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Original Composition To Be Performed At Free Concert

| Community | February 19, 2015

by Melissa Lampert

quarterconcertAn original composition created by The Master’s College student Amy Mack is set to be performed by the Grace Baptist Praise Symphony Orchestra at a free concert in Santa Clarita on Feb. 27.

Called “Tunes, Tales and Truths,” the family-friendly concert will feature the world premiere of “The Light Princess,” a classic tale by George MacDonald, as well as the original artwork of Jay Wegter.

“The Light Princess” tells the story of a cursed princess who can only find happiness while in a magical lake. After a prince from another land finds her and falls in love, the witch who cursed her is furious. She begins to drain the lake, slowly taking the princess’ life with it and forcing the prince to embark on a quest to save her.

Other tales will also be featured throughout the night following the theme “stories in music.”

Mack is a senior composition major at The Master’s College and has been composing music since she was in high school. She was awarded a composition scholarship to attend the Master’s College for her first ever composition, “The Awakening,” which was written for a full orchestra and recorded by the Grace Baptist Praise Symphony Orchestra.

“Tunes, Tales and Truths” is set to be held Friday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church, located at 22833 Copper Hill Drive in Santa Clarita.

A second version of “The Light Princess” will also be performed at Mack’s Senior Composition Recital at The Master’s College on March 6 at 6 p.m.

Celebrity Waiter Fundraiser Saturday

| Community | February 19, 2015

This weekend hundreds of local residents will get costumed for the much-anticipated fundraiser the SCV Senior Center’s Celebrity Waiter Dinner. On top of an evening with fun-loving friends, guests will each have the opportunity to win auction items including a seven-day Princess cruise for two to either the Caribbean or Mexico. this Saturday, Feb. 21, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Also at the event, held this Saturday, February 21 at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, supporters will bid on a number of unique trips, social events and experiences at both live and silent auctions. One of the auction items is a “log” boat from Six Flags Magic Mountain’s historic Log Jammer ride, and one lucky bidder will win a week in a fully equipped Maui beach house that sleeps 10 guests. Other unique auction items include a day of sailing for four guests on a trimaran sailboat; a barbecue party at the Sand Canyon home of Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Bob Kellar; lunch with U.S. Congressman Steve Knight, State Assemblyman Scott Wilk or Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean; or an antique corner cast iron wood-burning stove from the turn-of-the-century.

Bidders can also compete for decorator items, dinner and theater experiences, a plane ride to the Santa Barbara area, a tandem skydiving experience, a pair of garden art metal giraffes, a picnic basket complete with wine glasses and cheese board, original pictures, tickets to sporting events, a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West desert masterpiece in Scottsdale, AZ, massage and spa services, house cleaning services, beauty products, jewelry, a collector set of six wooden cars, and a collection of gift certificates. Scheduled items also include golf packages, website design, a telescope with tripod, handmade chess set, tours of Animal Tracks in Acton next to Vasquez Rocks, orthodontics, printing, a paddle boat and more.

Table sponsors are working on zany themes and decorations for their tables, based on the event’s “Cities of the World” theme. Cities already reserved include Budapest, Dodge City (Kansas), Las Vegas, Manchester (England), New Orleans, Gotham City, Paris, Athens, Chicago, Copenhagen and Roswell (New Mexico).  Table hosts and guests can start registering as early as 5 p.m. on the evening of the dinner, and the program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.  In addition to the auctions, guests will enjoy live music and entertainment. The introduction of the “celebrity” waiters to the crowd is always a surprise and fun experience. Guests can help their waiters earn the Favorite Waiter award by purchasing scrip to “tip” the waiter for special perks and antics throughout the evening. A number of waiters also are participating in pre-event fundraising, which is added to their “tip” income when selecting the Favorite Waiter.

Table hosts will also be competing for awards for best decorated table and best costumes.

The Celebrity Waiter is one of the SCV Senior Center’s top fundraising events. Proceeds help to support such services as home delivered meals, reassurance telephone calls, educational and support groups, the Handyworker program, Supportive Services and many other programs.

Table sponsorships will be available until the venue reaches capacity, with costs ranging from $1,650 to $5,500, depending on the perks available at each level. Tables seat 10 guests, and sponsors receive night-of-event recognition. Individual tickets are $125 each. Table reservations or additional information are available by calling Jennifer at (661) 259-9444, Ext144.

Lent Begins for Locals

| Community | February 19, 2015

Some traditions never change. We still mark time, however, with others that may take shape a little bit differently than they used to. There seems to be room for both, as Santa Clarita churches entered a new Lenten season this week.

It remains to be seen whether Easter Sunday will see a lineup of little girls in patent leather Mary Janes and lily white bonnets, but the Lenten season began with some of the same traditions as always. A look at local websites and Facebook pages for Catholic parishes made it known that a new season had begun. Each church held multiple masses for Ash Wednesday, the official start of the Lenten season ending on the weekend of Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The students at OLPH (Our Lady of Perpetual Help) School began the day with Ash Wednesday Mass. Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Parish in Saugus posted Lent activities for kids on its Facebook site.

One of the community’s favorite Lent activities is back for the 37th year in Canyon Country. St. Clare of Assisi Parish is kicking off its annual Lenten Fish Fry dinners this Friday, Feb. 20 to observe the season of Lent and benefit several SCV charities.

Because of the admonition to avoid meat on Fridays during Lent, the dinners are available every Friday night to members and non-members alike.

The dinners, which are served from 4:30 to 8 p.m., are set to continue for five additional Fridays and include beer battered Alaskan cod, French fries or rice pilaf, coleslaw and rolls. Dinners are available for dine in or take out and range from $9 to $10.

Beneficiaries include Bridge to Home, SCV Food Pantry, the SCV Pregnancy Center, the San Fernando Valley Family Counseling Center, the Archdiocese of the Military and families in need.

Ash Wednesday marked the first day of the 40-day Lenten fast, which many Western Christians observe to prepare for Easter Sunday in imitation of Jesus Christ’s 40-day fast in the desert.

City’s Thursdays @ Newhall Series Returns with New Events in 2015

| Community | February 5, 2015

Free Events Held Thursday Nights from March through October in Old Town Newhall

Thursdays @ Newhall Returns
Crowds will form on Thursday nights in Old Town Newhall again as the City of Santa Clarita brings back the Thursdays @ Newhall series. Presented by Galpin Subaru, new and returning events will attract crowds to Main Street beginning March 5, 2015, including a weekly rotation of ArtSLAM, a car show, SENSES, The ARTree 2015 Speaker Series and the Concert Series sponsored by OutWest Boutique.

With Main Street serving as the backdrop, each week’s entertainment includes exciting new themes, attractions and hands-on activities for all ages in the heart of Old Town Newhall’s Arts District. On the first Thursday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., ArtSLAM will combine forces with JAM Sessions to celebrate art, music and movement. ArtSLAM features art installations by local artists. JAM Sessions is an interactive series inviting participants of all skill levels to release their inner artist through tango, salsa, drumming, square dance and much more. All ArtSLAM events are free and open to the public.

ArtSLAM kicks off on Thursday, March 5 with a pop-up art gallery and a Bollywood dance JAM Session. Additional JAM Sessions scheduled for the 2015 ArtSLAM season include Square Dance on April 2, Japanese Folk Dance on May 7, African Dance and Drums on June 4, Drum Circle on July 2, Swing Dance on August 6, Salsa Dance on September 3, and Tango Dance on October 1. JAM Sessions begin at 7:30 p.m. and are presented in partnership with the Ford Theatre Foundation, with funding provided by The James Irvine Foundation. To learn more, visit FordJamSessions.org. 

The Thursdays @ Newhall series includes Revved Up, a new and free themed car show held from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month. Each event will feature top quality cars, a live DJ, food trucks and a beer and wine garden for adults. Attendees will be invited to vote for their favorite car, with eligible winners entered into the annual OTNA Classic Car Show.

Revved Up begins on Thursday, March 12 with a Classic VW car show. Additional shows scheduled for the 2015 Revved Up series include Trucks and Off-Road Vehicles on April 9, Traditional Rods and Customs on May 14, Custom & Classic Motorcycles on June 11, Imports on July 9, Antiques on August 13, Low Riders on September 10 and Oddball Cars on October 8, 2015.

Residents may submit a vehicle for consideration in a show by applying online at http://oldtownnewhall.com/thursdaysatnewhall/revved-up or by contacting the City’s Arts and Events office at aeo@santa-clarita.com.

The City’s popular SENSES block party will heat up Main Street once again from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on every third Thursday of the month. The free outdoor events, which draw thousands of attendees, will kick off on Thursday, March 19 with a Luck o’ the Irish theme, including live Celtic rock music by Green Ashes, as well as food trucks and activities.

Other SENSES themes slated for 2015 include Country Throwdown on April 16, Masquerade on May 21, Let it Ride on June 18, Christmas in July on July 16, Woodstock on August 20, Hot Havana Nights on September 17 and Sports of all Sorts on October 15.

Two special events will be held on the fourth Thursday of each month in collaboration with Thursdays @ Newhall, including the free ARTree 2015 Speaker Series and the OutWest Concert Series.

The ARTree 2015 Speaker Series will feature free lectures and discussions with influential artists and leaders who bring art, arts education and exceptional projects to Santa Clarita. The series will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month beginning February 26 at the Old Town Newhall Library. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

The ARTree Speaker Series is presented in partnership with the CalArts Community Arts Partnership and the City of Santa Clarita.

