Stories from St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care

Record $282,857 Raised at St. Ann Center Gala

The 14th annual Dream Together Gala was an historic one for St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care. A record-breaking $282,857 was raised — well above the goal of $225,000, thanks to generous friends and supporters of the center who gathered Aug. 10 at Discovery World Museum.

The fundraising event, traditionally the nonprofit organization’s biggest of the year, benefits the nationally acclaimed day care program, which provides health and educational services to children, older adults and people with disabilities all under one roof.

This year, funds raised will help launch three brand-new community programs at St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, 2450 W. North Ave. They are an Aquatics Center, where children will learn to swim and adults with special needs will receive water therapy; a Dementia Care Wing, where people living with memory loss can enjoy a safe, supportive environment;  and an Overnight Respite Center that gives caregivers a chance to recharge while their loved ones receive loving, professional care.

Proceeds from the gala also support St. Ann Center’s Care Champions program, which directly benefits clients who have no means to pay for services they desperately need. St. Ann Center serves Milwaukee at the Bucyrus Campus and also the Stein Campus, 2801 E. Morgan Ave.

The evening featured jewelry designed and handcrafted by Sr. Edna Lonergan, OSF, founder and CEO of St. Ann Center; live and silent auctions;  a raffle; a catered dinner and music by the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra.

The Big Dream Sponsors for the gala include Marji Singer, MHS Health Wisconsin, Catalyst Construction and many other generous donors. The annual gala, first held in 2005, is hosted by Carol Nevins Cannon and Craig and Susie Nevins in honor of their mother, Florence Nevins, and her devotion to St. Ann Center.

Questions about ways to support St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care can be directed to Casey Rozanski at (414) 977-5062 or

Intergenerational Artists Show Their True Colors

Fun was in the cards for the children and adults at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care on Friday, July 27. Teen interns from the Milwaukee Art Museum worked with budding artists from the center, decorating cards that will be used to create an installation to be on public display at the museum beginning this fall.

Eighteen teens from the ArtXpress Internship Program came to St. Ann Center’s Stein Campus, bringing Eames cards (11.5 X 7.5 in.) for decorating. Charles and Ray Eames designed the House of Cards game in 1952 as a deck of 54 slotted playing cards. The cards can be assembled together to form fantastic structures both large and small.

“It’s amazing to see the ArtXpress interns in this environment working directly with the little kids and also with the clients here at St. Ann Center—they’re really shining!” said Shannon Molter, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Associate Educator of Teen Programs. “They’re showing people how to use art materials, talking with them about their interests, doing mini interviews about their lives and what they love and then making art about it together. There are smiles all around.”

The teens provided an array of art supplies–from crayons, markers and watercolors to 3-D collage materials—to share with artists ranging in age from 5 years old to 70-plus. “Some of St. Ann Center’s elder clients may even remember playing with the original cards when they were children,” Shannon said.

For the past several months, a diverse audience of Milwaukeeans have been invited to participate in decorating Eames cards. The public art project is an effort to give the community a chance to interact with design and be valuable contributors to their art museum.

Ray Chi, a multi-disciplinary artist based in Milwaukee, will be turning thousands of completed cards into a sculpture that will be part of Serious Play: Design in Midcentury America, an exhibition presenting the concept of playfulness in postwar American design as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Serious Play will explore how employing playfulness allowed designers to bring fresh ideas to the American home, children’s toys and play spaces and corporate identities. The exhibition will be on display Sept. 28, 2018 – Jan. 6, 2019 in the Baker/Rowland Galleries.


A Wet, Wild and Wonderful Day

Splish splash…everyone had a blast at our Stein Campus on July 13. That’s when Splish Splash Day, St. Ann Center’s annual salute to summer, was celebrated—filling our parking lot with wading pools, inflatable slides and enough games and activities to keep our children and adults busy (and drenched!) for hours.

Showers of fun were forecast as the kids made the rounds, checking out the Slip ‘N Slide and a bouncy obstacle course. For the adults, there were misting bottles for impromptu water fights, plus a bean bag toss and hopscotch station.

