Envisioning a community that is fully supported to navigate our shared journeys of aging well and end of life.

We All Scream…

…for ice cream! It’s that time of year again—join us on  Sunday, August 27th from 2 – 4pm at Sydney’s new downtown location as we celebrate our shared journey of aging, our amazing volunteers and staff, and many community partners. This annual fundraiser for Care Partners’ mission is possible because of the generous support of Bruce Block at Sydney’s and the supportive Cook County community! See you there!

Strategic Planning Fun!

Funded by a generous grant from the St. Paul Foundation’s Management Improvement Funds…Thank you!

Care Partners contracted with Northspan out of Duluth to facilitate Strategic Planning.  Our last full strategic planning session had been in 2019, pre-pandemic. A lot has changed at Care Partners and in our community and world since then! 

Following surveys and feedback from staff and stakeholders, our Board gathered for a day of Strategic Planning.  It was wonderful to spend the day together, in-person! What a great opportunity it provided to not only consider our strategic direction, but also reconnect around our shared passion for healthy aging, support, and end of life care.  So grateful for a group of individuals committed to this important and beautiful work.

Aging With Gusto?! Why Not!!

Presented in partnership with the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging

Having a positive view of aging and living our lives “with gusto” make it a lot easier to have healthier, happier years ahead. Let’s talk together about which values and key contributors we want to draw on to lead the most meaningful, satisfying lives we can. We’ll also look at how ageism impacts us—sometimes in surprising ways—and how we can respond smartly. Brenda Shafer-Pellinen from the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging will facilitate, offering thought-provoking ideas and questions to stimulate personal discoveries and small-group conversations. This free, three-session class will meet in person at the Hub from 1-2:30pm on Monday, September 11th, 18th, and 25th.  Pre-registration is required. Register by calling Care Partners at (218) 387-3788 or online at: https://bit.ly/agingwithgustograndmarais

Calendar of Events


  • 23rd: 12-1pm Lunch & Learn at Cook County Higher Education (CCHE)
    Nutrition & Aging: Eating Right, Eating Well
  • 27th: 2-4pm at Sydney’s Grand Marais
    Annual Ice Cream Social
  • 31st: Quilt Raffle Drawing!


  • 11, 18, 25: Mondays 1-2:30pm at The Hub
    Aging With Gusto Series
  • 13th: Volunteer Meeting at The Hub
  • 23rd: 2:309pm at The Hub
    1st Annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s
  • 27th: 12-1pm Lunch & Learn at CCHE
    Safe at Home
  • 28th: 9am to 3pm, visit our booth at Cook County Community Center
    Fall Prevention Day


  • 25th: 12-1pm Lunch & Learn at CCHE
    Preparing Your Estate Plan
  • 11th – NMovember 15th (6 weeks): Wednesdays at Surfside, Tofte
    Powerful Tools for Caregivers

Monthly Events

  • Caregivers Coffee: 2nd & 4th Friday – 10:00am at Birch Grove Community Center
  • Memory Cafe: 3rd Thursday – 1pm at the Hub
  • Lunch & Learn: 4th Wednesday – noon at CCHE

Thank you to Nancy Backlund & Carol Morgen, creators of this year’s raffle quilt! 

View this beauty at Drury Lane Bookstore and purchase a ticket for your chance to WIN! Drawing will take place August 31st. Thank you for supporting Care Partners’ Mission!

From the Executive Director

Julie Wilson

We have the very best volunteers, staff, board members, and community partners! AND clients!! Really! The compassion demonstrated by this group of people who really desire to be a part of the connection to our neighbors happens through acts of kindness, social engagement, learning, and having some fun!

It is our desire at Care Partners to support the individuals in our community to Live Well and Age Well. In light of that we have been putting together many opportunities for social engagement around learning and support. Our monthly Lunch & Learns that we launched at the end of 2022 have been such a success and we already have so many ideas for 2024! Reach out to Christie or me if you have thoughts or ideas about education, training, or needs for greater awareness around aging and caregiving.

In our recent strategic planning session our board tweaked our vision and mission statements just a bit—but we remain committed to the same work that we have been doing for almost 15 years in Cook County! Thank you for collaborating with us to make the load light on our labor of love!

A community that is fully supported to navigate our shared journeys of aging well and end-of-life.

To support community members on the journey of aging well and end-of-life.

Welcome New Board Members!

We are so grateful to welcome Collette and Patty to our Care Partners family!

Collette Pederson
Grand Portage
▪ Memory Keepers community research
▪ Lifelong learner
▪ Community collaborator
▪ Compassion for elders

Patty Laney
Grand Marais
▪ Professor at Rasmussen  University, School of Justice Studies
▪ North Shore Health Care Foundation Board member
▪ Passion for addressing needs of Cook County’s aging population

Care Partners Board members at the recent Strategic Planning session…

Powerful Tools for Caregivers – Six Week Series

Presented by Kathy Reeves, Retired RN and Julie Wilson, MSW, LGSW

It is said that all of us will be caregivers at some point in our lives—some of us, many times over. Join us for this powerful course, whether you:

  • Were a caregiver in the past, and need some help finding your way forward,
  • Are currently caregiving and need some respite and tools to take care of you in the process, or
  • Anticipate being a caregiver in the future.

