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Non-Profit of the Week – Cowboy Football

| SC Living | May 10, 2018

Everyone is familiar with high school football programs, but the Cowboy Football Booster Club also supports the Cowboy Football Youth Camp each summer.

For kids and youth ages 6-14 years old, the football camp offers training for all levels of ability, regardless of experience. Now in its third year, it will be held on Monday, June 18-Wednesday, June 20 at the Canyon High School football field.

It is a non-contact fundamental skills camp, where beginners will be comfortably introduced to football, and more experienced participants will have their abilities tested and improved. The Cowboy Football Camp is conducted by Rich Gutierrez, head coach of the Canyon High School football team, and his staff members.

The camp’s curriculum will include football skills such as:

  • Learning new skills, willingness to improve, commitment to learn and setting simple goals
  • Stance, running, backpedaling, ball handling, passing, catching, punting, and kicking
  • Heat preparedness and adequate hydration

The youth athlete-centered philosophy of the football camp includes providing children with an emotionally healthy and physically challenging atmosphere of good sportsmanship and athletic activity through the game of football. The program plans activities where children have the opportunity to play, regardless of athletic skills or family income. Staff members focus in on creating an optimal sports experience for all children participating, teaching teamwork and cooperation.

Lunch, snacks, drinks, and camp T-shirt are provided for the 200-300 kids expected to sign up. Both boys and girls are welcome to register. This year’s camp will be all three days, June 18-20 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and costs $50 total (for all three days). The camp will be held on the Astroturf of the Canyon High School Football Stadium at 19300 W. Nadal Street in Canyon Country.

You may register online at Santa-Clarita.com/Seasons.

Hero of the Week – Jocelyn Clark

By Michael Haiby
CHS Football Booster Club president

As the Senior Team Mom of the Canyon Cowboys Football Team, Jocelyn Clark is tending to a variety of needs for the high school players. She makes sure the camp attendees get their Gatorade, snacks and lunches every camp day. And whether it’s serving breakfast burritos at 6 a.m. in the weight room or serving a game day team lunch buffet, passing out half-time snacks in the locker room during the game, or passing out sack lunches for the ride on the bus home after a game (you can see our players eat a lot), Jocelyn is always there on top of it!

Jocelyn has volunteered at every Cowboy Football golf tournament, fundraising dinner, poker tournament, picture day, parent meeting and other Cowboy Football events for years, volunteering her time freely and graciously. She serves as the treasurer for the Canyon High School Football Booster Club and as an ear for the football coaches when they want some “common sense” counsel.

The Booster Club also provides support for the Cowboy Football Youth Camp. The volunteers help to register 200-300 players, size them up and get the campers into their camp shirts, give them snacks, keep them hydrated, feed them lunch, take pictures, and get them all organized to receive their medals at the end of camp.

The players always greet their team mom warmly (probably to see if she is going to feed them). But seriously, she is a friendly and hard-working person, and going above-and-beyond in her role has had a positive impact on Cowboy Football that cannot be measured.

Non-Profit of the Week – Gibbon Conservation Center

| SC Living | April 27, 2018

Santa Clarita’s Singing Apes Have Plenty to Celebrate!

Every day starts at dawn, with haunting calls that can be heard up to two miles away … as the gibbon families in residence announce their presence at the Gibbon Conservation Center, just off Bouquet Canyon in Saugus, near Lombardi Ranch.

The Gibbon Center houses more than 35 small apes in family groups, representing five unique gibbon species. Gibbons are native to southeast, east and south Asia. At the GCC, they live a peaceful (and sometimes remarkably loud) life, performing amazing acrobatics and singing their territorial songs.

Families are focused on raising their offspring, including from time to time, new infants that are proudly shown to visitors.

The Gibbon Center is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to noon, except on rainy days. (Gibbons aren’t fond of rain and tend to not be visible during downpours.) No reservations are needed for the weekend public hours. A general tour starts each morning at 10:00 a.m.

The annual fundraiser, Breakfast with the Gibbons, is being held on Saturday, May 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. – with food, games and special events, along with a tour, an auction and a raffle.

The Gibbon Conservation Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to observation and study of these rare apes. The GCC offers opportunities for anthropologists, primatologists, students of all ages, and the general public to enjoy and learn. The GCC is visited by scholars and animal enthusiasts from around the world.

Founded by Alan Richard Mootnick in 1976, the Gibbon Center is celebrating its 40th anniversary as a member of the Santa Clarita community. Mootnick and the GCC were instrumental in identifying and naming a distinct gibbon species – the eastern hoolock gibbon. The GCC is the only location in the western hemisphere with eastern hoolock families in residence, and offers visitors the only opportunity in the world to hear five species of gibbons sing their songs together.

The Gibbon Center provides a safe haven for rare gibbon species as a complement to protecting them in the wild. Their conservation efforts include establishing secure captive gene pools in case attempts to preserve species or subspecies in the wild fail.

Working in cooperation with reputable zoos around the world, the GCC works to improve the overall standard of care for captive gibbons. The GCC supports organizations in the gibbon home countries that focus on gibbon conservation.

The Gibbon Conservation Center offers volunteer and education opportunities for all ages. For more information on the GCC, go to the website at Gibboncenter.org or email info@gibboncenter.org.

Non Profit of the Week – Triumph Foundation

| SC Living | April 19, 2018

Providing resources, hope and security to people living with paralysis is the mission of Triumph Foundation in Santa Clarita. The nonprofit organization works to improve the lives of people living with disabilities, with much of its focus on helping victims of Spinal Cord Injury/Disorder, or SCI/D.

Triumph Foundation’s programs serving the spinal cord injury community include supporting those who are newly paralyzed with: “Care Baskets” full of resources; providing grants to obtain necessary equipment, supplies, and services; assisting with home modifications for wheelchair accessibility; leading SCI support groups; and holding adaptive recreational events.

To date, the organization has touched the lives of more than 5,000 individuals with disabilities. Triumph has given assistance to people with inadequate medical insurance and financial hardship; performed accessible home remodels; provided wheelchair accessible vehicles to people who did not have the means to purchase one on their own; and handed out thousands of Care Baskets full of resources to newly injured people. Volunteers regularly visit area hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout the Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern, and San Diego counties.

Andrew Skinner of Canyon Country launched Triumph Foundation after suffering a spinal cord injury himself and seeing the need for physical support and hope. After years of extensive physical therapy, Andrew felt destined for a mission: to help others who suffered an injury like him. In 2008, he and his wife, Kirsten, founded Triumph Foundation with a simple desire: to bring hope, resources, and mentorship to people who are dealing with paralysis.

Triumph Foundation provides the following programs:

Newly Paralyzed Support
Care Basket Outreach
SCI Support Groups
Mentorship
Grants and Equipment
Keep Moving Forward Grants
Equipment & Supply Exchange
Adaptive Sports & Recreation
Wheelchair Sports
Handcycling
Outdoor Adventures

The support provided by Triumph is not just for the initial phases, when the injury/disease occurs, but as a lifelong support network. Additionally, the non-profit group is a force within the entire disabled community. Many consider Triumph the go-to organization for people living with mobility impairments throughout Southern California.

Triumph Foundation to Host 7th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival

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.

Hero of the Week – Randi Wyatt-Billings

A native of Santa Clarita, Randi Wyatt-Billings has been working for Triumph Foundation for more than two years. She is the event coordinator for this year’s Wheelchair Sports Festival.

Randi’s work includes scheduling and leading the non-profit’s volunteer base; building Care Baskets, which are delivered to people who recently suffered paralyzing injury; and managing the storage locker full of equipment and supplies.

“She is absolutely amazing and deserves recognition,” said Andrew Skinner, Triumph founder. “Since joining our team she has been instrumental in helping us with planning and implementation of multiple events throughout the year, as well as overseeing office operations and programs.”

Randi and her husband, Dave Billings, live in Newhall, and they have two young sons, four-year-old Lincoln and 5-month-old Merrick. She grew up in Saugus and graduated from high school there in 1999.

The Wheelchair Festival, which will be held April 28-29 (see sidebar) is one of her favorite events of the year with Triumph Foundation.

It has something for everyone and many of her friends from the community are able to attend and see why she so passionate about Triumph, she says.

