January 2024 Directors Letter

Happy New Year! I hope you have had Happy Holidays and are looking forward to a fun and exciting year.

As we reflect on the past year and look forward to 2024. I’m encouraged to be sharing with you some of our accomplishments from the past year, and goals for the coming year.

  • We currently have 432 members at the Sno-Valley Senior Center
  • In 2023, we’ve served over 7,600 hot, made-from-scratch lunches
  • We delivered 2,203 frozen Meals on Wheels, helping local, homebound seniors and their families receive regular deliveries of nutritious food
  • 162 individual volunteers have given 10,110 hours of their time
  • 1,286 individuals have come through the Sno-Valley Senior Center for services or to participate in programs.

We brought on several new staff members in 2023, and I’ve been so impressed about how they stepped into their roles. Carrie Harris, Program Coordinator, has added numerous new programs to the calendar and new trips to experience.

Carol Ladwig, Far East Senior Hub Coordinator, has taken on a coordinator role between 3 senior centers, all with different structures, and worked on strengthening current relationships and creating new ones. Kate Barrere, Thrift Store Manager, has implemented new strategies for sales and discounts, and RIC has had one of its most successful years to date!

The Affordable Senior Housing project has started construction, and is on schedule to be completed at the end of the Summer 2024. As a reminder, we are working with a property management company to manage the building once construction has finished. This means that Sno-Valley Senior Center will not be a part of the application process for available units, aside from providing the information. The most up-to-date information about applying for one of the 15 units will come from this newsletter, our website, and our Facebook page, and hopefully we will have more information to share this Spring.

I hope you’ll join us for the Annual Member Meeting on Wednesday, January 31 at 12:30pm. At this meeting you’ll get to discuss with Board Members, your priorities and questions for the Sno-Valley Senior Center, learn about the goals for 2024 and how we ended 2023. This meeting will be held in-person and you can call 425-333-4152 to sign-up for lunch that day.

Finally, Chef Eve Chasengnou will be leaving her position towards the end of January, and we are currently in the process of hiring a new chef. Eve has brought a fun new menu to the Sno-Valley Senior Center, and we are going to miss her creativity! We wish her the best as she moves on to a new adventure and say thank you to all of the hard work she has put into this role.

If you have comments, questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at kiraa@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152.

December 2023 Directors Letter

Director’s Letter– December

Happy Holidays!

The Holiday Season, which starts November 1 for me, is my favorite time of the year. It’s full of memories of getting Christmas Trees near Snoqualmie Pass with my family, trips to Bellevue Square to see Santa, and sledding, when the weather allowed. I hope that you have a happy holiday season knowing that your support as members, donors, volunteers, etc. makes the work of the Sno-Valley Senior Center possible!

It’s hard for me to believe that the end of the month will mark 1 year of being the Executive Director at the Sno-Valley Senior Center. I want to say thank you for your support and flexibility in 2023. Change is never easy, and we’ve had a lot of it this year! I’m excited to see where 2024 takes us, with new programs and trips, the Affordable Senior Housing project being completed, and getting ready for our 50th Anniversary Year, 2025!

Be looking for a Board Ballot to be mailed soon,  a benefit of being a member of the Sno-Valley Senior Center is you can vote on the new Board slate each year. We are having very little turnover for next year, but I want to say Thank You to Mairi Brooks for being a part of the Board of Directors and serving 2, 3-year terms. Her support of our events made such a difference!

As I’m writing this, we are getting ready for our first Steak Dinner & Pie Auction since 2019. We are already sold out and I am so grateful to Dawn Board, Daniel Enciso, and Jennifer Berg for making this event a success. Of course, so much thanks goes out to all of the volunteers, attendees, and our sponsor, Jerry Sprute with the Law Office of Gerald A. Sprute!

