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Non Profit of the Week – Habitat for Humanity SCV SFV

| SC Living | May 25, 2017

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys and Homes 4 Families held their first-ever Rainbow Build in partnership with the LGBTQA+ community of Northern L.A. County. Volunteers formed build teams to help with construction on the remaining 24 homes of a 78-home community for low-income veterans and their families in Santa Clarita. The event was chaired by John Musella, chairman of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce.

This build is to help complete the third phase of a CalVet REN (Residential Enriched Neighborhood), following the Homes 4 Families (H4F) Enriched Neighborhood model. In attendance was Vito Imbasciani, secretary of the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). There are 54 veteran families who have already moved into their homes. Enriched Neighborhoods previously built by the organizations include 63 homes in Pacoima and 12 in Sylmar. They will soon break ground on an additional 56 homes for vets in Palmdale.

The model, in addition to providing homes, offers an outcome-based program of wrap-around services and education that enables under-served families to build equity, self-sufficiency skills, and advocacy capacity to move themselves up in socio-economic status. For veterans and their military families, these wrap-around services are enhanced with much-needed trauma-informed programs and services to address PTSD, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury and other issues.

The mission of Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys is to build affordable homes for low-income civilian and veteran families, and provide services that empower them to build brighter futures as homeowners. They are a locally run, independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization service in North Los Angeles city and county, building houses and futures for low-income families. This Habitat affiliate specializes in building Enriched Neighborhood communities which hold the promise to move low-income families up into the middle class, and they have built 320 homes to date. Learn more at www.HumanityCA.org.

Homes For Families is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving low-income families through the development and replication of the Enriched Neighborhood model. This model offers a powerful outcome-based program of wraparound services and education that empowers underserved families to build equity, self-sufficiency skills and advocacy capacity to move themselves up in socio-economic status. For more information, go to www.Homes4Families.org.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | May 20, 2017

Victoria Kirshner

A senior at Santa Clarita Christian High School, Victoria Kirshner has left a legacy in swimming. Last week at the CIF SS Finals in Riverside she won two CIF titles — one in the 50 free (24.18 seconds) and the other in the 100 free (52.86 seconds). Throughout her four years swimming for Santa Clarita Christian she has won a total of six CIF titles. Initially committing to swim this fall for the University of California, San Diego, Victoria changed her mind and will be attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York following graduation. She is anxious to attend the Academy and serve her country.

“Victoria is a remarkable athlete and person,” said Elizabeth Kirshner, Santa Clarita Christian swim coach. “She is one of the hardest workers I know and I couldn’t be happier for her and SCCS. I trust that her success in and out of the pool will inspire future swimmers at SCCS to reach their goals.”

Jaeyeol Kim

College of the Canyons sophomore Jaeyeol Kim recorded a 36-hole score of 151 (70/81) to help the Cougars claim the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championship at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande on Monday. Kim’s opening round score of 70 was tops on the day, while his combined 36-hole score of 151 ranked sixth in the field of 60 individuals. As a result, Kim was named to the CCCAA All-State team. COC claimed its most recent state championship — the program’s eighth overall — with a 24-stroke cushion over second place Cypress College (785).

Non-Profit of the Week: Paint Care

| SC Living | May 18, 2017

Back in October 2012, a group of paint manufacturers created a structured method for recycling leftover paint. They established a non-profit organization called PaintCare, making it convenient for individuals to drop off cans they no longer need.

There are 801 drop-off sites in California, thanks to PaintCare, mostly at retail stores—usually home improvement, hardware and paint stores. Members of the public can take unwanted, leftover paint for recycling, as these shop owners are willing to accept them from any household or business in California.

Santa Clarita has one paint retailer, Vista Paint, located at 21010 Golden Triangle Rd., which joined the program in its first year – 2012 – and it’s one of the 801 drop-off sites statewide.

Next weekend, the public has an additional opportunity to turn in their old paint cans at a one-time drop-off event held in Santa Clarita next Saturday, May 20, 2017 (see sidebar).

A number of PaintCare drop-off sites are household hazardous waste programs — either facilities or “round-up events.” These programs are run by a local county or city government agencies, often in partnership with the local garbage and recycling company or transfer station. In addition to accepting paint, these programs usually accept other non-paint hazardous wastes (e.g., pesticides, solvents). Most of these government programs limit participation to households in certain cities or towns. Some of these government programs also allow businesses to make appointments during special hours. Businesses are usually charged fees for non-paint hazardous waste, and sometimes they are charged an administrative fee to schedule an appointment, but they are not charged for paint, on a per gallon basis, if the agency is a PaintCare partner.

A few restrictions apply: there are limits on how much paint can be dropped off per visit. Certain businesses — those that produce more than 220 pounds (about 20-30 gallons) of hazardous waste per month — can only drop off latex paint (they may not drop off oil-based paint).

Products Accepted
PaintCare sites accept house paint, primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings (e.g., shellac and varnish), but they cannot accept aerosols (spray cans), solvents, and products intended for industrial or non-architectural use. The products they accept are referred to as “PaintCare Products” or “architectural paint,” and they must be in containers that are no larger than 5 gallons in size. Paint must be in its original container and the container must have an original printed label and a secured lid. They cannot accept open or leaking cans.

Free of Charge
There is no charge for dropping off paint at a PaintCare drop-off site. PaintCare is funded by the “PaintCare Fee” which is added to the purchase price of paint sold in the state. These fees are paid to PaintCare by paint manufacturers, then passed down to retailers and to their customers. When you buy paint, you may see a line item on your receipt or invoice for each container. The fee is not a deposit — you don’t get it back when you drop off paint — a common misunderstanding. These fees are used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program. Fees pay for paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach, and program administration, and to manage old “legacy” paint — the paint that has been accumulating in homes and businesses from before the program started. PaintCare sites accept old paint, even if it is 30 years old!

