By Ellen Albertoni 

Solvang Senior Center

Since 1983 the Solvang Senior Center has operated in the 2,700-square-foot modular building behind the Solvang Library. 

This acts as the go-to gathering and information spot for Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley residents, which was funded mainly through the generosity of Solvang residents — seniors, Boy Scouts, PTA bake sales, dinners and a few grants. 

Located on county property, the center was erected before Solvang was incorporated with many of the initial fees for services and utility hook-ups waived. Several local tradesmen, plumbers and electricians donated their time and talent to help this project become a reality. It was a true labor of love addressed by the entire community to provide a facility for the valley’s seniors. 

With the passing of time the center’s membership has grown to approximately 500 individuals, and daily use of the facility has grown exponentially. From the days of daily lunches, a few activities and social events, the center has become a hub of over 20 weekly activities, daily lunches, monthly dinner nights, monthly day trips, and special programs and speakers. 

The little clubhouse on the hill is literally bursting at the seams while remaining dedicated to the wellness and life enrichment of seniors in our community through educational, physical and nutritional programs, social activities and community outreach. 

The years have taken their toll on this modular complex. Although all measures are taken to keep it in good, safe working order, this old house is pushing the boundaries of being a viable building as we “trot” toward our 40th anniversary. 

We want to make sure that we are able to offer our active aging citizens — 55 and older is the most rapidly expanding age group in the community — a wonderful place that encourages them to continue on the path of staying active and healthy, both physically and mentally. 

Although we do a pretty good job of this now, a new, modern building with an additional 2,000 square feet would allow us to expand and become a multi-purpose center for Solvang and the entire Santa Ynez Valley. 

As we look toward the future, embracing and envisioning the fantastic possibilities that await us, please consider taking part in a fun-filled, exclusive Alisal Breakfast Ride to the historic Alisal Adobe on Sept. 8.

Participants can choose to ride a horse or a hay wagon and will enjoy cowboy poetry, singing, a live auction and bid for a cause — as well as a fantastic breakfast and a chance to tour the historic adobe.

Call the center directly and ask for Ellen for more information and ticket purchases. You can also go to EventBrite where you will find this event under Solvang happenings. 

The Solvang Senior Center is at 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang (805-688-3793). Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.