Another favorite is the Superheroes Triumph! 5K held in September, which Randi created last year. As a passionate runner of 5Ks, she led the effort to start a charity run, walk, and roll for Triumph Foundation.

In addition, she loves meeting people who are impacted by the organization and hearing how Triumph has made a life-changing impact. Through her work she has made many new friends and reconnected with old friends and acquaintances.

In another sign it’s the relationships that matter to her, Randi sums it up: “Everyone at Triumph genuinely cares and is loving, and makes you feel like we are all part of a family.”

 

Non Profit of the Week – Win, Place, Home

| SC Living | April 13, 2018

When CJ Marinaccio of Canyon Country worked at a racetrack in her 20s and 30s, she probably didn’t see herself in the position she is today. Horses have been a priority since she was a child, so she’s always had the passion – it’s her purpose that’s changed.

“I worked at the racetrack from 2005 until 2015 and saw many horses come to the track and go from being treated like champions to being forgotten about when they were done,” Marinaccio said. “I decided to be in their lives in a different capacity. They had enough to help them on the track. They needed help getting off of it.”

What Marinaccio did to get herself on track with her new goal was to form a non-profit to help retired racehorses make their transition from track life to thriving in a new discipline. In October of 2015 she founded Win, Place, Home, Inc.

“When we get a horse we gently let them down from being a racehorse,” she said. “If they come uninjured, we then give them a month or two to just be a horse, to help their mind.”
Horses with injuries begin a physical program to get the healing process started.

“If they are injured we help them through their rehabilitation until they are ready to get to work. We then help them figure out what discipline they would like to do!” Marinaccio said. “Jumping, dressage, western, trail, polo, barrel racing, etc. They will learn the basics in their chosen discipline and then will be ready to be adopted out.”

Win, Place, Home has obtained six horses so far and adopted out two of them.

Birtwick Park Equestrian Center is located at 16257 Lost Canyon Road in Canyon Country. For more information about the organization, visit WinPlaceHome.org.

2nd Annual Win, Place, Home Silent Auction and Gala
A wide range of items will be there for the bidding at the upcoming Win, Place, Home Silent Auction and Gala held at Birtwick Park Equestrian Center on April 21 from 6:30-9 p.m. More than 100 guests are expected to gather among the horses in the barn for drinks, appetizers and shopping.
Rain or shine, the family-friendly event will also include a bounce house and a chance to meet two miniature unicorns.
Tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door. Guests under 21 years old are free. Last year the event raised more than $11,000 for the non-profit. For more information, visit http://winplacehome.org/index.php/12-silent-auction.

Hero of the Week – Stephanie Wehan

Stephanie Wehan, who boards her “big boy” Remington at Birtwick Park, is also a volunteer for Win, Place, Home. This month she has been working hard helping with the upcoming gala’s silent auction.

“She has been calling businesses for donations, picking up items, getting the word out on social media, and even buying extra supplies to donate to the night,” said CJ Marinaccio, founder/trainer at Win, Place, Home, Inc. “Her father also donated items for people to bid on! She’s been monumental in helping get as much money donated as possible.”

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.

Non-Profit of the Week – The Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates

| SC Living | March 29, 2018

The Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer organization which assists the County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation, in the operation and programming of Placerita Canyon Natural Area.

The organization’s mission statement is: To inspire a passion, awareness and respect for the environment, and to preserve and protect for future generations the history and ecosystem of Placerita Canyon.

Docents
Placerita Canyon’s docent naturalists lead educational programs and nature hikes for elementary school groups and others throughout the year. They undergo an intensive training process to serve as guides and educators. Education about the environment is one of the goals of the docent organization at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.

Four mornings each week, school groups go on trips to Placerita where they are greeted by docents who give them a presentation in the onsite classroom about the circle of life, explaining the interactions between plants, animals and why the food web is so important. The children are provided a simple, though vivid, explanation about how living organisms depend on each other.

A presentation with live animals is next; then the children are divided into groups to walk on different trails, each group led by a docent. A parent or a teacher is at the end of the group to make sure all of the children are accounted for. Beyond the classroom presentations and walks, the possibilities for a docent to get involved with other projects are nearly endless, from outreach and patrolling the trails to fighting the never-ending battle against non-native plants.
Docents also organize special projects, fundraisers, parties, stock food supplies, plan crafts for children and help with animal care, among many other activities. If there is nothing interesting to you on that list, you may present your ideas to the board. They have been known to get pretty excited by all kinds of new projects.

The Nature Center calls them “docent naturalists,” and they each attend these classes for a nine-week training.

Programs
Due to mudslides during the rainy season, not all trails are open at all times. The Placerita Gift Shop is newly remodeled and refurbished, with a selection of nature-themed merchandise. Hours vary.

•FAMILY NATURE WALK: Every Saturday from 11 to noon. An easy 1-hour walk exploring the area’s natural and cultural history.
•ANIMAL PRESENTATION: Every Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m. See, learn and ask questions about live native animals of the area.
•BIRD WALK: Second Saturday of the month from 8 to 10 a.m. for all levels of birders. Bring binoculars, water and field guide.
•BIRD WALK, CASTAIC: The Placerita Canyon Natural Area docents lead a monthly bird walk at Castaic Lake Recreation Area on the first Saturday of the month at 8:00 a.m.
•BLOOMS OF THE SEASON: Learn about native plants and what is blooming along the trails. Meet in the patio at 9:30 for a one-hour stroll on the fourth Saturday of every month. Bring your camera and questions. For more information about this free program, call 661-259-7721 or 259-7832.
•NATURE EDUCATION: An exciting new program at Placerita in conjunction with the Community Hiking Club. Every 3rd Sunday of the month at 2 p.m. the PCNCA and the CHC will provide a free educational program open to the public. Changes may be made, so call the center at 661-259-7721 to verify.
•TWILIGHT HIKES: This program is offered on the 3rd Saturday of each month. This program begins at 7 p.m. and runs for about an hour. Park staff and the Nature Center Docents split groups and courses through the different trails in the dark. Come howl at the moon — if there is one that night!
•JUNIOR RANGERS: Second Saturday of each month from 11:30 to 12:30 for children 6 years and above. Nature topics and a small hike, this new program is provided by Ranger Frank Hoffman.

For further information on any of these programs, visit the website (Placerita.org) or call the nature center office at 661-259-7721.

Placerita Canyon Nature Center Open House

The community is invited to Placerita’s Open House on May 12, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The entire family can enjoy a host of activities, including:

Nature Box Programs
Animal Presentations
Crafts & Fun Activities
Panning for Fool’s Gold
Hikes
Informative Exhibits
Caricatures
Vendors
Gift Shop
Museum

The Placerita Canyon Nature Center and Natural Areas is located at 19152 Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall. For more information, call 661-259-7721 or visit Placerita.org.

Non-Profit of the Week – Children’s Bureau

| SC Living | March 22, 2018

Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting. There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California. Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with 500 foster children waiting to be connected to a family who will adopt. Children’s Bureau offers a comprehensive foster care and adoption program that brings families together for a lifetime. The agency is in need of resource families for children in foster care while reunifying with birth families or to provide legal permanency by adoption. Children in need are turned away every day due to a lack of resource families.

Since 1904, Children’s Bureau has been a non-profit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. More than 30,000 children and families are helped each year throughout Southern California with services that include school readiness, parenting classes, family resource centers, support groups, mental health counseling, foster care and adoption. Children’s Bureau is one of the largest investors in child abuse prevention in the country and is developing a national model to transform an entire at-risk community through its Magnolia Community Initiative.

Children’s Bureau Resource Parents protect and nurture children, meet children’s developmental needs, support children’s relationships with their birth families and do all of this as a member of a professional team. Children’s Bureau welcomes every resource parent regardless of, race, age, religion, disability, marital status, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Qualifying families receive training, family assessment, approval and support. A current Children’s Bureau family advises potential resource parents “to come into it with an open mind and an open heart. Be prepared to care beyond anything you could have ever imagined.”

You may watch Children’s Bureau resource families share their experiences at: https://youtu.be/9HYsV-VO2Rk.

Informational Meetings for Foster or Adoption Opportunities
Held at COC on March 24 and April 21

Discover if you have the willingness, ability and resources to take on the challenge of helping a child in need. A monthly information meeting is being held Saturdays, March 24 & April 21, 2018 from 10:00 AM to Noon at College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222, 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. To RSVP or for more information, call 661-208-4212 or email the organization at RFrecruitment@all4kids.org. An information packet or application may also be obtained by filling out a request form on the website: www.All4kids.org/program/foster-care/meetings.

