By Cari Hachmann

Age Well’s Dorothy Visser Senior Center is kicking off its Annual Giving Program this September.

“Donations from the community are a critical part of our existence,” said Beth Apodaca, director at the San Clemente senior center, located at 117 Avenida Victoria.

Apodaca says many people assume the senior center is city-funded, but that is not the case. While the city maintains the shell of the building, the center relies heavily on donations—around $50,000 per year—for its main functions.

Donations go toward life-enriching programs and activities for seniors, leadership for the center, maintenance and operating costs, and the onsite Gary & Mary West Fitness Center.

Age Well Senior Services, a nonprofit organization that provides services and programs to senior living in South Orange County, has been operating San Clemente’s senior center for close to 42 years, Apodaca said.

The new Dorothy Visser Senior Center was completed in 2011, replacing a 25-year-old facility. The building process was financed through five years of fundraising and with the help of more than 300 donors.

With an average daily attendance of more than 250 participants, the Dorothy Visser Senior Center hosts an increasing number of seniors who take advantage of the vast array of programs offered at the center.

Some of those services include Meals on Wheels, health and wellness programs, educational programs, community workshops, and a fully equipped computer lab that provides teaching opportunities for high school students to tutor seniors.

“Everyone loves it here and enjoys the programs here,” said Apodaca. To continue that, she said the senior center has established the Century Club Annual Giving Program, which lasts from October 2019 to October 2020.

To learn more about the giving program, or to donate, call 949.498.3322. Donors’ names are recognized on a board within the senior center.

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