Silent auction supports center on aging

Maggie Zuckerman, a junior social work major, announced the prizes from Saturday's silent auction at the Pageant Theatre.Photo credit: Shayla Ramos

The Pageant Theatre held a silent auction on Saturday, fundraising for the Interdisciplinary Center on Aging.

The Chico-based organization began in 2009. Its mission is to focus on serving older adults and educating the future workforce, while increasing awareness among college-age adults.

Maggie Zuckerman, a junior majoring in social work, led the auction. Every level of the community participated, she said.

The organization helps students learn about the older population and why they should care.

“I’ve seen firsthand and know what they are going through, being a baby boomer myself,” Zuckerman said. “I have a family member that is in need, so it’s a good cause.”

Trader Joe’s, Birkenstock, The Pinwheel Community Acupuncture Project and Orient & Flume Art Glass sponsored the event by donating gifts to support the organization.

It took less than a month to organize the event and it took a little bit of everything to put it together, Zuckerman said.

Naomi Jackson, a student volunteer coordinator, promoted the event on the campus radio station and student announcements.

“The goal is to heighten name recognition, dispel the myths of older adults and encourage students of different disciplines to be involved with the aging population,” Jackson said.

Stephanie Farnham, who has a bachelor’s degree in social work, helped with fundraising and discussed how to spread the word of the organization.

“People think the majority is old and frail, and it is not what they think,” Farnham said. “The older generation is lively.”

In fact, working with adults is forecasted as the fastest growing industry in the next 20 years, said Seema Sehrawat, a social work professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Center on Aging at Chico State.

Sehrawat wanted the event to raise interest for students in the work field.

“Knowledge and awareness is key to bring people together to involve them,” she said.

Eddie Vela, interim dean of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was one of the many prize winners announced as the event came to a close.

“It is rewarding to see community involvement; younger students being exposed to a population interested in aging careers,” Vela said.

Amanda Hovik can be reached at [email protected] or @AmandaHovik on Twitter.