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Run or walk to benefit SCV kids

Operation School Bell will benefit

Posted: April 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 29, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Assistance League of Santa Clarita vice president of resource development Durinda Evanoff stands with Operation School Bell 5K Walk/Run co-chairwomen, from left, Fran Whitney, Joanie Smelser and Holly Gravett.

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It’s time to lace up your new pair of running shoes and hit the trail to benefit needy youth in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The 22nd  annual Assistance League of Santa Clarita Operation School Bell 5K Run/Walk and Kids 1K Fun Run is will be held May 6 at Newhall Park.

The event benefits the signature philanthropic program of Assistance League, Operation School Bell. 
Christina Schultz, public relations chairwoman for Assistance League of Santa Clarita said Operation School Bell helped clothe more than 1,800 SCV elementary and junior high school children in the past year.

“By participating in this fundraiser, you can help children in need throughout the SCV by providing clothes and shoes to students,” she said.

The Operation School Bell program is based on the belief that children perform better in school when they enjoy a positive self-image, said Schultz.

“It helps prepare students for school and gives them a positive starting point for learning and academic success,” she said.
Students from each school district are identified by their schools and accompanied by their families in a shopping event at Kohl’s and Payless shoes, paid for by Assistance League.

Race Chairwomen are Holly Gravett, Joanie Smelser, and Fran Whitney.

 Assistance League of Santa Clarita Chapter President Mel Johnson said the event is expected to attract more than 300 runners for the 5K, as well as the Kids 1K Fun Run. In addition, junior high school teams are being encouraged to compete this year.

The event will be held “rain or shine” and will start at Newhall Park and progress down the South Fork Trail.

“Even if you are not a runner or a walker, donations for the philanthropic programs of Assistance League of Santa Clarita are gratefully accepted,” said Schultz. “All donations benefit the Santa Clarita Valley. Bring the family for a fun morning, run the race and help clothe a child.”

Assistance League of Santa Clarita was organized in 1989 by a group of SCV women and was formally chartered in 1993.

The philanthropic organization has grown to 145 members in the SCV.

It is a chapter of National Assistance League which was organized in 1935 as the first nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian organization founded in the Western United States to recognize the potential of volunteers of all ages helping those less fortunate to a better and more meaningful life.

For information and to register, visit or For information on Assistance League of Santa Clarita contact 661-259-8019 or email


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