By Lynda Greene, Executive Director, Southeast Seattle Senior Center
Mark Twain once famously said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”
At the Southeast Seattle Senior Center (SESSC) we take this quote to heart.
Since 1961, the SESSC has addressed the emotional, social and physical needs of senior adults. The Center serves as a central activity hub for more than 1,200 seniors living across some of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods including Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, the Central Area, Skyway and Renton. Our programs are designed to address all aspects of aging and include a community dining program, exercise classes, computer classes, arts and crafts, recreational trips, and much more. Most importantly, our programs encourage seniors to connect with one another and the community.
As we celebrate our 56th year, we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of area seniors, but we also face a new set of challenges.
As a non-profit organization, the SESSC relies on funding from Sound Generations and the City of Seattle, as well as on donations from community organizations, local businesses and individuals. We generate additional revenue from activities, membership dues and our Cheap Chickadee Thrift Store which is located next door to the Center. Unfortunately, our funding from United Way of King County has been cut and we will need to raise significantly more money this year just to meet our budget.
To help meet this challenge, on Saturday, February 11, we’ll be holding our biggest and most important fundraiser of the year: the 10th Annual SESSC Gourmet Food and Wine Pairing Gala. With the theme of “Love is in the Air,” we’ve set a very ambitious goal of raising $50,000 at this year’s Gala. We’re thrilled that tickets have just sold out, but we still have a significant amount of money to raise. If you can’t join us at the Gala in person, you can join us in spirit and help us meet our fundraising goal by:
- Making a cash or in-kind donation.
- Purchasing an ad in the event program.
At the Gala, we’ll also be presenting our first ever Trailblazer Awards to four community leaders who have been pivotal to the establishment of the SESSC:
- Gisela Baxter, SESSC Board Member, volunteer and longtime supporter of the SESSC.
- Barbara Chamberlain, SESSC Board President, community volunteer and longtime supporter of the SESSC.
- Eugene Lux, former member of the Washington House of Representatives and Washington Senate and longtime supporter of the SESSC.
- Jean VelDyke, founder of Jean VelDyke Properties, former president of the SESSC Board of Directors and longtime supporter of the SESSC.
Thanks to their contributions, vision and ongoing support, the SESSC continues to thrive.
The SESSC provides a safe space for Boomers and beyond to stay connected, to get involved in all sorts of activities, to seek help when they need it, and to have fun and make friendships. In a society where family members tend to be dispersed and more and more seniors live alone and are isolated, organizations like the Southeast Seattle Senior Center play an even more vital role in our community.
The energy and enthusiasm of our members is infectious and they completely embody the adage that age is just a number. Join us!
For more information on the Gala and to make a donation, please go here.
To become a member of the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, please go here.