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One Last, Year-End Look at the Passing Parade of People in the News : Center for Seniors

December 26, 1985|URSULA VILS

View has revisited some of the people and places it reported on in the last several months. Among them:

--Hollywood's Masquers Club, which because of declining funds sold its building and moved.

--Jimmy and Ricky Sperry, blinded in an accident 11 years ago, who received cornea transplants in August.

--Balu Natarajan, who triumphed over 167 other youngsters to win the National Spelling Bee in June.

Two years ago the Rev. Richard C. Hall, director of St. Barnabas Senior Center in the MacArthur Park area, took the first step toward construction of a $2.6-million three-story facility to integrate and expand its multiple services to the aging.

How are things progressing?

"Rather explosively," Hall said happily.

This year there have been several significant moves forward.

First, Hall enlisted the consulting services of the Executive Service Corps of Southern California, which sent St. Barnabas two enthusiastic and experienced advisers in community activities: Meno Lake, the retired chairman of Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance, and Ray Herzog, a retired government relations executive at Arco. Both have served in a variety of community projects.

In July, View reported on their goal to develop a board of directors experienced in fund raising. Some members have been added, and, at a January luncheon, a leadership council will be formed to foster corporate support for St. Barnabas' building program, Hall said.

Matching Grant

Meanwhile, the center's leaders are approaching a foundation for a $500,000 matching grant.

But the most significant progress is a boon from California voters.

"We will receive $1.7 million from the California Senior Center Bond Act (Proposition 30)," Hall said. "That is more than any other center in the state will get."

While the cost of the project has risen to $2.7 million, Hall said that so far it has been a pay-as-you-go operation: "We are still in the black." With $1.7 million from the bond act and a possible $500,000 from a foundation, the center needs to raise another $500,000 through matching funds.

"The bond act really solidified the project," Hall said. "Now it is a tactical matter rather than a dream."

St. Barnabas Senior Center's services include Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors, sheltered care, information and referral, educational programs, volunteer opportunities, grocery shopping and delivery, transportation, housing, employment, telephone reassurance, emergency aid and legal assistance by appointment.

The center also has received a $115,000 grant from the state Department of Health Services for an Alzheimer's disease diagnosis and treatment center. That program currently involves 24 patients, Hall said.

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