LSS Blog

Cheers to A Toast for Seniors

Supporters of LSS Benevolent Care at Richmond Terrace packed Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, Missouri on July 27 to help those older adults who have outlived their financial means.

“It’s a good event for increasing awareness about Benevolent Care,” said Katrie Spink, Senior Living Counselor at Richmond Terrace and event organizer. “Benevolent Care helps pay for the care needs of residents at Lutheran Senior Services communities, like Richmond Terrace, who have outlived their income. The need is tremendous.”

Which is where the idea for A Toast for Seniors came from. In partnership with Schlafly Bottleworks, 25% of all the beer sales that evening went to support Benevolent Care. “Schlafly is extremely active in the community and are huge supports of Richmond Terrace as a member of the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce,” said Katrie. “It is an honor to work with them on an event like this.”

Making the night even more memorable was the music of One More Round, a Johnny Cash tribute band featuring the vocals of Bill Forness. They rocked the house with Johnny Cash favorites including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Cry, Cry, Cry”, of which Katrie also attributed their success to.

“I look forward to next year being even bigger and better with great music again from One More Round, great beer, great conversation, and a great benefit to Benevolent Care.”

Veterans Fair at Meramec Bluffs

On July 21, Meramec Bluffs Senior Living Community hosted a Veterans Fair, drawing together 18 veteran programs and vendors for the benefit of veterans, veteran spouses, and veteran widows and widowers.

“This is all in support of those who have served out country,” said Sharon Kruse, Activity Director at Meramec Bluffs. “It can be difficult coordinating and traveling from one place to the next to find veteran information. The Veteran’s Committee at Meramec Bluffs wanted to make it easier and we were happy to help. We were hoping to simplify the process and put all the resources in one spot and it’s made it easier for many.”

Throughout the year, the Veterans Committee plans a number of events all aimed to support veterans and their families. Veteran Larry Kamberg was delighted with the outcome of this event. “I think the day went really well. From the vendors that I talked to, they seemed very pleased with the response that they had.”

Vendors represented different organizations and programs aimed to help veterans from the Department of Veteran Affairs, to the Greater St. Louis Honor Flight to Jefferson Barracks. They too, saw the benefit in being under one roof.

Keith Morris from the Mayflower Decedents was on hand to explain their partnership with Wreaths Across America, which sponsors a fresh wreath to be laid upon a Veteran’s grave in conjunction with a holiday wreath laying ceremony. “To be able to spread the word today with so many was invaluable,” he said. “We will definitely be coming back next year.”

The day was made possible by many including The Meramec Bluffs Veterans Committee, Meramec Bluffs Employees, the veteran vendors, and volunteers “It’s all about helping veterans,” said Larry. “We as the Veterans Committee at Meramec Bluffs can say its one of the things we’re proud to be able to offer.”

We'd love to hear from you! Located in Ballwin, Missouri 63021, Meramec Bluffs senior living offers independent living, REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, assisted living, memory care assisted living, and skilled nursing. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here

The LSS Benevolent Golf Care Tournament at Norwood Hills Country Club was a “swinging” success!

Thank You to All!

The LSS Benevolent Golf Care Tournament at Norwood Hills Country Club was a “swinging” success! For the 5th year, the tournament was a highlight of the strong and growing community of support for older adults.

Benevolent Care is a ministry of Lutheran Senior Services that fills the gap for older adults who face the hopelessness of watching resources fade as needs increase. Thanks to generous donors, hope is restored and dignity protected at a very vulnerable time in life. In protecting dignity, those who receive Benevolent Care are not singled out and so many of their faces are unknown. But they all call a Lutheran Senior Services Community home and are thankful for your support.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of making it a success. From attendees, volunteers, donors, and sponsors, we are truly grateful in your partnership. We look forward to seeing you next year!

To see all the photos from the event, click here.

Tee Off with LSS: It’s all Fore Benevolent Care!

Lutheran Senior Services is getting ready to take a swing at one of our biggest events of the year – Tee Off with LSS Benevolent Care Golf Tournament. On July 13th, Norwood Hills Country Club will be the backdrop for a gathering of friends and supporters of LSS Benevolent Care.

This year’s golf tournament sold out in record time. But don’t be in the “rough” about it! There’s still an opportunity to impact older adults who, through unexpected surgeries and medical expenses, have outlived their income. Following the golf tournament will be a dinner auction featuring some amazing items:

  • An Italian dinner hosted by John and Elaine Kotovsky and Dick Mersman
  • Stone Soup Cottage Dining Experience with Wine for 8
  • Duck Hunt
  • VIP Hockey Package – 4 club level tickets, free parking, visit to KMOX booth
  • Fighter Pilot for a Day
  • Pig Roast up to 75 people
  • Dinner at the Log Cabin
  • 2 foursomes at Edina Country Club – Edina, Minnesota
  • All inclusive Cardinals baseball for four – Champions Club passes
  • Eight-piece set of Callaway X2 irons, custom-fitted
  • A night at the Peabody & Hilton Stay
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride with Champagne

Save your place today and register!

To see photo’s from last year’s tournament, click here.

Groundbreaking Ceremony at Lutheran Hillside Village

Lutheran Hillside Village (LHV) in Peoria, Illinois held a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, celebrating the construction and repositioning of its community. Lutheran Senior Services (LSS) leadership, LHV leadership, board members, elected officials, and guests attended to witness the continuation of the history and vision of LHV.

“History is all about honoring those who come before us. Vision is about those who will come after us. Today is about both of those things,” said John Kotovsky, LSS President and CEO. “As we look to the future and the groundbreaking that’s occurring today, it all fits perfectly into our Christian mission of Older Adults Living Life to the Fullest.”

Several others echoed John’s sentiments in their remarks including Illinois State Senator, Darin Lahood. “I’m always amazed when I walk through the front door,” Senator Lahood said. “The smiles and care can be felt from all the employees who work at Lutheran Hillside Village. You have something special here and it’s because of the staff and because of the spiritual foundation.”

The $15 million new construction and repositioning of Lutheran Hillside Village over the next two years will include various phases of development from demolition, to construction, to renovation. The end result will be new households featuring private rooms for REACH Short Stay Rehabilitation, new apartments for assisted living, and a renovated care center featuring private rooms for long-term care.

Senator Lahood and Jim Ardis, Mayor of Peoria, also noted the growth the Lutheran Hillside Expansion would bring to Peoria in terms of jobs and population. “I would like to recognize the leadership here,” said Mayor Ardis. “It signifies growth in our community and a special kind of growth in such an exceptional place. The residents [of Lutheran Hillside Village] are a very important part of Peoria.” Throughout the time period of construction, 40 jobs will be created and 70 percent of the money invested in Lutheran Hillside Village will go back into the Peoria community through locally hired contractors and sub-contractors.

To see all the photo’s from the event, click here.

To speak to someone on Living Life to the Fullest at Lutheran Hillside Village, call 309.692.4600.

LSS Night at the Ballpark Recap

Vaughn[4]For it’s one – two – three strikes you’re out at the old ballgame!

LSS Night at the Ballpark was a hit – including the Cardinals win over the Kansas City Royals, 4 – 0. But the biggest win was gathering over 2,000 LSS Employees, family members, and residents for a memorable evening. ​

Take a look at some of the night’s photos by clicking here​!

Throwing out the first pitch was none other then Meramec Bluffs resident, Vaughn Frandsen.

Vaughn, a St. Louis native, has been at Meramec Bluffs for three years. He served in the Army and was sent went to Germany in February of 1945 where they liberated the Slave Labor Camp with General George Patton, a man that he considers one of the greatest generals in the world. He then helped German Engineers install telephone equipment until March of 1946 when he came back to Ballwin, MO to work for National Cash Registers (NCR) for 49 years, servicing and repairing cash registers.

Vaughn grew up in the same neighborhood with his lovely wife, Leola. When he came back from the war, he noticed that the “little brat” of the neighborhood had grown up into a beautiful young lady. They dated and were married in September of 1948. They were married for 66 years (Leola passed away in December of 2014) and had the chance to travel to every state in the union except Alaska. In his own words, “Every state has something special, even Kansas.”

His love of baseball is lifelong, heightened when he played center field for the St. Louis County League in Ballwin and the Army team. Everyone cheered on Vaughn at the game!

“Memorial Day” by Joyce Kilmer

MemorialDay_BlogThe bugle echoes shrill and sweet,
But not of war it sings to-day.
The road is rhythmic with the feet
Of men-at-arms who come to pray.

The roses blossom white and red
On tombs where weary soldiers lie;
Flags wave above the honored dead
And martial music cleaves the sky.

Above their wreath-strewn graves we kneel,
They kept the faith and fought the fight.
Through flying lead and crimson steel
They plunged for Freedom and the Right.

May we, their grateful children, learn
Their strength, who lie beneath this sod,
Who went through fire and death to earn
At last the accolade of God.

In shining rank on rank arrayed
They march, the legions of the Lord;
He is their Captain unafraid,
The Prince of Peace…Who brought a sword.

– Joyce Kilmer

Supporting Others

LSS communities hosted life-giving and life-saving events to benefit LSS Benevolent Care. See what’s been happening as our communities and communities-at-large come together to make a difference!

On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!

funrunLenoir Woods (Columbia, MO) played host to runners and walkers for the Lenoir Woods 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk for Benevolent Care. Highlighting their commitment to those who through no fault of their own have financial difficulties due to the rising cost of medication and unexpected surgeries, all proceeds went to Benevolent Care.

“We wanted to do an event that would raise awareness and benefit a really good cause but also highlight wellness,” said Elliot Bentley, Director of Residential Services at Lenoir Woods. “A committee worked together making the entire planning process go very smoothly. We partner with Ultramaxx to manage the race and with our large campus we’re able to map out a course that’s very unique.”

On Saturday, May 2, runners and walkers lined up to begin the 3.1 mile course, weaving through the beautiful campus of Lenoir Woods. The race was quickly over with Jose Mendez finishing first with a time of 22:11. Residents and staff members of Lenoir Woods cheered them all on as they watched from their homes and the sidelines of the course. “Our residents support the 5K through donations and participating in the 1K fun walk, and cheering all the participants on,” said Elliot. “They love the wellness aspect as well as supporting a cause that’s close to their hearts.”

