Year in Review

Faith’s Lodge:  2013 Recap

From the Executive Director:  Kelly McDyre
It’s hard to believe that we’re nearing the end of 2013. For Faith’s Lodge, we look back at this year and embrace the many changes we’ve made. Our staff has grown to reflect the increase in size of our organization and to better meet the needs of our guests. We made necessary and welcome improvements to the Lodge, including updating the amenities and programming. We’re also seeing our hard work pay off in an expanding donor base and stronger cash flow. It is uplifting to see that more and more people understand the value and need for this amazing place.

We often hear the old adage, “Time Flies.” However, during times of loss and sadness, time seems to painfully stop. After the death of my nephew in 2010, I helped my sister open condolence cards and came across one in particular from our uncle and its message resonated. He had recently lost his wife of 50 years and his card simply said: “Time Slowly Heals.” Of all the messages we read during that very difficult time, that one has stayed with me and reminds me that time and healing differ for everyone. But regardless of the pace of healing, love and support must remain a constant.

Faith’s Lodge has been an important part in the healing process for many families and the work we do now ensures that it will be here for years to come. It is a special retreat where time slowly moves along the path to healing. I thank all who have made 2013 a year of growth and look forward to sharing the future success of Faith’s Lodge with you in the years to come. 

Hope Rocks, Well, ROCKED!
Thank you for making it one of the most successful Faith’s Lodge fundraising events ever and the best Hope Rocks in several years. The sixth installment of this rock-and-roll gala introduced some changes: a new venue at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis, a sit-down dinner, and many more upgrades to really dial in the look and feel of this special event. We welcomed a lot more people to Hope Rocks (which as you know, overwhelmed the entry process and led to long waits to even get into the venue…Apologies again, that will be fixed for next year). While some things changed, others stayed the same: Great music (the BoDeans were back by popular demand), great people, and generous contributions to our wonderful cause. With your help, we netted more than $150,000. Thank you, thank you, thank you: to the guests, sponsors, and volunteers. It was an amazing night and we’ve already started planning next year’s Hope Rocks, which will be Sept. 20, 2014.

Hope for the Holidays
We took the Holiday Tribute event, shook it up a little, and renamed it Hope for the Holidays, which was held on Sunday, Nov. 17. Our audience listened to author Dick Obershaw talk about strategies to cope with grief during the holidays, a difficult time for those dealing with loss. The event was rounded out by a rousing performance by the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. They had the audience clapping and singing and even sang the names of the children we were there to remember.

Checking in from the Lodge
Earlier this year, the Lodge saw rejuvenating improvements, both indoors and out. Rooms were refreshed with new queen-sized beds, linens and towels, 25 acres of land were cleaned up, and dozens of bright, blooming flowers were planted in Grace’s Garden. Also, the top floor of the Lodge was redecorated and named “Natalie’s Nest” by Karsyn’s Krusaders in memory of Natalie Krohn. The new décor reflects Natalie’s love of horses and her wonderful spirit. “Natalie’s Nest” is a cozy room for guests to retreat for quiet contemplation and reflection.

A Busy Year…
Last winter was busy with some great events benefiting Faith’s Lodge. First, the friends and family of Porter Dahl put on Pins For Porter last January in Centuria, Wisconsin and raised almost $3,000. Then, in February, a group of riders braved frigid temperatures to participate in the Winter Run, a three-day snowmobile ride. The riders made a stop at Faith’s Lodge for hot cider and a tour and raised more than $15,000.

March was a month for music when The Ben Johnson Band rocked the Fine Line Music Café for our Hope Thrives event. The band brought the crowd to their feet to dance through the night.

April snow showers couldn’t keep a few extraordinary families away from Faith’s Lodge for the Loss to Violence weekend. They braved the storms for a weekend of solace and left with deep connections and new memories to carry them through their difficult times. Faith’s Lodge volunteers also came together in April to serve dinner to families in need at the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis.

May marked the beginning of warm days and spectacular gatherings to remember those we’ve lost and help raise funds so the giving can continue. Swing for Sophia and Noah’s Memorial Classic attracted a mix of golfers and supporters who spent the afternoon swinging on the course for a great cause, netted more than $40,000! There was also River’s Run and Ride Rally honoring River Wheeler and the Race for Grace honoring Grace Lee. We feel so lucky to be the beneficiary of these wonderful events that sent us into a busy summer with enough resources to serve the many families that walk through our doors.

Year-end Giving
December is a great month for giving. Thank you for remembering Faith’s Lodge as you plan your charitable giving this holiday season.  As you know, there are many ways to give:

  •  Seeds of Hope: Give the gift of hope this holiday season in honor of a loved one. Priced at $10/each, Seeds of Hope make a wonderful gift and are available online and at Faith’s Lodge. Click here to learn more and buy your seeds of hope. There is still plenty of time to make this a stocking stuffer!


  •  Memorial Gifts:  Give the gift of a permanent memorial at Faith’s Lodge and honor your loved ones by purchasing an outdoor bench, wall stone, garden brick, or walking path brick with a personal message of remembrance. Click here to learn more and visit our gift shop.


  •  Essential Items: Even the simplest gifts make a world of difference. A donation of pantry items, paper products, and art materials help make the Lodge a comfortable place to stay. Visit our Pinterest Wishlist page for a list of needed items.


  • Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs set up by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations. It can work for contributions of money or that of time as a volunteer. Click the green “Double The Donation” image above to see if your company will double your donation.

Save the Dates in 2014
We’ll have another full docket of activities next year, including:

  • February 20-22, 2014: Winter Run
  • Saturday, May 17:  Hope Walks and Rolls. This is a new family 5k event. Stay tuned for details.
  • June 2014: Swing for Sophia
  • Saturday, Sept. 20: Hope Rocks! Watch this Spring for NEW early-bird tickets.

Dates are subject to change and we may add more events. Keep in touch with us on our website and Facebook to stay up-to-date on developments and dates.

Want to Get Involved?

  • Volunteer to make meals at the Lodge: Email to get on the calendar.
  • Volunteer for events: Contact, our volunteer coordinator.
  • Rent the Lodge: Email to learn more about renting Faith’s Lodge for your company retreat or family reunion.

Thanks again for your continued support of Faith’s Lodge!