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Now and Then – Boys and Girls Club Reminiscing, Part 2

| Community | April 26, 2018

Inspired by testimonials being recorded this year in honor of the Boys & Girls Club 50th anniversary celebration, I have been doing a little of my own reminiscing. I became involved with the club in 1970 when, as study chair for the American Association of University Women, I was researching potential community service projects. My inquiries led me to Larry Margolis and Herb Oberman from the local Department of Social Services.

Larry and Herb had been instrumental in organizing the two-year-old Boys Club of Newhall-Saugus and explained how the fledgling club was launching a new fund-raising strategy that would require the formation of a Women’s Auxiliary. It wasn’t long before I was baking hors d’oeuvres, cutting down palm fronds for luaus at the Valencia Hills pool, and creating bid boards for the newly inaugurated Auction, the brainchild of Boys Club board member Tony Newhall.

Those early days of volunteering for the club were filled with all kinds of pioneering adventures. There were crafting hours spent with some of the youngsters, monthly meetings after a few of us Auxiliary officers became club board members, and treks “over the hill” to seek a permanent source of funding from United Way.

In those early days, there was neither a Newhall nor a Canyon Country Clubhouse; the capital campaigns needed for such enterprises were in the far off future. Instead, superintendents of the various school districts offered some of their school playgrounds and classrooms as sites for the recreational activities. The sites were called Satellites and worked nicely into the spread-out nature of the valley’s residential developments. With no bus system yet inaugurated here, the Satellite Clubhouses offered neighborhood access for many youngsters.

Even after securing United Way support, there was fundraising to pursue and the club’s board members were dedicated to making that chore as fun as possible. None of the events was more entertaining than the annual Auction held the first Saturday in June. Each year, we were charged to come up with creative items to put on the block, as well as a creative theme that could inspire unique ways to decorate the CalArts main gallery.

Decorating at CalArts was often a challenge in itself. We’d frequently have to camouflage some of the more “avant garde” student displays. The focal wall at the head of the flight of stairs leading to the gallery’s upper floor was one of the first things to catch the eye once guests were inside the spacious hall. One year, a rather risqué painting filled that wall. Since it could not be removed while a school-sponsored exhibition was in effect, the decorating committee had to come up with an opaque, yet temporary cover. Under chair Connie Worden-Roberts’ guidance, we were able to conceal it by fashioning a spiral wheel of multi-colored crepe paper.

Crepe paper wasn’t the only décor of choice. When the theme was “Around the World in 80 Days,” the committee was able to acquire a model of a hot air balloon, which was secured to the upper gallery balcony awaiting the cue to “float” down to the gallery floor carrying that year’s auctioneer. The dining room off the gallery also made it possible to create a VIP “Speakeasy” for another year’s “Roaring ‘20s” theme, complete with piano and torch singer.

Of course, the main attraction was the auction itself and that always led to a fun-filled evening of surprises. Besides boasting some of the most velvet-tongued auctioneers (my favorite will always be Jerry Holland), the items themselves often caused quite a stir. Popular offerings included: Dinner in Jail (a gourmet meal prepared and served by the deputies and inmates at the Wayside Honor Rancho, now known as Peter Pitchess Detention Center), a motorcycle donated by actor Steve McQueen, and dinner at the Piru Mansion. One year a local doctor donated a vasectomy, which drew a gallery full of laughs when the winning bidder ended up being a very pregnant young wife.

In 1973, a group that included Jack Clark, Harry Bell, Sam Thompson, Ed Bolden, and Jack Boyer purchased a moonlight cruise around the L.A. Harbor on board a 100-foot yacht called the K’Thanga. Twenty-five people dined, danced, and drank champagne as the yacht left ports of call for a 29-mile cruise. The evening was full of hijinks and good-natured camaraderie, but the guests were a little subdued when they later learned that the K’Thanga was used for dumping cremation ashes and there might well have been some extra-curricular activity going on deck side while the group was “down below” sampling canapés.

Some extremely competitive bidding occurred in 1974 when the Stag Party Cake came up for auction. Social maven and winning bidder, Janet Hughes, handed the organizers a twist when she announced that she wanted a man to pop out of the cake. The occasion was an annual birthday celebration called A Gemini Party. Janet and a few of her friends shared June birthdays and she wanted to make the ’74 celebration one to remember.

It turned out to be “one to remember” for everyone. We had less than a week to find someone with the knockout good looks and body to wow the women. We were down to our last day of searching when a few of us were invited to the Canyon Theatre Guild’s annual awards ceremonies. The star of that year’s “Roshomon” production, professional actor Cal Bartlett, and his wife Sally were on hand for the festivities. One look at Cal and the light bulbs began popping in our heads.

(Cal had been the reason for the sold-out crowds at the play – his role as the Japanese bandit called for the scantiest of costumes – a loincloth (sewn especially for the production by Sally). More than one female fan returned for encore performances.)

The gracious couple accepted the frazzled party planners’ request, and after a brief detour home to find his loincloth, Cal was in the cake ready to make his surprise appearance. And were the matrons at the party thrilled when he jumped out of the cake in a cloud of confetti! Sally good-naturedly stood by as the dreamy-eyed females breathlessly crowded around Cal to have their pictures taken with him. It was truly a most eye-popping auction memory for all those present.

Donations for Military Care Packages to Be Collected

| Community | April 26, 2018

Blue Star Mothers of Santa Clarita are inviting the public to contribute items for care packages to send to men and women serving in the military. The acceptable items are new and unopened: games, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant, hand sanitizer, baby wipes, sunscreen, foot powder, lip balm, instant coffee, single-serve drink mix packages, beef jerky and correspondence items.

The Blue Star Mothers will have a booth at the KHTS Home and Garden Show on April 28-29, where you can bring the donations. You may also donate $5 towards a pocket flag to be placed in the care package. For more information, visit BlueStarMothersofsantaclarita.org.

SCV Young Marines Night at the Races

| Community | April 20, 2018

An upcoming fundraiser is both a night of food and entertainment and a way to benefit an active program for Santa Clarita youth. The community is invited to attend Night at the Races, held on Saturday, May 12 from 4-10 p.m. at Elks Lodge 2379 in Canyon Country.

Proceeds will benefit the Santa Clarita Valley Young Marines, a non-profit with a mission to nurture and develop its members into responsible citizens who enjoy and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle. SCVYM assists numerous organizations throughout the local community, including: Elks, Emblem, Special Olympics, Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, Samuel Dixon Family Health Foundation, Kiwanis Club, veterans’ events, as well as parades and more.

The attendance and participation of community members will help fund the SCVYM program and its training, equipment costs, facility fees, unit, regimental and national encampments, field trips, and much more. Night at the Races will offer guests a barbecue dinner prepared by the famous Elks Barbecue Team and Stacy and Jaime McKenna will run the games where you can “play the ponies” to win prizes. There will be live music provided by the sounds of DJ Al Ewing, while a 50/50 drawing and other opportunities will create winners who take home prizes. Items have been donated by Trader Joe’s, Bonefish Grill, Lazy Dog Restaurant, and there are prizes such as golfing at Sand Canyon Country Club, plus VIP tickets to “The Doctors” television show.

Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379 is located at 17766 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country. Make checks for the dinner and/or donations payable to SCVYM. For tickets, call 661-313-3973 or you can mail your checks to SCVYM, P.O. Box 800412, Santa Clarita, CA 91380-0412.