The attire was casual, ranging from swimsuits and shorts to T-shirts and breezy sundresses. Straw hats were in fashion. And there was a line of all ages waiting to get their smiling faces painted.

Hunger didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits, either. Slushies, slices of sweet watermelon and cotton candy evaporated as the crowd grew. Babies to octogenarians got their summer jam on to a cool playlist of tunes. What an amazing way for generations of summer-lovers to spend a sunny July day together!

July-Sept 2018 Newsletter Feature Story

Her Heart’s in the Right Place

Volunteer Gayle “Gigi” Simmons made her way around St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, patting backs, rubbing shoulders and giving hugs. When she reached Jerome, one of the adult clients, she stopped and looked at him closely. “His mouth was twisted,” she said, remembering. “So, I told the staff about it.”


Gayle "Gigi" Simmons

Her keen observation detected the early signs of a stroke. Jerome was immediately transported to the hospital. “He’s back here with us now, and he looks good,” Gigi said. “I was at the right place, at the right time.”

Gigi knew St. Ann Center was the right place for her. She came to the center three years ago through SER Jobs, a program that gives mature workers useful training through community service. On any given morning, you’ll find her making the rounds of the adult day care, going client-to-client pouring water and coffee. “I ask them how they’re feeling…let them know I’m glad to see them…maybe tell a couple of jokes,” she explained. “This is our bonding time.”

Forced to retire early after several eye surgeries, Gigi thought her vision problems might limit her opportunities. She needn’t have worried. “I was asked to help out at the reception desk,” she said. “I sat down and found somebody had enlarged the instructions so I could read them easily,” she said. “That’s the kind of place this is.”

“I always remind them, we’re family.” – Gigi Simmons

A few months ago, she unexpectedly needed to find day care for her 10-month-old godson. “Everyone was helpful, and I was able to enroll him at St. Ann Center,” she said. “I think the intergenerational idea is great. Whenever the children come around, the clients get wrapped up in the happiness.”

Gigi was recently honored as this year’s Bucyrus Campus Volunteer of the Year. “I just remind people that someone cares,” she said with a smile. “My prayer is ‘God, let them see your love through me.’ I believe that’s what He’s doing.”

Gigi’s story is just one example of how your connection to St. Ann Center helps enhance the lives of people of all ages and abilities. In the July-September issue of Seasons of Life, you will find more stories of the difference generous people like you are making at St. Ann Center every day.


St. Ann Center Celebrates at Mortgage-Burning Event

St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care celebrated reaching an important milestone at a special ceremony held Friday, June 22, at the Bucyrus Campus.

After 35 years, the mortgage on the center’s Stein Campus, 2801 E. Morgan Ave., has been paid off, thanks largely to the generosity Of Carl and Karen Kitzinger. Longtime St. Ann Center supporters, they jumpstarted a campaign to retire the mortgage in January by offering to pay half of the amount needed. “Carl and Karen have supported St. Ann Center from the very beginning, allowing our programs to grow,” said Sr. Edna Lonergan, the center’s founder and president.

The Kitzingers were among the first donors to the capital campaign that led to the opening of the Stein Campus in 1999. Later, when Sr. Edna was assessing the feasibility of building a second campus, “Carl and Karen came through the front door with a $2 million check,” she said. “This beautiful place, the Bucyrus Campus, is the gift they have helped give us.”

After a ceremonial “mortgage burning,” Linda, a client at the Bucyrus Campus, shared a poem, reading, “The clients at St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care have different abilities that make each one special. They are faced with many challenges daily, yet they still manage to find a way to wake up every morning and come to St. Ann Center and share their lives with one another.” The all-ages audience was entertained with spirit-lifting songs performed by the four-year-olds from the Bumblebee classroom.

The celebration concluded with the dedication of the Bucyrus Campus’ 24th Street entrance as Kitzinger Lane. “Now, as we all come in and out of the campus, ” Sr. Edna said, “we will see this street sign and remember our special friends.”