Wednesday, June 19, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 15

Santa Maria Sun / Biz Spotlight

The following article was posted on January 9th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 19, Issue 45 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 19, Issue 45

Spotlight on: OASIS Center

Doug Dougherty, CEO

By Caleb Wiseblood

The OASIS Center's campaign to raise $4 million toward its proposed new location recently reached the halfway point after three years of fundraising. 

The campaign launched in 2016 after the senior center acquired the 5-acre property where it plans to build a brand new 15,000-square-foot facility, which would include classrooms, a library, and a kitchen. 

"It's only now that we're in the final stages of the permitting process where we can really fundraise aggressively for the project, which we are," OASIS CEO Doug Dougherty told the Sun. "And to be halfway there already says a lot about this community and the value they place in what OASIS provides."

OASIS, originally an acronym for Orcutt Area Seniors in Service, was founded in 1984 and hosts various arts, exercise, and other types of enrichment programs intended for seniors and their families. The center's current facility, located in Old Town Orcutt, also serves as a meeting place for several local community groups and youth sports leagues.

"So many wonderful things have happened there over the last 34 years," Dougherty said. "There is nostalgia, no doubt. It will be hard saying goodbye, but the new facility will allow better and safer programming."

The new location would accommodate ample parking and more space for more classes and the center's growing number of visitors, Dougherty said.

"We've grown in membership over the past few years," he said. "All indications are that we're just seeing the beginning of the baby boomer impact as they retire and begin to draw on social services."

The proposed facility, which Dougherty hopes will open by 2020, is set to include a small park area as well, which would encircle the main facility. The park will feature walking trail, a bicycle trail, and various exercise stations and benches.

The proposed new OASIS Center, a 15,000-square-foot facility encircled by a small park area, would include classrooms, a library, and a kitchen. The nonprofit recently reached the halfway point in its $4 million fundraiser for the new facility.

Physical activities are already a big part of OASIS's programming, Dougherty explained, and the new home would help expand options.

"The fitness classes we already offer will be able to utilize those features on nice days to go outside for yoga and aerobics," he said.

As a nonprofit, OASIS is funded through private donations, community grants, and income from special events. Events include the OASIS Spring Gala Dinner and Auction and the center's annual Orcutt Poker Championship. 

But to raise the funds necessary for the expensive project, additional approaches have been taken as well, Dougherty explained.

"Most of the fundraising for the project is being done face-to-face by our campaign team," he said. "There are many local families and businesses that are stepping up with financial and professional donations." 

Painting contractor Alex Ferrel, for example, offered to donate his time and resources to paint the entire facility, Dougherty said.

"I'm in a unique position where I get to witness these unbelievable acts of generosity," he added. "We've been collecting some wonderful partners along the way, and it's so encouraging to see the community rally to our project."

Call (805) 937-9750 or visit to learn more about donating, volunteering, or other information. The OASIS Center is currently located at 420 Soares Ave., Orcutt.



• The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau holds Santa Maria Valley Restaurant Week, in conjunction with California Restaurant Month, Jan. 16 through 27. Each participating restaurant, winery, and brewery will offer a special menu for $20.19 throughout the week. Visit for the complete list of participating businesses and more information.

• The Alzheimer's Association offers its four-week Savvy Caregiver Program on Jan. 24 and 31 and Feb. 7 and 14, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Family Service Agency, located at 101 S. B St., Lompoc. The class focuses on providing instructional material for Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers. Call (805) 636-6432 or visit for more information. 

Calendar Editor Caleb Wiseblood wrote this week's Biz Spotlight. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, mail, or email at

Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

| Poll Results