Community members are invited to take a ride back in time and help the Solvang Senior Center build a new home by participating in the Alisal Guest Ranch Breakfast Ride, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 29.
The fundraiser features a horse ride at $175 or ride in a hay wagon for $125. Participants will also enjoy cowboy poetry, singing, a live auction and bid for a cause, as well as breakfast and a chance to tour the historic adobe.
The Solvang Senior Center has called the 2,700-square-foot modular building at 1745 Mission Drive its home since 1983. A gathering and information spot for Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley residents, the center was funded mainly through the generosity of Solvang residents-seniors, Boy Scouts, PTA bake sales, dinners, and a few grants.
Now, however, the center’s clubhouse is bursting at the seams, and the years have taken their toll on the facility. Despite maintenance measures taken to keep it in safe working order, it is pushing the boundaries of being a viable building as the center makes plans for the future.
A new modern building with an additional 2,000 square feet would allow the center to expand and become a multi-purpose facility for Solvang and the entire Santa Ynez Valley.
Located on county property, the center was built before Solvang was incorporated with many of the initial fees for services and utility hook-ups waived. Local tradesmen, plumbers and electricians donated their time and talent to help this project become a reality.
Over time, the center’s membership has grown to some 650 individuals, and daily use of the facility has increased exponentially. From the days of daily lunches, a few activities and social events, the center has become a hub of more than 20 weekly activities, daily lunches, dinner nights, day trips, and special programs and speakers.
The Solvang Senior Center said it wants to make sure it can offer active aging residents 55 and older — the most rapidly expanding age group in the community — a place that encourages them to continue on the path of staying healthy, both physically and mentally.
For more information and to buy tickets for the ride, call Ellen Albertoni, 805-688-3793. All donations go toward the new building.
Solvang Senior Center is open 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday and Friday, and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday.