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Community ‘steps up’ to help Food Pantry

Santa Clarita Valley residents participate in 5K run

Posted: October 25, 2009 10:41 p.m.
Updated: October 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Instead of running or walking, 11-year-old Leta Perriello, of Canyon Country, skips through the 5K run against hunger on Sunday.

Local runners braved the brisk morning for charity on Sunday in support of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

About 150 to 200 people of all ages made their way to Newhall Park for the 8 a.m. kick off. Some were there to run, some to walk, others just to help out a cause.

"The community has stepped up and really helped us," coordinator Pat Thayer said.

Jessie and Jeb DePaiva, of Canyon Country, saw the 5K run as a chance to get some exercise and enjoy the day together.

"It's a nice one, it's local and it's for a local cause," Jessie DePaiva said.

Meanwhile, Jeb DePaiva, who placed in last year's run, was slightly more ambitious.

"I was in better shape," he said with a laugh. "I'm going to run as much as I can, but I get tired pretty quick."

Food Pantry officials noted the event drew slightly fewer participants compared to previous years, though it still attracted young athletes.

Among the younger participants was 12-year-old Richard Hauer, who signed up through his school in hopes it will help him get a better grade in physical education.

"This my first run," he said. "I'll run as much as I can. I want to (finish) under 30 minutes."

The event, which is sanctioned by the Southern California Track and Field Association, also drew out Saugus High School freshman Caitlin Baker, who has run every year for the past 4 years.

"I run it every year," she said. "I like to do 25 minutes."

All net proceeds from the event will be donated to the charity's efforts to provide supplement food to families in need.

Pantry officials said it now serves 80 families, as opposed to 50 in previous years.


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