Letter from the Director: November-December 2023

Director’s Message

It is amazing to see that we are heading into the last quarter of 2023 and the holiday season.
So much has happened this year and I’d like to share a few thoughts on progress that we have
made in offering a wider variety of programming and additional services. Here are just a few
successes we saw this year:
• Added 5 hours of Spanish language programming on Wednesdays for our Hispanic guests
• Added Conversational Spanish class for English language participants
• Added 2-4 ethnic meals monthly in the Community Dining Program
• Hosted Emergency Preparedness lecture and distribution of 70+ Emergency Backpacks
• Added Rainbow Bingo and Trivia Night to evening programming
• Hosted successful weekend classes: Age Reversing Essentrics and Climate Support Yoga
• Added several new fitness and lifelong learning classes M-F; Otago, Zumba Gold, Roll N’ Roll
Aerobics, Healing Moves Yoga series, Veterans Yoga, Cancer Survivors’ Exercise Class, Take
Control Through Exercise During Cancer Treatment, Coloring for Adults, Puget Sound
Strummers Ukelele Jam Session, Conversational ESL, and Beginner ESL Reading; and classes
are full
• Added Acupuncture, Veterans Benefit Advisor, and free Social Work counseling
• Experienced the greatest growth in our history, of attracting greater diversity and
participation in classes and medical services

We successfully acquired $273,000+ in grant funding to support our programs and the Social
Worker’s and Veterans Benefit Advisor positions. With that said, we were left approximately
$467,000 to raise to meet our anticipated budget of $740,000. Thank you for purchasing
Memberships and understanding the need to support us through class fees as we currently have
900 members and have had well over 27,000 visits to the center. We especially want to thank
our wonderful community foundations, Live Long & Prosper and Knossos Foundation, for their
financial contribution to our success.
We have not been without challenges though, as we sustained an increased in our monthly rent/
utilities to $4,710.42, an increase of almost $800/month; existing vendors increased their costs
20-30%, requiring us to operate over 54+ programs without the Program Coordinator position
filled, to meet our financial obligations. This has placed great stress on the 2 full-time staff
members (Caleb and I) as well as the remaining staff that work 10-20 hours/week each.
With 2 months remaining in the year, our forecast is that we will end 2023 with a deficit of
$34,000 or more. We had hoped to raise $77,000 in Individual Donations and at present have
only resourced a fraction of these funds. Staff has chosen to make a direct plea to our
members and community, for financial support through individual donations. Here is an
example as to what your donation will support through the remaining 2023 year:
$25 = 1.5 Community Dining lunches OR 3 fitness classes
$50 = 3.5 Community Dining lunches OR 2 Footcare Services
$100 = 1 Birthday lunch live entertainer OR 6 Bastyr appointments
Our cost for each meal served at lunch is $15/person but we promote a suggested donation of
$4/person and are only reimbursed at a rate of $2.75/person. As you see, we incur a $12.25
loss for each meal served. However, proper nutrition is critical for wellbeing, and we will
continue to provide this service. As we head into the Giving Season, we will not participate in
Give Big Tuesday but simply request that you mail/drop off your donation to us directly. Help us
keep your center vibrant and alive by donating today. Thank you for your continued support and
I’ll see you at the Center!

Theresa LaCroix, Executive Director