Message from the Director: July – August 2024

Director’s Message,

We are excited to provide an update regarding the results of our application to the Veteran, Seniors, and Human Services grant process that we submitted in March. We have been awarded a total of $306,000 for the period from July 1, 2024, to December 31,2026, to fund specific programs and overhead.  The funding breakdown by calendar year is as follows:

 

Award Period Amount
7/1/2024 – 12/31/2024$60,000
1/1/2025 – 12/31/2025$120,000
1/1/2026 – 12/31/2026$126,000
Total $306,000

It is important to note that these funds are distributed over 30 months and allocated to specific costs.  We encourage continued support through individual donations, as we need to raise over $600,000 this year to cover operational costs, with only $60,000 dedicated from the VSHSL grant. We have budgeted $40,000 in independent donations for 2024 and have received $6,470.84 towards this goal so far.  Our current forecast for independent donations shows a deficit of $15,000. If you attend a free class or service at the center, please consider donating to help us continue offering these programs.

New Veteran Benefit Claim Policy:

As of June 1,2024, the VA will only accept claims submitted by individual veterans and/or a Certified Benefits Advisor. To meet this new requirement, we have enlisted the services of Sean Contreras, VSO, with American Legion. Our regular advisor, General Tim Miller, Ret., will continue to provide advice on the third Monday of each month by appointment.  All requests for assistance with denials and claims will be managed by Sean.  Appointments for each advisor can be made through our front desk at (206) 365-1536.

Retirement Announcement:

I’d like to share that I have submitted my formal “Transition to Retirement” from my position as Executive Director of Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Activity Center.  It has been a great pleasure to work with so many talented staff members, instructors, facilitators, volunteers and community partners.  At the onset of my employment, several goals were created, such as further developing the Center as a vibrant Wellness Model of a senior activity center, nurturing strong community partnerships and resourcing additional funding sources.  The success of the recent VSHSL grant process was the last task on my personal To Do List and provided the perfect exit from a fulfilling experience with Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Activity Center.  The wonderful moments we shared, getting to know each other, working to expand our center as a vibrant hub of activity, will be cherished forever.  We survived financial challenges and a world pandemic, always finding solutions to whatever demand was placed before us.  It’s been an honor to work with so many talented staff along the way, enjoying the varied talents each brought to their jobs.  I cannot express how grateful I am for our Board of Directors and the amazing support & guidance they have provided during these 6 years.  They are dedicated to this Center and work tirelessly to that end.  I shall miss all of you. After July 5th, I will gradually reduce my hours, until the new Executive Director is hired and provided with some training.  It is a great time for the Center as new energy brings new beginnings along with new talents.  Thank you for enriching my life and providing me with so many memorable moments that I will cherish forever.

 

Theresa LaCroix

Letter from the Director: May – June 2024

Director’s Message

Successful 2023 year!  We extend our deepest gratitude to all 2023 donors. With your support, we ended the fiscal year with a surplus fund of $19,463.00. As previously noted, we traditionally start each January by borrowing funds to operate the Center, repaying the loan monthly from revenue collected from 8 different sources. In 2024, we’re introducing new fundraising practices to alleviate year-end pressure. One strategy is to encourage early-year donations to distribute financial burdens more evenly throughout the year. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in serving our community.

Washington Gives 2024 – May 7 & 8  The month of May is celebrated across the USA as Older Americans Month, and we encourage you to support our programs and services through a donation made to Shoreline-LFP Senior Activity Center.  We are not registered on the Washington Gives website as we are housed under the Sound Generations link.  HOWEVER, donations made to Sound Generations do not return to our Center but are absorbed into their operations budget.  Please donate directly to our Center.  We have placed donation envelopes around the center and a donation box is located at the Reception Desk.  You may also donate on our website.  All donations, large or small, are tax deductible, and we are happy to provide a letter containing our Tax ID #.

Rent/Utilities Increase – In August 2023, our lease renewal with the Shoreline School District led to a reclassification as renters, resulting in a doubling of our rent. Through negotiations, we managed to spread the increased rent over three years. Despite our efforts to demonstrate our impact on education—such as placing 58-65 senior volunteers annually in Shoreline classrooms, providing tutoring and assistance equivalent to over $75,000 in wages—our classification remained unchanged. This significantly heightened our fundraising needs. Notably, our fiscal year runs from January 1st to December 31st, while the district’s fiscal year spans August 1st to July 31st. It’s crucial to highlight that our 2024 budget had already been finalized and approved prior to this lease renegotiation.Top of Form

Rent Increases under new contract w/Shoreline School District:

20232024202520262027
$47,85056,52565,450$74,37583,300

Many Thanks – We are so grateful to Knossos Foundation for their donation of $12,000 to assist us with our $28,000 food costs this year.  We also want to thank the Shoreline School Foundation, for the $4,000 grant to cover the cost of materials for the Power of One tutoring materials.

Knossos Foundation provides an additional $12,000 to cover the coordinator’s position.

May is brimming with special events at the Center, including the Cinco de Mayo party, the Memorial Day Luncheon, and impending registration deadlines for our International Trips. Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities to connect and celebrate with our community. Keep an eye out for registration details and mark your calendars to join us for these memorable occasions!  See you at the Center!

