ARMONA — The Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino and the Kings County Commission on Aging are inviting the public to breakfast for eggs, bacon — and charitable giving.
During the Tachi Palace Community Breakfast, scheduled for 8:30-10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, the hotel and casino will match any donations made to the KCCOA.
The KCCOA, which was formally established in 1970, is a nonprofit organization that serves the needs of the county’s seniors with a variety of programs.
“We’re dealing with a lot more seniors with different issues than they used to have,” she said. “We’re doing things we’ve never had to do before,” said KCCOA executive director Bobbie Wartson.
The organization, which has a 15-person staff, provides health and behavioral services, legal services, nutrition programs, legal services and adult daycare services among other things.
“It’s a melting pot of many different programs and it’s a great resource for seniors — like me,” former Kings County director of Human Services and KCCOA donor Bill Gundacker said.
Wartson said the organization is currently seeking donations in order secure funds for a large federal grant offered through the Older Americans Act.
The nonprofit needs to raise just over $68,000 in order to receive around $600,000, which helps keep it operational. For the past nine years, these funds have come from the County General Funds.
In 2018, the county provided over $45,000 from the County General Fund to subsidize KCCOA’s adult day care service, but so far – several months past the normal due date – KCCOA has not received the remaining funds, nearly $55,000 that the county normally provides, to secure the OAA grant.
According to a Board of Supervisors agenda item dated June 26, 2018, the Kings County Human Services Agency has recommended that KCCOA “review … options on utilizing other funding sources to meet the operational needs and reduce the reliance on the County General Fund.”
While county funding of the KCCOA is optional, without these funds, the Commission on Aging finds themselves in need of donations to provide the matching funds to secure around $600,000 in federal funds.
“If we can’t match it, then we don’t get it,” Wartson said.
Wartson is hoping that donations that come in during the community breakfast fundraiser can help alleviate the shortfall.
“[The KCCOA] are providing services to seniors that no one else is providing. If anything, they could expand their services 10-fold, if they had the money, and the need would still be incompletely met,” local physician and KCCOA donor Dr. Jaime Aguet said.
Those interested in donating can attend the community breakfast, send a check care of Wartson to 10953 14th Ave. P.O. Box 598, Armona, CA 93202 or stop by the offices at that address.
The majority of KCCOA clients work with KCCOA on a regular basis, requiring help for a variety of reasons. The organization’s mission is to help those over age 60, particularly the isolated, lonely and frail. As many as 350 seniors will visit the office in any given week, Wartson said.
Via funds from United Way, the organization pays the rent and/or utilities of individual seniors once every two years.
“This is a one-stop shop for seniors,” Wartson said.
For a small fee, the organization also provides an adult daycare for seniors who cannot care for themselves.
The Tachi Palace invited the KCCOA to participate in a community breakfast in 2018 which raised around $10,000 for the nonprofit, Wartson said.
In December, the Tachi Palace raised nearly $6,000 for the Valley Animal Haven and Adoption Center.