For 31 years Tracy Hauser has called Santa Clarita Valley home, and our community has benefitted greatly from her active involvement.
“Santa Clarita Women Magazine” caught up with Tracy to discuss the contributions she has made, and continues to make in our community.
SCW: What do you like about Santa Clarita?
TH: I really enjoy all the open space and (seasonal green) hills we have around us. Santa Clarita is a very unique place. We still have that friendly small town feel, even though our community has grown to well over 250,000 residents. We have so much to offer the residents—-bike trails, hiking trails, the Nature Center in Placerita Canyon, the Aquatic center and skate park, beautiful community parks; there’s so much to do around here for little cost or for free. I appreciate that we have diverse neighborhoods too, ranging from ranch properties in areas like Sand Canyon, Placerita Canyon and Hasley Canyon to planned communities, like Valencia, Stevenson Ranch and Fair Oaks Ranch. We have cool, older homes on big lots in the Happy Valley area too. I really appreciate our wonderful senior communities too, Friendly Valley and Belcaro. There’s a lifestyle choice for a wide range of people. Best of all, we’re not surrounded by concrete and buildings. We still have nature all around us, thanks to the leadership of our city, and the wisdom they had to buy open space for all of us to enjoy.
SCW: How long have you lived in Canyon Country and do you like it?
TH: I moved to Canyon Country in 1982, into a small, three-bedroom house with my first husband. In 1990, we divorced, and I was a single mom for a few years, with three small children. What a scary time that was for me. On October 16, 1993 I married my wonderful husband, Lloyd. We were married at our current home on Roadrunner Road. This too was a small house on a nice, big acre lot. The house was a dump when we bought it. My then 12-year-old daughter, Ashley, and 11-year-old son, Kenny, cried when they saw the house. They were horrified that we would make them live in such an awful house. It really was in pretty bad shape. Thank goodness my very talented husband knew what to do with a fixer. He has been working on the place ever since we moved here. I love where we live, because we have the freedom to do things most people who live in a more traditional neighborhood can’t. For instance, having 200 people over for a Renaissance wedding in your backyard, or having pets, like (15) chickens, (40) fish in a pond, a pig, and a kooky rescue dog who eats rabbits and other critters.
SCW: Which non-profits have you been involved with?
TH: Over the years I have helped out as a behind-the-scenes worker bee with many of the non-profits, as time would allow, along with four kids and working fulltime in a non-stop real estate business.
There are two non-profits that are important to me for personal reasons. The first one is Single Mothers Outreach. I discovered them about 13 years ago when I was looking for help for a client. After being a single mom myself for a short time, I will never forget the huge challenges I faced as a single parent every day. It was heartbreaking missing out on things with my kids because there was no room in the budget. I remember being so stressed out about taking care of the basic needs of food, shelter and gas money to get to work, that I would forget to check the kids’ backpacks for homework. Or, worse, I would miss notices for school awards my kids would be getting. Being a single parent was one of the most challenging times of my life. In spite of all the challenges, I was also blessed with gifts too, like the kindness of other people, which I will never forget. I was also humbled to my knees more than once, just learning to accept help. I had to dig deep into my soul to figure things out. After going through that life-changing journey, I vowed I would reach out and help others going through the challenges of being single parents.
The second non-profit that is near and dear to my heart is the SCV Senior Center. It is from a place of gratitude and appreciation that I am involved with and support the Senior Center. Both of my parents are actively involved in my life. We have a support system that is very strong, and we all pitch in and help each other out. I treasure this so much, and I feel very rich as a person because of the way my family functions as a team. My mom came to live with us fulltime back in 2005, after she sold her B & B in Northern California. In December of 2010 she was diagnosed with colon cancer. I was so grateful that she was already living with us. It’s overwhelming when someone in your family gets really sick, especially if they have never been sick before, such as in my mom’s case. After mom came home from the hospital we all pitch in, taking her to the doctor, my girls doing her laundry and driving her around when my brother, husband, sister-in-law or I could not. Many seniors don’t have this kind of support system. Some of them don’t have family close by or at all. The Senior Center staff and the small army of volunteers is a community of loving, caring people who fill in and add support to the seniors and their families. Most people are not aware of numerous programs the center provides, or that the center feeds over 300 people a day—between the home delivered meals program and the on-site lunches they serve Monday – Friday at the center for about $2 per person.
Now that my kids are mostly grown, I have more space in my life to give back to the community. The Senior Center and SMO are the two non-profits that match up really well with me and how I like to express myself with service for the sake of serving. By nature, I am a networker and I really enjoy matching people up with what they’re looking for, whether it’s finding a home, a resource or a service they need. This is why being in real estate has been a great career match for me. I love the feeling of seeing a match come together. I enjoy helping in the process of getting events put together and telling other people about them.
This last February, the Senior Center held its main fundraising event. It’s call the Celebrity Waiter Dinner, and I have served on the committee off and on for about 7-8 years. This last year I had challenged my good friend Michele, the manager of Le Chene French Cuisine, (which is also a longtime supporter of the center), to see who could raise the most money before the event by doing some outside fundraising. We both asked our clients and friends for donations. Well, he raised over $4,400 and I raised a little over $2,500, and the Senior Center was the big winner. My hunch was right: We want to help out and are more than happy to support worthy causes if we are asked. I received donations ranging from $5-$200. The wonderful thing about this was that hundreds of people got involved at their own level of comfort, by helping out without breaking their budgets.
