RANCHO SANTA FE — Terrie Litwin, the executive director of the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center, was recognized at the Feb. 16 Association meeting. It has become a custom to highlight a club, organization or business at the second meeting of the month.Accompanying Litwin was Carla DiMare, board president of the senior center. “I feel uniquely privileged to be here,” Litwin said before sharing a little about the senior center that was founded nearly 25 years ago.
“The idea of an organization designed to meet the needs of local seniors was conceived by a group of neighbors, friends and local professionals,” she said. “Since 1988, the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center has been serving the community by providing a welcoming place to receive assistance in times of crisis as well as enjoy educational and social opportunities throughout the year,” she said.
Litwin said the seniors of Rancho Santa Fe share similar issues with everyone else their age.
“They do have the same needs seniors have everywhere,” she said. “We work at being a safety net for seniors.”
Litwin was named executive director in 2005. She has a master’s degree in clinical social work and 23 years experience in health care administration. In 2011, she was selected by the County of San Diego Department of
Aging and Independence Services RSVP Program to receive the RSVP Senior Advocacy Ambassador Award for her advocacy for seniors and support of senior programs.
She said the programs are designed especially with seniors in mind and are funded by annual donations, estate gifts, county grants and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.
“These services adhere to the organization’s mission of assisting seniors in maintaining their health, welfare and safety while respecting their need for independence, self-esteem and dignity,” she said.
She said the nonprofit center has two paid staff members, but most are volunteers.
“The Senior Center is managed by compassionate, knowledgeable staff and a dedicated board of directors,” she said. “As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, programs and services are funded entirely by donor contributions.”
Seniors can take classes such as painting, music appreciation and physical fitness.
“Some of the classes are taught by seniors who come back to share their knowledge,” she said.
She invited board members to drop by anytime. “We will never ask your age and everyone is welcome,” she said.
To learn more about the Rancho Santa Fe Senior Center, call (858) 756-3041.