Topic: How to Excel in Business to Save You Time and Money Part 2

| Community | April 20, 2018

by Warren Schultz

Last week, I started to describe the various things one can do to save time and money using Microsoft Excel. But I only scratched the surface. Here are some more, following the same format of introducing the problem and then the solution:

Excel automates accounts receivables. A large manufacturing company did business with a large multi-store retailer. Each shipment to each store created a receivable invoice. There were thousands of receivable invoices each month. When the stores sent a check, they also sent an electronic report of which invoices they were paying. The manufacturer was then manually allocating the payments to clear the invoices and balance the accounts.

The manufacturer needed to automate allocating and balancing the payments. The solution was to write a routine in Excel that read the customer’s electronic reports and converted the data into a format compatible with the manufacturer’s system. This allowed the payments to be uploaded into the receivables system where they were matched up and cleared automatically. The program also created discrepancy reports of the items that didn’t match, so the company could address problems much quicker.

Excel automates billing processes. A consulting firm required its employees to manually fill out monthly billing reports that went to the billing department, which were then hand-entered into the system. This resulted in a lot of wasted time and paper. Sometimes the consultants forgot to include some information on the report, resulting in incomplete billing for the month, or entries were incorrect. Either way, it resulted in lost revenue.

What was first needed was to create a master report sheet that consultants could fill out electronically while they were at the client›s office or at the end of the day. The report could be e-mailed at any time. The next step was to create an Excel program that combined and re-formatted all the billing reports into a file that could be uploaded directly into the billing system to generate invoices. The Excel programs made it much easier to bill clients and keep monthly reports current. It also prevented errors and saved time by eliminating the manual copying of consultants’ reports into the invoicing system.

Excel synchronizes data and finds errors. An HR department had problems keeping its employees’ insurance reports in sync with the insurance company’s reports because each company used a different data format and data structure. Because of the different formats and structure, the HR staff had to manually reconcile the reports of more than 1,000 employees. The company needed to find a way to automate the reconciliation and eliminate errors.

Excel has a program that matched employees’ names and addresses with their insurance packages, and highlighted inconsistencies between the two reports. The new program was also capable of reading both formats for items like dates and abbreviations. After implementing the new program, all the HR staff had to do was quickly glance at the spreadsheet and deal with the discrepancies or issues indicated by the report combined with the data.

For more information, you can contact web developer contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628.

Assistance League Holds Conference at COC

| Community | April 19, 2018

bu Helen Barlow

Benefiting families; transforming lives. Assistance League members/volunteers work to do this every day. The question is how can we do this better, and have our philanthropic programs serve more people?

On March 23, our members came together for a mini-conference at College of the Canyons. The purpose was to review what we have done since the chapter was formed in 1989, and where we should go in order to achieve our goals. Creative ideas and problem-solving were the shared topics.

Our keynote speaker was Eva Carter. She said that, as we fundraise, it is necessary to seek both financial and moral support from our community. Suzanne Nosworthy, past National Assistance League president, emphasized the importance of strong volunteerism in society. The way volunteerism looks may change through the generations and may be approached differently as society evolves. One thought she shared was, “Ask me to do anything; just don’t pay me.”

A panel discussion composed of representatives of organizations that receive services from our programs, and some community partners who donate so those services are possible, was very insightful and informative. We were assured that our programs are truly benefitting many. A revitalized membership will explore ideas and potential new programs to help the Santa Clarita community meet its changing needs.

Assistance League Santa Clarita is a 100 percent volunteer organization that develops and implements programs to make a difference in the lives of families in our community.

The Assistance League resale store is located at 24364 Main Street in downtown Newhall. For more information visit www.assistanceleaguesantaclarita.org.

Afternoon T

| Community | April 19, 2018

Q: It disturbs me when I hear people use the term “open-minded” to describe what I think is just being wishy-washy and non-committal.

A: Oh, one can certainly see that you’ve a very strong opinion about this matter! Right off the bat, I want you to know that I have tremendous respect for individuals with a solid core belief system. However, I do think it’s best to keep a mental crowbar at the ready when presented with so many of the things that come down the pike of life at us. You see, I’m all for keeping an open mind, especially when it comes to how we treat one another.

Now, when I say, “open mind” I don’t think it should be so open that air circulates through as you make your way in the world. That’s a bit too airy-scary for me. It’s even scarier for the building blocks of society. Having strong convictions about all that you see and hear shows signs of strong character – as long as those convictions have been formed by solid information and experience. It’s not enough to just hear about something or someone. Words that filter through mouths or pens (or computer screens) should not be your only basis for forming an opinion. Not a rigid opinion, at any rate. You need to engage your other senses in order to truly understand what you’re basing your thoughts on. There is a great saying that sums that up in a nutshell: “Don’t judge another until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” Don’t take it literally for our conversation today. It’s not that I want you to squeeze your feet into somebody else’s high heels or high tops. It’s more of a gathering of information, facts and figures before employing your gut instinct. I’ve seen guts. I don’t think that should be your end-all, be-all guide for building principles. The brain? That baby’s got a lot of structure to its information highway. Waaaay better for decision-making.

Feelings and emotions are great, just not the best companions when it comes to forming an opinion. You’d be better served taking a Sherlock Holmes approach to just about any of the opinion-making needed in life. How do you do this? Employ and exercise your critical thinking skills. Collect data and put your analytical observation skills to work. It might even serve you to be a little cool in attitude, for true objectivity. Then? Write it down. Once you put all the gathered information in front of you, step back and take a long look. [No, really. Like two or three pots of tea or a few days’ worth of long.] See if it’s now possible that there are things you didn’t see or consider before. Dig deep down inside of you and imagine the strength and/or frailties of your subject. Give yourself quiet time to think about what your biggest concerns are or were. Then? I’m all for sharing your opinion! Maybe even run for office.
xo – t.

GoFundMe for Family of Cancer Victim

| Community | April 19, 2018

The Grasso family has never been afraid of hard work, faithfully pitching in at Oak Creek Corral in Canyon Country, where they ride horses. But the past few years have taken them down a more difficult trail, as husband to Jodi and father-of-five Craig Grasso has been fighting a battle with cancer.

A storybook artist in film animation and an instructor at CalArts, Craig has been able to work – at least some of the time – but things haven’t been going as well lately.

“This week the doctors told him they are out of options,” said Tracy Boldroff, owner of Oak Creek Corral. “The next step is heavy doses of chemo to see if they can get the levels down enough to do a stem cell transplant. If this does not work they say the cancer will be very aggressive and his time left will be very limited.”

He found out he had multiple myeloma in 2011 during a routine life insurance exam which, unfortunately, precluded him from getting the policy, which is one reason the community is contributing to the family’s finances.

“The out-of-pocket expense for his medication had risen to over $800 per month in the past, which already created stress for the family,” Boldroff said. “(And) the doctors do not want Craig working from this point on.”

Friends of the Grassos set up a GoFundMe account to offset the extreme hardship due to medical bills. Boldroff and Jacqulin Powell-Audish are reaching out to the entire community to meet the goal of $20,000.

“We are trying to raise funds to give to the family for their monthly expenses and for the girls’ activities,” said Boldroff, referring to the Grasso’s three teenage daughters who ride. “The girls are already going through enough and they need their activities to give them some type of peace at this difficult time.”

The horse community can help further by participating in a Fundraiser Ride planned for May 12, 2018. For more information about the Fundraiser Ride, email TracyBoldroff@sbcglobal.net.

