Walking through the stately Woodside mansion, its rooms decorated by the hippest of designers, a view of the vast forested valley beyond its windows, the last notion anyone would think of is going hungry.
But beneath all this utter swankiness, was the idea of raising money to help seniors.
“Our job is to keep people able to live at home,” said Bart Charlow, director of the Peninsula Volunteers organization. “We keep people out of institutions every day.”
So exactly how does this millionaire mansion figure into feeding seniors?
With the Peninsula Volunteers facing severe federal sequestration cuts, the group crafted the idea of staging a Decorator Show House. Twenty decorators sought about tweaking the 11,000 square foot mansions stately rooms.
The public can buy tickets to tour it. The money goes toward supporting Peninsula Volunteers many programs, including Meals on Wheels, two senior apartments, the Little House, an activity room and a café that serves daily meals to seniors.
Like many groups, the Peninsula Volunteers is prepping itself for federal funding cuts coming around the corner. Charlow said the group stands to lose $40,000.
“In our case we are figuring it’s about 7,500 meals we will not be able deliver next year,” said Charlow. Menlo Park’s Meals on Wheels program serves 130-thousand meals a year. Most of the recipients are home bound seniors who can’t cook or travel to the grocery store.
Eighty-year old Leonor Quinones said she looks forward to the meals, and the occasional conversation that comes with them.
“She take ten minute to 15 minute, talk, talk,” said Quinones of her Thursday food delivery driver. “I like it.”
The Decorator Show House will be open for tours Tuesdays through Sundays, thru May 24.