Theresa LaCroix

Letter from the Director: March-April 2024

Director’s Message

Huge Thank You….We would like to sincerely thank all that contributed to our donation fund in November and December.  Your generosity assisted us in meeting some of our financial obligations to Sound Generations and our year-end debt.  As grant payments from government agencies can take up to 90 days, we do not as yet, have our final budget status for 2023.  We will be sure to post it in the May/June newsletter once the auditors have completed their review of our finances.

On behalf of the staff, we would also like to thank you for your kind words and display of support as we hosted the Celebration of Life for our dear colleague and friend, Janice Bellotti-Pace Sheikh.  We have never experienced losing 2 team members in a short period of time and it has taken its toll on us.

Bequests/Legacy Giving….We are deeply grateful to a wonderful volunteer and participant, Carolyn Enloe, who passed away July 29th, 2022. Carolyn loved the Center and had a great desire to continue supporting our mission.  In her final days, she bequeathed $71,000 to the Senior Center, to be used for general overhead expenses (rent, utilities, food, staff, etc.). Carolyn served as a Reception Desk volunteer for many years, providing outstanding service to all. If you would like to learn more about our Legacy/Bequest Giving Program, please contact me for further details, and see page 5.

Lake Forest Park Rotary….We are grateful to Lake Forest Park Rotary for their recent acceptance of our grant application for $2,500 to support our Food Expenses this year.  In 2024, we budgeted a need to raise $24,800 to cover food costs and welcome any individual or corporate donations to support the food programs.  This is an indispensable service to our seniors.

Wish List….In order to reduce costs early in the year, we have started a Wish List which is featured on our website www.shorelinelfpseniorcenter.org.  Click on the link Get Involved to review the entire list of needs.  We will update the Wish List monthly.  Please be sure to note that we cannot take expired or damaged goods nor used items per our compliance to Heath Codes.  A list of needs is located in the front lobby.  Items can be dropped off at the front desk, preferably Fridays between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Thank you for choosing to donate.

Vaccination Day….Mark your calendars for March 15th, to attend our Vaccination Day, in partnership with Walgreens Pharmacy.  Vaccinations offered will include Covid and RSV shots.  Please call or stop by the Reception Desk to register for the event.  Bring your insurance card.  No insurance, come anyways!  See page 4.

The staff look forward to a great new year and new experiences.  See you at the Center!

 

Theresa LaCroix, Executive Director

Letter from the Staff

January/February 2024

Staff Message,

We would like to start with a heartfelt thank you to all that donated during October, November and December 2023, as we were able to raise $11,000 in Independent Donations.  Your donations will assist in our payment of rental, utilities, equipment repairs (kitchen), pesticide control, custodial services, telephone/internet services, bathroom/kitchen products, food supplies and many other overhead expenses.

We still need to raise $14,000 before December 31st and are making a sincere plea to our participants and members to assist us in this endeavor.  If you have enjoyed the benefits of any of our free programming or medical services during this past year, please consider donating so that we can continue our work in 2024.

Addressing Misconceptions:

  • We do not receive any of our budget from Sound Generations
  • Many people think we are fully funded by Sound Generations, but that is not true. We do not receive our budget from Sound Generations but rather are contracted in a Service Agreement with this larger non-profit for them to provide back-office services: IT services, Human Resources, and assistance from their Finance Dept. to assist with government grant billing and payroll processing. We pay this organization anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000/year for their assistance under this agreement.
  • We are not owned and operated by the City of Shoreline
  • Quite a few folks are surprised to learn that we are not owned and operated by the City of Shoreline or Lake Forest Park. Both the cities of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park provide some financial support in the form of grants that equaled 1/6 of our total budget in 2023; we are most grateful for their support but are 100% independent of these cities and generate our own budget.
  • We do not automatically receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in government grants
  • We receive some grant funding that we have diligently applied to and won through a competitive process. The hard-core truth is that post-COVID, the grants are few and far between.  The city of Seattle sponsors several senior-oriented grants but as our city is incorporated, we do not qualify.  The major focus in 2023 has been grants for youth and homeless programs and services, not senior focused services.
  • Not all instructors donate their time
  • Only 4 individuals donate their time. All of our instructors hold the highest level of credentials, and all continue to gain skills in their crafts as specialists in each of their disciplines as well as gerontology knowledge.  Post COVID, we risked the possibility of losing many of the instructors to other agencies paying a higher wage, therefore we raised their wages to meet the competition.  This is their income and not their hobby.

 

What you may not know is that the staff works behind the scenes, to provide many unseen needs of our community of aging adults.  This includes resourcing housing, groceries, working with external agencies in the case of elder abuse, and actively speaking on behalf of seniors for their rights and needs, from the local level to federal.  This involves attending meetings during and after hours as well as writing documents to support our rights.  In the new era of ageism, we are determined to speak out and be heard regarding those issues most important to our well-being.  Thank you to all for your kindness, support, and assistance in building our center’s program offerings and medical services. Please donate to support your center and the great work that we all do!