Hero of the Week

Bernadette Boylan, supervising social worker at Children’s Bureau and resident of Santa Clarita, works each day to promote the best interests of children in foster care who have joined Resource Families throughout the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys.

“I feel most fortunate to be part of a large team of professionals who work diligently to help Resource Parents to protect and nurture children, meet children’s developmental needs and address delays, support children’s relationships with their birth families, and connect to safe and nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime,” Bernadette says. “Each day is a new day to strive for the best possible outcome for every child who enters our foster care and adoption program.”

However, Bernadette reminds interested adults that “there are many, many children that Children’s Bureau can’t help because there are not enough families to call upon.” Also, it is very difficult and challenging to find families for older children and siblings groups.

If you have ever thought about becoming a resource parent, this poem by Forest E. Witcraft may encourage you to make that call: “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove . . . but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”

If you have the willingness, ability and resources, consider applying to become a Resource Parent with Children’s Bureau and provide a child the opportunity to experience stability, safety and well-being. A schedule of the agency’s monthly information meetings can be found at www.All4kids.org/program/foster-care/meetings.

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Other Non-Profit News – Running for Fundraising

| SC Living | March 15, 2018

There are two outdoor fundraisers this Saturday, March 17, 2018.
The Knights of Columbus will sponsor the 38th St. Patrick’s Day 5K race at the historic oil drilling town of Mentryville in Newhall, near Stevenson Ranch. The race is an “out and back” course that begins at Mentryville Park and takes you in front of Charles Mentry’s13-room mansion, a one-room school house, and a period barn. The course is mostly on newly paved asphalt and the elevation climb is about 330 feet. Due to the elevation gain, the course is considered moderate to difficult.
The Knights of Columbus Council #6016 of Newhall is a local non-profit organization, and the race is a community and family event.
Race day registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and the 5K run begins at 9:00 a.m. Awards and raffle prizes will follow shortly after 10:00 a.m.
For more information, call or email Tony Cota: 661-259-8346; Cotar4@sbcglobal.net.

The Michael Hoefflin Foundation will hold the 8th Annual Walk for Kids with Cancer on March 17 at College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium. Participants should check in at 8 a.m. and begin walking at 9 a.m.
The event is a celebration of the lives of children and their families who have been affected by children’s cancer. Individuals can participate in a 5K walk or untimed fun run to raise funds to support the Foundation.
College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium is located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road. To register, or for more information, visit MHF.org.

Non-Profit of the Week – A.S.E. Enrichment

| SC Living | March 15, 2018

A.S.E. Enrichment has been providing quality after school enrichment classes to schools in the Santa Clarita Valley for over 10 years. Some of the schools the non-profit organization currently services are James Foster Elementary, Stevenson Ranch Elementary, North Park Elementary, Valencia Valley Elementary, Sulphur Springs Community School, Cedarcreek Elementary, Mountainview Elementary, Highlands Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, SCVi, and Albert Einstein Academy.

A.S.E. provides a variety of classes including Arts, Sports, Video Game Design, Computer Technology, Cooking, Baking, Photography & 3D Design, and Lego Robotics, all taught by caring teachers who are passionate about what their subjects. They provide these classes at schools after dismissal and have also started evening academies to study topics in greater depth, especially technology classes, Lego robotics, and art academies. A.S.E. provides all these enriching classes in the spring, winter and at spring break and summer camps.

Spring Break Camp
When the kids are home from school, A.S.E. has educational camps to keep them engaged.

March 26-30, 2018
Monday-Friday, March 26-30 there will be a morning session: from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and an afternoon session: 12 noon-3:00 p.m. A Sports Performance Camp will be offered in each time slot for all ages. Cost is $149, which includes materials.

The Sports Performance Camp will be held at ATA Martial Arts, 25844 Hemingway Ave. in Stevenson Ranch. Register by March 23, 2018. See registration info below.

April 2-6, 2018
Monday-Friday, April 2-6 there will be a morning session: 9:00 a.m.-12 noon and an afternoon session: 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Morning
Storybook Cooking for ages 5-8, $155
LEGO Everyday Engineers for ages 5-8, $130
Dance-Yoga-Stretch for all ages, $120
Hands-On Science Adventure Lab for ages 5 & up, $135
Monster Crafts & Games for all ages, $135
Clickteam Fusion 2.5 for ages 8 & up, $130

Afternoon
The Traveling Chef: Recipes from Around the World for ages 9 & up, $155
Drawing & Painting Like a Modern Master for ages 5 & up, $130
Your Room, Your Style for ages 9 & up, $135
Ceramics & Sculpture for ages 8 & up, $135
Minecraft Mods w/JAVA Programming for ages 10 & up, $130
LEGO Robotics for ages 5 & up, $130

Classes are limited to 12 students and will be held at Learn Beyond the Book, 21704 Golden Triangle, Unit 500 in Santa Clarita. Register before March 30 at: ASEenrichment.com. For more information, call 661-310-3330 or email info@ASEenrichment.com.

 

Hero of the Week – Shari Mennell

 

The program coordinator for A.S.E. Enrichment for nearly a year, Shari Mennell is a vital part of the non-profit’s mission to provide stimulating and educational classes for kids.

“She jumped right in and really kept the daily operations running smoothly,” said A.S.E. director Shawneen Rubay of Santa Clarita.
Shari was formerly with the Newhall School District. Now, in addition to serving the children of A.S.E. Enrichment, she is a grandma, or as her grandkids call her: “Minnie.”

Non Profit of the Week – Bridge to Home

| SC Living | March 8, 2018

Bridge to Home is a comprehensive homeless services agency partner with our community to end homeless in the Santa Clarita Valley by building bridges to shelter, support services and permanent housing and by advocating for solutions that benefit our neighbors in need.

Our story begins back in 1993 when St. Clare’s Catholic Church and the Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council hosted a meeting to develop a shelter program for homeless individuals and families. Three years later, the Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation (SCCDC), now known as Bridge to Home, was formed by a group of volunteers at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and in 1997 the Santa Clarita Shelter opened with 22 emergency shelter beds.

By 2005, Bridge to Home was operating two shelters: one in the Santa Clarita Valley with 40 beds, and a second shelter in Sylmar with 125 beds. The Sylmar shelter transitioned to another provider in 2015. In 2013 we established “The Bridge Client Care Center” a homeless services access center, that provided year-round client services providing advocacy, resources and case management to people experiencing homelessness. The number of beds increased to 60 for the Winter Shelter season of 2015.

From conception to the present, Bridge to Home has always depended on the kindness and caring hearts of the Santa Clarita community. For many years, the organization ran on volunteers alone and, as it has grown, we continue to partner with our volunteers for 99 percent of the meals we serve during the year.

Bridge to Home, now a comprehensive homeless services agency, is embarking on a capital campaign to build a single-campus homeless service facility at our current location on 23031 Drayton Street in Santa Clarita. This single campus would facilitate a year-round shelter with beds and support services for individuals as well as families.

Find out more about Bridge to Home at Btohome.org.

Hero of the Week – Geeta Joseph

Bridge to Home would like to recognize Geeta Joseph as our “Hero of the Week.” Geeta has been a volunteer at Bridge to Home for more than six years. She began volunteering with her congregation, Valencia United Methodist Church, making and serving meals during the winter shelter period. She expanded her volunteering to the summer months, as one of the organizers of her church. The Feeding It Forward program runs from May through October at the shelter site, which provides warm meals to our community members.

Two years ago, Geeta extended her kindness and added Wednesday afternoons, volunteering at the Bridge office welcoming clients at the front desk, answering phones, and supporting the case management staff. She is a dependable, cheerful, and a very competent individual who makes our work a bit lighter. She cares about the people in her community and her kind smile and giving heart make her an exceptional volunteer.

