Weather Forecast


'Healthy Life & Spirit'

It's hard to find very many people in the Detroit Lakes area who don't have some sort of connection to Emmanuel Community, whether it be a loved one who lives there or a loved one who works there.

That could be why the Emmanuel Foundation Charity Benefit (whose parent company is Ecumen) continues to be so warmly supported year after year -- attendees know it's for the grandmas and grandpas who mean the world.

"It's for a good cause, to help take care of our aging population and give them what they deserve and help them to stay healthy and well," said Sandy Lia, who is planning the fundraiser.

The event, which is set for Friday, Jan. 27, at the Speak Easy in Detroit Lakes, will raise money to promote the idea around the evening's theme: healthy life and spirit.

"We're always trying to promote health and wellness programs at Emmanuel," said Lia, "and so what we want to do is purchase additional exercise equipment."

Lia says they'd like to purchase a few more NuStep exercise bicycles that she says are great for strengthening.

They're a hot commodity at Emmanuel.

"There's always a line to get on these things," said Lia. "They just love them, so we'd love to be able to get a few more."

Lia says along with the physical aspect of their recently amped up fitness classes, comes the spiritual benefits as well.

"When you're promoting a healthy lifestyle, you have to have balance and harmony and all those good things," said Lia. "And you can have a healthy life, but you need a healthy spirit too. Both spirituality and your own spirit."

Lia says Emmanuel has increased their group exercise classes from one daily to at least three, and people come.

"It's like, if you build it they will come. Well, here it's like, if you provide it, they will come. They really love this."

But even healthy spirits and bodies get tired, and when they do, it's nice to rest them in comfort.

That is why the foundation is also trying to raise money for additional oversized beds.

"With the money we raised at last year's fundraiser, we were able to purchase 30 of these beds, and they're great," said Lia, who adds they were initially just going to give them to larger, taller people, but all residents took one look and fell in love.

"People really like it because it's more like at home," said Lia, "they're more comfortable, you have more space, and they're really safer."

Lia says with 120 beds throughout their campus, they've still got a long way to go.

That's why they're now busy collecting silent auction items for their fundraiser, as well as selling tickets to the event (which go for $50 per person or $450 for a reserved table of eight).

They're also signing individuals and businesses up as sponsors for the event.

A bronze sponsorship is $300; $500 will earn a silver (which includes two tickets); $1,000 gets you gold (and includes four tickets); while $2,500 will make you platinum (and includes six tickets); and $5,000 earns you diamond status (and eight reserved seats with complimentary beverages).

Lia says the popular event has sold out at 300 people in the past, and there's a reason for it.

"It's so much fun," said Lia. "It's a very nice, classy event, but it's not stuffy. Dress casual, dress up, whatever. People really, really have fun with this thing."

And if kicking back with 300 of your closest community friends doesn't relax you, the décor just might.

"There's going to be an earthy tone to it, with the healthy life and spirit...kind of an earthy-spa type feeling," said Lia.

A full dinner with hors d'oeuvres and dessert will be served, as local band The Fat Cats provide the live music.

Social hour begins at 5:30 p.m., with the dinner and dance at 7 p.m.

There will also be a silent auction with some big items, including a golf membership, hotel getaway, one night lodging and ice fishing trip for six, handcrafted wooden bowls, horse drawn sleigh/wagon ride, an oak bookcase and numerous gift baskets and gift certificates.

There will also be a Wall of Wine raffle up for grabs.

"This is the third year we've done this," said Lia, "where we have three winners, and top winner gets over 45 bottles of wine."

Tickets will be available at the door or they can be purchased in advance by calling 847-4486.