To help Craig Grasso and his family, visit
https://www.gofundme.com/theGrassofamily.

Now and Then – The B&G Club: A Few Personal Reflections

| Community | April 19, 2018

Fifty years ago, leaders in the Santa Clarita Valley were looking for some solutions to the recreational void facing its youngest demographic. Affordable housing was causing one of several growth spurts and parks were few and far between the scattered tracts. “Latch key” children and bored youngsters often turned to neighbors’ yards as makeshift baseball fields and bike paths. Sergeant George Pederson from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and Larry Margolis and Herb Oberman from the local Department of Social Services office were called upon to research organizations that could help provide adult supervised recreational activities for the children and teens.

After an exhaustive study, it was deemed that an affiliation with the Boys Clubs of America would be a good first step. For the club’s board of directors, Margolis, Oberman and Pederson sought the support of men with organizational skills like school superintendent Dr. Jim Foster; the business acumen of entrepreneurs like Ed Bolden, Tony Marincola, and Stan Dyer; the energy of young restaurant owner Bill Kohlmeier; the salesmanship of insurance man Jack Boyer; the P.R. skills of Signal publisher Jon Newhall and Newhall Land’s Larry Wade; and, ultimately, the inspiration of Val Verde’s Reverend Sam Dixon.

The board members set up quarters in a vacant church across from Hart Park and adopted the organizational name, Boys Club of Newhall-Saugus. The group discovered that becoming a chartered club of the national agency was the easy part – the challenge would be to raise enough money to eventually build and staff a recreational facility, then keep it running. After a few years of passing the hat at meetings, and securing limited donations from a few corporate businesses, the group determined their fundraising efforts needed a special touch, and that touch could only come from the women in the community.

With the help of The Signal Newspaper editors Ruth and Scott Newhall, a 1970 luncheon was organized at the couple’s Piru Mansion. I was one of 12 community matrons, dressed in our Sunday best, who carpooled to the home to be regaled with food and inspiration. Most of us had never seen the mansion and we were awed by its towering Victorian façade. As we stood at the tall double doors, we fully expected to be greeted by a maid or butler. Were we surprised when a small, white-haired woman, wearing a simple navy shell and matching pants, opened the door and said, “I’m Ruth Newhall, welcome to my home.”

“My God,” I thought, “she’s been out gardening and we’ve arrived way too early!” I tugged self-consciously at my new dress and wished there was an obscure spot where I could toss my color-coordinated hat. The awkwardness quickly vanished as Ruth matter-of-factly led us into the dining room thanking us all for our interest in the Boys Club. She directed us to seats at a large wood-carved table; then, she put us further at ease by asking about husbands, children, hobbies, etc.

Motivated by the fine food and non-stop conversation, the challenge of forming a Women’s Auxiliary of the Newhall-Saugus Boys Club was quickly met and we each returned home with official titles. Old Orchard I resident Jacque Morse was named president and I drew one of the vice president positions dedicated to fundraising.

Our small, but determined group of women became the club’s fundraising front line, decorating and organizing everything from dances and luaus to a Lake Tahoe Casino Night.

In 1971, board director Tony Newhall came up with a unique new way to raise money – an auction that would feature items not easily purchased in local stores. His creative mind thought up experiences inspired by armchair dreams: being a quarterback for a few scrimmages with the College of the Canyons football team, riding in a hot air balloon, having a street named after you, racing a car at the Saugus Speedway, and being an archaeologist for a day (down at the La Brea Tar Pits). L.A. County Supervisor Warren Dorn volunteered a dinner with a lucky bidder.

Tony’s committee was heavily populated with Women’s Auxiliary members who helped garner some of the more practical items like teeth cleanings and free flowers for a month. We also sold tickets and planned the cocktail party that would accompany the auction. My limited artistic ability was put to use drawing posters of the auction items. Held at the biggest venue available at the time, the Fiesta Room at the Ranch House Inn, 300 guests sampled tasty cocktails along with a gourmet assortment of hors d’oeuvres made and served by the women. The highly successful event raised the most money, up until that time, from the community: $4500.

The Auxiliary’s support of the auction and club events (a Santa’s Craft Shop was held in my garage during one Christmas vacation) earned us “a place at the table,” becoming the club’s first female board members. The women’s influence on the board, coupled with a scarcity of organized recreation in the valley, made it inevitable that the club memberships would be expanded to include girls. Although not fully sanctioned by Boys Clubs of America, the umbrella organization didn’t object when our club added the name “girls” to its title – a trend that was later embraced and followed by clubs across the nation.

The early Boys Club auctions became a society scene phenomenon and did more to unite the community than any other affair in town. In its early years, it continued the tradition of offering unique auction block items.

One memorable item featured in the 1973 catalogue was a stag party cake, which I was assigned to make. Because the budget was tight, the hollow, 6-foot creation was fashioned with chicken wire and papier-mache. Decorations included a variety of donated plastic flowers and tapestry trimmings.

The cake was purchased by a woman who wanted it as a surprise for her husband at his 50th birthday party. We were tasked with finding a girl who would be willing to pop out of the cake clad in a scanty bikini and sneaking the cake and the girl into a downstairs room at the back of the house.

On the night of the party, a few of us carried the rather bulky cake around the narrow side yard at the Newhall home with our star performer following close behind draped in a heavy robe. We could hear the laughter and shouts from the partygoers as we cautiously made our way along the stepping-stones between the house and a border of scraggly bushes. At one point a few twigs reached out and snagged the cake trimming. With our progress abruptly halted we began to feverishly pull out twigs and re-stick flowers, all the while whispering nervously, glancing at our watches, and looking to see if any neighbors were watching and wondering what we were up to.

When we finally got back to our stealthy mission, we had turned into a group of giggling teenagers – every misstep and brush with the side of the house sent us into fits of nervous (but hushed) laughter. Eventually, we reached the back of the house and quietly entered through an open sliding glass door. We had barely set up the surprise before the party guests tromped down the stairs singing “Happy Birthday.”

Our harried efforts were rewarded by the ecstatic reactions from the whole crowd when the young bathing beauty popped up at the end of the song. Our elation was tempered later when our young performer showed us a small scratch on her back. A piece of chicken wire had come loose during our trek in the garden and scraped her back as she jumped up through the paper top. The scratch was superficial, but it did lead to a sturdier wooden cake being constructed by a professional carpenter for future auctions.

The Girl in the Cake was a popular auction item, but it was clearly eclipsed in 1974, when a society maven purchased it and asked to have a male pop out. More on that next week.

What is Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine?

| Community | April 19, 2018

by Kathleen Kenneally, L.Ac.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes a holistic approach that treats the whole person, unlike Western medicine, which attempts to separate the disease from the person. The practice of acupuncture and TCM is rooted in ancient Taoist philosophy, which views a person as an energy system in which body and mind are unified, each influencing and balancing the other.

The ancient science and philosophy is based on the idea that Qi (pronounced “chee”), or energy, flows in rhythms throughout the universe. Energetic pathways, known as meridians, conduct Qi throughout the body. Stimulation of points along the meridians triggers endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers, relaxes muscles, increases blood circulation and opens the energetic pathways. This heightens the function of all body systems and increases vitality and well-being. As the body’s energy becomes balanced, it can begin to heal itself, and most conditions can be corrected or improved.

