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Our View: SCV’s heart shows in its kindness

Posted: April 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

It’s the nightmare of any suburban family busily occupied daily with working average jobs outside the house, maintaining a household, raising kids and making the mortgage payments: One day they wake up to a disaster that sends their once-ordered lives tumbling about them.

It’s the reality of Steve and Lisa Arakaki. One morning last November, Steve awoke to find his wife stricken with a brain aneurysm overnight, leaving her with impaired vision and speech, short-term memory loss and partial paralysis.

“Our lives, up until now, were pretty much private,” Steve recalled during a community fundraiser last Saturday to help his family with Lisa’s medical bills. “This trade-off is amazing.”

The trade-off was the relative anonymity of suburbia for the center of an event aimed at showing the family the love and financial help they needed so badly.

The Albertsons supermarket, where Steve works as a produce man, offered support, and its parking lot for the fundraiser.
Neighbors, friends and friends of friends turned out to coordinate children’s activities and serve up barbecued lunches.

Someone signed up a group of classic car enthusiasts for a show.

A kindly gentleman bought an ad in The Signal to encourage as many people to come as possible — just because Steve is such a great guy.

It’s been a long time since the Santa Clarita Valley was a collection of sleepy little bergs. As a city, Santa Clarita is the fourth largest in Los Angeles County, and with the rest of the valley, the area’s population is more than a quarter-million.

But as long as we care about our neighbors, and are willing to act on that caring — as the Arakaki family supporters did last Saturday — we’ll be able, as Steve put it, to “restore your faith in human kind.”

We join him in applauding the many people who proved that a private family still matters to us here in the Santa Clarita Valley.


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