2024 Winter Live More

Page 1

Live More





Saturday, January 27 | 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

“Dash” on over and get a “taste” of the “hearty” array of lifestyle living options and amenities at Cedar Community. From independent living apartments and homes on our Cedar Ridge Campus, to signature living private residences and homes on our Big Cedar Lake Campus, along with independent living plus—offering additional services to remain active and engaged— you can “simmer” down and take the time to enjoy, explore, and embrace your best life! Variety is the “spice” of life and Cedar Community has something for everyone. “Heat” things up in our indoor pool and whirlpool, join an exercise class, or hit the fitness center to help keep the “zip” in your step. Socials; themed parties; art, pottery, and stained glass studios; and educational and wellbeing opportunities allow you to “savor” all life has to offer— all in a community of neighbors who often become “seasoned” friends.

topping h t i w o t d pota e k a b , i der— l i i c h c d s n u a , o offee r fam . Enjoy ou sh fruit, cookie, c hili to go for $10 rts of c bar, fre a u Q ! 2 1 ly $ all for on

Tours of Cedar Community’s independent living and independent living plus apartments are available by appointment during the event. Call 262.365.5200 to schedule your tour by Friday, January 12 and receive your lunch for FREE!* *Certain terms and conditions apply. Only those with a tour reservation will receive a free lunch.

Live More featuring... Progress as an industry leader Update from President & CEO Nicole Pretre | 4 New year—new partners Strategic decisions made in our community | 5 From the editor’s desk Message from our chief administrative officer | 6 Health, wellness, and happiness seminar series Check out what we have to offer | 7 What matters most in life Message from our vice president of spiritual care and wellbeing | 8 Feed your soul at Cedar Valley A message from Cedar Valley UCCI | 9

Cedar Community Champions Celebrating outstanding team members | 12 Building on a legacy Our repositioning project is taking shape | 14–19 Volunteer highlight Operation Winter Wonderland | 20–21 Time, talents, and treasures Leon Krug | Harmony in life | 22–23 Resident profile Meet Kit Minnihan | 24–25 Cedar Community then & now champions 2023 | A year in review | 26–31


Live More is published for the friends and neighbors of Cedar Community. If you would like to add a neighbor’s name to our mailing list, please contact us at 262.338.2819. To view Live More online, visit cedarcommunity.org/ live-more-magazine/. EXECUTIVE EDITOR Sarah Malchow MANAGING EDITOR Carrie Sturn

News you can use Updates and more! | 10–11


Enjoy, explore, and embrace your best life!

Sign up at cedarcommunity.org to get news and updates delivered to your inbox about events, seminars, open houses, and the latest happenings at Cedar Community. There will be a lot of exciting endeavors in the months to come— and you won’t want to miss out.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Cyndi Frohmader ON THE COVER Howard and Mary Ann Kusler have been residents of Cedar Community for 20 years and proud supporters of Partners In Caring™ for over 40 years. OUR MISSION To model Jesus’ love by creating life-enhancing relationships, services, and environments.




It was one year ago, in our Winter 2023 edition of Live More, that I wrote about the planning and kick-off of the renovation and repositioning project on our Cedar Lake Campus—and we have come a long way in just one year! Our newest independent living community, The Lofts at Cedar Lake, is opening this month! And, while watching the transformation of the different spaces is exciting, our residents and team members know all too well that living and working in and around a major construction project is not for the faint of heart! It is noisy and dusty, and there are often many obstacles, many people, and all sorts of equipment in the way. It can be quite a challenge on many levels—even finding a place to park at times. But it is progress, and sometimes, progress is a bit messy. Cedar Community has always been an industry leader in our local market, in the state of Wisconsin, and even nationally over the 70 years we have served older adults. From one of the first long-term care buildings in the United States dedicated to memory care in the early 1970s, to leading the way in independent living amenities and Nicole Pretre settings in the 1980s, to the development of one of the President & Chief Executive Officer most unique and replicated environments for memory care assisted living in the 2000s, to the dedication of a conservation easement just a few months ago—we are constantly moving forward. Being an industry leader requires a commitment to continuous improvement and innovation—especially as the senior living industry is constantly changing and growing around us. As we look to 2024 and beyond, we will continue to develop strategic planning initiatives based on our mission and our guiding principles and priorities. We must continue to evolve and grow to meet the changing needs and preferences of older adults. We are serving a new consumer, with different expectations, economic abilities, and needs than the previous generations. Some of those changes may mean new partnerships and new products—or it could mean changes in how we deliver services. The senior living industry is evolving rapidly—new trends are emerging in the areas of health and wellness, technology, design, dining, and socialization. On top of all these changes, we must also stay sharply focused on recruiting and retaining the incredible team members we have supporting our residents every day. We have much to do in this new year, and beyond. I am grateful for the opportunity to help guide Cedar Community through the lens of our mission. I am committed to finding ways to innovate, to be financially prudent, and to develop smart ways to grow our best-in-class services and programs as we welcome all those who wish to enjoy, explore, and embrace their best lives! Blessings on this new year!


| WINTER 2024


New year—new partners

For more than 70 years, Cedar Community has supported seniors age 55 and better in their retirement and aging journey. With living options ranging from independent and independent living plus, assisted living, skilled nursing, long-term, and memory care—it is our privilege to serve individuals and families, friends, and neighbors.

