March 26, 2014


antique-shopI was again sifting through the contents of the wooden chest that I happened to stumble upon last spring.  I found it at that charming little antiques shop on Lincoln Avenue that I’ve passed by hundreds of times on the way to visit Mormor at The Danish Home.  That day, however, I decided to stop in and take a look around.  I spied the old thing sitting in a corner as part of a vignette.  Not the centerpiece, but as a pedestal for the more desirable of vintage goods. Who knows how long it sat patiently waiting for someone to appreciate its beauty and take a look inside – to open the treasure trove of goods that lay waiting inside.



Emma Thorsen

I couldn’t be been happier with my antique market splurge!  As I continue to discover that this chest belonged to Mrs. Emma Thorsen, and the history that lie within it I continue to be amazed by the stories and their connections to our lives today.


I’ve found many newspaper postings in the hope chest about bazaars, picnics and benefits that were organized throughout the years at The Danish Home. Even after founder Emma Thorsen’s death in 1907 items continued to be collected in the chest (presumably by her children?) about these events.  Perhaps it brought on a certain nostalgic sentiment, that Emma’s noble idea had finally come to fruition after all of those years of hard work, and now others were carrying on its proud legacy.



Auxiliary history

In thinking about the legacy of the home and the essence of its mission I can’t help but also think about those many people and organizations committed to cherishing and preserving it.  One such group is The Women’s Auxiliary of The Danish Home.  Founded in 1958 by Mrs. Elna Lorentzen, this group has been a vital part of The Home’s existence.  For nearly sixty years they have been selflessly helping in countless ways, including volunteering on site, raising money through various events and continuing to enhance life within the community.


Summer Festival

Summer Fest

Similar to the newspaper articles I found from days of yore, The Women’s Auxiliary continues to plan weekly and monthly activities, such as a coffee hour each Sunday (where all are welcome) and monthly birthday parties for residents.  In addition, they also organize many wonderful benefits and events throughout the year, including The Spring Benefit Luncheon, Annual Danish Summer Festival, and The Annual Fall Festival & Frikadeller Luncheon.


Their hard work and many achievements awarded them the Danish Home’s annual Essence Award in 2013.  As described by The Home, “This prestigious honor is bestowed annually on a person or group of people integral to preserving the legacy of The Danish Home…the essence of The Danish Home, through their commitment, compassion, caring and giving.”  The Women’s Auxiliary sounds like a very worthy recipient.


I can tell you from my standpoint, having my Mormor as a resident at The Danish Home and visiting often, that all of these wonderful events continue to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.  Not only do they bring friends and families together to celebrate the wonderful Danish Home community, but they also continue important Danish customs and traditions and continue the legacy of friendliness and warmth that the Danish culture embraces.   Everyone is welcome at The Danish Home!


On Saturday, April 12th The Women’s Auxiliary will host another one of their fabulous events, The 56th annual Spring Benefit Luncheon.  This event will be held at the Old Orchard Country Club on April 12, 2014.  Men and women may enjoy cocktails at 11 a.m., lunch at noon, raffle prizes, silent auction and entertainment bv the Spring Valley Chorus.  Tickets are $40 and proceeds benefit The Danish Home.

If you are interested in attending this wonderful event Please RSVP to chairperson, Carol Vashinko at 708-784-1309 by April 5th.

We hope to see you there!


Don’t forget to check out our newest Pinterest board on the various Danish festivals celebrated around the world!