Engines will have to wait
Valentin Plancarte looks at a vintage car that caught her eye during the 29th annual Dream Machines festival at Half Moon Bay. Review file photo

COVID-19 has upended another Coastside tradition: Organizers have canceled the 2021 Pacific Coast Dream Machines event that is normally held each spring. The cancelation is another blow to an essential service benefiting dozens of the Coastside’s most vulnerable people.

The event has been an annual fundraiser for the Coastside Adult Day Health Center in Half Moon Bay. It regularly brings dozens of vintage airplanes, classic cars and other machines of many descriptions to the Half Moon Bay Airport. It also was canceled earlier this spring due to coronavirus restrictions.

The event was to have occurred on April 25. Its cancelation is an ominous sign that uncertainty about the months ahead is likely to plague event planners, nonprofits and the local business community well into the new year, regardless of progress on combating the virus.

Organizers said via email “that after careful consideration of on-going COVID conditions plus the significant investment of resources required over many months of planning, and our fiscal responsibilities to the non-profit Coastside Adult Day Health Center, the organizing committee has made the difficult decision to cancel..."

The health center helps to keep people as active and independent as possible as they grow older or face physical or mental challenges. Executive Director Janie Bono-James said the loss of income — about $75,000 annually for a second year in a row — will have an impact.

“All I’m doing is trying to reinvent the program and fundraise,” she said.

The CADHC has been operating with a skeleton staff since the COVID-19 crisis began. Bono-James says there are five staffers now and that she has furloughed about a dozen regular employees.

The program is currently serving about 60 clients through telemedicine, “doorstep visits” and help with things like medicine delivery, Bono-James said. Clients on Medi-Cal contributed through state funding, but private clients and veterans are now getting services for free, she said.

The program perennially faces state cutbacks. Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed eliminating Community-Based Adult Services like the CADHC in Half Moon Bay in his May budget revise. That sparked outrage from disability and healthy aging advocates. Lawmakers ultimately struck a deal in the summer that preserved some funding.

While funding has dried up, the work is in some ways harder than ever, Bono-James said. People are isolated and need the interaction they get from CADHC and all the work is one-on-one rather than in groups at the senior center.

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