Paint events like the Santa Clarita drop-off (sidebar) are an ongoing part of the PaintCare program, which is set up year round. This event will accept larger amounts of paint and is a good opportunity for those who have accumulated paint over many years. Residents and businesses from any place in California can bring paint (not just those from Santa Clarita).

If you plan to take your paint to one of PaintCare’s year-round drop-off locations, call the location before bringing your paint to check to see if they can accept the type and amount of paint you would like to recycle. Visit www.paintcare.org/california for locations and phone numbers.
There will be a one-time drop-off event at Via Princessa Metrolink Station, 19201 Via Princessa in Santa Clarita from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday May 20, 2017.

Open to all California households and businesses, you may drop off containers meeting the following criteria:
Only cans with original labels
House paint and primers (latex or oil-based)
Stains
Deck and concrete sealers
Clear finishes (e.g., varnishes and shellac)

For details on what products are accepted (and not accepted), visit https://www.paintcare.org/santaclarita/.

For more information, call call (855) 724-6809. Or visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/paint-drop-off-event-via-princessa-metrolink-station-santa-clarita-tickets-33154525077.

Non Profit of the Week – The Canyon Theatre Guild

| SC Living | May 12, 2017

The Canyon Theatre Guild has always done its best to make the world a better place by entertaining, educating, enlightening and enriching the community through quality live theatre. Forty-seven years ago, in early April of 1970, a notice appeared in the local Santa Clarita newspaper inviting interested members of the public to a community meeting to explore the possibility of forming a local theatre. In July of 1970, the Canyon Theatre Guild (CTG) mounted its first production at the William S. Hart High School Auditorium. There were 20 people in the audience that night and the auditorium seated approximately 1,000 — but the CTG spirit was born with that first show.

For years after that performance, the members of the CTG performed wherever they could find a space and an audience. Their first longtime home was at “Callahan’s Old West” up Sierra Highway. They kept producing successful shows, and from a total of 2,500 audience members for the four shows in its 1986-87 season, the theatre grew to an audience of over 13,000 for the nine shows of the 1999-2000 season. The work was accomplished 100 percent by volunteers from the theatre. And with the ingenuity of their technical volunteers and the tenacity of dedicated audience members who faithfully drove up Sierra Highway to support them, the theatre mounted productions the size of “The Wizard of Oz” and “Annie.”

By 1996, the Canyon Theatre Guild had the opposite challenge of that first show at Hart High. The Sierra Highway location was bursting at the seams. Members of the CTG again began to search for a new home which would meet their growing needs. In 1996, TimBen Boydston located a perfect, 6,000-square-foot property in downtown Newhall, and with the blessing of the board of directors, they started fundraising. The quest began to call 24242 Main Street the new home of the Canyon Theatre Guild.

Members of the Canyon Theatre Guild worked tirelessly to raise the funds. They hired Boydston as their full-time director of operations to facilitate fundraising efforts and coordinate the location purchase and renovation.

“It’s hard to believe that the very property that we wanted for our theatre was available three years later when we had finally secured enough money to make an offer,” Boydston said. The City of Santa Clarita Redevelopment Agency awarded one of its first grants to the CTG to assist in the purchase of the property, and in 2000 the Canyon Theatre Guild opened its new, state-of-the-art theatre with a seating capacity of 285 in Old Town Newhall.  This new and central location allowed them to better serve the citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley with their existing programs and the increased space allowed them to expand programming.

The Canyon Theatre Guild has now been serving the citizens of Santa Clarita Valley with quality live theatre for over 47 years. The Guild produces 10 full-scale productions each season and has been voted the “Best Live Theatre” in the Santa Clarita Valley every year of the Reader’s Poll. Over 30,000 people attend performances each season. Over 500 SCV citizen artists and volunteers consistently demonstrate their love of the theatre through their donations of time, talent, and hard work. The CTG also receives support from local government, businesses, and corporations and thousands of Santa Clarita citizens.

With all this success, The Canyon Theatre Guild now gives back to the community in multiple ways. They serve the youth of the community through the Youth Theatre Institute, offering 10 full production workshops throughout the year for kids of all ages. Tuition is low, fun factor is high – AND – all experiences are designed to teach much more than theatre! Best of all, 10 percent of all workshop participants are given full scholarships by the CTG, based on financial need as identified by the Boys and Girls Club. In addition, each year the CTG awards 2-3 $500 scholarships to graduating seniors from local high schools. The theatre donates hundreds of free theatre tickets to the Boys & Girls Club, churches and other non-profit organizations. They donate goods and services to over 90 community non-profit organizations and gallery space to the Santa Clarita Artists’ Association for the display of local artists’ work.

From day one, the Canyon Theatre Guild has truly been a community effort. Literally, thousands of volunteer hours go into the efforts of CTG in all areas, from design and construction to financing. The hundreds of shows that have been produced by the non-profit group have brought seasoned actors together with beginners in a spirit of fun and cooperation. For information on summer shows, summer youth theatre camps and volunteer opportunities, call the CTG Box Office at 661-799-2702 and become part of a vibrant, working theatre with a robust history and future.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | May 6, 2017

Alexa Skorus Neely 

Coach Darren Stieff considers senior Alexa Skorus Neely one of Canyon High School’s most talented female swimmers ever. Last week she posted a CIF consideration time of 7.16 seconds in the 100-yard breaststroke, helping the Cowboys defeat Golden Valley 84-71.

Alexa is competing this week in her final high school meet for the Foothill League Finals. She swims in the 4 X 200 medley relay, the 4 X 200 freestyle relay, the 200 IM, and the 100 Backstroke, in which she currently holds an automatic CIF qualifying time of 1:05.69.Her high school swimming career will wrap up next week when she competes in the CIF Southern Section  State Championships in Riverside. She will enter University of California, Berkeley to continue swimming and begin her college studies in the fall.

 

Andrew Benser

A junior at West Ranch High School, Andrew Benser is a lead member of the boys’ volleyball team. Last week he recorded six aces, including three in a row in game one, as the Wildcats defeated Canyon High School 3-0. The win makes West Ranch 9-0 in the Foothill League, and gives them the league title outright.