For more information about the City of Santa Clarita’s 2015 Thursday @ Newhall events, visit OldTownNewhall.com/ThursdaysatNewhall or contact the City’s Arts and Events Office at (661) 250-3787.

Arts & Entertainment Schedule

| Community | January 9, 2015

Sunday Nights (5 p.m.) $5
The VU Blues Jam
The VU Allstars host the evening music with a guest band followed by an Open Jam.
The VU Bar
22505 8th St,
Newhall, CA 91321

Monday Nights (5 – 8 p.m.)
Chess & Pizza! With Coach J
The Chess Doctor is in – come learn about chess or improve your game. Every Monday that is not a holiday, California Youth Chess League (CYCL) offers free chess play to the public. Come in for the chess, but make sure you order some pizza – it’s great! This is not a drop-off location. Parents MUST NOT leave children unattended
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 ½ Lyons Ave. Newhall, CA

Friday Nights (7-9 p.m.)
Melissa Performs for Guests
Hear Melissa play piano/guitar and sing while you dine. Enjoy a nice Italian dinner, a glass of wine and songs by Melissa.
La Toscana Trattoria Grill.
25858 Tournament Road, Valencia, CA (661) 254-9000

Saturday Nights (7-11 p.m.)
Live Blues Shows – Great BBQ and enjoy an evening of blues with theses very talented musicians.
Westfield Valencia Town Center
24201 West Valencia Blvd., Valencia, CA

Saturday Nights (7:30 PM)
Belly Dancing
Persia Restaurant offers you an experience of great taste and style. Discover delectable subtleties of Persian and Mediterranean food along with belly dancers to entertain you.
Live Jazz Music every other Friday Night.
Persia Elegant Cuisine
27600 Bouquet Canyon Rd., Saugus (661) 513-0077
Thursday Nights (8 p.m.)
Salsa Dance lessons and dancing afterwards Belly Dancers appear every night, but salsa dancing takes over on Thursdays. Persia Lounge also has an All you can Eat Lunch Buffet for $9.99 from 11:30 to 2:30 pm. Full service catering is available for  businesses & home, packages starts as low as $8 for lunch: Kabobs, Rice, Appetizers. There is a special beer & wine selection.
Persia Lounge
24328 Main St. Newhall, CA. (661) 259-4100

Friday, January 9 (7 – 9 p.m.) FREE
FRIDAY Singing Club Open Mic Night
The Singing Club presents this open mic event to all amateur singers and entertainers looking for a place to present their latest endeavors. Feel free to present whatever form of entertainment (family rated) you wish (songs, poetry, readings, comedy, instrumental, duets, etc.). Acts are rotated in order of arrival and each act is expected to last about 2-5 minutes. There is a library of over 2,500 song tracks available – or bring your own CD, YouTube link, or thumb drive. The library is available at the Singing Club web site (below).
It’s A Grind Coffee House
29641 The Old Rd Castaic, CA 91384
(Hasley Canyon exit off the 5 – in the Ralphs shopping center in Castaic)
(661) 702-9636
http://www.thesingingclub.net

Friday,January 9 (7 p.m. to ??) FREE
Guitar Center Open Jam
These shows provide an opportunity for musicians to gain experience performing to a live audience without having to go through the process of getting normal music gigs, which is very difficult to do without experience of live
performance.
Vincenzo’s Pizza,
24504 ½ Lyons Ave. Newhall, CA. (661) 259-6733

Saturday, January 10 (8 – 10 p.m.)
Melissa Performs for Guests
Hear Melissa play piano/guitar and sing while you dine. Enjoy a nice Italian dinner, a glass of wine and songs by Melissa.
WINE 661
Wine Bar & Bottle Shop
24268 Valencia Blvd,
Santa Clarita, CA 91355 Phone: (661) 288-2980

Saturday, January 10 (7:30 -10:30 p.m.)
Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
Long running very popular Bluegrass Jam. Come enjoy the evening of free music, meet with friends and order a pizza. Fun for the whole family.
Vincenzo’s Pizza,
24504 ½ Lyons Ave. Newhall, CA. (661) 259-6733

Sunday, January 11 (8 p.m.)
Robert Heft Blues Band
All Ages Welcome. Bring your Mother, Friends, Family and Instruments. Backline is furnished – Just sign in at the door. Santa Clarita Valley Blues Society (SCVBS) members get a free upgrade from a Medium to Large Pizza.
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 ½ Lyons Av, Newhall, CA

Tuesday, January 13 (7:30 p.m.)
Strong Van Winkl Music Showcase
Join Chuck and Skip for an evening of great music. There is no charge to listen. Come on by for a cold drink and some great food. It’s “Prime Rib Special” night.
Music Tuesday Nights with Skip & Chuck.
Bergie’s Bar & Grill
16404 Delone Street, Santa Clarita

Tuesday, January 13 (6:30 p.m.) FREE
Keyboard Galleria “Open Mike”
Solo acts, duos and small combos are welcome. KGMC always provides a great back line, so don’t worry about your gear. Of course, if you are attached to your favorite guitar, bring it. The stage is complete with amps, drums, pro piano, and BOSE sound system. It’s a great room to play. Try out a new song you are composing, or perform a song by your favorite artist … or just come and listen to the great talent that will perform. RSVP or call 661-259-5397 to get your name on the list.
Keyboard Galleria (661) 259-5397
21515 Soledad Canyon Rd. Ste. 120

Saturday, January 17 (7:30 -10:30 p.m.)
Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
Long running very popular Bluegrass Jam. Come enjoy the evening meet with friends and order a pizza. Fun for the whole family.
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 ½ Lyons Ave.Newhall, CA. (661) 259-6733

Monday, January 19 (6 – 8:30 p.m.)
Robert Heller Band host
“New Talent Open Mike”
The Robert Heller Band will perform and host the evening’s entertainment. Robert and the Band will provide the back line. Come prepared to perform two songs, bring your instruments.Get in on the FUN or just come and listen. Sign ups begin at 6 p.m.
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 1/2 Lyons Ave., Newhall, CA 91321

Monday, January 19 (6:30 p.m.) FREE
James Wisnowski to Demo
at SCV Artists Meeting
James is a graduate of the American Academy of Art and a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. In addition, he is a member of the Oil Painters of America, California Art Club, Laguna Plein Air Painters of America, American Watercolor Society, Chicago Artists Coalition, and the Palette and Chisel Fine Arts Academy. James focuses on the outdoor landscape in both oils and watercolor mediums, traveling and teaching his technique in workshops extensively in inspirational locations in Europe and the USA. Painting en plein air gives him a more immediate and intimate encounter with the subject, which allows him to translate the experience onto canvas. These paintings are later used as studies for larger work done in the studio. His technique is defined as a realist and a colorist, simplifying and emphasizing the light and color in order to communicate his vision of his environment as he sees it. James believes painting is a visual language with no need of verbal explanation. You can read more about James and view his work at http://jameswisnowski.com/.
Barnes & Noble Books
23630 Valencia Blvd,
Santa Clarita, CA 91355 Phone: (661) 254-6604

Special Thanks to David Veal (DVeal@socal.rr.com)

The Canyon Country Advisory Committee and the year 2015

| Community | January 8, 2015

by Alan Ferdman

With 2015 already upon us, the Canyon Country Advisory Committee will be celebrating its 18th anniversary providing Santa Clarita Valley communities with information and services unlike any other organization in our area. Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month, except December, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Mint Canyon Moose Banquet Room, 1800 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country. There is no charge for attendance. Presentations provided are video recorded and then loaded on YouTube for those unable to attend.

Last year provided many opportunities for the Canyon Country Advisory Committee to expand services at a level greater than ever before. The first opportunity spotlighted the group’s unique “Meet and Greet” format. This process allows for election candidates to provide short presentations about their qualifications and then follows up with a question and answer session. Questions are directly asked by audience members and answers provided by the candidates themselves.  All 13 of the 2014 Santa Clarita City Council candidates participated in meetings held January through March. Congressional Assembly candidates Steve Knight and Tony Strickland were highlighted at the September meeting, and finally Los Angeles County Sheriff candidates Jim McDonnell and Paul Tanaka took center stage during the October meeting. In addition, information was provided throughout the year on major issues such as CEMEX, Billboards, Measure S, and Chloride, plus much more.
With the majority of future local elections over a year away, 2015 provides the Canyon Country Advisory Committee time to refocus on areas the City of Santa Clarita is doing very well and issues where improvement is essential if we are to maintain our Santa Clarita family-friendly lifestyle.

Santa Clarita Valley communities continue to grow.  We no longer live in a little town and our “One Valley One Vision” General Plan provides for the future population to almost double. Traffic congestion, water availability and other infrastructure issues are already being felt around the city. Today, as the third largest city in Los Angeles County, working to establish a culture which establishes continuous improvement for all aspects of city processes and services must be a top priority. It is our responsibility to stay informed, keep our eye on the ball and hold our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make. Only then can we be assured Santa Clarita will remain a community where our children and grandchildren will want to live.

To help you stay informed, I invite you to join us at the first Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting of 2015 on Wednesday, January 21, remembering always “Together We Can Make A Difference.”

