[B&G Club] – The Santa Clarita community benefited from another lengthy run of the Festival of Trees as the Boys & Girls Club was lucky enough to secure the same location as was used in 2011. More than $100,000 was raised Nov. 9-21 as visitors enjoyed nearly 40 large displays, more than 50 tabletop trees, and 104 gingerbread houses at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Special events included the annual Magic of the Lights Gala, where the Fallen Heroes to Angels Tree was sold in the live auction for $7,250.
As this tree was announced, it received a standing ovation from the 400 attendees. When Heather Sandnes, designer of the tree, tried to speak about her brother, Army Pfc. Jose Ricardo Flores-Mejia, who was 21 when he was killed in Iraq, she became very emotional. The tree includes photos of military personnel from the Santa Clarita Valley who have died in service.
Chris Schauble, co-anchor of KTLA 5 Morning News and event emcee, encouraged the crowd, “Let’s make sure this tree really rocks.” A group of local citizens purchased the tree for $7,250. Among them was councilmember Bob Keller, who said he’d like to see it in City Hall where residents can view it anytime.
Holiday Hocus Pocus gathered nearly 300 individuals for the second year at the Festival to enjoy a new family friendly magic show, complete with a finale featuring the Gangnam-style dance and Santa Claus. It was the sixth annual magic show produced by the International Brotherhood of Magicians Ring 280 for the Boys & Girls Club’s benefit.
This year’s Jingle Jam featured Big Band music and started with a free swing dance lesson.
The Boys & Girls Club offers a big thanks to event co-chairs Todd and Karen Stevens; presenting sponsors Richard and Marian Sandnes (IHOP Saugus & Canyon Country) and Jacqulyn and W. Harold Petersen; platinum sponsors Camelot Movers & Storage, Cobra Tactical, Inc., Condie & Wood, CPA’s, Heather Sandnes, Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Westfield Valencia Town Center; and diamond sponsors Advantage Disposal, Jeff & Courtney Armendariz, AV Equipment Rentals, Bill & Kristin Draper, Ruben Haynes, the Hasbanian Family, Kaiser Permanente, Miles Chemical Co.-Anthony and Gina Miles, Nora Ottaviano, Union Bank, and The Walt Disney Company. In addition there were more than a dozen gold, silver, and media sponsors.
The Boys & Girls Club also thanks the more than 250 additional volunteers who worked to make the 10th annual Festival of Trees such a success.