Non Profit of the Week – The Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer

| SC Living | March 1, 2018

The Michael Hoefflin Foundation for children’s cancer is a public nonprofit 501(c)(3) foundation that provides financial and emotional support to children and their families in the Santa Clarita and surrounding valleys. The organization strives to educate the public and provide grant funding for innovative research to accelerate progress in the fight against pediatric cancer.
Michael Andrew Hoefflin was born January 10, 1986, and as he grew, his good health and athletic ability was matched with energy and enthusiasm. But at the end of his kindergarten school year, Michael had flu-like symptoms that didn’t improve with various treatments by his pediatrician. After a few weeks of illness, the occurrence of double vision prompted a brain scan.

On July 13, 1992 at the age of 6, Michael was admitted to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor — PNET/medulloblastoma — an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Following brain surgery to remove the large tumor pressing against his brain stem, Michael received weeks of rehabilitation therapy to recover from the impact of surgery. He needed physical therapy to regain his strength, his ability to walk, speak clearly, and perform the most basic activities in order to care for himself again.

Michael received both radiation and chemotherapy treatments during the subsequent months, but to everyone’s great disappointment, doctors found that a small amount of the cancer had survived the early treatments and had spread into his spine. Children’s brain cancer has a propensity for recurring; however, a relapse this early into a child’s treatment was unusual, signaling the threat of a very resistant form of cancer.

Michael’s recovery from mega-therapy and a bone marrow transplant was slow and difficult, but he was fortunate to have 17 months of remission following that procedure. During that period, Michael enjoyed his second grade year in elementary school and resumed some favorite activities, however, a routine screening in May of 1994 showed his cancer had returned and was actively growing again. The doctors were very clear: each recurrence poses a much more difficult battle than the last.

Michael immediately began treatments with the most promising chemotherapy drugs, but unfortunately, the brain cancer cells that had survived were the strongest and most resistant to medical technology known at that time. During that period of treatments, the cancer had advanced significantly with diffuse disease forming dozens of tumors throughout his brain and spine. But you wouldn’t guess that by seeing him. Michael insisted upon being active, and had a persistent smile on his face. Amazingly, despite his declining condition and very young age, Michael continued to maintain his positive attitude. He wanted to help others in need, and was a grand spokesman for the many other children suffering with cancer. He had a strong spirit, refusing to dwell upon his situation; he cared more about how others were doing.

Inspired by his amazing example, Michael’s family and friends in 1994 reached out beyond the fight for just Michael’s recovery and included the tens of thousands of other afflicted children. With the commitment to being a positive force in the advancement of effective treatments, compassionate support to afflicted children and their families, and discovery of cures for childhood cancers, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation was formed in late September of 1995.

Michael’s loss on May 15, 1996 brought immense sadness, and reaffirmed the critical need to eliminate cancer as a threat to our children. Michael is dearly missed and continues to be our inspiration.

One of the Hoefflin Foundation’s biggest fundraisers is the Evening Under the Stars Gala in the fall. For almost a quarter of a century the organization has hosted the local fundraiser that brings hundreds of residents together for food, entertainment, and a common goal – to fight childhood cancers. Guests always enjoy a catered dinner, live music, and the opportunity to bid on hundreds of unique auction items.

“We are grateful for the support of our community,” said Gillian Stone, MHF’s executive director. “This is our chance to give the community that we so appreciate a beautiful, memorable and hopefully inspiring evening, and let people know about why we need the support we do,” she said.

Although the Michael Hoefflin Foundation focuses on fundraising efforts throughout the year, Evening Under the Stars is critical in raising funds to help drive the foundation’s mission to provide support to children and their families facing the emotional and financial difficulties of pediatric cancer.

Walk for Kids to Benefit Hoefflin Foundation

The 2018 Walk for Kids with Cancer, held at College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium, is sponsored by Boston Scientific and Scorpion Internet Marketing. It is a celebration of the lives of children and their families who have been affected by children’s cancer. Individuals will participate in a 5K walk, or un-timed fun run to raise funds to support the Foundation. All ages and abilities are welcome.

Beginning with registration at 8 a.m., the program starts officially at 9 a.m. on Sat., March 17, and participants will be awarded for “Top Individual Fundraiser” and “Top Team Fundraiser.” Those who bring in $100 or more receive a Michael Hoefflin Foundation T-shirt created for the 2018 Walk.

The event will be held at College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium, located at 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia.

When you register in advance, you receive a complimentary MHF reuseable grocery bag. Donations are welcome and sponsorships are available.

For more information, contact Norma Binder at 661-250-4100 or visit the non-profit’s website, MHF.org.

Meet Danny

Danny is Michael Hoefflin Foundation’s 2018 Walk Ambassador. You can meet him at the 8th Annual MHF Walk for Kids with Cancer.

Danny was first diagnosed with Leukemia (AML) when he was just 2 years old. Thankfully, he has been cancer free for 7 years and is a very active 9-year-old. His favorite food is carne Asada and he won’t pass up the opportunity for a certain French fries.

Danny was born with Down Syndrome and even after facing cancer at such a young age, he doesn’t let any of it change his attitude! If you participate in this year’s walk you can spend the morning with Danny and the rest of the brave MHF boys and girls who have faced, or are still in the battle, with cancer.

Non Profit’s Hero of the Week – Jeffrey Gilbert

| SC Living | February 22, 2018

Jeffrey Gilbert is an oboist, vocalist and an educator within the William S. Hart school district. Currently he is the Music Educator at Rio Norte Junior High, a position he has held for the past 15 years since the school opened. Jeffrey studied oboe and voice at California State University, Northridge, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Performance. Jeffrey also studied Music Education, earning his teaching credentials. He recently completed the requirements of a Master of Music degree also, under the tutelage of Professor Paul Smith, at CSU Northridge. Jeffrey will receive his degree at commencement ceremonies in the spring. A native Californian, Jeffrey hails from Santa Barbara, California and currently resides in Santa Clarita. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Southern California Vocal Association, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, and the California Band Directors Association.

Jeffrey has been an invaluable asset in the success of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic. He started in the oboe section when the orchestra first started rehearsing in February of 2013. When our original Music Director stepped down, Jeffrey volunteered to take the baton to permit the orchestra to continue. Under Jeffrey’s direction, the orchestra has grown and refined its sound. Working with volunteer musicians is a rewarding, but sometimes challenging, experience. The goal is to maintain a professional caliber organization while ensuring that the musicians are having fun and are eager to participate. From his experience working with young teens, Jeffrey has mastered the ability to excel in this arena.

Non Profit of the Week-Santa Clarita Philharmonic

| SC Living | February 22, 2018

By Dr. Mark Elfont

The Santa Clarita Philharmonic, a community orchestra comprised of amateur, retired, professional, semi-professional, and student musicians, is now in its fifth year of presenting concerts. The mission of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic is to preserve the art of orchestral music while providing the opportunity for musicians to have a rewarding outlet for their talent. The Santa Clarita Philharmonic is dedicated to the enhanced appreciation and understanding of orchestral music in the Santa Clarita Valley and the surrounding communities. The orchestra maintains an open-door policy for musicians to play, learn and perform for others. Through this shared experience musicians realize self-potential, a spirit of generosity and the potential for growth. The orchestra is committed to ensuring that the younger population of the community has the opportunity to experience classical music by scheduling concerts on Sunday afternoons so that families are able to attend.

The Santa Clarita Philharmonic started rehearsing with 20 or so musicians in February 2013. By February 2014 the orchestra presented its first concert with 38 volunteer musicians on stage and an audience of over 275. As word of the orchestra spread through the community, we continued to attract volunteer musicians who provided the orchestra with a fuller sound. Donations and grants have permitted the orchestra to expand by offering stipends to local professional musicians to “fill in” missing parts. At our most recent concert on December 10, 2017, the orchestra had 60 musicians on stage. That concert also featured the 75-voice award-winning Valencia High School Choir.

After four years of concerts at the Hart High School Auditorium, the Santa Clarita Philharmonic moved to the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons. The move to the PAC has provided the orchestra with a marvelous venue to showcase its presentation of orchestral music.

One of the most rewarding features of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic is our annual Student Concerto Competition. Each season, students from all junior and senior high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley are invited to audition for the opportunity to perform with the orchestra at its spring concert. Over the past three years, four talented young musicians have wowed audiences with beautiful performances. Two students will be featured as winners of the Student Concerto Competition at our concert on June 3, 2018.