Just a Few Fun Things to Do

| Community | December 26, 2014

Ongoing
Outdoor Ice Rink
Westfield Valencia Town Center, partnering with Topanga Canyon Ice, will host an outdoor ice skating rink through January 11. The Payforward Ice Rink at Westfield Valencia Town Center is located on Town Center Drive and features real ice, skate rentals, and events in an ambient atmosphere for skaters of all ages to enjoy.

Open Skate Times:
Mon-Thurs, 11am – 9:30pm
Fri & Sat, 10am – 11pm
Sunday, 11am – 8pm

Check the website (click on “More Info”) calendar for dates & times of rink closures.

Holiday Hours are subject to change. The facility is subject to close for Holidays, Holiday Private Parties and Private Ice Rental at any time.

Skating tickets are purchased for a maximum of two hour sessions*:

Admission and Skate Rental (9+): $15

Kids (8 & under): $12

Children 3 & under: Free with paid adult

Walkers (on ice to assist skaters): $5 per 30-minute session

*Skaters will be entitled to a minimum two-hour block of skating time, however there are no in/out options available, once you leave the skating area your session is over.

Adult Frequent Skater Pass (12 Admissions): $120
Child Frequent Skater Pass (12 Admissions): $150
Holiday festivities include Hot Cocoa with Santa, holiday character shows, Frozen on Ice, Polar Bear Skate, and more! Website: www.towncenteronice.com.

Six Flags Magic Mountain Holiday in the Park
With hundreds of thousands of lights on display, now is a good time to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain in Santa Clarita. It is Magic Mountain’s first “Holiday in the Park,” where visitors can enjoy the holiday music, dancers, carolers and games and more. The Winter Wonderland will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus and will continue through Sunday, January 4. The shows and rides are open to ticketholders; visit the website: www.magicmountain.sixflags.com.

Saturday, December 27, 2014
Extended Family Holiday Hike
This hike in Whitney Canyon to the Waterfall (short and shady) can get those out of town guests out of the house and burning calories after the holidays. It is such a pleasant and easy “out and back” hike that you can bring Gran, the grandkids and the new puppy. This is a flat (barely) 5-mile hike through a riparian area with shade along most of the route. Your hike will start off on a dirt road, but after about a half mile, it becomes a single track all the way to a little waterfall. The waterfall is dry this time of year, but there might still be wildflowers all along the riparian corridor.

Bring: An extra layer if it is particularly chilly. It is short but you might like to bring a snack, lots of water, sun protection/hat.

Meet your Leader: at Sierra Highway / Newhall Ave Park and Ride (Whitney Canyon trailhead), by the gate, at 8:00 a.m. for an 8:15 a.m. SHARP departure down the trail. You should be back by about 10:30 a.m. at the latest. RAIN CANCELS ALL HIKES. Directions: From Valencia, take the I-5 freeway south to the SR-14 North. Exit at Newhall Avenue. Take the right at the fork on the off-ramp. When you reach the stop sign, turn right. This will lead you quickly to the Park and Ride. Parking here is free. NOTE: If the Park and Ride is full, you may park in the MRCA lot ($7). It is wise to come a little early to secure a parking spot in the Park and Ride.

Look for your leader at the green MRCA gate by the green sign at the top/left of the Park and Ride.
Leader: Lise
Rated: Easy, suitable for newcomers and family

Monday, December 29, 2014
Thank You Note Workshop
Timed perfectly to cover all of your Christmas thank you note needs, the Valencia Library is holding a workshop to help you put just the right words together to show appreciation. The library will supply the paper and decorations to make them eye-catching also. It is open to the public and will be held at the Valencia Library in the VA Meeting Room at 1:00 p.m.

New Year’s Eve
Midnight in the Garden Masquerade
The Oaks Grille at TPC Golf Course will host a masquerade party on New Year’s Eve from 6:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Featuring the “Garden of Eden” five-course dinner prepared by Chef Otto, there are seatings at 7:45 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Formal attire is suggested and reservations are required for the event, which costs members $148 and non-members $170. Tournament Players Club is located at 26550 Heritage View Lane in Valencia. Visit www.oaksgrilletpc.com for more information.

Grants From Kaiser Go to Eight Local Non-Profits

| Community | December 18, 2014

Every year, a number of Santa Clarita non-profits get a boost from Kaiser Permanente. With an aim to “improve health locally,” the company’s Community Benefits Grants Program chooses to give money to charity groups that meet that criterion.

This year, the benefits totaled $62,626 and Santa Clarita’s lucky winners were:

Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley received $10,000 to support “Triple-Play,” a three-pronged (mind-body-soul) comprehensive health, fitness, and wellness initiative for at-risk youth at their club locations in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Bridge to Home received $9,626 to support a Health Navigator to coordinate healthcare for uninsured, homeless individuals and families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Carousel Ranch received $4,000 to support equestrian therapy and exercise for lower-income children with physical disabilities at risk for obesity in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Child & Family Center received $15,000 to support the expansion of a school-based mental health program for lower-income, at-risk youths and their families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Samuel Dixon Family Health Center received $7,000 to provide access to extensive dental services for lower-income, uninsured families in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center received $5,000 to support case management, health and wellness programming and screenings, and chronic disease education for lower-income seniors in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Single Mother’s Outreach received $7,000 to support case management to help address the social service and mental health needs of low-income single mother-headed households in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Special Olympics Southern California received $5,000 to support year-round sports, health, and fitness programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities at risk for obesity in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The organizations chosen need to show a commitment to expanding access to care for lower-income and uninsured individuals, improving education, prevention, early detection, treatment of chronic diseases, and efforts to promote healthy eating and active living to combat increased obesity rates through medical, environmental, and social changes.

“Our physicians and employees in the Santa Clarita Valley are proud to support our local non-profit organizations with these grants,” says Physician-In-Charge David Wong, MD. “Through partnerships with these groups, we are working to benefit the community at large by addressing issues and concerns that affect its overall health.”

To learn more Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit program visit: http://community.kp.org/ or follow @KPCommBenefit on Twitter.

About Kaiser Permanente Santa Clarita and Panorama City Medical Center
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City serves more than 200,000 members in the East San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys. The care the medical group provides to members and patients is focused on total health and is guided by each patient’s personal physician, specialists, and team of caregivers. For more information, go to: kp.org/santaclarita and follow us on Twitter @KPPanoramaCity.

Just a Few Fun Things to Do!

| Community | December 11, 2014

Saturday, 12/13, 1-4:15pm
Ice Station Valencia’s Family Snow Days
27745 N. Smyth Drive in Valencia

The Ice Station’s Family Snow Days are a fun opportunity for the entire family to play in snow, ice skate, drink hot cocoa, meet Frosty the Snowman and have a fun family holiday experience. They will be offering FREE beginning ice skating lessons at 2:00pm and 3:15pm. Kids: $12, Adults: FREE to play in Snow or $5 for skate rentals with child admission. Visit www.icestation.net for more information.

Saturday, 12/13, 8pm
Rockapella Holiday Show
SCPAC 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia
Back by popular demand, the undisputed kings of contemporary a cappella continue to offer proof of their boundless ability to inspire and attract devoted fans, new and old. They’ve toured the globe, helped 10 million viewers find Carmen Sandiego on PBS, and have provided a funky, powerful soundtrack to several generations of vocal music fans. Now they promise to deck the Performing Arts Center’s halls with holiday favorites, uniquely Rockapella-style. Tickets are on sale at www.canyonsPAC.com or by calling 661-362-5304.
Saturday and Sunday, 12/13 & 12/14, 8:30-10:45am
Breakfast with Santa
SCSC Activities Center, 20870 Centre Pointe Parkway

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a great breakfast, holiday stories, arts & crafts, and much more! There will be plenty of photo opportunities so make sure to bring your camera. Everyone one year and older must present a ticket to attend, cost is $20 for residents and $25 for non-Santa Clarita residents. To register call 661-290-2261.

Sunday, 12/14, 1 pm
Bowling for Kids
Valencia Lanes, 23700 Lyons Avenue in Newhall

Taylor Kellstrom and the SCV Book Exchange proudly present the 3rd Annual Bowling for Kids Charity Event with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Come out and bowl for $25 for 3 hours, including shoes, or buy a lane for $110 for up to 5 people. If you are not a bowler, come out and bid on the silent auction items. This year will include a 50/50 raffle, toy donations, and bowling award as well. Auction items last year included a signed hockey stick by an LA Kings player, UCLA football tickets, Clipper tickets, a foursome to Vista Valencia, free karate lessons, and many more other items. Any donation is appreciated! Lane and event sponsorships are available as well. For more information visit www.taylorkellstrom.com or call 661-287-0103.

Sunday, 12/14, 4pm
Santa Clarita Master Chorale presents “A British Holiday”
SCPAC 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia

From cathedrals and cozy manor houses to the lively London streets of Charles Dickens’ carolers, the Chorale and Children’s Choir will celebrate English holiday music from all ages, including beloved British composer John Rutter’s exuberant “Gloria.” Tickets range from $11 to $29. Tickets are on sale at www.canyonsPAC.com or by calling 661-362-5304

Sunday, 12/14, 5-8pm
“Winter Wonderland”
The Church on the Way Santa Clarita, 23415 Cinema Drive in Valencia

Come and enjoy a “Winter Wonderland” where it’s all about snow, snow and more snow! There will be age appropriate areas for snow play. Stroll along the craft fair for gifts and decorating items. “Winter Wonderland” will feature a live nativity, an outdoor movie, and an opportunity to take pictures with Santa. Food trucks will be on hand for food purchases. Admission is free. Call 661-291-6000 for more information.