As part of our ongoing commitment to stewardship and responsibility, Cedar Community’s Board of Directors and Executive Council have spent many months in thoughtful consideration and deliberations, and have made the following strategic decisions regarding our home health and hospice operations and our Elkhart Lake Campus. Home Health and Hospice For more than a decade, Cedar Community has offered the highest quality home health and hospice services. Our team members have provided award-winning care to residents and families on our campus and in the greater community. We are proud of the care and services we have provided to our friends and neighbors, but at the same time, our relatively low patient volumes and the changing reimbursement environment have led us to consider alternatives to providing these important services. We believe these important services can be expanded in the future by aligning with an organization who shares our values and commitment to quality. To that end, Commonheart Home Health and Hospice acquired Cedar Community’s home health and hospice services in December 2023. Commonheart Home Health and Hospice (Commonheart) is a service of Illuminus—a not-for-profit senior care organization and a faith-based community open for all. Sponsored by the Western District of the Moravian Church, Illuminus has had a tradition of caring since 1969 and serves clients in 32 counties across southern Wisconsin. Commonheart is committed to providing the highest quality of person-centered care and services—caring for their clients’ and team members’ physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing. And while every client has the power to choose their care provider, Cedar Community is proud to present Commonheart as a preferred provider for our friends and neighbors who need home health or hospice services in the future. To learn more about Commonheart or their services, visit commonheart.com or call 844.206.4930.


Elkhart Lake Campus Since 2007, Cedar Community has provided exceptional care and services to Elkhart Lake seniors age 55 and better in their retirement and aging journey. Serving both assisted and independent living neighbors in our picturesque setting, it has been our privilege to serve individuals and families, friends, and neighbors. After many months of thoughtful consideration and deliberation, we believe that campus-based services and resident engagement can be increased through an organization who not only shares our values and commitment to quality but who is also growing its footprint in Sheboygan County. To that end, Cedar Community’s Elkhart Lake Campus is now under the ownership of Matter Development—a local organization with its founding leadership and board members rooted in faith-based principles. Because of our aligned missions—the faith-based values that make Cedar Bay and Cedar Landing a special place to live and work will remain. Matter Development has successfully acquired and transitioned several other senior living facilities and works with highly rated senior living operator—Koru Health—to provide the day-to-day management of its facilities and achieve highly rated services and environments. Koru currently operates 12 senior living communities throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota and is substantially expanding its footprint in Sheboygan County. Cedar Community’s Board of Directors and Executive Council believe that the proximity of Koru Health’s other services to the Elkhart Lake Campus will be beneficial for all involved and will lead to greater resident and community engagement. To learn more visit koruhealth.org.

WINTER 2024 |


From the editor’s desk New year. New challenges. New opportunities. When I was a child in school, (and even now, actually) I loved the possibilities that a brand-new notepad brought with it. Clean, crisp pages. Nothing torn, inked, or folded. A clean slate with stories yet to be written. Ideas yet to take form. And feelings yet to be expressed. The new year feels much the same to me. A time for reflection and renewal—both personal and professional. A future full of promise and opportunity—at work and at home. A time to reprioritize time, talents, and treasures. So exciting! This edition brings news of strategic and thoughtful changes, the promise of new opportunities, new ways to use our time, talents, and treasures, and new friends. Also included, is our year in review—a recap of some of the people, projects, and places that make Cedar Community an amazing place to live, work, and play. I hope you will enjoy looking back AND looking ahead!

Sarah J. Malchow, CFRE Chief Administrative Officer

Some highlights in this issue: ∙ Rev. Howard and Mary Ann Kusler: an inspirational retelling of our founding, our shared calling, and our Partners In Caring™. This is what being part of something larger than ourselves feels like. Truly. ∙ You are never too old to have a song in your heart. Cedar Ridge neighbor Leon Krug shares his love of all things creative—from music to art and to design. And apparently a new musical collaboration with our very own Amy Kopfmann, too. We can’t wait to hear it! ∙ And who doesn’t love our annual Operation Winter Wonderland traditions! So glad to welcome new friends and neighbors as they “decked our halls!” Thank you, Christmas elves! As we turn into the new year, I hope you enjoy looking back and looking ahead. And wherever you are in your journey, I hope you will commit to—Live More. Take courage,


PS: In each and every edition, it will be my pleasure to share some of the interesting and inspiring journeys and highlights of Cedar Community residents, friends, neighbors, and team members; our commitment to quality and exceptionalism; model Jesus’ loveand by creating life-enhancing relationships, services, and environments. and our To focus on responsibility stewardship. Enjoy!



| WINTER 2024

We do this by building respectful


We nurture a culture of purpose, excellence, and belonging.

We challenge ourselves to be exceptional in everything we do.

We do this by respecting,

We do this by delivering


We create a sense of community where residents, families, and partners can thrive with purpose, dignity, and joy.





We steward our resources wisely.

cedarcommunity.org We do this by honoring our

Health, Wealth, and Happiness Seminar Series Join us for a series of engaging and knowledgeable speakers providing expertise on self-awareness; financial decision-making; and the path to happiness, gratitude, and wellness.

Independent living at Cedar Community is a lifestyle we want you to

enjoy, explore, and embrace!

The Impact of Gratitude on Wellness

Elizabeth Murphy, Speaker, Author, Story Coach Elizabeth is a gifted storyteller and an accomplished public speaker. Her willingness to be vulnerable is what makes her relatable to every audience, regardless of their age or season of life. Tuesday, February 20 | 10 a.m. Cedar Ridge Campus 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend Gratitude changes our lives because it changes our perspective. Learn why gratitude makes a difference. In being thankful, we have to take our eyes off ourselves and look to whom gratitude should be given.


The opportunities are endless when living in an active and engaging community!

Dawn Eyre, Owner, Segues, LLC Segues is a full-service, family-owned, senior move management company that specializes in helping senior citizens make “smooth moves and easy transitions” to their new home or living situation—wherever it may be.

