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Benedictine Living Community-Garrison honored with 2023 Benedictine Spirit Award–External Community Focus

Benedictine recognized Benedictine Living Community-Garrison’s Monarch Butterfly Project with the 2023 Benedictine Spirit Award – External Community Focus Award last week at the Benedictine Annual Conference in Duluth.

Presented annually, the Benedictine Spirit Award – External Community Focus Award honors a Benedictine Community that acts on the

Scott Foss, Benedictine Living Community-Garrison’s executive director, accepts the Benedictine Spirit Award-External Community Focus from Sister Joan Marie Stelman, OSB, Benedictine senior vice president, Mission Integration.

Mission and Core Values in collaboration with other departments, healthcare organizations and community groups to fulfill a need in the greater community outside of our care facilities.

The project began with seven-year-old Madden Fuentes’s interest in gathering caterpillars and learning about the metamorphosis process. It morphed into a hobby that now involves his entire family and the neighbors living at Benedictine Garrison.

Madden is the nephew of Benedictine Garrison’s associates Marcus Bicknese, culinary manager, and Ivy Bicknese, CNA/CMA. He is also recognized as the leader of the Butterfly Brigade and founder of the Butterfly Display project at Benedictine Garrison. The display includes an informational board explaining the metamorphosis process of the Monarch butterfly.

Over the past few months, Madden and his family brought in caterpillars and milk weed so neighbors and associates could feed and observe the caterpillars through the stages. Neighbors and staff then helped release the butterflies. Videos posted on the community’s Facebook page documented the process and the butterfly releases.

One particular neighbor, Georgean “George” Gullickson, had a personal love for Monarchs, and in fact, taught many of her students how to raise them over her 37 year teaching career. She can be seen in one video laughing in delight as she released a butterfly.

“What began as one boy’s love for caterpillars and butterflies has blossomed into a love shared with neighbors, associates and the community enriching their lives,” said Scott Foss, executive director, Benedictine Garrison. “We are so appreciative of Madden and his entire family for enriching the lives of our neighbors and staff and creating a connection between all of us, all in the name of the Monarch Butterfly.”