Pasadena’s Monte Vista Groves Homes Holds Annual Gala

Published: Monday, August 7, 2017 | 6:24 PM


Monte Vista Grove Homes, an active nonprofit senior community in Pasadena, held its Annual Founders’ Gala on Saturday, July 29, at Descanso Gardens in La Canada, and raised over $15,000 in a little under five minutes during a live auction for the group’s Life Engagement Program.


Among the items auctioned were paintings done by seniors in the assisted living facility, including a finger-painted still life done by a 99-year old resident as part of the facility’s life engagement program.


The event also honored four partners with their 2017 Spirit Award, including Robert Koch, a lead donor and sponsor for the gala; the Convalescent Aid Society, a group that lends medical equipment to senior centers across the San Gabriel Valley; House of Rest, a lodging service for Presbyterian missionaries; and Synod of Southern California and Hawaii, a governing body overseeing seven local presbyteries.


Deborah Herbert, Monte Vista Grove Homes Executive Director, said their Life Engagement Program focuses on what their senior residents are still able to do, insated of what they no longer able to do.


“Since 1924, this organization has made it a priority to care for senior adults as a whole person. An important part of doing that is through what used to be known as activities, and now we call it ‘life engagement,’” Herbert said. “Activities means something that’s done to you – you sit in a wheelchair or you sit in a room and you watch a performance. Life engagement is about actually participating.”


Kathya Climaco, Coordinator for the organization’s Life Engagement Program, said Monte Vista Grove Homes acknowledges every resident’s “individuality and their lifetime of achievements and success.”


“Our life engagement program is designed around the philosophy that every person matters and deserves to maintain and achieve a good quality of life,” Climaco said. “We strive to engage residents with the social and spiritual aspects of life, doing activity programs that increase abilities and independence, and in an environment that fosters safety and the well-being of its residents.”


The Life Engagement Program includes activities that foster artistic expression, physical activity, and spiritual support for the residents, as well as community connections, continuing education, and lifestyle and leisure, Climaco said.


Bob Bos, a resident and volunteer chaplain at Monte Vista Grove Homes, sums up how the program benefits him and his fellow residents.


“I think they know somebody cares and it gives them an opportunity to express themselves,” Bos said. “I think we just need to be good listeners and let’s try to plug in whatever the greatest need seems to be.”


Family and friends of the residents are welcome to join with the program and become involved.


Resident Lorraine Cook says life engagement is so important to their time at Monte Vista “because it keeps your mind going.”


With the community connections aspect of the Life Engagement Program, MVGH encourages residents to continue to serve others. Volunteers from the Pasadena area often visit the residence and allow the senior residents to participate in their civic programs, instilling in them a sense of purpose while at the same time allowing the staff to further evaluate their talents and abilities.


Monte Vista Grove Homes houses and aids seniors who have served in the Presbyterian Church locally and internationally. It was granted a Certificate of Authority by the state for the assisted-living and skilled nursing levels of care as a Continuing Care Retirement Community.


A new memory care facility at Monte Vista Grove Homes broke ground earlier this year and aims to serve patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is expected to open to the public in December.


To learn more about Monte Vista Grove Homes, visit