"Friends, neighbors, family members - that's what Good Sam means to me."
That's what Jo Planting, development director and manager of Friendship Terrace and Parkview Terrace, told a full cadre of donors and volunteers at the Good Sam donor appreciation banquet at the Estherville Elks Lodge Fridy night.
"Everyone here tonight is supporting our residents in your own unique way," Planting said.
Gary Peterson, Good Sam interim administrator, honored the late Cecille Black as a major donor to Good Sam and an inspiration to all.
EDN photo by Michael Tidemann
Planting offered thanks to staff, volunteers, those who have given their prayers or encouraging words, and donors.
"All of you are needed, whatever your role is. It takes a village to raise the elderly too," said Planting.
Recognizing Planting's dedication through her emotional thanks, interim administrator Gary Peterson observed that the Good Samaritan Society is observing its 90th anniversary this years.
Recognizing that Rev. 'Dad' Hager had founded the Good Samaritan Society in Arthur, N.D. in 1922, Peterson said Hager had the vision of taking care of people. The first fundraiser of the Good Samaritan Society was held to buy a $2,000 six-room house that sheltered a variety of residents. Since then, fundraising has been an integral function of all Good Samaritan facilities, he said.
Peterson paid special honor to the late Cecille Black, former Parkview Terrace resident, who lived there six years after a long and fascinating life during which she lived on the island of Montserrat.
"Most of all, we remember her for her interest in others," Peterson said, noting that Black had studied the history of the Good Samaritan Society and remembered Good Sam in her will with a gift of $25,613.
"And now she leaves a legacy that will help further God's mission of helping others in thought and in deed."
Pastor Lynn Elrod then asked everyone if they could recognize Jesus if they saw him.
"What does Jesus really look like?" Rev. Elrod asked. "It began before Jesus' birth - people looking for Jesus. People have always been looking for him.
"Most often proof of his identity came in the things he did," Elrod said. "The places where we should start looking for Jesus are places where people are hurting and looking for help. If you want to see Jesus, you have to go to places where you expect him to be."
Elrod said Jesus was indeed present at Good Sam through the many good acts done there. And so that is where you can find him, he said.
"You just might see Jesus if you do that," Elrod said. "Tell these staff members thank you for their ministry."