For Joan Hoexter, serving the Women’s Auxiliary this past decade was more than a volunteer opportunity. It was carrying on her family’s legacy.

Her mother, Elna Lorentzen, founded the Women’s Auxiliary in 1958 after visiting the Danish Home with her husband, who served on the board.

“My mom, who got her hair and nails done every week, thought the women she saw there would be happier too if they could get their hair and nails done,” Hoexter recalls.

Her mom got to work, looking for a space at the Danish Home to put in equipment for a beauty salon including wash bowls and chairs that she got as a deal from a friend who was a beauty consultant.

Lorentzen also built up the auxiliary’s membership by enlisting friends to go through the phone book and call people whose last names ended in -en and -on – the common ending of Danish last names.

“Their efforts paid off and the group grew to hundreds of women,” Hoexter says.

Today the Women’s Auxiliary continues this mission of assisting in the social well-being and improve the quality of life for residents at the Danish Home. During her time on the board, Hoexter worked on membership duties including collecting dues.

Recently she stepped down from serving the auxiliary after moving away to be closer to her daughter. Besides the long commute – she lives about 45 minutes away from the Danish Home – Hoexter is stepping down to encourage younger people to get involved.

As she embraces her retirement, Hoexter looks back fondly on her family memories of the Danish Home.

“I spent many summers as a child going to picnics at the Danish Home. And now my grandsons go to the picnics,” she says.

When her daughter was a child, she used to go with her grandma on Saturdays to the Danish Home to help fix the residents’ hair at the salon, Hoexter recalls.

Anyone, including members of the public, can join the auxiliary. Learn more information about the Women’s Auxiliary.