Many things are considered when diagnosing imbalances within the body, including the quality of the pulse. The shape, color and coating of the tongue are examined, as well as the general appearance, personality and attitude of the patient. Ultra-fine, disposable needles are placed at specific points on the meridians and the treatment is virtually painless. The process often produces a heightened sense of well-being and relaxation.

Chinese Medicine is complementary to Western medicine. It is used as an adjunct to prevent illness, diagnose and treat disease, and to improve overall wellness. Acupuncture, acupressure, massage, dietary and lifestyle changes, exercise, relaxation techniques and herbal medicine are the foundation of treatments. These methods are used to reduce pain, increase metabolism, enhance immune system function and increase the potential for self-healing and recovery.

The World Health Organization has determined that acupuncture and Oriental medicine are effective in treating muscle pain, respiratory issues, digestive disorders, headaches, gynecological issues, emotional and psychological issues and many more. If you would like to find out the role of acupuncture, you may contact Kathleen Kenneally, L.Ac., at 661-252-4100 or visit Kenneallyacupuncture.com.

Free Zonta Workshop to Cover Diet, Exercise – RSVP a week in advance for free childcare

| Community | April 12, 2018

Every month, the Zonta Club of SCV hosts a LifeForward Workshop to contribute to the quality of life for local women. This month’s topic centers on physical wellness, including a panel of presenters with expertise in dietary quality and exercise physiology.

Women will learn to better manage their health through the LifeForward Workshop on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The free women’s workshop, hosted by the Zonta Club, will take place at Savia Community Center, 23780 Newhall Avenue in Newhall. The workshop will be a panel presentation dealing with healthy eating, becoming fit, and the fun of exercise to music.

Presenters will be McKenzie Hall Jones, a registered dietician nutritionist; Rich Enriquez, a fitness movement specialist; and Michelle Jones, certified Zumba instructor. Hall Jones is with the firm Wild Hive, a company specializing in agriculture, food and lifestyle marketing. Enriquez maintains a private studio available for the Fit ‘N Run personal training program, and Jones is a Zumba instructor with 24 Hour Fitness.
The workshop will help participants understand how fitness promotes vitality, introduces exercises that participants can do at home, and teaches participants how to move muscles and have fun through dance and music. Presenters also will explain how to keep the body fueled properly, describe what foods help maintain heart and diabetic health, teach how to prepare delicious, heart-healthy and diabetic food, and allow participants to enjoy food and socialize.

Participants are not required to register in advance, but free childcare is available through Single Mothers Outreach for women who register at least one week in advance at (661) 288-0117 or online at www.singlemothersoutreach.org. Spanish translation also can be provided with advance request. The topic is expected to be a critical one for women who are concerned about health and eating right.

Previous workshops in the series have helped women select career options and pursue meaningful employment, work on goal-setting and time management, deal with anger management, set budgets, deal with drug and cyber bullying issues, establish a career path and get a job, understand and file taxes, and go after financial support after a divorce. Workshops are designed to help participants believe in their unlimited power and potential, build the skills necessary to succeed, and be the powerful women they are meant to be!

Zonta offers the free LifeForward workshops, usually on a monthly basis (although the series is dark during July and December), in collaboration with Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center, Returning Women Veterans and Veterans’ Wives, and the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services serving foster mothers.

Workshops are organized by topics in which women express interest. A schedule of upcoming workshops is posted on www.scvzonta.org for women who are interested in a particular topic. Pre-registration is not required for those who simply wish to attend a workshop, but those who wish to hold a space for the more popular workshops, arrange for childcare or obtain further information on the upcoming workshop, can call (661) 288-0117.

How to Excel in Business to Save You Time and Money

| Community | April 12, 2018

by Warren Schultz

Microsoft Excel is one of the most underused tools business professionals have at their fingertips. If they would just take advantage of Excel’s benefits, they would have more free time to do what they want. People who use Excel save more time and money and gain a competitive edge on their competition.

It is so versatile that it can be tweaked to work with almost any project. It can be used for things as simple as a calculator to something as complex as a full accounting system.

Some of the things Excel can be used for to save you time and money are:

Merging Lists from Different Sources into A Single Spreadsheet. 

A retail call-center manager needed to monitor employee phone usage and determine if any staff was abusing phone privileges. The manager needed to combine the lists of inbound and outbound calls that he had with the customer phone number information from corporate headquarters. The manager needed to find a faster way to merge the data than manually inputting the information.

TAP Solutions created a spreadsheet using an Excel macro that combined the two sources of information and compared the data. Phone numbers that didn’t match up with the customer list were separated out to determine if the employees were abusing their phone privileges. The new spreadsheet also enabled the manager to see the phone activity in each division. This information allowed the company to balance the call load throughout the call center and saved them overtime costs.

Converting PDF Files Into Excel. 

A manufacturer received client orders in large PDF documents. The company had to print them out, then manually enter the information into the system. The manual process required many hours and contained numerous errors.

Under the new TAP Solutions system, the PDF files were converted into text files that could be read by Excel and turned into spreadsheets. The Excel format enabled the company to directly upload the orders into their processing system. The company could also then analyze the data and import and export the information as needed. Eliminating the manual data entry step resulted in much faster, more accurate order processing.

For more information, contact Warren Schultz at warren@tapsolutions.net or call him at 818-281-7628.

Now and Then

| Community | April 12, 2018

Between 2010 and January 2017, multiple authorities in Florida’s Broward and Palm Beach counties received numerous reports of violence and erratic behavior involving one particular young man. A few of the accounts, as reported in various media outlets, included:

  • Deputies called to the subject’s home 40 times. The frantic calls involve acts of “juvenile disturbance, domestic disturbance, and child/elder abuse.” (No arrests made)
  • Belligerent teen is expelled for bringing weapons to school, but no arrest is made.
  • In 2016 the sheriff’s office is informed that the emotionally unstable young man plans to shoot up his high school. Sheriffs determine the subject has knives and a BB gun and send the information to the school resources officer. (No apparent follow through taken by law enforcement)
  • A fight involving the young man triggers a referral to Florida Social Services. An official investigation determines the subject’s “final level of risk is low,” even though he has exhibited frequent behavior outbursts and states he is planning to buy a gun. The investigation is closed in Nov. 2016 just months before he buys an AR-15 assault-style rifle.
  • An alleged student assault in January 2017 elicits a school-based threat from the teen. An assessment is made, but there is no police involvement.
  • The subject takes pictures cutting himself and posts on social media.
  • A 911 call in 2017 informs dispatchers that the subject threatened his brother with a shotgun. Deputies are called to the home three times in November. There is no apparent follow up.
    FBI gets a call from a person close to the subject who voices concerns about “his gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing media posts, as well as his potential to conduct a school shooting.” (FBI does not act on the call.)

Over a seven-year period these and other threatening incidents fail to alert school officials, law enforcement, social services, and the FBI to a potential deadly outburst, and on February 14, 2018, the “troubled young man” picks up his AR-15 rifle, goes to his former high school, and begins a shooting rampage that kills 14 students and 3 adults, and wounds countless others.

Can we prevent a scenario like this from happening here in the Santa Clarita Valley?

That question was posed at a recent community meeting featuring guest speaker Larry Schallert, assistant director of the Student Health & Wellness/Mental Health Program at College of the Canyons. Schallert, who had been outlining the various student crisis response protocols at COC, responded that it was difficult to make generalizations when dealing with any threatening behaviors, whether to one’s self or to others, but it is vital to facilitate and maintain open lines of communication between all the community’s pertinent crisis agencies.

