Leon Worden

A busy month and a really good cause

By Leon Worden
Wednesday, September 2, 1998

all is here. Oh, sure, it might be 150 degrees outside right now and the calendar says the seasons won't change for another three weeks, but you can feel it.

Football is in the air. Excitement is already brewing as COC prepares to field its first football team in 17 years and the Indians and Vikings gear up for one heck of a battle for the Foothill League title. (Watch for The Signal's "SCV Football Preview" pull-out section on Friday. It will also be online at The-Signal.com.)

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa are racing nose-to-nose to break Roger Maris' record of 61 single-season homers. It's starting to get dark at 7. Even my 401(k) took a dump on Monday as an ill wind swept through the valley, and those little "surprises" aren't supposed to happen until October.

And once again, after a fairly slow July and August, the SCV's community calendar has every date checked off from here to, oh, sometime in February, I think. There are more volunteer soirees coming up in the next few weeks than I can plug here (that's what the LifeStyle section is for), but I want to call your attention to a couple in particular.

The historical society will host a free ice cream social for members and volunteers on Wednesday, Sept. 16, with hand-cranked ice cream made by Tom Frew, the SCV's only known star of a television documentary on ice cream making. Go figure.

Then on Friday the 18th it's back to downtown Newhall for the groundbreaking of the future Metrolink station and the dedication of the newly improved Railroad Avenue. Listen up: If your calendar says the event is scheduled for Saturday the 19th, it's wrong. The date was changed to the 18th because several City Council members and a number of the blond, blue-eyed yuppies on the redevelopment committee will be busy raising money for the elderly on the 19th.

That's the date of the seventh annual Wine Auction, which might just be the most important volunteer activity on the calendar. And it'll be fun, too.

Every year, Mayor Pro Tem Jo Anne Darcy organizes a live and silent auction at Juan Alonso's luxurious Le Chene French Cuisine restaurant on Sierra Highway to benefit the Meals on Wheels program run by the SCV Committee on Aging. Starting at 11:30 a.m., guests will pore over dozens and dozens of auction items that Darcy and others have collected all year, from trips to Las Vegas and Laughlin to golf foursomes, a state-of-the-art home gym, crystal, beauty items, dental and legal services and more.

Alonso serves the best meal you'll ever have at a fund-raiser. New this year will be a special wine tasting with a wine master, and then the SCV's premier volunteer auctioneer, Gregg Lawler, will be back to hammer down a fabulous selection of California and imported wines including several collector's and signature series and bargain wine baskets.

Last year's auction netted $37,000 for Meals on Wheels, which delivers food door-to-door from the SCV Senior Center to about 2,000 frail and elderly Santa Clarita Valley residents who have only their Social Security checks to live on and are generally housebound.

"(The program is) their only touch with civilization sometimes," said Darcy, who has accompanied the drivers on their rounds. "It's a lifesaving service, and it gives us a chance to check in on the elderly and see if they need other help."

So mark your calendar all you want this month, but put an extra-big mark by Saturday, Sept. 19, for the Wine Auction. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling 222-2822 or 253-7230.

    Leon Worden is The Signal's special sections editor.

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