The Stilly Valley Center has received $7,500 from their ‘top sponsor’ to help them at the beginning of a year filled with uncertainty.
The center, formerly known as the Stillaguamish Senior Center, has been impacted by loss of revenue and the closure of many of its programs since last March.
“We made it through last year with a PPP loan and a lot of outreach and fundraising,” said Danette Klemens, executive director of the center.
The center currently has a budget shortfall because of the lack of incoming funds.
“We’re facing a $50,000-plus deficit for this year. We don’t know how much that could increase with unanticipated expenses,” said Klemens. “This will go a long way to make a difference for that deficit."
The donation comes from Olympic Place, a retirement and assisted living community near downtown Arlington.
“The Stilly Valley Senior Center has been a huge part of the community for seniors. Our seniors came over when it was pre-COVID to do the chicken dinner and for all sorts of activities,” said Nancy Tisdel, executive director of Olympic Place.
The center provides a wide variety of programs meant to encourage community during most years, however it has had to scale back activities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’ve been a huge part in supporting our seniors and we want to give back to our community. We think this is a great way to do that, to give back to the Stilly Valley Center, because it touches people even we don’t know,” said Tisdel. “So we hope that this helps, especially in such a difficult year with COVID."
The connection and social support the center usually facilitates has been lacking for many local seniors over the past year, said Klemens.
“Our seniors are so lonely right now, so isolated. This is their source for their daily activity and many are here three, four or five times a week,” she said.
With vaccinations supposed to come to the community, she hopes the center will be able to reopen sometime this year, although a lot of planning is still up in the air.
“We don’t really know what the rest of the year will look like or when we’ll be opening. We hope it will be this summer as more and more people get vaccinated,” said Klemens.
Klemens said she wanted to thank Olympic Place for the support in this time of need.
“We’ve had a long-standing relationship. It’s just been an integral partnership through the years,” she said.