The community is welcome to join us for our final concert of the 2017-2018 season on Sunday afternoon, June 3, 2018. The concert will feature works by Reznicek, Sullivan, and Schumann, as well as our Student Concerto Competition winners, Samantha Anderson performing the Fantasie Flute Concerto by Hue, and Samea Derrick performing the Cello Concerto by Elgar. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. For tickets, go to www.CanyonsPAC.com or call (661) 362-5304. For more information, check our website at www.scphilharmonic.org.

Non Profit of the Week – Canyon Country Little League

| SC Living | February 15, 2018

By Frank Rodriguez, CCLL Treasurer

Tucked into a corner of the hills off Sierra Highway and Vasquez Canyon Road, the Canyon Country Little League (CCLL) has been serving the community for more than 50 years.

A small league that offers area youth the opportunity to play baseball and softball from the ages of 4 to 15, CCLL represents the only path in Santa Clarita to Williamsport and the Little League World Series.

Its designation as Non-Profit of the Week, however, is based not on its affiliation with Little League International, but rather the role that it plays in the community. CCLL has been the pathway for thousands of youngsters to get started in baseball or softball, and many of the area’s high school, college and professional star players got their start here.

CCLL is not a large league, with 300-400 players playing there each spring and fall, but it plays a vital role in the community of providing a structured place to learn the game in an environment that teaches the game the right way, in a family setting, without the hyper-competitiveness of larger leagues.

CCLL recognizes that baseball is an expensive game to play, and many parents and children are discouraged from picking up the game because of the cost. One of the goals of the CCLL Board has been to lower entry costs for parents, with a full spring season costing as little as $250 through the junior leagues (ages 13-15), inclusive of umpire and field costs. This is more than 50 percent lower than competing leagues in the Santa Clarita Valley. In fact, while costs everywhere are going up, CCLL has been able to lower its registration costs the last two seasons, while offering payment plans and scholarships for families in difficult financial circumstances.

Additionally, CCLL offers the only opportunity for youngsters with special needs to play organized baseball in the spring, with its free Challenger program, in which the players compete with local police officers and firefighters, as well as players in the core program.

A second goal of the CCLL Board has been to make capital improvements to the complex, resulting in the installation of an artificial turf infield on one of the fields, installation of two new scoreboards and plans to improve the snack bar and restroom areas. To this end, a fundraiser Poker Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 at the Moose Lodge at 18000 Sierra Highway and the public is invited (for more information and to register, go to ccll.org).

The success of any non-profit is based on the selfless efforts of many volunteers, and CCLL is no different. From its managers, coaches, umpires and team parents to its board members and League President Jorge Diaz and his wife, Melissa, who spend 20 hours per week at the complex during the season, many people are responsible for making CCLL a fun place to play. One person these last few months has gone even beyond that, and is deserving of the title “Hero of the Week.”

The Canyon Country Little League Fundraising and Sponsorship Chair Kimberlee Castro has worked countless hours to help stabilize and promote the league. Kim has knocked on every business door along Sierra Highway asking for donations and sponsorships. Along the way, she’s picked up major donations from Galpin Mazda and Take One Movie Productions for new scoreboards, as well as large donations from Excel Pest Management, Lowe’s, and others.

Kim is currently working on Opening Day, which is scheduled for March 3. She has secured former L.A. Dodgers player, coach and manager Bill Russell to throw out the first pitch. In addition, radio personality Valentine will be announcing the parade of teams and catching the first pitch, and local country star Savannah Burrows will be singing the national anthem.

None of this would be possible without Kimberlee, and CCLL is indebted to her service and dedication.

Goings On at CCLL – Everyone’s Invited!

Opening Day: Parade of teams, carnival, bake sale, games – Saturday, March 3, 2018 from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

First Games: Saturday, March 10, 2018

Fundraiser Poker Tournament – Saturday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. at Mint Canyon Moose Lodge, 18000 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country

Hosting District 40 Softball Tournament of Champions – June 2, 2018

Hosting District 40 Softball All Stars – June 23, 2018

Non Profit of the Week – Friends of the Santa Clarita Library

| SC Living | February 8, 2018

This local non-profit was formed to support the library through volunteer service, advocacy in the community and supplemental funding. The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library runs bookstores in each library branch from public donations of materials and books. Funds raised from sales in stores and online are used to fund library projects.

The Celebration of Local Authors in January of each year is an opportunity to showcase the talent of local writers and invites the public to meet them and to attend panel discussions. Prominent authors speak at the non-profit’s events several times each year and the public is invited to attend. Lisa Napoli, author of “Ray & Joan,” about the Krocs, will be speaking on February 28, 2018 at the Valencia Library.
Antique Appraisal Day is another event sponsored by the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library and invites the public to bring in items and have them informally evaluated. Library personnel also use this event as an opportunity to show patrons the many databases they can access and how to use them. The Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library also participates in the library Literacy Festival, as well as other events that showcase all that the library brings to the community.

Library Hosts Antique Appraisal Day
Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library are inviting members of the public to bring their antiques and collectibles to the 5th Annual Antique Appraisal Day. For an appraisal cost of $10 per item or $28 for three items, community members can bring collectibles to be assessed by experts at the Old Town Newhall Library, located at 24500 Main Street on Saturday, February 10 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

All proceeds benefit the Santa Clarita Public Library. For more information, email Friends@santaclaritalibrary.com or visit SantaClaritaFOL.com.

Contact the group if you have any questions about the events. If you want to volunteer at any of the group’s events or at the bookstores, contact the library volunteer co-coordinator at any branch library. The non-profit welcomes your participation in the group.

Some pictures of past antique appraisal events:

Non Profit of the Week – Santa Clarita Valley Men of Harmony

| SC Living | February 2, 2018

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it’s a good time to appreciate the sound of a cappella music. This community is lucky enough to have the Santa Clarita Valley Men of Harmony available for serenades and entertainment at special events.

This group of musical men has brought their talents to Santa Clarita for more than 40 years.

“We love to present the unaccompanied human voice, singing from the heart,” says Men of Harmony historian, David Norman. “Our focus is on great singing with a variety of musical styles including barbershop harmony, doo-wop, swing era jazz, Tin Pan Alley musicals, and classic pop tunes in the mix. This music can take you back to the good old days of our youth and the first time we fell in love.”

The Santa Clarita Valley Men’s Barbershop singers are a nonprofit, charitable, educational, fraternal organization, founded in 1974. Each year the group performs numerous times in this and other nearby communities. Once a year, the group produces a big show at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center in Newhall.

The Men of Harmony chorus meets for rehearsals on Tuesday evenings from 7:30-9:45at the Valley Oaks Village Apartments on Valley Street in Newhall. The members’ talents are wide-ranging. They perform as quartets, dancers, jugglers, magicians, balloon artists and more.

They bring their voices to the ears of individuals throughout the community in the form of Valentine’s Day serenades and are available for parties and celebrations, but you need to schedule them soon. The group’s a cappella music can be presented in programs ranging from 20-90 minutes and can be adapted to specific audiences and occasions. They are eager to entertain your group, club or private party, and are able to offer discounts for qualifying service organizations. For more information and to schedule a performance, call 661-259-6109 or visit SCmenofharmony.com.

Valentine’s Day Serenades
Send your love across town through a Valentine’s Day Serenade by a Santa Clarita Men of Harmony Quartet. They will go to a home or workplace on Wed., February 14 at some point between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for $50. If you need them to arrive at a specific time, the cost is $60. They accept many forms of payment including PayPal.

Each serenade comes with a flower gift. To order a Singing Valentine from the Men of Harmony, call 661-259-6109 or visit SCMenofHarmony.com.

Non Profit and Hero of the Week – American Association of University Women/Diane Bartley

| SC Living | January 26, 2018

By Sonja Wendt

Can you imagine a place where girls can fall in love with science or technology? The American Association of University Women, or AAUW, has been sending seventh grade girls to week-long science camps since 1998. Called Tech Trek, the camps focus on hands-on learning designed to help campers find their passions in STEM subjects, which are science, technology, engineering and math.

