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September 25
1970 - Lagasse family helps save Mentryville buildings as Newhall and Malibu brush fires erupt & join into worst fire in SoCal history. Twelve fires over 10 days burn 525,000 acres, kill 13 people and destroy approx. 1,500 structures. [story]
Clampitt fire


| Monday, Nov 25, 2013
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glorialockeZoe Children’s Homes rescues children from heinous crimes resulting from human trafficking – crimes more graphic than I will describe here.

Santa Clarita residents took a stand and walked with families from other communities to bring awareness during the 2nd annual Zoe Rescue Walk held at Newhall Park.

“Try to contemplate what these children face, the atrocities they face, the abuse they face. You can’t turn away,” said Betsy Meenk, Zoe’s U.S. regional director.

“The second annual walk has a two-fold purpose,” she said. “One is to bring awareness about trafficking, that it is a huge, huge problem in the world today, even right here in our own back yard. And secondly, the raise funds to help care for the children in our care at Zoe.”

About 1,000 participants from Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and Santa Clarita took to the streets for the walk after enjoying a fresh snow for the kids to play in – it’s California, and that’s big news here – provided by Newhall Ice Co.; an inspirational dance; and a passionately fueled message.

“It moves people to see the reality in a dance form so they get involved. They get moved in their heart,” said Aury Reitz, choreographer of Word in Motion dancers.

Why the snow on a beautiful, warm Southern California day?

“The theme of this year’s walk is the ‘power of the snowflake,’” said Meenk. “When a whole bunch of snowflakes get together, the power behind that – that’s what we want to do. We want to be those snowflakes that come together and literally crush human trafficking.”

Babies, toddlers, children, teens and adults sat mesmerized by the pre-walk message at the event, which acknowledged that slavery today not only exists, but is also expected to become a bigger business than the drug trade. According to the Zoe website, 800,000 people are trafficked across borders; 80 percent of them are female and 50 percent are children.

The founders of Zoe, Michael and Carol Hart, met at Bible college in the U.S. and began addressing the problem 20 years ago by building orphanages around the world. Currently, the Harts reside in Thailand, while the U.S. headquarters is located in Newhall.

“If you take a look at historical slavery and you saw that it ended at one point in time, it was because people rose up, and a voice began to echo until there was a massive amount of people saying, ‘This must end,’” said Pastor Tymme Reitz.

Meenk said the walk raised just over $90,000, and contributions are still coming in.

“We are deeply grateful for everyone who stood with us on Nov. 9 to give voice to the voiceless and bring hope and freedom to children around the world,” she said. “It is our collective voices and actions that will cause a rumble to be heard around the world that human trafficking must end, and we will not rest. We will not stop until every child has been rescued.”

Find out more about Zoe and ending child trafficking by visiting www.ZoeChildren.org.

 

Gloria Locke is a Santa Clarita resident and producer of “SCV-Arts & Entertainment,” which airs Fridays and Sundays on SCVTV.

 

 

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