By ANDREA VARGO
Just completed with funds raised by the auxiliary, the new gazebo stands in the recently enclosed back-yard of the Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center.
Chain link fence surrounds the area where broad walkways wander throughout the grass and flowers for residents to enjoy in the nice weather.
Jewell Malerich, volunteer coordinator, related some of the history of the auxiliary.
The Howard Lake Good Samaritan Center Auxiliary is a volunteer organization that is almost as old as the care facility it serves.
The building itself was opened June 1971 as the Howard Lake Nursing Home.
Early in 1972, a group of concerned citizens began a "Visiting Friends" program, which became the basis for the nursing home auxiliary.
The auxiliary stated its purpose as "to increase the happiness of the residents through various programs."
Working with other individuals, church groups, and service organizations, the auxiliary built a program of personal and group involvement, much of which continues today.
In addition, auxiliary members have rallied area support to raise funds for much needed equipment and special treats for the center's residents.
Some of their other contrubutions were an aquarium, a big screen television set, an aviary, and even the center's van.
Over time, the name of the group has been altered to reflect changes in the ownership and name of the care facility.
It still remains a fairly informal organization, which holds monthly meetings to plan special activities for the residents and fundraising events.
The organization's first president was Stella Judd. She presided over a membership that has remained very loyal, said Malerich.
Several members are still involved after 25 years, and several of them were recognized this year at the annual volunteer banquet.
Harriet Zander just completed three years on the advisory board and is still active in the auxiliary, as is Verna Glessing.
Eva Handrich succeeded Judd as president, served for many years, and is still an activities volunteer, as are Margaret Barth, Lenore Luhman, and Mildred Williams.
The group is always looking for more volunteers, and if you have any questions, call Jewell Malerich at 320-543-3800.