“Andrew Benser brings a fire to the court every time he subs in to serve,” said Wildcats coach Nathan Sparks. “It hasn’t been the only one this year. He has gotten multiple aces in matches and tournaments. He is definitely an asset that West Ranch needs.”

 

 

Non-Profit of the Week: Gibbon Conservation Center

| SC Living | May 4, 2017

For more than 40 years, the Gibbon Conservation Center has been dedicated to promoting the existence and study of the rarest group of apes in the Western Hemisphere. Not only does the non-profit organization provide observation and non-invasive research opportunities for students and scientists, staff members do consulting work with zoos, museums, and government agencies such as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Originating from countries that include Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia, gibbons are endangered arboreal apes with entertaining antics making them “acrobats” and “songbirds.” They live in the dwindling rainforests of Southeast, South and East Asia, where they mark their territory by vocalizing (singing). Adult gibbons and their mates sing duets and their offspring join in. Swinging from branch to branch, which is known as brachiating, the rare mammals leap distances as high as 40 feet at speeds of up to 35 mph while 200 feet above the ground.

The apes eat fruit, young leaves, flowers, bird eggs, insects and birds. The Gibbon Conservation Center houses the following species: Northern White-Cheeked Gibbon, Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, Javan Gibbon, Pileated Gibbon and Siamang, which is the largest.

The founder of the Gibbon Conservation Center is the late Alan Mootnick, who did not enter the field through academia. He was a self-taught primatologist who grew to earn the respect of leaders in the industry. He gained important insights into gibbon social behavior, species identification and captive management, at the same time publishing nearly 25 peer-reviewed manuscripts.

“Having your own primate center takes a great deal of dedication, and a person cannot just walk away from it,” Mootnick said. “It becomes your life.”

The Gibbon Conservation Center operates on the generosity of donors. The organization’s website invites the public to donate time, skills and talents, or money in the form of a tax deductible contribution. Members of the community can visit the center and groups can book tours year round.

The public is invited to visit at an upcoming fundraiser, Breakfast with the Gibbons, on Saturday, May 13 at 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. The event will feature breakfast, a tour of the center, face painting, kids’ activities and a silent auction. Tickets are $25 and $15 for kids and seniors. Children under age 5 are free, and families of five cost $60.

The Gibbon Conservation Center is located at  19100 Esguerra Road in Santa Clarita. For more information, email Info@gibboncenter.org or visit www.GibbonCenter.org.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | April 28, 2017

Will Chambers

This junior at West Ranch High School and first baseman on the baseball team hit the walk off sacrifice fly in the Wildcats’ 5-4 win over Hart last week. The walk off hit came after Hart rallied to tie the match. With the victory, West Ranch’s Foothill League record goes to 8-1 and keeps them in first place.

“Will Chambers is mature beyond his years,” said West Ranch baseball coach, Casey Burrill. “He is a big time player who wants to be at the plate when the game is on the line. His enthusiasm for the game and desire to be the best he can be is contagious. A true team leader.”

 

Natalie Ramirez

A shot put and discus thrower for West Ranch High School’s track and field team, Natalie Ramirez set a personal record in shot put last week with a throw of 44 feet and 1.5 inches, taking first in the event. She also placed first in discus, as the Wildcats girls’ track and field team earned their first Foothill League title.

“Natalie is an outstanding sophomore athlete who has continued to improve throughout the season, making her one of the best throwers in the state,” said Sara Soltani, track and field coach at West Ranch. “She is undefeated in League in discus and in contention to win League in both shot put and discus this season.”

West Ranch’s Natalie Alvarez throws the shot put during a dual meet at Saugus on Thursday, April 20, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

 

Now and Then: 2017 Man & Woman of the Year

| SC Living | April 27, 2017

Being in the midst of National Volunteer Week, it seems only natural to highlight the Santa Clarita Valley’s premier volunteer event, the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year dinner scheduled for Friday, May 5 at the Hyatt Valencia Hotel.

The event traces its roots back to 1964 when the Newhall-Saugus Chamber of Commerce named local historian Arthur Perkins as its Outstanding Citizen of the Year. Because businessmen dominated the chamber membership, it’s probably no surprise that the award, which skipped some years, continued to salute males. The next recorded Citizens or Men of the Year included William Bonelli Jr. (1966), Bill Kohlmeir (1968) (and the youngest honoree), Chuck Hendrickson (1969), and Ed Bolden (1970). (For a reason unknown to me, 1967 had no honoree).

By mid-1971, more and more women were assuming the roles of business and community leaders. It was then that Olive Ruby, a dedicated community activist who led the valley’s Coordinating Council, became the first Woman of the Year. Every year since, both a man and a woman have been honored, and the event has changed from chamber sponsorship (which ended in 1982 resulting in no honorees that year) to a committee comprised of former Men and Women of the Year.

The format has also changed over the years, alternating between lunches and dinners, and venues such as the Odyssey Restaurant, the Ranch House Inn, and currently, the Valencia Hyatt Hotel. The most constant facet of the event has involved the selection criteria.

Organizations or individuals submit the names of nominees who have shown long-time community commitment. Their service is judged in terms of the number of years of volunteerism, the impact on the community, and the number of organizations involved. The past recipients review all submittals and, following lengthy discussions and sometimes a debate or two, mark their secret ballots. The man and woman who receive the greatest number of votes become the honorees for the year.

Before 2004, the nominations themselves were secret. Organizations would submit their respective candidates without letting them know they were in contention. That sometimes led to minor struggles in guaranteeing the nominees showed up to the event. In 1979, nominee Anne Lynch admitted to friends at her table that she “was real put out that I had to come here instead of our golf tournament.” The luncheon was scheduled the same day as the Canyon Country Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, an important fund-raiser for that organization. The CC Chamber board was most likely also “put out,” since Anne was one of its most conscientious members and the very backbone of all of its events.

