La Jolla’s Riford Center regrouping for the future as it launches fundraising drive

Ruth Yansick, Pancho Dewhurst, Jacqueline Woods and Sherry Ahern are among board members working on the Riford fundraising effort. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

The Riford Center in La Jolla has launched a $400,000 capital fundraising campaign to fulfill its mission to serve as an adult community center for residents age 50 and above. The facility will have new name — and direction — in keeping with its new philosophical direction.

“We have arrived,” proclaimed Ruth Yansick, the CEO for the “new” Riford Center, noting “community” is being added to the center’s name to reflect that the revitalized facility now represents all those young at heart as well as those chronologically aged 50 and beyond.
In the 1960s, Florence Riford purchased the property at 6811 La Jolla Blvd. for use as a bridge club. In 1970, she established a trust requiring the center to always be used for La Jollans over age 50 and establishing an endowment for the facility’s perpetuation, which has subsequently run out.

Since 2007, when the community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit Friends of the Riford Center took control over operations, an ongoing transformation has been ongoing to transform the center from a senior-oriented facility into a full-blown adult center offering a broader range of activities serving “multiple age groups” while still providing elder services.

“We’re starting fresh; we’re going forward,” said Sherry Ahern, chair of Riford’s recently launched capital campaign, which is seeking community contributions to complete building improvements, sustain operations and build a new endowment.

To date Riford, with community donations, has renovated its kitchen, great room, hallways and courtyard. But more money is needed for other improvements, including renovating the front entry and lobby; upgrading entrance windows and doors, lobby flooring, exterior landscaping and lighting; adding new lobby and custom cabinets in the great room, and installing sliding doors and windows around the courtyard.The new kitchen, where classes are taught and meals can be cooked for events, is part of the center’s new direction. Photo: Dave Schwab

“This whole place has been renovated with donations,” said Pancho Dewhurst, a La Jolla contractor and Riford board member. “The community has already come together to bring this together. Now we just need to top it off, bring more awareness.”

An exercise class draws a younger set. Photo: Dave Schwab

Attorney Glen Rasmussen, who chairs the center’s board, noted the facility, which presently has about 400 dues-paying members, is solvent, but added that’s a difficult situation to maintain when half the center’s operating expenses come from dues and the other half from donations.

“We want to make this center more beautiful and accessible and comfortable so we’ll get more members,” he said. “What we really need is an endowment like the Riford Library has.”
CEO Yansick said the whole purpose of the Riford Center is to give back to the community.
“It’s a good feeling, giving back,” she said.

Contributors who’ve supported the Riford include Jacqueline Woods, Judy and Jack White, Dr. Lee Vida and Rhonda Read, Lynne and Mason Rosenthal, Kevin and Sherry Ahern, Dr. James Walker and Harriet Lazer, Mickey Stern, Kathleen Buoymaster, Richard and Kaye Woltman, Audrey Geisel and the Dr. Seuss Foundation, La Jolla Woman’s Club, Dottie Stanley, the San Diego Foundation, La Jolla Rotary Club and Kiwanis of La Jolla.

For more information visit

Related posts:

  1. Bonair entrance at La Jolla’s Riford Center stirs up neighborhood again
  2. La Jolla tourists take magical trip to see whales in Baja
  3. J.J. the Orphaned Baby Gray Whale arrives at La Jolla Shores
  4. Mount Soledad Association to salute ‘Pappy’ Boyington on Memorial Day
  5. La Jolla Christmas Parade salutes community’s youth

Short URL:

Posted by Dave Schwab on Jul 27, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Local camp shapes Solana Beach youth into community leaders July 28, 2014
    After attending the inaugural La Colonia de Eden Gardens Youth Leadership Camp last year, Edgar Vergara was inspired to make positive change in Solana Beach’s Eden Gardens community. Along with other local teens, the 15-year-old co-founded the youth group La Colonia Changers and recently hosted a town hall forum on underage drinking. Passionate about making […]
  • Del Mar Union School District approves new contract for superintendent July 28, 2014
    The Del Mar Union School District Board July 23 approved the new contract for Superintendent Holly McClurg through June 30, 2018. Per the contract, McClurg’s annual salary will be $185,000 with an annual doctoral stipend of $10,000. She will receive a car allowance of $400 a month, 25 vacation days, health benefits and a retirement contribution of $700 a mon […]
  • Carmel Valley 5K and 10K to hit Gonzales Canyon trails in September July 28, 2014
    A new trail running race is coming to Carmel Valley this fall. Jeff Stoner of Del Mar’s Seasick Marketing visited the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board to update the board on the plans for the Carmel Valley Trail 5K and 10K Run, set to take place on Sept. 20. A portion of race proceeds will go toward the Challenged Athletes Foundation. […]