Be glad for guests bearing gifts at Riford kitchen shower

It’s not your mother’s kitchen, but your mother probably would love to hang out there!

As it reinvents itself as a bustling community center for active baby boomers in 2010, The Riford Center at 6811 La Jolla Blvd. recently redesigned its kitchen. The trendy new heart-of-its-home is poised to host cooking classes, cater parties and serve member events thanks to a kitchen shower on Feb. 17 that produced stock pots, a mixer, utensils, wine glasses and bake ware for its pantry, and a fun evening for its guests.

But there is still a ways to go and donations are still needed, and organizers note that this is a tough economic time for launching projects.

“This (dated) place has got good bones, and it’s worth remodeling to meet the evolving needs of the community,” said shower host Sherry Ahern, a member of Friends of The Riford Center.

“If we make it a beautiful place, people will come have fun and enjoy the facilities for all kinds of events — especially if they can’t afford the higher-priced venues in town. We talk the talk, and we’re walking the walk, but we don’t look the look ... yet.”

Center Director Ron Jones said the center’s mission is to offer La Jolla’s adult community a place for low-cost parties, art shows, intimate concerts, cooking classes, fitness programs and dances.

To that end, directors received a $207,000 community development grant for a new entrance and raised $18,000 to redo the bathroom to ADA-accessibility standards.

The next step will be to turn the grass-spotted courtyard into an even-floored patio for greater, safer use. “And to open up the front entrance with glass panels so that people passing by will see the beautiful courtyard and the welcoming facilities,” architect Michael Marton said.

Glen Rasmussen, vice president of the Friends, assured shower guests that “we will accomplish our goals with the help and support of the community.”

For more information, contact The Riford Center at (858) 459-0831 or Take the community survey at

About The Riford

Florence Riford established the center more than 35 years ago, and gave the building to San Diego as a senior center. The Friends of The Riford Center, a community-based 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2007, manages the center under a lease from the city. The organization raises funds through community contributions and member fees to pay operating expenses. The Friends are also working to build an endowment to sustain the center long term.