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S.C.V. History
January 24
1888 - Acton post office established; Richard E. Nickel, postmaster [story]
postal cover


Photo by Natalie Rocha

After serving the Santa Clarita Valley as a nonprofit leader and advisor for nearly 25 years, Lady Jane Bettencourt-Soto is moving to Henderson, Nevada with her husband, Richard, to “start a new adventure.”

“I have an amazing husband, who recently retired after 40 years with the same company,” she said. “It’s time for us to explore other things and have a great time.”
Bettencourt-Soto marches daily to the call of her community. With a self-proclaimed “warrior heart” and a penchant for positive change, the Saugus resident has maintained a steady commitment to volunteerism in the Santa Clarita Valley, all while refusing to let a lifetime of chronic illness stand in her way.

“Every moment is an opportunity to serve,” Jane said from the Saugus home she’s enjoyed with her husband and two grown children for 23 years.

Originally from Hawthorne, Bettencourt-Soto learned her spirit, a mix of fight and servant leadership, from her parents and picked up volunteering at an early age.

Professionally, she climbed the corporate ladder, amassing a career as a senior logistics planner for Northrop Grumman Corp. Yet Bettencourt-Soto had a challenge coming her way, and she was soon diagnosed with soft tissue rheumatism.

“Chronic pain and fatigue caused me to stop working,” she said. “Walking away was hard. We went from two incomes to one, relocated to Santa Clarita for the excellent schools, and I never worked a corporate job again.”

“I started going to this women’s group, Mes Amies, hosted by the Betty Ferguson Foundation” she said, “and they treated me like their long-lost cousin!”
Through her relationships with the co-founders, Judy Cox and Marjanne Priest, Bettencourt-Soto began to learn about the nonprofit world. Already equipped with leadership skills, she honed her ability to make things happen as she got to know local charities.

“Jane was an integral part of the Betty Ferguson Foundation for many years,” Priest said. “Her leadership skills, inspiration, dedication and enthusiasm were key to the success of our organization.”

Within the foundation, she climbed from volunteer director to leadership team to executive board member and, finally, to executive director.
“They saw me in the office for eight years, running the show,” she said. “All along, Judy and Marjanne were training, developing and empowering me. What I learned while being under their wing I took to all the organizations I worked with after.”

In 2011, they decided to dissolve the organization. But first, the three women made sure the foundation fulfilled its $100,000 Betty Ferguson Foundation Scholarship Endowment at College of the Canyons. The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized the foundation with its first Nonprofit Award that same year.
“I am most proud of what I learned there, of the knowledge and tools I was given to better help others,” she said. “If it wasn’t for what I learned at the Betty Ferguson Foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to assist other nonprofits.”

“As long as I’m vertical, I’m going to find some way to help,” she said, laughing.

Tapping into issues that touched her heart, Bettencourt-Soto next gravitated toward Child & Family Center. Her brother had struggled with diabetes and severe mental illness for years, and often times, Bettencourt-Soto served as his caretaker. She knew she had to ease her heart’s pain by making change, so she joined the Child & Family Center Foundation in 2008. From advisor to executive board member to Taste of the Town committee, she has dedicated many hours to the organization.

Additionally, she has volunteered for the Chamber’s SCV Leadership Academy, SCV Nonprofit Leaders Network, American Cancer Society, Toastmasters International SCV, American Diabetes Association, Forged by Fire Foundation, SCV Senior Center and many more. She completed certifications in mental health first aid and volunteer management, and most importantly, she is constantly looking for her next opportunity to serve.

The community has responded by recognizing her wide-open heart whenever possible. Bettencourt-Soto is: a winner of the American Cancer Society SCV Unit’s Special Recognition Award; a three-time Woman of the Year nominee in 2009, 2015 and 2017; an honoree of The Signal’s Top 51 “The Next Level;” and a two-time honoree of Zonta Club of SCV’s Advancing the Status of Women Award.

With so much invested in the Santa Clarita Valley, the couple won’t be gone for long. After departing for Nevada in May, Bettencourt-Soto and her husband will visit often to attend their favorite charity events and social gatherings.

“I want to express to the community how grateful I am that my children were raised here, that I was exposed to some amazing organizations and that I was always greeted with love,” she continued. “We’ll see you soon at our favorite events for some hugs!”

