I joined Rotary as part of my employment with Ecumen. It's a great networking opportunity and a way to give back to the community. While in AZ I did attend a few Rotary meetings so I knew what a great organization Rotary is and I'm proud to make a difference in people's lives. 

Rotary gives me a great satisfaction in doing good for the people we serve. I enjoy the new friendships that have developed and feel I'm a better person through Rotary. 

​Greetings! I'm Darlene Shafer from Lindstrom MN. I was born in Superior WI and lived in Dairyland WI until I was 11 years old. We moved to Shafer MN and I've been a resident now of the Chisago Lakes area for most of my life. I have one daughter, Kim. She and her husband live in Brainerd. My passion has been to help people my entire life. I worked for Chisago County Human Services for 25 years as a financial specialist. As a medical assistance worker, I helped people without financial resources to provide for their needs as they entered skilled nursing home care. My next adventure was to open Meadows on Fairview, a new assisted living in Wyoming MN. It was rewarding to tour seniors and get them settled into a new life style. Living in the assisted living community was a new experience for them. During my years at the Meadows, I was recruited to go to work in Phoenix AZ for another continuing care community.

I moved to Phoenix and enjoyed the job and the weather. Once I knew it was a good move, I road tripped my husband and 2 cats to Phoenix. Our Oldsmobile Bravado pulled a uhaul trailer with everything we needed. We kept our home in Lindstrom as I knew we would not stay in AZ long term. Our roots were in MN. We were fortunate to have friends live in our home and take care of it while we enjoyed AZ. In our 3rd year in AZ my husband suddenly passed away from a heart attack right on our 44th wedding anniversary. Wow! This was something I had not factored in when we made the decision to go to AZ. After surviving the shock of being alone, I decided to stay in AZ and continue to work there. After seven years, I retired and moved back to Lindstrom. Retirement lasted 8 months when I knew I had to do something more meaningful. I got hired with Ecumen Point Pleasant Heights and have been here ever since my return to MN. When you love what you do it is not work at all.