For the 20th year, the city of Santa Clarita hosted its annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner on Monday at the Newhall Community Center.
More than 400 attended the event for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and dessert.
“We put this event together to bring the community together and support them through the holiday season,” said Cynthia Muir, Newhall Community Center supervisor, adding that in light of the Nov. 14 shooting at Saugus High School, they hope this can bring the community together. “The city of Santa Clarita and the community are all Saugus Strong, and we grieve with the victims and families for those impacted by this.”
This is the 12th year that Parkway Motorcars co-owners Bob Bakshi and Steve Keefe sponsored the community dinner.
“It doesn’t matter if we’ve had a good year or a bad year, I think both my partner and I believe as long as we give back, it’s worth it,” Keefe said. “Year after year, I see a lot of the same people, which is great. This chef makes a great turkey dinner, and when you can really give this kind of dinner to people, it’s so important.”
Sisters Abby and Tammy Boucher, who are 13 and 14, respectively, said they looked forward to volunteering this year.
“It feels really good to see the smiles on people’s faces,” Tammy said. “And it helps us to learn how to help our mom for our family Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.”
Abby agreed, adding, “I’m definitely coming back next year.”
In addition, more than a dozen volunteers from Triumph Actuation Systems, an aeronautics manufacturer in Valencia, joined in preparing for the community dinner.
“My dad’s been bringing me to this since it started, I think,” Dan Ibarra said, adding that he still brings his dad, who is now 82. “It’s a great way for him to enjoy some time with his grandkids, and we don’t have to cook.”