Powerful Tools for Caregivers is a free six-week class that gives you the skills to take care of yourself while caring for someone else. By tending to your own health and well-being, you become a better caregiver. Class participants are given The Caregiver Helpbook to accompany the class and provide additional caregiver resources. On-site respite care is also available for those who need it to attend the class. 

Our Fall 2023 Powerful Tools for Caregivers classes will be led by trained facilitators Julie Wilson and Kathy Reeves and we’ll meet in person on Wednesdays from 10-11:30am, October 11 – November 15 at the Surfside Resort ballroom in Tofte.  

Register by calling Care Partners at 218.378.3788 or register online.

Walk to End Alzheimer’s Comes to Cook County!

Alzheimer’s isn’t waiting — and neither are we! This year, there are two Cook County teams participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support, and research.

Grand Portage Team
Saturday, September 9
Sponsored by Elderly Nutrition Program

Grand Marais Team
Saturday, September 23 – 2:30pm
Sponsored by Care Partners of Cook County
The Hub/Senior Center

There are lots of ways to be involved!

Visit the online Grand Portage Team Page or the Grand Marais Team Page and help us PAINT THE TOWN PURPLE TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR OUR NEIGHBORS ON THIS JOURNEY!

· Register as a team member and walk with us on September 23rd in memory or honor of a loved one with dementia, as an advocate for a dementia-friendly community, or to show your support for a dementia-free world!

· Can’t join us?  That’s OK!  You can register as a team member, set a personal fundraising goal, and encourage your friends and family to help you reach your target!

· Help us meet our fundraising goal of $2,000 by clicking the “Donate to the Team” button on our Alzheimer’s Walk Team Page and make a financial gift to the Alzheimer’s Association!

· Volunteer to help on Walk Day! Sign up or get more info here!

Reach out to Care Partners at 218.387.3788 or www.carepartnersofcookcounty.org!

Volunteer Opportunities

Care Partners depends on community volunteers to support clients through visits, calls, deliveries, rides, and chores. We provide training and let you choose your assignments according to your schedule and interest.

Volunteer Drivers
2-hour Self-Directed Training
Give rides locally or to Duluth and be reimbursed for mileage.
Choose rides around your schedule and driving-distance preference. 

Chore/Delivery Volunteers
2-hour Self-Directed Training
Assist with groceries, errands, or chores around the house & yard to help keep seniors safe in their homes.

Companion Training
Reach Out!
Companion volunteers befriend elders through visits, calls and walks. Volunteers work within their availability and interest and receive training in safety, elder awareness, communication and more. Special training for those interested in end of life. Email christie@carepartnersofcookcounty.org or call 387-3788 for more information.

From a neighbor who called for a ride!

It was a great relief to know I could get to my appointment – my driver was extremely nice and a pure joy!”

Aging Well Resources is a program of the Cook County Aging Coalition created to provide a single, easy-to-access source for information and connection to aging resources. Our Care Navigator provides information assistance over the phone, helps manage the website, and assists with communication between agencies.

Funding through the Northland Foundation’s Integrated Rural Community Aging Program helped develop the Cook County Aging Coalition and supports this project. Care Partners of Cook County has managed the development with much input and support from the Coalition. Find us at www.agingwellresources.org or call our Care Navigator, Christie John 855-444-3910.


Julie Wilson, LGSW
Executive Director

Betsy Blume, Retired RN
Marnie Hovland, RN
Suzanne Sherman
Care Coordinators/
Caregiver Consultants

Christie John
Program/Volunteer Coordinator

Heidi Akins
Senior Services Coordinator

Jenny Delfs, MD
Medical Director

Board of Directors:
Jayne Johnson

Nancy Starr
Vice President

Jack McHugh

Bob Karrick

Beth Kennedy
Nancy Larson

Patty Laney|
Collette Pederson
Kathy Reeves
Carolyn Schmidt

Grant Funding Partners

  • Cook County Public Health Fund
  • Northland Foundation
  • North Shore Health Care Foundation
  • Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
  • Head of the Lakes United Way
  • Federal Older Americans Act/Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging
  • Live Well at Home/Minnesota Department of Human Services
  • St. Paul Foundation

Your Donations Matter!

Care Partners depends on community support.  Please consider a donation, memorial, bequest, or celebration gift to Care Partners of Cook County—online at www.carepartnersofcookcounty.org or mail to:
Care Partners
PO Box 282
Grand Marais, MN 55604

Care Partners Services

Staff answer calls & emails during office hours: Monday-Friday, 10am to 3pm

Trained volunteers help with:

  • Chores around the house & garden
  • Delivery of groceries, mail & other needs
  • Rides locally & to Duluth
  • Friendly calls & visits

Care Partners staff assist with:

  • Care Coordination & health care planning
  • Caregiver support
  • Information & referral
  • End-of-life support

(218) 387-3788