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Rotary Club helps more than expected

Posted: December 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 8, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

The Santa Clarita Rotary Club planned to “adopt” five families from Single Mothers Outreach this year, providing their children with holiday presents, but Santa apparently had other plans.

Service club members wound up providing gifts for 17 families from Single Mothers Outreach and will host a holiday party for the families today.

“It’s a tremendous amount more than they had ever expected,” Rotarian and businessman Dave Reeves said of the nonprofit.

Reeves, working together with Single Mothers Outreach volunteer Jennifer Kennedy, said the duo identified 17 families struggling to provide gifts for their children, and service club members stepped up to the plate to meet the need.

The families were selected after an application process. Each one is enduring financial trials and needs help providing Christmas gifts.

Rotarians are giving each member of the families chosen a maximum of $50 worth of gifts. Mothers requested items ranging from clothes and shoes to toys and other items.

The gifts will be presented to the families during a Christmas party at Savia in Newhall today. Reeves asked his friend and neighbor, Dick Norton, to play Santa Claus for the kids.

Norton, who has played Santa for more than 25 years during charity events, will also donate bags of candy canes for the children.

“I do it for the people that need help because I enjoy it,” Norton said. “I think I get more out of it than they do.”

Besides the families chosen, five Rotarians have decided to donate monetary gifts that will be disbursed to families in need at the organization throughout the year.

“Basically, they’re getting a Christmas they did not think they would have,” said Reeves, owner of Reeves Complete Auto Repair Center. “They’re very excited about this. It’s really cool to think about.”

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