, Auburn has embraced the need to become increasingly innovative and creative throughout its operations, with a focus on sustaining our Mission; “In the Spirit of Christ’s love, we serve others with integrity and compassion”. Our Board has been exploring the need to partner with a like-minded, faith based, not for-profit long-term care industry leader to strengthen our ability to deliver our Mission, Vision and Values into future generations.


We are proud to announce that we have found such a partner in Illuminus. Illuminus is a non-profit organization, creating transformative living for older adults. Their Mission is; “Grounded in Faith, we promote the health and well-being of each individual we serve.” Illuminus was born out of The Marquardt, a Senior Living Life Plan Community in Watertown, WI, also sponsored by the Western District of the Moravian Church. Marquardt began in 1969 as a skilled nursing facility which has grown to include Assisted Livings, Memory Care, Affordable Senior Housing Apartments (HUD), Garden Homes, Senior Living Apartments, and a Senior Towne Centre with dining, social, exercise and worship opportunities available to all who reside throughout the 50-acre campus.


Because of this partnership, Auburn Homes & Services will be stronger and more sustainable into the future as part of a bigger team with the appropriate resources and proven long-term care expertise that Illuminus brings to us. Our Residents will continue to be empowered to live life with purpose and passion.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this Management Substitution Agreement, please contact Mike Senden, CEO, Auburn Homes & Services:

Chaska Staff Spotlight on Jessica Dominguez

Name: Jessica Dominguez

Years at Auburn: 6 Months

Job Title: HR Assistant\Recruiter

Key Responsibilities: Recruiting, Onboarding and employee relation.

Family: I have two children and a fur baby name Fraser.

Favorite Past-time: I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and watching movies.

Favorite Travel Destination: Dubai (United Arab Emirates)


"I love working at Auburn Homes & Services because I enjoy getting to know all the employees- new and old. It makes me feel good being able to help them. I like spending time with our residents when I get the chance. We have great staff and it’s been fun getting to know everyone."

"Fishing with Friends" on Lake Minnetonka

Chaska residents enjoyed a day of fishing on Lake Minnetonka provided by the service, "Fishing with Friends". This annual outing is popular with our residents for not only spending the day on a boat on beautiful Lake Minnetonka, but the competition to see who will catch the biggest fish!

Waconia Resident Spotlight on Joyce

Joyce, a resident at Auburn Meadows, grew up in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Her father passed away when she was five-and-a-half and her mother raised nine children, four boys and five girls on their farm. After high school, Joyce went to St. Paul and got a job in the insurance industry. After three years working in insurance, she started working downtown at Northwestern Bank and was later transferred to the First National Bank in Red Wing. Joyce married her husband in December of 1965. They welcomed their first child a year later and their second child two years later. Joyce retired from the First National Bank in Red Wing in 2000, so she could travel to California to see her first grandchild. Both of her grandchildren were born in California and later moved to Minnesota. In 2008, Joyce moved to Waconia and has been at Auburn Meadows for two years. Joyce was on a bowling team, loved to embroider and bake (especially Christmas cookies), enjoyed reading and doing puzzles. Her advice, “Keep a good attitude.”

Water Balloon Fun!

What better way to have fun on a hot, summer day than to throw water balloons at our staff in Chaska! Auburn residents enjoyed tossing the slippery balloons at our equally slippery staff members as they turned and dived around the courtyard trying to avoid getting hit; most of them were not so lucky!

Auburn Homes & Services Smoking Policy

On August 1, 2023, marijuana has been legalized in the state of Minnesota; with marijuana now legal in our state for recreational use, we wanted to remind everyone of our smoking policies here at Auburn.

Nicotine use on either of our campuses/inside our buildings is strongly prohibited; residents and staff must be at least 50 feet away from our building doors when smoking. Marijuana, although now legal on a state level, has not been legalized on a federal level; since AHS is federally funded, marijuana use is illegal on either of our two properties.

If you have any questions regarding our smoking policy, please contact either Jennifer Hall, Skilled Nursing Administrator, or Steve Smith, Assisted Living Administrator,

Waconia Residents enjoy a patio BBQ

Residents on our Waconia campus enjoyed a delicious BBQ on the patio on a picture perfect day in July.

Check out all of the fun activities our residents have to choose from in August ~ there's plenty to do while beating the heat!

Click on the appropriate link below to see the resident's August Activities Calendar:

Auburn Home, Auburn Meadows, 

Auburn Manor,  Auburn Courts 

Thank you to our dedicated and hard working staff for their years of service:

Chepkirui "Janet" Serem COURTS, 9

Courtney  Cuhel COURTS, 5

Emily  Drapp COURTS, 8

Jada  Millegan COURTS, 1

Lindsay Ohnsorg COURTS, 1

Melissa  Bruns COURTS, 13

Valentyna Zinchenko HOME, 1

Aimee Pletsch HOME, 12

Ashley Schmidt HOME, 4

Candace Eckert HOME, 5

Elsie Silseth HOME, 5

Jamie Kosek MANOR, 5

Miranda Manthey MANOR, 4

Adonai Yidekachew MANOR, 1

Alyssa Pester MANOR, 1

Amy Myers MANOR, 31

Andy  Rojas-Luna MANOR, 4

Cindy Berens MANOR, 4

Geno Oliha MANOR, 5

Jasmine Faya-Iruahetta MANOR, 2

Julene Balfe MANOR, 6

Maria Campos-Franco MANOR, 4

Melanie Koblas MANOR, 1

Natalie Olive MANOR, 3

Ruth Mageto MANOR, 6

Yurily Miguel MANOR, 5

Brianna Morschen MEADOWS, 1

Dana Dircks MEADOWS, 4

Emilia  Newlin Bellenger MEADOWS, 1

Kenzie Boozikee MEADOWS, 2

Mary Krant MEADOWS, 9

Happy Birthday to the following staff members

celebrating a Birthday in July:

Gretchen McNamara CORPORATE, August 31

Josh McKibben CORPORATE, August 9

Alexandra Tagg COURTS, August 4

Amy Wickenhauser COURTS, August 12

Cynthia Kontarakis COURTS, August 31

Jennifer Lopez Escobar COURTS, August 6

Kenneth  O'Niel COURTS, August 16

Marissa Maurer COURTS, August 6

Natasha Gauerke COURTS, August 30

Brogan Martin HOME, August 12

Ashley Schmidt HOME, August 14

Betty Jo Becker HOME, August 7

Carrie Kamann HOME, August 10

Dana Sheehan HOME, August 27

Emily Maloney HOME, August 10

Hannah Bruins HOME, August 25

Kristi Falk HOME, August 2

Lisa Schlegelmilch HOME, August 19

Michael Green HOME, August 16

Peter Wagman HOME, August 12

Adonai Yidekachew MANOR, August 6

Cindy Berens MANOR, August 8

Daniel Walker MANOR, August 3

Emma Naruko-Stewart MANOR, August 15

Geno Oliha MANOR, August 17

Judith Lallak MANOR, August 26

Kaitlyn Borela MANOR, August 13

Keayuna Little MANOR, August 12

Lillian O'Connor MANOR, August 2

Malyn Elena Escano MANOR, August 4

Marilyn Wagman MANOR, August 23

Melanie Koblas MANOR. August 14

Morgan Anderson MANOR, August 4

Veronica Huerta-Alberg MANOR. August 23

Wesley Williams MANOR, August 30

Abigail Hartman MEADOWS, August 15

Claire Duncan MEADOWS, August 14

Henry Kauphusman MEADOWS, August 13

Irene Nelson MEADOWS, August 2

Kory Melchert MEADOWS, August 12

Lucille Leuthner MEADOWS, August 1

Rachel Jorgenson MEADOWS, August 10

Sarah Jorgenson MEADOWS, August 16

Sydney Kienolz MEADOWS, August 4

Tena  Ahlness MEADOWS, August 1

Zachary Carlson MEADOWS, August 13

Pastor's Corner with Reverend Cathy Kolwey


Long ago (in a land far, far away) when I was a youth minister, I took a group of MN high school kids on a mission trip to Chicago. As part of the trip, we had the kids do what was called a “Dollar Dinner.” Each kid was given a $1 bill and was told that they were on their own to go and feed themselves.

As you can surely imagine, they all learned very quickly that you cannot feed yourself with only a dollar. Even a candy bar cost more than that these days. But what the kids quickly learned in a visceral way was that if they get together and pooled their resources, they can make sure everyone is fed.  That while a $1 bill does no feed one person, $10 together can get a pretty good meal for 10 people. My group of kids ended up getting a loaf of bread, sandwich meat, and a bag of chips at the grocery store, and had $1.50 left over, which they gave to a homeless person to buy a hamburger at McDonalds. The lesson they learned: sharing and pooling resources has exponential value to the community. That we are better together.

As I reflect on our recent partnership with Illuminous, I am reminded of that lesson that my students embodied in their Dollar Dinner. It is this value that is at the heart of our decision to create a strategic partnership with Illuminous and the other assisted living facilities that are under their fiscal umbrella. Because what we are trying to do is to have a $10 dinner (or as one resident said, “get more butter”).

Reflecting on the scriptures, we can see that this idea of resource sharing is a core value in the teachings of Jesus. Think of the five loaves and two fish that is shared to feed thousands; it is a miracle shared in all four of the gospels. Think of the early church of Acts 2:42-47 who “gave to anyone who has a need” or even of Jesus’ challenge to the rich young man (Matt. 19: 16-30); all of these scripture point to sharing our resources as a core value of the gospel message.

I am both encouraged and hopeful that our new partnership will help us live into this biblical value and that as we pool our resources with the other partners in the Illuminous network. I am proud that we can further embody this gospel value, and I am looking forward to seeing the kind of fruits that this partnership will bear.

“Then he took the loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.”     Matthew 15: 36-37

Blessings and peace,

Rev. Cathy M. Kolwey

The Next Resident Newsletter will be mailed out on September 1, 2023

If you have a loved one with a unique talent,

history or great story that you would like us to share in the Resident Newsletter, let us know!


or call Michelle Yelich at (952)361-5076

Auburn Homes & Services

Mission, Vision and Values