Schallert went on to explain that an organization was created six years ago to bring our valley’s law enforcement members, mental health providers, school officials, and residents together on a monthly basis to review current mental health issues and brainstorm possible ways of responding to various crises. The SCV Committee on Suicide Prevention, Postvention, and Wellness Committee acts on the precept that awareness is the first step in preventative action – and it must be funneled into information sharing, pooled resources, and group training.

Likewise, an informed citizenry is invaluable in spotting dangerous behaviors. That goes beyond the familiar motto of “See Something, Say Something, Do Something.” Schallert challenged his audience to alter the way they view mental illness.

“We are trying to take the stigma away from the words ‘mental illness’ and ‘counseling’ so families with problems don’t shy away from seeking the treatment they need,” Schallert said. “We want people to understand how important ‘language’ is to determining negative perceptions. Most of all, we want to emphasize that people can recover from mental illness. Depression and its related manifestations can strike anyone, any time, but their impact depends on the level of degree and the number of coping mechanisms available to the individual. We hope this understanding will encourage family members and friends to become more proactive and seek professional help when dealing with a troubled person.”

As a licensed clinical social worker, Schallert has more than 30 years of experience working with community mental health agencies, public schools, and educational advocacy. His position at College of the Canyons provides him access to many of the community organizations dealing with the study and treatment of dysfunctional behaviors. That includes membership in committees like the SCV Ad Hoc Committee on Human Trafficking, the COC Behavioral Intervention Team, and the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Transition Aged Youth Issues.

Larry believes that the social service resources in our community and the cooperation being developed between agencies help to give valuable insight into the assessment of erratic behaviors sparked by mental illness. Out of this valley-wide collaboration has come a list of warning signs in determining a risk for suicidal or harmful behaviors. The list includes:

  • talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself
  • looking for a way to kill oneself, such as searching online or buying a gun
  • talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • displaying extreme mood swings

If an individual’s conduct is clearly and immediately reckless, disorderly, dangerous, or threatening (including self-harm behavior), the recommended response is to call 911; if the person shows signs of distress, but it is unclear how serious it is, there are a number of resources to contact including the Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK, Santa Clarita Helpline, 661-259-HELP, Santa Clarita Valley Mental Health, 661-288-4800, and the SCV Child and Family Center, 259-9439.

There may be no simple solution to preventing a tragedy like the one that occurred in Florida, but it was clear from Schallert’s talk that there are professionals and community leaders in the Santa Clarita Valley who are taking proactive steps in recognizing possible threats and working diligently to develop positive ways of responding to the dangers.

MLK Niece to Speak at SCV Prayer Breakfast

| Community | April 12, 2018

For 14 years the Santa Clarita Valley has participated in the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast to recognize the National Day of Prayer, which began more than 60 years ago in Washington, D.C. This year, hundreds will gather at Kelly’s Wedding Garden in Santa Clarita on Thursday, May 3, 2018 from 7-8:30 a.m. to hear Dr. Alveda C. King, niece of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of the National Day of Prayer, communities gather to pray for the people in authority, as leaders are confronted with numerous issues, from traffic impact to racial tension, and are charged with making long-lasting decisions that impact citizens for generations. The philosophy behind the event is that leaders need wisdom and guidance in making the right decisions on a daily basis.

Alveda King, the keynote speaker, currently serves as a pastoral associate and director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, the African American outreach for Priests for Life. She sees the pro-life movement as a continuation of the civil rights struggle and is a voice for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, sharing her testimony of two abortions, God’s forgiveness, and healing.

The daughter of the late civil rights activist Rev. A.D. King and his wife Naomi Barber King, Alveda grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Her family home in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Kentucky. Alveda was jailed during the open housing movement. Dr. King is a former college professor and served in the Georgia State House of Representatives. She is a bestselling author of books including “How Can the Dream Survive if we Murder the Children?” and “I Don’t Want Your Man, I Want My Own.” She is also an actress and songwriter. The founder of King for America, Inc., Alveda is the recipient of a doctorate of laws degree from Saint Anselm College. Dr. King lives in Atlanta, where she is the “grateful mother of six and a doting grandmother.”

Registration and check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. and the event starts at 7 a.m. Breakfast will be served with a backdrop of patriotic music. If you would like to attend and ticket prices are an issue, contact The Diako Group, a non-profit working to help young people become community leaders. Visit http://www.alvedaking.com/alveda-king.

Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite.com.

How Do You Show Up in Your Life?

| Community | April 7, 2018

It’s no longer possible to achieve great success in any area of your life by simply doing what is required of you and putting in your time. We are now 18 years into the new millennium and you must “show up” in order to stand out from the crowd. The question is … how do you show up in your life? It all comes down to perfecting your skills and making the commitment to regularly excel in these four areas:

Time management
Productivity
Work ethic
Communication

First, make a list of the areas of your life you wish to work on and improve. These could be ones of a more general nature, such as family and relationships, career, finances, community involvement, or more specific ones that might include reconnecting with a teenage child, returning to college for an advanced degree, paying off consumer debt, or volunteering with your church or a non-profit. I recommend choosing one or two as your initial focus and writing them down in your journal or planner.

Before we can take on any new project or venture we must manage our time in order to succeed with our predetermined goal. If that goal is to deepen your relationship with your spouse, sit down with him or her and plan some activities you both will enjoy. Perhaps you will see a movie or play once each month, overnight somewhere within two hours from home, volunteer together one Saturday morning each month, and spend a half hour after dinner five times a week going for a walk where each of you can discuss your day. For these action items to become a reality this time must be set aside and the two of you must commit to making that happen.

Sticking with this goal, each of you may also need to become more productive with your work, with other family obligations, and with your attitude toward finding ongoing activities for each of you to enjoy and share with your partner. Simply going online to see which films are showing that weekend or calling the same restaurant to make sure they have tables available is not enough. Show up and see what is possible!

I’ve written about work ethic in the past, and even have a bestselling book on the topic, published in 2017. Having a strong work ethic does not refer only to our work, career, or business. To truly show up in your life, your work ethic must overflow into everything you do. Perhaps you’ll make a reservation at your spouse’s favorite restaurant in honor of his/her birthday, and pick up a special gift. And stopping in to the restaurant in advance to ask for a specific table and waiter may be the added touch that makes the event a complete success.

Communication is the beginning of all high-level performance, so you must adequately communicate with everyone involved with your goal for it to succeed. Then go above and beyond – speak personally with your spouse to make sure you are in agreement with what you have planned, communicate with the restaurant and other people and businesses that are a part of your plan, and follow up with everyone as the date gets closer. And don’t forget to thank them for their help.

Going above and beyond the status quo takes you to the level of being world class and a high performer. We have all known someone who shows up regularly in this way or have at least read about this concept in a book or seen it in a movie. This can become your reality if you are willing to do the work with time management, productivity, work ethic, and communication every single day. I encourage you to give this way of living a positive effort and then report back to me about your results and with any questions you may have. Show up for yourself and for others and your life will be changed forever.

Connie Ragen Green lives in Saugus and has been working exclusively on the internet since 2006. Living the Mentored Life is her sixteenth book and will be released by Hunter’s Moon Publishing during April of 2018. All of Connie’s titles are available in paperback at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, at your local bookstore, and also for Kindle. Find out more by visiting https://HugeProfitsTinyList.com and download an audio recording for 2018 at http://NewRulesforOnlineMarketing.com.

