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Memorial Donations Used to Update St. Francis Manor’s Gazebo

November 8, 2022

St. Francis Manor’s gazebo has been updated with new outdoor furniture, lights, a ceiling fan, and a coat of white paint thanks to donations to the St. Francis Manor Foundation in memory of Dean Conn (pictured right).

Dean was a familiar face at Starnes TV & Appliance providing services to many in the community and on St. Francis Manor and Seeland Park campus for 30 years. “Dean had a great sense of humor and was always friendly and outgoing,” recalls Executive Administrator Dion Schrack. “He could visit with anyone and you could say Dean never met a stranger.”

Centrally located in the courtyard area, the gazebo was originally constructed in 1988 in memory of Jane Campbell Seeland, a St. Francis Manor resident and wife of former St. Francis Manor Board member Dick Seeland, for St. Francis Manor residents to enjoy. Now Seeland Park residents in several 10-plex apartments and some Hammond Center tenants are able to enjoy the gazebo from their apartments too. This summer, musical entertainment was held in the gazebo for residents and tenants. “Being easily accessible to the Hammond Center tenants, they have enjoyed the gazebo for small group activities as well as for family visits,” comments Sammi Bryan, Manager/RN at the Hammond Center for Assisted Living.  “At Christmastime, the gazebo is transformed into a holiday wonderland with a Christmas tree and Christmas lights.”

“Dean always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives by encouraging them and helping others,” continues Dion. “This gazebo project, orchestrated by St. Francis Manor Board member and Dean’s loving wife, Fran Conn, will provide a legacy of helping to brighten the lives of our residents, tenants and family members.”

Some of the new gazebo furniture pictured left with Dean Conn’s wife Fran Conn (middle) and their kids Denise Fleener (left) and Jason Conn (right).

“Dean loved the outdoors and enjoyed the residents of Seeland Park and the Manor,” said Fran Conn. “It’s a perfect match for him to be remembered with this special place which will be enjoyed by many for years to come.”

“The furniture is from an Amish crafter near Bloomfield, Iowa, built to last for years maintenance-free,” continues Fran. “A big thanks goes to Hammond Center for Assisted Living Manager/RN Sammi Bryan and Maintenance Supervisor Darwin Klenk for their help with this project.”

“The St. Francis Manor Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose members are currently raising funds for several needs including 1) An automatic locking system for outside doors of our main building (St. Francis Manor, Hammond Center, Social Center, 10-, 8- and 4-plex); 2) updated resident room furniture (lift chairs, bedside tables, dressers, and bariatric mattresses); and 3) for the Hammond Center Human Needs Fund to help offset the difference between Title 19 and private pay rates,” explains Dion. “Donations of any amount are very much appreciated and will help make a difference in the lives of our residents and tenants.”

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