Studies show that interest in science, technology, and math wane after middle school, but Tech Trek changes all that. The top girls are nominated by their seventh grade science teachers, then complete a rigorous application process. Girls selected are those with strong interests in science and the result is magical! The camps are jam-packed with learning from morning to night and take place at Southern California universities, including Whitter College, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of California, Irvine, and California State University, Fresno. At each campus, over 60 girls are assigned to core learning groups such as Marine Biology, Forensics, Cybersecurity, or Rocketry. In the evenings they learn about the college application process or making an emulsion under the guidance of a chemist and keynote presenter. Field trips can include a trip to the Endeavor Space Shuttle with an engineer who helped build the rocket engines or to a cadaver lab at USC. The Tech Trek camp fuels the sparks of science and technology in these girls and inspires them to follow their dreams.

AAUW works with sponsors and conducts fundraising all year. The girls’ families are charged just $50 to attend, but the cost per camper is about $1,000. The Santa Clarita AAUW chapter plans to raise funds to allow 26 SCV girls to attend Tech Trek camp this year.

The main fundraising event is the Book Lovers Luncheon on Saturday, February 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the award-winning TPC Valencia Oaks Grille. Enjoy a delicious lunch and keynote presentations by authors Natashia Deon and Deen Ferrell. Ms. Deon is author of the critically acclaimed novel, “Grace,” and a 2017 NAACP Image Award nominee. Mr. Ferrell is the author of the award-winning series, “Cryptic Spaces” and screenplay “More Bull Than Dozer.” Cost is $65 per person, and 100 percent of net proceeds go to fund the cost of the Tech Trek camp. Simply contact Diane Bartley at dianebartley6@gmail.com to reserve your place.

The AAUW Santa Clarita chapter also awards an annual Humanities Scholarship and a Book Scholarship at College of the Canyons. The non-profit group also sponsors the popular Women in History event in April at local schools, where volunteers bring history to life by portraying influential women on stage.

The chapter celebrates its 50th Anniversary in May and is seeking past members to help celebrate. AAUW welcomes new members (both women and men), and additional sponsors and funding. Contact Ms. Bartley or Sonja Wendt at steinwendt@aol.com for more information.

Hero of the Week

Diane Bartley is a hero to many young girls who now have the confidence to pursue their dreams in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. She is my hero, too.

Diane has been an advocate for STEM education and careers, and an advocate for women her entire adult life. In 1994, she saw an advertisement for a kids’ science and math conference sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was intrigued, so she decided to explore. When she did, she was introduced to AAUW’s Santa Clarita chapter and some amazing women and mentors who wanted to make a difference for girls in STEM education. Diane became involved in helping to organize the annual science and math conference.

In 1998, AAUW began a hands-on free summer camp program called Tech Trek. Through this program, top seventh grade science students, who are nominated by their teachers and complete a rigorous application process, are selected to attend. The camps, held at Southern California universities, allow the girls to attend daily science or math classes and field trips. They live in the dorms, so they get the full university experience and interact with women who model a high degree of science, math, or computer expertise in their daily lives. It results in young women who have the self-confidence and interest to pursue a science or technology education. Studies show that after seventh grade it becomes tricky when new distractions enter into the lives of young students, but that girls’ interest in STEM subjects can be sustained if they are exposed to the careers available to women in science and technology today.

This is where Diane comes in. After joining AAUW, she became immediately involved in supporting, first, the Science and Math Conference, then its successor, Tech Trek. She has held a number of positions in the chapter, including two terms as president. But, her heart is in supporting Tech Trek and for many years has been the lead on this program. This is a big job which involves not only overseeing the selection process for the participants, but also year-long fundraising of the $1,000 tuition per girl.

Diane says, “Just seeing the difference in the girls from the awards ceremony in the spring to the ‘Welcome Home’ party in the fall is so worth it. Girls who were shy and hesitant have blossomed by fall. Their self-esteem has grown by leaps and bounds.”

Of course, Diane will tell you it takes many volunteers to make the program successful, including her mentor, Jane Hanson; head of the selection process, Ginny Gregor; grant writer, MJ West; and co-chair of the Book Lovers Luncheon fundraiser, Dianne Millkin. There are a host of others who help. Then, of course, there are the girls themselves who help by writing personal thank you notes to the sponsors. These heartwarming notes about their personal experiences reflect the girls’ growth and continuing thirst for knowledge.

Once Tech Trekkers return home, they are invited to periodic field trips to businesses and opportunities to interact with women in STEM careers. These trips and mini-reunions allow the girls to re-fuel their interests and fine-tune their career paths. Diane leads this effort too. In all, the SCV chapter of AAUW has supported 175 girls since its inception.

Kudos to Diane for her interest, passion, and perseverance in keeping this program going. Diane, you have made a difference in dozens of lives. You are my hero!

If you are interested in joining AAUW to help, attending the Book Lovers’ Luncheon on February 3, or in providing financial support, contact Sonja Wendt at steinwendt@aol.com.

Non-Profit of the Week – Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley

| SC Living | January 4, 2018

Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley (SIGSCV) is a local non-profit organization which falls under the umbrella of Soroptimist International, a global women’s organization whose members volunteer to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. Approximately 76,000 Soroptimists in over 120 countries and territories support community–based and global projects benefiting women and girls. The organization is particularly concerned with providing women and girls access to education, as this is the most effective path to self-determination.

The name, Soroptimist, means “Best for Women,” and that’s what the organization strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.

L to R: Sue Reynolds, Sandi Naba, Chris Blazey, Pam Ingram, Kim Kurowski, Aida Weinstein, Cheri Fleming, Karen Towels, Lori Crawford, Rebecca Johnston, Jennifer Haberer and Chris Hough

Soroptimist members belong to local clubs that participate in the Dream Programs of Soroptimist: Live Your Dream: Education and Training Awards for Women, and Dream It, Be It: Career Support for Girls to help women and girls achieve social and economic empowerment. The Dream Programs of Soroptimist ensure women and girls have access to the education and training they need to reach their full potential and live their dreams. Soroptimist is committed to investing in programs that have a sustainable, measurable change for women and girls.
Soroptimist also sponsors LiveYourDream.org, an online community empowering offline volunteer action. The self-motivated network is made up of people who wish to support women and girls in their quest to lead better lives, while gaining inspiration in their own lives. Members of the free online community work on topics such as women’s economic empowerment, ending violence against women, human trafficking, and more. They also have access to inspirational articles, tips, and blogs that can help them live their own personal dreams.
As a local club, SIGSCV raises funds to benefit many local charities in addition to giving funds directly to Soroptimist International to support its mission and programs. Locally, we have supported organizations such as: Sheila R. Veloz, Circle of Hope, Alzheimer’s Association, SCV Youth Project, Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center, Child and Family Center, Carousel Ranch, LARC Ranch, College of the Canyons Scholarships, the Women’s Unit at Henry Mayo Hospital, COC Center for Early Childhood Education, Mothers Fighting for Others, Habitat for Humanity, Celebrating Women – Hirschberg Foundation, and Mending Kids, among others.

On a local level, over the past two years we have distributed nearly $100,000 to our three pillars: “Women in Crisis, Women’s Health Issues and Celebrating Women.”

Monies are raised by SIGSCV through our two annual fundraisers. The first event is The Wine Affair – Sip, Stroll & Savor the Sounds, which will take place on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Those attending The Wine Affair will stroll down Town Center Drive while enjoying a great afternoon of local food, wine tasting and fabulous music. The Wine Affair offers a great opportunity for community partners to team with us for such a good cause. Proceeds from this event will go towards supporting our programs and projects, which include our Live Your Dream Awards, Dream It, Beat Program, and the Go Girls.

Our second major fundraiser is the Annual Fashion Show, which will take place this year on November 18, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. Information about this event will be forthcoming.
For more information about Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley contact President Kim Kurowski at 661-803-6506 or kim_kurowski@hotmail.com.

Submitted by Sandi Naba

Non Profit of the Week – St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary

| SC Living | December 21, 2017

In 2007, through a generous bequest, Lange Foundation purchased a 4.5-acre Sand Canyon ranch property in Canyon Country. In mid-2010, the first of what the non-profit organization hopes will be many kennels, was completed. It has 23 indoor/outdoor dog runs, a large cat room with a fully enclosed cat play area, and plenty of outdoor space for the horses. The kennel is equipped with all modern animal care amenities and was given the top rating by Los Angeles Animal Care and Control.

The dogs, cats and horses that are rescued by the Lange Foundation from various shelters throughout Southern California come to St. Bonnie’s in all sizes, ages and conditions. Staff members and volunteers work daily to rehabilitate and care for each and every animal that is at St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary until they are ready to go to their forever homes.

