Published : Monday, January 13, 2020 | 2:24 PM
The 60th anniversary of the Pasadena Senior Center will be celebrated with a series of special events and activities throughout 2020.
Founded in 1960, the center is an independent, donor-supported nonprofit organization that offers recreational, educational, wellness and social services to people ages 50 and older, as well as specialized services for frail, low-income and homebound seniors. It receives no funding from local, county, state or federal governments.
The idea for a senior center that would serve the needs of Pasadena residents was sparked in 1953. Four years later the Pasadena-Altadena Committee for Senior Citizens was formed to outline a plan. The city of Pasadena provided a site at the south end of Memorial Park, and a bond issue was passed by voters to fund construction. With additional funding from the Junior League of Pasadena, an executive director was hired who would work with a board of directors and the city of Pasadena to achieve the long-held goal of providing recreational and social services to senior citizens.
The doors of the organization opened in 1960, and it was the first independent, nonprofit senior center in Southern California and one of the first in the nation. (Unlike the Pasadena Senior Center, most U.S. senior centers are funded and operated by municipal recreation departments). Pasadena Junior League members contributed thousands of hours to staff the new facility the first 10 years.
An extensive expansion in 1998 tripled the size of the center, making many more programs and services possible to enrich the lives of members. The following year, it became the first in California to receive accreditation by the National Council on Aging’s National Institute of Senior Centers.
“It is fitting that 60th anniversaries are associated with diamonds because they symbolize commitment, strength and endurance,” said Akila Gibbs, executive director of the Pasadena Senior Center. “This organization continues to shine after 60 years, and the people we serve sparkle like diamonds.”
Sixtieth anniversary commemorations will kick off in spring 2020 with events and activities at the center and throughout Pasadena, continue with the popular #AgeWell Day in October and culminate with an evening celebration later in the year that will feature a look back at the Pasadena Senior Center’s history and a look forward to the future. Fritz Coleman, KNBC-TV weathercaster and comedian and a long-time supporter of the center, will be the honoree at the evening celebration.
“We look forward to celebrating 60 years of innovative programs and services,” Gibbs added. “The Pasadena Senior Center operates successfully because of our board, staff and volunteers, our community partners and because people donate to this vital community asset.”
For more information visit www.pasadenaseniorcenter.org or call (626) 795-4331.