. Full-sized pool and whirlpool, state-ofthe-art fitness center, natural prairie, scenic walking trails, and lake access

Tuesday, March 26 | 10 a.m. Cedar Ridge Campus 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

. Woodworking shop and artisan spaces

Keep, gift, sell, donate, trash—helping to handle the emotional as well as physical aspects of the relocation of your home. Some tough decisions have to be made when you move—an ideal time to declutter and start anew. What should you keep and what should you discard during your move? Segues has a proven system that will help you decide what to keep, what to sell, what to donate, and what to discard.

Enjoy light refreshments and tours of our Cedar Ridge Apartments. RSVP to: 262.306.7685 or RSVP@cedarcommunity.org Can’t make it? Schedule a private tour with Abby by calling 262.338.4617.

. Greenhouse and gardens . Wellness programs . Social, recreational, and educational activities . Volunteer opportunities . Carefree lifestyle


Contact Abby at 262.338.4617 for a personal tour. Visit us at cedarcommunity.org today!

What matters most in life

Julie Jennings Vice President of Spiritual Care and Wellbeing

Recently, my spouse and I spent a weekend in our basement opening moving boxes and storage bins we have been hauling around for almost nine years. The first time we moved them they went straight into a storage unit as we moved 500 miles from our home into a single bedroom in my mother’s house to begin our long goodbye—caring for her in the midst of Alzheimer’s Disease. The second move filled the garage of a temporary rental home we moved into as we transitioned back into former jobs and found a memory care setting for my mom. The third move was to the basement of what we thought was going to be our last home, which we began renovating from top to bottom. The fourth move was into a moving company storage area where they stayed while we pursued a new opportunity and life in Wisconsin following my mom’s death. The final move happened five years ago when we deposited our now well-traveled and more than slightly worse for wear moving boxes and bins into our current home. We knew we needed to unpack them. We were convinced they contained precious things we couldn’t part with—treasures of children’s artwork; greeting cards from family and friends (some no longer living); high school and college yearbooks; favorite old records, CDs, and mixtapes (yes, actual cassette tapes!); coffee mug collections; family photos; and heirlooms— the trail of all the people and experiences and moments that had led to the lives we were now living. But, the task seemed unmanageable. Former efforts always stalled under the weight of tedious decision-making, frustration over accumulating so much, regret from putting off the process, and the utter grief that revisited us when we even looked at certain containers. We had spent decades accumulating our treasures. We had shouldered the obligation we felt to maintain family keepsakes, intent on passing on to the next generation things we weren’t sure had a useful purpose in our own. We stored the certificates and plaques, trophies, and medals that measured our achievements and reminded us of our value. It was time to lighten our load, to unburden ourselves of how much we were carrying with us, to shed the unnecessary baggage of our past so we could more fully enjoy what we truly valued from it. Not too long ago, I listened to a keynote address by Arthur C. Brooks, Harvard professor, best-selling author, and columnist with The Atlantic, who was speaking about reprioritizing the traditional definition of happiness. “We don’t get satisfaction by adding to our lives,” he said. “We get it by chipping away.” He went on to describe two approaches to creating great works of art. One way is by starting with nothing and adding to it. The other is by starting with what you have and taking things away. He compared this to satisfaction and happiness, noting that satisfaction can be achieved by having more and more or by wanting less and less. His advice— manage your wants, not your haves. He suggested creating a reverse bucket list of things to care about less. What might that list look like? Doing all the things we thought we needed to do to have significance in our lives. Measuring ourselves against others. Getting everything checked off our daily “to do” lists. Wondering what (or if ) other people think of us. All the ways we can demonstrate we are (still) competent. Having it all figured out. Maintaining the silver and China sets we never use. Caring less about some things creates more time and energy for enjoying other things that actually matter more. “Your true self,” Dr. Brooks said, “is not the sum of your achievements. It’s the sum of your love for the people in your life.” Although this love may visit us through our memories and mementos, it lives in moments we share together. It cannot be measured in accumulated property or possessions. It cannot be contained in moving boxes—no matter how many we have or how many times we move them around.


| WINTER 2024




­ ­



­ ­

WINTER 2024 |


Commitment to environmental stewardship and preservation Cedar Community recently finalized the gift of easement rights for nearly 100 acres of woods, trails, lakefront, and prairie land to the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation. A formal dedication ceremony was held in October. “We are honored to donate the development rights of 100 acres of this pristine land on the Cedar Lake Campus to our community partners—the Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation. This unencumbered gift will ensure that the primary environmental corridor on the Cedar Lake Campus will remain protected in its natural state for generations to come,” remarked Nicole Pretre, Cedar Community president and CEO. Mike Nast, Cedar Lakes Conservation Foundation board president, offered his thanks, “With this bold act, Cedar Community has demonstrated exceptional foresight and a deep commitment to the preservation of our natural environment. Our sincere gratitude.” “We are eager to continue Cedar Community’s stewardship journey of care for this natural treasure. We have been committed to preserving these lands since our founding. This formal agreement is the natural next step,” stated Joe Carlson, Cedar Community board president.

Cedar Community mentor program Congratulations to the following nursing team members who are offering their time, talents, and support as mentors in Cedar Community’s mentor program. These team members were selected through an application and interview process and will be paired with new team members upon their hire. Mentors will serve as a valuable resource—providing support, guidance, training, and collaboration, and championing Cedar Community’s commitment to quality healthcare and a positive working environment. The program is led by Lisa Dieckelman, RN, and Mary Williams, RN. “I believe it will build connections to last a lifetime,” says Mary, staff development coordinator. “It’s an opportunity to provide our new nursing team members with the tools they need to be successful,” says Lisa, occupational health nurse.


| WINTER 2024

Participants: Lisa Alf Rachel Anderson Taylor Battisti Jazmyn Domroes Kim Ehardt Jaclyn Fell Rebecca Knox Emily Kraus Judy Lehmen Abby Lieven Stephanie Ludin Nikki Nass Coleton Oertel Mikayla Plasky Tammy Quilici Olivia Reiner Ellie Sabel Grace Schilling Ransym Shaw Kaitlyn Wezyk Teresa Whitney Cassie Yamaguchi

