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Dorothy Shannon, Mitchell's benevolent baker. Photo from the <a href='' target='_blank'>Avera Brady Senior Living Facebook page</a>.
Dorothy Shannon, Mitchell's benevolent baker. Photo from the Avera Brady Senior Living Facebook page.

Benevolent Baking

Jan 15, 2013


Philanthropy doesn’t have an age limit. Just ask Dorothy Shannon, a resident of Avera Brady Health and Rehab in Mitchell.

Shannon, an octogenarian, hasn’t let her move to assisted living stop her from sharing her skills with others. She still bakes delicious cookies and other treats, which she sells to residents, employees and visitors to the assisted living center. Proceeds from those sales go to Shannon’s favorite charities.

It takes a lot of cookies to make a difference, but Shannon’s up to the challenge. With help from Activities Coordinator Lisa Larson and other staff members, she made and sold enough treats to pay for a big television for all Avera Brady residents to enjoy.

When asked about her favorite Dorothy Shannon creation, Nola Myers, a member of Avera Brady’s activities staff, rattled off a list: butterhorn rolls, chocolate chip cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter balls, toffee and a popcorn cake made in an angel food pan. Shannon’s Heavenly Desserts Cookbook, created during her stay at the home, includes recipes for many of these sweets.

Shannon may be acquiring more distant fans as well. She and Larson are both avid viewers of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Larson sent a package to DeGeneres with a letter telling Shannon’s story, a copy of her cookbook, and most importantly, cookies and other treats. In return, they scored 4 free tickets to the January 15th show. 

It’s a long way from Mitchell to California, but Shannon’s had help. Avera Brady sold popcorn balls for three weeks this winter to help pay for the trip. Shannon’s daughter Colleen, her granddaughter and Lisa Larson will escort her to the taping. The show will most likely air on Wednesday. Shannon’s entourage doesn’t know what Ellen has in store for them, but as one Brady staff member pointed out, “It’s not every day that an elderly nursing home resident from South Dakota gets invited to be on a national tv show.”  

True enough. Have a great trip, Dorothy. We hope you and your family and friends enjoy your California adventure.



09:44 am - Thu, January 17 2013
Rebecca said:
This is so cool! I wonder how it went?
01:29 pm - Thu, January 17 2013
Hi,Any information on how to order her book?Thanks!
07:40 am - Fri, January 18 2013
Laura Andrews said:
Hi Catherine,

The staff member I spoke to seemed to think the cookbooks were still available, but wasn't positive. Lisa Larson would probably know the most. Ask for her at Avera Brady Senior Living - 605-996-7701
02:56 pm - Mon, January 28 2013
Lisa Larson said:
The trip was absolutely amazing! There was also a write up in January 26th edition of the Mitchell Daily Republic. As the story becomes available online I will post the link. Dorothy does have cookbooks for sale. They are $10 each with all the proceeds going back to the Avera Foundation.

Smiles and Dancing!
Lisa Larson
08:48 pm - Wed, January 30 2013
Joan Eaton said:
awesome coverage of Dorothy Shannon.I am very proud of Dorothy as well as Lisa Larson.Thanks to the South Dakota Magazine for honoring a very special Nurse,Heavenly treats that she has shared over the years.Hats off to all of you,Joan Eaton and family & Late-Thomas Eaton-cousin of Dorothy ShannonRedfield,S.D.
02:54 pm - Thu, January 31 2013
Hi,I ordered three copies of Dorothy Shannon's book.One will be donated to the Culinary archives at the University of Michigan. This will increase their collection by 200% ... they only had one book.One will very likely go to Monica Kass Rogers who has the website - who is often looking for obscure recipes.One will go to Greater Midwest Foodways collection.Thanks!Regards,Cathy
03:49 am - Sun, February 10 2013
Linda Bortel Shaneyfelt said:
What a pleasant surprise to read an article on Dorothy Shannon. Oh, she was a good friend of my Mother's, Gladys Bortel, and I was the recipient, many times, of her wonderful cookies! I must get her cookbook!
04:59 pm - Sat, February 23 2013
Muriel Jamison said:
I remember Nurse Dorothy, she made my son's shots for allergies possible and my time in Methodist Hospital having 2 sons so easy. She just was the epitome of "Nurse" and I really appreciated her friendliness, her easy manner and the way she helped me and my family.
Dorothy, I hope your days are easy now and that you are surrounded by all the things that make life good. Thanks again, Muriel Brewick Jamison
02:52 am - Fri, March 7 2014
Beauvais said:
They reject any notion that the earth is indeed a sphere revolving around
the sun. Oz as the 'Holy Grail' of weight loss, special extract is inspired by the rind of the fruit". As a result, you no longer need to consume foods just to satisfy your craving.

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