GivingTuesday is early this year, Tuesday, November 28! GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement, unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. This GivingTuesday we are hoping to raise $3,000 in support of the Dazzling Discoveries the community finds at the Sno-Valley Senior Center; Friendships, Health, Creativity, and Purpose! Don’t worry if you miss November 28th to give, our end-of-year giving campaign goes through Sunday, December 31!

In the next few months Sno-Valley Senior Center will be working hard to collect participant forms from those attending programs at the senior center. This will allow us to inform you about class cancellations and schedule changes, as well as have your Emergency Contact information on file. This form also has a demographics section, which will give us a better idea of who we are serving and allow us to better serve you! Accurate demographic data (kept anonymous) is also a request of our grant funders, so filling this form out helps us receive money.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at kiraa@soundgenerations.org or 425-333-4152. As a reminder, the senior center is closed for the holidays between December 23-January 1, and we look forward to seeing you in the new year on January 2!

Kira Avery, Executive Director

November 2023 Directors Letter

Director’s Letter– November

Thank You!

Thank you so much to all of those who attended the Sno-Valley Senior Center Harvest Festival Dinner & Auction at Remlinger Farms on Friday, October 13! Whether you donated an item, volunteered, came in-person, or bid online, you had an impact. We are still waiting for final numbers to share, but we do know that it will be one of our most successful auctions to date!

We really appreciate the committee who helped plan this event: Alison Cook, Dawn Simmons, Glenda Surdam, Mary Myers, Sue Beauvais, and Jane Hartwell. We also received a lot of support from our Auctioneer, Jay Fiske, the event Emcee, Brian Trendlar, and our Event Coordinator, Claire Foster.

Our set-up and decorating crew did a wonderful job turning a more casual restaurant space, into a beautiful harvest-themed venue. As people walked through Remlinger Farms for lunch, we received nothing but glowing comments about how nice everything looked.

The Registration & Check-in/Check-out group of volunteers did a wonderful job with a software that was new to them, and not as intuitive as we hoped. They kept the lines moving and worked hard to make sure the data entry was accurate.

The volunteers’ selling pumpkins, golden raffle tickets, and wine did excellent! We sold almost every single item in the silent auction and Paula & Brian kept everything organized and ready to go at the end of the night. Our greeters, assistants, bid recorders, and spotters were organized and personable.

The dessert dash was a wonderful addition to the event, and a big thank you to Dawn Simmons who coordinated and helped to bake almost every dessert. That section alone brought in over $5,000 to the event.

Many of our volunteers also worked on procurement, with the silent and live auction items bringing in a record number raised. We also had new volunteers joining us for the first time, who stepped into the rush of the event wonderfully.

Thank you again to everyone who made this event possible, especially Remlinger Farms for hosting us!

We’ve got several more events coming up before the end of the year, including the Annual Pie Auction & Steak Dinner on Saturday, November 18. We’ll be making baking calls here soon!

Next Board Meeting is Monday, November 6 at 5:30pm.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns please call me at  425-333-4152 ext 1 or email kiraa@soundgenerations.org.

October 2023 Directors Letter

Directors Letter – October 2023

Sno-Valley Senior Center is excited to welcome Kate Barrere as the new Manager at Re-in-Carnation Thrift Store!
To give you all a little background on Kate, she started and ran a thrift shop for Habitat for Humanity in Espanola, New Mexico for several years, where she learned the thrift business. She worked for 10 years for Nordstrom and ran a small gift shop in a Nature Center for about 4 years also, doing purchasing merchandising and sales. Her most recent job was running a Gift Shop in a hospital in Santa Fe, NM where she handled purchasing, inventory, bookkeeping, merchandising, promotions and sales supervision.

At both the hospital and nature center Kate also was the Volunteer Coordinator and worked on scheduling, training, supervising and appreciating 20-40 volunteers. She learned from that about the astounding contribution volunteers make in the successful every day operations of so many organizations and how important they are for building community ties and creating a sense of shared purpose. On a side note, she spent around 20 years as a self-employed artist which included running her own gallery, doing custom digital collages for corporate and individual clients, traveling coast to coast doing art festivals and anything else she could think of to pay the rent with art.

