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A playful fundraiser for Jack and Jill

A large turnout at Scooter’s Jungle in Valencia benefits philanthropic efforts of SCV/AV chapter

Posted: January 15, 2009 9:54 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Amara Shields, 2, of Saugus, goes for a short ride on a small scooter.

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It was an ideal fundraiser for families with small children, an evening out at Scooter's Jungle in Valencia where kids could be kids and parents could visit - or play along.

The event was sponsored by the Santa Clarita Valley/Antelope Valley chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., a family organization comprised mostly of African-American families which provides cultural, social, civic and recreational activities.

The evening attracted more than 200 children and parents who played table tennis, foosball and slid down giant inflatable slides. Scooter's Jungle is an indoor play yard that also features jumpers and a variety of play areas where children can climb and swing.

"This is such a beautiful thing and so appropriate. This is a mother and children organization and we came to a spot where we knew children would have a wonderful time," said Kim Hudson, chapter president.

Hudson said the fundraiser will benefit the philanthropic arm of the national Jack and Jill organization as well as a chapter project.

"We decided we wanted to become involved in a foster child organization either here in the SCV or Antelope Valley," said Hudson.

Chris Schauble of Stevenson Ranch attended the event to supervise his four daughters, two sets of twins ages 7 and 5.

"They are having a ball," he said. "They are all very familiar with one another because they have been to picnics and educational programs together - so there's a familiarity with each other that's really exceptional. You can tell by how they are bonding."

Watching the children run, jump and play, Schauble predicted "they are going to sleep great tonight."
The SCV/AV chapter of Jack and Jill of America holds monthly events for its members said Schauble.

"There is a different kind of function once a month, tonight is a fundraiser," he said. "More often it is geared toward education, either a trip to a museum or something geared toward social skills or learning about our culture or another culture."

Cerene Howard, chapter parliamentarian and foundation committee member, said the event turned out to be a success.

"We have a wonderful turnout tonight. The community has really been here to support us, it's a huge turnout," she said.

Ebony Macon Johnson, the foundation committee chairwoman and event organizer, said they event attracted so many attendees it spilled over into two rooms, with a third room ready to go if more showed up at the door.

"We will send one-third of the proceeds to the philanthropic arm of the national Jack and Jill organization, then at least one-third to a nonprofit to assist foster children and then the rest to help us stage other fundraisers," she said.

Also working the event were Gwendolyn McDowell-Ferrell and Sara Mayo Rex selling pizza and soda to a steady stream of customers.

Schauble wasn't the only dad attending the event keeping a watchful eye on the children. "Our dads are very involved in the organization," said Hudson.

A Father's Auxiliary is part of the SCV/AV chapter and is organized to support the work of the chapter.

Hudson said the SCV/AV chapter currently has 35 members with several other women interested.

"This spring we will start recruiting more new members," she said.

The SCV/AV chapter of Jack and Jill of America was just chartered with a formal ceremony held in December.

Anyone interested in joining the SCV/AV chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. can contact Hudson at www.scvavofjj.org.

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