Sad News

Terry Hart, a longtime resident of Laura Baker Services Association, passed away at his home on April 22, 2015. Services are pending. A full obituary and details of the service will be posted here as they become available. Terry knew many people, so please pass on this information to anyone you know that may have known him.

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Employee Appreciation Week: Launching into New Frontiers

Congratulations to all nominees and recipients of the 2015 Employee Appreciation Awards. This is a special time of year when we say Thank You to all of our employees for bringing your talents and dedication to Laura Baker Services Association. You make this a better place for all of us to be!

Posted in Employees

Congratulations Ila Duesterhoeft: 2015 Spirit of Laura Baker Award Recepient

It is a pleasure to announce Ila Duesterhoeft as the recipient of the 2015 Spirit of Laura Baker Award, the person that best embodies the mission, vision and values of the Association-and the spirit of Laura Baker herself. Ila is a member of the dietary department and is considered a team member at North Oak, where she makes dining a “family-style experience.” Ila has been with Laura Baker Services for 34 years and often entertains with stories of the “old days.” Co-workers describe Ila as someone with a “kind heart and a wonderful spirit” that “treats each client with the utmost dignity and respect.” Congratulations Ila!

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Join us for Healthy Kids Day on April 25

YMCA Healthy Kids Day is a fun-filled morning of interactive games, family activities and healthy giveaways. Stop by Laura Baker’s booth on Saturday, April 25 at Bridgewater Elementary from 9 am – noon.

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Taiko Drumming this Sunday!

LBSA will be hosting a taiko drumming group for clients in collaboration with the St. Olaf Taiko drummers this Sunday, April 12th at 1pm in Millis Dining Room. Hope to see you there!054

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LBSA Easter Service at St. Peter’s

Easter clip art

Every year, Laura Baker hosts an Easter service designed for clients, family, and staff and supported by local area churches. It is a short service with client participation and refreshments to follow. This year’s service will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, located at 418 Sumner St E, Northfield, at 6:30 pm.

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Dinner Theater – Journey to Japan

Domo Arigato to all that attended Dinner Theater last Friday Night.  It was a lovely evening featuring Japanese-style cuisine and Taiko drumming.  Kudos to the kitchen, the volunteers, St. Olaf Taiko drummers, Kimmy Clean and all that made the evening possible.  It was a journey to remember!

Posted in Events, Volunteers Tagged |

Round Up at Just Food Co-op During February

Laura Baker Services is proud to be named as Just Food Co-op’s community partner for the month of February, 2015. When you shop at Just Food during February you will have the opportunity to round up your total to the nearest dollar at check-out. Just Food will donate the difference to Laura Baker Services Association. So spread the word and tell everyone to shop at Just Food and round up for LBSA.

Thank You to Just Food Co-op for partnering with LSBA to help us achieve our Mission: To respect the life choices and dreams of people with developmental disabilities and help them reach their goals.

Note: If you are paying with a credit or debit card, remember to tell the cashier that you want to round up before you swipe your card, so he or she can enter the rounded up total.


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Obituary for Larry Perkins

Joie d’vivre. The sunshine of a smile, a hearty laugh, a warm hello. Everybody’s buddy, everybody’s pal, a friend for a lifetime. He wanted everyone to like him, and mostly everyone did. Sometimes a little bigger than life, sometimes not.

Lawrence Leslie Perkins Jr. was born on May 13, 1973 in Valparaiso, Indiana to Katherine Ann and Lawrence Leslie Perkins. He was born with a big personality and the challenge of living with Prader-Willi Syndrome. He died on January 3, 2015, after providing the gift of life to others through donation of his organs.

Larry first came to Laura Baker Services Association on May 25, 1987 at 15. He attended Laura Baker School, living on Margaret Graves I with a host of friends. When his mom and step-dad decided to move out-of-state in September 1991, Larry moved with them, and spent time in a few different states before returning to Laura Baker in June 1992, where he completed his education, matriculating from Laura Baker School in 1994. Larry was delighted to be able to move into his new house late last year.

Larry worked through Epic Enterprises at a variety of jobs. He especially enjoyed his work at Dokmo. In recent years, Larry volunteered for Meals on Wheels and did light assembly work.

He was Catholic, and enjoyed attending a variety of churches. He was a Special Olympic athlete, winning medals in a variety of sports. He sang in the Laura Baker Choir. Two years ago, he was one of the featured dancers at the Laura Baker Dinner Theater, where he partnered with a St. Olaf dancer to show off his ballroom dancing skills.

Larry was a collector of many things. He especially enjoyed writing and drawing. He was profiled in pictures in a photo exhibit created by St. Olaf students.

Larry told his story for the 2013 Annual Report. Here’s what he had to say:

I work to make money. I go out with my mom a lot. I’m proud of buying stuff for my mom. I put stickers on things.

I like people to draw me pictures, and I draw for them sometimes. I like using the whole sheet of paper.

I have tons of music CDs. I play them on my stereo here in my room. My favorite is kid songs.

I like College Buddies. When it’s warm, we walk around the neighborhood.

I like to be at my mom’s place. I like to spend the night. One night for my birthday, and two nights for Christmas.

Once in a great while something makes me sad. I don’t see my girlfriend no more and she never calls me. We met at the Valentine’s dance at the Faribault Ballroom. She’s been my girlfriend for quite a few years. Now she never calls me.

If I had three wishes? I would wish for a thousand dollars. Then I’d buy ten CDs and maybe a new DVD movie. With what’s left over, I’d buy 200 notebooks. And I would draw in them all.

Larry is survived by his mom, Kathy Perkins and by his housemates, staff and friends at Laura Baker Services Association and Epic Enterprises. He was preceded in death by his father, Lawrence Perkins, and his stepfather, Jim Nehmzow.

We envision Larry dancing with the many friends and family members he is reunited with. “Hi, how are YOU? Hello old buddy, old pal!!! How you been? What’s new?”

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Larry Perkins Memorial Service


We are mourning the loss of Larry Perkins, a long-time member of the LBSA family, who died on January 3, 2015.  A celebration of Larry’s life will be held in Millis Hall Dining Room on Monday, January 12 at 3 pm.  All of Larry’s friends are welcome.  Complete obituary will follow.

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