Alan “Flo” Lawrence, a beloved community volunteer and Castaic Lions Club President, died Wednesday morning.
Lawrence is remembered by those closest to him as being warm, full of energy and a fixture among a handful of events and volunteer opportunities in the Santa Clarita Valley community.
The 63-year-old Castaic resident was widely known as the spearhead for the annual SCV Senior Center Thanksgiving Day feast, a yearly event in which hundreds of local seniors are treated, for free, to some of the best Thanksgiving-day fixings donated by local restaurants.
“Flo was just energy, he just loved, he was everything else to his community,” said Kevin MacDonald, the executive director of the SCV Senior Center.
“Flo along with the Castaic Lions Club would put on this wonderful feast for Thanksgiving Day and Flo would arrange everything from the contributions, the meals, the food and the spirit,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald said the preparations for the feast, which is offered to those seniors who may not have a Thanksgiving Day meal otherwise, would take months to plan. And Lawrence would make it all come together in the end, MacDonald said.
“‘Whoever needs the food, I’m going to give them food and then we’re going to give them more,’” MacDonald remembers Lawrence saying during the preparation time for the Thanksgiving Day feast. “‘I’m not going to let anybody go hungry, Kevin.’”
Louie Diaz, a former Castaic Lions Club secretary, said Wednesday that Lawrence would gather enough food for the seniors that they would have enough for a meal later on Thanksgiving, as well as a meal for the Friday afterward.
Diaz added that Lawrence also volunteered for a number of other events run by the Lions Club, whenever help was needed.
“He always was doing whatever it was that needed to be done to help other people,” Diaz said.
His longtime friend and co-manager of the SCV Senior Center Thanksgiving Dinner, Allan Cameron, called Lawrence the “brother I never had” and said people would also remember him for his work with the William S. Hart Union High School District, the Castaic Town Council and Friends of Castaic Lake.
“He did not just act on his behalf, he acted on everyone’s behalf,” Cameron said. “He leaves a chasm of Grand Canyon-sized proportions. I can’t imagine how it will be filled.”