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9/11 memorial events scheduled in SCV

Posted: September 7, 2012 6:59 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2012 6:59 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley residents can mark the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and celebrate the stories of local heroes during a Patriot Day event, blood drive and memorial church service scheduled next week.

Families will gather for the seventh annual Patriot Day celebration at Dr. Richard R. Rioux Park in Stevenson Ranch on Tuesday to prepare care packages for deployed troops and remember those affected by Sept. 11.

Residents can donate non-perishable items, write letters and send children’s coloring sheets to the overseas troops during the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. event.

Hands and Hearts, a ministry of Christ Lutheran Church in Valencia, has sent more than 1,000 care packages abroad. It will partner with the park’s senior club to host the event.

“It augments what they are able to send over,” Doug Newell, manager of Richard Rioux Park, said of the Patriot Day packages.

Last year, more than 50 participants put together 60 to 70 additional boxes for Hands and Hearts.

The troops appreciate any news from home, and some hang the coloring sheets in their barracks, Newell said.

A “Heroes Board” will display pictures and messages from overseas troops that explain that importance of the care packages and letters.

“It’s an annual thing that the public can do to give comfort for our troops,” Newell said.

A chili cook-off and children’s patriotic chalk-painting contest round out the family event, inviting the kids “to remember 9/11 so it doesn’t fade way,” Newell said.

Comfort Keepers In-Home Care and the American Red Cross will keep the events of Sept. 11 alive with a blood drive at the Comfort Keepers building on Lyons Avenue from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“Each unit of blood can save up to three or four lives, so we thought what a great day to save lives,” said Diane Blair of Comfort Keepers.

The last blood drive brought more than 25 pints of blood to Henry Mayo Memorial Hospital, Blair said.

“All the blood comes back to the community,” Blair said. “We’re hoping to get a lot more this time.”

Donors can call Comfort Keepers to make an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome.

At The Friendly Valley Community Church, Pastor Stan Fix will dedicate his Sunday 10 a.m. sermon to remembering the events of Sept. 11 and “consider how we have changed since then, especially in feelings of, and our understanding of, other people,” Fix said.

“Even when the world changes, we can take comfort in God being our refuge and strength,” Fix said.




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