With SMO I have really stepped it up, too. Like all non-profits, government funding is getting cut way back. It’s just a fact of life. The non-profit service organizations that are going to survive will do so only if the communities that they provide services for see their value and choose to support them and their work. The non-profits have a duty as well, to conduct themselves using a more sustainable business model, which is just what SMO is starting to do. Earlier this year, SMO opened a vintage boutique dress shop that has both new and gently used clothes, shoes and other accessories. The shop is in Old Town Newhall on Main Street, called The Closet On Main Street. One of the best parts of this whole thing is that Margo Hudson (who owned local mainstay, Margo’s Dress Shop) is running the shop! She’s back, ladies. Now you can shop “GUILT FREE,” because when you shop there, you are literally helping other people out. The proceeds from the sales go back to Single Mothers Outreach.
In an effort to get the word out about this amazing shop, I hosted a party with some friends at The Closet this year. Everyone was asked to bring a donation. The guideline for the donation was that it had to be of the same quality that you would give to a dear friend—something nice, and in great shape, like a pair of shoes you wore once or twice, a dress, coat or pair of pants that no longer fits (for whatever reason). Most of us share our things with each other…it’s such a girl thing.
SCW: What are some of your favorite events the non-profits host each year?
TH: This year will be the third year SMO is hosting an event called “The Pool Party.” It’s a fun, low-cost family event that will be held Saturday, August 3 from 3:00-7:00 at the Santa Clarita Aquatic Center. Check out the SMO web site for more information.
Another wonderful family event is “Bark for life.” This is put on by the American Cancer Society and held in late October at Bridgeport Park. The dogs are the focus—they are the ones who have been sponsored to walk (a very short walk) to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This is a very lighthearted event and it’s hilarious too. The dogs come dressed up in costumes. Last year, the first place winner came dressed as Honey Boo Boo. This is a fun family event too. It goes from 8:30 till 10:00 a.m.
On June 14 at Central Park, the Senior Center will be hosting the 1st annual Touch-A-Truck exhibit as a fundraiser. This is another low-cost, fun family event. Dads get in free in honor of Father’s Day and general admission is $5. What’s great about this is that the kids can get on the trucks and really explore them — it’s okay to touch a truck.
SCW: Describe your work and your family.
TH: I truly enjoy what I do for a living. Finding a first-time buyer their new home NEVER gets old. Helping a family to move on from their home can sometimes be emotional for the family, especially if some of the members aren’t ready to move on. This is often the case when there is a job transfer, loss of a job or shift in the family, for instance downsizing an aging parent who is no longer safe living alone.
Stepping into Closet on Main were Tracy and her team (left to right): Deborah Brown, Tracy Grant, Tracy Hauser, Margaret Avery and Danise Davis.
The last few years have been especially challenging for so many people. I have worked with numerous families that have had to sell their homes in a short sale to avoid being foreclosed on. It’s a very sad time for them. My team and I respect and honor the process that our clients are going through and do all that we can to support the whole family. I work with the most amazing team of people. Danise Davis has worked with me for over 19 years. Her main function is supervising and coordinating the escrow process. She meets the inspectors and appraisers, and she works with the escrow officers and loan officers, making sure all the details are being attended to. And she manages the flow of the office too. It’s a big job and she excels at it. Tracy Grant has worked with me for over 13 years. She is the buyer’s agent. Tracy G. helps me with our buyers. She is on the computer several times a day, looking for properties that will be a good fit for our clients. We both attend a networking group. We have a very proactive approach when it comes to helping our clients purchase and sell their homes. Margaret Avery has worked with the team for over 10 years. She helps me with marketing and customer care. Deborah Brown is the newest team member. She has an extensive background in both title and escrow. Deborah is the short sale processor and is also backup support to Danise. These special people are what the classic service team is all about. Personal service.
This April I made a huge change and took my team to a new company, where I am part owner. It’s called Cobalt Realty Group “True Blue.” We’re a boutique real estate company and our focus is on good, old fashioned personal service with a strong technology base. Cobalt is a synergistic group of agents working together to support each other and the clients we serve. Our mission statement is a quote from Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.” Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
I have a wonderful family. Ashley is my oldest and is now married to a fantastic man named Ryan. They have two great
Grandma Tracy loves her grandkids
kids — a little boy named Rowdy who is three, and a little girl named Bowie who just turned a year old on April 9. My son, Kenny, is also married to a wonderful girl named Janelle. They just had a son last November whose name is Kade. My daughter, Bailey, has been dating a wonderful guy, named Kenny. She has been working with children for several years and is working her way into the medical field. Angela, my youngest, is going to school at COC and enjoying the last days of being a teenager. She is turning 19.
SCW: What do you like to do in your spare time?
TH: In my down time I enjoy lazy walks in Solana Beach with my husband, Lloyd, walking Lucy, our dog, with my girls, and going on hikes with my girlfriends. I really enjoy re-doing furniture and, best of all, I LOVE playing with my three grandkids.
SCW: Is there a challenge you have for community residents, maybe in terms of giving back?
TH: The challenge I have for the residents of our wonderful community is to find some small way to add value to the lives of others. It can be as simple as picking up trash when you walk in front of it and are two feet away from a trash can. Go to the senior center and talk with some of the seniors or, better still — volunteer to be a ride along with one of the drivers for the home delivered meals program.
The simplest things done with kindness can make such a huge difference. Bring dinner to an overworked single parent, a lonely senior, or a friend who may be suffering because of the loss of a loved one. Do not underestimate the power you have to redirect the negativity in the world to a more positive place…to do something nice for someone just because you can. It is has been my personal experience that kindness matters. It always has.