Cedar Community Named Among the Best Nursing Homes by U.S. News & World Report for Sixth Year Cedar Community is proud to announce we have received recognition as one of the Best Nursing Homes for 2024 by U.S. News & World Report for the sixth year in a row. Cedar Community’s short-term rehabilitation received an overall rating of five out of five and earned the status of “High Performing,” the highest possible rating. The rating evaluates Cedar Community’s post-acute care for patients recovering from a hospital stay. U.S. News gives the designation of Best Nursing Home only to those organizations who satisfy U.S. News’ assessment of the appropriate use of key services and consistent performance in quality measures. Assessments of services include categories such as nurse staffing, physical therapist staffing, consistent nurse staffing, prevention of falls, patients able to return home, and patient-centered rehabilitation therapy. “This recognition not only reflects the high standards and professionalism of Cedar Community, but acknowledges the compassion and dedication of the team members who contribute to the positive outcomes for patients,” says Kelli DeRuyter, RN, BSN, NHA, administrator/vice president of clinical services. “It’s a noteworthy achievement and a testament to the organization’s commitment to excellence in healthcare services.” The U.S. News Best Nursing Homes ratings and profiles offer comprehensive information about care, safety, health inspections, staffing, and more for nearly all of the nation’s 15,000-plus nursing homes. The Best Nursing Homes ratings reflect U.S. News’ exclusive analysis of publicly available data using a methodology defined by U.S. News that evaluates factors that it has determined most greatly impact patient and resident care, safety, and outcomes. The Best Nursing Home finder features ratings on both long-term and short-term care. To learn more, visit https://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes. These ratings provide guidance to help residents, families, and caregivers when they are researching the quality of nursing homes.

WINTER 2024 |


Cedar Community Champions Every quarter, Cedar Community recognizes team members who go above and beyond their everyday tasks for our residents, families, volunteers, and their fellow team members. Cedar Community is proud to announce our Team Members of the Quarter award winners. Nursing Champion

Dining Champion

Cedar Community Champion

Cindy Bong CNA/Med Tech

Gloria Foerster Café Lead

Amy Kopfmann Music Therapist

How long have you worked at Cedar Community? Five years

How long have you worked at Cedar Community? 12 years

How long have you worked at Cedar Community? One year

What do you enjoy most about working at Cedar Community? “Talking to the residents. There are also many wonderful people who work here.”

What do you enjoy most about working at Cedar Community? “The residents and staff are wonderful. It’s a great place to work.”

What do you enjoy most about working at Cedar Community? “My goal as a music therapist is to use the power of music to enhance the emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing of residents. Fostering a sense of joy, connection, and therapeutic support in the residents’ lives is very important to me.”

What her colleagues are saying... “Cindy’s dedication, hard work, focus, and care for residents and team members is extremely special. She has a kind, reassuring presence, and takes care of what needs to be done.”


| WINTER 2024

What her colleagues are saying... “Gloria is a hard worker. She is great with the residents and at her job. She shines with patience, kindness, and enthusiasm.”

What her colleagues are saying... “What Amy does for the residents is incredible. She finds out what they like and designs her visits for them. She is extremely thoughtful and kind, and anyone who meets her is incredibly blessed to know her.”


Let us help you discover your potential. We’re now accepting applications 

Our team members are the champions of our community. AUTUMN 2023 | 15 cedarcommunity.org Join our team today!


| WINTER 2024


In October of 2022, Cedar Community kicked off our repositioning project of the Cedar Lake Campus. The scope of work included new private independent living residences—The Lofts at Cedar Lake— and a refresh of the Cedar Lake Campus main entrance, Cedar Lake Café, as well as exterior updates. Stay tuned as feature walls highlighting our humble beginnings, mission, and guiding principles and priorities will adorn the new main entrance hallways, soon. Construction continues in independent living plus, in-patient therapy, and skilled nursing spaces. Cedar Community’s refresh will give us a new, updated look, but will still reflect our 70-year history by blending modern amenities with a deep appreciation for our organization’s longstanding commitment to serving seniors.

CEDAR LAKE ENTRANCE Visit the Cedar Lake Campus to see the amazing transformation of the Cedar Lake Entrance— stop at the bright new main reception desk for a book of stamps and order a delicious sandwich with a hot coffee to go at the newly renovated Cedar Lake Café.

 16

| WINTER 2024



Welcome to

The Lofts at Cedar Lake The views are different here. Cedar Community offers many opportunities for residents to enjoy, explore, and embrace their best lives. With over 1,000 feet of pristine Big Cedar Lake frontage and miles of marked trails, prairies, and forests—you will have a lot to explore in every season.

Signature living awaits Beautifully designed private residences ranging in size from 1,100 to 2,000 square feet. Every detail has been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, peace, and spaciousness—while showcasing the property’s amazing views—all year round. Your next home can be a well-appointed refuge in an intimate loft-style community with only 15 residences—five on each floor.

Live beyond the ordinary Only 40 minutes north of Milwaukee in beautiful Washington County, The Lofts at Cedar Lake are newly renovated spaces—offering independent resort-like living on Big Cedar Lake. Located in the heart of the beautiful Kettle Moraine and within minutes of shopping, fine dining, entertainment and cultural events, golfing, and an award-winning farmer’s market.

Take the adventure Be the first to see what your next adventure can look like at The Lofts at Cedar Lake.

Call Abby today for a tour at 262.338.4617. Three residence styles are ready and staged for your first look.