Thursday, 12/18, 3-4:30pm
SCV Senior Center Holiday Concert
SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market Street in Newhall

Get into the spirit of the holidays with SCV Senior Center’s Holiday Concert featuring the Silvertone Musicians, under the direction of John Swinford. Come and enjoy this free and holiday fun concert. Call 661-259-9444 for more information.

Libraries Host Hobbit Events

| Community | December 5, 2014

The popularity of films based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien has meant a wider swath of society has been able to enjoy the classic fiction. The branches of the Santa Clarita Library have several events planned that will draw attention to the upcoming release of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.” The public is invited to celebrate the new film with programming beginning next week and continuing through Monday, December 15, 2014.

All three library branches and several community partners will offer these FREE programs, movie screenings, and literary discussions:
Wednesday, December 10 at 6:30 p.m. – Hosted at the Valencia Library branch, Tolkien expert Cliff Broadway, who also serves as a senior writer/editor of TheOneRing.net, will present “The Hobbit – Then and Now,” a review of all adaptations of “The Hobbit” story, culminating in a preview of how Peter Jackson will wrap up his current Hobbit film trilogy.

Thursday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. – Join Professor Diana Glyer of Azusa Pacific University at the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library branch as she shares about J.R.R. Tolkien’s friendship with C.S. Lewis. Glyer will touch on their relationship, its profound influence on the books he was writing, and how one lunch changed Tolkien’s tales of Hobbits, Wizards, and Black Riders.

After each event referenced above, participants will have the opportunity to win a pair of tickets to a private screening of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” on Saturday, December 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the Valencia Stadium 12 Theater. In order to be eligible to win a ticket, library guests must participate in at least one activity, have a Santa Clarita Public Library card and be 13 years or older.

All events are sponsored by the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library. To learn more or to become a member, visit SantaClaritaFOL.com

Stay connected on all Hobbit Happenings by liking the Santa Clarita Public Library Facebook page at Facebook.com/SCVPublicLibrary or following the Twitter account at Twitter.com/SCVPublicLib. For further information, visit SantaClaritaLibrary.com or contact your local Santa Clarita Public Library branch.

Agent Brings Bands to Public Fans

| Community, News | December 5, 2014

by Martha Michael
If you know Santa Clarita resident Chris Burke, you move from six degrees to two degrees from a number of the world’s most famous musical entertainers.

For decades, Burke has been an agent for bands represented by Hollywood’s most prestigious talent agencies, currently WME (William Morris Endeavor). Over the years, the 51-year-old has worked with groups like Three Dog Night and Crosby, Stills and Nash, and singers like Janet Jackson, Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole.

It was Burke’s connection to his client Kenny Loggins that brought the famed artist to the SCV last month for a fundraiser benefiting the Golden Valley High School Band. It pulled in more than $40,000. An event of that magnitude would seem daunting to the average resident, but for Burke it was “another day at the office.” It’s what he does—books talent at venues all over the world, setting up tours and promoting clients.

“I sat in the audience at the Golden Valley High School Theater watching Kenny Loggins’ performance for free to help the music department … the audience on their feet,” says Burke, “I couldn’t help getting a bit emotional, thinking, ‘He is doing this for me and for all the right reasons—helping our school.’ These types of things are very rare in this business. So, yeah, definitely ‘top ten.’”

It sounds like a stereotype, but Burke started in the mailroom. He was a student at California State University, Northridge, and landed a job at a small agency called Regency Artists. On his second day there, he made a delivery to the home of legendary singer Johnny Mathis.

“I remember specifically thinking, when he personally answered the door, that most of my friends wouldn’t even know who he was, but because of my mom and dad being in the business, I not only knew, but lived his music and realized he was already a legend,” says Burke. “I thought my career had peaked on my first day in the mailroom.”
Burke was also an usher at The Greek Theater in Hollywood. His next move was to the position of assistant to Ben Bernstein, a former agent to Whitney Houston. His career continued to rise, propelling Burke to a position as music agent for the most competitive agency in Hollywood.

“I honestly feel blessed each day I go to work and do what I do,” says Burke.  

He has represented a wide range of musicians, many of them classic rock artists and bands from the 1970s and ‘80s who are still touring.

When asked if there’s a “down side,” Burke says, “The low points always come when you lose an act that you have been representing for many years. That has happened twice. One was the Pointer Sisters and the other was, ironically, Johnny Mathis.”  

On the other side of the coin, Burke has numerous favorite experiences in the business. For instance, he had the opportunity to hear and witness James Taylor and Carole King rehearse “You’ve Got a Friend” in a theater with only a couple of people watching.

“I have had the honor of flying on a private jet with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Jay Leno. I love being in an audience of a show that took months to negotiate and watch the audience go crazy,” says the agent.

He and his wife, Leslee, have been married for 24 years, and they have two children, nearly grown. Leslee works at Fair Oaks Community School in Santa Clarita. Their daughter, Lindsay, attends Azusa Pacific University and their son, Ryan, is a junior at Golden Valley High School (in the marching band, of course).

He gets asked about his job quite a bit, and the always upbeat Chris Burke is happy to share his experiences. He says, “After 35 years, I love doing what I do, which is a good thing, because I don’t know how to do anything else.”

Just a Few Fun Things to Do!

| Community | December 4, 2014

Saturday, 12/6, 9-4pm
Bubble Gamez Launch Party
Bridgeport Park, 23520 Bridgeport Lane

Join Bubble Gamez at a launch party this Saturday! Version 2 Development is proudly introducing Bubble Gamez to the SCV with the hope to make bubble activities a fun experience for the community. They will be playing 5v5 Bubble Soccer – CTF and offering a special introductory price of $15 per player, per game. Each game is approximately 35-40 minutes long and begin every hour. Spots are limited, so reserve them now. Make sure to review the participation requirements on the company’s website, as not everyone will qualify; for instance, players must be at least 16 years old to play. For more information, visit www.bubblegamez.com.

Saturday, 12/6, 9:30am-4:30pm
HMNMH “Holiday Home Tour”

The 34th Annual Holiday Home Tour will live up to its theme, “Holiday Memories.” Three local homes will thrill visitors with their festive holiday décor. Some of the highlights will be a Santa’s workshop, snowball collection, “A Nightmare Before Christmas” themed bedroom, and a “Nutcracker” themed room. The tour is open to adults and children over 12 and flat shoes are required. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the event. For more information, visit www.henrymayogiving.com.

Saturday, 12/6, 9:30am-4pm
HMNMH “Holiday Home Tour” Holiday Boutique
Pico Canyon Elementary, 25255 Pico Canyon, Stevenson Ranch

Bring your friends and family to view a wide selection of creative and unique holiday items that will be for sale. Admission to the Boutique is free.  

Saturday 12/6, 10am-1pm
Snow Fest
Santa Clarita Valley YMCA, 26147 McBean Parkway in Valencia

It’s snowing at the Y! This Saturday the YMCA will be turned into a frozen winter wonderland for everyone to enjoy. There will be tons of snow, sledding, crafts, games, hot chocolate and more! This is a free event open to the entire community. Call 661-253-3593 for more information.

Saturday, 12/6, 12-4pm
Vintage Christmas
Heritage Junction at Hart Park and Main Street in Newhall

A Vintage Christmas celebration with activities at Heritage Junction and Main Street. The activities at Heritage Junction will feature an animal blessing, Santa Claus, kids’ craft projects, historic building tours, sweet treats, coffee and hot cider. Activities on Main Street will feature Christmas caroling and a holiday boutique. The Holly Trolley will provide free shuttle service between Main Street and Heritage Junction. For more information, visit www.otna.org.

Saturday -Sunday, 12/6 & 7,10am-3pm
Placerita Nature Center “Holiday Craft Fair”
Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall

Create and decorate your own holiday wreaths, centerpieces, candles and ornaments the Placerita Nature Center way, using fresh-cut greenery, pinecones and other natural treasures. This is a fundraiser with modest charges. Most crafts are $2 and wreaths start at $12. Cash and checks only. Visit www.placerita.org for more information.

Saturday, 12/6, 2pm
SCV Historical Society “Ancient Enterprises”
Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main Street, Old Town Newhall

The SCV Historical Society brings to life the earliest inhabitants of the Santa Clarita Valley, the Tataviam.  Dr. Laurie Solis, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at College of the Canyons will be giving the presentation “Ancient Enterprises: How the Prehistoric Tataviam Survived & Thrived in An Ancient Landscape.” Admission is free. Visit www.scvhs.org/ for details.

Saturday, 12/6, 2-8pm
Winter Magic Lighted Boat Parade
Castaic Lake, 32132 Castaic Lake Drive, Castaic

This annual lighted boat parade will light up the night as you and the family enjoy food and snacks, a visit from Santa and real snow to play in (bring your sled!). Help out the needy by bringing a canned food item (you will receive one raffle ticket) or an unwrapped toy valued at $10 (receive 10 raffle tickets).

