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‘Everyday hero’ celebration set for Sunday

Posted: December 18, 2009 9:38 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2009 7:30 a.m.
With activities like a bass fishing tournament and a visit from Santa Claus, the Castaic community on Sunday will come together to honor the life of a well-known community member.

Ron Smith died of a heart attack on Oct. 3 after he and his family had just left Crespi High School where he received an award for his swimming record, his widow Beth Smith said. He had turned 47 just a week before.

Ron always had a sense of humor and could always find a way to make the situation light, Beth Smith, 44, said.

“He always made our house joyous,” she said.

He initiated Hawaiian shirt Fridays at his construction company as a way to bring employees together and celebrate the weekend, she said.

“He was just a regular guy. He had a great family life and loved life and loved to fish,” she said.

Bill Siemantel, one of the coordinators for the Ron Smith Celebration of Life Family Festival to be held at the Castaic Regional Sports Complex, said he knew Ron Smith through common activities like fishing.

“It hit the community pretty hard,” he said of Smith’s death.

The event started with a bass tournament and over the last three weeks has grown to include a day-long event with a poker tournament, live music and performances and a visit to Santa Claus.

Siemantel, a firefighter, hopes the event will honor the everyday heroes.

“We forget so quickly how many good people that are beside us,” he said.

The couple moved to Castaic in 1988, a year after getting married, and quickly became part of the community.

“We’ve known a lot of people in the community,” she said. “They’re so supportive and they’re so wonderful.”

Sunday’s event will be a celebration of life.

“This is a celebration of our community that we’ve lived in for so long,” she said.

The event is a way for Beth Smith’s two daughters, 11 and 12, to grieve over their father’s loss.

“It really shows them that he was loved and appreciated,” she said. “It makes them very proud.”

Despite the hard work, Beth Smith would like to see the celebration become an annual event for the Castaic community.

“I think that would be fantastic,” she said. “I think Ron would be smiling from ear to ear.”


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