Over $6,000 was made with donations still coming in. That hasn’t stopped the planning committee from thinking about next year. “Since it will be an Olympic Year, we want to plan something that even more residents and supporters can participate in with different events running day-long,” said Elliot. “I’m very proud to be a part of an organization that does so much for the people that live here. It’s nice to give back and support the Benevolent Care fund and all those that we call family.”

Too see photos from the 5K Run and 1 Mile Fun Walk, click here.

Works of HeART

Auction“Can I get $150 dollars for this beautiful and original piece of artwork?” Mark Schoedel called out. Normally Mark wouldn’t find himself as auctioneer, but when it comes to Benevolent Care, Mark is happy to switch his hat from Vice-President of Construction and IT for LSS.

Meramec Bluffs’ (Ballwin, MO) auditorium was filled with over 300 pieces of art including prints and original works gathered from residents and donors. Tables and easels lined the perimeter of the room showcasing a variety of art styles, mediums, technique, and sizes.

While some items were showcased as a part of the silent-auction, the battle for certain pieces came when Mark Schoedel stepped to the microphone to begin the live auction. “Works of HeART is one of our more unique events and it was exciting to be a part of it,” said Mark. “Each of our LSS communities has several events and fundraisers to keep their family and friends attuned to the needs of benevolent care. Helping those residents who through unforeseen circumstances have run out of funds is important to them.”

Maggy Spencer, Stewardship Director at Meramec Bluffs, was thrilled with the number of buyers and guests as well as all the effort put in by many to make Works of HeART possible. “We had an auction committee comprised of several LSS staff members and Meramec Bluffs residents. They made Works of HeART, with all its moving pieces, possible so a big thank you to all of them.”

With donations and pieces still being sold, Maggy estimates the event raised around $8,500 for Benevolent Care.

To see photos from Works of HeART, click here.

Upcoming Events

Join us on July 13, at Norwood Hills Country Club for Tee Off for LSS

What if a golf ball, something so small, could in one day make a big impact? That’s exactly what happens during the LSS Golf Tournament and Auction, Tee Off with LSS! Almost 300 people are gathering together to support older adults who have outlived their ability to support themselves. And when we all come together, we can make a big impact.

The day’s events include an 18-hole round of golf, four-person golf scramble, lunch, dinner, cocktails, and auction. All proceeds will support LSS Benevolent Care. This year we’ve set a goal of raising $150,000 through the generosity of corporate sponsors and you! Visit today or call 314.262.8217 for more information.

If you’re thinking about your future plans, Lutheran Senior Services communities are great places to start. Offering independent living apartments and patio homes, our warm, welcoming campuses offer easy access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing should your needs change. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Older Americans Month: Can You Name These Great American Influencers?

In May 1963 when President John F. Kennedy established Older Americans Month, there were only 17 million Americans who had reached their 65th birthday. That number has since grown to over 40 million Americans. That’s a significant group of people who have made a social, political, and historical impact on America!

This month, Lutheran Senior Services is featuring some great Americans that influenced history. Can you guess them?

Great American Influencers

1. He originally was an American actor and politician, before becoming the 40th President of the United States at the age of 70. His term saw a restoration of prosperity at home, with the goal of achieving ‘peace through strength’ abroad.

2. She is better known by her nickname “Grandma Moses,” having become a renowned American folk artist after beginning to paint in earnest at the age of 78. Her painting Sugaring Off was sold for $1.2 million in 2006.

3. Best known for her role as Sophia Petrillo on the popular “The Golden Girls,” this actress only became a household name at age 62. Prior to her success in “The Golden Girls,” which earned her an Emmy Award, she performed in Yiddish theater, and was a comedian in the Catskills.

4. Well-known for his spice blend and quick-cooking technique, this fast food innovator was 65 when he became the fried chicken mogul we love.

5. Her Little House on the Prairie books are some of the world’s most beloved. Surprising then that she didn’t publish the first book until the age of 65.

Quiz Answers:

1. Ronald Reagan



2. Anna Mary Robertson Moses



3. Estelle Getty



4. Colonel Sanders



5. Laura Ingalls Wilder


If you’re thinking about your future plans, Lutheran Senior Services communities are great places to start. Offering independent living apartments and patio homes, our warm, welcoming campuses offer easy access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing should your needs change. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.

Presenting our 2014 Annual Report

ReportCoverLutheran Senior Services has been incredibly blessed in 2014. On Tuesday, April 28, President and CEO, John Kotovsky, presented the 2014 Annual Report to church delegate members. “All of this is made possible by the servant-hearts of our employees,” he said.

The Annual Report is an overview of the last fiscal year, giving stories of impact and life change that occurred across our ministry. The Annual Report is available to view online by clicking her​e.​




If you’re thinking about your future plans, Lutheran Senior Services communities are great places to start. Offering independent living apartments and patio homes, our warm, welcoming campuses offer easy access to assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing should your needs change. For more information or to arrange a visit, click here.