Video to help raise funds to furnish senior center

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Although the City of Winters has secured a $4.2 million community block grant to build the Winters Senior Center (WSC), funds are still needed to furnish the center once it is built. The grant explicitly disallows grant money to be used toward furnishing the center.

The center is part of an overall goal to create an age friendly community where there are appropriate outdoor spaces, transportation systems, housing, civic and social participation and a place where social services can be provided.

The Winters City Council appointed Marlene Bell, Karen May and Sandy Vickrey to serve on the Winters Senior Center Fund (WSCF) for the purpose of raising funds to furnish the senior center. According to Bell, their goal is to raise $750,000 for furnishings, fixtures, a commercial kitchen, dishware, electronics, landscaping and various program needs.

“The grant money we received is just for the building. Everything else we have to pay for. Everything from carpeting to TV sets,” said Bell. “Without the equipment and furniture, all we have is a building that is an empty shell,” she added.

To help with the effort, the WSCF enlisted the assistance of Winters resident Bill Lagattuta to create a professional quality video highlighting Winters’ senior demographics and needs.

Lagattuta, an award-winning television journalist who worked as a national news correspondent and correspondent for CBS’s 48 Hours, is no stranger to video production. He said he was happy to volunteer his time and experience to produce a “professional and truthful” video presentation for this “worthwhile and much needed local project.”

The video is to focus on human needs and feature segments of senior voices from different walks of life, said Lagattuta. Once completed, the video will make its way to social media and be presented to philanthropic groups and corporate donors.

Older adults Angelica Barajas and Linda Smith were the focus of last Thursday’s video segment taped in the courtyard of St. Anthony’s Parish. Barajas is a Spanish speaking senior and her daughter, Azucena, assisted as a translator. Connecting the Spanish and English older adult communities is one of the objectives the video is intended to convey.

“We are a diverse community and we want our Senior Center to reflect who we are in Winters,” said Bell.

The point the video is making is that seniors don’t come in a ‘one size fits all’ category and each category has specific needs.

An overarching point was made by Bell, “Where senior centers exist, there are measurable improvements in seniors’ physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental and economic well-being.” Smith countered, “Get the Winters Senior Center built soon!”

Tax deductible donations in any amount can be made payable and mailed to the City of Winters, 318 First Street, Winters, CA 95694, or the Yolo Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1264, Woodland, CA 95776, with “Winters Senior Center Fund” referenced in the memo line.

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