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Saugus student carries on Grandmother’s legacy of giving

Posted: September 1, 2016 8:57 p.m.
Updated: September 1, 2016 8:57 p.m.
James Klipfel, Saugus High School senior, helped raised half the funds to buy a new van for the SCV Food Pantry. A sign on the vehicle is in memory of his grandparents. Courtesy photo James Klipfel, Saugus High School senior, helped raised half the funds to buy a new van for the SCV Food Pantry. A sign on the vehicle is in memory of his grandparents. Courtesy photo
James Klipfel, Saugus High School senior, helped raised half the funds to buy a new van for the SCV Food Pantry. A sign on the vehicle is in memory of his grandparents. Courtesy photo
Klipfel working on building food storage units for the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo Klipfel working on building food storage units for the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo
Klipfel working on building food storage units for the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo
Klipfel's nearly finished food storage unit, built to help the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo Klipfel's nearly finished food storage unit, built to help the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo
Klipfel's nearly finished food storage unit, built to help the SCV Food Pantry. Courtesy photo
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For his Eagle Scout project, Saugus High School senior James Klipfel is helping the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry soar.

The 17-year-old Klipfel was a key player in raising funds to purchase a new delivery van for the pantry, and he also coordinated a food drive to help the facility stock its shelves for the 40 to 60 families who benefit daily.

Now this selfless senior is set to cap Phase 3 of his pantry plan – construction of a much-needed storage shed with help from his troop, family and friends.

The hammers and screw drivers will be deployed Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, when Klipfel and company put the finishing touches on the shed.

“I looked at a bunch of ideas (for the Eagle Scout project), but I picked this because of the tangible effect it has on some of the neediest people in the community,” said Klipfel, an Agua Dulce resident who is eyeing the U.S. Naval Academy, UC-Davis and UCLA on his way to an aeronautical or aerospace career.

“It was just a great way to help a great cause and a great organization.”

Belinda Crawford, executive director of the SCV Food Pantry, called Klipfel “a remarkably mature young man” who “has shown great maturity and leadership during this Eagle Scout project from the very beginning stages.’’

“His whole family has a heart to help others,’’ Crawford said – adding that the family became involved with the pantry several years ago, after Klipfel’s grandmother Helen passed away. Helen first became involved with the pantry, and because of her the family asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the pantry.

Young Klipfel has kept that wish going – and then some.

Klipfel’s efforts raised “more than half” the cost of the pantry’s new van -- which replaced a beat-up 20-year-old one, Crawford said.

Klipfel estimated that, through a letter campaign, he raised between $10,000 and $15,000 toward the cost of the vehicle. He also placed bins in two Agua Dulce stores that collected about $1,000 worth of food.

The storage shed is particularly needed, Crawford said.

“It will be a big help,’’ she said. “The Food Pantry has so outgrown this facility. We have less than 3,000 square feet, and we need 5,000, maybe 6,000 square feet.’’

The pantry, located at 24133 Railroad Ave. in Newhall, serves as a daily pickup spot for between 40 and 60 families.

In addition, once a month, pantry workers deliver food to seniors and low-income people at six area locations.

As for the delivery van Klipfel raised funds for, a sticker on back of the delivery van reads, "In memory of Norm and Helen Klipfel."

Not so visible is the role played by a very giving grandson.

kkenney@signalscv.com
(661) 287-5525

 

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