KEY FEATURES . Two bedrooms and two full bathrooms


. Spacious closets . Luxury vinyl plank throughout kitchen, dining, and family rooms . Quartz countertops throughout . Amish custom cabinetry . Lofted ceilings . Private storage space . Indoor parking . Monthly housekeeping . Pet friendly . Wooded views

Every detail has been thoughtfully designed to provide comfort, peace, and spaciousness—while showcasing the property’s amazing views all year round. Your next home can be a well-appointed refuge in an intimate loft-style community with only 15 residences— five on each floor.

It’s time to stop dreaming about your next adventure— it’s time to live it! Discover all the possibilities that await in your new home. Our campuses allow for many opportunities to reimagine what your next journey looks like.

AMENITIES . Beautiful walking paths, trails, parks, and prairies . Big Cedar Lake access— pontoon boat rides, kayaking, fishing, and a beach house . Special interest clubs— photography, hiking, birdwatching, cards and games, garden, and book . Social activities and parties . Volunteer opportunities . Fitness atrium, exercise and personal training classes . Artisan spaces—woodworking, painting, pottery, ceramics, stained glass, and model railroad train . Restaurant dining options

VOLUNTEER HIGHLIGHT PERATION WINTER O WONDERLAND Cedar Community’s Operation Winter Wonderland was in full swing again this past holiday season. The event originated during COVID—providing an opportunity for volunteers to be actively engaged while conforming to COVID guidelines and to brighten up the dark days of winter for our friends and neighbors. The event continues as an annual holiday tradition encouraging local business support, team building, and volunteer engagement opportunities. Cedar Community sincerely appreciates all our local partners who have created wonderful holiday light displays for our residents and guests to enjoy! Thank you Auto Safety Center, Bell Bank Mortgage, Douglas Dynamics, Forward TS, Henricksen, Moore Construction Services, Lammscapes!, VJS Construction Services, Adversity Wisconsin Volleyball Club, and West Bend Children’s Theatre, Inc. Operation Winter Wonderland is a wonderful way for local businesses to show support for their community and our residents by creating a little extra joy during the Christmas season. We greatly appreciate the generosity, spirit, fellowship, and cheer these businesses bring to Cedar Community. To learn more about volunteering at Cedar Community, contact Bonnie Amerling at bamerling@cedarcommunity.org or 262.306.4218.


| WINTER 2024

Sharing the spirit of the holiday year after year: West Bend Children’s Theatre Celebrating 91 years, the West Bend Children’s Theatre knows what it means to give back to the community. With a large group of volunteer support, they engage and entertain children and older adults through their annual spring performances. “There are so many great opportunities to be involved with Cedar Community. Winter Wonderland is one way to give back some Christmas joy to residents and families. We look forward to it every year,” says June Schroeder, board member, volunteer, and Cedar Community resident. “This is a great opportunity to foster volunteerism within our greater community, while ‘shining’ a light for others.”

Auto Safety Center As a family-owned and operated auto repair shop dedicated to serving our community, Auto Safety Center owner Joe Valind is grateful for the opportunity to provide some extra holiday cheer for the residents of Cedar Community. “This is our third year decorating, and we are happy to volunteer alongside our families,” says Joe. “It is great to get our kids involved, share the volunteer spirit, and show them the meaning of being able to help out in your own community.”

Moore Construction Services Moore Construction’s mission is to positively impact lives. They do this though their support of local organizations and helping customers to fulfill their own missions. This is the third year Moore has volunteered with holiday decorating—making the season a little brighter for memory care residents. They have also volunteered for and generously supported Cedar Community’s Annual Butterfly Release. “We strongly believe in community stewardship and giving back to local organizations who do such amazing work,” says Bridget Fritz, business development director.

WINTER 2024 |


TIME, TALENTS, AND TREASURES Leon Krug Harmony in life Leon Krug’s journey is a blend of musical passion, artistic creativity, and a commitment to community service. His early exposure to music—through his older brother—began his passion for the guitar. Leon is a self-taught musician who learned to play electric guitar at around 10 years old, beginning with a few chords and melodies. Growing up in the Beatles era, Leon learned their songs and transitioned from an electric to acoustic guitar—a sound he liked better. In his late teens and early twenties, Leon, along with his brother, took their musical talents from local bars and wedding venues in Washington County and northern Milwaukee to the recording studio. A significant turning point in Leon’s musical journey came when he and his brother recorded an album. They had a friend whose father had a recording studio in his house. The album was a mix of cover songs and original music they wrote in the style of pop-country and pop-folk compositions. “It was during the early eighties and we had so much fun recording,” says Leon. Their albums were sold at Peaches, a popular record store in Milwaukee, and The Exclusive Company in West Bend. The local radio station was also playing their music. The album was in the top 10 of record sales at Peaches. But, when it came time to collect their profits, the owners filed bankruptcy. The business side of the music business definitely had its ups and downs. “Welcome to the music business,” says Leon.


| WINTER 2024

A musical journey

Leon cherishes the memories of playing live—his favorite venue was the Honey Bucket in Menomonee Falls. One side of the bar was a rock bar and the other side was a bar and restaurant with a stage for live music. “Every night when we were packing up our equipment, there would be a rumble in the parking lot from the rock side. They were always polite enough to let us cut through the rift,” laughs Leon. During that time, Leon’s pursuit of a graphic arts education at Lakeshore Technical College aligned with his musical endeavors. His graphic arts career spanned various roles until his retirement in 2020. Reminiscing about the music days and wishing he would have recorded a few more songs, Leon connected with Cedar Community Music Therapist Amy Kopfmann. Leon’s passion for music inspired Amy to reach out to her music producer friend to help fulfill that wish with the recording of a new song. The producer is adding some new dimensions to the song and Amy is adding vocals and piano since Leon had a vision for a duet. Leon’s move to Cedar Community marked a significant new chapter in his life after a Parkinson’s diagnosis. He made the move to an independent living plus apartment in December of 2022, not knowing where his prognosis would take him or how much care he might need. With the blessing and support of his physician, Leon felt comfortable transitioning to a more independent level of living and moved to Cedar Community’s Cedar Ridge Campus in October of 2023. “I was planning for my future and wanted to be in a place where there was someone to help if I needed more care,” says Leon. With his medication under control, Leon felt he could live independently without the need for additional services. Finding his way, and with the support of the staff, Leon is making new friends and is even teaching himself how to play piano. He stays active by attending music appreciation events and worship services, exercises regularly in the gym, and appreciates being able to relax in the hot tub. Leon can’t say enough about the friendliness of the residents and the helpfulness of the team members who are always available to provide support.