Questions? Email Connie at crgreencrgreen@yahoo.com and be sure to put Home Business Question in the subject line. Your question and answer will be included in a future article.

Annual Artists Association Festival

| Community | April 6, 2018

There is one day each year when art aficionados can explore the work of local artists while tasting the food at Zagat-rated restaurant Le Chene French Cuisine. This year the 6th Annual Spring Art Festival and Sale sponsored by the Santa Clarita Artists Association, will be held on Sunday, April 29, 2018 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The one-day event is free to the public and will include approximately 45 SCAA artists showing various art mediums in the garden level of the restaurant. Art demonstrations are included in the festival, with all pieces available for purchase. Proceeds to SCAA will go to benefit the group’s high school art scholarship program and other public art activities. An elegant brunch or lunch may be purchased at the restaurant during this show. Reservations for the restaurant are recommended at 661-251-4315.

Le Chene French Cuisine is located at 12624 Sierra Highway in Agua Dulce. For SCAA festival inquiries, call 661-252-7639 or visit Santaclaritaartists.org.

New Event to Benefit WiSH Education Foundation

| Community, Entertainment | April 6, 2018

Wine on the Roof … Dine on the Roof is a new fundraiser from the group responsible for the popular Cocktails on the Roof, an annual event in the community that benefits the non-profit WiSH Education Foundation.

The new event will be held Thursday, May 17, 2018 and planners are tapping local winemakers to provide beverages, and bringing together chefs and restaurants for food. Held on the rooftop of Macy’s parking garage at Westfield Valencia Town Center from 7 to 9 p.m., guests will enjoy ambient lighting, music, photo opportunities and more.

Winemaker Steve Lemley of SCV Custom Crush Services is a co-host of Wine on the Roof. He will curate the wines from his local facility, where he houses the products from more than 20 different wineries. Most of those shared that evening will be making their debut. Some of the winemakers will be seated throughout the venue to allow for knowledgeable discourse.

Wine on the Roof … Dine on the Roof has a distinctive layout to allow for camaraderie and conversation and you will be treated to a multi-course dinner. Because this is seated dining, a limited number of tickets are available. Ticket pricing is set at $125 per person or 2 for $200. After April 15, ticket pricing will be $150 per person or 2 for $275. More information is available and tickets can be purchased at www.WiSHscv.org.

Some of the experts creating food for Dine on the Roof fare include Chef Daniel Otto, who is opening a new restaurant in the near future; Chef Lucio Teraza of Olive Terrace Bar and Grill; Chef Ignacio “Nacho” Munoz and Pastry Chef Kristina Waggoner of Salt Creek Grille; Chef Louis Pechan of Hundred Miles LA; the Culinary Team at Bonefish Grill; Chef Trevor of the Newhall Press Room; Chef Martin De La Cruz of Wolf Creek Restaurant and Brewing Company; the baristas of Honu Coffee; the sweet makers from Nothing Bundt Cakes; and the Beams of Sweat Beams Ice Cream.

The evening will begin with appetizers, followed by bread from the Speakeasy Bakery, main courses, and desserts, all with wines from Pulchella Winery. Santa Clarita winemakers at press time include Steve Lemley, Nate Hasper, Mark Blatty, Scott Page-Pagter, Doug Minnick, Ted Behlendorf and Dan Erland Andersen.

For information and tickets, visit http://wisheducationfoundation.org/wine-under-the-stars/.

The Facebook event page has updated info and has a very interactive “discussion” tab: https://www.facebook.com/events/533629337011873/.

There are many ways to support the WiSH Education Foundation. If you would like to be associated with this inaugural event, contact Executive Director Amy Daniels at wish@hartdistrict.org for current sponsorship opportunities.

Have a Good Hair Day Everyday

| Community | April 5, 2018

Many people are dissatisfied with the appearance of their hair. In some cases, this might be because they are experiencing hair loss, slow-growing hair, dry, brittle, or otherwise poor quality hair, and prematurely graying hair. Although the use of shampoos, conditioners and hair “tonics” of various sorts are common approaches to these problems, the internal use of certain nutrients support the appearance of healthy and beautiful hair.

Hair is the fastest growing tissue in the human body: The average rate of growth is about one-half inch a month. Optimal hair growth occurs from age 15 to 30, slows down from age 40 to 50, and is progressively lost by about age 50. Most men lose hair to some degree by age 35 and are more likely to lose their hair than are women.

Here’s just a few of the many nutrients which may have benefit for promoting healthy hair. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and protects both the cells found within follicles and cells in nearby blood vessels and helps produce and maintain healthy collagen.

Increased levels of thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin, and pantothenic acid can contribute to the nourishment of hair-follicle cells. Folic acid is essential for the maintenance of healthy methionine levels in the body. Biotin is required for a number of enzymatic reactions within the body, and is necessary for the proper metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Zinc is essential for DNA and RNA production which, in turn, leads to normal follicle-cell division. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) has been used to stimulate hair growth and reduce graying of hair that is associated with nutrient deficiency and/or stress.

Viva Vitamins HAIR contains all the nutrients mentioned and in the highest doses. To learn more, go to Youtube, type Viva Vitamins and look for the video on hair.

Bernard Kash for Earth Wise Nutrition Centers, located at Granary Square since 1987; 25908 Mc Bean Parkway. Call 661-255-2928 or BuyEarthWise.com or VivaVitamins.com.

Video Contest for Local Teens

| Community, Entertainment | April 5, 2018

‘Heads Up!’ Winnings Total $10,000 in Prizes

The issue of reckless driving is on the front burner for local teenagers and concerned adults. Because of the numbers of injuries and fatal accidents due to distraction, the City of Santa Clarita is inviting local young people to create compelling, informative videos about the subject. The contest is only open to William S. Hart Union School District middle and high school students.

The “Heads Up! Teen Video Contest” is open to submissions until April 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Videos should be 30-60 seconds and highlight the importance of distraction-free, safe teen driving. The top three most creative and engaging, teen-produced public service announcement (PSA) videos will win a share of $10,000 in prizes for video and audio equipment. In addition, the first place video will be shown on the big screen in local movie theaters.

The top three selections will win B&H gift cards for the purchase of audio and visual equipment. The first place winner will receive a $5,000 gift card and will have the video shown in movie theaters throughout Santa Clarita for five weeks (a $2,500 value). Second place will be awarded a $2,000 gift card, and third place will receive a $500 gift card. Entries may be submitted by an individual or a team. Winners will be announced on May 18, 2018.

This contest is part of the “Heads Up” campaign, led by the City of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station. The goal of the campaign is to combat unsafe behaviors in drivers and pedestrians.

For more information about the “Heads Up! Teen Video Contest,” such as official rules and how to apply, visit santa-clarita.com/HeadsUpContest or contact Nick Robles at nrobles@santa-clarita.com or (661) 255-4306.

Afternoon T

| Community | April 5, 2018

Q: A couple of years ago, I got a divorce and now I live my life by one motto: YOLO. I’ve been told (not that I care) that I’m being immature.

A: This isn’t “Jeopardy,” I’m not Alex Trebek, and you’re not required to present things here in the form of a question … but, that big Q before your statement means you’re seeking an answer of some kind. So, settle in with a mug of something you enjoy, my friend. I’ve steeped on this matter for quite some time and I’m happy to serve up a response. I promise, as always, it will be strong, but not bitter.