Anne’s male counterpart that year was John Fuller, president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital board of directors. Described as “an incredible model of public and private life,” John was known for his quiet integrity. His preference for working behind the scenes meant that his friends had to do some creative talking to persuade him to attend the lunch without revealing that he was the honoree.

Although our community has lost both John and Anne, the contributions they made to its growth and success have left a valuable legacy for future Men and Women of the Year candidates to follow.

The 2016 Man and Woman of the Year honorees, Jim Lentini and Lois Bauccio, have led their event committee members through a yearlong preparation, which will culminate May 5 with the announcement of the 2017 honorees. Those interested in attending may contact Wayne Crawford, waynescc@socal.rr.com for information.

This year’s impressive list of men and women, along with their nominating organizations are:

American Cancer Society: Janine Jones

American Legion Hall: Chuck Strong

American Red Cross: Kirk Nelson

Boy Scouts of America: Sue Reynolds, Tom Hough

Carousel Ranch: Marianne Cederlind, Eric Stroh

Circle of Hope: Janice Murray, Taylor Kellstrom

Children’s Hospital, L.A.: Taylor Kellstrom

College of the Canyons Foundation: Doris Zimmer, Randy Moberg

Domestic Violence Center: Sue Reynolds, Jonathan Kraut

Forged by Fire Foundation: Jane Bettencourt-Soto

Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles
Sandra Ann Hardy

Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley: Tami Edwards, Nick Lentini

Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers: Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Alan Ferdman

SCV Boys and Girls Club: Ann-Marie Bjorkman, Jim Ventress

SCV Child & Family Center: Laina McFerren, Nick Lentini

SCV Disaster Coalition: Diane Green

SCV Senior Center: Tracy Hauser, Todd Stevens

Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley: Pam Ingram

SRD Straightening Reins Foundation: Mary Ann Bennett, Bruce Munster

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley: Christine Sexton

Non-Profit of the Week: Canyon Cowboys Youth Football

| SC Living | April 22, 2017

A local team of parents, football alumni and community leaders pulled together to create a youth tackle football organization that is “all inclusive.” According to Michael Haiby, the president of the new Santa Clarita Cowboys Youth Tackle Football organization, kids and youth ages 6-14 can get on a team regardless of experience and at a nominal cost.

“By keeping our overhead down and with community support and corporate sponsorship we are able to offer the by far lowest registration fee (at $300) in Santa Clarita,” Haiby said. “The immediate goal of the organization is to fill strong teams by facilitating a robust recruitment program where athletes can play for as little as a $20 out of pocket.”

A Disneyland raffle fundraiser enables families to raise the remainder of the $300 total registration fees, Haiby said, adding that most youth football programs in the area cost close to $450.

Registration is open now and available to all youth football players in the entire Santa Clarita Valley plus residents of outlying areas without restriction due to geographic boundaries.

“Santa Clarita Cowboys is a nonprofit organization which fosters the development of community youth by providing education for the advancement of athletic skills and sportsmanship,” Haiby said.

A part of the Valley Youth Conference, goals of the Santa Clarita Cowboys also include a commitment to schoolwork.

“We truly believe that academics and athletics go hand in hand with our student athletes,” Haiby said. “We want to develop student athletes who can look forward to continuing their endeavors in high school and go on to college.”

The leaders of the new organization include former football parents whose kids are grown and they want to coach youth football as a way to give back to the community.

“We have coaches who are currently coaching in our high school district and able to make some time as well to coach for Santa Clarita Cowboys,” Haiby said. “We have coaches (who) have experience playing D1 college football, such as Cade Apsay (University of Colorado quarterback) and … we’ve got San Diego State University and the Oregon Ducks represented. Then we’ve got some coaches who are parents of current Santa Clarita Cowboys players who bring to our program their years of football experience. We are also fortunate enough to have student leaders involved in our football program, such as the varsity high school football players who put on a demonstration for the entire Santa Clarita Cowboys organization in the weight room this past Saturday.”

Practice has begun already and will run through the summer months. The youth football game season is close to the same as the NFL season.

In an effort to make registration easy for aspiring players, there is weekly registration available — every Saturday in 2017 from 2:30-3 p.m. at Toppers Pizza, located at 18417 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country. Kids can also register with any team manager at practice.

For more information about the Disneyland fundraiser go to SantaClaritaCowboys.org and click on the “Documents” button. For more information about the program, visit www.SantaClaritaCowboys.org.

Cowboy Football Camp
Players are all invited to attend summer football camp through the program from June 12-14, 2017. The non-contact football fundamentals skills camp welcomes beginners through proficient players of all ages. The fee is $55 and the camp runs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

The camp is conducted by Canyon High School Football Coach Rich Gutierrez and his staff. It will be held at the CHS football stadium.

Age 6-7 only register at the camp at 8:45 a.m. on the first day of the camp — not online. All older players can register through the Santa Clarita Summer Seasons Brochure, also available online at Santa-Clarita.com/seasons.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | April 20, 2017

Aly Kaneshiro

Hart High School freshman Aly Kaneshiro made her mark last week in multiple softball games when she hit a walk-off two-run double against Canyon in the Indians’ 14-13 victory over the Cowboys. She finished the game 3-5 with four RBIs, and Hart (1-1 in Foothill) earned its first Foothill League win of the season. The team won two games last Saturday at the Orange County Woodbridge tournament, where Aly went 6 for 8 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

“Aly is not only a very good player, but is an even better teammate,” said Stephen P. Calendo, coach of the Hart softball team. “She should have a great career at Hart.”

Andrew Johnson

A junior at Valencia High School, Andrew Johnson is a skillful member of the boys’ volleyball team, scoring six kills in a decisive game last week. He succeeded in game 5 against Canyon in the Vikings’ 3-2 win over the Cowboys. Johnson finished the match with nine kills, and Valencia goes to a record of 4-1 in Foothill League, second place to West Ranch.

