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Seniors group gives $2.2 million to Santa Rosa

The nonprofit Seniors Inc. presented the Santa Rosa City Council with a $2.2 million check Tuesday evening, a final donation meant to complete the senior wing of the Finley Community Center.

With a three-piece Dixieland jazz band lending a festive note to the occasion, the group's executive director, Carolina Spence, praised the city for its partnership in helping make the $8 million building a reality.

"We could never have done it without you," Spence told the council.

The city took a gamble in 2010 by building the shell of the building without the funds to complete it. But Seniors Inc. rallied support of big donors to see the project through.

The largest contributor by far was the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation, which gave $3.5 million toward the effort. The wing is named in honor of the foundation's founder, Evert Person, former publisher of The Press Democrat.

Work on the third phase is expected to begin next week and be completed by the end of September.


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