Saturday, 12/6, 6pm
Veterans Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting
Veterans Memorial Plaza, 24275 N. Walnut Street, Old Town Newhall

Celebrate our servicemen, past and present, with this delightful Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Plaza. There will be caroling, hot cocoa, holiday treats and a placing of a wreath for our fallen servicemen by the SCV Young Marines. The Christmas tree is decorated with photos of our military members surrounded by red, white and blue lights. Call 661-799-8865 for more information.

Saturday, 12/6, 7pm
William S. Hart’s 150th Birthday Celebration
William S. Hart Park and Museum, 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall

The Friends of Hart Park have planned a special evening to celebrate silent movie star Bill Hart’s 150th Birthday! This special occasion begins with a candlelight tour of the Hart mansion all decked out for the holiday. The celebration moves to Hart Hall for wine, hors d’oeuvres and a wild and wooly birthday party featuring many different entertainers who would certainly have brought a smile to Bill Hart’s face. Become a member of Friends of Hart Park and your admission is free! Join at the Family Level or above and receive two (2) free tickets. Active members of Friends of Hart Park are entitled to one (1) free ticket. Members with family Level or above receive two (2) free tickets. As this is a “members only” event, be sure to join the FOHP or enhance your membership to a higher level to receive your free ticket(s). Reservations are required and can be made by phone 661-222-9542. Seating in Hart Hall is limited, so make your reservations early!

Sunday, 12/7, 9am, 11am, 1pm
Santa’s Village and Live Nativity Petting Zoo
His Way Church, 23670 Wiley Canyon Road in Ventura

Join His Way Church this holiday season for a fun Christmas play about thankfulness. There will be Santa’s Village and a live nativity petting zoo that will make a great backdrop for family photos. For more information, visit ehisway.org.

Sunday, 12/7, 2-5pm
Toys on Parade Dance
SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market Street, Newhall

The Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club will hold a “Toys on Parade Dance” at the SCV Senior Center. On her first visit to the club, Terry Sherrer will call squares and Anndrea Stephan will cue rounds. The club will be collecting new toys to donate to needy children for the holidays. Casual attire is always welcome! All community members are welcome to participate in toy donations between 2-5 p.m! For information, call 661-254-4272, visit www.sierrahillbillies.org or find the group on Facebook.

Tuesday, 12/9, 6-7:30pm
Internet 101 Workshop – The Basics & Beyond
SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market Street, Newhall

You will get tips to help you buy your computer during holiday sales! There will be easy instruction on accessing information and keeping in touch with family members. All questions answered! Special holiday rate of $5. Contact Robin Clough, rclough@scv-seniorcenter.org, 661-259-9444 for more information.

Just a Few Things To Do!

| Community | November 26, 2014

Thursday, 11/27, 9am-2pm
Giving Thanks Giving 2014
Newhall Public Library, 24500 Main Street, Newhall

This is a FREE community event which will provide a Thanksgiving meal, clothing shop, live entertainment, bicycle raffle, and crafts for the kids. For more information or to volunteer, go to www.southvalleyonline.org or call 661-259-1515.

Thursday, 11/27, 10:15am
Seniors Thanksgiving Feast & Party
Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, 22900 Market Street, Newhall

All Santa Clarita seniors are welcome. The doors open at 10:15am on Thanksgiving Day with dinner starting at 11am. The feast starts with appetizers, moves on to roasted turkey with all the trimmings, and finally apple or pumpkin pie a la mode for dessert. Boxed leftovers are offered along with a second boxed meal since the Senior Center is closed on Friday. Reservations are required. For more information call 661-259-9444.

Friday, 11/28, 8pm
“Miracle On 34th Street”
Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 Main Street, Old Town Newhall

The holiday season has arrived at Canyon Theatre Guild with “Miracle on 34th Street.” You’ve probably seen the movie, but the stage production is even more heartwarming and fun for families. Kris Kringle takes a job as Santa for Macy’s and ends up in court needing to convince the jury that he isn’t incompetent, but the true Santa. Little Susan is convinced he is—are you? Tickets are $17 for juniors/seniors and $19 for adults. Shows are Friday–Sunday, check the website for times: www.canyontheatre.org.

Saturday-Sunday, 11/29 & 30 9am-4pm
Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair
William S. Hart Park, Hart Hall, 24151 Newhall Avenue, Newhall

Take part in shopping fun at the 3rd Annual Hart Holiday Boutique & Craft Fair. You’ll find homemade crafts, fashion accessories, jewelry, gift baskets and much more. Admission is free. This event is hosted by Friends of Hart Park in cooperation with L.A. County Parks & Recreation. For more information contact aweing@parks.lacounty.gov.

Wednessday, 12/3, 5-10pm
Triumph Foundation Fundraiser
Route 66 Classic Grill 18730 Soledad Canyon Road

Join us for dinner, and 15% of the proceeds will be donated to Triumph. Plus we will have a silent auction, and it will be a fun get together for the holiday. 661-803-3700 www.Triumph-Foundation.org

Thursday, 12/4, 6-8:30pm
Swing Dance…Plus
SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market Street in Newhall

Enjoy swing music plus a variety of other genres amidst a holiday ambiance. Great refreshments & great fun! There will be a $5 cover charge. Call 661-259-9444 for more information.

Saturday, 12/6, 9:30am-4:30pm
HMNMH “Holiday Home Tour”

The 34th Annual Holiday Home Tour will live up to its theme “Holiday Memories.” Three local homes will thrill visitors with their festive holiday décor. Some of the highlights will be a Santa’s workshop, snowball collection, “A Nightmare Before Christmas” themed bedroom, and a “Nutcracker” themed room. The tour is open to adults and children over 12 and flat shoes are required. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 on the day of the event. For more information visit www.henrymayogiving.com.

Saturday, 12/6, 9:30am-4pm
HMNMH “Holiday Home Tour” Holiday Boutique
Pico Canyon Elementary, 25255 Pico Canyon, Stevenson Ranch

Bring your friends and family to view a wide selection of creative and unique holiday items that will be for sale. Admission to the Boutique is free.  

Saturday -Sunday, 12/6 & 7, 10am-3pm
Placerita Nature Center “Holiday Craft Fair”
Placerita Canyon Nature Center, 19152 Placerita Canyon Road in Newhall

Create and decorate your own holiday wreaths, centerpieces, candles and ornaments the Placerita Nature Center way, using fresh-cut greenery, pinecones and other natural treasures. This is a fundraiser with modest charges. Most crafts are $2 and wreaths start at $12. Cash and checks only. Visit www.placerita.org for more information.

Saturday, 12/6, 2pm
SCV Historical Society “Ancient Enterprises”
Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main Street, Old Town Newhall

The SCV Historical Society brings to life the earliest inhabitants of the Santa Clarita Valley, the Tataviam.  Dr. Laurie Solis, Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at College of the Canyons will be giving the presentation “Ancient Enterprises: How the Prehistoric Tataviam Survived & Thrived in An Ancient Landscape.” Admission is free. Visit www.scvhs.org/ for details.

Saturday, 12/6, 6pm
Veterans Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting
Veterans Memorial Plaza, 24275 N. Walnut Street, Old Town Newhall

Celebrate our servicemen, past and present, with this delightful Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Plaza. There will be caroling, hot cocoa, holiday treats and a placing of a wreath for our fallen servicemen by the SCV Young Marines. The Christmas tree is decorated with photos of our military members surrounded by red, white and blue lights. Submit a photo of your serviceman by November 30 by mail: Prayer Angels For The Military, 21609 Oak Orchard Rd, Newhall 91321 or by email:prayerangelsforthemilitary@yahoo.com. Please include name, branch, rank and service or theater (if known). Call 661-799-8865 for more information.

Sunday, 12/7, 2-5pm
Toys on Parade Dance
SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market Street, Newhall

The Sierra Hillbillies Square Dance Club will hold a “Toys on Parade Dance” at the SCV Senior Center. On her first visit to the club, Terry Sherrer will call squares and Anndrea Stephan will cue rounds. The club will be collecting new toys to donate to needy children for the holidays. Casual attire is always welcome! All community members are welcome to participate in toy donations between 2-5 p.m! For information, call 661-254-4272, visit www.sierrahillbillies.org or find the group on Facebook. 

Just a Few Fun Things To Do

| Community | November 20, 2014

Friday, 11/21, 6:30-8:30pm
Western Family Hoe-Down
Santa Clarita Valley Family YMCA
26147 McBean Parkway in Valencia

Yeee Haw! Round up the little ones, ‘cause the SCV YMCA is throwing a rootin’-tootin’, good old-fashioned hoe-down. Join them as they rustle up some family fun with games, crafts, dancing and a campfire with s’mores. The cost is $7 per child and it’s open to everyone, so feel free to invite all the cowpokes you know! For more information call Ryan Fowler at 661-253-3593.

Friday – Sunday, 11/21-23, 12pm
Festival of Trees
The Valencia Industrial Center
24700 Avenue Rockefeller in Valencia

The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley will be hosting the 12th Annual Festival of Trees this Friday through Sunday. With over 35 professionally decorated trees between 7 and 9 feet tall, 50 amazing themed tabletop trees and over 100 gingerbread houses, you will be awed and inspired. There is a holiday shopping boutique the this weekend and a community stage with performances all weekend as well. Visit www.scvbgc.org for more information.

