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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 8:53 am | Fair 41º

 
 
 
 

Growing OASIS Senior Center Sets Goal of $4 Million for New Facility

I remember as a young man having conversations with my grandparents who were in their eighties, and my parents and their friends who were in their sixties. 

We talked about a number of things, but what I enjoyed most was listening to their stories, where they came from, what they did for a living, what they thought about different things, and how they wanted to spend their retirement.

My folks were active, both played golf, they liked to travel, and many of their friends enjoyed these activities. I was impressed with their love of life and their wisdom. I always enjoyed our times together.

In those days, families stayed together and often children bought homes in the same neighborhood or city as their parents. They were always there when their parents needed them, whether it was to take care of them, drive them somewhere, or be a part of their social life.

Today things are different, especially here in the Santa Maria Valley. Many people came here over the years because of employment opportunities and have elected to stay because it’s such a great place to live. Others retire here because of the lower cost of housing, the weather and the beauty of our valley that we enjoy every day.

But now we often find that our children go off to school and don’t come back home to work and raise a family. We find many of our senior citizens are without families here and are often alone. And many find themselves becoming socially inactive and are sometimes at a loss as to how they can fill that void.

The Luis OASIS Senior Center was founded in 1984 to provide a place where seniors could develop friendships and improve the quality of their lives through connection and activities.

OASIS (Orcutt Area Seniors In Service) programs include health and wellness, creative arts, music and dance, nutrition, support groups, and social activities. We are a privately funded nonprofit organization and rely on Foundation Grants and Community support to continue to offer our programs and activities.

Our collaborative partners include Hancock College, HICAP, Dignity Health, SMOOTH, Foodbank, Area Agency on Aging, and Community Action Commission.

Our goal is to provide an array of activities for any senior citizen who wants to be involved. We have a highly qualified staff who perform the day-to-day work required in a center such as this, but most of the activities are run by volunteers who are members of OASIS.

We encourage volunteerism and not only do our volunteers make OASIS such a great place, they volunteer with other nonprofit organizations and help make them great.

We are fast approaching a membership of 1,500 and we’ve run out of room at our present location where we’ve been since 1984. We need a larger and more up-to-date facility to accommodate our growth and needs.

Land for a new facility has been donated to us by the Lebard Family, and we are in the process of fulfilling the requirements necessary to obtain building permits from the county.

Our plan is to build a 15,000-square-foot facility that will contain a large room that will hold 200 people, along with a full kitchen and barbecue area.  There also will be a library, two state-of-the-art classrooms and meeting rooms.

The property is five acres and, along with the building, will contain park areas, a walking trail with exercise stations and benches for resting, and a bicycle trail. There will be ample parking, and residents of the Santa Maria Valley will always be welcome to explore the facility and grounds.

We are currently in the midst of a capital campaign to raise $4 million to complete the project. We are grateful to have support from many prominent residents of the Santa Maria Valley, as well as large and small businesses.

OASIS fills a big need for our area, and the new facility will allow us to expand our existing activities and add new ones.

To find out more about OASIS, call 805-937-9750 or visit orcuttoasis.org.

— Joe Sheaff for Luis OASIS Senior Center.

 

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