Carver Lions

Dean Nelson, center, president of the Carver Lions, on July 13 presented a check of $10,000 to Mike Senden, left, president of Auburn Homes & Services, and Bob Kuhlman, director of the Moravian Care Foundation. The Lions club recently made four $10,000 donations to local entities.

Dean Nelson says he was “totally shocked” when the Carver Lions Club gambling account manager handed him four $10,000 checks for distribution to area nonprofits.

“These are groups that can use the funds and we are very pleased to be able to help them,” Nelson said. “It’s pretty remarkable, I mean, the amount of gambling profits we’re able to distribute with all that’s gone on over the last 18 months or so.”

The club presented $10,000 donations to Auburn Manor, Beacon-Families Moving Forward, Bountiful Basket Food Shelf, and Launch Ministry, all of Chaska.

The club donated $107,569 during the 2020-21 fiscal year, compared with $55,137 the previous fiscal year, and $66,291 in 2018-19.

Of the 2020-21 year club donations, 13 were of $2,000 or more. That includes $10,000 each to the Alzheimer’s Association and city of Carver for Steamboat Days fireworks; $9,673 to the Carver Fire Department; and $6,000 for scholarships.

Nelson said the club is required to end its fiscal year with a zero balance in its gambling account, adding that the club’s gambling revenues come from pull-tab and e-tab sales at Lisa’s Place, The Dog House and Harvey’s Bar in downtown Carver, and Cuzzy’s Brick House in Chaska.

Mike Senden, president and CEO of Auburn Homes & Services, said the $10,000 gift “kind of caught us off guard, but it was a very pleasant surprise. This will certainly stay in the community to help support the residents and staff.”

Bob Kuhlman, director of the Moravian Care Foundation, was quick to mention the donation when two people asked what he, Senden and Nelson were discussing outside Auburn Manor shortly after the check presentation.

“What a nice bunch of people to do that,” a woman said after Kuhlman’s comment about the check.

“What’s so wonderful about this is that it is an undesignated gift, and that means we can take and use this for the greatest impact; the greatest need for our residents and staff,” Kuhlman said. “You can’t get a gift better than this.”

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.