Jan 3- Happy New Year to everyone! Our last few days of December were exciting as we saw donations on PayPal, checks arriving, and gifts of stock coming through. Our Community Grant of $4600 was fully matched and then exceeded by an additional $5000.
​Thank you for helping us make our goals this year! We love our donors and appreciate your faith in what we are doing.

April 29- The Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Granite House residence! What a beautiful day for our celebration- clear blue skies and a nice breeze. We had over 50 guest who came to our program and watched our board members and partners do the ceremonial shovel dig, as an eagle flew by overhead. Tom’s helpers, Mary Ann the excavator and Wall-e the track loader, held the Granite House sign as we posed in front of the building site. We even had a spot on the 5:00 news on WCCO this evening. LINK

March 6- Just checking in-- we are still working hard with our team to get our legal and construction documents finalized, presented, and approved through our board of directors. So many details-- and with many more people and professionals involved, we are finding ourselves waiting for responses and feedback. We are still on track for groundbreaking soon and opening this fall, and appreciate your faith in what we are doing. Thanks to all of our supporters and your positive thoughts that keep us going. Our spring newsletter WILL feature a photo of our groundbreaking ceremony. If you are not on our mailing list for this publication, please let us know so you can share our next milestone!

Jan 21- Thanks for hanging in there with us as we plug away at contracts and legal documents to put in front of the board of directors for approval. Of course we’d hoped to be building by now but it takes TIME to do things RIGHT, and to do it right with a nonprofit corporation takes EVEN LONGER. Here is a photo taken just before the December snowstorm that shows the building site covered with a thick layer of straw and then covered with black plastic. Add to it a few layers of snow and ice, and it is well insulated and ready to go. The old well by the tree has been decommissioned and will be trimmed and buried below the surface when the new one is drilled.


April 2- PROGRESS! We have our building permit and the corners of the house have been staked out by the surveyor. Our first two subcontractors, for excavation and foundation, are working out their schedules to break ground and pour the walls this month. Look carefully at the photo, left of the surveyor. His own taller stake is only two inches away from the stake that Tom and I placed in November with his own Theodolite.Pretty good work! That will be the corner of the bedroom wing by the garage. Watch for news about the next big step—groundbreaking!

Our short program featured our partners in the community, then champagne at the pole barn

MN State Rep Kathy Lohmer, District 39B,  a former board member
Dan Kyllo, West Lakeland Township Chairman of the Board of Supervisors 
Todd Gillingham, Wealth Advisor at Thrivent Financial -Landmark Group

Lou Cristan, Retired 3M, Thrivent Community-Landmark, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity 
Tom Insley, Granite House founder, Project Manager, and General Contractor
Carol Insley, Granite House founder, Board Chair

Photo on right, back row, from left:  Dan Kyllo, Lucas Gahler (board), Todd Gillingham, Rep. Kathy Lohmer, Frank Ritter, MD (board), Carol Insley (board)
Front row, from left: Board members Anna Bohnen, RN, Donna Koning, MD, Tom Insley, Kirk Dahl, DDS

Photo lower left: Champagne at the pole barn! 
          Lower right:
Children were invited to bring their own shovels for the photos 

May 15- We’ve got walls! In 2 weeks there has been great progress on the house. With the clear weather we’ve had, the excavation was completed and foundation walls poured. On the left is the garage entry, and Carol is standing outside the lower level conference room. The L-shaped house extends up to the top of the hill with the great room and screened porch. You can still catch that view of the WI River bluffs. More photos on the BUILDING tab on the website. We are expecting rain this week so Tom is putting up silt fencing and recycling that black plastic sheeting to protect the site before waterproofing, drain tile and back filling. If you have ever considered making a donation to Granite House, NOW is the time! Help us purchase the specialized equipment our residents will need once the house itself is completed. Thank you!

​May 31- Step 2- After excavation, the foundation walls were poured by Halverson Concrete of Hudson, WI. They had a big crew at the site setting up the forms over three days, May 9-11. Darin Schleuter and his crew formed the footings, then set up the tall forms for the foundation walls, poured them, then returned to remove the forms. They used sophisticated GPS survey equipment to assure the forms were precisely placed and following the plans. A great group of people and a job well done! Halverson also worked out a generous offer for Granite House by the concrete provider, which will be featured next time.

June 4- Another generous contractor! The concrete for the foundation walls & footings and our interior polished concrete floors is being provided by Cemstone, the guys in the big blue cement trucks. The Becken family has given Granite House a charitable consideration of a generous discount on the material, working through the installers, Halverson Concrete. Thank you! We are very grateful for this gift-in-kind, which will extend into the materials for the entry and patio we have planned. Please help us thank them by recommending Cemstone to your neighbors.

Jan 31- We just received our first donation specifically earmarked for our Music Therapy program. This officially opens this account to fund this important offering at Granite House. Our plan is to have group music therapy twice a month by Katie Corbett, MT-BC, MAMT, NICU-MT from Singing Heart. Katie, who is a board-certified music therapist, specializes in working with people with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. Music Therapy is widely used to stimulate the brain functions controlling movement, cognition, language and emotion. On a more basic level it provides relaxation and sensory stimulation. This is not covered in our funding for staffing and operations, so our hope is to have donors support this effort. For our residents it will be an important part of our program and we encourage anyone who wishes to support this program to make a gift and specify the Music Therapy program. For every $100 in donations we can offer a visit from Katie for all of the residents and family members who visit. Thank you!

May 24- We'll show you each step of the project. First: excavation. We broke ground in a BIG way on May 5, with Miller Excavating, our neighbor on Stagecoach Trail. They dug the main part on Friday and returned on Monday May 8 to complete the fine work and prepare for the footers. They even worked on the driveway to restore it, after the hard wear during excavation, to prepare for the cement trucks coming. Miller has generously donated their work to Granite House as a charitable consideration. Great neighbors! They will return after waterproofing to back fill the poured foundation. Please wave and smile next time you see one of their big red trucks drive by.

​​A family-focused long-term care residence

Granite House

Granite House

Granite House

Granite House