Community

Gala raises awareness for new senior center

Sequim artist Mike Tade, left, presents his king salmon fish sculpture from his Burnishing Creativity to Michael Smith, executive director of the Shipley Center, for its third Gala Dinner and Auction on May 30.  - Submitted photo
Sequim artist Mike Tade, left, presents his king salmon fish sculpture from his Burnishing Creativity to Michael Smith, executive director of the Shipley Center, for its third Gala Dinner and Auction on May 30.
— image credit: Submitted photo

Volunteers and staff continue to chip away at their dream of a new senior center.

The estimated $10.4 million project off East Washington Street remains a priority, it just needs more awareness on how much it’s needed, said Michael Smith, executive director of the Shipley Center, formerly the  Sequim Senior Activity Center. The upcoming fundraiser, the third annual Gala Dinner & Auction on May 30 in Club Seven in 7 Cedars Casino, is meant to do just that.

“We’re not trying to raise all the money in one night,” Smith said. “We want to raise awareness of the need for a new center to accommodate all the changes here.”

Last year, the event netted $10,000 and again features live and silent auctions such as a week’s stay in Belize and various trips and gift certificates.

Smith said they’ve already sold 60 of their 150-plus tickets they have available before tickets were announced.

Joe Borden, the proposed building capital campaign chairman, serves as emcee and auctioneer with Emily Westcott leading the gala.

Sequim Health & Rehabilitation Center sponsors the event and 7 Cedars Casino serves food for the evening, which features about 100 silent auction items like an antique movie poster to power washing to local art.

The center’s architect will present more detailed images of the proposed building’s interior, too.

Fundraising for the new center kicked off in 2010 and now the center owns 5.8 acres on Washington Harbor Loop and its existing building at 921 E. Hammond St., debt free thanks to donors like Leo Shipley and many others.

Smith said the center’s grants committee is actively applying for funds while he and others try to manage the space they have available.

Its membership topped 1,700 this year, he said, which is an all-time high. Along with its current classes, the center has added Italian and Spanish classes, another foot care provider to cover the need for increasing appointments and added acupressure by Randy Sorenson.

“We’re scheduling tighter and tighter,” Smith said. “We’re really growing out of it but we keep doing what we can.”

Tickets for the gala are $50 per ticket, $400 table or $600 corporate sponsorship and can be purchased in person or by calling 683-6806.

A portion of each ticket is tax deductible.

 

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