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St. Mary’s ‘Walk of Hope’ to kick off National Nursing Home Week
May 7, 2012
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By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

WINSTED, MN – The third annual St. Mary’s “Walk of Hope,” to help raise awareness and support of memory care services provided by St. Mary’s, will take place in Winsted, Saturday, May 12.

The walk has been scheduled to kick off the 2012 National Nursing Home Week (NNHW). The theme “Celebrating the Journey,” will be observed throughout the week at St. Mary’s through various activities, Sunday to Saturday, May 13-19.

The Walk of Hope’s opening ceremony will take place on the west side of St. Mary’s, by the statue of Mary, at 9 a.m. with Mayor Steve Stotko as guest speaker. Registration is one hour before the ceremony. The 1.4-mile walk begins at 9:15 a.m.

In the event of rain, the walk will take place at the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Public Elementary School gym.

“By coming to the “Walk of Hope,” it shows a community-wide effort to support our facility which is vital to Winsted, and also to support the staff who care for the residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia,” said Mary Purcell, St. Mary’s of Winsted Foundation board member and chair of the Community Relations Committee. “But it isn’t necessary to participate in the walk. Just come out and show you care.”

The entry fee is $10 to participate in the “Walk of Hope.” For an additional $5, a T-shirt is included.

Raffle tickets can be purchased for any of several different items at $1 per chance. Some items being raffled are two dinner and show tickets to the Chanhassen Dinner Theater, a basket from Hussong’s Liquor in Winsted, and gift certificates for Holasek Flower Power Garden Center.

To make a donation, contact Michele Muller, therapeutic recreation manager at (320) 485-3154 or make checks payable to St. Mary’s Care Center “Walk of Hope” and mail to St. Mary’s Care Center, attention: Michele Muller, 551 4th St. N. Suite 101, Winsted, MN 55395.

Proceeds from previous walks were used to update the flooring on the Garden Level (memory care) and purchase a computer for resident and family use.

This year, the Community Relations Committee has set a goal to raise $5,000.

The “Walk of Hope” is sponsored by St. Mary’s of Winsted Foundation, with support from the community relations committee.

“I am excited about how we have integrated our foundation into our community and its involvement in the walk,” St. Mary’s Administrator/CEO Christina Gamaldi said. “Previously, we have done it (the walk) ourselves, internally. This year, we have the foundation involved, and Mary Purcell is doing a great job in gaining a lot of support and is getting the word out there.”

St. Mary’s provides services to its residents from several communities outside of Winsted. This year, residents have come from Howard Lake, Lester Prairie, Silver Lake, Montrose, Waverly, Watertown, Glencoe, and Cokato.

In addition, 17 percent of St. Mary’s referrals this year have come from metro hospitals.

Members of the community relations committee are: Chairperson Mary Purcell, Mary Ellen Campion, Bill Fynboh, Christina Gamaldi, Michele Muller, Pam Henry-Neaton, Ken Kremer, and Steve Stotko.

St. Mary’s foundation board chair is Pam Henry-Neaton of Hollywood Township. Board members are Mary Ann Baumann of Winsted, Joan Genty of Winsted, Mary Purcell of Winsted, and Dr. Michael Thoennes of Howard Lake.

National Nursing Home Week May 13-19

NNHW 2012 recognizes residents in long-term care settings and the dedicated staff who care for them.

This year’s theme “Celebrating the Journey” provides St. Mary’s the opportunity to get everyone involved through a week-long list of activities for both residents and employees.

Monday, May 14, employees and residents will participate in a recognition event emphasizing core values and years of employment, at 2 p.m. in the coffee shop.

Tuesday, May 15 St. Mary’s will host a game show (more details later) for residents and employees in St. Mary’s Chapel at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, May 16, there will be an outdoor picnic lunch (if the weather permits) at 11 a.m. for residents, and Bingo at 2 p.m.

Thursday, May 17, plans will have the rehab department showing how to exercise with a parachute in the chapel at 2 p.m.

Friday, May 18, butterflies will be released by day care children and residents in front of St. Mary’s, near the statue of Mary at 2 p.m.

Saturday, May 19, there will be a Mother’s Day event in the chapel at 11:30 a.m.

Other events during the week include an employee picnic, egg bake, and drawings for raffle items throughout the week.

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