1981: A Brief History of Building the Current Center
By Ellen Albertoni

As remembered by Jean Gotchall (written in January 2005!)

Back in ’81, when the present Senior Center was just a dream, we knew we could make it come true with determination and hard work.  The campaign was kicked off by an anonymous donor, who offered 10 thousand if matched by two others.  That happened in less than a week, and we were off!  Janet Roberts started a Thrift Shop which did well.  We picked, washed, shelled and sold walnuts, washed cars, held bake sales, did anything we could think of to raise money.  The Valley News printed our progress weekly, which brought in more donations, ranging from one dollar to 5 thousand.  There were offers from local people who would help with plumbing, electrical, grading, etc. when the time came.  We felt the whole community was behind us, which encouraged us.  Santa Barbara County offered our present location for a dollar a year.  The price was right!

From a small office on Atterdag, we had moved to the Dolphin Club, which was up for sale so we knew we’d have to move again.  I remember very clearly T.J. Chase, then Coordinator for Community Action Commission saying “We need a home of our own.”  We have her to thank for her vision, determination and hard work in getting us where we are today.

So in 1982 we moved into our building, ordered from Scotsman Mobile Leasing for $101,619.10.

Feels like déjà vu – good to remember our roots, keep dreaming and feel the whole community behind us for our new chapter!

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