YOLO. You Only Live Once. It’s a motto akin to Nike’s Just Do It, which has a solid athletic, healthy lifestyle mission statement behind the slogan. It is an advertising phrase likely crafted by folks in serious business suits with marketing degrees. Just Do It is a platitude with a mighty hefty pedigree behind it. There may even be lawyers who make sure irrational decisions based on the corporation’s tagline have little to no ramifications for the company. I do not believe YOLO has such a solid back-up system in place.

There’s a crunchy old pile of words that I’m fond of, that basically gives the advice of not foolishly building a “house on the sand.” There’s great depth to the parable, but the bottom line is that one needs to have a solid foundation underneath them, in the place where they live. In all things in life, you must have a solid foundation. Before you base everything on YOLO, run down your checklist of what your core is made of, to make sure you’re starting from a rock-solid place. Now, depending on who you ask, there are at least 10-15 traits that make up a good foundation of a human being. Not to overwhelm you, we’re just going to start with 10. To establish if we’re working on bedrock, we ask if we are:

Honest
Loyal
Reliable
Intelligent
Kind
Generous
Disciplined
Courageous
Empathetic
Responsible

If we get to the bottom and find we’re solid (please note that honesty started the list. Objectivity is key to moving forward with this experiment), then we can definitely begin to think about embracing the YOLO of it all. Truly living life as though it’s the only one you get isn’t a bad idea … especially if it means you walk a walk and talk a talk that elevates the value of the gift you’ve been given. Seriously, of all the things you get here on this big blue marble that we currently call home: Heartbeats are one of THE most precious presents ever. [The human body has about a dozen important organ systems, ask any physician – they’ll tell you the heart ranks near the top.] You’re given approximately 2.5 billion heartbeats in your lifetime. If that’s all you get, then use them well. YOLO away.

xo – t.

Local Blood and Bone Marrow Drive

| Community | April 5, 2018

The City of Santa Clarita will partner with the American Red Cross and City of Hope to offer residents the opportunity to save lives. The community is invited to donate blood or sign up to be an available bone marrow donor on Thursday, April 12, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds an individual needs a unit of blood. Donations are a constant need, and one donation can save up to three lives.

Every three minutes, someone is diagnosed with a blood cancer, which may be treated through a bone marrow transplant. At the blood drive you may also register to be an available bone marrow donor. You simply need to add your tissue type to the Be The Match Registry. Eligible donors must be 18 to 44 years old and in good health. The registration process takes less than 10 minutes and no blood work is involved. All that’s needed is a saliva swab from the donor’s mouth. Register for free in person at the event, or online at: join.bethematch.org/dogood2018.
The blood drive and bone marrow donor registration will take place in the Century Room at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Boulevard in Santa Clarita.

Residents interested in signing up to donate blood at the Community Blood Drive can do so at redcrossblood.org using sponsor code “cityofsantaclarita.” On donation day, participants can go directly to the Century Room on the first floor for evaluation to ensure they are eligible to donate. You can save time on donation day by using RapidPass, which allows you to start the process before getting to the donation site, saving you approximately 15 minutes. Visit redcrossblood.org/rapidpass for more information. All participants must have a valid ID to donate.

For more information about the event, contact Amanda Santos at (661) 255-4923 or asantos@santa-clarita.com.

Triumph Foundation to Host 7th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival

| Community | April 5, 2018

The public is invited to attend an upcoming sporting event including 10 recreational activities for individuals with disabilities. Triumph Foundation will host the 7th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival on April 28-29, 2018 at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex where paralympic athletes will engage in friendly competition through adaptive sporting events.

The sports include: wheelchair hockey, basketball, quad rugby (aka murderball), racquetball, baseball, hand cycling, SCUBA, curling, track & field, wheelchair skating (WCMX), and a wheelchair rodeo race. Additionally, a Resource Fair featuring informational booths and local vendors will be open throughout the festival.

The non-profit Triumph Foundation, dedicated to improving the lives of people living with disabilities, hosts the annual free event to introduce people who are newly injured, veterans, children, and others with disabilities to wheelchair sports. The festival also provides learning opportunities to the general public by showcasing people living with physical impairment in a way that members of the community do not often see. Participants come together regardless of abilities – able-bodied and disabled alike – to take part in a weekend of free activities and games.

The Wheelchair Sports Festival is part of the Paralympic Gateway to Gold, a talent identification program that introduces Paralympic-eligible athletes to sports, acts as a pipeline to competition, and is often the first step toward the podium representing the U.S. Paralympic Team.

“This is Triumph’s major event of the year giving people with disabilities a chance to push the limits of their ability, play games with friends and family on a level playing ground, and enhances their quality of life through the benefit of exercise, sports and fitness,” said Triumph Foundation Founder Andrew Skinner, who suffered a spinal cord injury in November 2004 in a snowboarding accident and founded the organization in 2008. “People travel from all over California to attend this event and we are excited with the anticipation of over 1,000 people to participate this year.”

Triumph Foundation is also seeking community partners to help keep the event free and open to all. To become Event Sponsors and Exhibitors in the Resource Fair, visit www.Triumph-Foundation.org/WSFsponsorship or email info@trimuphfoundation.org.

Non-Profit of the Week – Single Mothers Outreach

| Community, Entertainment, SC Living | April 5, 2018

Single Mothers Outreach (SMO) is a non-profit organization based in Santa Clarita which serves struggling, single mothers living in the area. SMO provides several programs and services to help mothers get back on their feet financially and emotionally. Services and programs include case management, donations, holiday programs, workshops, therapy, clothing, Financial Peace University, workforce development and much more.

Single Mothers Outreach was founded in 1995 by a divorcee who sought to find women like her in need of a support group. As SMO continued to grow, it eventually acquired its 501(c)(3) non-profit status and opened its storefront office in Canyon Country in 2002. After serving mainly as a crisis organization, the board of directors shifted the organization by focusing on providing such programs and services to ultimately empower moms to rise above their difficult circumstances.

The organization’s mission is to “empower single parents and their children by providing hope, support, and resources so families can become self-sustaining and thrive.” SMO seeks to ensure that members are able to become established and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Today, SMO is located at the Savia Community Building owned by Real Life Church. In addition, in 2013, SMO opened Closet on Main to assist in raising funds for the organization. Closet on Main is a high-end, secondhand boutique where all the proceeds go toward providing funds for families who are in desperate need of a helping hand. Many mothers have been physically and emotionally abused and SMO is a place of hope and support for them. This organization seeks to provide a sense of hope and love for families.

Make-a-Mother’s Day
Each year Single Mothers Outreach celebrates members on Mother’s Day, as many of these moms have no one to honor them or celebrate with them. SMO provides a morning full of games and activities, brunch and gifts. SMO hopes to make this day a special one to make members feel loved and appreciated for their selfless work. This year’s Make-a-Mother’s Day will take place on May 5, 2018.

Hero of the Week  – Single Mothers Outreach Client, Jenn

I moved to Santa Clarita about a year and a half ago, after I had been in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship that ended when I realized my ex had committed a crime against a child. I stood up for the teen in my community and began the divorce proceedings. After four years of fighting against his plans to keep us trapped and homeless, we were able to break free from that cycle. We were free and decided to have a fresh start in California.

I was told about Single Mothers Outreach (SMO) from a single mom I met and I am so blessed and thankful for finding her. We had no belongings when we moved, as we had lost our home and many other things – we only had what we could fit in our car. I have three children, so you can imagine, not a lot fits in a vehicle with four people; however, it did bring our family closer.