Friday-Sunday, 11/21-23, 8pm
“The Illusion”
SC Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons

Pulitzer Prize winner and National Medal of Honor recipient Tony Kushner brings his sophisticated style and breathtaking language to the French Baroque’s most powerful romance. “The Illusion” is a wildly entertaining tale of passion and regret, of love, disillusionment and magic. For tickets call (661) 362-5304 or visit www.canyonspac.com.

Friday, 11/21-23, 8pm
Sherlock Holmes and the Adventures of the Suicide Club
The Repertory East Playhouse
24266 Main Street in Newhall

This mystery unfolds deep in the heart of London, behind the impassive facade of a windowless house, as some of Europe’s most powerful men gather to play a game. The game is murder, and this is The Suicide Club. But the club has a new member, Sherlock Holmes: brilliant, brooding, the greatest detective in the world. Why does Holmes wish to die? Can his friend Dr. Watson save him? It’s a new stage thriller featuring the famed sleuth in a tale full of mystery, romance, twists and chills. The show will run weekends through December 13. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. For tickets, purchase online at www.repeastplayhouse.org or call 661-288-0000.

Saturday, 11/22, 8am
11th Annual Jacob Zamora Sporting Clays Memorial Shoot
Oak Tree Gun Club
23121 No. Coltrane Avenue in Newhall

This event is a shotgun sporting clays shoot. The cost to shoot is $60 for adults and $30 for youth; the price includes a T-shirt and lunch. There is also a prize for the top shooter! Following the shoot is a raffle with thousands of dollars worth of prizes. All proceeds benefit local high school scholarships and the Newhall California Highway Patrol Explorer Post 5. For more information, visit www.jzmf.org.

Saturday, 11/22, 10:15-12pm
Gingerbread House Workshop
23743 Valencia Blvd. in Valencia

Just in time for the holidays! Learn techniques that will make your house unique. The workshop will be led by local pastry chef Theresa Frederickson. No registration, but limited places, so arrive early. The demonstration is a great way to get ready for the Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library’s 2nd annual Gingerbread contest, which is free and open to the public. All ages are welcome. Gingerbread houses must be completed and delivered to the Valencia branch on 12/5 from 4-7pm. For more information, visit www.santaclaritalibrary.com/gingerbread-house-contest/.

Saturday, 11/22, 4-10pm
Combat Radio/ Westfield Town Center Mall Christmas Concert
24251 Town Center Drive, Valencia (Near the turnabout and Pottery Barn)

Combat Radio in partnership with Westfield Valencia Town Center presents “A Very Westfield Holiday Charity Concert.” Featuring a stellar lineup of musicians and headlined by ‘80s themed “Boingo Dance Party” with several original members of Oingo Boingo, the concert will feature local acts as well as band members from Blondie, Sex Pistols, Beyonce, Prince and more! The concert is being held to give back to families in need this holiday season. In addition to the concert, they will be collecting toys for local families in need. Bring unwrapped toys valued between $10 to $15 in exchange for raffle tickets There will also be a silent auction to raise money for non-profit groups. The event is free. For more information, visit combatradionow.com.

Sunday, 11/23, 10am-12pm
Alternative Gift Fair
The Santa Clarita United Methodist Church
26640 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus

The second annual Alternative Gift Fair will take place this Sunday, where those who attend may donate to local and worldwide non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project, Bridge to Home, Family Promise, and the Food Pantry, to name just a few. Those who donate will receive a card describing the non-profit organization and that card may be given as a gift to those on your Christmas list. Support local and worldwide non-profits while improving the lives of others who are not on anyone’s gift list. Call Diane at (661) 259-9799 for more information.

Sunday, 11/23, 11/30 & 12/7 2pm
Meet the Dancers from The Nutcracker
Local Libraries

For residents who are not able to attend Santa Clarita Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker” this year, the dancers will still be available at some upcoming meet and greets. Attendees will be able to ask questions and pose for pictures with the costumed dancers on three upcoming dates at three different libraries. On Sunday, November 23 they will be at the Jo Anne Darcy Canyon Country Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road. On Sunday, November 30 they will appear at the Valencia Library Branch, 23743 W. Valencia Boulevard. On Sunday, December 7 the dancers will be available at the Old Town Newhall Library, 24500 Main Street. For more information about the “Meet the Dancers” Nutcracker event, visit santaclaritalibrary.com or contact Coordinator Robin Hoklotubbe at (661) 799-6135 or via email at rhoklotubbe@santaclaritalibrary.com.

Be a Santa to a Senior

| Community | November 13, 2014

Year after year, local seniors look forward to this generous program sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care®. Numerous businesses in the Santa Clarita Valley are “Be a Santa to a Senior stores,” which are collection sites for donated gifts for senior citizens. Over the next several weeks, residents are encouraged to find a collection site near them and pick up paper “ornaments” citing particular seniors, their ages and wish lists. Those who pick up an ornament must return to the collection site with gifts for the senior, and Home Instead will gather the gifts to deliver them before Christmas.
If you are seeking a charitable act to perform this holiday season, bringing joy to the faces of local seniors is made possible through this program. For many of the seniors on the list, these are the only gifts they will receive. Each year Home Instead Senior Care® offices throughout North America spread holiday cheer to lonely or financially-challenged seniors through the Be a Santa to a Senior program. Home Instead Senior Care has helped provide 1.2 million gifts to more than 700,000 seniors.
To find a collection site, visit www.beasantatoasenior.com. Contact Home Instead at (661) 254-8701.
The Gazette office will be one of the collection sites – so check in with us at 27259 1/2 Camp Plenty!

Santa Clarita’s Operation Thank Our Troops

| Community | November 13, 2014

Organized by Prayer Angels for the Military, holiday care packages for troops in Afghanistan will be assembled and sent to loved ones overseas. With so many deployed troops away from their families during the holiday season, this is a great way to send a little Christmas cheer and remind the soldiers just how much they are appreciated. The whole month of November, Prayer Angel staff and volunteers will be collecting items for the holiday care packages and the needed funds for shipping, at $16 per box.

The following is a list of items needed: individual sealed packages of granola bars, protein bars, jerky, nuts, trail mix, cookies, crackers and snacks, canned ravioli and hearty soups with pop top lids, peanut butter, Ritz type crackers, chicken or tuna kits, lots of canned fruit with pop-top lids, lots of dried fruit, fruit snacks, Starbucks type ground coffee, chips, individual drink packets, instant oatmeal, tea and hot cocoa packets, long-awaited chocolate candy, Top Ramen, Monster type energy drinks, white or black cotton crew socks, good razors (2- or 3-blade), lotion, body wash, shampoo, hand sanitizer, unscented baby wipes, deodorant, zip-lock bags for packing (gallon and quart), international phone cards (AT&T only), DVDs & CDs, batteries (AA & AAA), handheld games, word games, chemically activated hand warmers, current magazines, writing tablets, winter scarves, gloves and beanies, warm throws, and non-fragile Christmas decorations.

Those wanting to send a package to a soldier can do so by submitting a troop name, military address, ending deployment date and contact information by e-mail to: prayerangelsforthemilitary@yahoo.com.

Drop-off sites for donations are 21609 Oak Orchard Road (Placerita Canyon by the Master’s College) & 23510 Cherry Street in Newhall. Help fill the care packages on November 29 from 2-3 p.m. at the Newhall Library (rear entrance).

For more information, visit http www.prayerangelsforthemilitary.org or call (661)799-8865.

Heritage Haunt: A Real Ghost Adventure

| Community | November 6, 2014

by Michelle Sandoval

I love being scared. Halloween is my favorite holiday and all the haunted houses and attractions that pop up around October make for a very busy and entertainment-filled month. That being said, when it comes to areas that are possibly haunted by real spirits, my bravery gets thrown out the window. Mainly a skeptic by nature, I’ve never encountered a real ghost myself (hopefully things stay that way), but I’ve heard enough stories from friends and family that make me want to believe spirits are truly out there. A recent visit to SCV’s Heritage Haunt last week left me with plenty of goose bumps, and perhaps a new insight into the existence of actual spirits. Am I a believer now? I can’t say I’ve completely converted, but I certainly saw and heard some things that I cannot explain … and sometimes it’s just better to leave things a mystery.

The Heritage Haunt is operated by the Santa Clarita Historical Society, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of our Valley. Taking place at Heritage Junction, residents are sure to recognize it by the ancient locomotive permanently parked on the train tracks. What many don’t know is that in this same location lies a cluster of houses dating back to the late 1800s that are all believed to be haunted by the ghosts of previous residents. Hundreds of witnesses have seen, heard and even been touched by these spirits, and a recent taping of the popular show “Ghost Hunters” had the TV personalities amazed with the town’s paranormal activity.

Each of the structures is equipped with an Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recorder and your tour guides will encourage you to try and speak to the ghosts that are known to frequent the buildings. There are also video cameras set up in the houses to try and capture any strange activity we cannot see with our own eyes. So, did I hear strange voices coming from the EVPs? Well, I heard something, lots of things to be exact –names being called out, many pleas to “get out” or “leave,” and many indistinguishable mumblings. There was even what sounded like a really frightening threat made against one of our tour guides. In fact, all of the ghosts that are believed to be haunting Heritage Junction seemed to be out in full force, perhaps a little too eager to talk to us. Again, this is just me being a skeptic. I won’t say that it wasn’t creepy, I won’t even try to deny that I almost ran out of the houses once or twice, but I will not admit that I heard anything that night to make me a definite believer.
There is a house on the property that used to belong to Ruth and Charles Kingsbury, who are said to have had two small children who would always peek out of the windows to see if their parents were coming home. Our tour guides pointed out the exact windows and then excitably started telling us that the children were very active that night and if we looked closely we could see the curtains being pulled back. I stared, for a while, and what seemed like the curtains might actually be moving could have just been my own eyes playing tricks on me.

The staff also kept saying that all of their electronic devices were being drained of all their power after being fully charged. We had some issues with a flashlight in one particular house, but other than that, my cell phone kept its battery power throughout the night, allowing me to take numerous pictures in hopes of catching some ghostly activity … which I didn’t.

Overall, Heritage Haunt was a great experience. I had so much fun romping through the various buildings at the Junction and definitely heard and saw some things I would rather not try to explain. I’d love to go back again next year to see if the ghosts can turn me into a believer once and for all. But, until then, I’ll just stick to my horror movies and classic monster tales from the safety of my own home.

For more information, visit www.scvhaunt.com.

Just a Few Fun Things to Do

| Community | November 6, 2014

Friday, 11/7, & Saturday, 11/8, 8pm
Another Night Rock Opera
Repertory East Playhouse, 24266 Main Street in Newhall

The RepEast continues its concert series with Another Night at the Rock Opera, which will feature “more hits from the greatest rock musicals of forever.” General admission tickets are $35. There will be a reception at 7pm, and curtain time is at 8pm. For tickets and information call 661-288-0000 or visit www.repeastplayhouse.org.

Saturday, 11/8, 9am-4pm
MOPS Fall Boutique
Grace Baptist Church, 22833 Copper Hill Drive
Grace Baptist Church Mothers of Preschoolers’ (MOPS) fall boutique is an annual shopping affair with 60 vendors. There will be food trucks (featuring Dogtown Dogs & the Lobos truck), a raffle with over 100 items and bake sale. For more information, contact Erin Walsh, MOPS Boutique Coordinator at (310) 880-4253.

Saturday, November 8 & 15. 11:15am-3:30pm
Murder Mystery Lunch Train
Fillmore Western Railway, 364 Main Street in Fillmore

All aboard for a hilarious afternoon train ride full of murder and mystery through the scenic Fillmore citrus groves! Passengers can enjoy a signature “orange chicken blossom” three-course lunch as they try to figure out this fun whodunit. Tickets start at $63 for adults, $34 for children. For reservations call (805) 524-2546 or visit www.fwry.com. Saturday,

Saturday, 11/8, 5pm
Santa Clarita Light the Night Walk
Bridgeport Park, 23670 Newhall Ranch Road in Valencia

Join The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society on Saturday for this free fundraising event. Walkers raise funds in honor of loved ones and local patients to support the LLS mission to cure blood cancers and improve the quality of life for patients and their families. To register, contact 310-846-5183 or visit www.lightthenight.org/caslo.

11/8, 8pm
The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road in Valencia

If you think the Hawaiian Islands have proprietary rights to the ukulele, then you’ve not experienced TUKUO – The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra. The PAC proudly hosts this unusual orchestra, replete with formal evening wear, bow ties, and finely tuned mini ukulele guitars. TUKUO’s repertoire swings from rock to oldies, to current hits, all with incredible vocal harmonies and just the right splash of British humor. Tickets start at $40. For tickets, call 661-362-5304 or call www.canyonspac.com.

Sunday, 11/9, 3-7pm
FREE Thanksgiving Celebration

Canyon Country residents Roger and Becky Combs will host an early Thanksgiving celebration at their home to give back to people in need. The event will begin with an outdoor church service at 3 p.m. and will continue until 7 p.m., featuring music and guest speakers from the American Soaring Society. The Combs will serve dinner, providing food baskets with fresh vegetables and fruit. The event will be held in an open field on the Combs’ property, which is in Canyon Country, about two miles off of Sierra Highway. Those wishing to attend must register by 11/7 by contacting the Combs at 661-252-1836.

Sunday, 11/9, 4-7pm
Second Sundays Food Truck Invasion
28720-80 The Old Road in Valencia

This monthly free event brings gourmet food trucks and fun to the community. Second Sundays is held in the spacious and beautiful Gateway Promenade on The Old Road in Valencia where Interstate 5 and the 126 come together. Second Sundays Food Truck Invasion is supported by boutique vendors, raffles, a DJ and more! Proceeds benefit West Ranch Wildcat Football. For more information, call Sabina Fetter at 661-212-8158.

Tuesday, 11/11, 11am
Veterans Day Ceremony
Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall

Join various non-profit organizations and friends and family of veterans and active military on Tuesday to honor those serving our country. The ceremony will feature musical performers, speakers and changing of the flags at the Veterans Historical Plaza.

| Community | October 31, 2014

Crowds gathered at College of the Canyons University Center last week to hear a man describe his experience as a Jew in Occupied France during WWII. Leon Malmed told a room full of college students and community members about his memories as a child hiding from German authorities, underscoring the tremendous risk taken by the family who saved him and his sister.

After a brief documentary film, Malmed shared his emotional story, which is the basis for his recent book, “We survived … At Last I Speak.” In a heavy French accent and in a spirit of gratitude, Malmed lauded the courage of the Ribouleau family, who cared for Malmed and his sister, Rachel, after their parents were taken by Nazis in 1942 and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they perished.

While a big draw for the mid-week lecture may have been a collective admiration for the survivor’s endurance, Malmed repeatedly deflected such kudos, insisting it was the actions of his wartime “parents,” Henri and Suzanne Ribouleau, that deserve attention. Leon Malmed was four years old and Rachel was 10 when they were left in the care of the Ribouleaus, and following the war, he and his sister experienced a 14-year separation from one another. The pain of his early experiences made Malmed unable to tell his story until now, at age 70. He immigrated to the United States in 1964, reunited with his surviving sister, and enjoyed a successful career in the high tech industry in Silicon Valley.

The question-and-answer part of the evening was, perhaps, most revealing, as guests asked about Malmed’s personal experiences, such as how the two remained hidden, and how it shaped his religious views.
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Malmed’s book is available on Amazon, or you can read more about the man at www.leonmalmed.com.

Just a Few Fun Things to Do!

| Community | October 23, 2014

Every Saturday Night
Grateful Dudes Bluegrass
Long running, popular bluegrass jam by Grateful Dudes. The whole family is welcome from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Free to attend.
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 ½ Lyons Ave.
Newhall, Calif.
(661) 259-6733

FOOD TRUCK FEAST
Dispensing dinner to a hungry crowd, gourmet food trucks offer food for purchase. You can bring chairs and sit outside to enjoy food truck favorites Sweet Es Mini Bake Shop, Keep on Grubbin’, Burnt to a Crisp BBQ, Waffle Taco, Reuben Truck, and Grilled Cheese. They park in the Dick’s Sporting Goods parking lot across from WalMart in Santa Clarita at 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. The address is 26468 Carl Boyer Drive in Santa Clarita.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday October 24-26
Monster Mania
You can help the SCV Winter Shelter open this year with a visit to the haunted shelter hosted by Bridge to Home. There will be scare levels for children, teens and adults at the event, held from 6-9 p.m. at the shelter, 23031 Drayton Street in Santa Clarita. Tickets are $7 at the door. For more information, visit www.btohome.com

Saturday, October 25
Lombardi Ranch
Live Music
10-1:30 – The Pink Cadillacs (50’s, 60’s, Rock & Roll)
2-5:30 – Beer Truck (Country)

Sunday, October 26
Lombardi Ranch
Live Music & Entertainment
10-1:30 The Bunky Spurling Group (Classic Rock)
1:30-2 Performance By Dance Studio 81
2-5:30 Floyd & the Fly Boys (R&B)
FREE Admission
29527 Bouquet Canyon Rd, 661-296-8697

Sunday, October 26
SCV Zombie Apocalypse
Register as either a zombie or a survivor when you join residents at this Saturday’s fundraiser held at Castaic Lake. Participants will become walking dead to raise money to build a well for the Sunzu Village in Rwanda.

Zombies must come in full costume or, if needed, there will be a zombification station. Those who choose to join the walking dead must arrive by 1:30 p.m. Each survivor starts with two flags and, to ensure survival, must not let the zombies take these flags. Prizes will be given to those zombies who collect the most flags and those survivors who succeed in survival.

Each participant will receive a T-shirt upon registration. The event will have food trucks, Jr. Zombies (kids’ area), prizes, games, and more.

Also, just for showing up, there will also be an activity to experience what those of the Sunzu Village go through to get their water. The Zombie Apocalypse will take place from 2-7 p.m. at Castaic Lake Recreation Area, 32132 Castaic Lake Drive. For more information contact Terri Crain 661.877.8075 or email scvzombie2014@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 26
25th Annual Haunted Jailhouse
Every year the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Department hosts this spooky event for families in the SCV. Dozens of local non-profit groups partner with the sheriff’s station to welcome thousands to the pre-Halloween event. There is a zip-line ride from the Sheriff’s station search and rescue team and “Douse a Deputy” booth, along with a costume contest. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the SCV Sheriff’s Station, at the corner of Valencia Blvd. and Magic Mtn Pkwy in Valencia. To enter, bring a $1 donation to the SCV Boys & Girls Club. For further information contact Deputy Fanny Lapkin at 661-255-1121, ext. 5160 or at flapkin@lasd.org.