“He is a very competitive guy in practice, as well as games,” said Kevin Kornegay, coach of Valencia’s boys’ volleyball team. “On the court he is our go-to hitter when we need a kill. He leads by example — and with his energy on the court.”

Hero of the Week – Darci Price

| SC Living | April 14, 2017

Darci Price is one of the stars of the Santa Clarita Tiger Sharks basketball team. She always has a positive, sunny attitude and an enormous smile. The Tiger Sharks are in a division of athletes with limited basketball skills and some don’t have real game awareness. However, if you hand them the ball and tell them to shoot, they will!  When the Tigers competed in a recent tournament in La Crescenta, several strong players were unable to attend, so Darci stepped up in a big way and played nearly full time in back-to-back games to lead the team to a bronze medal in their division.

During most of the competition Darci was, essentially, the sole defender in trying to get rebounds and bring the ball down court. Although she was the team high scorer, she was also very willing to hand the ball off to her teammates as they stood under the basket so they had an opportunity to score as well. She’s a true team player, and listens well to follow instructions in practices and tournaments, which makes her a delight to coach. Her teammates look up to her as a leader.

She recently had an injury that kept her out of competitions and practices for several weeks, but faithfully kept up with her coach via Facebook, and once cleared to play she was a dynamo of energy. She knew she was counted on, and let the coach know when she needed to rest briefly, and then was able to go back in to support her team with sheer determination when she was at the end of her endurance.

During the week, you can find Darci hard at work at a local supermarket. She’s the one with the big smile.

Non Profit of the Week – Special Olympics Santa Clarita

| SC Living | April 14, 2017

by Laura Mayo

Special Olympics Santa Clarita has more than 1,151 athletes who train and compete both locally and globally. The organization’s newest program is Young Athletes, an inclusive sports play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities. The program focuses on active games, songs, and other activities that help develop motor, social, and cognitive skills for ages 2-7.

The non-profit organization offers 11 sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities aged 8-80. Participants can receive training in the following sports: athletics (track), basketball, bocce, bowling, floor hockey, golf, soccer, softball, swimming, and tennis. Special Olympics hosts local competitions in golf, swimming, athletics, bocce and basketball, bowling, and softball, and the organization always needs more coaches and volunteers to help throughout the year. The non-profit’s largest competition is the Spring Regional Games, held this year on Saturday, May 20 at Newhall Park, Hart High School, Placerita Middle School and West Ranch High School.

Special Olympics enriches the lives of more than 28,505 athletes with intellectual disabilities and their communities through sports, leadership, and health programs. Founded in 1969 by Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson, Special Olympics Southern California provides free sports training and competitions every day and in every community. Through the power of these opportunities, people with intellectual disabilities become more independent, build self-esteem, and live healthier lives. Also, Special Olympics offers more than sports — it is the largest healthcare provider to individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The athletes become stars on and off the sports field. They inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. This changes attitudes, changes lives, and creates more accepting and inclusive communities. Special Olympics Southern California has earned a 4-star ranking from Charity Navigator for exceeding industry standards. This ranking is the highest Charity Navigator offers to an organization and is given because Special Olympics has demonstrated strong financial health and a commitment to accountability and transparency. Learn how you can get involved at www.sosc.org/scvtv.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | April 7, 2017

Lukas White

A pitcher for Valencia High School boys’ baseball team, Lukas White earned the win earlier this week when the Vikings overtook the Irvine Vaqueros 11-0 in the Ryan Lemmon Invitational Tournament. The win brings Valencia to 11-5 in the season.

“Lukas threw a no-hitter this Monday against Irvine High School,” said Valencia High School baseball coach Michael Killinger. “He has almost come all the way back from knee surgery and we expect many great things from him moving forward.”

Mariah Castillo

This junior at Saugus High School is a runner for the school’s track and field team. Last week she won the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs in the Centurions’ narrow 70-66 victory over Valencia.

“Mariah recently ran an open invitational mile at Meet of Champions, on March 25 at Azusa Pacific University in 4:52.88,” said Saugus track and field coach Kevin J. Berns. “It was the fourth fastest this season in California, and sixth fastest in the nation. Even more impressive was that she came back 53 minutes later and ran 10:36.79 in the 3200 meter, pulling off one of the most impressive doubles in school history. The 10:36.79 was the eighth fastest in school history.”

 

 

 

Non-Profit of the Week: Santa Clarita Philharmonic

| SC Living | April 6, 2017

 

 

In February, 2013, the Santa Clarita Philharmonic started rehearsing with approximately 20 musicians. A year later, the orchestra presented its first concert with 38 volunteer musicians on stage and an audience of over 275. Now in its fourth season, the orchestra is under the baton of Music Director Jeffrey Gilbert, presenting three concerts each season at the Hart High School Auditorium. The final concert of the 2016-2017 season will be held on Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. The concert will feature 13-year-old Celine Chen performing Chaminade’s “Flute Concertino.” Also on the program will be Verdi’s “Overture to Nabucco,” Mozart’s Symphony No. 1, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral.” The concert is free to the public.

The mission of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic is to preserve the art of orchestral music while providing the opportunity for amateur, retired, professional, semi-professional, and student 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 is also hoping to initiate an outreach program to identify promising student musicians and provide them with private instruction so that they are able to participate in the orchestra.

As a community orchestra, the Santa Clarita Philharmonic relies primarily on volunteer musicians. The orchestra has been very fortunate to have attracted a cadre of highly qualified musicians willing to volunteer their services to provide a professional level classical music experience to the community. At times, some sections of the orchestra require augmentation by professional or semi-professional musicians to provide the depth required for a particular selection. At those times, the orchestra uses its extensive database of musicians to engage individuals capable of meeting our needs. Stipends are negotiated based on many factors, including the uniqueness of the instrument required, the caliber of the musician, and the total number of positions required to be filled.

