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Local Elks Help Child & Family Center Kids

Posted: August 20, 2016 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 20, 2016 2:00 a.m.
(l-r) Elks members Stacy McKenna, Teresa Handy, John Rivetti, and staff therapist Genesis Espinoza with some of the 270 backpacks collected and presented to the Child & Family Center on August 4. Courtesy photo (l-r) Elks members Stacy McKenna, Teresa Handy, John Rivetti, and staff therapist Genesis Espinoza with some of the 270 backpacks collected and presented to the Child & Family Center on August 4. Courtesy photo
(l-r) Elks members Stacy McKenna, Teresa Handy, John Rivetti, and staff therapist Genesis Espinoza with some of the 270 backpacks collected and presented to the Child & Family Center on August 4. Courtesy photo
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Happy children and teens from Child & Family Center went back to school fully prepared for learning, outfitted with new backpacks filled with school supplies, thanks to the generosity of the local Elks Lodge.

On August 4, members of B.P.O.E. Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 came to Child & Family and distributed 270 backpacks to elementary, middle and high school students. Elks made personal donations, and the Lodge also secured a major national grant to fund the project.

“We are really pleased and happy to be doing this for these children and I’m glad we could fulfill this need in our community” said Stacy McKenna, co-chair of the project. “This is what our local Elks Lodge is all about. We look forward to making this an annual event.” McKenna co-chaired with members John Rivetti and Ted Olsen who spearheaded the project.

Originally, the giveaway was to have been part of a “Family Fun Night” party hosted by the Elks at the Center on Monday, July 25. They had planned to serve their signature barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs, join other family-centered activities such as an animal show, photo booth and disc jockey, and give the backpacks away, but unfortunately, the party had to be postponed due to the complications of the Sand Fire. “Back-to-school” itself wasn’t postponed, however, so the backpack giveaway took place in time for the August school openings, much to the excitement of the kids.

Happily, the “Family Fun Night” has been rescheduled for August 29. Families from the Center will come together in the evening after school and be treated to lots of fun activities. The Elks, long-time supporters of Child & Family Center, are hoping to make this an annual back-to-school event for the children. In addition to this new end-of-summer party, every holiday season for the past 20 years the Elks have “adopted” 35 families in need from the Center, donating toys, gifts and food to help them through the holidays.

The children and families served at the Center, together with the staff and volunteers, thank the Elks for their ongoing generosity and dedication to those in need throughout Santa Clarita.

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