Smith to present Bella Vida with $450k check, host resource fair

The new Bella Vida senior center. Cory Rubin/The Signal

The making of Bella Vida has come a long way, thanks in part to contributions from the community and local government. To help close the funding gap, Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, is set to present the center with a $450,000 check on Wednesday. 

The new Santa Clarita Valley senior center that opened in April will receive the monetary support as a grant from the 2019 California State Budget and a “direct result of Assemblywoman Smith’s advocacy,” according to a news release from her office Friday. 

“The assemblymember put in a bunch of requests (for grant funding) so we are grateful for that. We will still be short but this will help us a lot; these funds will go toward construction,” said Kevin MacDonald, Bella Vida executive director, who has said previous donations from the community, city of Santa Clarita and Los Angeles County have made a significant impact. 

The more than $10-million senior center had set a goal of $1 million to help fund the completion of the new facility. Half was successfully raised through major contributions, fundraising events and donor challenges. The city and county have also helped, each contributing $3.6 million. 

The $450,000 grant will go toward Bella Vida’s efforts to close gap funding of the site’s construction, according to Smith. 

“We owe it to our seniors to connect them to every possible resource to support their well-being and ability to thrive in our community,” Smith said in a prepared statement. “It was important to me to support the senior center in their expanded efforts and make sure our older adult community is taken care of.” 

In addition to presenting the check, the assemblywoman and Bella Vida are set to host a resource fair the same day to celebrate Senior Appreciation Day at the senior center. 

The event, scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., will welcome attendees with information booths from local and state agencies and nonprofits such as the county’s Department of Social Services, the Department of Motor Vehicles, Alzheimer’s Association, Metrolink and the Workforce Development Aging and Community Services. Seminars in fraud prevention, the REAL ID and the Medi-Cal program are also scheduled. 

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