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Senior Center's Fundraising Foundation Disbands; Positions Eliminated

The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation has been eliminated and its officials are jobless.

As of Tuesday, the positions of Executive Director Kathy Crone and her assistant, Crystal Rasmussen, no longer exist, said Myles McNamara, former president of the now defunct foundation board.

The Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging - the nonprofit board that's responsible for operating the Senior Center and providing services to three senior housing facilities across the valley - made the decision to eliminate the separate fundraising organization at a board meeting, according to several former foundation staffers and volunteers.

Senior Center Executive Director Rachelle Dardeau said the move will not affect center operations.

"We're two separate organizations," Dardeau said of the COA and the Foundation.

The COA had been responsible for fundraising until the foundation formed six years ago.

"This is how it was done up until several years ago," Dardeau said.

Crone thanked foundation volunteers in a Facebook post.

“Last night sadly was the end of the Senior Center Foundation,” she said on Facebook. “I have been so lucky to work with so many incredible people, and as difficult as it was last night, I could not have been more proud. Thank you all for the work and dedication you gave for six years to try and make a change in the lives of our seniors.”

Citing declining revenues, Dardeau characterized the move as a cost-cutting measure meant to insure more efficient operations.

Fundraising will now be overseen by Senior Center officials.

“As you know, donations are down, and so everyone is looking for a place to streamline operations,” Dardeau said. “So we’re going to bring the fundraising back to the Senior Center, in-house.”

“The foundation decided this,” Dardeau said. “The Foundation made this decision, and they are not employees of the Senior Center.”

“It’s unfortunate news to hear,” said Senior Center Spokesman Josh Premako, “but the Senior Center is going to carry on. This will not affect our day-to-day operations.”

A meal will be served to seniors at the center Thursday for Thanksgiving, provided by the members of the Castaic/Santa Clarita Lions Club, in coordination with several other community groups. The meal is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.