St. Bonnie’s Sanctuary is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 661-251-5590 or email St.bonnies@gmail.com. All the adoptable animals and further information about the foundation can be viewed on the Lange Foundation website, langefoundation.org.

Heroes of the Week – Hamlet and Bonita

After being in a home for a year, Hamlet and his lady Bonita were turned in to the Lancaster shelter. Bonita was pregnant and Hamlet was doing his best to stay close and care for her. We rescued the two of them and quickly found out that Bonita was ready to give birth a few days later. We ended up with seven puppies!

Bonita tried her best to take care of them, but a kennel is a tough place for newborns and their mom. Hamlet was a wreck and desperately wanted to be by Bonita’s side. The whole family was then put into a foster home and we got to see what amazing house dogs Hamlet and Bonita were.

They are a bonded pair that are in search of a home to cater to their high activity life, but to also snuggle and love them like a small dog. They also love to play ball and understand basic commands. Hamlet and Bonita are a wonderful pair of intelligent and friendly huskies. Hamlet & Bonita do great with other dogs and children as well. We have had them for just over a year now and they are still in search of their forever home during yet another Christmas season. If you would like to meet this wonderful pair or have any questions, please feel free to call us at 661-251-5590 or email us at st.bonnies@gmail.com. You can also view all of our animals and learn more about everyone on our website: www.langefoundation.org

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Non Profit of the Week – Carousel Ranch

| Community, SC Living | December 14, 2017

With the new year approaching quickly, it is a good time to reflect on all of the good things that happened in 2017. For Carousel Ranch, it was a year full of changes and growth … something that would not have been possible without the incredible support of this community, filled with those who choose to keep Carousel Ranch in their hearts throughout the year.

In years past, Carousel Ranch was proud to provide equestrian therapy to over 80 children each week. This year, however, the program has seen over 50 percent growth, serving 140 individuals with special needs through both their equestrian and new Ready to Work! vocational training programs.

They say that timing is everything and at Carousel Ranch that statement seems so true. From a tiny little program that started in a backyard—to where they are today, the Ranch has literally come full circle. Today’s programming enables the organization to take a student from childhood all the way through adulthood, meeting their ever changing needs along the way.

In the words of Luc’s mom, Ashley:

Luc has an undiagnosed neurological condition that affects his motor skills and he has difficulty with balance, resulting in frequent falls. While what he experiences is mild, it is so big to Luc and to me. It has been hard for him to not always be able to keep up with other kids or do the same things they can. Carousel Ranch is one of the few places he does not experience limitations. It’s apparent how much they love working with these kids and that makes all the difference. Being a total ham, Luc loves having the undivided attention of three adults while he rides and is always excited to go to the Ranch.

Luc only started riding in July, but his core strength has already improved and the tightness through his hips and hamstrings is starting to loosen. His neurologist was blown away that he’s shown progress so quickly. I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw him be able to raise his knees up while hanging from a bar for the first time, when he had not been able to pick his feet up, hardly at all. I am thrilled that he is starting to be able to almost jump. It’s not much movement, but his feet are getting off the ground together and he is moving forward ever so slightly. Our family

has been blessed by Luc having the opportunity to ride at Carousel Ranch and we look forward to seeing him continue to become stronger and gain more abilities.

In the words of Alexa, who participated in the equestrian program as a small child and then the RTW! program recently as a young adult:

Carousel Ranch has impacted many parts of my life, from helping me become physically stronger in the equestrian therapy program and teaching me valuable life lessons in the volunteer program to helping me learn work skills in the Ready to Work! program, and then giving me my first job as a Carousel Ranch employee. A few months later, Carousel Ranch helped me get my first job interview at Rise & Shine Preschool, and fortunately, I was hired and continue to work as a teacher’s assistant there. I am forever grateful for all that Carousel Ranch has done for me and so many others.

What does the next year hold for Carousel Ranch? The answer is simple and has remained the same for over 20 years — working to make a difference, one child at a time.

For the young adults serving in the RTW! program, that means more working in jobs and volunteering in our great community. For the many children in the equestrian program it means another year of working with each to achieve their very best.

Carousel Ranch is dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with special needs. Through both equestrian therapy and vocational training programs, the program strives to create an atmosphere where every student can and will succeed … a place where therapy is disguised as fun.

 

Santa Day at Carousel Ranch

Last weekend Carousel Ranch held its annual Santa Day, where students and their families could enjoy a holiday celebration in a safe environment that accommodates disabilities. The party is designed to offer hundreds of disabled individuals a chance to socialize and make new acquaintances. It is an action-packed day complete with Santa (a former special education teacher) and Mrs. Santa, petting zoo, crafts, s’mores over the fire, gifts and a Sweet Shop for refreshments. Gifts for students and their siblings were provided by the California Highway Patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Santa Day is sponsored by Pardee Homes and staffed by many of the company’s employees.

 

 

Girl Scouts Build River of Hope

Local Girl Scout Troop 6592 dedicated their Silver Award project to children with special needs. Members of the troop built a “River of Hope” at Carousel Ranch, a project finalizing their efforts to earn the highest award possible for Girl Scouts at the Cadette level. The scouts first joined Carousel Ranch students in hand painting rocks including each child’s name, and then created a rock river by placing all of the artwork within the riverbed. The Carousel Ranch River of Hope is a visual representation of each child’s personal progress and growth.

“We were so excited to create a dry river bed, acknowledging hope on a long journey that the Carousel Ranch students have accomplished, enabling them to grow to where they are today,” said Brooke Lackey, one of the scouts who participated.

Girl Scout Troop #6592 is made up of seven girls ranging from 12-14 years of age who are students at Rancho Pico Jr. High School, Rio Norte Jr. High and Legacy Academy. After completion of their Silver Award, the girls will bridge to become Senior Girl Scouts.

Carousel Ranch is located at 34289 Rocking Horse Road in Santa Clarita. For more information, call 661-268-8010 or visit CarouselRanch.org.

Non Profit Event of the Week – 7th Annual Breakfast with Santa Claus

| SC Living | December 7, 2017

Last week, new radio station Brigade-Radio-One brought more than 400 children from local homeless shelters to a breakfast at Salt Creek Grille in Valencia to help them celebrate the Christmas spirit of giving and hope. Founders Ethan Dettenmaier and Lota Hadley of Santa Clarita are in their seventh year of bringing excitement to local children, including time with 100 characters and talent from shows such as “Star Wars Rebels,” “The Avengers,” “The Defenders,” “A-Team,” “X-Files” and “The Regular Show.” Actors volunteer their time to make the morning magical and unforgettable.

The Make The World A Better Place Children’s Foundation was designed by 14-year-old Shawn Dettenmaier when she, as a third grader, created the “Combat Radio Christmas Event For Homeless Children” in collaboration with her father’s radio program, Combat Radio.

Brigade-Radio-One is based at Universal Studios in the San Fernando Valley. It features shows hosted by Sheila E., the members of Guns N’ Roses, the producers of “Big Bang Theory,” the director of “Daredevil,” “The Flash,” and many more.

The central focus of the station, in addition to the entertainment, is its collaboration with the Make The World A Better Place Children’s Foundation. These two organizations have teamed up with Salt Creek Grille to bring Christmas to needy children through Breakfast With Santa, in addition to adopting homeless shelters across the San Fernando Valley.

In October, Shawn Dettenmaier was honored by Mayor Garcetti and the L.A. City Council with a proclamation for her charity work. For more information, visit Brigaderadioone.org and find Make The World A Better Place Children’s Foundation on Facebook.

Non Profit of the Week – The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita

| SC Living | November 30, 2017

by Alice Renolds

When a child dies, at any age, the family suffers intense pain and may feel hopeless and isolated. The death of a child is probably the most traumatic, life-changing event that you will ever experience. That is why we are here to help and support. The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita is a self-help organization made up of bereaved parents who have experienced that deep searing pain. We provide highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild and help others assist the grieving family.

