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Light the night for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

SCV Scene

Posted: July 6, 2008 12:03 a.m.
Updated: September 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.

I’ve always considered the Fourth of July to be the demarcation line for the year. Half the year is gone, just half the year remains. I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful summer of fun. Time to relax, enjoy and take a break!

If you’ve not taken your family on vacation this year because of the suffering economy and high gas prices, try taking a little “stay-cation” in the SCV. There are many wonderful places to visit and things to do,  beginning with Hurricane Harbor and the city’s Aquatics Center for a little “cool” fun to an early morning hike at Placerita Nature Center and visits to the SCV’s many historic locations including the Oak of the Golden Dream, Beal’s Cut, the St. Francis Dam disaster and downtown Newhall.

Teams needed for Light the Night
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosted a breakfast kick-off meeting with SCV supporters at the Hyatt Valencia on June 26. Kathryn Scott, campaign director of Light the Night for the LLS Greater Los Angeles Chapter introduced attendees to Bruce Fortine and Gloria Mercado who will serve as corporate Walk co-chairs for Light the Night, Santa Clarita Valley. Sarah Weichel, a Hart High grad, gave a moving account of her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, diagnosed when she was a freshman, and only seven months after her mother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. For information on forming a team for the SCV Light the Night Event, to be held Oct. 19 at Bridgeport Park in Valencia, visit or call (310) 846-4713.

Seen at the Light the Night kickoff
Bruce Fortine and Gloria Mercado, Dana Cop, Craig and Natasha Duswalt, Bob Kellar, RJ Kelly, Tora Brown, Dora Zavala, Bob Spierer, Diane Trautman, Paul De La Cerda, Pam Ingram, Stella Pilarski, Kerry Carmody, Sarah Weichel and David Perry.

More families turning to Food Pantry
The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry has provided supplemental food for those less fortunate in the SCV for the past 22 years. Due to the current economic climate, record increase in the cost of gasoline and groceries, many families who were already struggling to put food on the tables are now forced to turn to the SCV Food Pantry for help feeding their families.

Historically, summer months are the lowest for donations, but families have the highest need for assistance since school is out and low income children do not receive the free breakfast and lunch programs provide during the regular school year.

The SCV Food Pantry has experienced a 53 percent increase in the number of clients during the first quarter of this year over the same period last year.

“The need is the highest I’ve ever seen. We’ve served more than 4,500 unduplicated individuals since January of last year,” said Belinda Crawford, executive director of the SCV Food Pantry.

The Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry was established in 1986 by a small group of community volunteers. The Pantry uses food donations from the community to provide supplemental food on a short-term basis to qualified local residents. Approximately 90 volunteers work together to sort food, prepare bags, and help distribute the food to low income residents of the SCV. For information about food donations or to volunteer call Belinda at (661) 255-9078.


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