Newsletter • Winter 2020

Letter From the Founders 

As we wrap up a very unusual year, 2020 taught us the importance of keeping our health a priority, focusing on strengthening connections, and being grateful for how far we’ve come. The Survivors of Heroes Retreats and the mission of Holbrook Farms is more important than ever as we ensure the growing waitlist is connected to virtual resources, a loving community, and knows they are never alone (even when we must maintain social distance). 

The HFR leadership team is committed to planning Season 8 in2021, with four in-person retreats and several virtual events throughout the year. We are also using the quarantine time to update our strategy to serve new groups of guests (sisters and husbands of the fallen), plan additional alumni events (virtual wellness and social connections), and organize updated volunteer opportunities to enhance the retreat experience. 

We appreciate all of your support because 100% of your generous donations of time, talent, and resources continues to serve military survivors. Whether you choose to support Holbrook Farms Retreat through donations (monetary, CFC, purchasing a HFR t-shirt, or selecting HFR on Amazon Smile), supporting a Race for Survivors 5K event, or registering to volunteer at the farm, you help make it possible to host our Survivors and share the gift of wellness to all. We would like to thank you for all your support, wish you a blessed Holiday season and send you extra health and happiness this New Year!

Scheels Grant Recipient

This year, we are so thankful to be a recipient of the Scheels October Giving Campaign grant. Thank you to Scheels Fargo, and to all those who voted for us. With this generous gift, we are able to send a  survivor to a 2021 wellness retreat! Contact us if you would like to sponsor a survivor in the upcoming retreat season.

We need your help to serve more Survivors.  If you know of any grant opportunities we could apply for, please send them our way.  You can email us at

Survivor Story

“My name is Adriana Franz and I am the surviving spouse of Major Michael S.L Franz.  My husband passed away on September 12, 2014.  We have three children: Alex (16), Luke (14) and Galina (8).  As a busy, single mom it is hard to find time to just getaway.  In June of 2019, I was able to attend a retreat at Holbrook Farms and get a once in a lifetime getaway.  To say I was spoiled while I was there would be an understatement.  

While at Holbrook Farms I was able to visit Minnesota for the first time, hopefully not the last time. I was able to try new things and meet new friends.  One of the activities that I enjoyed the most was paddleboard yoga, something I didn't even know existed.  Every day that I was there I got to walk around the grounds and soak in the lakes and beautiful countryside.  The other women that I met on the retreat were truly incredible, so strong and each with their own story to share.  I pray that all survivors can enjoy such a wonderful experience at Holbrook Farms – I am forever grateful to have had the chance to attend.” 

The fastest and easiest way to support survivors like Adriana is through a direct financial donation. You can donate on our website or contact us directly to arrange a donation. Thank you for your support. 

While You're Shopping:

We know this year is tough for everyone. If you are unable to financially support a Survivor this year, please consider setting Holbrook Farms Retreat as your Amazon Smile donation recipient. Learn how HERE. Did you know, you can activate Amazon Smile for your smartphone now, too? Follow these instructions and a percentage of your purchase will be donated!

Retreat Sponsors Wanted!

As 2020 draws to a close, we are still short of our annual fundraising goal and could use YOUR help!  Would you be willing to give the gift of wellness and consider a year-end contribution to HFR?  We are looking for Retreat Sponsors in the following areas:
  • Massage for one Survivor: $50
  • Art Class for Survivors: $50
  • Paddleboard Class for Survivors: $150 or $12.50/month
  • Airline Ticket for one Survivor: $500 or $42/month
  • Van Rentals and Gas for one Retreat: $1,000 or $83/month
  • Food for one Retreat: $1,500 or $125/month

 Give the gift of wellness. Will you sponsor one of our future guests for a massage at $50 a piece? Will you sponsor one paddle boarding class for one retreat ($150)? Support in any amount helps us keep our mission going and growing!  You can make a one-time or monthly fully tax deductible donation here.

Partnership Highlight 

Price's Fine Jewelry
Located in downtown Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Price’s Fine Jewelry has supported Survivors of Heroes Retreats in a unique way, doing what they do best.  Each Survivor is offered a cleaning of a special piece of jewelry, often wedding rings or other meaningful pieces.  The staff at Price’s goes above and beyond to restore beauty to pieces that mean so much to our Survivors.  Much of their work could only be described as a healing transformation, and the gratefulness for their service is often expressed through tears when the women get their beautiful jewelry back looking like new.  Thank you to Price’s, for showing our Survivors they are appreciated, and for giving a gift that only you could provide!

Committee Member Highlight 

Trudy is an invaluable resource to Holbrook Farms Retreat. She is currently using her skills and expertise, serving as our Operations Officer. 

Trudy was born and raised in North Dakota, where small-town fun involved kick the can and playing sports.  She lives with her husband, Derek, and their three children along with their golden retriever in West Fargo, ND.  Her husband is full-time in the North Dakota Army National Guard and they have always taken pride in the fact they are a military family. 

Her professional background is in occupational therapy services to children in the school setting, psychiatric inpatient and outpatient clinics.  She loves building relationships with children and families, celebrating goals and milestones. Recently Trudy had a career change where she is now the Child & Youth Program Coordinator for the North Dakota National Guard. Being a military family, this career change was close to home. After hearing about Holbrook Farms Retreat and their mission, she felt an immediate connection.  She is excited to put her background and efforts into an organization close to her heart.  If you are looking for Trudy, you will find her at a sporting event, social get together, playing league volleyball, or at the lake with her family.

How You Can Help?

We appreciate your support now, more than ever. There are many ways you can support the mission at Holbrook Farms Retreat:

  • We are actively seeking dedicated volunteers to join our team. If you have experience in any of the following areas and are interested in helping, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us at to learn more:
    • Public Relations
    • Social Media
    • Fundraising
    • Volunteer Development
  • Wear your support and purchase some Holbrook Farms Retreat gear. Share your photos of you in your new gear and you may see yourself featured on our social media!

  • Purchase items from our Amazon Charity List. All the items on our list support Survivor retreats.

  • Donate on our website. 100% of every dollar donated goes to Survivor retreats. 

  • Talk to your employer about corporate matching. 

  • Rent the Holbrook Farms Retreat Property! Are you looking for a fun and private getaway for you and your family? Our property is available as a vacation rental, when not in use for Survivor retreats. 

  • Follow us on social media and share about HFR’s mission Facebook and Instagram.

  • Word of mouth is the best advertisement to help share our mission. Please share this newsletter with your friends to update them on the activity at Holbrook Farms Retreat.

Follow Us!

Interested in becoming a larger part of HFR?  Have questions? Do you know a Survivor interested in attending?  Please reach out - we’d love to hear from you.

Holbrook Farms Retreat is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit so all donations are tax-deductible.  All individual donations go 100% towards supporting a Survivor at a retreat.  All income from VRBO goes towards property maintenance and improvements to enhance the retreat experience for our guests who attend Survivors of Heroes Retreats.  Please contact us if you’d like more info on our financials!
Copyright © 2020 Holbrook Farms Retreat, All rights reserved.

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