By Julie Krienke
DELANO, MN Good music, good food, and good people. What could be a better way to spend the day?
Residents at Golden Living-Center in Delano were entertained with all of these things Monday afternoon.
Current residents at the nursing home in Delano were welcomed to the annual ceremony. According to activities director Kara Reiser, this is a tradition at the center.
“It has been a tradition as long as this place has been open,” Reiser said. “It takes months of preparation.”
It all begins when coordinators at the center put together ballots for both the staff at Golden LivingCenter and the families of residents. These individuals vote for two seniors who are currently at the center.
“They vote for the two they think are the most deserving,” Reiser said.
Once the staff and family members have placed their votes, everyone votes again. This time, the nominees have been narrowed down, and the voters pick one individual to be crowned queen, and another to be awarded king.
According to Reiser, voting for the king and queen took place about a week ago, but nominations have been going on for several months.
The crowning, itself, took place June 28 at Golden LivingCenter. The Delano Royalty and candidates, along with other community members, were present at the event.
Residents and staff members at the nursing home welcome the Delano royalty.
“We always enjoy having them come by,” Reiser said.
The royalty visited with residents before the crowning and handed out desserts and punch.
David Allan, a singer from the Twin Cities area, provided live music to brighten the event. According to Reiser, Allan performs every year at the crowning ceremony, and plays old-time favorites, including polka.
This year, three remarkable senior citizens at Golden LivingCenter were crowned. Last year’s king and queen were present to welcome the new royalty and present them with crowns.
The Delano Royalty crowned Joann Hagen and Roger Wolff as the new king and queen this year. Valerie Wright was named princess.
All of these individuals are active at Golden LivingCenter and are well-liked by both the residents and staff.
According to Reiser, Joann and Valerie are both particularly active residents, and they can often be found participating in many activities at Golden LivingCenter. Roger is friendly to everyone and frequently stands in the hallway to greet the staff and visitors.
The new king, queen, and princess will be featured on the Golden LivingCenter float at the Delano Fourth of July parade this weekend.
This year’s queen has been a resident at Golden Living Center for almost two years.
“In these two years, she has made quite a mark,” Reiser said.
Joann was born in St. Cloud, in 1942. Before moving to Golden LivingCenter in Delano, Hagen lived in Monticello.
She has two children, Alan and Johnna, and three grandchildren, Nick (20), Amber (18), and Luke (16).
“When she arrived in Delano, she worked hard in therapy, attended our many activity programs, and volunteered with everything,” Reiser said.
According to Reiser, Hagen currently volunteers with mail delivery, folding clothes in the laundry room, assisting in Sunday worship service, and calling bingo.
Some of Hagen’s favorite activities include reading, doing jigsaw puzzles, working on crossword puzzles, and singing.
Once Hagen regained strength, she had the opportunity to move into assisted living. However, she decided to stay at Golden LivingCenter.
“She loves the high level of activity, the interesting people, and the chance to make a difference,” Reiser said. “We are so happy she decided to stay.”
Currently, Hagen is a resident council officer and active volunteer.
When it comes to winning this year’s crown, Hagen was both excited and honored.
“It’s quite a surprise,” Hagen said. “I really didn’t expect it.”
Hagen enjoys being at the Golden LivingCenter because of the welcoming environment and the supportive community.
“It’s the caring, and knowing that when you’re sick, someone is there to take care of you,” Hagen said. “We are all family here.”
There is no doubt that this year’s king is a friendly and welcoming individual. According to Reiser, he enjoys greeting visitors at Golden Living-Center with a “good morning” or “hello.”
Roger has been a resident at Golden Living Center for nearly four years.
Roger is originally from Carver County, and he lived there most of his life until he moved to Delano.
Roger and his wife, Chris, had seven daughters, and according to Wolff, he worked in a wide variety of jobs.
According to Reiser, Roger attends as many social outings and activities as he can.
“Roger has always been a jolly fellow who loves to be around people and children,” Reiser said.
His favorite activity is watching television, and he also enjoys playing bingo.
“You can tell when Roger wins bingo because his booming voice of victory can be heard in the facility,” Reiser said.
When it comes to being crowned king, Wolff said that he was extremely excited.
“Roger is very honored to represent us as King Roger and has not taken his crown off of his head once since the coronation,” Reiser said.
This year’s princess occupies a great deal of her time volunteering at various activities while living at Golden Living- Center.
Valerie Wright was born in 1918 in Shakopee. She comes from a Catholic family, and is the oldest of nine children.
Wright has two children and four grandchildren.
According to Reiser, Wright has lived in Delano most of her life.
At Golden LivingCenter, she enjoys attending the musical activities, playing bingo, and attending Catholic services.
“She is a social butterfly,” Reiser said.
Wright had the opportunity to move to an assisted living center several years ago, but she decided to stay at Golden Living Center because she enjoys all of the activities and volunteering.
“She has never missed a Fourth of July parade in Delano,” Reiser said. “She is very proud and honored to represent Delano Golden LivingCenter as princess of our facility, and is extremely excited to ride on the float in the parade.”