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By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

June 14, 2017 (La Mesa) – Zentangle ®, or as some call it “doodle art,” a fluffy seal named PARO-a therapeutic robot, and a guitar teacher who also sings in Uto-Aztecan Luiseño--- these are all part of the offerings at San Diego Oasis -Lifelong Adventure.  Oasis held its grand opening at its new location in La Mesa’s Grossmont Center, where these adventures and more are now available to local residents ages 50 and up.

On June 7th, local business leaders and dignitaries came together to celebrate the grand opening of the San Diego Oasis facilities.  The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the East County Chamber of Commerce, Marilyn Mann, founder of Oasis, TV/radio personality and money adviser George Chamberlain, San Diego Oasis President and C.E.O. Simona Valanciute and elected officials contributed well wishes, delivered proclamations, and introduced Oasis’ special brand of classes, exercise, tours, and a social gathering spot to east county.

Marilyn Mann founded Oasis in 1982. It is now represented in 42 cities in addition to locations in San Diego County and now, Grossmont Center.

President and C.E.O.

Simona Valanciute stressed their goals: 1. Stimulate your mind., 2. Stimulate your health. and 3. Stimulate meaningful, social activity.

One such stimulator, or teacher, to the 50 and older population they serve is Dominque De La Rocha, who teaches French and yoga.  She described her yoga class as “low impact” with one goal being “relaxation.”

There are actually two separate spaces in Grossmont Center. One is the Wellness Center, is for exercises such as ballet, yoga, zumba, and classes such as guitar. The other space, the Lifelong Learning Center, is for the multitude of classes that are either free or around $20 or less.   The San Diego Oasis in Grossmont Center is currently open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Guitar teacher Chris Barnes teaches at Oasis but also has sung songs in Luiseño at local missions.  One of his students, Hollie Perretta, who is also an artist, says “I now know twelve chords.”

Oasis’ summer catalogue is 137 pages indexed by location with titles of classes that runs the gamut of Medicare Made Easy, Social Security:  Strategy, to Introduction to Zentangle ®. Locations of classes span the map in San Diego County such as Ramona, Oceanside, North Clairemont, and more.

Day tours and extended tours include a tour of the Deering Banjo Factory, a Mexico spa trip, to steamboat cruises. Destinations include domestic and international jaunts around the world.

The volunteer opportunities for their members range from intergenerational tutors, center volunteers, instructors, and more. Membership forms must be filled out before participating in their wide-ranging subject matter classes, volunteering, and programs.

The wide array of programs, classes, tours, and social opportunities fits perfectly with the phrase they use “Growing old is optional”.  Visit  for more information.

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