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News & Events

2013 Celebration for Changing Lives

2013 Celebration for Changing Lives

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Minneapolis Hilton
1001 Marquette Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Premier Sponsor

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

What a wonderful night! More than 700 supporters gathered to hear moving tributes about the courage and determination of people who had overcome the odds with help from LSS. Keynote Speaker Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, spoke with tenderness, poignancy, charm and humor about The Healing Power of Story. In addition, nationally acclaimed singer, Robert Robinson, helped create a magical evening with his powerful and inspirational gospel music.

After being inspired by Kevin, Robert and CEO Jodi Harpstead, supporters stepped up with generous financial gifts through the Fund-the-Need Auction to continue the important work of bringing safety, dignity and hope to people’s lives. The auction was again given a special boost from this year’s Premier Sponsor, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, by matching the first 15 new $1,000 donors. Over $670,000 was raised to support the work of LSS! It was truly a night of celebration!




Camp Knutson – Inspiring Courage and Confidence


For 60 years, Camp Knutson has stayed true to its mission: to provide a magical, summer camping experience for children with special needs who wouldn’t otherwise have one. Learn how this world-class camp right here in Minnesota embraces children with Down syndrome, fragile heart conditions, skin disease and other special health issues.


Host Homes – Living in Community


We all want to live the life we imagine for ourselves. Derrick, John and Charlie would like to live as independently as possible with a family in the community and are doing just that through LSS Host Homes, a new living option for people with disabilities.


Senior Nutrition - Abundant Aging


June Weis, a sweet and engaging 94-year-old woman, still teaches art in her studio at home. She is grateful to receive home-delivered meals from LSS that help her stay in her home and continue what she loves to do most in life. The story tells how Master’s Café Owners John and Carlotta Eischens, as part of their Christian mission to serve their neighbors, work with LSS as an LSS Diner’s Club partner in Olivia, Minnesota.


From the Gala


Jodi Harpstead's Keynote Address


Read the complete address.


LSS Changing Lives Award - Barb and Chuck Swanson


Congratulations to Barb and Chuck Swanson, members of Diamond Lake Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, who are being honored this year for their impact on LSS and the people we serve through a combination of volunteering, advocacy and philanthropy.






Keynote Address


Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling

Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log, delivers hilarious, often tender pieces. Kling’s autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. He spoke on The Healing Power of Story at the Celebration.

Read more >





Robert Robinson

Robert Robinson

Nationally acclaimed singer, Robert Robinson helped create a magical evening with his powerful and inspirational gospel music. Standing five foot five, Robinson is “God’s canary.” He possesses the ability to sing any song and yet remain true to his vision.

Read more >





In addition to LSS’ Premier Sponsor, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, LSS is deeply grateful for the generosity of our Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsors—all helping to change lives by supporting the 2013 Celebration for Changing Lives benefit.




Borer & TomneyFelhaber Larson Fenlon and Vogt




MetLifeSecurian  Sunrise BanksWillis

PAK PropertiesHBGFrericks




Boyer and AssociatesCliftonLarsonAllenThe Duddingston Sylvester Group at Morgan Stanley

Summit MarketingSchwegman Lundberg Woessner


Last Year


The 2012 Celebration for Changing Lives was an exciting night full of touching stories, festive music and it featured a stellar keynote by Marilyn Carlson Nelson.

See highlights from the 2012 Celebration >