Jessica Molina

Jessica Molina is the Pacifica Senior Center’s new food services coordinator. She will be an integral part of the operations when the center opens again today. Photo courtesy Dana Dieterle

 

Hooray! After a 17-month absence, the Pacifica Community Center is reopening for its senior community. Pacifica Senior Services will open the doors for seniors to return today, Sept 1.

Should you miss the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m., drop by the center anytime today to renew friendships with the staff and class instructors. The center is located at 540 Crespi Drive.

“We are excited to see familiar faces when we reopen our center for lunch, classes and actives. Our staff has been busy decluttering, sorting, cleaning and otherwise getting our space ready,” said acting Supervisor Beth Phipps.

The reopening of the Senior Center brings perks for seniors over 60 with the Senior In Action membership drive. The membership runs from October through September.

Registration starts Sept. 13. The membership benefits include a parking placard for Crespi Lot C, discounts on senior classes, activities, trips, summer ice cream socials and special events at the Pacifica Senior Center.

So, drop by the community center from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, Sept. 13 through Friday, Sept. 24, to sign up for your senior benefits. The fee is $25 per senior. If you miss the registration dates, you can join anytime during the year by calling (650) 738-7350 for information. But why wait? Come early and see those friends you’ve been missing for the past year.

The congregate lunch for seniors will resume with inside dinning. The “grab-and-go” lunch program will also continue.

Remember to wear your mask when coming to the center. Everyone entering the facility is required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.

New chef: When you return to the center, drop by the kitchen and introduce yourself to the new food services coordinator, Jessica Molina.

Jessica comes to Pacifica with 22 years in the food industry. Her last job was working as a professional chef for PARED Inc. in San Francisco, and prior to that position she worked as a dinning service director for Pacifica Senior Living in Oakland. But food was not always on Jessica’s plate.

“I was an art student. But one day, while watching the Discovery Channel, a cooking show came on, called ‘World Class Cuisine.’ From that moment I was hooked and knew I had found my love. That food looked so good that it seemed almost edible. The program featured world-class professional chefs from around the world. I then enrolled in a culinary class, graduating in 1998,” she said.

Originally, from Southern California, she moved to Oakland in 1999 where she found work in the food industry. She learned about the Pacifica food coordinator job, and, seeing that the position was serving senior citizens, she applied.

“I saw the Pacifica job as very meaningful, having loved my relationship with seniors the last few years,” said Molina, who looks forward to meeting her new friends. “I am excited about being here and very happy that the senior center is reopening.”

A legend dies: John Gradwohl’s high school coaching career spanned over 40 years in San Mateo County. Ten of his most successful years came while coaching at Oceana and Terra Nova. He was Oceana’s defensive genius when the Sharks won their first, and only, Central Coast Section championship in 1987. That year, he became the league’s first assistant coach to be selected as the league’s Coach of the Year. He died unexpectedly recently at the age of 70 at his home in Lincoln, Calif. In 2018, he was inducted into the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame.

Bob Lotti Field: Circle Sept. 24 on your calendar. On that night, before Terra Nova’s football team hosts Lincoln High School of San Francisco, a dedication ceremony will be held on the field. The football field will be named in honor of former Terra Nova head football coach Bob Lotti. In 1974, Lotti was named the school’s varsity coach. During his eight-year career as head coach, Terra Nova won five North Peninsula League titles and its first CCS championship in 1982. In 1992, Lotti was named to the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame.

Horace Hinshaw is the sports editor emeritus for the Pacifica Tribune.

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