The Compassionate Friends was first established in England more than 40 years ago by two sets of bereaved parents. It quickly spread to the United States and was incorporated in 1978 in Illinois. There are now over 700 chapters serving all 50 states. The Compassionate Friends is the world’s largest self-help bereavement organization with a presence in at least 30 countries. The Santa Clarita chapter has been supporting bereaved families here locally for 18 years. Diane Briones started the chapter after her 20-year-old daughter was killed in a horrific car crash and needed a support group and there was none here in Santa Clarita. Alice Renolds started attending the group following the tragic death of her two sons in a reckless driving incident and has been the Co-leader now for 16 years.

Our Chapter meets the first Thursday of every month here locally in Santa Clarita. Our monthly support group meetings are the heart of TCF. These gatherings provide a caring environment in which bereaved parents, adult siblings, and grandparents can talk freely about the emotions in which they are going through and receive the understanding support of others who have “been there.” We usually have between 20 and 30 members attend our meetings. The meeting may also include a brief program, panel or speaker. As we meet together, we learn from each other through our shared experiences. The bereaved members not only obtain support through our monthly meetings, but also from our newsletter, our website, Facebook, telephone of friends, and our library of books.

The death of a child is devastating and it’s important to the family and their friends that the child always be remembered. That is why we have two events yearly: a balloon release in the spring and the Candle Light Remembrance Program. The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita will participate in an annual worldwide event designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died. On Sunday, December 10, the local chapter is joining hundreds of organized memorial services around the world for the 21st Annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world.

The local candle lighting will be part of a special service held at 6:30 p.m. at La Mesa Jr. High School, 26623 May Way in Santa Clarita. It will feature poems, selected readings, music, a slide show and performances with featured singers. Annually, tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the Worldwide Candle Lighting. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lit in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light, which continues the observance around the world. With the theme “that their light may always shine,” the Worldwide Candle Lighting has grown larger every year.

To contact The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita, call Diane Briones at 661-252-4654 or Alice Renolds at 661-252-4374, or visit www.compassionatefriends-scv.org.

HERO OF THE WEEK Carol Costin

by Alice Renolds and Dianoe Briones

Fourteen years ago, Carol Costin lost her 28-year-old son Jeffrey in a horrible car crash in Texas. She moved to California shortly afterwards, because her only surviving daughter had moved here and she needed to be close to her. She left her family, friends, job, house and everything she knew. Carol, her husband and daughter attended support meetings of The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita and still do today!

In fact, Carol is a hero to our chapter. She is a member of our steering committee and took over the job of treasurer without hesitation when the job became suddenly vacant. Now with her years through this journey of grief she contributes so much to our local meetings. Carol is able to share her loss, but can show families that there is hope for healing, although it’s a loss we never fully get over. Carol is one of three different facilitators for our meetings. She gives so much love, understanding and support to all the grieving families.

Our local chapter will participate in the annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Program to be held at a new location this year, La Mesa Jr. High School, located at 26623 May Way in Santa Clarita on December 10 at 6:30 p.m. It is open to the public and we would love to share this evening with all of you.

For more information on The Compassionate Friends of Santa Clarita visit www.compassionatefriends-scv.org

Athletes of the Week: Mariah Castillo and Ethan Danforth

| SC Living | November 24, 2017

Mariah Castillo

A strong runner on the Saugus Centurions girls’ cross country team, Mariah Castillo finished second overall in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 cross country finals with a time of 16 minutes, 28.4 seconds. Mariah’s second place finish helped Saugus’ team take second overall in the Division 2 finals, and qualify for the CIF State championships.

“Mariah is a very dedicated athlete who has been training with a mission and a goal this season,” said Saugus High School track coach Kevin Berns. “She has always had an eagerness to sacrifice personal interest of glory for the team. This Saturday, Mariah will be competing at the CIF Division II State Championships for the fourth time, seeking the 10th team title in 12 years, and her first CIF Individual Division II State Championship.”

Ethan Danforth

A runner for the Canyon Cowboys cross country team, Ethan Danforth took first overall in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 cross country finals with a time of 14 minutes, 50.2 seconds. Ethan was in third, but was able to pull ahead of the pack in the last 400 meters of the race. His first place finish helped the Canyon boys’ team finish 6th overall and qualify for the CIF State championships.

“Ethan is only a junior and winning the INDIVIDUAL CIF CHAMPIONSHIP is really special,” said Canyon cross country coach Dave DeLong. “He grew up before our very eyes and is a rising star.”  

Non-Profit of the Week: The Gentle Barn

| SC Living | November 22, 2017

We live in a concrete, violent, noisy, high tech, busy world. We have lost our connection to animals, to nature, and most of all, to ourselves. Animals are living lives of torment from beginning to end, their cries are unheard, their pain is unseen, and they are suffering. The rate of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes has never been higher. The rain forests are being destroyed, we are in a global drought, we are polluting our air, and species go extinct every day. But by having reverence for all life and by reconnecting with Mother Earth we each can change all that. At The Gentle Barn we stand up for the innocent, and we help animals and children alike remember that they matter. We open people’s hearts to the connections with nature. We open people’s minds to what is happening around us. And we inspire people to be an integral part of the solution. Through the stories and interactions with our animals, we can raise future generations to have reverence for all life, protect our planet, live good, healthy, happy lives, and we will all be closer to having peace on earth!

The Gentle Barn is an educational facility that teaches children about animals in a way that will change their perspectives about themselves and the world around them. Staff members seek to show children that even though we all look different, we are all the same inside. Every living being has language and needs food, water, shelter and love. Programs at The Gentle Barn teach the children why roosters crow, why pigs love mud, why goats chew, and how each species communicates through body language. At The Gentle Barn kids gain an understanding of animals, see how much they have in common with them, and get to expand their empathy for all living beings.

The Gentle Barn is currently located in Los Angeles, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, and St Louis, Missouri. It is open to the public once a week for guests to hug the cows, give the pigs tummy rubs, cuddle the turkeys, feed the horses, hold the chickens, and learn their stories of resilience. During the rest of the week The Gentle Barn is available for private tours, VIP all day tours, school field trips, birthday parties, groups of at risk, inner city, and special needs kids, and special events.

“We believe that animals can provide unconditional love, kindness, and a non-judgmental attitude to all,” says The Gentle Barn website. “The animals at The Gentle Barn have so much love to give back, and we believe they are perfect for people with special needs.”

You can take a private two-hour tour, which includes a maximum of 20 people 2 Hour Private Tour and has a donation price of $400.

You may also book a VIP Day Tour, which includes having the barnyard to yourself and lunch with founder Ellie Laks. You receive an intimate six-hour experience where you learn the history of The Gentle Barn, a personal introduction to all of the animals on both of The Gentle Barn’s California properties, and share their stories of rescue and recovery. It costs a suggested donation of $1,000 and includes a maximum of five people.

Groups from high-risk teens to foster youth have a place at The Gentle Barn. The environment is safe and quiet, giving groups the freedom to be themselves, and the room to explore at their own pace. The animals teach forgiveness, love, trust, and a sense of responsibility, which means a lot to many children, especially those with special needs, says The Gentle Barn website.

Their visits from September through June include activities to cultivate self-awareness and hope for the future, such as working in the vegetable garden to connect with Mother Earth, walking horses to practice leadership skills, holding smaller animals to practice gentleness, and going on nature hikes to talk about resilience. Each time they come out to The Gentle Barn, these special guests open up, become vulnerable, relate to the animals, and find more and more of themselves in the barnyard.

“Watching clean city kids come for the first time is an amazing thing,” says Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn. “They are stand-offish at first, or concerned about getting dirty. But after hearing stories of the animals, similar to their stories, they very quickly open up, and before we know it, they are hugging and cuddling the animals with no concern for their cleanliness or tough reputations at all. At The Gentle Barn we get to see miracles every day, and I am so grateful to be able to do this work!”

A Gentle Thanksgiving
The Gentle Barn is celebrating life with a holiday event for the community. Each year, guests to A Gentle Thanksgiving are treated to a gourmet vegan meal, in addition to time with the animals that includes feeding cranberries and vegan treats to The Gentle Barn’s turkeys. There will be various activities such as a Native American drum circle, music and dancing. Also, attendees each receive a gift bag filled with donated products from The Gentle 52 Sponsors.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving in a cruel-free way that honors animals and raises the awareness of a plant-based diet (veganism).

The event runs from 3-8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017. Tickets are $200 for adults and $175 for kids age 12 and under. You may purchase tickets on the website, GentleBarn.org.

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