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Santa Clarita CA
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Today in
S.C.V. History
April 12
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue


Photos by Michele Buttelman

The insults – and the laughs – flew fast and furious at the 16th annual Elks Charity Roast to benefit Samuel Dixon Family Healthy Centers.

Councilman Bob Kellar was served up as the honoree to roasters Ken Pulskamp, Don Fleming, Steve Arklin and Laura Langen.

Returning for more abuse, Kellar had been the event’s inaugural honoree in 1999.

A 32-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley, Kellar served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 67. He worked as a Los Angeles Police officer, retiring after 25 years with the rank of sergeant and serving as the supervisor in charge of reserve officer training at the Police Academy. Kellar was elected to the Santa Clarita City Council in 2000 and has served three terms as mayor. He has been a member of the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge since 1993 and is credited with leading the Elks to raise more than $500,000 for charities serving the SCV.

One attendee at the March 8 roast was Pat Sturgeon, who had been Kellar’s sergeant when Kellar first joined the LAPD. Kellar introduced Sturgeon to the audience and acknowledged the influence he had on his life.

“It was an honor to serve under his guidance,” Kellar said.

Since his first outing as the Elks’ honoree, Kellar has emceed the roast. This year the duty fell to Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

ElksBBQ2The sold-out crowd dined on a feast prepared by the famed Barbecue Committee of Santa Clarita Elks Lodge No. 2379, headed by Don Dewhurst and Frank Webster.

Gloria Mercado-Fortine, president of the board of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, thanked the guests for their support.

“We’re expanding our Canyon Country clinic, and tonight’s proceeds will go toward helping us realize our dream of building a new clinic,” she said.

The event featured a live auction that raised nearly $7,000. The auction featured items including tickets to a taping of “Entertainment Tonight” and to the Amgen Tour of California and the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival.

ElksRoastersPrevious Elks Roast honorees have included Pulskamp, Fleming, John Riordan, Frank Ferry, Cameron Smyth, Tom Veloz, John Hoskinson, Bob Hudson, John Gedney, Carl Goldman, Wayne Crawford, Jay Thomas, Duane Harte and John Heys.

As Kellar took the stage and the roastee’s “chair of honor,” many past honorees paid “tribute” to Kellar with remarks on a video by SCVTV, the roast’s title media sponsor.

One of the highlights of the video was an appearance by Kathy Kellar, Bob’s wife, who recounted hubby’s “sentimental side.”

She told of a beautiful and moving card her beau presented to her on their wedding day. Only when she reached the last line of the card did she discover it was a birthday card, not a wedding card. (And no, their wedding did not fall on Kathy’s birthday.)

“It was a few weeks before I told Bob that he had given me a birthday card instead of a wedding card,” she said.

Don Fleming at the dais.

Don Fleming at the dais.

Pulskamp, the first roaster at the dais, recounted Kellar’s proficiency at golf, as well his colorful language and down-home colloquialisms including “let me show you how the cows eat the cabbage” and “I’m going after this hole with hair, teeth and eyeballs.”

“We refer to them as Kellarisms,” he said.

Pulskmap was followed by Langen.

“I’m not into the political world; I am into the real estate world with Bob,” she said. “Bob owns three real estate offices, and if it wasn’t for Bob, Canyon Country wouldn’t even exist.”

Her remarks brought forth a large cheer from the crowd.

She continued by poking fun at Kellar’s adeptness with technology.

“He faxed – once,” she said, as the crowd laughed. “He’s not allowed to touch the (toner) in the copy machine.”

Steve Arklin pokes fun at Kellar's reliance on a hearing aid.

Steve Arklin pokes fun at Kellar’s reliance on a hearing aid.

After Langen, Fleming earned huge laughs from the crowd with his multi-media presentation that include “doctored” images of Kellar projected onto a large screen.

Kellar responded to Fleming’s attacks by holding up a sign that read, “He Drives a Cadillac.” The joke played upon Fleming’s status as co-owner of Valencia Acura.

After Fleming had his fun with Kellar, he turned serious.

“With the heart of a true public servant and humanitarian, Bob Kellar has devoted his entire life to making the world a better place to live,” Fleming said.

The final roaster, Arklin, played his trademark harmonica for Kellar before launching into a series of jokes at Kellar’s expense and ended by asking the audience to join in a toast to Kellar.

During Arklin’s onslaught, Kellar held up a sign that read, “Trash In-Trash Out” referring to Arklin’s previous ownership of a Santa Clarita waste disposal company.

Kellar had his opportunity to respond to his tormentors.

After giving as “good as he got,” Kellar raised the tenor of the evening.

The many faces of Bob Kellar.

The many faces of Bob Kellar.

“To be honest, I don’t know when I’ve been more honored and flattered,” he said. “I mean it most sincerely. What an honor and a privilege to be in this town. I can never give enough appreciation to all of you.”

Kellar then received a standing ovation from the audience.

A table representing Circle of Hope Inc. then stood and saluted Kellar, with everyone raising up a mask bearing Kellar’s likeness.

The Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers were established in 1990 and named for long-time Val Verde resident and minister, the late Rev. Samuel Dixon. The mission of the Dixon Health Centers is to provide primary health care services and health education to the unserved and underserved residents of the SCV. Centers are located in Val Verde, Newhall and Canyon Country, with outreach centers on the campuses of College of the Canyons and California Institute of the Arts.

For more information about the Dixon Health Centers, visit www.sdfhc.org.

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Friday, Apr 9, 2021
In an effort to provide kids across the Santa Clarita Valley with a safe place to play and learn over spring break while parents are working, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV holds an annual camp.
Thursday, Apr 8, 2021
Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA) will spotlight contemporary artist Alex Schaeffer in a virtual oil demo on Monday, April 19, from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Apr 7, 2021
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center at Bella Vida is excited to announce its April drive-in events schedule.
Tuesday, Apr 6, 2021
Each Spring Break the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley provides a vital service to working parents and guardians by extending its hours and offering a safe place for children to play and learn.
Tuesday, Apr 6, 2021
The Santa Clarita Artists Association Scholarship committee recently met with high school senior art student applicants virtually to announce the Association's 2021 Scholarship Award winners.

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