ST. CLOUD -- The St. Benedict's Senior Community received a surprising gift last month from an unexpected donor.

8-year-old Emmalee Theisen, from Jesup Iowa, present a check for $225 to the facility to honor her late great-grandmother, Beverly VanderEyk, who was a resident at St. Benedict's.

St. Benedict's Director of Fund Development Luan Knoll says the idea was part of Emmalee's birthday request.

"So instead of bringing gifts, she asked her friends who were attending her birthday party to make a donation that she could give to St. Benedict's Senior Community," says Knoll.

Along with the money Theisen also made three blankets to give to residents.

Knoll says the money will go to buy plants next spring for their raised flower gardens.

"Each floor has a different raised garden our residents get to plant each year and so this year she will be the one buying the plants. So when we put the gardens outside we will call it "Emmalee's Garden" for a year," says Knoll.

Knoll says she is a wonderful young lady and her great-grandmother would be proud.


Emmalee's mom (left) Rhea Theisen, Emmalee and Emmalee's Grandma (right) Julie Theisen (Photo: St. Benedict's)