Beyond his artistic pursuits, Leon’s commitment to community service shines through. From volunteering at muscular dystrophy summer camps to food pantries and homeless shelters, he actively sought ways to make a positive impact in the community. One thing Leon misses is sports. He played softball, golf, and basketball. For now, he is trying to be active by listening and learning, and with God’s help—face the challenges of life. Leon’s creativity can be seen in all that he does—from the early musical days, to his career in graphic arts, to the fun notes you may find that he leaves on his door to let others know he is out. Thank you for sharing your talents and joy with us, Leon. We can’t wait to hear the new song!

Download Leon’s song, “By My Side.” WINTER 2024 |


RESIDENT PROFILE KIT MINNIHAN BY: Gladys Sachse Resident, Cedar Community Independent Living

Kit (Katharine) Minnihan was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She had one younger sister, Molly. The family moved often as her father worked for the Milwaukee Railroad—living in Kansas City, Missouri; Fairmont, Minnesota; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Glenview, Illinois, where her family finally settled when Kit was in her early teens. Her grandfather also worked for the railroad as a station master. Kit recalls a clipped newspaper article announcing her grandfather’s 50th year with the railroad— it was printed in1936, the year Kit was born. Her family traveled a lot—a privilege of being a railroad family. Some memorable trips were to Williamsburg, Virginia, and Yellowstone Park. Kit especially enjoyed their annual summer visits to her grandparents in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Fairmont, Minnesota. Kit attended high school in Illinois and went on to Wilson College—a women’s college in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania—where she majored in history. Her mother and grandmother also attended the same college. Her parents gifted her a college graduation gift of a United Nations student tour. She traveled with five other women to Switzerland, England, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Kit met her husband, John, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were married and enjoyed 17 wonderful years together. Kit had two sons, Peter and Paul. Peter passed away at age 46. Paul is a professional artist at Minnihan Painting in Chicago. Kit’s apartment is decorated with many of his beautiful paintings.


| WINTER 2024

After their boys were grown, Kit worked as a secretary at a United Methodist church in Minneapolis for 17 years. Then she took a part-time receptionist job at the front desk of a care facility. Kit’s parents, Sandy and Kay Horton, lived at Cedar Community’s independent living apartments (Cedar Ridge) for 15 years. When they moved in the pool was being built— much to her father’s delight as he was an avid swimmer. They were involved in many activities and enjoyed dining at Cedar Community’s very own Top of the Ridge Restaurant. Kit and John realized how happy her parents were at Cedar Community, so they, too, settled into a senior living community in Minnesota. They enjoyed traveling in Europe and the United States—and especially enjoyed riverboat cruises on the Mississippi River. Kit’s sister and family settled in the West Bend area. After John died in May of 2023, her family was concerned that she was in Minnesota alone and they encouraged her to move closer. In early fall 2023, Kit moved to Cedar Community into an apartment at The Willows at Cedar Lake. Kit learned to play the piano when she was young. She continued for many years, but not so much while raising their two boys. After they were grown she went back to playing. She moved the piano to her apartment and continues practicing. She encourages others to use the talents they have, saying, “You’re never too old.” She is also an avid reader and enjoys the services of the local public library that delivers books to Cedar Community residents.

Kit says if you want to meet people, you have to make an effort. Since her family moved so often, her mother encouraged them to make friends with their neighbors in order to be happy. Kit recalls their first Christmas in Glenview, Illinois. Shortly after they moved in, her parents hosted an open house party on a Sunday afternoon and invited all their neighbors. They always rented, so they never lived in the fanciest house on the block—but her mother gave the best parties! Kit is very happy living at Cedar Community and says it’s a nice place to be. She enjoys the activities, exercise, and art classes. “Everyone is so friendly,” she says. She appreciates the help from team members with her daily care, commenting how they are so caring and kind. Each week she enjoys the interesting and fun art classes offered and looks forward to the next class. This past fall Kit was fascinated by a beautiful red maple tree outside her window. Nearly every day she made colored pencil sketches as the colors of the leaves changed. She has a mirror on the wall opposite the window that reflects the beautiful tree—enjoying the view from anywhere in the room. At a fire drill shortly after she moved in, all the residents gathered in a designated area of the hallway. Kit saw it as an opportunity to get to know each other. She even encouraged a sing-a-long. She definitely has a sparkle in her eye and is always looking to meet new people and learn their stories: “Everyone has something interesting to share.” In the tradition of her mother, she loves to serve tea to her guests, making them feel welcome and making herself feel more at home. Welcome, Kit! We are so blessed to have you here.

AUTUMN 2023 |





| WINTER 2024



As we reflect on 2023, it was another impactful year of serving our friends and neighbors at Cedar Community through the continued success of our Partners In Caring™ (PIC) annual campaign. The dedication to supporting seniors and ensuring they receive the care they need is truly commendable. The fact that the campaign has been running for 41 years, stemming from the vision of Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Community’s first leader and executive director, demonstrates a long-standing commitment to the community. Today, Americans are living longer than ever. A blessing to be sure. But now the need is greater than ever as some seniors outlive their financial resources. Thank you to each and every donor who has supported our friends and neighbors in need in our skilled nursing and assisted living—whether you have given in the past, present, or plan to do so in the future. You are the true gifts.

