Santa Clarita Valley to host first Summer Games event

Runners take off from the starting line during the 9th Annual Hart Games at Valencia High School on Monday, March 19, 2018. Eight schools and some 350 athletes participated in the event this year. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
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This June, the Santa Clarita Valley will host its very first Summer Games at Valencia High School.

Proceeds from the Santa Clarita Valley Summer Games, which will take place June 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be donated to the Dylan Keith and Laurie foundation, which is dedicated to promoting child safety awareness.

The games will be organized by Manuel White, a former University of California, Los Angeles football fullback and Valencia High grad.

Now a firefighter in Pasadena, White said he saw a need for a family fun Olympics-type of event, and plans for the games to be annual.

The games are set to feature a 3-on-3 basketball tournament bracketed by age groups, a shoot-out competition, track and field events and a regional youth football showcase. All children from age 6 and up are welcome, White said.

“The fact that I am a firefighter and I see a lot of things first-hand means I wanted to help bring awareness to children’s safety,” he said of the event’s good cause. “I have children of my own, and I’ve been on incidents where children have fallen out of windows, and I completely understand.”

While he works in the Pasadena area, he said he saw value in bringing this type of community-oriented event to his hometown.

“I’m also always looking for things to bring to Santa Clarita, so we don’t have to leave Santa Clarita to experience them,” he added. “A lot of major cities do these types of events, so I said, ‘Why don’t we do that here?’ That was my motivation behind it. It’d be a great opportunity for local businesses to network and get involved, and it’s a local community event.”

Teams for the basketball tournament will be $80 per team for high school age and below, and $100 for the adult teams. Football will be $25 for early registration, and track and field is $10 to participate in all the events, which include the 100-, 400- and 800-meter dash.

Doris Laurie, a co-founder of the Dylan Keith and Laurie Foundation, said the foundation’s purpose is to promote child safety awareness. Laurie and co-founder Kristin Best both had sons who died from falling out of windows, and now seek to help other families going through similar tragedies or teach preventive tips.

She and White planned the event as a way to contribute to the community, Laurie said.

“We’re very excited, and to give back to the community that we grew up in,” she said.

The games will also feature stations for younger children to hula hoop, blow bubbles and listen at story time. There are also activities for people to learn about CPR training and other prevention tips in safety seminars.

Sponsors will be Gold’s Gym, Paseo Club and Grind Flipp. White said the event is still accepting sponsors and vendors. The event’s goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000 with an expected attendance of 200-250 participants and approximately 2,000 attendees.

Interested participants can email  [email protected] or at [email protected]. Vendor submissions are due by April 20.

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