John March, Sheriff Lee Baca
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca visited the Santa Clarita Valley on Monday as a result of a shootout – for a good cause.
The event, which was hosted at TPC Valencia, was a “best-ball” golf scramble that raised $170,000 for the Sheriff Youth Foundation, according to Josh Premako of Mellady Marketing.
“The support was just tremendous,” said John March, director of operations for the Sheriff Youth Foundation. “All over L.A. County it was supported.”
The foundation runs a local center in Val Verde, and March said the organization was in talks with Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar to look at a facility within city limits.
The organization provides myriad after-school support programs to keep at-risk children too busy to make bad decisions after school, March said.
“We want to help kids who are at risk start making good decisions in their lives,” March said.
“We get kids from 7-17, right when they leave school so we’re open when school lets out. They have assistance in homework and tutoring, and then they go into activities,” March said.
The foundation comprises seven different programs: STAR, VIDA, START, BEAR, 999 for Kids, SHARE and the Youth Activities League, with locations throughout the county.
The center stays open until 7 p.m. The Val Verde center is managed locally by Deputy Brian Rooney of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“Our goal is to cut down crime by helping kids make good decisions early,” he said.
Founded in 1991, the Sheriff’s Department’s Youth Activity League has made a difference in countless children throughout Los Angeles County.
While the league is well supported, the demand has created a need for more space. The program has a “wish list” posted on the Sheriff’s Youth Foundation’s site, which is the group responsible for the YAL.
“That program has a track record of success and doing good things,” city Mayor Bob Kellar said. “I certainly think that it’s something that, if possible, to bring to our community, it would be a good thing.”