Casa de Mañana Offers a Sense of Community by the Ocean

Casa de Mañana opened its doors in 1924 as Hotel Casa de Mañana, and the ‘House of Tomorrow’ continues to fulfill its role as a gracious gathering place. The hotel was the dream of Isabel Morrison Hopkins. One sunny La Jolla day while visiting her mother, the Colorado native stood on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific and envisioned an elegant, luxurious hotel and gathering place harmoniously situated on the edge of the sea. What Mrs. Hopkins would soon create was much more than a hotel — she created a legend.

Social events at Hotel Casa ran the gamut from weddings to banquets to civic and social club luncheons to concerts and poetry readings by noted artists and musicians of the day. In 1953, Hopkins sold the hotel, and soon after Casa de Mañana had a second grand opening as the luxurious retirement community it is today. Many of today’s residents remember attending proms and other social events at the hotel. How about that for living history?

Foundation Associate Philanthropy Officer Jacqueline Smith forged
a bond with Casa residents Linda Shaw and Neva Dyer while
spending time at the community during philanthropy week.

Residents and staff say they feel a real sense of community at Casa de Mañana. It is truly a place where residents and staff care for one another in an environment of independence and mutual respect. “My wife and I have fallen in love with Casa de Mañana,” said one long-time resident. “I’ve never seen a staff more dedicated to making people happy. They really go out of their way to make sure all of our needs are met.”

Philanthropy Week held recently at Casa exemplifies the spirit of giving and connection between residents and staff and galvanizes those connections. “We come together to celebrate philanthropy, but also put it into action through gifts in the moment,” said Keith Church, the Foundation’s philanthropy officer for Casa. Activities during Philanthropy Week are entirely resident-driven and offer something for everyone, from a kick-off concert by resident pianist Leslie Miller to special events like Game Day and Dessert Under the Stars. Resident T.J. Glauthier organized a wine tasting class, and resident Bev Heil coordinated a dog fashion show.

While Philanthropy Week is fun, it inspires significant giving, which is at the heart of its importance to residents. Funds raised from the week support the Circle of Friends resident assistance fund, the Casa Employee Scholarship Funds, and the HEART Fund (emergency financial assistance for staff), according to donor preference. Casa resident Helen Tocco serves on the scholarship committee and made a gift for the first time this year. “I’m really inspired by the philosophy of the scholarship committee, ‘offering a hand up, not a hand out,’” Helen said. “My husband and I were moved to make a gift because we are both educators and believe in giving to those who are trying to better themselves.”

Rich in tradition, Casa de Mañana is a place where older adults enjoy an independent and comfortable way of life, complete with ocean vistas. Casa de Mañana is a treat for the eyes and also a place with a deep spirit of compassion and caring.