Happy New Year! I realize I’m a little late offering up that traditional New Year’s greeting. I spent an extended time over the holidays up in Washington State visiting friends and family. I was able to enjoy a quick visit with an old high school friend, Kathy Pecka, an amazing breast cancer survivor and member of the GoPink!DC dragon boat team in Washington D.C. She is a true inspiration.
The temperatures were very chilly most of the time we were in Washington, both in Eastern and Western Washington. Ahhh, I had almost forgotten the trick of using a credit card to scrape ice off the windshield. I do mean ice, not frost. I am happy to be back in much warmer climes.
What’s up for the New Year?
What’s shaking Santa Clarita Valley? If you have news of events and activities happening around the SCV please email me at Michele@hometownstation.com.
Zonta seeks nominations
Nomination forms have gone out to more than 40 community organizations asking non-profit groups to nominate outstanding volunteers to be honored at the annual Women in Service brunch hosted by Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley. Completed nominations are due by Feb. 24, and the winner of the Carmen Sarro Community Service Award will be presented at the annual Zonta Women in Service Celebration on March 8 at Robinson Ranch.
The “Carmen Sarro Award for Improving the Status of Women Through Community Service” honors longtime Zonta member Carmen Sarro, who died in 2003.
This is the 30th anniversary of Zonta’s community service award.
Nomination forms are available to community organizations online at www.scvzonta.org, or by calling the Zonta message line at (661) 252-9351. Completed nominations must be returned by Feb. 24 and guest reservations also must be made by that date in order by qualify for the $40 per person early bird rate for those who wish to attend to support a nominee. After that date, tickets will be $45 each.
Celebrity Waiter Dinner
My favorite event of the year, the Celebrity Waiter Dinner, will be held Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The theme for this year’s event is Journey Through Television, and celebrities from television, film and music will be mingling with guests.
This should be a great theme, offering guests the opportunity to dress up as their favorite television character. What makes the Celebrity Waiter Dinner so much fun is it really is “Halloween” for grownups. It’s a chance to channel your inner child and at the same time have an evening out benefiting a great cause, the SCV Senior Center.
Table hosts will use their creativity to come up with lavish decorations and zany costumes, and guests are encouraged to come in costume also. Live music for dancing, on-stage entertainment, and a live auction will round out the evening.
Table sponsorships range from $1,500 to $5,000 and include seating for 10, recognition during the event, and various other perks based on sponsorship level. Individual tickets are $100 each. Table reservations or additional information are available on the event website at www.scv-senorcenter.org, by mail at SCV Senior Center, 22900 Market St., Santa Clarita, 91321, or by calling Pamela at (661) 259-9444 x-141.
I’ll be on pins and needles during the S.F.-Seattle championship game today. I know it’s only football, but I’ve waited all season for this game. Good luck to Denver-New England fans, too. May the best teams win on both sides. (But I’m really hoping it will be the Seahawks!)
Santa Clarita Valley, Hollywood’s back lot
One of the fun moments I experienced during the holidays was taking in the film, “Saving Mr. Banks.” As I watched the movie I noted that the Disney Ranch in Placerita Canyon doubled as a town in Australia. Many productions continue to call the SCV home, including “NCIS,” “Switched at Birth,” “Chasing Life,” ”Operation Repo,” “Franklin and Bash,” “Justified,” “Saint George” and “Wipeout.”
Other shows such as “CSI,” “Criminal Minds,” “Modern Family,“ “The Mentalist,” and “Sons of Anarchy” along with feature films such as “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Iron Man 3,” “Horrible Bosses 2” and “2 Guns” have filmed scenes in the SCV.
It’s great fun to live in “Hollywood’s Back lot.”
What we’ve lost…
Levine as Tevye in 1995 | Photo courtesy of George Cummings
It was a difficult holiday season for many families that I know in the SCV and Washington State. Too many wonderful people have left us too young recently, including the amazing Michael Levine. His legacy of entertainment at the Canyon Theatre Guild was legendary. I will miss the fun comments he would leave for me on Facebook.
Moving on… Jim Ventress, Cheryl Laymon
Another kind of loss will be felt by the SCV with the retirement announcement of Jim Ventress, chief professional officers of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV and the resignation of Cheryl Laymon, executive director of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc. Frankly, I am speechless. Both individuals have given so much to make the SCV a better place to live. I can’t imagine how they can possibly be replaced.
Michele E. Buttelman is the editor of EverythingSCV.com, an online publication debuting Feb. 1. Follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at SCV Scene and online at KHTS, www.hometownstation.com.