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Augsburg Associates Give Back–Together

Augsburg Associates Report Having “Too Much Fun” While Raising Significant Support for Scholarships

Sometimes a treasured possession gets hidden away and forgotten. Sometimes we don’t even realize how special that treasure is and what finding it might do to help others. With a goal to raise funds for Augsburg College, the Augsburg Associates conduct estate sales. One family, whose belongings were being sold, told the Associates to include in the sale a bag stored for years in the family’s garage. Peeking in at the top, nothing looked valuable—just wrinkly, outdated baby clothing.

An Augsburg Associate took the bag home to launder the contents and discovered a beautiful baptismal gown. She carefully ironed it and showed it later to the daughter in the family, who exclaimed: “I recognize that gown from pictures. It is my baptismal gown. This means so much to me. I would love to purchase it and keep it.” She was delighted, and the Associate was delighted to have preserved a treasure for the family.

Two Augsburg AssociatesAssociates Take Pride in the Service They Provide to the College and Community
Augsburg Associates, 90 members strong, serve the college and the people they assist by hosting estate sales. According to Lennore Bevis ’66, president of the Associates: “We serve the larger community by being very respectful of the people for whom we conduct sales—of their homes, and of their belongings, and by conducting sales in a positive, friendly, caring way.”

For their efforts in organizing, cleaning, pricing, and selling the household items, the Associates receive one third of the sale proceeds. With three to six sales per year, they generate a lot of good will and resources.

Sylvia Lee Sabo and Joyce Hauge with scholarship recipientsWorking Together for Higher Education, Velkommen Jul Brunch Adds to Fundraising Totals
Additional fundraising occurs through Associate membership fees, hosting the Velkommen Jul brunch and a Scandinavian boutique the first weekend in Advent, and hosting a spring tea.

The Associates raise funds to provide scholarships to Augsburg students. Liz Horton, a longtime Associate whose son Christopher graduated from Augsburg in 1981, says: “We feel we are doing something important to help. When we see students on campus, we know how important it is to help them get an education.”

In 1996, The Associates set up an endowed scholarship fund. Earnings from the endowment provide a scholarship each year, and additional dollars raised throughout the year sponsor the Christensen Scholars.

The Associates also Gave $50,000 to the Center for Science, Business and Religion.

Giving Back in Meaningful Ways, Individually and Collectively
“The whole attitude in our organization” Bevis explains, “is members giving of themselves and serving the community. We like to share what has been given to us. We give back in meaningful ways by working together. The generosity of our group sometimes leads individual members to make their own personal gifts to the college.”

Kathleen Gabrielsen ’79, a longtime Associate, recently established an endowed scholarship fund in memory of her husband, Dr. Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen ’63, now deceased, who taught music at Augsburg throughout his entire career. She said: “Gabe gave everything of himself to Augsburg College, including teaching extra classes without pay when he was young. Later I graduated from the college, and both of our children are Auggies: Elizabeth ’89 and Joseph ’91. We are an Augsburg family. Being an Associate is a way to continue with the Augsburg community, enjoying friendships and supporting the college.”

Bevis says that Associates are graduates and also friends of the College who are family members of graduates, faculty, or staff, or who are simply impressed by the spirit of giving and want to be a part of it. She says: “Before my husband Roger ’63 became ill and died, he enjoyed helping with Associates volunteer projects. Men can be members or affiliated members.” She said they decided to volunteer together as a couple because “we wanted to give both our time and our money to Augsburg College. What appealed to us about the Associates was the service aspect.”

“The People are my Favorite Thing”
Barbara “Bunny” Larson ’63, an Associate for almost a decade, says: “The people are my favorite thing. I like my fellow volunteers. We have so much fun together. I have never been around a group that is so supportive. And I hope that the Associates will attract newer members and continue in the next generation.”

Liz Horton adds: “What we do is have way too much fun. It’s fun to be with people who want to make a difference.”

Augsburg Associates Appoint Three Alumnae to Board

The Augsburg AssociatesThe Augsburg College Associates is a service auxiliary of volunteers whose mission includes fundraising for special projects and scholarships in support of the College. The Associates’ commitment to the College is evident in their ongoing support through fundraising events including estate sales, Velkommen Jul, and the Scandinavian boutique. The funds raised throughout the year support special projects and scholarships.

On Thursday, September 26, the Augsburg Associates Board elected three alumnae to its board.

Emily Crook ’07 of Duluth, Minn., graduated from Augsburg College in 2007 with a BA in psychology. While at Augsburg she participated in softball, worked in admissions, and served as an orientation leader welcoming incoming Augsburg students. Emily, a fourth grade elementary teacher, is currently finishing her thesis for her master of arts in education at Augsburg.

Kathleen Gabrielsen ’80 is part of an Augsburg family which includes her late husband, Stephen ’63, daughter Elizabeth ’89, an artist, and son Joe ’91, a computer programmer. She is a former preschool teacher and is an artist working in jewelry and clay sculpture. Kathleen, who has served on the board for six years before, is joining our board again in appreciation of her husband, “Dr. Gabe.” The Stephen “Gabe” Gabrielsen Memorial Scholarship is being established in 2013 to honor his memory and celebrate his life’s work.

Olivia “Livi” (Bylund) Smith attended Augsburg three years with the class of ’64. One of her three children, Heather (Wagner) Rand, is a 1985 Augsburg graduate. Livi was the children’s librarian in the Cloquet Public Library for 12 years. She has resided in the Cloquet and Duluth areas of Minnesota for the past 37 years.

Augsburg Associates Facilitate Estate and Moving Sales

The Associates offer experienced volunteers to help people move through life’s changes. They evaluate, set up, and manage sales and disposal of remaining items in Twin Cities homes and apartments. All proceeds are donated to scholarships at Augsburg.

Contact Becky Waggoner at Augsburg College, 612-330-1085, for further information.