• Inner Light Center (map)
  • 5630 Soquel Drive
  • Soquel, CA, 95073
  • United States

On January 12th, 81 of our community’s LGBTQ+ elders gathered at the Inner Light Center in Soquel, to celebrate all that is possible in 2019. The scene was set with party hats, horns, elegant table decor, and a traditional New Year’s countdown. As guests entered, the room was abuzz with lively conversations, heartfelt greetings, and the opportunity to connect with old and new friends.

Before a health conscious and delicious lunch was served, lovingly created by Chef Mickey Phelps of Mickey’s Cafe and Catering, we were honored by the presence of some special guests. Gabrielle Antolovich of the Billy DeFrank Center in San Jose arrived with an entourage of seniors from their Vintage Program. We were also pleased to welcome Diversity Center board members, Marile Robinson, Randy Brock, and Angel Cruz.

In addition, as his first stop in the New Year, during Santa Cruz constituent meetings, our very special surprise guest, Congressman Jimmy Panetta joined us with his administrative aide Emmanuel Garcia. What an honor!! Congressman Panetta spoke genuinely, passionately and optimistically to our guests from the stage and reassured each of our seniors that he sees them, hears them, and will continue fighting for the rights of ALL LGBTQ+ persons. He also graciously made time to speak individually to many of our seniors and then joined us for lunch.

After lunch and bidding Congressman Panetta farewell, our guests were transported to Broadway, courtesy of Lynn Knudsen and Next Stage Productions. The theme of their show was “the Brighter Side of Life” and included memorable show tunes such as Cabaret, Let Me Entertain You, and All That Jazz, to name just a few. The crowd was thrilled with their performance and hopes to have them back for an encore performance.

As the day ended, we were again reminded about the power of connection and community, and the 60Plus Senior Program luncheons provide these much needed opportunities. Of course, they would not be possible without the generous support of our community partners. So we would like to offer a grateful 60Plus Senior Program thank you to Kaiser Permanente and Lifespan who sponsored the day’s event!

Event or Organization's Website: http://www.diversitycenter.org/senior/

Contact Information: Steven Matzie

Phone: (831) 425-5422

Email: 60plus@diversitycenter.org

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