Pasadena Seniors Get Zesty at Weekend Gala

STAFF REPORTS

3:13 pm | October 13, 2013


Seniors still know how to party and their zest for life can be infectious as evidenced in the sellout crowd at Pasadena Senior Center’s fundraising gala entitled ‘Zest!’ on Saturday, October 12. The gala started off with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:00 p.m., followed by a dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Fritz Coleman, the emcee, amused the audience with stories what it’s like to grow old.

Weta Mathies, one of the honorees together with her husband at the Gala, said the event has been going on for a couple of years now.

“I was on the first committee when it started. It’s a fundraiser for the Senior Center and the whole idea is to honor a couple in the community or an individual that are seniors and have contributed to the community in various ways,”

Mathies was the patron chair of the Pasadena Festival of Women Authors from 2009 to 2011, and its proceeds supported the Pasadena Senior Center. She is also the president emeritus and treasurer of the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA board of directors, and is an associate member of Las Madrinas and the Pasadena Guild Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Additionally, Mathies also helped found the County-USC Medical Center Auxiliary, or CARES, and has served as its president several times.

Her husband, Dr. Allen Mathies, is president emeritus of Huntington Hospital and dean emeritus of USC’s Keck School of Medicine. He has served as board member, chair and committee leader for dozens of professional and community organizations, and is currently on the board of directors of Huntington Hospital, Huntington Medical Foundation, Episcopal Communities and Services, and several other organizations.

In accepting the honors, Dr. Allen Mathies regaled the gathering by singing “Almost Like Being in Love.”

Known as the power couple, both has been serving the community in ways many people would not be able to achieve in a hundred lifetimes. “I love what the Senior Center does and that stands for both Allen and I. I’m just 80, he’s 83, so we’re seniors. We’ve been in the community a long, long time,” says Mathies.

Volunteering is a fact of life for Mathies, “my parents were both very active volunteers in the community,” she says. “I first started volunteering when I was in high school at Children’s Hospital. My dad always said that, ‘If you have the privilege of having a good life and being well-educated, you owe it back and give it to the community with sort of a charge.”

Mathies spends a lot of time at the Senior Center, though she is not an active volunteer there. She says, “All these activities take me there, so I enjoy the ambience and I love what they do.”

Mathies has nothing but high praise for the Center and what it does, saying that “the programs are outstanding. There are all kinds of wonderful programs there and it’s got such a nice ambience. It’s welcoming,” she says. “There’s just stuff going on all the time, and of course they run that wonderful senior Olympics program which is just outstanding. So there’s a lot of good stuff that goes on. It’s just a happy place to be.”

The gala’s title, “Zest!” encapsulated exactly the lives of today’s seniors, who Mathies says, are “active longer – physically active, mentally active, [and] interested in what’s going on. There’s a lot of zest in the senior center. There’s a lot of vigor, and there’s high energy.”

Founded in 1959, the Pasadena Senior Center is an independent, nonprofit agency that offers recreational, educational, wellness and social services to people ages 50 and older in a friendly environment. Services are also provided for frail, low-income and home-bound seniors.

To learn more about the Pasadena Senior Center, visit http://www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org.