2023 donor impact:

∙ 350 donors (individuals and businesses)

Jenny Zaskowski Philanthropy Director

∙ 111 new donors ∙ $400,000 raised for Partners In Caring ∙ 15 Butterfly Release sponsors ∙ 20 business sponsors and 275 community attendees supported our annual leadership event, Becoming a Champion for Others ∙ 10 Winter Wonderland business volunteers decorating our campuses for the holidays It is the heart of our benevolent mission to serve and champion for others. What an honor to have so many businesses and individuals dedicated to supporting Cedar Community’s mission and guiding principles and priorities. When I sat in on Howard and Mary Ann Kusler’s Live More magazine interview, it was an honor to walk down memory lane and learn more about Cedar Community’s rich history, as they were one of the first to walk alongside Rev. Riesch in support of his early work. As we look to steward a donor’s gift, it is inspiring to see the Kuslers’ 42 years of support, illustrating the long-lasting impact of continuous generosity. Our legacy continues because of you! We look forward to 2024 as we begin the 42nd year of PIC.

To learn more about how you can become a champion for others, please contact the philanthropy team at 262.338.4625 or visit cedarcommunity.org.

Thank you for a year full of generosity, support, and being a champion for others.

Jenny Zaskowski Philanthropy Director

A LIFETIME OF SERVICE Many people feel like they’ve had a calling throughout their lives. A calling to a certain career path, a calling to serve others, or a calling to lead a meaningful life. Howard and Mary Ann Kusler have followed all of those callings—Howard was a pastor and Mary Ann was a teacher. It was a busy year for the Kuslers in 1956. Howard graduated from seminary on the morning of May 27, and he and Mary Ann were married later that evening. “My family was here for graduation from South Dakota. And as they were all farmers, if we didn’t do it then we would have had to wait until after harvest time,” says Howard. Mary Ann was just a freshman in college when they were married. She was persuing a teaching degree. Howard and Mary Ann Kusler

William Koehl

After graduating from seminary, Howard received his first call to serve the congregations of Friedens and St. Peter’s Church in Jackson. During that time, they were blessed with two daughters. Howard reflects fondly on those years—providing spiritual guidance and compassion to those who sought out his help. Six years later, the Kuslers accepted a call to serve the Evangelical and Reformed Church in Waukesha. At the time of his calling, he was just the fourth pastor to serve in the church’s 97-year history. After settling into life in Waukesha, Mary Ann returned to college to finish the degree she had put on hold while raising their children. She received her teaching degree from Carroll College and taught elementary school for 25 years. Howard served in the congregation in Waukesha from 1962 until his first retirement in 1997.

During Howard’s ministry in Jackson, he met Rev. Louis Riesch, who was part of the South Wisconsin Synod. At that time, Rev. Riesch had been assigned the task of exploring the need and opportunity to establish a home for the aged. Mr. William Koehl—an aging bachelor farmer—had already reached out to Riesch wanting to donate his land to establish a home for the aged. Riesch gathered local church members to discuss the option and the donation of Koehl’s 98-acre farm located on County Highway Z in West Bend. Riesch gained the support of local churches in the South Wisconsin Synod. The Milwaukee churches took some convincing as the distance to the West Bend location did not seem beneficial to them. However, their support was vital as those larger congregations possessed a larger financial base, compared to the smaller churches in the

West Bend area. During that time, many churches financially supported local hospitals. Rev. Riesch was able to broker an agreement that would see half of the funds raised go to the Milwaukee Deaconess Hospital and the other half to the newly created Benevolent Society of the South Wisconsin Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church that would ultimately support the founding of Cedar Community. In an attempt to grow support for the new endeavor from the local churches, Howard and several other local pastors joined the newly established Benevolent Society’s board of directors. As residents moved into the nursing home and began to thrive and live longer with the additional care and support, a growing concern was for those whose financial resources were being depleted. As a result, the Partners In Caring™ benevolent fund and annual campaign was established over 40 years ago. Rev. Riesch sent letters to all the churches in the Wisconsin UCC Conference—asking pastors for 10 to 12 names of people in their congregation who might support the cause. Aligning their life’s work with their deeply held values and beliefs, Howard and Mary Ann Kusler have fully embraced their calling to benevolence by contributing to the fund each year since 1982. The Kuslers’ unwavering support is truly summed up in the heartfelt response of Mary Ann, “We’ve always been warm, we’ve always been well fed, and we’ve always had a roof over our head—it’s always been very prayerfully done.” Howard supports that sentiment, “We’ve been very blessed throughout our lives.” The Kuslers received some wise advice many years ago to put money away each month for retirement. They feel fortunate and thankful that they have the means to help support others. “People shouldn’t have to worry who is going to care for them when their funds run low. I think it’s a real blessing to know that others are looking out for you and supporting you. Our society has so few safeguards like that anymore. But, the one thing that Rev. Riesch always emphasized was showing respect and dignity for the aged,” says Howard. That’s where it all began. A donation of land to the United Church of Christ in 1953—laying the foundation for Cedar Community, a leading faithbased senior living community in Wisconsin. In Rev. Riesch’s original words, “We are grateful to the hundreds of people throughout the beginning years who have shared time, talent, and treasure with us. Cedar Lake Home is the result of faithful people from all walks of life giving of themselves.” Today, that sentiment resonates in our mission and guiding principles and priorities. It all started with one man’s gift of land, a visionary leader, thousands of volunteers hours, and continued leadership and growth that has brought Cedar Community to where it is today. We thank Howard and Mary Ann for a lifetime of dedicated service and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others—truly embodying the spirit of selflessness and compassion. Their journey has not only shaped their own lives, but has also contributed to the establishment and growth of Cedar Community. Their gratitude for the blessings in their own lives has translated into a meaningful legacy of support for those facing challenges. We also thank the many others who support Partners In Caring to continue to guide us forward and care for those who call Cedar Community home.

