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SCV residents get hands on to make a difference

SCV volunteers turn out to improve community

Posted: October 27, 2012 3:35 p.m.
Updated: October 27, 2012 3:35 p.m.

Local volunteers got down to earth and down to business to volunteer for Saturday’s Make a Difference Day.
HandsOn Santa Clarita is the local organizer for Make a Difference Day, an event that promotes volunteering nationwide.

This year, HandsOn Santa Clarita put volunteers to work around the Santa Clarita Valley, including three projects at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center.

Volunteers at the center painted benches, repaired a leaky pond, swept sidewalks and planted trees and flowers along what will eventually become the center’s “Braille trail,” an adaptive trail for blind visitors.

That trail will lead to the Oak of the Golden Dream, a park monument dedicated to one of California’s first recorded gold discoveries.

Russell Kimura, a regional park superintendent with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, said there is still work left to make the Braille trail a reality, but Saturday’s volunteers were helping bring a “unique feature” to the center.

Kimura said about 60 volunteers showed up Saturday morning to help out at the center, including employees from Chase Bank, the Hyatt Regency Valencia and the Yahoo Employee Foundation.

Valencia resident and Yahoo foundation employee Kristin Van Cuyck volunteered at the nature center. Van Cuyck said events like Make a Difference Day provide an ideal opportunity for community involvement.

Van Cuyck said she also wanted to volunteer with her son, 9-year old Heston, to show him the importance of volunteering while he is young, just as her father had done with her.

“It sends the right message for kids,” Van Cuyck said. “I want (Heston) to be proud of what he’s doing so he can one day tell his friends or kids, ‘Hey, look what I helped do.’”




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