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Susana Coronel: Volunteer opportunities in Santa Clarita

Posted: April 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Volunteers are superstars in the city of Santa Clarita.

Whether they lend a hand at an annual gathering like the annual Cowboy Festival, River Rally or Santa Clarita Marathon events, or provide homework help for local kids and teens, volunteers go a long way toward strengthening our community and enhancing our quality of life.

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 6-12), the city of Santa Clarita extends its most heartfelt thanks to the residents who make a difference by donating their most precious resource — their time!

Many of the city’s most popular happenings and programs would not be possible without the support of volunteers. Santa Clarita will host several world-class events this spring, and residents of all ages are welcome to pitch in as we showcase Santa Clarita to the world.

The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival is widely hailed as one of the best cowboy gatherings in America.

Each year, hundreds of volunteer “ranch hands” pitch in to fill several roles, including ticket-takers, Main Stage ushers, book-signing assistants, shuttle greeters and more.

In addition to providing complimentary access to the Cowboy Festival, volunteering is an excellent way to get a backstage pass to one of the world’s top working movie ranches.

Residents can still sign up for a range of opportunities available at Melody Ranch during the festival April 26 and 27, as well as other sites around Santa Clarita beginning April 17.

Santa Clarita residents can also volunteer for another high-profile event set to be held in our city this spring: the Wings for Life World Run.

Santa Clarita is the only West Coast city to host this global race, which will kick off on May 4 from 35 cities around the world at the same time, as participants are pursued by a moving finish line.

Volunteers are needed to assist with bib pick-up, check-in, passing out water, and more.

The race will begin at 3 a.m. local time, providing the unique opportunity to watch runners race through the streets of Santa Clarita toward sunrise.

When the Wings for Life World Run leaves town, the Amgen Tour of California will be hot on its heels.

Santa Clarita will host the Stage 6 Start on Friday, May 16, in Old Town Newhall and the Stage 7 Start on Saturday, May 17, at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Santa Clarita residents can sign up to assist with media check-in, crowd control, course marshaling and more.

Volunteer positions are available at both stage start locations, providing two chances to get a “behind-the-spokes” look at America’s greatest cycling race.

Residents can also keep cool by volunteering for several events at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center, including the Splash and Dash Egg Hunt on April 19, the Masters Meet on May 18, Water Safety Day on July 19, and more.

Other community events in need of volunteers this year are River Rally, the Youth Sports and Healthy Families Festival and the Santa Clarita Marathon.

Teens are also a big part of Santa Clarita’s volunteer community. They are a welcome staple at some of the city’s top offerings, including its Youth Sports programs, Homework Help, the Cowboy Festival and River Rally.

In addition to earning school credits, volunteering helps teens connect with others, take on leadership roles and experience the power of community service.

Volunteering is one of the most personal and effective ways that residents can make a difference in their community.

Santa Clarita is always looking for volunteers who can draw on their personal talents to enrich the lives of others.

For example, are you passionate about literacy? Tutor an after-school program with the Santa Clarita Public Library.

Are you a gifted athlete? Coach a team for one of Santa Clarita’s Youth Sports programs.

Do you have a talent for the arts? Instruct a class at a local community center.

The options are endless, and residents are often surprised by how gratifying it can be to help others thrive.

Sometimes what you’re made for isn’t what you’re paid for. Santa Clarita is a community filled with talented individuals from all walks of life, and residents are invited to put their passions to great use by volunteering.

To view and sign up for a variety of ongoing opportunities and upcoming events, visit santaclaritavolunteers.com.

Susana Coronel is human services supervisor for Santa Clarita. She can be reached at scoronel@santa-clarita.com

 

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