Malibu Senior Center thrives with growing participation

Participants are shown during the Warner Brothers Studio Tour on Tuesday, June 27. Photo courtesy City of Malibu.

Recreation Coordinator Amanda Rigali announces the return of the Senior Wellness Expo in October 

Recreation Coordinator Amanda Rigali provided a report on the Malibu Senior Center’s programs and events during the Parks and Recreation meeting on Tuesday, June 20.

Rigali provided an update on the various programs and events the city hosts and said they average 662 participants who attend their programs monthly.

“Of these participants, 42 percent are taking our fitness dance classes, 32 percent are taking our art and enrichment classes, and 26 percent are participating in our monthly programs,” Rigali said. 

The Malibu Senior Center offers programs for seniors and active adults, ages 55 and up. Programs for seniors and active adults are offered in the city’s 1,200-square foot Senior and Active Adult Center, located in Malibu City Hall. The center offers a wide variety of recreational, fitness, cultural, and educational programming, social events, and excursions to give seniors and adults opportunities to maintain and improve physical and mental well-being, life skills, and active social lives.

Art and enrichment classes include art trek, choir, creative writing, knitting, and relaxing through coloring. 

Courses and educational lectures offered in partnership with outside agencies include emergency preparedness, health screenings, financial planning, downsizing your house, computer skills, healthy aging, and Alzheimer’s awareness.

“We are really excited about our new creative writing class that just started at the beginning of June, program participation has been great so far, and we’re excited to see the class continue to grow throughout the year,” Rigali said. 

Rigali said participants have really enjoyed the knitting and creative writing class that meets twice a week. 

“Both of these groups really allow for a non-judgmental environment, and the participants for these classes consistently attend every week,” Rigali said. “They’ve built great relationships with one another and both classes are always encouraging new community members to participate which is really wonderful to see.” 

The monthly programs include luncheons, tech help, Theatre Thursdays, and excursions. 

“This summer we’re excited to have Malibu High School students volunteers assist us with the [Tech Help] program as well,” Rigali said. 

Monthly educational programs include Alzheimer’s awareness, brain health, driver safety, finance, and more. 

Rigali said after increasing marketing, they were able to increase participation in the Dial-a-Ride program from an average of 13 rides per month in 2022 to 14 new participants in March 2023. Currently, the total of registered participants is 220.

Rigali also announced the return of the Senior Wellness Expo, which is scheduled to take place on Oct. 19.

“All attended will have the opportunity to meet local service providers and receive information from medical doctors, health and wellness businesses, and community organizations and senior care providers,” Rigali said. “All vendors will provide items to be raffled off to attended and our first 50 RSVPs will recive a free boxed lunch at the event as well, we’re super excited to be hosting the Senior Wellness Expo again, and this will continue to be an annual event going forward.”

Commissioner Suzanne Guldimann thanked Rigali and the city for continuing the program. 

“We as a commission need to continue to support the senior center and make sure we do what we can to make sure that we have the funding and the programs that we need and that staff has the resources they need,” Guldimann said. 

Community Service Director Kristen Riesgo provided an update on the Fiscal Year 2023-2024, general fund park maintenance, and Legacy Park Project Fund. 

Riesgo said the Temporary Skate Park skate bowls needs repairs, and the repair would costs approximately $95,000. 

The permanent skate park is sceduled to be sent to the planning commission in the summer of 2024, the skate park has been delayed since 2020. The approx cost is $1 million. 

“There has been some delays due to [catching] a couple things that weren’t in the original design, so it’s been a tough thing to keep on top of, but it looks like summer 2024,” Riesgo said. 

Riesgo said irrigation was not added to the original plan, so they decided to include it. 

“I think it’s important long-term to have irrigation if we want it to look a certain way and have the trees for the neighbors as a buffer,” Riesgo said. “That’s my goal to do it right and get it right the first time.”

Riesgo also recognized Park and Recreation Month this July, honoring the Community Service Department’s role in providing essential services to the community.

For commissioner comments, Commissioner Alicia Peak briefly mentioned the recent dismissal of the head coach of the Malibu Seawolves swim team, Erik Ran.

“We are in constant contact with the foundation to ensure that they’re meeting our standards and meeting expectations, and communication with people, that there’s another side that isn’t happy,” Riesgo said. “We’re trying to work through this situation and give this new coach a chance.”

For more information on these programs, contact the Malibu Senior Center at (310) 456-2489 Ext. 357 or Amanda Rigali at (310) 456-2489 Ext. 252.

The next Parks and Rec meeting is scheduled for July 18.