Having a professional level orchestra in our community is far more than a “nicety,” according to leaders of the symphony. For Santa Clarita to be recognized as a truly first class community, they feel it is important that residents have access to outstanding cultural experiences. The orchestra is recognized as a means of reaching an audience heretofore neglected. Seeing and hearing the compositions selected is aimed at inspiring the audience to enjoy a new, enriching orchestral experience.

The unique Student Concerto Competition provides the opportunity for junior high and high school students to perform with the orchestra. It is the only local program where students can gain this valuable experience, and feedback from the community has been positive.

Audience numbers have continued to grow from 275 to over 600 and have included individuals from all levels of the socioeconomic and ethnic strata. Particularly gratifying has been the large number of students who have attended concerts with their parents. In this way, Philharmonic members have seen the success of its mission, to introduce live classical music to the young people of the community.

The Santa Clarita Philharmonic is moving its concerts to the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at the College of the Canyons for the 2017-2018 season.

 

Hero of the Week: Beth Shott

Beth is one of the Santa Clarita Philharmonic’s biggest fans. After discovering the orchestra in the Santa Clarita Valley, she immediately joined as a violinist and set forth in creating an image for the Philharmonic through posters, flyers, donation materials, and establishing a social media presence for the organization.

“It is vitally important for a community to have access to classical music, and to have a place for professional, semi-professional, and student musicians … to perform locally,” she said. “I knew the Philharmonic was going to be a huge hit with the public, and jumped right in.”

Jumped indeed. Mark Elfont, the president of the orchestra, affectionately refers to Beth as the organization’s “social media maven.” She has been instrumental in spreading the word throughout the community.

Beth had always been a fan of the arts, and classical music, and her life since childhood had been dedicated to pursuing both. To date, a typical day/evening either revolves around designing something or rehearsing music for one of the symphonies where she is a performer. It’s not uncommon to also include doing some charitable work for an orchestra or outreach organization, which has become a calling she may have learned by growing up with parents who taught the value of giving back and helping humans (and animals) in need.

For the past 15 years Beth has been creative director and co-founder of the branding/graphic design agency McGregor Shott, Inc. which has offices in Santa Clarita and Atlanta. She spends the majority of her time creating identities for businesses and entities, specializing in areas of economic development, retail, events, education, merchandising and tourism. If you live around Santa Clarita Valley, you’ve probably seen her work on posters, signage, vehicles, in the mail and on the magazine racks.

Prior to working full time as a designer, she received a B.F.A. with honors from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, attended the Graduate School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and received a B.A. in Advertising with Distinction and Senior Honors from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

She has donated professional services for organizations such as the Claremont Symphony Orchestra, Bridge to Home, the Domestic Violence Center, the Child and Family Center, the William S. Hart Park and Museum, the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, the Musicians’ Assistance Program (MAP), the School to Business Alliance, and the American Cancer Society. She has served on the board of directors for some of these non-profits as well.

 

Heroes of the Week – Steve and Traci McLaughlin

| SC Living | March 31, 2017

Faithful volunteers Steve and Traci McLaughlin of Canyon Country offer the extra hands and feet necessary to stoke the success of Triumph Foundation, the non-profit charity serving victims of spinal cord injuries.

The organization was founded by Andrew Skinner, whose family members are longtime friends of the McLaughlins. The couple served the cause from its inception, when Skinner was injured in a snowboarding accident in Lake Arrowhead in 2004. He broke several vertebrae in his neck, rendering him a quadriplegic, and Steve and Traci were an important presence in the life of Andrew and his loved ones.

“When I was newly injured, they supported me and my family, they helped with construction to modify my parents’ house for me to go home to,” Andrew Skinner said. “Now (they) are key volunteers at our monthly handcycling clinics and assist in all our programming needs.”

Triumph Foundation www.triumph-foundation.org

Non Profit – Triumph Foundation

| SC Living | March 31, 2017

Providing resources, hope and security to people living with paralysis is the mission of Triumph Foundation in Santa Clarita. The 13-year-old 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 over 5,000 individuals with disabilities. Triumph has given $150,000 in assistance to people with inadequate medical insurance and financial hardship; performed ten accessible home remodels; provided wheelchair accessible vehicles to five people who did not have the means to purchase one on their own; and handed out over 1,000 Care Baskets full of resources to newly injured people. Volunteers regularly visit 18 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.

6th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival

The public is invited to a unique event, offering those with physical impairments the opportunity to experience competitive sports activities. On Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, 2017 the Triumph Foundation is hosting the 6th Annual Wheelchair Sports Festival at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex, where they will feature 10 adapted recreational sports, which are also open to the general public to participate. Saturday’s games will take place from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday’s games are scheduled for 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

The adapted sports include wheelchair hockey, basketball, quad rugby (aka murderball), racquetball, baseball, hand cycling, SCUBA, curling, track and field, wheelchair skating (WCMX), and a wheelchair rodeo race. There will also be a resource fair and the organization is looking for community partners.

Triumph Foundation hosts this free event to introduce wheelchair sports to people who are newly injured, veterans, children, and others with disabilities. It is also a learning opportunity for the general public, showcasing people living with physical impairment in a way that members of the community do not often see. The Wheelchair Sports Festival brings everyone together of all abilities — able bodied and disabled alike — to take part in a weekend of games and activities.

The Santa Clarita Sports Complex is located at 20870 Centre Pointe Pkwy. For more information visit www.Triumph-Foundation.org or call Andrew Skinner (661) 803-3700.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | March 25, 2017

Ben Fariss

A senior at Valencia High School and pitcher for the Vikings baseball team, last week Ben Fariss went 2-3 at bat and registered 3 RBIs as Valencia beat Saugus 9-7. The win keeps the Vikings perfect in league play, and tied for first in Foothill with West Ranch.

“Ben is an outstanding player and leader for Valencia,” said Michael Killinger, coach of Valencia High School’s baseball team. “He is a pitcher/outfielder and one of the best players in Southern California. Ben has accepted a scholarship offer to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara next year.”

