The Cathedral City Senior Center (CCSC) hosted its annual “A Night to Remember” fundraising gala at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage on Nov. 13. The event, benefiting the CCSC’s programs and services, raised funds that will be used to support the center and the needs of its diverse members.
According to CCSC President and CEO Geoff Corbin, the center has grown more than 450 percent over the past four years.
Explaining this rapid increase, Chief Operating Officer Vic Ide said: “We’ve undergone a transformation: 40 percent of our programs are now in Spanish, reflecting the 60 percent Hispanic population of Cathedral City, we’re the Braille Institute’s first extension for low-to-no vision programming in Southern California and the LGBTQ community is finding a place to belong here.”
CCSC is redefining what it means to be a senior. It is a 21st-century bilingual center for active living that creates spaces for mature adults to meet friends and families, exercise their minds and bodies, access resources and give back through volunteerism. The center promotes healthy living, independence and wellness by stimulating the body and mind in an open-minded and inclusive environment.
The event honored Bob Schram, Casey Mattos, Jeff McDonald, Charles Thomas and The Roost Foundation with its 2023 Community Impact Award.
“Bob Schram and Casey Mattos have done more than just put in the hours, Ide said. “They’ve been architects of change. They’ve turned our food bank into a community powerhouse, celebrated for its dignified personal shopping experience that goes well beyond handing out canned goods.”
When honoring McDonald, Thomas and The Roost Foundation, Corbin said: “Their model is unique. They give their customers the opportunity to engage in causes that matter. They are known for their generous support of many charities across the valley through their star-studded fundraising events.”
Corbin also recognized local philanthropist Thommy Kocan (better known as Miss Patsi) who, along with his husband Michael, organizes Dinner with Patsi, pass-the-hat fundraising dinners held at area restaurants benefiting a variety of nonprofit organizations. The couple has tirelessly raised money for many Cathedral City organizations including Cathedral City High School choirs, the Boys & Girls Club and the Cathedral City police and fire departments while supporting local businesses.
“For us, they launched our food bank into the public eye,” Corbin said. “Now they’ve become catalysts for change across the community.”
A Night to Remember was designed and produced by Frank Goldstin and Momentous. Presenting sponsors were Steve Tobin, Johnny Krupa and the Grace Helen Spearman Charitable Foundation. Entertainment sponsors were David Mizener, Arturo Carrillo, Contractors State License Schools and Contractors Insurance Agency. The Carvalho-Kaplan Trust was the production sponsor. Premier sponsors included The City of Cathedral City, Luxuria and The Lab, and the evening’s table sponsors were the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Contour Dermatology, Desert Healthcare District & Foundation, Jim Neuman, Tom Peterson and James Albright and The Roost Foundation.
Emphasizing the importance of the evening, Corbin said: “We are at pivotal moment. Never before have we been so well-positioned to tackle the pressing issues of our community — ending isolation, ensuring food security and connecting people to vital social services.”
Learn more about the Cathedral City Senior Center at cathedralcenter.org.
Ellen Bluestein is a freelance writer and event producer. She has been working in fund development, marketing and event production for the majority of her career. Originally from Boston, she moved to the Coachella Valley in 2018.