Sunday, October 26
L.A.R.C. Halloween Festival
Friends of L.A.R.C. (Los Angeles Residential Community) invite the public to its annual Halloween Festival beginning at 1:00 p.m. A carnival and food fair provide the backdrop for a day of games along with rock and roll music and dancing. L.A.R.C. Ranch is located at 29890 Bouquet Canyon Road in Saugus. Tickets are $125 for adults and $50 for children. Family packages are available. Call (661) 296-8636 or visit www.larcfoundation.org.
Friday, October 31

COC Film Series
View these films and discussions held following each.

4:00 PM Like Father Like Son (2013) 120 min. Japan
Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own.

6:00 PM Life Itself (2014) 120 min. – Documentary|Biography – 14 November 2014 (UK)
It is a film depicting the life and career of the renowned film critic and social commentator, Roger Ebert, directed by Steve James and produced by Zak Piper, Steve James and Garrett Basch. The film is based on Ebert’s 2011 memoir by the same name.

8:00 PM Under the Skin (2013) 108 min. – Drama|Sci-Fi|Thriller – 14 March 2014 (UK)
A mysterious woman seduces lonely men in the evening hours in Scotland. Events lead her to begin a process of self-discovery.

College of the Canyons
Hasley Hall Room 101
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd.
Santa Clarita, CA. 91355
Info: gary.peterson@canyons.edu

Saturday, October 31
Drop Zone
Drop Zone performs danceable versions of your
favorite classic rock songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and
today. It is free to attend.
Vincenzo’s Pizza
24504 ½ Lyons Ave. in Newhall

Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for Cancer Foundation

| Community, News | October 18, 2014

Scott Schauer is honoring his father with a golf tournament, while raising money for a non-profit group benefiting cancer patients. Calling it a “win-win” event, the Jerry Schauer Golf Invitational Golf Tournament is set for Saturday, Nov. 16 at Robinson Ranch Golf Club in Canyon Country. All proceeds will benefit the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer.

The younger Schauer is former executive director of the Santa Clarita-based foundation, and said his father, who has himself been battling cancer, is a longtime backer of the charity group and wanted to do something to raise support.

In addition to a day on the greens, the tournament will wrap up with an awards dinner and an auction. ABC7 sports anchor Curt Sandoval will serve as master of ceremonies. Schauer said his father is hoping to feel well enough to attend.

“The love of his life has been his wife and golf,” Scott Schauer said. “This is just a win-win opportunity that we’re excited to get off the ground.”

With a target of attracting 100-150 golfers, Schauer hopes the tournament raises anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 to support the foundation. Foursome tickets are available for $600. Individual golfer tickets are $175.

Foundation officials were heartwarmed when Schauer told them his idea for the golf tournament.
“I think it’s amazing. Scott has always had the Michael Hoefflin Foundation first and foremost in his mind,” Executive Director Gillian Stone said. “He’s passionate about what he’s doing.”

Stone said fundraising efforts are crucial for the organization, and said there is a constant need for purchasing grocery cards, parking passes and gas cards to provide to families.

There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities ranging from $10,000 to $300 available, including Presenting Sponsor, Title Sponsor, Major Sponsor, Golf Cart Sponsor, Awards Ceremony Sponsor, Closest to the Pin Sponsor, Hole in One Sponsor, Longest Drive Sponsor and Hole Sponsors.

For information, contact Scott Schauer at (661) 713-6099 or email schauerscott@gmail.com.

About the Michael Hoefflin Foundation
Established in 1994, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides financial and emotional support to children and their families in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas. The organization’s goals are to find better treatments and cures through medical research, promote awareness of childhood cancer; and assist local children and their families through outreach programs. For more information call (661) 250-4100 or visit www.mhf.org.

Fillmore & Western Railway Takes Brave Souls to Zombie Land

| Community, News | October 17, 2014

by Michelle Sandoval
If you have yet to experience a train ride on the historic Fillmore & Western Railway, this Halloween season would be the ideal time. Located in the Heritage Valley, which is full of rich farming history and agriculture, the railway runs through lush orchards, making any ride enjoyable and picturesque. The train itself is a step back in time, with coach and dining cars from the 1930s and locomotives dating back to the 1950s.

During the month of October, the Railway is offering a number of different attractions for riders to experience, ranging from family-friendly to more frightening night trains for those brave at heart. The Santa Clarita Gazette was invited to ride along on the “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” train this past weekend, and we spent a great evening hiding from monsters and wandering through corn mazes. Somehow, we made it out alive!

The “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” train leaves the Fillmore station at 7 p.m. on select weekend evenings this month. It will take passengers along the dark railway into the night, where the orchards have naturally transformed into spooky surroundings full of ominous trees. During the ride you will meet character actors as they make their way through the train cars warning you of the dangers you are about to encounter, and giving you a bit of history on Zombie Land itself.

When you arrive there will be plenty to keep you busy through the evening, both for those seeking a good scare and for those who just want to dance the night away. There is a corn maze (the mere mention of it gave me goose bumps) where you will weave between cornhusks in the dark. A haunted hayride will take you across the grounds where your guide will share scary stories with you and ultimately see if you can catch a glimpse of the monster that haunts the grounds, the terrifying Pumpkinhead.

There is no doubt you will be hungry after all these scares and the Railway has made sure to barbecue up some delicious eats to keep you going deep into the night. The cost of your ticket includes a delicious barbecue dinner with tri tip, chicken, veggies and all the fixings. There is also a bar where you can purchase alcohol if you need a little liquid courage. Plus, Zombie Land isn’t all about the scares—make sure you set aside some time to show off your dance moves on their massive dance floor.

Guests are invited to come in their Halloween costumes and, while dressing up is a lot of fun, keep in mind that the night will be a long one, and comfort and warmth should be a priority. Children are invited to experience this trip to Zombie Land, and we were delighted to see a number of young passengers onboard, but only those truly brave little souls should participate, because the train ride does have its scary moments.

In the end, Fillmore & Western Railway’s “Zombie Land in Search of Pumpkinhead” offers a night of frightening good times. From the lovely train ride, to the eerie corn maze, and everything in between, this is a perfect activity to celebrate this most haunted of seasons.

Trains run October 17, 25 and 26, departing at 7 p.m. and returning back to the land of the living at 10 p.m. Ticket prices are $49 for adults and $34 for kids. For more information visit www.fwry-blog.com or call 805-524-2546.

Review-Los Angeles Haunted Hayride

| Community, News | October 16, 2014

To me, Halloween has never been a one-night celebration, but rather a month full of festivities. Last week I attended the official opening night of the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at Griffith Park, one of the premier attractions in Southern California. Now in its 6th year, the Hayride will take you and a group through the dark areas of the Park that have been infested by creatures and monsters of all shapes and the sizes. There are also two haunted mazes to wander through, a demented seven sins sideshow and plenty of live entertainment. I can honestly say that, without a doubt, this year the Haunted Hayride is one of my absolute favorites. The folks over at TenThirtyOne Productions, the team behind the event, have definitely not held back the scares.

The hayride itself is approximately 25 minutes and will take you for a ride where you will encounter all types of spooky beings. To say that the special effects, animatronics, talented actors, and overall atmosphere created were excellent would be an understatement. The experience was wonderfully creepy and featured life-sized dragons, scarecrows balancing on stilts and lunging at you from cornfields, ghostly mothers sacrificing their babies, and pretty much anything and everything that would give you nightmares. Make sure to uncover your eyes long enough to peek behind you as you leave the monsters behind, because their waving silhouettes still send chills up my spine.

Aside from the hayride there are two haunted mazes. The “In-Between Dark” maze is definitely not for the faint of heart. Participants are basically thrown into pitch black darkness with nothing but a faint lantern and are left to touch and feel their way out of the dark through what seems like endless twists and turns. While the typical Halloween scares here are minimal, you won’t encounter many monsters along the way, you’ll find your anxiety and paranoia at an all-time high as you try to find your way out. The “House of the Horseman” maze is also great as you are led through various rooms of an asylum where certain participants need to perform tasks to move forward. It is wonderfully gory and by the end you’ll find yourself in a giant cremation chamber, where your ultimate fears will be met. The Seven Sins Sideshow will take you through seven different tents, each presenting an individual sin and each growing more and more disturbing the further you venture in.

The entire experience offered up plenty of legitimate frights throughout the night. If you’re going to venture off to only one haunted attraction this year, your money would be very well spent at The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride.

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride runs through October 31. Tickets range from $25 – $58; with an all attraction pass costing $42. For tickets and info, visit www.losangeleshauntedhayride.com.

Elks Lodge Boutique and Bake Sale

| Community | October 16, 2014

Every fall, the members of the Emblem Club, an arm of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, hold its annual boutique and bake sale. This year it is Saturday, October 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the B.P.O.E. – Santa Clarita Elks Lodge 2379, located at 17766 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country. Admission is free for visitors to wander and shop and snack.

There is still time to participate or just put the event on your calendar. For boutique, bake sale and vendor information, call (661) 251-0876.

Emblem Club #459 members are involved in charity fundraising events throughout the year. The group provides scholarships for students, holiday food baskets for needy families, and supports other non-profit programs.

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