We finally found a home and started receiving assistance from SMO. We receive clothing vouchers to shop at Closet on Main, which helps cut down on the expense of clothes and shoes. We were also part of the Adopt-a-Family holiday program this past Christmas and my girls and I were so pleasantly surprised with all of the gifts we received, it truly made the holidays so much nicer. SMO also spends a day blessing single moms with a Mother’s Day brunch (see Make-a-Mother’s Day above), which is amazing. We also get to participate in donation days where we receive items to use for home and school, including backpacks and school supplies.

The volunteers at SMO are fabulous and very kind anytime you have a question or need help. I love to see the emails when there are items that are given to moms in need to help their struggling families – including furniture and diapers. This organization is such a great inspiration and blessing for so many and I am very proud to say that they are the best thing that has happened to my family after the horrific experience we had to endure. I am currently taking Financial Peace University classes and it has changed my whole life. My daughter took it as well, and she is on the road to saving and giving back to the community. Thank you SMO for all you do for so many.

Women of the Blues to Benefit Single Mothers Outreach

The Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society will host a spring festival on May 12, 2018 as a pre-Mother’s Day fundraiser to benefit the Blues Society and Single Mothers Outreach. Several artists are slated to entertain the community at “Women of the Blues” held at Wolf Creek Brewery, located at 25108 Rye Canyon Loop in Santa Clarita. The Santa Clarita Gazette is a media sponsor for the concert.

Performers include Truth Jones, Kelly’s Lot, Bridgette Rios Purdy, Laurie Morvan Band and Teresa James. The concert begins at 3:30 p.m. Tickets for members of the Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society cost $15 and $20 for the general public. Tickets purchased at the gate cost $25. For more information about the Women of the Blues event, visit SCVBlues.com.

Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival Early Bird Prices End April 6

| Community, Entertainment | April 5, 2018

Tickets are still available at early bird pricing through April 6 for the Sierra Pelona Valley Wine Festival to be held Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 12-4 p.m. VIP ticketholders may enter at 11 a.m.

The annual event is expected to draw more than 1,000 visitors to sample wine and food, while meeting vendors with handmade crafts and wine related items. Attendees will hear live music and receive giveaways such as a gift bag and a specialty event glass.

The festival will be held at Reyes Winery in Agua Dulce, located at 10262 Sierra Highway.

Proceeds benefit Zonta Club of SCV. Sponsors include: The Santa Clarita Gazette, Mercedes Benz of Valencia, California Bank & Trust, SCV Advanced Audiology, Pepsi Co., Anheuser Busch, Reyes Winery, Christine Sexton of Realty Executives, Jorja Harris of Farmers Insurance Agency, Russ & Barbara Cochran, Charles Wine Co., KHTS Radio and The Santa Clarita Signal.

Pre-paid tickets cost (general/VIP): $75/$100 through April 6 and $85/$110 if purchased between April 7 and April 21. For more information and tickets, visit SierraPelonaVintners.com.

April Fools!

| Community | April 1, 2018

A Sampling of Our April Fools articles this year:

Interns Wanted to Educate Bob Kellar about Reefer

Due to the recent legalization of marijuana in the state of California, the city is searching for young, street-wise interns to explain how marijuana works to Bob Kellar.

The city will be conducting a series of interviews in order to find the right candidate – preferably someone with enough patience and willpower to sit through hours of “back in my day…” and unwarranted real estate advice. Candidates are expected to know the difference between household spices and marijuana, and successfully list the distinct differences to the senior councilmember.

“With this project, the city hopes to end Kellar’s night terrors concerning the state of “dope in Santa Clarita,” said a city spokesperson. “Hopefully we will live to see a day when Bob ceases to break into the office at night (in just a robe), grab his trusty baseball bat and hunt for skateboarders who are out past curfew.”

Official Finds Funds in Fax
Comes Across Cash During Interview

After months of controversy over missing funds, a local public official from a former Santa Clarita non-profit made a surprising discovery.

Copies of alleged “missing” checks were found while he was disposing of the office’s beloved fax machine. “I guess we just haven’t been using the fax since we switched to digital,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous. “What a hilarious, inconvenient misunderstanding.”

The official breathed a sigh of relief, finished laughing, and reached for a handkerchief from his back pocket to wipe the sweat from his forehead. It led to another discovery: an envelope with $5,009.98 in cash intended for a credit card dispute.

“I, uh … I guess I forgot to check these pants. Yikes.”

City Decides Not To Tear Down Historic Building

Last week, the City of Santa Clarita was ready to tear down the two-story building on Soledad and Sierra Highway in order to make room for a new Canyon Country Community Center – that is, until a resident reminded everyone of its historical significance.

After a City Council photo op and a swing of a tractor arm into the second story window, a frantic man emerged from the crowd. Out of breath after running from Jake’s Way, he began to give a speech.

“What are we doing here?! Can’t you see that this building represents the classic Canyon Country aesthetic™? Who are we without off-white brick, tattoo parlors and a Boost Mobile? SAUGUS?!”

Music began to play, and the crowd was in tears. Councilmember Laurene Weste slowly took off her hard hat and placed it over her heart.

“In all my years of tearing down small businesses and building less profitable ones, I have never seen such a display,” said one councilmember. “Board up the hole.”

 

 

California Shopping Bag Ban Saves the Day

By Thomas Jefferson X
Contributor

I just read an article titled, “California shopping bag ban saves the day.” The article stated that a man went into the local Walmart and proceeded to put numerous DVDs, video games and other electronics into his shopping cart. He then proceeded to the checkout stand. The clerk rang up his items; they totaled $935. He then simply took his three bags of items and walked out without paying for them.

The store manager called the police. The police officer told the manager that they no longer come out for any incident totaling under $950, nor will they investigate, but they will take a report for the theft. The store manager could not believe what he was hearing: “How can the police not come out and arrest a shoplifter for stealing $935 worth of stuff? We have video surveillance of the thief stealing the merchandise. We have a very clear picture of what he looks like. We even have video of his car and license plate. What more do they need?”

It was only when the manager mentioned to the police officer, “He walked out with three bags of merchandise” that the police officer sprang into action. “Was that three recyclable bags that he brought in with him, or was that three bags from your store?” “It was 3 bags from the store.” “Did he pay the 30 cents for those bags?” “No, he just stole those too!” According to SB270, this is a class 1 felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine per bag and up to two years in prison per bag. Immediately, the police investigated this heinous crime. A SWAT team was sent to the man’s apartment and he was arrested without incident.

Sheriff Pyle credits the shopping bag ban for the arrest. He was quoted as saying, “We do not pursue or investigate shoplifting crimes under $950. Anything under $950 is a misdemeanor and we simply do not have the manpower/womanpower to investigate such crimes. Had the shopping bag ban not been in effect, he would have gotten away with his crime. How dare he try to steal plastic shopping bags! He was probably going to toss them into a trash can. Those plastic bags are supposed to be used up to 125 times, not just one use. What in the world was he thinking? Yeah, he got what he deserved! He should have paid the 30 cents.”

No, the story above is not true. I made it up to prove a point. Is this what California has come to? We no longer pursue shoplifting under $950? http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/05/14/shoplifting-california-prop-47-reduced-penalties/. And a store can be fined up to $5,000 a day for using single-use plastic bags. http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/plastics/CarryOutBags/FAQ.htm .

So, what is the moral of the story? If you are going to steal, make sure it is under $950 – and make sure you pay the 30 cents for the bags!!!!!!!

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