Fundraiser for Serving Seniors Raises Record-Setting $460,000 for Vulnerable San Diego Seniors

Fundraiser for Serving Seniors Raises Record-Setting $460,000 for Vulnerable San Diego Seniors
May, 2015 Client News
San Diego – May 14, 2015 – Serving Seniors raised a net revenue of over $460,000 at its annual  “Experience of a Lifetime” gala on May 7. Funds raised will provide 184,000 meals through the agency’s nutrition program, which nourishes thousands of low-income and homeless seniors in San Diego County. The amount is the largest total raised at an individual fundraising event in the organization’s 45-year history.
Sponsored by Sempra and SDG&E, “Experience of a Lifetime” provided nearly 300 attendees with wine tastings from premier wineries across California as well as a delightful charcuterie and locally sourced canapés, while listening to live music and bidding on silent and live auction items. A lovely opera duet transitioned guests from cocktails to dinner where Del Mar Country Club Executive Chef Tommy DiMella created an exclusive menu with fine wine pairings, also inspired by The Californias, for guests to enjoy.

Prior to the sit down dinner, there was a special VIP reception to honor seniors who had touched the lives of the event guests and sponsors. The honoree champion was Deborah Szekely, the founder of The Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta, who was recognized for inspiring others through her volunteer activism, as well as embracing wellness long before it was popular. Here is the full list of “Experience of a Lifetime” 2015 honorees:

  • Deborah Szekely, Champion, honored by Sempra
  • Lula Dolores Porter, honored by SDG&E
  • Levon Hartunian, honored by Tencer Sherman
  • Dea Hurston, honored by Sandra Lawhon
  • Candelario (Candy) Ocequeda, honored by Martha Guy
  • Fred Davis, honored by Sydney Johnson
  • Kay Lemonovich, honored by Michelle Sterling
  • Sadako Oehler, honored by Jerry and Keiko Schneider
  • John Currie, honored by Valley Food Services
  • Marvelle “Snookie” Simons, honored by Rosalie and Ron Gerevas
  • Peter Sciotto, honored by Rosalie and Ron Gerevas
  • Donna Stirling, honored by Hyder Property Management
  • Elizabeth (Lisa) Vito, honored by Kathy Parker and friends
  • Shaun Feng, honored by Andy and Suzan Young
  • Tom Fengler, honored by The Daily Transcript
  • Bud Fischer, honored by Esther Fischer
  • David Altman, honored by Gigtown

“Serving Seniors is a leading provider of services for seniors in poverty, and we couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of the San Diego community,” said Paul Downey, CEO and president, Serving Seniors. “Funds raised will continue Serving Seniors’ one-to-one connection with each and every senior who walks through the doors and ensure they have a hot meal waiting for them.”

Serving Seniors serves 2,200 meals a day at 10 dining sites and to home bound clients in neighborhoods across San Diego County. Many seniors in San Diego live on an income of just $850 per month – the average Social Security amount – forcing a choice between medication and their next meal. In fact, 85 percent of Serving Seniors’ clients live in poverty. The organization’s nutrition program addresses hunger and food insecurity and is one of the agency’s core programs that meet the highly specialized needs of thousands of low-income seniors in San Diego County. By supporting this event, Serving Seniors can continue to fill the plates of hundreds of seniors every day.

About Serving Seniors
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Serving Seniors is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded in 1970, the organization creates collaborative partnerships to support their “wellness model,” which provides nutrition, health, mental health, advocacy, transitional housing for homeless seniors and permanent supportive housing. This safety net of services keeps seniors out of emergency rooms, reduces hospital days and delays and/or eliminates the need for long-term care. The agency has been skillfully led for 20 years by Chief Executive Officer and President Paul Downey. Downey is also the current president of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP) and is a commissioner for the California Commission on Aging. In 2014, Serving Seniors was recognized as the “#1 Best Place to Work” in the small company category by the U-T San Diego. For a complete list of volunteer opportunities or more information, please visit ServingSeniors.orgFacebook or Twitter, or call (619) 235-6572.