Melanie Abzun 

A freshman center fielder for College of the Canyons’ softball team, Melanie Abzun went 2-for-4 at the plate in the first game of last week’s doubleheader with Riverside City College, posting 5 RBIs in the Cougars’ 14-9 victory on March 18.
The game was first of two in a series against Riverside, the second of which Canyons lost 6-4. This season Melanie is batting .455 and leads the team in: home runs, with 5; RBIs, with 23; and runs, with 24.

“Melanie is doing a great job for us as a leadoff hitter,” said John Wissmath, coach of the COC softball team. “She hustles every play, she just plays 100 percent all the time. She should put 100 percent on the back of her jersey, because that’s how she plays.”

Non-Profit of the Week

| SC Living | March 23, 2017

USC Alumni Help Homeless through Salvation Army 

Members of the USC Alumni Association gathered at The Salvation Army’s Santa Clarita Corps to prepare 100 hygiene kits in an outreach effort to assist local homeless students earlier this month.

“Student homeless population numbers, even at the community college level, are difficult to calculate,” said Alexis Hauk, media manager for The Salvation Army, “but the Corps does provide food relief to more than 400 individuals each month, and is grateful for the added assistance from the Trojan Alumni.”

California State Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) spoke with the volunteers at the event.

The Salvation Army has provided essential social services and spiritual ministry to the people of Southern California continuously since 1887. The Santa Clarita Corps, currently headed by Envoys Laura and Jerry Bloom, is one of The Salvation Army’s most recent “outposts” and provides food assistance, ministry, after school programs and other vital assistance to the people of Santa Clarita. For more information on their work in the community, visit santaclarita.salvationarmy.org.


(Above): David Duncan and Daniel Leary, lead volunteers for the USC team, helped assemble hygiene kits at the Salvation Army Corps in Santa Clarita.

Non Profit of the Week – Corral of Comfort

| SC Living | March 17, 2017

Corral of Comfort is dedicated to rescuing horses from dire situations, including neglect through carelessness, being “discarded” by owners because they can no longer win races, etc. After acquiring these horses, volunteers begin a process of rehabilitation.

“Sadly, sometimes good people just are unable to care for their horses any longer,” says a spokesperson for the organization “Others come to regard their horses as unwanted and they neglect or abandon them like yesterday’s garbage. Many of these horses are sent to slaughter, even though they could live productive lives for many more years. There is something inherently inhumane about calling any horse unfit for life!”

A volunteer washes one of the horses

Not surprisingly, many of the horses that arrive at Corral of Comfort have pressing medical needs and many are underweight. Volunteers bind up their wounds and provide them with nourishing food and lots of tender, loving care. Corral of Comfort then places rehabilitated horses in approved, loving homes.

Another aim of Corral of Comfort is to make the public aware of the plight of horses. The organization’s mission is to nurture empathy for animals and people, young and old.

“As you might expect, it takes a great deal of money to do all Corral of Comfort does for unwanted, neglected, abused or otherwise discarded horses,” a spokesperson says. “We can, in fact, only handle what we have money on-hand to cover (though we go the extra mile in many instances, such as when we find a horse left tied up outside our front gate). As such, donations are greatly appreciated and very much needed.

Goals of the organization are to provide a safe environment, veterinary care, food, farrier services, shelter and a safe place until they are able to be placed in a new home.

Corral of Comfort is not funded by any state or government agency and depends solely on small grants, sponsorship programs and donations from individuals. Blankets and horse tack are always appreciated.

Furthermore, they have no paid employees and are solely run by volunteers and board members. For more information, call (661) 361-9188 or e-mail corralofcomfort@gmail.com.

Non-Profit of the Week: Pets N Suds

| SC Living | March 11, 2017

A Valencia store has a non-profit animal rescue that seeks adoptive families for homeless pets. Pets N Suds is a 501(c)(3) located inside a store by the same name, which is located on McBean Pkwy.

The animal adoption process operates on donations, which have been dangerously low, threatening the life of the non-profit.

“We are having great difficulty paying our rent. Our rescue will suffer if we cannot operate in this location,” said Jennifer Berardini, who owns the store with her husband, John. “We got the space and it took all of our money to build up the space, i.e., floors, ceilings, sprinkler system, walls, air conditioning, our signage, etc., so now we find ourselves in this position of near eviction.”

A GoFundMe account was opened in the hopes that resources will come in to boost the animal rescue’s viability. The link to the account is https://gofundme.com/501rescuepetsnsuds. The group’s goal is to raise $15,000, and Berardini can provide non-profit tax receipts to donors.

“We have saved hundreds of animals,” Berardini said. “We have animals in our care right now that need your help. We want to continue rescuing animals.”

Berardini sees loss of the store location as possibly fatal to the adoption charity.

“We do not want to lose our space,” she said. “We put a lot of time and effort into our organization. Our pet store Pets N Suds needs to keep the rescue mission going. The animals are depending on us.”

The animal rescue organization is in danger of closing due to the high expenses and low volume retail sales of the retail portion of the store.

“Our rescue is in danger of closing due to expenses that we cannot maintain at the moment,” Berardini said. “It was an expensive adventure to move and we need your donations to keep us alive in the Valencia Area.”

The shop owner sees the problem as short-term and solvable.

“Once we are on track, the weather gets warmer and more people know we are here, I know we can survive,” she said. “The animals are counting on us to keep rescuing them.”

Animals accepted into Pets N Suds are rescues only, brought in by community members or, literally, left on the doorstep of the store. All adoption fees are used to pay for animal food and health care (shots,vet visit etc). The store is open Sunday and Monday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Pets N Suds is located at 27736 McBean Pkwy in Valencia. The non-profit’s phone number is 661-263-2424 and the website is www.petsnsuds.com.

Athletes of the Week

| SC Living | March 10, 2017

Kayla Konrad

This Valencia High School senior is still a leading member of the girls’ basketball team. She scored 23 points in the Vikings’ 50-45 win over Canyon in the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA championship round. The win marks the first CIF championship in the program’s history.