Kate recently moved back to the Pacific NW from New Mexico where she had moved to become an artist and where she lived since 1997. She came back to take care of my 96 yr. old father who just lost his beloved wife of 30 years and was needing help. She is thrilled to have found and been offered this position as it will make good use her skills and experience, be fun and interesting, and allow her time to take care of her dad.

Ticket purchases for the 2023 Harvest Festival Dinner & Auction close on October 1, but that doesn’t mean you can’t come away with some great items! Many of the items are available for bid online between Monday, October 9 and Saturday, October 13. Learn more at the link https://svscauction23.givesmart.com/

You’ll notice in the newsletter that we are bringing back the Annual Steak Dinner & Pie Auction after a four-year hiatus. We’ll be serving Steak or Salmon, with all the fixings, at two seatings (4:30 & 6:30pm) on Saturday, November 18. At this event you’ll also have the chance to bid on delicious Pies baked by senior center members. If you’re interested in volunteering for this event, or would like to bake and bring a pie, please email me, kiraa@soundgenerations.org!

Thank you to everyone who signed the condolences card for me. I was very lucky to have 32 years with my grandma Mary, a Master Gardner, who attended several Tea & Fashion show’s here at the senior center.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns please call me at 425-333-4152 ext 1 or email kiraa@soundgenerations.org.

September 2023 Directors Letter

Director’s Letter- September 2023

Happy National Senior Center Month! This is our opportunity to promote a positive image of aging, highlight how the Sno-Valley Senior Center improves the lives of older adults, showcase our importance to the Snoqualmie Valley community, and reach out to possible new participants and partners. All of this can be done at our 2nd Annual Festival of Fun! This event, on Wednesday, September 27 from 4-6pm, will feature refreshments, class demonstrations, program booths, and door prizes!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Affordable Housing Groundbreaking project on Wednesday, August 23. Once construction starts (currently estimated for September) our parking lot will no longer be available. The construction team has been instructed to start by creating pull-in parking along Stephens Avenue in order to offset some of the loss in parking numbers.

Construction is scheduled to last about 1 year, and we know that it will impact those coming into the senior center and Re-in-Carnation Thrift Store. We will provide more information as we have it about what changes will be happening and when.
You may have noticed that we are in the process of hiring a new Thrift Store Manager. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Colleen James has left the position. We appreciate the new ideas she brought to the role and wish her the best of luck (we know she will continue to be a loyal shopper)!

As we head into the last 1/3 of year, the senior center is currently forecasted to have a small deficit to end 2023. We are hoping that with the addition of the Pie Auction and an extra Rainbow Bingo later this year, we will end the year in the black! We accept donations year-round however, which you can make online at www.snovalleysenior.org or by using the envelope in this newsletter!

I hope you’ll join us for our Annual Dinner & Auction, hosted at Remlinger Farms on Friday, October 13. There will be a delicious dinner, silent and live auction items, fun raffle games, and a dessert dash featuring local bakeries and restaurants.
Tickets for this event are on sale now, $50 per person, $350 for a table of 8. You can start the party early by purchasing VIP tickets for $75 each, $550 per table of 8 and attend a pre-funk party, bid first in the super silent auction, and enjoy more fun benefits.

If you would like to be a table captain, committing to filling a table of 8 (you’re not required to purchase the table), please email kiraa@soundgenerations.org. We are also looking for item donations such as, Restaurant Gift Cards, Experiences (wine tours, tasting parties), tickets to Seattle sporting events, passes to local attractions, week or weekend away at a rental home or timeshare, or a cash donation to help us purchase items!

Learn more about the event and purchase tickets at https://svscauction23.givesmart.com. If you have an item to donate or would like to volunteer you can email kiraa@soundgenerations.org!

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns please call me at 425-333-4152 ext 1 or email kiraa@soundgenerations.org.