WAYS TO HELP Partners In Caring™ For over 40 years, Cedar Community’s Partners In Caring annual campaign has helped us provide dignified and compassionate care for all of our residents—even if their financial resources dwindle. Americans are enjoying a level of vitality and longevity never seen before, yet more and more seniors are finding that the funds they set aside for retirement and long-term care are not enough. When residents must rely on Medicaid or other government supports for their care, they must have already fully exhausted all but $2,000 of their financial assets in order to qualify. Quite literally—these seniors have very few financial resources left and no ability to pay. And Medicaid does not fully cover the ongoing cost of their care— leaving more than $105 per patient, per day unreimbursed. But we are committed to our goal of providing best-in-class care to every resident, every day—spending on average $3M annually to support our low-income neighbors who need this skilled nursing or assisted living care. Your support of our annual Partners In Caring campaign makes this possible.

Leaving a Legacy Our roots have been planted deep in the generosity of our neighbors since our founding in 1953. Established with a single gift of land, thousands of volunteer hours, and an enduring vision to create “life-enhancing relationships, services, and environments” for seniors—the legacy of Cedar Community continues to thrive today. Individuals who have chosen to support Cedar Community with a gift through their will or estate plan are committed to making sure this legacy continues for years to come and generations to follow. We invite you to join these visionary members of our Legacy League by designating a gift to Cedar Community through your will or estate plan. If you’ve already included Cedar Community in your will or estate plan—please let us know so we can thank you! If you haven’t included Cedar Community in your will or estate plan, please consider doing so. Your gift today helps us care for others, tomorrow.

“Cedar Community continues to lean into comprehensive and thoughtful assessments of our operations and efficiencies so we may live our guiding principle of stewardship. In 2023, we successfully navigated workforce shortages, gaps in Medicaid reimbursements, and inflationary pressures through the diligent efforts of our board of directors, our executive leadership, and our incredible team members. The evolving landscape of aging services is also providing opportunities to forge new collaborations and creative service delivery options—all intended to ensure the best experience and care for our amazing residents and their families.” Nicole Pretre President & Chief Executive Officer

“As we continue to evolve our operations and explore new revenue opportunities at Cedar Community, our steadfast commitment to providing exceptional care and service to our residents—remains. This has been increasingly challenging given the significant increases in costs associated with the labor, food, medications, and supplies needed to provide this care. The generous support our friends and neighbors show us through their donations to Partners In Caring is both humbling and essential to the compassionate care our team members provide.” Joe Pichler Vice President of Finance

Balance sheet Assets Cash and investments


Other current assets


Limited use assets


Property and equipment


Total assets


Liabilities and net assets Current liabilities


Entrance fees



Long-term debt



Total liabilities


Total net assets




Assisted Living


Health and Rehabilitation


Independent Living Ancillary and Other


Home-based Services Grants and Other*

Total liabilities and net assets


Investment Income


Entrance Fee Amortization


*Fiscal year ending 6.30.23


Statement of operations Revenue: $41,577,543




Expenses: $43,447,692

Assisted Living



Health and Rehabilitation



Independent Living

Reimbursed Program Expenses


General and Administrative

Ancillary and Other


Depreciation Expenses

Home-based Services Grants and Other*



Investment Income


Unreimbursed Program Expenses

Entrance Fee Amortization



Other operational measures include: Days Cash on Hand and Debt Service Coverage Ratio Days Cash on Hand measures the number of days cash expenses could be paid from current cash and investments, assuming no additional revenue. Cedar Community is required to hold 150 days cash on 8% Reimbursed Program hand. In the 2023 fiscal year, our days cash on hand totaled 372. Expenses Debt Service Coverage Ratio measures how many times annual principal and interest payments can be 14% General and Administrative made with annual cash operating revenues and net entrance fees. Cedar Community is required to have a ratio of 1.2. In the 2023 fiscal year, our ratio was 1.32. Depreciation Expenses 15%


Unreimbursed Program Expenses

Non-profit Organization U.S. Postage PAID West Bend, WI Permit No. 24 5595 County Road Z | West Bend, WI 53095

CEDAR COMMUNITY SERVICES DIRECTORY Independent Living West Bend · Cedar Ridge Apartments · Cedar Ridge Homes · Cedar Lake Village Homes · The Lofts at Cedar Lake 262.338.4617 · The Willows at Cedar Lake 262.306.4299

Restaurant and Catering · Top of the Ridge Restaurant 262.338.2812

Assisted Living West Bend · Cedar Bay West · The Cottages (memory care) 262.306.4299

Resale Shops · Cedar Treasures (Cedar Ridge Campus) 262.338.8377

Short-term Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing · Cedar Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center 262.306.4240 Outpatient Rehabilitation 262.306.2150

Cafés · Cedar Ridge Café (Cedar Ridge Campus) 262.338.4614 · Cedar Lake Café (Cedar Lake Campus) 262.306.2100, ext. 4128

· Cedar Closet (Cedar Lake Campus) 262.306.2100, ext. 4119 Volunteers 262.306.4218

Cedar Community Salon & Spa Services · Cedar Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center 262.306.4281 · Cedar Ridge Apartments 262.338.2813 · Cedar Bay West 262.306.2130, ext. 4429 · The Cottages 262.365.6500, ext. 5405 Cedar Community Main Number 262.306.2100 Careers cedarcommunity.org

Philanthropy 262.338.2819 Cedar Lake Pharmacy 262.306.4289

Live More

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.