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SCV NONPROFIT LINKS

NONPROFIT HEADLINES
Friday, Jan 21, 2022
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita is holding a "Yum-Raiser" for Valentine’s Day. Safely and easily send boxes of chocolate for delivery to your friends and family from See’s Candies.
Thursday, Jan 20, 2022
Evelyn Ku, MSN, RN, has been named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
Fred Gruchalla, a veteran of the Vietnam War, received the 2020-2021 Veteran of the Year Award from the Van Nuys/Reseda Elks Lodge 2790 on Jan. 10.
Tuesday, Jan 18, 2022
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is now accepting applications for the annual Virginia Wrage Memorial Fund Scholarship. Deadline is March 30, 2022.
Tuesday, Jan 11, 2022
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles--GSGLA--will begin selling the new brownie-inspired AdventurefulsTM cookie, alongside all other favorites, on Tuesday, January 18, kicking off the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie Season.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Santa Clarita City Council will hold its regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 25, beginning with a closed session at 5:00 p.m., followed immediately by open session at 6:00 p.m.
Jan. 25: Santa Clarita City Council Regular Meeting
Princess Cruises announced Monday Chef Rudi Sodamin will become its first head of culinary arts, effective immediately.
Rudi Sodamin Named Princess Cruises’ Culinary Arts Head
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the 11 productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Jan. 24 - Sunday, Jan. 30.
Filming in Santa Clarita Includes 11 Productions
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported two additional deaths from COVID-19 Monday, bringing the total number to 204 since the onset of the pandemic, confirmed spokesman Patrick Moody. (One of those deaths was recorded Sunday).
Monday COVID Roundup: Two Additional Deaths at Henry Mayo, 204 to Date
Californians may now opt to receive vehicle registration renewal notices by email instead of a paper notice by traditional mail.
Californians Can Now Opt for Paperless Car Registration Notices
1888 - Acton post office established; Richard E. Nickel, postmaster [story]
postal cover
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson visits Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
HH Jackson
Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang announced a corroborative effort with County Public Health officials that will include free COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots, and PCR testing at three District Offices on Monday Jan. 24, Wednesday Jan. 26 and Sunday Jan. 30.
Free COVID PCR Testing, Vaccines Offered at L.A. County Assessor Offices
1839 - Gov. Juan B. Alvarado gives most of SCV to Mexican Army Lt. Antonio del Valle. [story]
Diseno map
The Castaic Union School District is proud to announce that the Jene Fielder Trust Scholarship Program is now accepting applications. The program is open to past and present students of Castaic Middle School.
Castaic Union School District Announces Jene Fielder Trust Scholarship Program
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control will teams up with Best Friends Animal Society to encourage county residents to “Live Large” with Adopt a Big Dog Special Discounts for large dogs through Jan. 31.
L.A. County Animal Care & Control Offers Big Dog Adoption Discounts
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Friday 65 additional deaths and 43,091 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 63,320 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Additional COVID Death Reported at Henry Mayo
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Gwendolyn Delgado as the newest assistant principal at Golden Valley High School.
Dr. Gwendolyn Delgado Named Newest Assistant Principal at Golden Valley High School
The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita is holding a "Yum-Raiser" for Valentine’s Day. Safely and easily send boxes of chocolate for delivery to your friends and family from See’s Candies.
Zonta Club of SCV Holds Online Sees Candies ‘Yum-Raiser’
A job fair will be held to recruit for a variety of positions at America’s Job Center of California for North Los Angeles County Regional Center on Thursday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Jan. 27 Job Recruitment Fair for North Los Angeles County Regional Center
A musical fundraiser to benefit the Saugus Dance program at Saugus High School will be held 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22 at the Smokehouse on Main, 24255 Main St., Newhall, CA 91355.
Jan. 22: Dark Desert Highway, Smokehouse on Main Hosting Fundraiser for Saugus Dance
Starting Monday, Jan. 24, crews will begin construction of a new curb, gutter and sidewalk along portions of the east side of Sierra Highway, north of Soledad Canyon Road.
Lane, Road Closures Begin Monday for Sierra Highway Sidewalk Construction
The California High-Speed Rail Authority Board of Directors today unanimously approved the Final Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement for the approximately 14-mile Burbank to Los Angeles project section.
High-Speed Rail Board Clears Final Environmental Hurdles to Advance Service into L.A.
Experience Helen Hunt Jackson’s January 23, 1882 visit to Rancho Camulos which inspired her to include this vestige of the Californio lifestyle as one of the settings for her novel Ramona. Reenactors will engage and delight you as they portray this event which forever changed the peaceful life at Rancho Camulos.
Jan. 29: Helen Hunt Jackson Returns to Rancho Camulos
1914 - Signal newspaper owner-editor Scott Newhall born in San Francisco [story]
Scott Newhall
Do you like comedy? Do you like music? Do you like getting root canals?
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Coming off a first-place winning streak at competitions in New York and Washington, D.C., earlier in 2021, the CSUN Model United Nations team continues to accumulate achievements after scoring another first place finish with the Outstanding Delegation Award in the Northwest Model UN Conference, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
Matadors Pull off Clean Sweep at Model UN Competitions
Freshman guard Monique Febles poured in a season-high 23 points as No. 6 College of the Canyons was able to outlast Antelope Valley College 68-62 at the Cougar Cage in the 2021-22 home opener. 
Lady Cougars Hold off AVC in Home Opener
Evelyn Ku, MSN, RN, has been named Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.
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