Next Saturday night, the stars will be out at the Hyatt Regency Valencia for the Celebrity Waiter Dinner “Up On the Silver Screen: From Casablanca to The Hangover,” benefiting the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. A few tables are still available for this not-to-be-missed event that promises some of the most fun fundraising you’ll ever have.
Among the movie memories to be made that night, there’s a good chance you’ll see Austin Powers working the room and the crew from KHTS asks “Who you gonna call?” for their spotlight moment. Want to know more? Click here.
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By Patti Rasmussen/For KHTS News
You’ve probably heard of the SCV Senior Center and you might even know where it is located. If you’ve ever been on the curvy Market Street road just north of downtown Newhall anytime around the lunch hour, you might have noticed the multitude of cars and busses pulling in and out of the parking lot and overflowing onto the streets.
This is lunchtime at the Senior Center and on any given week day, hundreds of our senior citizens come over for a warm meal and a little conversation with their friends. Usually there is a band playing in the corner and employees and volunteers are bustling about serving food and clearing plates.
For over 30 years, the Committee on Aging has been overseeing the operation at the Center and has never turned down a person looking for food or someone to talk to. It is a happy place, to be sure, but there are other services provided by the COA beyond food.
Inside the Center there are computer and dance classes, painting and writing groups, exercise areas and a room to shoot pool. Bridge games and chess games are held throughout the center and into the newly refurbished patio.
Across the way, seniors can sign up for trips and tours to fun destinations like Indian casinos and botanical gardens. In another area, daycare workers watch over the more frail of the seniors when caregivers have to go to work or school.
Social Services are located in a “temporary” trailer on one side of the parking lot since 1988. Inside you’ll find volunteers manning phone lines and checking in on those seniors who are able to stay in their home, but need a reassuring voice on the other end of the line. You have employees who make home visits, checking on their needs and finding them resources to stay in their home. The Social Services department also arranges health seminars and organizes grief and caregiver support groups.
Another “temporary” trailer houses the Administration building. A handy worker program builds ramps and rails for seniors and there is also someone who is there to help the visually impaired for everyday necessities.
But probably the busiest and most well used area of this old building is the kitchen. There you’ll find employees and many volunteers preparing the food for that lunch crowd and packaging food to be delivered to the homebound. The Home Delivered Meals program is growing as the need is exceeding the funds to provide the food.
Funding for the HDM programs comes from the County of Los Angeles. The SCV Senior Center is unique in the fact there is no waiting list – no one goes hungry. The problem comes when the cost of food rises, gasoline prices go up and in the Center’s case this past year, two trucks were destroyed and stolen. Replacements of these special trucks are costly due to the hot boxes that are necessary to carry food safely to the seniors. Seniors that partake of this service is asked for a small donation. Not all can meet that request.
This year the first of the baby boomer generation turns 65. The Center is looking at a rise in needs for our seniors. Home Delivered Meals is a program that is in danger of falling short, but there are ways to help and have a little fun at the same time.
Come join the crowd at the Annual Celebrity Waiter event to be held February 26 at the Valencia Hyatt. If you’ve never attended this event, you’ve missed out on a lot of fun. The theme this year is “Up on the Silver Screen – From Casablanca to The Hangover.” Come as your favorite movie character. Enjoy a great meal, some surprising entertainment and a chance to get a deal of a dozen great auction items. All of this while supporting a great cause.
Log on to scvseniorfoundation.org or call Kathy Crone, Foundation Executive Director at 259-9444.
Golden years should be just that – golden. Let’s help those helping our seniors.