“Kayla has been a four-year starter on the varsity team and is having a remarkable senior season for Valencia,” said Jerry Mike, coach of the VHS girls’ basketball team. “She excels at multiple positions and has incredible determination and work habits. She is a great leader and teammate. Kayla will be playing at the University of California, Davis next year.”

Tim Soares

This freshman at The Master’s University plays center for the school’s men’s basketball team. Last week, Tim Soares scored 20 points, and had 12 rebounds and eight blocks in the Mustangs’ 83-68 win over Biola University in the GSAC semifinals. Master’s University moves on to the GSAC championship round against Hope International with the win.

“He is incredibly coachable and works hard every day and you (can) see the fruits of his labor,” said Troy Leaf, assistant coach for The Master’s University men’s basketball team. “He has been the inside presence we needed the past few weeks.”

 

 

 

Non Profit of the Week – Action Family Counseling

| SC Living | March 3, 2017

Moving in the lives of adolescents and teens who need help disabling the grip of substance abuse, Action Family Counseling is a community resource widely known in Santa Clarita. Through parent and teen support groups, interventions and drug testing, the non-profit’s leader Cary Quashen responds to requests by schools, law enforcement and individuals who need experts in handling a variety of challenges caused by substance abuse.

“We are involved in anything we can do to help children or adults,” says Quashen. “We are on call for all the schools, so when kids are in trouble we do interventions.”

Anyone in the community can attend Action’s parent and teen support group, held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Canyon High School. At the meetings, adolescents are grouped together for substance abuse education and support from their peers who are practicing sobriety. Struggling parents meet others who are dealing with the same challenges. There are usually about 40-60 kids and adults who attend.

“We empower parents to get back in control,” Quashen says. “We have trained counselors to help teens make better choices. There really aren’t any bad kids, just kids who make really bad decisions. If we have a positive influence on them, everybody wins.”

Using a multidisciplinary team approach to treatment, the non-profit promotes healthy behavioral patterns that apply to school, relationships, family dynamics, social and daily living skills. When it comes to the perception that Santa Clarita is a haven of substance abuse, Quashen has a strong opinion.

“First of all, we have no more drugs in Santa Clarita than any city in the country,” he says. “We do speak more about drugs here and we’re very proactive to fight drug abuse, so we’re very vocal about it.”

Partnering with the community in turning the tide away from chemical dependency, Action Family Counseling seeks to provide the highest quality treatment services, including behavior modification and mental health support.

“One in seven Americans will have a substance abuse disorder,” Quashen says. “The life expectancy in this country just dropped for the first time because of drug abuse.”

It may surprise residents to know the direction chemical dependency is taking in the United States.

“Right now the major explosion we’re having is the use of opioids, and that is not adolescents – that’s adults,” Quashen says. “Today, we’re seeing adults who never had a track record who get hooked on prescription medications.”

Another huge cause for concern, he says, is the current attitude toward marijuana use.

“What’s scaring me is the lack of fear when it comes to marijuana abuse in adolescents,” he says. “People are giving up.”

Some middle and high school teens are actually attending school at Action. There is a sobriety school for kids who need more intervention and simply cannot go back to mainstream schools for the time being. There are also intensive outpatient programs and residential centers.

To support Action Family Counseling, call 800-367-8336 or attend an Action parent and teen support group on a Tuesday night at Canyon High School. For more details, visit Actionfamilycounseling.com.

Hero of the Week – Elizabeth

Elizabeth is a Santa Clarita resident and high school student who has been sober for nine months. She now serves on a steering committee at Action. She became acquainted with Action through the Tide program (Training, Intervention, Drug Education), which is an alternative to suspensions and expulsions.

“She had gotten pot at school and was ‘sentenced’ to the parent/teen group on Tuesday nights,” explains Jayce Patt, youth outreach advocate at Action. “Her mom benefited from what she heard in the other room and Elizabeth was receptive to what she heard in the adolescent room.”

The young teen’s success in the program did not stem from a “love at first sight” attitude.

“At first it was ‘get my mom off my back,’ but nine months later, she’s not ‘sentenced’ to come but she does anyway,” Patt says. “I’m so proud of this girl. She goes above and beyond. She is the leader of the pack.”

Anyone who is sober more than six months at Action can become part of the non-profit organization’s steering committee. They help leaders like Jayce Patt and gain a sense of responsibility. That’s where Elizabeth shines. She nudges fellow steering committee members to step up, such as welcoming new attendees at meetings.

And when it comes to talking with newbies who have a less than cooperative attitude, “she knows exactly what to say to disarm them,” Patt says. “Talk about a star student.”

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Male Athlete of the Week – Josh De Leon

| SC Living, Sports | March 3, 2017

A senior at Saugus High School, Josh De Leon is a game-changing contributor to the Saugus boys’ soccer team. Last week, he scored the only goal in the Centurions’ win over Colony High School in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinals. Saugus plays Norwalk in the semifinals on Tuesday.

“Josh De Leon has been an instrumental player for us both last year and this year,” said Seth Groller, coach of the Saugus High School boys’ soccer team. “Last season we made it to the quarterfinals, and this year we have already surpassed that, thanks to his hard work and ability to come up with the big play in big games. His game-winning, golden goal in the quarterfinal game was an example of that.”

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Female Athlete of the Week – Alaina Garcia

| SC Living, Sports | March 3, 2017

A key member of the Canyon High School girls’ basketball team, Alaina Garcia showed her power last week. She scored 21 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Cowboys defeated Saint Anthony of Long Beach, 62-58, in the CIF Southern Section Division 1AA semifinals. Canyon will meet Valencia for the fourth time this season in the Finals on Saturday at the Honda Center.

“Alaina is a true competitor that was a key factor not only in this game but our victory over Valencia to share the league title,” said Jessica Haayer, coach of the Canyon High School girls’ basketball team. “She is extremely hard working and is dedicated to her team, her family and to basketball.”

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