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Gumdrops and good causes

Posted: November 15, 2008 9:53 p.m.
Updated: November 16, 2008 4:59 a.m.
Gumdrops and ornaments lit up the eyes of young ones strolling with their parents through rows of community-sponsored wreaths, trees and gingerbread houses.

After a one-year hiatus, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley's Festival of Trees Gala returned Saturday, complete with decorated Christmas trees, Santa Claus and intricate gingerbread houses to benefit thousands of youth in this valley.

The event at the Hyatt Valencia was the sixth such fundraiser for the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club.

"We're here to support the (club) and get into the Christmas spirit," said Stacy Borrowman of Stevenson Ranch.

Borrowman gathers decorating ideas from the Christmas trees on display. Her three sons and daughter agreed their favorite part of the gala is the gingerbread display.

The Boys and Girls Club has three locations in the Santa Clarita Valley where 7- to 17-year-olds can explore education and careers, join in sports and recreation, develop character and leadership skills, learn about healthy life choices and more.

"I think the biggest factor is the public has the opportunity to come in and view the trees and other items, and it is an event that benefits the Boys & Girls Club," said Suzanne Benty, special events manager for the foundation.

Every tree, wreath, gingerbread house and knick-knack sold benefits the 3,500 youth involved in the local clubs.

The goal was that by 2 p.m., all the items would be sold except for the Christmas trees, she said.

The Christmas trees were due to be sold at the evening portion of the event, "Magic of the Lights."

Fully decked-out Christmas trees lined a hall of the Hyatt leading attendees to the "Avenue of the Wreaths" and on to the "Gingerbread Village," a room filled with rows of gingerbread houses and holiday boutique items.

"We always like to come and see the trees, see Santa and support the cause," said Ashley Hill, 26, of Newhall. "Some of the gingerbread houses are just absolutely beautiful."

April Quiros, 32, of Newhall, said the event really puts her in the Christmas mood.

The fundraiser also brought out 35 volunteers from the community and Canyon High School, according to volunteer Gigi Bost of Saugus.

Chris Bond, 18, and Kelsey Menges, 16, of Canyon High's Key Club both said they decided to volunteer because the event is "festive."


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