Hundreds gather to experience the Magic of the Lights Gala

By Nikolas Samuels

Last update: Sunday, November 27th, 2016

Christmas trees were aglow with the entire spectrum of the rainbow Saturday night during the 14th annual Magic of the Lights Gala, which was part of the Festival of Trees.

Holiday-themed creations took center stage at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex as hand-decorated gingerbread houses, tabletop and full-size Christmas trees were all auctioned off to support the Boys and Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, which put on the event.

“There’s only a handful of cities across the country that get to do the Festival of Trees,” said David Menchaca, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of SCV. “The fact

Kimberly Arnoldus, left, an Arlene Fukai look at the Christmas trees on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Kimberly Arnoldus, left, an Arlene Fukai look at the Christmas trees on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

that we get to have our own version of it is really special.”

Two-hundred and sixty-five people competed in auctions to purchase some 28 trees that were made by several organizations around the community such as Six Flags, Princess Cruises, The Santa Clarita Valley Signal and more.

In fact, Jo Lasick of The Signal took first prize for her wine-themed tree decorations.

This was the first year that fiancées G. Marshall Hann and Kathleen Ayl got the opportunity to host the gala and they were quite honored to do so.

Kathy Kellar, left, and Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar look at the gingerbread houses on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Kathy Kellar, left, and Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar look at the gingerbread houses on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“I feel blessed because it’s helping children and helping families,” said Ayl. “There’s nothing more important than that.”

Hann had his eye on the Hanukkah-themed gingerbread houses and the gingerbread trains that were being auctioned off.

His strategy is to wait until the silent auctions are about to close on Sunday and then go all in on the gingerbread houses he is interested in.

“Tomorrow, I’ll get serious,” said Hann.

Live music and a gourmet dinner were also on the agenda Saturday night during the event.

Menchaca hoped to raise around $100,000 from the gala, all of which will go to supporting the Boys and Girls Club of SCV.

nsamuels@signalscv.com

Russ Briley, the Executive Vice President of Community Relations and Audience Development at The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, and Jo Lasick of The Signal, stand in front of their red, wine-themed Christmas tree that won first prize at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Russ Briley, the Executive Vice President of Community Relations and Audience Development at The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, and Jo Lasick of The Signal, stand in front of their red, wine-themed Christmas tree that won first prize at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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Hundreds gather to experience the Magic of the Lights Gala

The Santa Clarita Christian Fellowship Choir performs at the Magic of the Lights Gala at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Christmas trees were aglow with the entire spectrum of the rainbow Saturday night during the 14th annual Magic of the Lights Gala, which was part of the Festival of Trees.

Holiday-themed creations took center stage at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex as hand-decorated gingerbread houses, tabletop and full-size Christmas trees were all auctioned off to support the Boys and Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, which put on the event.

“There’s only a handful of cities across the country that get to do the Festival of Trees,” said David Menchaca, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of SCV. “The fact

Kimberly Arnoldus, left, an Arlene Fukai look at the Christmas trees on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Kimberly Arnoldus, left, an Arlene Fukai look at the Christmas trees on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

that we get to have our own version of it is really special.”

Two-hundred and sixty-five people competed in auctions to purchase some 28 trees that were made by several organizations around the community such as Six Flags, Princess Cruises, The Santa Clarita Valley Signal and more.

In fact, Jo Lasick of The Signal took first prize for her wine-themed tree decorations.

This was the first year that fiancées G. Marshall Hann and Kathleen Ayl got the opportunity to host the gala and they were quite honored to do so.

Kathy Kellar, left, and Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar look at the gingerbread houses on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Kathy Kellar, left, and Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar look at the gingerbread houses on display at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the City of Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

“I feel blessed because it’s helping children and helping families,” said Ayl. “There’s nothing more important than that.”

Hann had his eye on the Hanukkah-themed gingerbread houses and the gingerbread trains that were being auctioned off.

His strategy is to wait until the silent auctions are about to close on Sunday and then go all in on the gingerbread houses he is interested in.

“Tomorrow, I’ll get serious,” said Hann.

Live music and a gourmet dinner were also on the agenda Saturday night during the event.

Menchaca hoped to raise around $100,000 from the gala, all of which will go to supporting the Boys and Girls Club of SCV.

nsamuels@signalscv.com

Russ Briley, the Executive Vice President of Community Relations and Audience Development at The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, and Jo Lasick of The Signal, stand in front of their red, wine-themed Christmas tree that won first prize at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Russ Briley, the Executive Vice President of Community Relations and Audience Development at The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, and Jo Lasick of The Signal, stand in front of their red, wine-themed Christmas tree that won first prize at the Magic of the Lights Gala event at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Saturday. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal