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February 19
1803 - Indian family members removed from Caamulus (Camulos) village, Piru area, are baptized at San Fernando Mission [record]


| Monday, Nov 12, 2012
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Winners have been announced for the 10th Annual Boys and Girls Club Festival of Trees decorating contest. Each tree was decorated by a professional designer and sponsored by a local business.

This year’s Grand Sweepstakes award goes to Donna Bendell and her “Christmas Meltdown” tree, sponsored by Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. Other winners conceived of designs such as “Vintage Toys for Christmas” and “Fallen Heros to Angels,” which was designed by Gold Star Families.

“I would say that the Gold Star family tree is definitely one of my favorites,” said Rhonda Chobanian, the club’s development director. “I was so honored to work with those families. I can’t say strongly enough how I feel about that tree.”

The Festival of Trees is a two-week event at Westfield Valencia Town Center, featuring 39 full-size trees and vignettes, 40 table-top trees and more than 100 gingerbread houses.

In a family-friendly atmosphere, residents can enjoy the lighted trees and decorated gingerbread houses, as well as special events. This weekend featured the Jingle Jam Swing night of dancing and photos with Santa.

Coming up this weekend are the Holiday Hocus Pocus magic show on Friday, November 16 and the Magic of the Lights Gala and Tree Auction on Saturday, November 17, where trees, gingerbread houses and wreaths will be available for sale and bidding. All proceeds will go towards supporting the Boys and Girls Club’s efforts to build self-esteem, courage, and positive values among youth in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“Our budget as a whole really exists mostly on contributions and fundraising,” Chobanian said. “We are not a government agency. We don’t have that type of funding. We work with private foundations for grants and events and that’s how we survive. So this is critical to our success.”

The Festival of Trees closes Wednesday, November 21. Tickets are $6 for adults, $3 for ages 4-14 and $4 for seniors. Children 3 and under are free. Click here for a $1 coupon.

SCVNews.com contributed to this story.

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